Dual power in France – A Militant leaflet, May 1968

Supporters of the Marxist Tendency, then gathered around the Militant journal in Britain, intervened in the French events of May 1968. Here we provide the text of a leaflet that was distributed to the British workers and youth. In it they warned that with the way the French CP and trade union leaders were behaving the French bourgeois could regain control of the situation.

Not a nut or bolt turns in hundreds of occupied factories: not a wheel moves in public transport. The reactionary newspapers’ lies are “censored” by the printers and so are those of the radio and television. The French working class in its millions cocks its little finger, and the vast complex of French capitalism grinds to a halt.

What a mighty demonstration of the invincible power of the working class, when it begins to move! How crushing a refutation this is of all those cynics and sceptics who have written off the working class as “bought off”, “apathetic” etc! How clear it should be to even the most politically uneducated worker that their French brothers would now be firmly in power, but for the craven, cowardly policies of the French Labour and Trade Union leaders. This is the essence of the events which have shaken the French ruling class and terrified the exploiters of the world!

South East London: Remembering May ’68

On the 11th of May the Goldsmiths, Greenwich and Lewisham Marxists held a meeting at Goldsmith’s University on the revolutionary events of May 68. Even during a busy period for everyone, we had a great turnout of 14 radical young workers and students showing enthusiasm and thirst for revolutionary ideas. May ‘68 is especially important for students as a perfect example of linking with the working class in the fight against the Read more…

The French Revolution of May 1968

May 1968 was the greatest revolutionary general strike in history. This mighty movement took place at the height of the post-war economic upswing in capitalism. Then, as now, the bourgeois and their apologists were congratulating themselves that revolutions and class struggle were things of the past. Then came the French events of 1968, which seemed to drop like a thunderbolt from a clear blue sky. They took most of the Left completely by surprise, because, they had all written off the European working class as a revolutionary force.

Birmingham: Remembering May ’68

In Birmingham, the Marxist society at UoB held a meeting on the history and revolutionary lessons of May 1968. The meeting was attended by 12 people despite the upcoming exam season, a mixture of new faces and longtime members. As a group of both students and workers, learning about the solidarity between these groups in France in 1968 was indispensable. The discussion was wide-ranging and covered the role of Marxist students and Read more…

Oxford: Remembering May ’68

We held a meeting to discuss the revolutionary events of May ’68 on May 9. In the introduction to the discussion we focused on the accidents expressing the deeper necessity festering under the surface of French society at the time, the role of students, and the treacherous role of Stalinist leaders of the French Communist Party.  We highlighted the central lesson of these events — that a revolutionary party, expressing the will Read more…

Sheffield: Remembering May ’68

On May 4th, the University of Sheffield and the Sheffield Hallam Marxist Societies held a joint meeting on the history and lessons of May 68.  We had a dozen people there, including many who had not been involved in the Marxist Societies before. The discussion was fantastic,with the speaker highlighting how a failure of leadership cost the working class victory in May ‘68.  The discussion connected this to other movements like the Read more…

Revolutionary days – May 1968, a personal memoir

Alan Woods went to Paris in May 1968 seeking contact with revolutionary workers and youth. He describes here what he encountered, the mood, and the discussions with workers and students. He explains how the workers were looking for leadership but never found it, neither in the ultra-left groups, nor in the Stalinist leadership that betrayed them.

Remembering May ’68 in Southampton

On April 28th, we held a meeting on the legacy and lessons of May ’68.  With the crisis of capitalism sweeping across the world, revolutionary movements to match those of May 68 are coming across the world. It is vital to understand the reasons behind the rise and fall of the movement, and the role that students can play. The discussion went well in depth into these questions, including the methods and Read more…