50 years ago, May 1968: discussion meeting

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To mark the 50th anniversary of the struggles of '68, the ICC is holding a public meeting to discuss the meaning of these events.

Saturday 9th June, 11am-6pm 
The Lucas Arms 254A Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8QY


Morning Session: The events of May '68, their context and significance

Fifty years is as far away from today as the Russian revolution was to the events of 68. That’s why it will be necessary to recall the broad outlines of what actually happened in May-June, from the agitation in the universities to the ten-million strong strike wave. At the same time, we will try to place these events in their broader international, and above all historical, context: before 68, the international scale of a new generation’s questioning of a society which breeds racism and war, together with growing signs of working class discontent faced with the beginnings of a new economic crisis. In the wake of May 68: an international upsurge of workers’ struggles which signalled the end of a long period of defeat and counter-revolution, and the emergence of a new milieu of revolutionary political organisations.

Reading material

‘May 68 and the revolutionary perspective’, in International Reviews 133 and 134; see the online dossier ‘Fifty years ago, May 68’, https://en.internationalism.org/international-review/201804/15127/fifty-...


Afternoon Session: The evolution of the class struggle since 1968

Just as the five decades prior to May 68 were marked by definite periods in the balance of class forces – a period of open revolutionary struggles followed by a period of deep counter-revolution – so the period opened up by 68 also needs to be analysed in its overall characteristics and not simply as a series of particular struggles. Broadly speaking, we can say that the period 1968-89 was marked by waves of class struggle which contained a potential for massive and even decisive class confrontations; but also that the failure of these movements to develop an explicitly revolutionary perspective, coupled with the bourgeoisie’s own inability to enlist the proletariat for another world war, ushered in the current phase of capitalist decomposition which has produced further difficulties for the working class. This part of the meeting will then look at the potential for the working class to overcome these difficulties and finally realise the revolutionary hopes raised by the events of May 68.

Reading material

21st ICC Congress: Report on the class struggle, International Review 156, https://en.internationalism.org/international-review/201601/13787/report...

22nd ICC Congress: Resolution on the international class struggle, International Review 159, https://en.internationalism.org/international-review/201711/14435/22nd-i...

This is an opportunity for debate among all those groups or individuals who want to develop a better understanding of the past, present and future of the proletarian struggle. All are welcome!





Public Meeting