. According to World News Report: Striking public sector workers caused disruption across France on Tuesday as ‘troublemakers’ piggybacked protest marches to torch cars, smash windows and fight police. Paris, Lyon, Lille, Bordeaux and Marseilles were all hit by protests and frequent clashes.

As police tear gas dispersed stone-throwing rioters in Lyon, officials pleaded for calm. ‘The right to demonstrate does not mean the right to smash things up,’ said justice minister Michele Alliot-Marie, after fire destroyed a Le Mans high school.

President Sarkozy, who unveiled the toughest spending cuts for 50 years at the weekend, wants his reforms (which will raise the retirement age from 60 to 62) approved by the senate by this Friday. The riots and strikes are testament to how much the French public remains opposed to the pension reforms and higher retirement age.

Airlines flying into France were ordered to slash schedules. Refinery workers, airport staff, train drivers, teachers, postal workers and armored truck drivers went on strike, leading to at least half of all train services being cancelled and up to 50 per cent of flights grounded.

France’s strategic petrol reserves had to be dipped into after protests at oil refineries meant thousands of petrol pumps ran dry.

‘The street has power and it can be more powerful than the government,’ said one protest leader.

Would this sentiment hold true in the USA?Americans are on edge in every state of the Union and people can only take so much before they rebel. It is a fact that History teaches us over and over.  So why can’t we learn to avoid such conflict? The answer is simple: Corruption and greed in our corporations and our political leaders.

Washington sees us as sheep - easily deceived into being led to the slaughter. However, one need only do the math to see that the “have nots” far out number the “haves” in America, more so now than ever.

With the severe cuts in police forces across America, if there is an outbreak of civil unrest in this country, it is likely that the National Guard will be called in should any France-type riots break out here in the USA.

It may not be a question of "if" but instead "when"such civil unrest will begin to plague America. Should the Lame-Duck Congress fail to approve unemployment extensions for both the 99ers as well as those facing the discontinuation of their benefits by November’s end - we may well see the rage now felt by so many Americans boil over into violence by Christmas this year.