FILE - In this April 10 2018 file photo, students demonstrate past a board tagged in reference to the May 1968 uprising, in Paris. The 50th anniversary of France's biggest revolt since World War II is sparking more enthusiasm in arts and intellectual circles, though, with a series of exhibitions staged in Paris. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

PARIS (AP) - French President Emmanuel Macron[1] was not even born when students and workers joined forces during the May 1968 Paris uprising, a pivotal moment in making France[2] what it is today.

Fifty years on, France[3] is once again rocked by widespread protests. “1968-2018: Revolution!” read banners at this year’s demonstrations, which saw students blocking French universities to protest Macron’s education reforms, and railway workers staging prolonged strikes against plans to overhaul the country’s national rail company.

The centrist president is showing no sympathy for the protesters, and has promised to carry on with his policies in the face of growing public discontent. It’s no wonder no official commemorations of the 1968 revolt are planned.

Despite Macron[4]’s conspicuous silence, the violent, dramatic events that paralyzed France[5] 50 years ago are still very much in the air today.

An exhibition of political posters which played a major role during the violent unrest is bringing back to life the spirit of May ‘68, when students tore up Parisian cobblestones to build barricades and some seven million workers took part in nationwide strikes.

“Back then, millions of people thought it was necessary to change society,” curator Eric de Chassey told The Associated Press. “People actually thought that revolution was immediate. And that the whole power structure would be completely defeated. That’s fundamentally different to the current struggles and strikes.”

While the protests of 1968 fought for change, the protests of 2018 are largely fighting for the status quo, to keep the kind of lifelong worker rights that earlier generations enjoyed. Macron says those rights are now outdated and incompatible with the 21st century global economy.

Meanwhile, many of the breakthrough ideas far-left militants fought for during the late ‘60s and ‘70s have now become mainstream issues tackled by politicians across the spectrum.

“It’s during these years that the underlying trends of today’s political fights developed,” De Chassey said. “The fight for the rights of immigrant workers for instance, for gender equality or for homosexual rights. And Maoists militants who wanted to include farmers in their fight, also contributed to raising ecological concerns.”...

The “Images en Lutte” (The Clash of Images) exhibition of posters, painting, sculptures, films, pictures and books documents the work of artists involved in far-left protests from 1968 to 1974. At times art and politics were deeply mixed.A large part of the show, on display at the Beaux Arts school in Paris, is dedicated to the work of the “Atelier Populaire” (Workshop of the People). This collective of artists, students and teachers from the Beaux Arts worked 24/7 during the revolt to create thousands of political posters later posted on the city walls.The group occupied the school’s building from May 5, 1968 until they were removed by police at the end of June. Among their most iconic work is a flask printed with the

Read more from our friends at the Washington Times