Hammer and Sickle Marx the Spot

Upon entering the Grand-Place (coming up next post) I noticed this woman unfurling a hammer and sickle banner and getting photographed with it. An almost unimaginable sight in the US, I grabbed a couple of shots and then went over to speak with her and ask about the flag. Although she only spoke Portuguese, and I could only manage some French, a girl with her spoke English and helped her cheerfully explain that they were with the Communist Party of Brazil and she pointed to a brass plaque above her on the wall, noting Karl Marx’s connection with the spot. According to Wikipedia, “In 1885, the Belgian Workers’ Party (POB/BWP), the first socialist party in Belgium, was founded during a meeting at the Grand-Place, at the same place where the First International had convened, and where Karl Marx had written The Communist Manifesto in 1848.” I showed her the pictures I took and she expressed interest in having copies so I gave her my card.

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Adam Isler


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