From the Paris SI to the members of the SI
To comrades who have declared themselves
in agreement with our theses


The student "revolt" of Paris began several months ago with a small group of Enrages from Nanterre: Rene Riesel,[1] Gerard Bigorgne (excluded in April from all French universities for 5 years), etc. This group was very pro-SI in its positions. The rest of the "22d March Movement" (more moderate and confused) found its leader in Dany Cohn-Bendit (an anarchist from the Black & Red group), who accepted the role of spectacular star, which was, nevertheless, mixed with a certain honest radicalism.

The appearances of these two comrades [Riesel and Bigorgne], plus 5 other leaders, before the University Council let loose the troubles of 3 May. The street movement of 6 May (10 to 15,000 young people) began to be recuperated in the following days by the late endorsements of the bureaucrats of the UNEF, PC, etc.[2]

Everything rebounded superbly on the evening of 10-11 May. A part of the 5th arrondissement that had been entirely closed off by barricades was in the hands of a small insurrection for almost 8 hours. The forces of order that encircled it required 4 hours to reduce it. We were among 3 to 4,000 rioters (about half students, many high schoolers and hooligans, several hundred workers, young and old).

Violent repression, just as we expected. Faced with the amplitude of the protests made by all of the bureaucratic Left and the emotions in the workers' milieux, the government stepped back. Almost all of the Parisian college were occupied and took the figure of popular clubs. What currently dominates is a direct democracy to the base that wants to put society in question, that wants to unify itself with the workers, and that has resolutely condemned the Stalinist bureaucracy. Three positions have appeared in the free general assembly of the 14 May [19]68 occupation of the Sorbonne.

1. A first current (between a fourth and half of the participants, but which hardly expresses itself) wants simply to reform the university, and [thus] risks following the recuperation led by the Leftist professors.

2. A second current, which is larger in number, wants to pursue the struggle until the Gallist regime, or even capitalism, is destroyed (all the known Leftist nuances -- among them, the Federation of Revolutionary Students, Lambertist Trotskyists, who are seriously discredited for condemning the barricades).

3. A third position, held by a small (but listened to) minority, expressed by a declaration of Riesel (who will communicate it to you as soon as possible), wants the abolition of classes, the salariat,[3] the spectacle and survival, and that demands the absolute power of Workers Councils.

The possible developments are the following (in order of decreasing probability):

a). exhaustion of the movement (at least as it is currently, if it remains confined to the students and if the anti-bureaucratic agitation no longer reaches the milieu of the workers);

b). repression (one foresees a large number of arrests of the leaders) if the movement radicalizes itself any further or maintains itself a long time but without tipping over the working class and dissolving the bureaucracies that control it;

c). social revolution?

Yesterday, we constituted an Enrages-SI Committee that has started to post around the Sorbonne radical and extremely coherent proclamations. We continue. Riesel is taking part in the first Committee of the Occupation of the Sorbonne (revocable by the base at all times).

Do the maximum to publicize, supprt, [and] spread the agitation. To us, the principal themes in the immediate, in France, seem to be:

-- occupation of the factories;

-- constitution of Workers Councils;

-- the definitive closing of the University;

-- complete critique of all the alienations; affirmation of the principal situationist theses (in particular, distribution of the "Minimum Definition of the Revolutionary Organization"[4]).

Paris, 15 May [19]68
Guy [Debord], Mustapha [Khayati], Raoul [Vaneigem], Rene [Vienet]

ANNEX -- what to do immediately:

-- Inscriptions on the walls (and everywhere possible, as at the Sorbonne; posters in the colleges and high schools). It seems to us that it would be necessary to concentrate on the following slogans:

"All power to the Workers Councils"
"Abolition of class society"
"Down with the spectacle-commodity society"
"Long live the Enrages-SI Committee"
(it would be even better to sign the inscriptions in the name of the Committee)

-- Reproduce and distribute the tracts and declarations that we will send you. Produce others in the same spirit.

-- Take the floor everywhere that it is possible to support such ideas.

[1] Soon afterwards, Riesel would join the SI.

[2] UNEF stands for Union Nationale Etudiants Francaise (National Union of French Students) and PC for Parti Communiste (Communist Party).

[3] A neologism that expresses the proletariat of salaried workers.

[4] Originally published in Internationale Situationniste #11, October 1967.

(Written in French and reprinted in Pascal Dumontier, The Situationists and May 68: Theory and Practice of the Revolution: 1966-1972, Editions Gerard Lebovici, May 1990. Translated and footnoted July 2005 by NOT BORED!)

To Contact NOT BORED!
ISSN 1084-7340.
Snail mail: POB 1115, Stuyvesant Station, New York City 10009-9998