DOWN WITH THE ANTI-POPULAR
OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND POVERTY
On Monday 13 May workers and students, en masse, gave proof of their immense strength. 13th May was an great day of struggle against Gaullism. Workers and progressive students DEMONSTRATED AGAINST GAULLISM. It is no longer a question of fighting for small demands – bourgeois irrelevancies. The Gaullist state currently wants TO BREAK THE TIDAL WAVE raised against it and all reactionary forces. The Sorbonne? It is open again. The freedom of our comrades? Workers and students have demanded it.
SO, WHAT NOW? The mass movement against Gaullism, against the regime of unemployment and poverty must intensify.
THE WORKING CLASS DEMAND THAT THE SACRIFICES THEY HAVE AGREED TO, THE GREAT STRIKE THEY HAVE EMBARKED ON, MUST LEAD TO POSITIVE RESULTS. THE WORKERS WON’T FIGHT FOR NOTHING.
Those who protest, those who strike, like those who haven’t yet gone on strike because they’ve been preparing a massive struggle in the factories against the onslaught of big capital – the great mass of workers aspire to continue the popular battle against big capital and its Gaullist state.
The UNEF, the management of the CFT and of the PCF, GIVE NO CONCRETE POSSIBILITY to strengthen the unity of the people in the struggle against Gaullism.
The workers and progressive students ARE WAITING.
Do they want a parliamentary debate? No.
An adjustment of the bourgeois University? No.
Do they want the rotten politicians of the “left”, the assassins of workers, the J. Moches and the Mollets to profit from the situation and sneak into power? No.
POPULAR GOVERNMENT? YES. MITTERAND? NO!
They want a popular government that gives work to everyone, a university at the service of the people, freedom for the people. They want a regime where workers, farmers, all the people are the masters of the country.
They want to develop the popular movement together.
The workers and the progressive students want to support the development of the strike movement, working towards the common association of active workers and the unemployed, working towards the common association of French and immigrant workers, brothers in the struggle against capitalist poverty.
They want the struggle, under the guidance of the working class, to continue.
EVERYONE TO THE RALLY
TO CONTINUE AND DEVELOP THE POPULAR STRUGGLE AGAINST GAULLISM
The workers are in the front line against Gaullism,
LONG LIVE THE UNION OF WORKERS AND PROGRESSIVE STUDENTS.
AT THE APPEAL OF THE COMMUNIST WORK GROUPS, OF THE UNION OF YOUNG COMMUNISTS (Marxist-Leninist), OF THE “TO SERVE THE PEOPLE” GROUP, OF THE SUPPORT MOVEMENT OF THE PEOPLE’S STRUGGLE, and OF THE DEFENCE COMMITTEES AGAINST REPRESSION.
SUNDAY 19 MAY
RALLY at 3:30pm at the MULTUALITE
(Translation – Fisera 45)
DOWN WITH THE
Police repression has been unleashed upon the students during the past few days: the students have responded courageously with force. The workers themselves have known this repression for a long time. Every day it is a struggle against increasingly difficult working conditions. To repress this struggle the bosses call upon the bourgeois state, their faithful servant; these are the methods of fascist repression used by the CRS at Redon, at Caen, at La Rhodia in Lyon, etc. Redon, Caen, La Rhodia are serious blows struck at big capital and the Gaullist régime by the workers and the poor peasants. The workers know that it is their blows which are always the most forceful, always the most determined, which will bring down the regime that is oppressing the people.
The students have also dealt blows against this repressive regime. But the socialist “politicians”, the new left-wing careerists, are taking full advantage of the confusions and inconsistencies of what is a petty-bourgeois movement. They are doing all they can to corrupt the student struggle, to enlist it under their banner: they wish to use the student movement to snatch the reins of the struggle from the proletariat. How? By calling on the workers to support the petty-bourgeois demands of Daddy’s boys in the university. But the contrary is true. The progressive students ought to put themselves at the service of the workers and peoples struggle against unemployment and poverty, for freedom. The opportunist leaders of the PCF and the CGT first of all attacked the students fight in an un-worthy manner. Then, faced with the development of the situation, they changed their tack and asked for support for the social-democratic manoeuvres, for complete support of the strike on the basis of petty-bourgeois slogans, the manoeuvres and capitulation of opportunist leaders will not be able to withstand the mounting tide of the workers revolt. The workers are seizing the banner of the struggle against Gaullist. In the CGT they are going to overthrow the reformist bureaucrats, they are building the proletarian party in mass struggles against unemployment and capitalist poverty. Progressive students are doing to serve the People.
LET US BREAK
(Translation – Schnapp 52)
MATERIAL USED BY THE C.R.S. FOR REPRESSION OF DEMONSTRATORS
– Offensive hand grenades (a powerful blast).
– Incendiary grenades (which burn skin and eyes)
– Combat gas C.N. and C.B. (based on chlorine and bromide compounds already currently used by Americans in Vietnam; they cause asphyxia and death).
– Disabling gas.
These devices have been used this week in the Latin Quarter for attacks in cafés, in the subway, buses, stores, and apartment houses.
NOW IT IS CLEAR!
We are the guinea pigs for the experiments of a sadistic police who already has Charonne and the tortures in Algeria to its credit.
Thousands of youth who came to demonstrate have been harried, tracked down, bestially beaten.
We know that already there have been:
– injured who were blackjacked on stretchers
– members of the Red Cross (Hôpital Curie) systematically harried wherever they went
– doctors beaten (rue Gay-Lussac)
– people weak from loss of blood in police stations (Panthéon)
– injured to whom the police refused medical care for more than twenty-four hours
– torn limbs requiring amputation
– people in a coma
– serious eye lesions
– a student whose throat was slit by a cop on a windowpane (24 rue Gay-Lussac)
– probable dead
All these facts have been carefully suppressed by the government and the press. They have tried to impose silence in the name of medical secrecy by fabricating false medical reports.
The strike of medical students, the protests of professors, the UNEF press conference on the means of repression used by the police, that of the doctors from Saint-Antoine Hospital, the spontaneous testimony of 50 doctors who had offered medical aid, prove that the medical profession will not allow itself to be muzzled by police repression.
PARIS, May 12 (AFP)
During a press conference held yesterday evening (Sunday) in an amphitheater of the Faculty of Sciences, Dr. KAHN, professor of medicine, protested against the use of a particularly toxic gas during the demonstrations in the Latin Quarter.
The professor revealed that his observations of many students, together with a personal investigation, had enabled him to identify it absolutely as chlorobenzalmalomonitride, more commonly called C.S. or C.B.
This gas, according to Dr. KAHN, which is used by the police in the United States as well as by American troops in Vietnam, is said to attack the human hepatic and renal centres and, in the laboratory, to have been proved fatal to animals that have been given concentrated doses.
But what is serious, added Professor KAHN, is that they have been able to use such a gas during forty-eight hours in Paris without warning the medical authorities, whereas no known antidotes exist in France at this time against this compound.
AFP, 10:41 P.M.
It is not possible to discuss with
assassins and liars
WE ARE CONTINUING STREET ACTION AND OCCUPATION OF THE FACULTIES, UNTIL
Monday, 2:00 AM
The May 3 Action Committees
TODAY 13 MAY
At the call of our respective organisations
WORKERS and STUDENTS
WE CARRY OUT ONE AND THE SAME FIGHT
Against the intransigence of the government
Against police repression
For the amnesty of the convicted demonstrators
OUR STRUGGLES CONVERGE
IN THE PROTEST AGAINST CAPITALIST SOCIETY
For Union and Political freedoms
For a democratic University and an education at the
service of the Workers
For full employment and the transformation of the
economic system by and for the People
WORKERS AND STUDENTS ALL UNITED IN
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A SOCIETY UNDER THE
DEMOCRATIC CONTROL OF WORKERS
1) Of the thousands of red flags
– flying on public buildings
– on marches and demonstrations
– in the lecture halls
2) Of the Internationale
– being sung by demonstrators with clenched fists
3) Of the French Flag
– being profaned, torn, burned in public places
– being turned into filthy rags
– and the tomb of the Unknown Soldier being defiled
4) Of the anarchy which is setting in
– the University being turned into a filthy hovel
– the CNRS in a state of cultural revolution
– the strikes
– the Odeon being turned into a rubbish dump
– the frescoes in the SORBONNE being daubed with paint.
THERE IS NO MORE LAW
Law and order no longer exits.
The communist revolution is in preparation and is scoring more points each day.
To combat the subversion which takes advantage of disorder to establish itself:
EVERYONE TO PLACE DE L’ÉTOILE, SATURDAY at 6.00 p.m.
“Students, workers together”
(17 May 1968 – Atelier Populaire)
Blue screen-print on newsprint (no stamp)
44 x 70 cm
Gasquet p. 147 ; Wlassikoff p.26 ; Beaubourg #152, Mesa p21 ; Beauty #113 ; Dobson #135; Artcurial #422; Les Affiches #12
ENSBA # 10706
(Translated in Fisera – Document 53, and in Schnapp -Document 111)
THE UNEF PROPOSES…
Considering the extension of the student and workers’ movement in Paris and the provinces, together with the outcome of preliminary discussions which have been taking place in the faculties, the UNEP national executive (national bureau) considers it to be its duty to sketch out a preliminary balance-sheet of events and to put forward some ideas for restarting discussions and action in all French universities. At all events, one thing is clear: the radical dispute going on within the university is inseparable from the challenge to the established power structure, in other words, the battle is currently taking on a political nature.
At a time when the movement started by students is taking on a new perspective (factory occupations by workers), it is vital that we overcome any attempt to smother the movement, either by limiting its aims to purely university matters or by considering unity do be possible only in the forecourt of the Sorbonne. This is why it is so important for us to participate in the dynamic movement of social confrontation, chiefly by developing in the universities a potential for assertive demands. It is vital to put forward suggestions complying with this analysis.
Four main objectives can be suggested to the student movement:
1. The immediate establishment of real student power in the faculties, with the right to veto any decisions made;
2. Depending on this first point, the autonomy of universities and faculties;
3. The extension of the struggle to all sectors involved with broadcasting the predominant ideology, which means the media;
4. The real unification of workers and peasants causes by bringing up the same sort of confrontation with authority in the factories.
These four vital factors will create the conditions necessary for solving other problems (exams, selection, political and trade-union freedom in faculties, schools and elsewhere).
I – STUDENT POWER
Whether it is by means of the Critical University, or by predominantly student committees or by a complete transformation of faculty meetings, what is important is that the student movement retains control over all decisions made in the University. Whatever structures are discussed at local level, it is the students right of veto which will allow decisions to become fact and prevent integration.
This measure must come into effect immediately, it alone justifies the continuation of the strike.
We all know, however, that in a capitalist regime such power can only be temporary.
II – UNIVERSITY AUTONOMY
Without student power, the autonomy of the university would be a mere trap. giving authority back do the university mandarins. On the other hand, without autonomy student power is a trap, since the government and administration retain the means of control. Autonomy means that all decisions taken by students in collaboration with the staff will come into effect immediately.
III – EXTENDING THE STRUGGLE TO ALL IDEOLOGICAL FIELDS
It is by means of the media that the bourgeoisie is trying to destroy the movement, so it is by this means that we must publicise our actions and make them understood. This means that any source of information that toes the governments line must be fought whether it be the ORTF, private radio stations or the press. Not one paper must appear if it gives false information. We must act in close communication with journalists and printing workers. In the same way, youth and cultural centres, theatres and all artistic professions must join the struggle for the creation of a new people’s culture.
IV – LINKS BETWEEN WORKERS’ AND STUDENTS’ STRUGGLES
The downfall of the present ruling power can only occur if the battle is led by the workers themselves. This means that the main strength behind changes in society remains the working class. Workers must take their futures into their own hands and fight against the power of management in business. For our part, this implies systematic participation in the discussions taking place in the working class – in order to present out point of view, and not to give lessons, Also, every university under student control should be open to workers, and in all discussions.
The four points set out here should enable us to act and bring about the other demands which affect us:
1. The boycott of traditional exams which only serve to eliminate students from a bankrupt education system. A provisional synthesis of the discussions enables us to present the following points:
a) There is no question of victimising students for challenging the exams. This means it is inconceivable that the students should lose a year, nor that the militants who fought while others stayed at home, or who were wounded should suffer.
Seeing that the challenge to the exam system is closely tied to a complete change in education, any discussions on how to test students’ knowledge are subordinate to it. What is important in the present climate is:
– student control of all exam procedures, or an alternative method for obtaining certificates ;
– in certain subjects, changing the contents of exams ;
– student control of all decisions ;
b) There is no question of allowing exams and competition for national awards in their present form:
– we suggest changing the competitive award for the CAPES into an exam: this would mean success would not depend on rationing the posts available ;
– the baccalauréat: it is no longer feasible for the exam to continue under its present form. At the very least, we advocate that school students have the power of control and that all candidates have the right to take the oral exam.
2. Political and trade-union freedoms are a fact in the faculties. They should also become so (student power having the right of veto) in the grandes écoles and secondary schools, UNEF declares itself in solidarity with the CAL on this point, and will support and participate in the struggle for recognition for the CAL in schools and for their complete freedom of action and expression.
3. No selection at entry and throughout higher education. Given that a complete change in education is a primary objective, we declare ourselves against any form of selection.
What Should Be Done Right Now?
1. It is essential to continue discussion of fundamental issues in every domain and on every level. But from now on, the UNEF calls on its militants immediately to seize control of university institutions. If discussions with the teachers remain necessary, the right of veto on all decisions taken is the only valid guarantee.
The control to be set up in terms of relative strength can only be given to the combat, strike, or action committees that have actually led the action during these last ten days. Wherever the relative strength is not favourable we must have recourse to parallel structures (the counter university or others) in order to maintain pressure that would make it possible to obstruct the functioning of the traditional University. This line, which is applicable under present circumstances, can be altered according to the evolution of our relative strength.
2. Proclamation of autonomy must be demanded now. But this proclamation must be made only if the first point (right of veto) has been obtained, and with all the necessary guarantees that this autonomy will not bring about a reinforcement of the conservative and technocratic professional fraction.
3. The mass media battle must be waged in every university city. This means that no regional newspaper can come out if it has not accurately presented information concerning our struggle, demonstrations, occupation of premises, boycott of distribution, etc., will be organised in collaboration with newspaper workers.
The battle in the cultural sector can also be waged with young workers in order to orient the activity of youth and cultural centres toward combat (occupations, organisation of political discussions, etc.).
As regards other sectors of cultural life, participation will take place in agreement with artists who have taken a stand against bourgeois culture.
4. Occupation of factories by the workers has already begun. Our role is to broaden the campaign of political explanation to prevent the government and the reactionaries from separating the student and worker struggles. The UNEP militants will therefore take part in the meetings, assemblies, and demonstrations decided upon by the workers, this participation being considered by us as a priority.
This series of proposals has been introduced into the free discussions that have been going on for several days now in the university.
NATIONAL BOARD OF THE UNEF
(Translated in Beauty pp 206-7)
Since Friday, May 3 tens of thousands of undergraduates, high school students, teachers, and young workers have engaged in a new kind of combat in the streets and faculties alike.
Beginning at Nanterre with the questioning through proper methods of action of the bourgeois university’s terms and methods, the movement today poses the question of overthrowing the Gaullist regime.
HOW DID IT COME TO THIS?
The groundswell, provoked by the attempt of the government and the French academic authorities to break by force the slowly developing agitation, had causes that it is important to investigate and understand. The resistance and combative spirit of the students provoked a sort of supportive enthusiasm from the people who dared to resist the CRS, mobile guards, and other police. Certainly the workers were moved by the brutality of the police repression, but it was the fact of seeing the students not behaving like sheep and resisting by fighting that constituted the new state of affairs. Since Monday the sixth, at the end of the morning we see young workers beginning to come out to fight alongside the students. The rancour the cold-heartedness provoked over the years by police persecution, and the daily vexations all exploded. The anti-strike repression, the CRS in the factories, the pigs’ raids against the children of the poor suburbs, all the daily manifestations of a State largely based on the strength of its police – all of this resurged. Abruptly freed by the announcement of combat numerous energies came to join with the students “against the cops”. Of the many possible points of attack against a ten-year-old regime, symbol of all of the conservatism of the French bourgeoisie and of the attempts made in its heart at “modernising” the exploitation of workers, it is the hatred of the police, the hatred of repression, that is the principal driving force of the action. A lesson to consider!
THE UNCERTAINTY OF THE MOMENT
3,000 on May 3, 15,000 on the sixth, 40,000 on the seventh, over 10,000 behind the barricades on the tenth, we were more than a million on May 13 for the general strike. And nevertheless… since May 13, there is a growing malaise. The words “burial” (of the movement) and “recuperation” (by the parliamentary parties) are mentioned constantly. Many fear that the support and reserves that were given to us by the leaders of the central workers’ organisations were a poisoned chalice. We have occupied the colleges, occupied the Sorbonne, but nothing is settled as long as Pompidou plays at being “savior-returned-from-distant-lands”.
This period of uncertainty is the natural consequence of the two essential characteristics of the movement: its disorganisation and its programmatic deficiencies. While they safeguard us against the ossification of thought and sectarianism of many extreme Left groups, these two elements risk driving the movement at large to collapse if we do not take care.
Indeed, two trends become clear from the many discussions of these last three Weeks. On the one hand are those who wish to profit from the “academic crisis” to make the government operate in the place of “academic reforms” These are often the same ones who readily agreed with seeing the occupation of the Sorbonne as a return to the pathetic folklore of yesteryear. On the other hand are those who during the week of the barricades, revived the hope of revolutionary action. These wish for the overthrow of the regime more than the “joint management of the University”, alliance with the workers more than alliance with the “great profs” who yesterday declared themselves our enemies and today pretend to be sweet. The occupation of the Rhodiaceta Tuesday morning, and of Sud-Aviation in Nantes today, shows the way. The point is not to simplistically oppose all academic demands with general political demands. All are legitimate and necessary. The point is to organise a hierarchy of their importance.
POLITICS AT THE FIRST RANK
The same two trends become clear on the frontlines On the one hand, those who accept sinking into the colleges to resume a “normal, improved life”; on the other, those who want to transform our reconquered colleges into an externally-focused base of action. Against the cops, it used to be necessary to say “the Sorbonne for the students”. Now that we have it, its necessary to cry “the Sorbonne for the workers”. We must use our conquered colleges as the red base where the movement organises itself, from which propaganda groups go out toward the poor suburbs and the working-class districts, where the daily outcome of the struggle lies. Now, it’s necessary to –
GO TOWARD THE WORKING CLASS
Not to organise ourselves, but to take advantage of the audience that has given us our courage and explained the necessity of overthrowing the regime. In the poor suburbs we must go to restore the sincerity of our struggle, to say why we are against capitalism. We must also go to learn the concrete truth of that which we know from books: the exploitation of work. Now, finally, we must take back the streets, for it is there that the confrontation is taking place and that the alliance with the workers is being made.
THE SORBONNE IS OUR BASE, IT IS NOT THE BATTLEGROUND
Three trends are expressed about the question of organisation. The leaders only intend to profit from the situation in order to strengthen their own group, unaware that if the masses refuse to enter it is not uniquely the consequence of their weak politicisation, but because they refuse their leaders’ sectarian quarrels or their opportunistic parliamentarism Others propose to organise as little as possible in order to guard the movement’s creative spontaneity. These comrades are fooling themselves as well, for they do not understand that while it is possible for 500 to organise themselves spontaneously to make a barricade, it is totally impossible to overthrow the regime using the same means. Its necessary to organise the base, in action, for action.
ACTION COMMITTEES EVERYWHERE
Their form can be diverse: the disciplinary base, the base of small districts, the base of the workplace, etc. But they have this in common: they are units of small size, of 10 to 30 people, because they are made for discussion, and they are above all made for action. When there is an assembly of 200 people, split it into 10 Committees!
Each Committee gets together every one or two days.
– Each Committee sends a delegate to the daily coordination meeting, at 2 p.m., at the Sorbonne, staircase C, first floor (at 6 p.m. for those who cant make it at 2 p.m.).
– Each committee makes contact with nearby Committees (for example: all the Committees of the 15th arrondissement or all the “Institutional” Committees or all the “Science” Committees, etc.) to establish intermediate coordination.
– Each Committee realises its own initiative and sign.
– Each Committee gives its advice on which course to follow and posts it.
– A solitary person doesn’t wait to be given his instructions; he regroups some comrades, and can make contact with the co-ordinators.
– The members of the Committees participate in debates in the lecture halls, in the committees, etc., but they do not set this against participation in their Committee. These debates are for the elevation of the general level of realisation through discussion, without taboos, on all subjects but thats it; they are not the place for organising action.
NO TO ACADEMIC REFORMISM AND TO APOLITICAL FOLKLORE
LET’S OPEN THE VOTE TO THE REVOLUTIONARY PROTEST OF THE REGIME
The Coordination of the Action Committees
Workers, students, teachers
All unite to make May 13
a great day of struggle
The Gaullist government has been forced to make its first retreat. It had to consider: the power of the students’ and teachers’ movement; the support of the workers and democratic forces for the student victims of repression; and the call of trade unions for a general strike and powerful demonstrations for May 13 – which is a decisive factor in the government retreat.
The French Communist Party is calling on you to make this day of struggle a great success, to compel the government to quickly implement the announced measures, and obtain:
– full and complete amnesty for the convicted;
– the immediate release of the imprisoned;
– the total withdrawal of police forces from university premises and the Latin Quarter;
– the immediate reopening of schools and the conduct of examinations and tests without candidates having to suffer difficulties because of these events.
That is not enough. The legitimate discontent and the struggles of students and teachers have their origin in the deep crisis in the University. To address this crisis, with the workers, students and teachers, we require:
– The rapid creation of new Faculties and technical colleges, suited to contemporary realities, and the appointment of a sufficient number of qualified teachers.
– The satisfaction of the claims of the students: study grants; the development of social and cultural works co-managed with the participation of students; the establishment of a democratic life in universities and colleges.
These are the primary objectives in the struggle for a democratic and modern University to replace the current class-based University.
Against the power of the capitalist monopolies, the factory and office workers are fighting for increases in wages, the guarantee of jobs and resources, the repeal of anti-social orders, the respect and extension of trade union freedoms.
Thus, the essential interests of students, factory workers, and of all manual and office workers converge. The realization of their just aspirations is possible only by eliminating this government of personal power and by the institution of a new and genuine democracy, paving the way for socialism.
To this end, the French Communist Party works to strengthen mutual ties between the working class, the decisive force of our time, and all the other people’s forces, to strengthen the union of workers and democratic forces.
ENSURE THE SUCCESS OF THE STRIKE AND THE DEMONSTRATION
EVERYONE TO REPUBLIQUE AT 3P.M.!
The Federations of Paris, Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, Val-d’Oise, the Yvelines of the French Communist Party.