The Paris Commune 1871

The Central Committee of the Republican Federation
of the National Guard

Written: May 23, 1871;
Translated: from the original for by Mitch Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2005.

At a moment when the two camps are reflecting, observing each other and taking up their strategic positions;

At this supreme instant when an entire population, having arrived at a paroxysm of exasperation, has decided to win or die for the maintenance of its rights,

The Central Committee wants its voice to be heard.

We have only fought against one enemy, civil war. Consistent with our beliefs, both when we were a provisional authority, and now that we are at a distance from affairs, we have thought, spoken, and acted in this sense;

Today and for the last time, in the presence of the misfortunes that might befall all of us,

We propose to the heroic armed people who named us, we propose to those who have gone astray who attack us, the only solution capable of stopping the spilling of blood while at the same time safeguarding the legitimate rights conquered by Paris:

1 – The National Assembly, whose role has been terminated, must be dissolved;

2 – The Commune will also be dissolved;

3 – The so-called regular army will quit Paris and will keep itself at a distance of at least 25 kilometers;

4 – An interim power will be named, composed of delegates from cities with 50,000 inhabitants. This power will choose from among its members a Provisional Government, whose mission will be to proceed to the election of a Constituent and the Paris Commune;

5 – No reprisals will be taken against either members of the Assembly or members of the Commune for acts subsequent to March 26.

These are the only acceptable conditions.

Let the blood spilled in a fratricidal struggle fall on the heads of those who reject them.

As for us, just as in the past, we will fulfill our obligations up to the end.

4 Prairial, year 79

The Members of the Central Committee,

Moreau, Piat, B. Lacorre, Geoffroy, Gouhier, Prudhomme, Gaudier, Fabre, Tiersonnier, Bonnefoy, Lacord, Tournois, baroud, Rousseau, Laroque, Marèchal, Bisson, Ouzelot, Brin, Marceau, Leveque, Chouteau, Avoine fils, Navarre, Husson, Lagarde, Audoynaid, Hanser, Soudry, Lavallette, Chateau, Valats, Patris, Fougeret, Millet, Boullenger, Bouit, Grelier, Drevet