Union de la Jeunesse Communiste (marxiste-leniniste) 1968

Forward for the Long March of Youth

Source: http://archivescommunistes.chez-alice.fr/ujcml/ujcml26.html;
Translated: by Mitchell Abidor 2008.

June 1968

Starting with the student revolt, the first phase of the popular revolution had two principal characteristics: the development of a powerful mass strike movement, and around the working class the unity of the people in solidarity with the strikers in the fight against the regime of big capital and its assassins.

This immense tidal wave swept away all the capitulationists, all the defeatists, all the chamber and verbal revolutionaries.

The many sabotages and betrayals by the PCF, supported by the national leadership of the CGT, the maneuvers of the social democratic leaders, the blackmail and repression of the Gaullist regime have not put a stop to the popular determination to fight. A million strikers are organizing the proletarian resistance along with those who, betrayed, have returned to work, and are again preparing for the struggle. The population of the cities and the countryside is united around the workers.

Nothing can any longer stop the march of the popular revolution, whatever its detours.

But the power of capital and its accomplices in the PCF is trying to smash the popular flood.

Their weapons: the club and the rifle on one side, electoral trickery and maneuvers on the other. For this they seek to rely on those fractions of the people who have not yet joined the struggle, on the still hesitant masses.

The poor and middle peasantry have not yet risen up; certain fractions of the proletariat, not mobilized because of the treason of the bureaucratic union leadership, have not actively participated in the strike; a portion of the petite bourgeoisie of the cities still maintains a wait and see attitude.

Who will win over the not yet committed masses? The bourgeoisie or the proletariat? It is certain that it will be the proletariat, for the immense movement that the people gave rise to has shown that 90% of the population can and must unite, and that the reactionaries are only a handful.

Young people have a great role to play in this. In large numbers students have shown their desire to connect with the people, to SERVE THE PEOPLE.

Through their action they have contributed to uniting the people around the working class.

The tasks of the young are clear:

  1. Supporting the bastions of proletarian resistance, like Renault, Citroen, Peugeot.
  2. Assisting the people in organizing in the quarters and villages. The mass of young people is ready to accomplish these tasks. Many have already set to work. But progressive youth apparently remains divided into several movements and organizations, divided by sectarian disputes. Progressive youth needs to be united in order to participate in the people’s combat. All of the elements for this exist. In the course of the struggles of the past weeks the principal correct ideas of the experience of a century of the struggle of the proletariat and the oppressed peoples have massively penetrated the young and have become a powerful material force. Those who divide us have been swept away; the arrogance of the bourgeois intellectual has been considerably shaken. SERVE THE PEOPLE, unite with the people are today the key ideas of the youth movement and which it has adopted through the experience of several weeks of struggle. What is this common property of progressive youth that permits and demands its unity?

  1. Young people have played and can till play the role of pioneers, giving the signal for the shaking up of the old order
  2. The students didn’t fight to improve a university for the privileged, for a few structural reforms. They attacked the university system that forms the continuators of the bourgeois cause and the managers of capitalist exploitation.
  3. Young intellectuals have understood that they were only a small part of the army of the revolution and that they had to unite with the principal forces. They understood that in order to do this they had to connect with the laboring masses, that they had to SUPPORT THE PEOPLES’ STRUGGLES. They put this into practice, at the price of their blood, as at Flins.
  4. Young people knew how to recognize their friends and enemies. The leading clique of the PCF and the CGT did everything to oppose the union of the students and workers; it employed the most ignoble slanders and armed the assassins. Today young people understand that capital’s best allies are the bourgeois politicians who have infiltrated the working class.
  5. Young people knew how to foil the maneuvers of those who wanted to use their revolt for the good of an exchange solution by big capital. The “Combat” operation, the meeting at Charlety, and the smiles of the CFDT in order to push Mendes-France forward have all failed.
  6. Young people swept aside all those who wanted to tell the working class what to do, all those who wanted to make of the working class a supplementary force. They placed themselves under the leadership of the mass of the workers, and they knew how to distinguish between the traitorous union leadership and the union militant at the heart of the fight, with the proletarian syndicalists of the CGT at their head.
  7. Young people massively rejected the electoral farce. The slogan “Elections=Treason” was massively taken up by large. They know that a popular government must be born of the mass of workers and not from rigged elections and parliamentary agreements between bourgeois parties.

Young people are united on all these points. This unity must be made real today. As we have seen, the foundations are clear and healthy. Upon them a united mass movement must be built as quickly as possible, setting aside all quarrels. Under these conditions young people can make this watchword theirs: “UNITE WITH THE PEOPLE. UNITE THE PEOPLE.”

The students are already united with the workers. Through their action they have already added all strata of the population in order to tighten their ranks against capital. The long march of youth has already begun.

It must be continued and intensify. To the factories, the quarters, the countryside.

To the factories to support the bastions of the proletarian resistance. To the quarters to make every electoral meeting a popular meeting to denounce the regime and the elections.

To the countryside to massively explain to the poor and middle peasants the struggle of the workers and students, to place themselves at the service of the working peasantry and to assist it in entering the great popular combat en masse.

The popular revolution will be a prolonged struggle, the very one that will progressively unite in the struggle 90% of the population against a handful of exploiters. The experience of the Chinese Revolution sweeps away the theories of the instant revolutionary seizure of power, of the “active minority taking power by surprise.”

Our revolution will not be the fruit of a lucky chance; rather of a bitter, merciless, and prolonged struggle.

It won’t be the sudden work of a minority, but the progressive rallying, by stages, of the large masses of our country. One doesn’t make the revolution for the masses; it is they who make it.


We will easily sweep aside the negative currents that brake or lead the student movement to deviate; the routine of the sterile violence of barricades, the decadent and petit-bourgeois style of work, the maneuvers of groupuscules.

For this, the unity of intellectual youth and working class youth is indispensable.

The young workers who are an active and enthusiastic part of the proletariat will assist the students in uniting with the people and uniting the people.