France ’68 anniversary meeting

Socialist Party members inspired by revolutionary events

Students and young workers marching during the May events in France, 1968

Students and young workers marching during the May events in France, 1968

Paula Mitchell, London Socialist Party secretary

There was a great atmosphere at London Socialist Party’s meeting to discuss the world-shaking events of France ’68. To the sounds of music from 1968, members and new people looked at the articles and timelines on display, and bought copies of the Socialist Party’s book ‘Month of Revolution’.

Author Clare Doyle was the opening speaker, giving a lively narrative of the events.

Socialist Students organiser Theo Sharieff said we can learn from the May ’68 days to aid the current struggles of young people, especially in calling for school and college student walkouts when Trump visits Britain in July.

Socialist Party general secretary Peter Taaffe was a participant in the debates on the left at the time. When others wrote off the possibility of working class struggle in the west, the Militant (forerunner of the Socialist) predicted that revolutionary events were coming in France.

The massive movement of students inspired workers to take action, and when they did, the biggest general strike in history shook capitalism to its core. But what was missing was a revolutionary party that could offer leadership and take the next steps that were necessary for the working class to take power.

Participants from the floor included socialist activists at the time and young socialists who were inspired to join the Socialist Party when they studied France ’68. This upbeat mood was reflected in the bumper fighting fund collection which raised £654.