Thursday, March 4

Roger Martelli: “The Paris Commune is a common good that the Republic must celebrate”

Tribune. On February 3, at the Paris Council, the Parisian right launched an outcry against the commemorations planned for the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune. Stuck in her past, she persists in saying that celebrating this anniversary is to glorify “The most violent events in the Commune”.

What is it, in fact? On March 18, 1871, the battalions of the National Guard – which since September 1870 have participated in the defense of Paris [contre l’armée prussienne qui l’encercle] – seize power in a capital deserted by the authorities. A few days later, elections designate, 40% of registered voters, a majority of Republicans among the most left of this troubled period. The new elected assembly will meet regularly for fifty-four days: forty-eight of them have been occupied by the civil war, the most brutal that Paris has known since the wars of religion.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also “Black legend” against “red legend”: the difficult commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune

During this brief period, at the same time as it waged war, the Commune restarted the administrations, operated the public services, organized supplies and care for the wounded, ensured security in the streets. In the spirit of the “democratic and social Republic” that the revolution of 1848 promoted before it, it is implementing what its leaders have announced. It confirms the moratorium on rents due during part of the siege of Paris, decides on the partial return of objects deposited in the Mont-de-Piété, requisitions housing abandoned by their owners after March 18. It does the same for abandoned workshops, which it wants to entrust management to the workers themselves. It subjects public contracts to strict social constraints.

Another concept of “living together”

It doesn’t just do social redistribution. She proclaims the separation of Church and State, abolishes the unjust system of military conscription then in force, accepts that the guillotine is burned in front of the town hall of 11e borough. It sets up free, secular primary and vocational education, opens vocational education to girls, begins to question the traditional order of the family. It seeks to fundamentally change the relationship between voters and elected officials, provides for the revocability of elected officials and organizes the consultation of citizens to prepare the decisions of the municipal assembly.

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