Should May 1968 be commemorated?

The aftermath of a riot in Bordeaux as the protests spread nationwide, © Tangopaso

A visit back to a turbulent moment in time

At the beginning of May 1968, mass strikes, protests and street battles ground France to a halt. Fearing all-out civil war, the then President Charles de Gaulle secretly fled to a military air base in Germany and called snap parliamentary elections on his return.

It was very nearly a revolution but by June it had fizzled out. However, that short period is still widely discussed today and the big question is, should it be commemorated this May, 50 years on, and, if so, how...

What was it all about?

The answer depends on your point of view. If your politics veer to the right, you may describe what happened as the évènements, or events, of May 1968, as if being ...

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