Paris Commune 1871

The Barricades Commission

Translated: from the original for by Mitch Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2005.


In order to confront all eventualities a Barricades Commission was officially constituted as soon as the enemy appeared at the walls of Paris.

The Commission immediately set to work. It fortified the interior approaches of Paris and determined the points at which barricades should be put up in case of an attack.

The role of the Barricades Commission was restricted to these operations as long as the Prussians limited themselves to investing Paris.

Now that the enemy seems prepared to go on the offensive, the Barricades Commission must perform other duties. As improbable as would be the success of an attempt on our ramparts, it is important that we avoid any surprise and take all necessary precautions in advance. It is important that everyone know this: behind the walls protected by the courage of the army and the mobilized National Guard; behind the walls guarded by the constancy of the sitting National Guard, the Prussians will yet meet the indomitable resistance of the Parisian barricades.

Consequently, it seems appropriate to the Barricades Commission to appeal to the patriotism of all and to invite every home, as a measure of protection, to IMMEDIATELY prepare two bags of earth which will be delivered at the first notice of the Commission and which will serve, along with paving stones to cover Paris with barricades within a few hours or to repair breaches.

Each bag of earth should be 70 centimeters long and 35 centimeters wide so that it can be easily transported. The tissue can be simple and the price low (65 centimes at most) for those citizens who don’t prefer to manufacture them themselves.

In the present circumstances it is our duty to be ready for all eventualities and to ensure ourselves against the unknown. The people know that in the members of the barricades Commission it has men decided to defend Paris foot by foot, to never surrender to the enemy of our fatherland that citadel of right and republican liberty!


Henri Rochefort, president; Jules Bastide, vice-president;
V. Schoelcher; Albert, member of the Provisional Government of 1848; Martin-Bernard; Charles Floquet; A. Dreo; Cournet.