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Posted on 1 April 2008 at 0:00 GMT

France 1968 - month of revolution

Speaking tour

France 1968 poster

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.

Speakers include:

Virginie Prégny

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 Doyle

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 Douet

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)

London Rally

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.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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