Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/3957
France 1968 - month of revolution
France 1968 poster
Brutal police repression of student demonstrations. Within days, 10 million French workers are on strike. Factories occupied, red flags flown, the Internationalé ringing out in the streets of Paris.
Even the armed forces are infected by the revolutionary mood. The future of French capitalism hangs in the balance.
Cynics imagine that revolutionary upheavals such as these simply do not take place in the West, that the working class and young people here are unwilling to fight. But May 1968 saw what has been described as the greatest general strike in history break out at the heart of Europe.
- What caused this mighty explosion of workers' and students' anger?
- Why did it not succeed in overturning capitalism?
- Could history have taken a different course?
- Could this happen again today?
Virginie is a member of Gauche Révolutionnaire (CWI France). She is a socialist activist and is a trade union representative. She has been involved in numerous struggles against the French governments' anti-working class policies, including the fight against CPE legislation in 2006, which was a gross attack on young workers' rights.
Clare is a member of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales). She has visited France on many occasions, including in 1968, and is the author of 'France 1968: month of revolution'. Her work has included traveling to many countries, including living for a period in Russia, and she has written extensively on international issues. She is a convinced and active socialist.
Marie-José became active in Left politics as a student in the 1960s and was a participant in the events of May 1968. She is a member of Gauche Révolutionnaire (CWI France). To this day, she remains a socialist campaigner and her visit to the UK offers an excellent opportunity to hear first hand the effect of the mass movement on workers and young people.
Speaking tour information
Swansea: Wednesday 7th May 7:30pm,
The Dolphon Hotel (Glousecter room),
Swansea City Centre (Opposite Primark)
Cardiff: Thursday 8 May 7:30pm
Cardiff University, Cardiff
London: Saturday 10 May 12 noon
London Conway Hall, Lion Square
(Part of '1968 & all that' event)
Thursday 15 May 7.30 pm Conway Hall Red Lion Square Holborn WC1
Speakers include: Peter Taaffe general secretary Socialist Party, Marie-José Douet of CWI France and participant in the events of May 1968, Clare Doyle author of France 68: month of revolution, Marco Verrugio of Controcorrente Italy.
Glasgow: Sunday 11 May 1:00pm
St Stevens Centre, Bath Street, Glasgow
Newcastle: Monday 12th May 7.30pm
at Stage 2, Northumbria University Students Union, Newcastle.
Manchester: Tuesday 13 May 7:00pm
Friends Meeting House, Mount Street, Manchester
Manchester Student meeting: Tuesday 13 May 5 - 6 pm, Meeting Room 2, Student Union (Biko building), Manchester University, Oxford Road, Manchester
Sheffield Wednesday 14 May 7:30pm Arts Tower, Lecture Theatre One, Sheffield University, Sheffield
Brighton Saturday 17th May 2:00pm Phoenix Centre, Phoenix Place, Brighton BN2
Birmingham Monday 19th May 7:30pm United Services Club, Gough Street, Birmingham
Leicester Tuesday 20th May 1:00pm Leicester University Students Union, Leicester
Nottingham Tuesday 20th May 7:00pm Djangoly Lecture Theater, Nottingham Trent University, Shakespeare Street, Nottingham
Oxford Wednesday 28th May 7:30pm The Mitre, 18 High Street, Oxford
Winchester Thursday 29th May 1:00pm Winchester School of Art, Winchester
Southampton Thursday 29th May 7:30pm Maple Leaff, The Polygon, Southampton
The tour is being hosted by the Socialist Party, which is part of the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI). The CWI organises for socialist change world wide and has sections in over 35 countries, including France but also in Latin America, Africa & Asia.