MANY BELIEVED that after Germany, France would also go down the road of fascism. This was a particular fear after the far right tried to launch a coup in 1934. A general strike was called. Workers united in a spontaneous show of unity against the fascist threat. In June 1936 France was rocked by a massive wave of strikes and occupations after the election of a left of centre Popular Front government.
Workers were far to the left of the government. They challenged capitalist rule in the factories and on the streets. But the leaders of the working class reined in the movement and ordered that the strikes should end. They disarmed the working class. The Popular Front government refused to send aid to the Republican forces in Spain.