150th Anniversary of the Paris Commune
Thu, March 18 @ 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM$7 – $11
Reading and discussion with Mitch Abidor
Editor and translator of Voices of the Paris Commune and Communards
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune, the first time in history that the working class seized power. Please join us on March 18 –the date the uprising began – as Mitch Abidor, editor and translator of two books on the fighters in the 1871 uprising, Communards and Voices of the Paris Commune, recounts what happened over the 71 days that followed, in all its complexity, both its heroism and its failings, as well as its role as inspiration with lessons for the movements that followed in its footsteps.
Voices of The Paris Commune (PM Press): The Paris Commune had a vibrant press, and it is represented here by its most important newspaper, Le Cri du Peuple, edited by Jules Vallès, member of the First International. Like any legitimate government, the Paris Commune held parliamentary sessions and issued daily printed reports of the heated, contentious deliberations that belie any accusation of dictatorship. Included in this collection is the transcript of the debate in the Commune, just days before its final defeat, on the establishing of a Committee of Public Safety and on the fate of the hostages held by the Commune, hostages who would ultimately be killed. Finally, Voices of the Paris Commune contains a selection from the inquiry carried out twenty years after the event by the intellectual review La Revue Blanche, asking participants to judge the successes and failures of the Paris Commune. This section provides a fascinating range of opinions of this epochal event.
Communards (marxists.org): In this unique collection of texts we hear the genuine voices of the Paris Commune of 1871. Every Communard drew something different from the experience of the Commune, and Communards allows all of them to have their say. Documents include the records of stormy meetings of the Commune deciding on the execution of hostages, minutes of meetings of the First International throughout the siege, as well as reminiscences of participants written down 25 years after the event.
Communards is available at https://www.marxists.org/admin/books/index.htm
“If socialism wasn’t born of the Commune, it is from the Commune that dates that portion of international revolution that no longer wants to give battle in a city in order to be surrounded and crushed, but which instead wants, at the head of the proletarians of each and every country, to attack national and international reaction and put an end to the capitalist regime.” —Edouard Vaillant, a member of the Paris Commune.
Mitch Abidor has published over a dozen volumes of translation, as well as May Made Me, an oral history of May ’68. A contributing writer for Jewish Currents, his articles have also appeared in the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, Dissent, and many others. His I’ll Forget it When I Die: The Bisbee Deportation of 1917 will be published by AK in the spring.
all events are sliding scale. No one is denied admission because of an inability to pay. Please write email@example.com for admission to this or any other event or class.