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Voices of 1968

Voices of 1968

Documents from the Global North

Edited by Salar Mohandesi, Bjarke Skærlund Risager, Laurence Cox



(with free eBook)





A vivid collection of texts from the movements and uprisings of the 'long 1968'.

The year 1968 witnessed one of the great upheavals of the twentieth century, as social movements shook every continent. Across the Global North, people rebelled against post-war conformity and patriarchy, authoritarian education and factory work, imperialism and the Cold War. They took over workplaces and universities, created their own media, art and humour, and imagined another world. The legacy of 1968 lives on in many of today's struggles, yet it is often misunderstood and caricatured.

Voices of 1968 is a vivid collection of original texts from the movements of the long 1968. We hear these struggles in their own words, showing their creativity and diversity. We see feminism, black power, anti-war activism, armed struggle, indigenous movements, ecology, dissidence, counter-culture, trade unionism, radical education, lesbian and gay struggles, and more take the stage.

Chapters cover France, Czechoslovakia, Northern Ireland, Britain, the USA, Canada, Italy, West Germany, Denmark, Mexico, Yugoslavia and Japan. Introductory essays frame the rich material - posters, speeches, manifestos, flyers, underground documents, images and more - to help readers explore the era's revolutionary voices and ideas and understand their enduring impact on society, culture and politics today.

Salar Mohandesi is an Assistant Professor of History at Bowdoin College and a founding editor of Viewpoint Magazine. His current project, From Anti-Imperialism to Human Rights, traces the history of transnational anti-Vietnam War activism.

Bjarke Skærlund Risager is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto where he works on a project on resistance to gentrification and precarity under post-industrialisation. He recently co-edited Property Claims: What Disagreement Tells us about Ownership (Routledge, 2018). He is the co-editor of Revolution in the Air?: 1968 in the Global North (Pluto, 2018).

Laurence Cox is Senior Lecturer in Sociology, National University of Ireland Maynooth. A long-time activist, he co-founded the social movement journal Interface and researches popular struggles for a better world. He is co-author of We Make Our Own History: Marxism, Social Movements and the Twilight of Neoliberalism (Pluto, 2014) and co-editor of Revolution in the Air?: 1968 in the Global North (Pluto, 2018).

'This extraordinary collection brings together the great manifestos, political programmes, and other original writings that inspired - and were inspired by - the movements and uprisings of 1968... indispensable for anyone interested in the global upheavals of that annus mirabilis' - Jeff Goodwin, NYU, editor of The Social Movements Reader and author of No Other Way Out: States and Revolutionary Movements, 1945-1991

'Read Voices of 1968 to understand how, why and where deeply rooted activist currents coalesced into a global uprising that changed the world. Here are the transnational threads of hope and possibility desperately needed in an era of neoliberalism' - Robyn C. Spencer, CUNY, author of The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party

'The many revolts and uprisings of 1968 have frequently been told through narratives which have depoliticised them. This valuable collection of original documents and writings reasserts the diverse forms of radicalism and struggles for radical change in this pivotal year. It's a significant resource for hope and struggle' - David Featherstone, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow, and author of Solidarity: Hidden Histories and Geographies of Internationalism

'Here are voices from the marvellous year of 1968, as they spoke then. Some speak to projects we still struggle to realise half a century later. If a few are slightly mad, most are empowering, we know them as our own. We are their inheritor' - Colin Barker, Senior Lecturer Emeritus, Manchester Metropolitan University, editor of Revolutionary Rehearsals and author of Festival of the Oppressed

'This is a direly needed document collection of great value. To the best of my knowledge, this is the most comprehensive such publication on global 1968 in any Western language' - Gerd-Rainer Horn, author of The Spirit of '68: Rebellion in Western Europe and North America, 1956-76

'These revolutionary texts, many translated into English for the first time, contribute to challenge the whitewashing of this extraordinary year of anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, antiracist, feminist and LGBT struggles' - Françoise Vergès, Chair Global South(s), Maison des sciences de l'homme, Paris

1. Canada
Québec Liberation Front: Manifesto (1963)
Keith Bryne, Rosie Douglas, Elder Thébaud: Black Writers Congress: The Organizers Talk … (1968)
Native Alliance for Red Power: Program (1969)
Workers’ Unity: Salt of the Earth … Two for the Price of One (1971)
2. Czechoslovakia
The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia’s Central Committee: Action Programme (1968)
Ludvík Vaculík: Two Thousand Words that Belong to Workers, Farmers, Officials, Scientists, Artists, and Everybody (1968)
Minister of the Interior for the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, the City Council and the Minister of the Interior for the National Front: Dear Citizens (1968)
Aktual (Milan Knížák): Russians, Go Home! (1968)
Extraordinary Congress of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia: Proclamation Adopted at the Opening of the Congress (1968)
A Letter from Jan Palach addressed to the Union of Czechoslovak Writers (1968)
3. Denmark
Ole Grünbaum: Emigrate (1968)
Erland Kolding Nielsen: Democracy or Student Rule? (1968)
Lisbeth Dehn Holgersen, Åse Lading, Ninon Schloss & Marie-Louise Svane: Something is happening, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones? (1970)
Jacob Ludvigsen, The military’s “forbidden city” on Christianshavn was quietly taken by common civilians (1971)
4. France
l’Avant-garde Jeunesse: Report on Anti-Imperialist Day (1968)
Action: Why We Are Fighting (1968)
Fredy Perlman: Liberated Censier (1968)
The Young Workers at the Factory: Long Live the Agreement of the Masses (1968)
Manifesto of the 343 (1971)
5. Great Britain
Dave Slaney: The occupation of LSE (1968)
J.W.: Network: or How We beat the Gallery System (1969)
International Times: “People Round about Living in Fear” (1970)
Black Women’s Action Committee: The Oppressed of the Oppressed (1971)
Gay Liberation Front: Manifesto (1971)
6. Italy
The Sapienza Theses (1967)
Renato Curcio: Manifesto for a Negative University (1967)
Anonymous: leaflet for the Valle Giulia protest (1968)
Workers’ Power: Lessons from the Revolt in France (1968)
Lucio Magri: Prague Stands Alone (1969)
Workers’ Committee of Porto Marghera: By Working We Produce Capital (1970)
Red Brigade (sic): Communique no. 3 (1970)
Women’s Struggle Movement of Padua: Document no. 1 (1971)
7. Japan
Akiyama Katsuyuki: To the Fighting Students and Workers of All Japan and the Whole World, (1967)
Asahi Shinbun: No Police Warning: Riot Police Beat Citizens As Well (1968)
Red Army Faction: Declaration of War (1969)
Oda Makoto: Interview (1969)
Tanaka Mitsu: Liberation from the Toilet (1970)
8. Mexico
National Strike Committee: List of demands (1968)
Gilberto Guevara Nieble, Ana Ignacia Rodriguez and Maria Alice Martnez Medrano: Eyewitness accounts (1968)
Jaime Sabines: Tlatelolco 1968 (1968)
9. Northern Ireland
Campaign for Social Justice: Londonderry: one man, one vote (1965)
Derry Housing Action Committee: ‘68 DHAC ‘69 (1969)
Russell Kerr, John Ryan and Anne Kerr: Three eyewitnesses report on Londonderry (1968)
Bowes Egan and Vincent McCormack: Burntollet (1969)
Paddy Doherty and Nell McCafferty: Battle of the Bogside (2004 interviews on 1969)
“A republican in the Civil Rights Movement”: Britain and the barricade (1969)
Devlin in the US (tbc)
10. United States
Paul Potter: Vietnam War Speech (1965)
The Black Panther Party: Ten-Point Program (1967)
The Diggers: Trip Without a Ticket (1967)
Tom Hayden: 2, 3, Many Columbias (1968)
Redstockings: Manifesto (1969)
Young Lords Party: 13-Point program (1970)
11. West Germany
Michael Vester: The Strategy of Direct Action (1965)
Rudi Dutschke and Hans-Jürgen Krahl: Self-Denial Requires a Guerrilla Mentality (1967)
Dutschke Shooting (1968)
Kommune 1: Why are you Burning, Consumer? (1967)
Women’s Council of the Frankfurt Group: Liberate the Socialist Notables from their Bourgeois Pricks! (1968)
TBC (1969)
12. Yugoslavia
Demonstrators’ Action Committee and Students’ Assembly in Student City: Resolution of the Student Demonstration (1968)
Members of the Rally, Students and Professors: Comrade Workers, Citizens, and Youth (1968)
Plenum of the University Committee of the Student Union at the University of Belgrade, University Committee of the League of Communists at the University of Belgrade and the Student Action Committee of All Faculties, Colleges and Academies in Belgrade: Political Action Programme (1968)
Proclamation of the Revolutionary Students of the Socialist University “Seven Secretaries of the Young Communist League” (1968)
Discussion held by the General Assembly of the Philosophy and Sociology Faculty (1968)
Further reading
Published by Pluto Press in Oct 2018
Paperback ISBN: 9780745338088
Hardcover ISBN: 9780745338095
eBook ISBN: 9781786803467

320 pages

150mm x 230mm