Publication Series Democracy, Issue 7
The meaning of the protest movements of 1968 does not only consist in the political results that were immediate achieved in various countries. In a certain sense, through their global range and global perception, the events of 1968 represent the first case of a ‘global concurrence’ in which the war in Vietnam, the Prague Spring, and the student protests in Western Europe and the USA are blended together.
Above all, 1968 stands for fundamental social change and the emergence of a new political culture. This includes the growing participation of minorities in the public sphere, the changing gender roles and the ‘coming out’ of sexual minorities, as well as changes in the fields of science such as the evolution of women and cultural studies. In essence, all these events have been initiated and pushed by the protest movements.
Despite the diversity of the 1968 movement, each country’s movement still had its overall individual characteristics and emphases. We asked a number of the protagonists of 1968 to share their memories with us and assess the events from today’s perspective. Authors from Brazil, Poland, the Czech Republic, Russia, Germany, South Africa, Serbia and Belgium speak out on the individual characteristics of the protest movements in their respective countries, the long-term effects on political and social conditions and the role that the protagonists of 1968 and their ideas play in contemporary politics and public.
4 Nora Farik and Claude Weinber Preface
7 Ralf Fücks What is left? 1968 revisited introduction
11 Marcelo Ridenti 1968 – Again! Reference year for an age. The events in Brazil
17 Teresa Bogucka Poland in 1968: „The freedom we needed so badly was so obvious elsewhere“ by Teresa Bogucka
21 Oldřich Tůma 1968: Czechoslovakia
27 Alexander Daniel 1968 in Moscow – A Beginning
33 Wolfgang Templin 1968 – An East German Perspective
39 Interview with Klaus Meschkat Germany 1968 – SDS, Urban Guerillas and Visions of Räterepublik
43 Bill Nasson Apartheid South Africa in 1968: Not quite business as usual
49 Nebojša Popov Belgrade, June 1968
57 Benoît Lechat May 1968 in Belgium: The crack bursts open
63 Interview with Daniel Cohn-Bendit „Today the big political game is ‘bashing the 1960s’“