THE HISTORY OF CERMTRI
Having to suffer repression from three directions – the bourgeoisie, fascism and Stalinism – for more than fifty years of the labour movement's history, Trotskyist and other revolutionary militant activists have always had to hide and sometimes even destroy part or all of their archives.
Often, when those archives fell into the hands of reaction or the Stalinists, they were either pulped or hidden away. There is therefore the risk that whole portions of the history of Trotskyism, of the world's revolutionary vanguard, could be missing.
Starting from this realisation, and being concerned to set down and develop the collective memory of the revolutionary vanguard, a small team of militant activists decided in 1976 to prepare to set up the Centre for Study and Research on the International Trotskyist and Revolutionary Movements (CERMTRI in French). They began to make enquiries, search, write, collect, and then classify and make an inventory of the collection.
To the collections of archives and documents entrusted to the CERMTRI by the OCI (Organisation Communiste Internationaliste) came to be added collections passed on by old militant activists who had often played or who were still playing an important role in the Trotskyist and revolutionary movement, such as Jean Rous, Fred Zeller, Biline, Demaziere, Gérard Bloch, Louis Eemans and many others.
The CERMTRI's founding meeting took place on 26 November 1977, at which a 21-member Board of Directors was elected.
As stipulated in Article 3 of the Board's declaration dated 21 April 1978, “the CERMTRI is an association whose aim is to gather together all documents dealing with the history of workers' movements, especially those dealing with the activity of the Trotskyist and revolutionary organisations, and to place those documents at the public's disposal under conditions that will allow and facilitate research and study, whilst at the same time ensuring the best possible conservation of the archival collections entrusted to it”.
Since those early years, the CERMTRI has therefore collected together archives, documents and publications of the workers' revolutionary movement, and especially those of the Trotskyist movement since the days of the Left Opposition.
·It currently puts at the disposal of activists, historians and researchers
– over 22,000 books and pamphlets
– thousands of documents and newspapers
– the Cahiers du CERMTRI, a quarterly publication featuring unpublished texts or rare historical documents
It organises conferences at its premises on subjects concerning the history of the labour movement.
THE CERMTRI HAS PUT TOGETHER
A UNIQUE COLLECTION OF HISTORICAL ARCHIVES
If you are a researcher, academic or labour activist, you will find important historical documents at the CERMTRI.
By entering your email address at the place indicated in our home page, you will be kept informed of the CERMTRI's activities and initiatives, and you will begin receiving the CERMTRI's news bulletin from the next issue onwards.
3, rue Meissonnier - 93500 PANTIN
Open on Mondays, and Fridays, 10.30 am to 5.00 pm
Wednesdays 1.30 pm to 5.00 pm
Telephone: +33 1 49 91 44 83 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cahier du CERMTRI relating to the British labour movement
No.87: “The Liverpool dockers' strike – 1945”.
An important episode in the class struggle in Britain, if only because by taking place in the months following the end of the Second World War and immediately after the general election which saw the Labour Party swept to power, that strike was the first major confrontation that the new government had had to face. The published text is a translation of a study by John McIlroy entitled “'The First Great Battle in the March to Socialism: Dockers, Stalinists and Trotskyists in 1945”, which was first published by A Richardson's review, Revolutionary History (Summer 1996).
Articles that have appeared in Cahiers du mouvement ouvrier
No.3: Marceau Pivert: James Maxton – a speech by James Maxton to the Commons
No.4: John MacNair: George Orwell
No.9: John MacNair: The 1926 General Strike
No.12: John Archer: The British labour movement in the 1920s
No.14: H G Wells: Socialism and Revolution.Wednesdays