Skip to Content

J. H. Halls

“Social Peace” in France

Another example of the harmony existing in the present social order is provided by the recent disturbances in and around Paris. In spite of statements to the contrary, and wilful blinking of the facts, the Socialists' contention that there exists in society a class struggle—a state of war between capitalists and workers—is borne out daily by our own experience as wage workers, and by passing events recorded (or suppressed) by the newspapers.

An Echo of the Commune

The Federation of the Seine, S.F.I.O., (French section of the Workers' International), had issued its annual call to the Paris comrades to fall in and march in procession before the historic wall of Père Lachaise Cemetery, where in May, 1871, many communard prisoners were shot and buried. The occasion was to be the more interesting because a memorial tablet upon the wall itself, and a monument upon the grave of Eugène Pottier, the writer of our song, the "Internationale," were to be unveiled, and appropriate addresses delivered.

Arriving rather late at the cemetery, we found the procession slowly coming out and the avenue along which it was passing closely walled in by a line of Republican Guards infantry assisted by numerous policemen. These guardsmen, by the way (cavalry and infantry), are no easy-going two-year conscripts, but are picked professional soldiers, who are maintained for the express purpose of providing a perpetual menace to the Parisian working class.

Capital and Labour in Paris

'Tis a drizzly Sunday afternoon, and the great Place de la Republic looks at first glance much as usual. But a closer survey reveals the presence of a large number of policemen, some, indeed, standing in ranks under the wall of the Château d'Eau barracks, while opposite, an officer in glittering helmet talks with some persons who, in spite of; their "bourgeois" clothing, betray the state functionary. What's in the wind ? We pass out of the "Place" and see that the Bourse du Travail or Labour Exchange a few steps further on is honoured by the presence of a number of perambulating policemen. The mystery begins to clear : working men in republican Paris are holding a meeting. And why? To discuss what steps can be taken to alleviate or remove the workers' ever-present curse -UNEMPLOYMENT.

Syndicate content