Paris City Hall in February, when conservative city councilors accused the left-wing majority of exploiting the anniversary to political ends while ignoring the Commune’s own acts of violence and destruction. Historians and politicians then clashed over the need to commemorate the event, and the French press took sides.

But perhaps the fiercest attack came from the least expected side: the left.

On a chilly March morning, City Hall officials organized the first commemorative event, gathering about 50 Parisians at the foot of the Montmartre hill to carry life-size silhouettes of famous Commune fighters. Anger roared above them, in the tiny square near the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, where left-wing demonstrators had organized their own event, boycotting the official celebration.

“You Versaillais!” a man shouted to the crowd down the hill, using the name given to people living in Versailles, the city where the central government regrouped during the Commune, and the home to French kings until the French Revolution of 1789.

“Those down there, they’re the privileged few,” said Mr. Jamet, the Yellow Vest veteran.

Standing a few feet away, Catherine Krcmar, a 70-year-old seasoned leftist activist, smiled as she watched the protest around her. “Revolutionary Paris is not dead,” she said.

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