France 1968

Situationist International anthology - Ken Knabb

E-book of the most comprehensive collection of writings of the Situationist International in English translated and compiled by Ken Knabb.

In 1957 a few European avant-garde groups came together to form the Situationist International. Picking up where the dadaists and surrealists had left off, the situationists challenged people's passive conditioning with carefully calculated scandals and the playful tactic of detournement.

Obsolete communism: The left wing alternative - Daniel and Gabriel Cohn-Bendit

In May '68, a student protest at Nanterre University spread to other universities, to Paris factories, and in a few weeks, to most of France. On May 13, a million Parisians marched. Ten million workers went out on strike. At the center of the fray, from the beginning, was Daniel Cohn-Bendit, expelled from Nanterre for his agitation. Obsolete Communism was written in the five weeks immediately following the French State regaining control. No account of May '68, or indeed of any rebellion, can match its immediacy or urgency.

Daniel's gripping account of the revolt is complemented by brother Gabriel's biting criticism of the collaboration of the State, the union leadership, and the French Communist Party in restoring order, defusing revolutionary energy, and handing the factories back to the capitalists.

The French strikes of May-June 1968 - Bruno Astarian

A demystifying review essay and analysis summarizing the events of May-June 1968 in France with an almost exclusive focus on the strikes of the workers, based on reports and testimonies garnered from a voluminous bibliography, providing a sobering reassessment of the largest nationwide strike in French history, which the author defines as a “generalized non-insurrectional work stoppage”.

Translation into English completed January 2013

France 1968 - reading guide

Libcom.org's reading guide on the events in May 1968 which saw students occupying the universities, intense fighting in the streets and a general wildcat strike of ten million workers across France.

Key texts

France 1968 photo gallery

Photographs of the uprising and general strike in May 68 in France.

Football to the footballers!

In the insurgent Paris of May 1968 when millions of workers were on strike, the students had occupied the universities, the president had fled the country and France seemed on the verge of revolution, the footballers were not to be left out. Footballers occupied the headquarters of the French Football Federation and issued a communiqué:

"We footballers belonging to the various clubs in the Paris region have today decided to occupy the headquarters of the French Football Federation. Just like the workers are occupying their factories, and the students occupying their faculties. Why?

Catastrophism, disaster management and sustainable submission - Rene Riesel and Jaime Semprun

In this book first published in 2008, Jaime Semprun and René Riesel examine the attempt by predominantly First World governments and NGOs to utilize the specter of an environmental apocalypse as an alibi to save “industrial civilization” by imposing a rationed form of “survival”, justified by a terroristic propaganda campaign based on fear, enforced by an expansion of the state’s coercive powers, and facilitated by the mass conformism and resignation that “industrial society” has induced in the population by creating an “anxiogenic environment” of “insecurity and generalized instability”; “[f]or the fears proclaimed by the experts … are in reality nothing but orders”.

Catastrophism, Disaster Management and Sustainable Submission – René Riesel and Jaime Semprun

“Even if liberty had entirely perished from the earth, such men would invent it. For them slavery has no satisfactions, no matter how well disguised.”

Étienne de la Boétie
Discourse on Voluntary Servitude

Preliminary Clarifications

Enragés and Situationists in the Occupations Movement

May 68

This work was written collectively by the Situationist International in the immediate aftermath of May 1968. It comprises their own account of the Situationists' contribution to the Movement of Occupations that took place throughout France during the largest wildcat strike in history.

Enragés et situationnistes dans le mouvement des occupations (Paris: Gallimard, 1968)

Translated by Loren Goldner and Paul Sieveking (New York: Autonomedia, 1992)

Foreword

'Terrorism or Revolution' An Introduction to Ernest Coeurderoy - Raoul Vaneigem

Ernest Coeurderoy

In this introduction to the work of Ernest Coeurderoy written in 1972, Raoul Vaneigem offers his first published look back at the events of May '68 and what he considered to be the new grounds of the contemporary revolutionary struggle.

SYNOPTIC OUTLINE OF PARTS I AND II

History of ten years - Encyclopedie des Nuisances

Analysis of the outbreaks of class struggle in Portugal, Spain, Italy and Poland that took place between 1974 and 1984, published by the Encyclopedie des Nuisances in 1985.

History of Ten Years – Encyclopédie des Nuisances

Outline for a Historical Depiction of the Progress Attained by Social Alienation