1968 … What was IT?

Well, we’ve been promising this since the anniversary but here’s some coverage of the Paris ’68 uprising featured in the sadly long-gone anarchist newspaper International Times.

“An interview with Jacques Tarnerc a member of ‘The March 22 Movement’ at Nanterre University.

Relations between students and workers are crucial to the whole movement. When the ‘movement started in the universities the workers thought of us as petit bourgeoisie and that no contact between us was possible. What we have proved is that, in spite of superficial differences, we have a common struggle, which is not one of reform but of total opposition.

Our relations with the Communist party are made difficult by the fact that they have many preconceived ideas on the subject. They have tried to define us as anarchist, as petit bourgeoisie playing at revoloution, as Trotskyites, and as Maoists. In fact we are all of those things as the situation demands it. We say that only in the unity of struggle can we find what is necessary to combat the repressive conditions in which we all find ourselves.

We are not interested in arguing about power. We refuse to accept the concept of power politics. We wish to destroy the socioeconomic situation in which we all find ourselves.

We are in opposition to General de Gaulle and the Gaullist government which represents these things at present in France. We want a government which represents the real desires of the people.

The detonator of this situation was the student revolt. This revolt goes deeper than the demands actually made. It is a political revolt. The motives behind the action are political. This student revolt occasioned a wave of violent governmental repression. It seems that we have threatened the very basis of the bourgeois system and this caused the and this caused the violent reaction. Public opinion was outraged at the virulence of the reaction. The result was a popular front demonstration on May 13 of over a half a million people and it has exposed a cleavage in the working-class movement
between those who are genuinely against repression and those who are merely interested in saving the present structure by reform.

It is for this reason that we provoke.

ESTABLISHED GAINS: We have gained certain things. We have forced the authorities to remove their armed blockade from the university buildings. We have shown that we are not children at play but people who consciously reject their social conditions. And we have shown in the streets and at the barricades that our revolt is effective. As to whether this situation will change and we will lose this
potential under a wave of government repression is a risk, but it is for us to be vigilant to ensure that it does not happen.

FUTURE HOPES? ‘ We hope that larger sections of the working class will come to realise that political power is to be recovered in the streets and that it is held by fighting against the forces of repression at the barricades. The workers have got to have at least the 40-hour week and the 1,000 francs minimum wage in order to live decently and in order to consider and mould social conditon order to consider and mould social conditions to their satisfaction. Now what we want above and beyond that they enter dynamically into control of the cultural and social conditions in which they find themselves. What we can say with certainty is that to an ever increasing extent we find ourselves standing shoulder to shoulder with the workers at the barricades.

Above all we need money. We have no money to buy gas-masks. We have no money to buy dressings for the wounded. We have no money to buy paper to print pamphlets. At the moment money to do everything we’re doing. We need money to buy petrol to fuel our reconnaisance and support vehicles and for the ambulances.

PEOPLE: American youth has been polarised by the Vietnam war but there must be consciousness
of the unity of struggle between the youth of all of Europe and the of America. Both to reject the present socio-economic conditions and to destroy the crushing bureaucracies of East and West. This is not a dream there are already radical and dynamic student movements in Germany, Holland, France,
Belgium, in fact, in all the countries of Europe.

This is a common struggle. It is young people who are most sensitive to problems concerning the future structure of society. It is this faith which is our hope for the future.”

more to come …

Images of ’68


2 responses to “1968 … What was IT?

  1. Pingback: Crazy Cops at Climate Camp « the void

  2. Pingback: 1968 … What was IT? | Disinformation

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