A Communist Party in New Caledonia (1941–1948)
During and immediately after the Second World War, in common with all French colonies, New Caledonia experienced intense political upheaval. It is little known that both the political awakening of the native people and the successful questioning of colonial authority by immigrant Asian workers had their origins in a political movement with communist sympathies. Led by strong and colour personalities - Jeanne Tunica y Casas, Florindo Paladini, Vincent Bouquet, Henri Naisseline, Henri Lemonnier - the Caledonian Communist Party, which had regular contacts with its Australian and French counterparts, knew how to present the first Kanak political claims and to set up an embryonic political organisation by and for Kanaks. The present article recounts this forgotten page of New Caledonian history: forgotton because the Christian missions, allied with the colonial administration, were quick to nip in the bud what appeared to be too radical a questioning of the established order.
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