LIFE: Parisian Student Riots – May 1968

I love this series of LIFE photos showing the 1968 Parisian student riots. I have seen a slew of photos from the event from burning cars, marchers, etc, but I can’t think of very many in color and with such vibrancy as these. The style in them is outstanding as well, and is a lot of the reason why I can see why designers such as Alexander McQueen have taken influence for past seasons from the event and time.

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8 Responses to LIFE: Parisian Student Riots – May 1968

  1. Foster says:

    great life find Brandon. awesome.

  2. Adam says:

    These aren’t pictures of the “student riots” of May 1968. These are plainly pictures of one of the many right-wing counter-demonstrations that were held to support the government of Charles de Gaulle. It may be that you don’t understand or care about the politics and just want to comment on the neat clothes, but even then it’d be a bit silly to conflate revolution and reaction here.

  3. drinkinanddronin says:

    These are in fact pictures from those couple of days of the student riots. While I appreciate you putting in your two cents on de Gaulle and the politics surrounding it, I’ll also have you know these photographs were taken on May 24th, 1968 by Bill Ray. Also entitled “Paris Riots On Night Of May 24, 1968 Re: Student Unrest”.

  4. Adam says:

    You’re missing the point. That these pictures were taken by Bill Ray in Paris during the month of May, 1968 is not in dispute. But the “Paris Riots On Night of May 24, 1968 Re: Student Unrest” link turns up 150 or so pictures. These are of a number of different things, including inter alia: the “student riots” your post alludes to; a press conference given by Daniel Cohn-Bendit; Gaullist and Communist politicians going about their business; the Paris police gearing up for the next round of “student riots”; and – these are the ones you chose to post on your blog under the heading “Parisian Student Riots May – 1968” – a big group of Gaullists, made up mostly of petit bourgeois types, who were on the streets to condemn the “student riots” and to express their support for the cops and the government.

  5. Jeff says:

    Can these still colour photos of the flag waving marching counter demonstrators be purchased ???

  6. Julian says:

    A book was written following the student riots in Paris. A work of fiction, it centered on a group of American students returning home on a trans-Atlantic liner. Led by a character nick-named ‘The Indian’ (I think) they took control of the ship more or less as an intellectual exercise in radical action and revolt. The book may have been called ‘The Voyage Home’ or something like that but I’m not sure.
    I would dearly love to read the book again if only I could find it. Can anyone here help me please?

  7. Jeff says:

    Don’t know the book but there is one by William Styron I read about American ex-pats in Paris at the time of the 68 unrest…these ‘shots’ are incredible…I only wish I could get copies

  8. Julian says:

    Thank you. You can make copies of the images from this blog if you are using Firefox. Right click and Save Image As.
    Also – do a Google Image search for Student Riots Paris 1968 (or variations) There are a number of photographs there too.
    Best wishes

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