The French Left has finally returned to political action. On October 27, 1960, summoned by the National Union of French Students and joined by the independent unions—Force Ouvriere, the French Confederation of Christian Workers and the autonomous teachers unions 20,000 to 25,000 Parisians demonstrated for Algerian peace and the defense of civil liberties.
In size it was not an imposing affair. However, a completely novel event occurred in the Salle de la Mutualite at the edge of the Latin Quarter: for the first time the Gaullist government was forced to allow a leftist demonstration against its policies. The Communists tried to take over; then, realizing that they could not do so, boycotted the demonstration. The police began by banning the meeting and then, when the organizers threatened to hold it anyway, finally authorized a meeting in a hall seating scarcely 3,000 people.
First to ban, then to permit: that is typical of the Gaullist government which gives groun...
For just $19.95 a year, get access to new issues and decades' worth of archives on our site.
Print + Online
For $35 a year, get new issues delivered to your door and access to our full online archives.