‘Beneath the paving stones, lies the beach’
So read the gable walls of Paris in 1968, as violent student agitation engulfed the city’s streets, preceding an enormous general strike of Parisian workers that shook the French establishment to their very core. It was an extraordinary event, but it was not to be a one off.
In 1968 people rose up, movements for change emerged, and new ideas clashed with the old order. This was a year of radical politics, of black power, of civil rights, of a new wave of feminism and the first springs of a revitalised labour movement. It was the year the indomitable force of US imperialism became bogged down in Vietnam, and millions took to the streets to oppose their war. It was a year of resistance and artistic possibility. This was the time of Dylan and the Stones, Elvis returning to our screens, and a new wave of directors who emerged to break new cinematic ground. And in Ireland, too, the rebellious fervour would find its voice: with the birth of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights movement, and the great heave to overcome division and discrimination in the Orange State.
68 legacies is a new series from Rebel, that will explore this remarkable year and the politics that surrounded it.