June 19, 2003

New 'Joan of Arc' wows the strike-weary French

Like The Agitator wisely asked, maybe there is still hope for the French...

"HAILED as the new Joan of Arc on a crusade to stop France’s powerful unions holding the silent majority hostage over pension reform, Sabine Herold, 21, a politics student, has become an instant heroine to those who are fed up with seeing their country crippled by seemingly endless strikes.

Shouting into a microphone to loud applause, Ms Herold delivered a stirring message to the tens of thousands of followers who gathered in the Place du Chatelet in the centre of Paris at the weekend, to hear her speak on behalf of her association, Liberté, j’écris ton nom.

"How numerous we are today. More than I would ever have dared hope for just a month ago, when the strike was all around us," she said.

"We have put a full stop to decades of silent submission. This time, for the first time, we have told them no," she added, referring to the strikers she calls "reactionary egotists". "