France History Archive
Paris May 1968

“Watch Out for Manipulators!
Watch Out for Bureaucrats!”

Source: Bureau of Public Secrets.
Translated: by Ken Knabb, slightly modified from the versions in the Situationist International Anthology. No copyright.


No one must be unaware of the importance of the GA [general assembly] this evening (Thursday, May 16). Over the last two days several individuals, recognizable from having previously been seen peddling their various party lines, have succeeded in sowing confusion and in smothering the GAs under a barrage of bureaucratic manipulations whose crudeness clearly demonstrates the contempt they have for this assembly.

This assembly must learn to make itself respected or disappear. Two points must be discussed before anything else:

WHO CONTROLS THE SECURITY MARSHALS? whose disgusting role is intolerable.

WHY IS THE PRESS COMMITTEE – which dares to censor the communiqué that it is charged to transmit to the news agencies – composed of apprentice journalists who are careful not to disappoint the ORTF [national radio-television] bosses so as not to jeopardize their future job possibilities?

Apart from that: Considering that the workers are beginning to occupy several factories in France, FOLLOWING OUR EXAMPLE AND WITH THE SAME RIGHT WE HAVE, the Sorbonne Occupation Committee issued a statement approving of this movement at 3:00 this afternoon. The central problem of this evening's GA is therefore to declare itself by a clear vote supporting or disavowing this appeal of its Occupation Committee. If it disavows the appeal it will have put itself on record as reserving for students a right that it refuses to the working class; and in that case it is clear that it will no longer want to concern itself with anything but a Gaullist reform of the university.

16 May 1968, 6:30 pm