France/Saint-Etienne: On March 23rd, let’s commemorate the Paris Commune!

We publish this unofficial translation of a call from France.

Let’s meet on March 23rd, at 2 p.m., at Place du Peuple in Saint-Etienne (42) for an event to commemorate the Paris Commune!

The reactionary wave that has engulfed the country since the 1990s continues to grow, leaving the “people of the left” speechless. The absolute domination of a clique of lobbyists over the media leads us to believe that the entire country has sunk into reactionary, anti-Enlightenment and anti-emancipation ideas. The manipulation of History is an old technique of the ruling to try to transform the present in their image. Current and past policies inevitably pave the way for fascism and war. We can only be worried about the warlike tones of the “first of the citizens” and his henchmen, while tensions between nuclear powers are growing.

The economic crisis, impoverishment, the march towards war, reactionary and racist policies deserve a clear response from all that this country has of democrats, progressives, humanists, trade unionists, associations, activists, all those who think that the emancipation of the human race is not an old thing of the 20th century, but the future of the 21st.

The history of the workers’ and people’s movement is strewn with armed feats. Our entire social system, our democratic freedoms, are the result of the struggles of the past. The future of the country is only the fruit of today’s struggles and tomorrow. The only guarantor of political and social rights is the people.

We, citizens, left-wing activists, trade unionists, progressives, humanists, believe that we need historical benchmarks, milestones to be part of a much longer process than the ephemeral tweets of current politicians. We could cite the Great French Revolution, the struggles for the Republic and June 1848, the People’s Front and the Resistance, but of all these dates one particularly serves as an inerasable, temporal mark, because its heart is marked with that of the eternity, we want to talk about the Epic of the Commune!

It was the first republic of workers in the country and in the world, it abolished the army, separated the State and the Church, gave education for all, new rights to the working class, and it saved the honor of the country sold to the Prussians by the Versailles. The political emancipation of women was the work of the Commune. Real democracy was put in place, with revocability of elected officials at all levels and direct consultation of the people. The Commune was profoundly internationalist, the French citizen was the one who found himself in the universal ideals carried by the Commune.

The current government is of the same caliber as those from Versailles: republican and democratic in form, ultra-reactionary in substance. Continuing the long work of destroying the public good (public enterprises, social system, education, pensions, health, etc.), he wants to call into question the achievements of the Resistance more than ever.

To commemorate the Commune is to commemorate the unreclaimable, the event which made all the powerful of Europe tremble, which resonated throughout the world as a new era, that of the Universal Republic of Workers, that of the emancipation of human kind, that of bread and peace.

The Commune is not a dead idea, it is a future to be reconquered, an expanding ideal which we must all seize, today, as the antithesis of this Republic which defiles its fundamental principles.

Long live the Commune !
Meet at Place du Peuple on Saturday March 23rd at 2 p.m.

Friends of the Commune 1871 (Saint-Etienne)

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