| The Paris Commune of 1871 banks and debt | MR Online

The rise and fall of the Paris Commune: In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune

That was the time we stood firm.
That was the time we said no.
No to the all-conquering enemy at our gate.
No to the craven politicians fleeing to save their skins.
No to the bosses, even then negotiating with the enemy
to maintain their profits.

That was the time we took control.
That was the time we said yes.
Yes to the freedom from debt and from fear.
Yes to the comradeship that supported us all.
Yes to the equality that ended the divisions created
by those who would rule over us.

That was the time we built a new Paris.
That was the time we came together.
We built a society that was fair and just.
We kept the cannons that belonged to us.
We, men and women together, built and held
the barricades to defend ourselves

That was the time, those 72 days.
That was the time we worked as one.
Everyone could vote, everyone could have their say.
Nobody was poor, nobody was rich.
We gave according to our ability and
received according to our need.

Then came the time they took it all away.
Then came the time, that bloody week.
With massive force, our own countrymen
broke down the barricades, ran through the streets
slaughtering everyone they could find.
So many thousands died.

Now is the time to stand once more.
Now is the time to reclaim the streets,
when rich men and politicians lie and steal our wealth,
protected by those supposed to protect us.
To those who rule there is nothing so frightening
as people who want to be free.