SEP holds Paris meeting on 50 years since May 1968 general strike
5 June 2018
On Sunday, the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) of France held a public meeting in Paris, titled “50 years after the May 1968 general strike, how to mount a Trotskyist struggle against Macron?” Students, workers protesting President Emmanuel Macron’s austerity policies, and members of the Tamil community in Paris and surrounding cities attended the meeting, which also featured remarks from Barbara Slaughter of the SEP (Britain).
The meeting took place amid continuing strike action against Macron’s plans for the privatization of the railways, attacks on public sector wage levels and cuts to key social programs in order to fund tax cuts for the rich and the diversion of hundreds of billions of euros into military spending. The meeting began with a presentation by Alex Lantier on the 1968 general strike and its significance for the class struggles and the international radicalization of workers and youth today.
Lantier noted that the meeting aimed not only to commemorate a great historical event, but above all to clarify political questions of revolutionary strategy still posed to workers. He explained that May–June 1968 and the class struggle today cannot be understood outside of the history of the struggle against petty-bourgeois anti-Marxism inside the Trotskyist movement itself.
Petty-bourgeois forces that had broken with Trotskyism not only helped sabotage workers struggles in 1968 and afterwards. They also produced a false historical narrative and perspective that shaped what passed for “left” politics for 50 years, rejecting the revolutionary role of the working class and the struggle to build a Marxist vanguard party to lead its struggles. Based on this, they…