On 18 March 1871 the French national government fled from Paris – a mutiny had taken place, and unemployed Parisian workers who had been drafted into the National Guard elected their own officers and even composed a political programme. The next day, the Central Committee of the National Guard called for elections in order to ‘establish a true republic’. The constitution of the Commune Council that became known as Paris Commune followed, and over the next 72 days some of the basic principles of a socialist society were established.
Only some weeks earlier, in a small Polish town, Rosa Luxemburg was born – brilliant author, inspiring speaker, revolutionary, feminist, one of the most influential figures of the socialist movement. Even though everyone within the left knows her name, her reception often seems cursory.
Both the Communards and the revolutionary Parisians as well as Rosa Luxemburg had and still have a profound influence on the socialist movements not only in France and Germany respectively, but for whole Europe and beyond. The March edition of this newsletter is dedicated to their 150th anniversary.
On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, transform! europe is organising a webinar to reflect on the current feminist struggles in Poland and the successful pro-choice campaigns in Argentina and Ireland: Our Bodies – Our Choice – Our Decisions. Join the discussion on 4 March, 6pm (CET). In addition, you can find ePublications on the current feminist struggles in Poland and Slovenia on our website.
We wish you stimulating reading!Michael Hollogschwandtner, web editor, for transform! europe
Ailbhe Smyth: "We need a discussion about abortion on a pan-European scale, linked to a discussion about our democracy."
How did Irish society move from a ban on abortion to a victory for women's rights? What can be learned from this experience for the current feminist protests in Poland? Małgorzata Kulbaczewska-Figat (Strajk.eu) talks to Ailbhe Smyth, feminist activist who played a central role in successful political campaigns on women's and LGBT rights in Ireland.