Protest 'haka' performed by French speech therapists

French students have drawn on a 'haka' to lend force to a protest.

The reworked chant was performed by speech therapy students fighting for a better wage, French paper La Depeche reported.

The group, which appeared to be mostly female, gathered in front of a government building in Toulouse, southwestern France, on Tuesday to get its point across.

With moves that appeared to be based on Te Rauparaha's Ka Mate haka, protesters chanted their anger about pay rates, and their solidarity.

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And it appears they have a tradition of colourful protests, with online videos showing other haka, as well as a routine to Eye of The Tiger and a mock funeral for their profession.

The students have training equivalent to a master's degree but their salary doesn't match, Estelle Ardanouy told La Depeche.

"Working in a hospital, a speech therapist gets paid 50 Euros more than the minimum [monthly] salary," said Ardanouy, the co-president of the Toulouse Association of Speech Therapy Students.

"It's not enough."

Speech therapists complete five years of higher education, whereas that pay rate is the equivalent of what someone who had studied for two years would get, she said.

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Public television station France 3 said about 100 students and speech therapists were at the demonstration for the performance of what it called a restyled haka.

Over the past 10 years, one in four speech therapist positions have disappeared, France 3 reported.

Speech therapy students have been protesting throughout October, and the final demonstration will be on November 3.

 - Stuff

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