Thursday, November 6, 2014

Commune capable disease

London, when it sizzles with indignation, be there tomorrow;
This Friday, November 7, Marx Memorial Library hosts our final lecture commemorating 150 years since the founding of the International Working Men's Association.
Jonathan White will speak on Marx's brilliant vindication of the 1871 Paris Commune and his final publication for the IWMA, The Civil War In France.
After which, the cocktail hour;
Those attending this lecture will be able to pay a visit afterwards to the very pub in Clerkenwell where surviving Communards who avoided transportation to French penal colonies by escaping to London met to keep the memory of the Commune alive.
Though we recommend making a long week-end of it with a trip to Berlin for a celebration of a real withering away of a state;
At first there was incredulity. It soon gave way to wild jubilation and tears of unbridled, wholly unexpected joy. The fall of the Berlin Wall, 25 years ago next Sunday, changed our world: it ended the Cold War and it remains the most seismic political event in Europe since the Second World War.
It fell just a few minutes short of midnight on 9 November 1989. At the Bornholmer Strasse crossing point, East Germany's border guards faced a huge and increasingly angry 20,000-strong crowd of East Berliners chanting, "Open the gate." The guards feared for their lives.
After trying to contact his superior, but getting no response, the officer in charge finally succumbed and ordered that the barriers be flung open. " We're opening the floodgates now," he announced. A human tide of East Berliners poured into West Berlin.
Within the hour, all seven of the wall's crossing points had been thrown open and a giant party was in full swing on the streets of West Berlin. The collapse of Communism in Europe had begun.
If you can't make it, there's always the DVD;

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