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Campus Protests in U.S. Are a Rorschach Test for the World

The world is watching what is happening on American campuses with shock, pride, relish and alarm. Scenes from the protests — and of the arrests of protesters — have been top news around the world from Bogotá to Berlin, Tehran to Paris.

In some countries, including France, students have staged protests of their own, though not with the scale and intensity of those in the United States.

Some applaud the protests. Others, particularly in countries ruled by authoritarian regimes, view the crackdowns as proof of America’s hypocrisy on human rights and freedom of speech. Still others see them as the latest sordid chapter of America’s ongoing culture wars.

In some ways, the protests and the response to them are a Rorschach test for the world — the analysis often offering more insight into local politics than into America.

Here is a selection of views from around the world.

France: Warnings of ‘Wokisme’

Many in France, including Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, see the pro-Palestinian protests as another example of the dangers of “woke” culture — “le wokisme” — which they worry is being imported from the United States and threatening core French Republican values.

On Friday, police officers charged into an elite university in Paris, Sciences Po, to remove students who had occupied the building overnight. The protesters had demanded the university condemn what they called “the ongoing genocide in Gaza” and review its partnerships with Israeli universities.

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