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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Paris launches series of over 50 events in commemoration of the Commune

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune.

To mark the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune the city of Paris is coordinating over 50 events honouring and commemorating the 72 day revolutionary period that shook the world. Between March 18 and May 28, 1871 the people of Paris took control of the city and made the first attempt by the modern working class to seize power in history.

Karl Marx wrote of the Commune that it "will be forever celebrated as the glorious harbinger of a new society. Its martyrs are enshrined in the great heart of the working class. Its exterminators history has already nailed to that eternal pillory from which all the prayers of their priest will not avail to redeem them."

Laurence Patrice, a Communist Party of France (PCF) deputy mayor of Paris said of it:

The Commune, as brief as it was, marked in the end by the murderous revenge of the reactionaries united against the people of Paris, nevertheless gave hope for generations of a possible revolutionary collective. It has nurtured, and still nurtures, the imagination of the workers' movement in France and beyond. At that time, Spanish rulers were already worried that cities like Barcelona or Madrid would be inspired by it, and of course the Spanish Republic was inspired by it.

Patrice also says that living as we are in the "agony" of modern capitalism we need to both celebrate and be inspired by the Commune more than ever.

The events are being held over the entire course of the 72 day anniversary and range from the cultural to the academic. There is also a demonstration planned for May 28 that will end at the Federalists’ Wall (Mur des Fédérés) in Père-Lachaise Cemetery. It was here that the last of the Communards were shot by the counter-revolutionary army after the terror of "bloody week" during which tens of thousands died in armed resistance or were summarily executed.

For the full list of events, their websites and their locations in Paris see: 150 ans de la Commune de Paris – Que Faire à Paris ?



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