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The Embers of a Lengthy-Smoldering Revolution Are Stoked in France

However in a rustic the place historic anniversaries are sometimes extra divisive than unifying, and the place revolutions are sometimes a degree of nationwide pleasure, the Commune’s “return” has additionally revived previous ideological quarrels over its legacy.

The preventing started at Paris Metropolis Corridor in February, when conservative metropolis councilors accused the left-wing majority of exploiting the anniversary to political ends whereas ignoring the Commune’s personal acts of violence and destruction. Historians and politicians then clashed over the necessity to commemorate the occasion, and the French press took sides.

However maybe the fiercest assault got here from the least anticipated facet: the left.

On a cold March morning, Metropolis Corridor officers organized the primary commemorative occasion, gathering about 50 Parisians on the foot of the Montmartre hill to hold life-size silhouettes of well-known Commune fighters. Anger roared above them, within the tiny sq. close to the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, the place left-wing demonstrators had organized their very own occasion, boycotting the official celebration.

“You Versaillais!” a person shouted to the group down the hill, utilizing the identify given to individuals residing in Versailles, the town the place the central authorities regrouped throughout the Commune, and the house to French kings till the French Revolution of 1789.

“These down there, they’re the privileged few,” stated Mr. Jamet, the Yellow Vest veteran.

Standing just a few ft away, Catherine Krcmar, a 70-year-old seasoned leftist activist, smiled as she watched the protest round her. “Revolutionary Paris isn’t lifeless,” she stated.

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