Revolutionary Rehearsals

October 31, 2020
Revolutionary Rehearsals

Five times in the last 40 years, the working class has posed aradical alternative to the status quo.France 1968: A general strike and factory occupations bymillions of workers shake the country.Chile 1972: Workers defending the Popular Unity government setup workers’ councils—the cordones—and demand control overproduction.Portugal 1974: Army officers overthrow the dictator Caetano andrelease an upsurge of "popular power" whichs last 18 months.Iran 1979: The viciously repressive Shah is toppled and workersset up independent councils, the shoras.Poland 1980: Demanding radical change, workers build theindependent trade union Solidarity to fight for their owninterests, exposing the false socialism of the Eastern Bloc.In each of these cases, the actions of workers themselves werethe driving force of struggles with revolutionary potential. Theydemonstrate that workers can and will fight back on a massscale.Each episode offers an inspiring glimpse of the way in whichworkers rise to the challenge of fighting for a better world—andpose their own alternative to the system.Although none of these struggles ultimately achieved theirgoals, they were "revolutionary rehearsals" that hold importantlessons about the struggle for socialism under modernconditions.