suziweissman's blog

Kyrgyzstan’s ‘Tulip Revolution’

Kyrgyzstan’s March 2005 ‘Tulip Revolution,’ was not really a revolution, but resulted in its President, Askar Akayev, fleeing the country. For several days there was a political vacuum and the streets seem to rule. An interim President stepped in and there was hope that clean elections could be held in July. In June there were several episodes of political-economic violence, including the assassination of an MP and businessman considered close to the ousted Akayev. To many it seemed that the country’s new political elite was attempting to grab the economic assets and wealth that the Akayev regime and friends had ‘accumulated’ during his reign in power. People took to the streets in protest, and the government responded with violence.

In Memoriam: Pierre Broué

Pierre Broué,
by Olivia Gall

Translation, Suzi Weissman

Saturday, 30 July 2005

On Tuesday July 26 Pierre Broué died in Grenoble, France, at 79 years of age. The history of his life and the large work he left behind constitute a profound meditation on the grandeur of the revolutions of the 20th Century – as well as the sequel of deception that they have left to us.

Pierre Broué was born in 1926 in the southeast of France to a family of strongly republican government employees. As an adolescent, Broué began to work with the French strikers of 1936 and with the anti-Franco combatants. Thanks to his junior high school teacher Elye Reynier, Broué found his other vocation: History. Broué joined the French Communist Party Youth, though he didn’t last long there – he and a group of friends were expelled because they wanted to organize a campaign of ‘internationalist’ agitation among the soldiers of the Wehrmacht. The expelled were accused of being ‘Trotskyists,’ an accusation which carried a violent sense that they still didn’t understand, but it caused them to seek out -- right and left -- the persecuted revolutionaries who called themselves followers of Trotsky, at whose side they would be politically active for many years. (See Le Monde 27/07/2005)