This year, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune. The Paris Commune showed that the working class was capable not only of destroying the bourgeois state machinery but also of replacing it with a new state: that of the working class, a dictatorship of the proletariat over the exploiting classes. The significance, lessons, legacy and continuing validity of the Paris Commune will again be debated in the media, the academe, political parties, and social movements. The 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune will likely be given huge attention not just by ML-socialists of various trends but also anarchist and social-democratic formations who trace their lineage to Blanquist and Jacobinist red clubs.
As the world faces an unprecedented crisis amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, the remembrance of the Paris Commune will also permit the opportunity of forming clear linkages with other mass struggle or advocacy campaigns already ongoing or planned for this year, such as workers’ struggles on economic issues, land occupations by farmers and indigenous peoples defense of social-welfare gains in certain local governments with “socialist” mayors, and so on.
The League is organizing a six-month long global campaign to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune (18 March – 28 May 1871). The “Paris Commune at 150” campaign (PC150) will be a global mass commemoration to refresh, revitalize, and sustain interest in the Paris Commune: its historical context and impact in the past 150 years, its lessons and continuing validity for the current era. The campaign will be mainly informative and educative, and will aim to produce and disseminate varied educational and cultural outputs of long-term and inspirational value such as papers, primers, document and photo collections, literary and artistic works.
For the ILPS, the main focus will be a series of online seminars, in which resource speakers will present papers and discuss selected themes. The papers and other documentation will be compiled and published by end-2021 for promotion and distribution among the general public.
The tentative topics and webinar dates are as follows:
1.The significance of the Paris Commune today – March 20
2.Workers’ movements – April 15
3.The struggle of European workers – April 25
4.Women of the Paris Commune – May 9
5.Applying the lessons of the Paris Commune – date to be announced
6.A virtual tour of the Paris Commune – May 22
Theoretical and popular primers on the Paris Commune will also be released in three languages: English, French and Spanish.
The League is enjoining its member organizations and country chapters to celebrate the victories and lessons of the Paris Commune by joining these activities, and by launching their own activities per region and country chapter.
For your further guidance, attached is the concept note on the campaign.
Long live the Paris Commune!
Long live international solidarity!
International League of Peoples’ Struggle