Monday, August 21, 2017

“Eyewitnesses of the origins of the British Revolution” – October 1968

With the start of the 1967-68 academic year looming, and the world again (still?) worried by American government war-mongering, it seems a good enough time to look back at the heady days of student and (let’s not forget) other militancy which to some gave real hope, as in this letter written in the immediate aftermath of a large anti-Vietnam-war demonstration in London.
It gives a rather different account from that currently available in mainstream sources, as well as from that provided by the media at the time – no surprises there. Whatever reservations we, and no doubt its writer, may have - especially with half a century of hindsight - about its tone, analysis and (obviously) predictions, it stands as a spontaneous testimony to "what it was like" back then. Or what it could be like on a good day. And might even be like again?

(Slightly edited from heat-of-the-moment typescript.)

Monday [28/10/68] 
        It was wonderful to be in London this weekend; it was without doubt the high-water mark reached by the revolutionary movement in Britain for at least 30 years. Ignore all the press & TV reports of course, they are just venting their spleen at Popular Power in Fleet Street, which was possible the highlight of the march.
1. L.S.E. Commune
We spent most of Saturday, Sat. night and some of Sunday in LSE. Over 1500 were there on Saturday night, sleeping in the halls and corridors - there was no vandalism [or] stealing and what mess there was was cleared up. Food, drink and medical stations were all organized quite efficiently, as was defense [sic] against possible police attack. Many people - not all of them hostile - came along to see what it was all about. [Chris] Pallis estimated that 500 LSE students - 25% - were involved in the occupation. They were probably right to abandon it after the demo, since they could have been hammered by the police quite easily then. The level of militancy at this LSE affair was much higher than at the sit-in last year. French comrades showed how to do silk-screen posters and designed some - notably "We are all foreign scum" and "Workers' Control. Money for this was made by collections. Leaflets were also produced for workers on the establishment presses and given out Sat. & Sun.
The meetings which were organized were generally good, but suffered a bit from vociferous disrupters. One on Sat. afternoon was attended by over 500, to hear Pallis, [Tom] Nairn and a CP-ite on France. Pallis more or less repeated his article from the last Solidarity, and the CP-ite was given a very hostile reception when he tried to defend the role of the CP in May. Seminars were also held on SDS [Students for a Democratic Society], Latin America etc. and films on France & Vietnam shown. The road up to the building was hung with red flags and banners – “Long Live the Socialist Revolution”. We slept in the corridors – all the Aberdeen comrades were on the 4th floor – and woke to find that the “News of the World” had discovered another LSE where completely different events were happening. At 1.00 we marched out of the building to the assembly-point of the march.
2. The Insurrection.
          Disregard official estimates of the march – there were over 50,000 and possibly as much as 70,000 there. We assembled at the Embankment, filling the road 10 deep for over two miles and waited to move off. Now and again we’d move a yard and stop. Excitement was rising, and when about a 2,000 strong IS [International Socialism] contingent crossed Westminster Bridge to join the March, wild cheering broke out – the first real sense of our own power was felt. We moved off fairly slowly, linking arms. Groups made little surges forward on our left and right, chanting. People began talking to each other, even reserved me, who never does these things.
          By the time we reached the turning into Fleet Street a great good-humour, enthusiasm and sense of power had built up. Everyone just ignored the police – they were irrelevant. As we turned into Fleet Street a gap of about 50 yards opened in front of us – few folk pulled saying ‘come on’, others hesitated, but with a bit of shoving and laughing about 1500 folk launched a great arms-linked run forward – no, more a dance. (Slogan in LSE: We don’t want a demo tomorrow, we want a party in the streets). The streets were ours – no traffic, few police, just us who today had taken over all the strategic and important streets of London in an immense show of strength. Slowly we moved down Fleet Street. Outside the Daily Express offices it was incredible. About 2,000 folk stopped. The police looked worried. The marchers formed a semi-circle round the offices and an intense hissing broke out. Then someone shouted “Sieg Heil” – soon two thousand were shouting, arms raised. Faces disappeared from the window of the office, the police grouped - we passed on. This was repeated at various gutter-press offices - including a shout of "The Broons [popular strip cartoon] is a plot to mystify the workers" at the Sunday Post. This was undoubtedly the most humiliating day ever for the press barons, as witnessed by their reactions in the Monday editions. Next time there must be no Monday editions.
       Out of Fleet Street practically the whole march erupted into a wild run down the Strand, flags waving, arms linked. A new chant was shouted at the bystanders "The streets are yours, join in" – a few did. At Australia House buses of police and a squad of mounted police stood by as an Australian flag was burnt. After Trafalgar Square, where about 5,000 anarchists and Maoists broke off to go to Grosvenor Square, Whitehall was occupied by lines of people, linked at least 20 deep. As we rushed forward again, wild euphoria gripped everybody - I've never seen so many people HAPPY at one time before. Parliament was empty and barricaded - we ignored it and surged forward. In Victoria Street, where the Midland Bank was guarded by coppers 3 deep, occurred for me the second high point of the demo. A sudden intense silence descended on the march and we walked along feeling it - I could hardly breathe for the tightness in my throat. Then behind us, deep down a great roar erupted and surged forward, involving us and the folk in front "Victory to the NLF". Someone began clapping - soon the shouting and clapping was so great I thought the buildings about us would collapse. Again we rushed forward through our streets - the march was our creation, self-activity reigned. No one was bossing us [or] thwarting us or dared to. In Park Lane we shouted derisively at the bourgeoisie in the Hilton and the Playboy Club: "Jump" to those brave enough to come to windows, "Dirty old men" to the bespectacled fear behind the heavily guarded Playboy Club. As we approached Hyde Park Corner another 2000 broke off down a side street to go to the Embassy on a different side. At the rally speeches were made, a very good one by an IS bloke about going home and carrying on the struggle there, getting involved in tenants' and workers' struggles and putting across Vietnam propaganda to them to counter press lies. We dispersed, streaming down Regent Street as night fell. Grosvenor Square you probably read about - apart from a little-publicised incident where about 300 Fascists threw bottles and pulled knives. How the press can say the police were restrained when only 5 were injured and 20 demonstrators went to hospital and 30 to LSE field station is beyond me.

3.  POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS

   1. A massive show of support for the Vietnamese against the Americans. 3½  times as many were mobilised on Victory to the NLF as on the Geneva/U Thant [UN Secretary General] old-style demos. The links between the struggle here and in Vietnam were emphasised. 

  2. Unmasking of the apparatus. The press, media, government, police, banks and big business were all seen to be the enemies by their common reaction of fear to the demo, their lies and slanders prior to it and their precautions to safeguard their property during it. The apparatus was not only unmasked - it was ridiculed. Our power on the streets ridiculed their strength, and our revolutionary self-discipline ridiculed their fears.

  3. Beginning of a movement of social change in Britain. Everybody on that demo now knows he or she has 50,000 comrades, with whom the city has been occupied, the ruling class exposed and a blow struck against Imperialism. Few people did not find the demo exhilarating, and a great encouragement. This cannot be the end, only the beginning. Every one there was ready for violence; if the police had engaged in the slightest provocation at any point, there would undoubtedly have been an uprising of some dimensions. As it was the march achieved everything it set out to do as outlined above and any insurrection was really irrelevant at this stage.

   4.  Fragments of revolutionary totality.

        Met Chris Pallis, had a long discussion with him about joining 'Solidarity', about Marxism, demystification (him) & human irrationality (me). He bought me a half pint. I've decided to join the group nationally and so has [another Aberdonian]...

P.S. Keep this - we'll publish a book,
“Eyewitnesses of the origins of the British Revolution…”

Note: "Victory to the NLF " was not the sort of slogan that found favour with Solidarity. 
See Solidarity Pamphlet 43 and numerous articles in the magazine.




Photographs from museum in Vietnam, July 2017 (MFW)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Events into Autumn

Information from CND emailings:


Join CND’s US embassy protest: Friday 11 August, 1 p.m.

As we commemorate the US atomic bombing of Nagasaki on 9 August 1945, President Donald Trump has threatened North Korea with ‘fire and fury like the world has never seen’ – words that bring the possibility of nuclear confrontation closer.
 CND and Stop the War Coalition have organised a joint protest at the US Embassy, Grosvenor Square, W1A 2LQ, and a number of celebreties are likely to join us. Make jour voice heard! Come along this Friday, 11 August, at 1pm.
 It beggars belief that the US president has chosen Nagasaki Day, when the world remembers the US atomic bomb that hit a Japanese city, unleashing a fire storm, winds of 9,000 miles an hour and killing 100,000 people to threaten North Korea with 'fire and fury like the world has never seen'. These words mark the real possibility of a nuclear confrontation.
 Trump's outrageous statement in the present climate cannot be interpreted as simply words. He has ratcheted up international tensions, already high, taking the world closer to nuclear warfare than we’ve seen for many years.
 The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament condemns Trump's comments and we call on the British government to take swift action to de-escalate this terrifying crisis before it's too late.
Stop Trump's nuclear war
CND will visit the US embassy as part of a protest delegation 
on Friday 11th August at 1 p.m.A statement will be handed in calling on the US government to calm tensions and do all that's possible to de-escalate the crisis.
 All welcome: please join us and invite your colleagues and friends.

UPDATE Sat. 12th August - How it went...
From:Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament [pressoffice@cnduk.org]
Date:11/08/2017 17:55

CND visited the US Embassy today as part of a delegation of journalists, writers, and peace activists. Our aim was to deliver a letter calling on the US government to stop its nuclear brinkmanship in the crisis with North Korea.
Sadly, the US embassy declined to accept our letter. See what happened for yourself in the video above and share the video with your friends.
Millions of people around the world are concerned about the growing threat of nuclear war. Civil society organisations are calling on the British government to call for restraint and a different approach by Britain's main ally, yet Theresa May has been silent about the crisis.
We thank those who participated in today's delegation, in particular Giles Fraser, journalist and priest; Victoria Brittain, writer and journalist; Bruce Kent, peace activist; Jan Woolf, playwright; Helen Drewery, Quakers in Britain; Carol Turner, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition and Murad Qureshi, Stop the War Coalition.

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REMINDER: Radical History Festival and the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair 
on 16th / 17th September! Make a weekend of it!

The Bristol Radical History Group is expanding its annual Radical History Zone into a full Radical History Festival this year with talks, walks, puppetry, stalls, exhibitions and more. We are organising the event with the Remembering the Real World War I Group.
The Radical History Festival will take place on Sunday 17th September 
at the MSHED, the museum on Bristol’s historic Harbourside. 
To see the programme and further details go to: 

16th September 2017
As well as all the usual exciting features of the Bookfair, such as the amazing range of radical literature and the networking opportunities, this year there is going to be a particular emphasis on workshops and discussions. In order to provide good space for workshops and to prevent discussions from being crammed into tiny windows of time we have moved to St Werburgh’s where we will be occupying the Community Centre and the Primary School.
For General inquiries message us on bristolanarchistbookfair@riseup.net
St Werburghs Community Centre
Horley Road St Werburghs BS2 9TJ
////// AND ///////
St Werburghs Primary School
James St. BS2 9US

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WCML
Working Class Movement Library
51 The Crescent
SalfordM5 4WX

UPDATE:
Our autumn events schedule is now up on our Web site - head to www.wcml.org.uk/events for full details of events including the launch of Ian Parks'sbook of poetry, Citizens, and the start of our new Wednesday afternoon Invisible Histories series with a talk on comparing Manchester, Lancashire and Bangladeshi traditional song.
Autumn events schedule here including:
 a new play about the GrunwickStrike, 20th-21st Oct 2017, 19:30 to 21:30 

- 4th -20th October, 1p.m.-5p.m.
 
Dave Randall talk - Sound System: the Political Power of Music
Wednesday, 19 July at 2pm, we welcome Dave Randall to talk to us about his new book. Sound System is the story of one musician’s journey to discover what makes music so powerful. Years of touring, playing and protesting have given Dave Randall an insider’s view of the music industry, enabling him to shed light on the secrets of celebrity, commodification and culture. The book, published by Pluto Press in March 2017, finds examples of music as a force of social change as well as something that has been used to keep people in their place throughout history.
From the Glastonbury Festival to the Arab Spring, Pop Idol to Trinidadian Carnival, Randall finds political inspiration across the musical spectrum and poses the question: how can we make music serve the interest of the many, rather than the few?
Dave Randall is a musician and activist. He was the former guitarist in Faithless and has toured the world playing guitar with Dido, Sinead O’Connor and many others.
This talk is part of the Invisible Histories series - all welcome, admission free, light refreshments afterwards.
This is the last talk before a short summer break - we'll be back on Wednesday 13 September with a talk comparing Manchester, Lancashire and Bangladeshi traditional song, and future topics include the Grunwick strike, the Co-operative Party, and the Russian Revolution.  Full details of all the autumn talks are at www.wcml.org.uk/events
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226 plates for peace - artist talk and launch event
Artist James Bloomfield has undertaken a research residency at Salford Museum & Art Gallery and the Working Class Movement Library.
 The outcome of this research is the creation of art installation In Service 1918-2017 which will consist of 226 commemorative ceramic plates, one for each global conflict since 1918 and all listing the number of fatalities for that conflict.  Volunteers have helped decorate many of the plates (you can read more on James's blog here) and they are shortly going to be taken for firing at Darwen Terracotta.
The plates will then be used as part of the regular dinner service at Salford Museum & Art Gallery‘s cafĂ© and in Ordsall Hall’s coffee shop. The plates will be presented for service on 31 July and later decommissioned on 10 November to coincide with the centenary of the battle of Passchendaele, which runs over these exact dates (3 months and 6 days).
In Service 1918-2017 launches at a free event here at WCML on Thursday 27 July from 6.30pm, when James will talk about his work and Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University, will talk on ‘New wars and how to prevent them’.  Refreshments provided, free event but please book, limited places available on the day -click here to tell us you're coming, thanks!
  ------------------------
Book launch - Citizens by Ian Parks
On Thursday 21 September at 7pm the Library hosts a book launch. Ian Parks's new collection explores the tensions between poetry and politics, the spoken and the unspoken, the private and the public. Accompanied by the ghosts of the Chartist poets he listens to 'the voices of the lost and dispossessed' while visiting places of painful historical memory such as Orgreave, Cable Street, and Blackstone Edge.

The Library will stay open on 21 September after its usual closing time of 5pm - drop in any time to browse items reflecting the themes of Ian's poetry, and purchased as part of Voting for Change, a joint project between the Library and the People's History Museum.
 
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1917 conference [see below]
Early notification that on Saturday 4 November the Peace History Conference and the Library will present a day exploring the effect of the Russian Revolutions on the British labour and peace movements.  The morning sessions consider the impact nationally and the afternoon covers, with talks, readings and film, the remarkable campaigns by women in the North West.
More information to follow.
Tickets £15 (£10 concessions) from peacehistoryconference2017.eventbrite.co.uk.
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Wigan Diggers' Festival
The annual Diggers' Festival takes place this year on Saturday 9 September from 11am to 9.30pm at The Wiend, Wigan.  The day commemorates Wigan-born Gerrard Winstanley and the 17th century Diggers movement, and includes free talks, music, poetry, film showings and over 50 food, book and campaign stalls.  Further information at wigandiggersfestival.org

Peterloo 'Living History' performance
Drop into our hall on Wednesday 23 August at 2pm to help us commemorate the 198th anniversary of the Peterloo massacre. We will be hosting a Living History performance, courtesy of the People's History Museum.
This free event is part of our joint Voting for Change project.  No booking necessary.
And you can read more about what's happening elsewhere in our area to mark the anniversary in the Salford Star summary here.
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Film, Liverpool Labour Police StrikerSimon Partridge used the Library to find out more about the life of William Smith, his great-grandfather, and his involvement in the Police Strike in Liverpool in 1919.  
He has now put together a short film to share his initial findings and this is being given a free screening at FACT, 88 Wood Street, Liverpool L1 4DQ on Monday 21 August at 7.30pm.  More details at www.facebook.com/liverpoollabourpolicestriker
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SHS meeting - Thomas Spence and the Land Question

Thomas Spence and the Land Question
Speaker Professor Malcolm Chase
2pm, Saturday 29th July 2017
Venue: Marx Memorial Library, 37a Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DU
Malcolm is Professor of Social History at the University of Leeds. He has written extensively on Thomas Spence, including a recent article ‘The real rights of man: Thomas Spence,Paine and Chartism’ and his first book The People’s Farm: English Radical Agrarianism, 1775-1840 (1988), of which a new edition was recently published. His other books include The Chartists: perspectives and legacies (2015) and Chartism: A New History (2007).
 He is Vice-President of the Society for the Study of Labour History and a member of the SHS.
Admission free, retiring collection, all welcome
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NEWS FROM NOWHERE CLUB
August 12th 2017

R F Mackenzie: The Last Word on Education
Speaker: Ros Kane
R F Mackenzie (1910-1987), a libertarian teacher inspired by A S Neill, chose to work in state education. As head of two Scottish secondary schools, he tried to run them in ways that caused great controversy, leading to the end of his headships. For the rest of his life, he publicised his ideas. Mackenzie wrote several well-received books. His biography by Peter Murphy is rightly called ‘The Life of RF Mackenzie: Prophet Without Honour.’ Ros, with a background in teaching, community action, psychotherapy & child mental health, believes Mackenzie’s ideas are enormously important & relevant to our times.  Does anything else need to be written?

7.30pm buffet
8pm talk
Epicentre, West Street, Leytonstone, London E11 4LJ.

Free entry 
Enquiries 0208 555 5248
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East Anglian INDEPENDENTWORKING CLASS EDUCATION  Event         

Cambridge* on Saturday 5th August from 2pm- 7.30pm.
  
The theme is 'Socialism: Towards 2020'; there will be a number of short
talks and lots of discussion. 
    What constitutes socialism now?
    What do we think of the Corbyn Surge?
    Can history inform what we do in the present to build for the future?

If you would like to contribute with a brief talk please email
David Welsh: davidwelsh83@btinternet.com

And you'll need to register: Email: davidwelsh83@btinternet.com
or through Eventbrite: 

* Venue: Cherry Tree Club, St Matthew's Street, Cambridge CB1 2LT
 ===================
To mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act – a significant step in the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales – we are hosting two exciting events based on records from collection that shed light on this pivotal moment in British history. We will also look at records to help you explore wider LGBT+ histories.

A step forward: 50 years since The Sexual Offences Act
An afternoon of talks and workshops, £5
Saturday 22 July,
13:30-17:00, Kew
Take a closer look at the documents in our collection that shed light on this pivotal moment in British history.
 With varied offerings, ranging from contextual talks to an in-depth workshop on the secretive Polari language, this afternoon offers a dynamic and collaborative means to engage with the original documents and the real-life experiences that lie within them.

Out in the archives
Hands on History, £5
Tuesday 25 July,
18:00-20:00, Kew
This workshop and document display will take you through our collections relating to LGBT+ history, and reflect on significant moments and milestones.
 We will guide you through how to use our records to research LGBT+ history, as well as letting you explore original records on the theme, including the calling card of 18th century transgender diplomat Chevalier d’Eon, police records about the Shim Sham Club from 1930s London, and more.
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Remobilising militant pasts: Histories of Protest, Unrest and Insurrection in Politics and Culture
[Reminder] Kings College London - 31 August - 1 September 2017
For programme and registration details please see here:
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[From LSHGThe Battle of Lewisham 1977 - Forty years on

The Battle of Lewisham - Reunion - How we stopped the Nazi NF
  • Saturday 12 August at 13:0016:30 UTC+01

  • Clifton Rise, London, SE14 6, United Kingdom
Fb event   
"Forty years ago this August, thousands of anti fascists and locals from South East London stopped the fascists of the National Front from marching.  The National Front hoped that by demonstrating in Lewisham – an area with a high proportion of Afro Caribbeans – they would further intimidate minorities. The fascists, however, were to receive a rude awakening. The victory was critical in beating back the rise in racism and fascism. Saturday 13th August, 1977 helped set back the fascists for a generation.
"The far right had become, pre Lewisham, mainstream in the media, in political life and often, in popular culture. In 1977, the National Front received over 100,000 votes in London elections.
The historic day in Lewisham, itself, saw trades unionists, socialists, Labour Party members, and crucially, many people from Lewisham itself, come together to say enough is enough.
"Up to 10,000 people joined in to oppose the NF. All the fascists possible routes were continually blocked, NF banners were burned, and Bob Marley was played. The counter demo became a great example of black and white unity.
"Nazi organizations such as the NF, believed that they could build a mass movement based upon racial prejudices and racist violence. They were wrong, and they were defeated.
"Ted Parker who took part in the battle, mentions, 'Thereafter the NF never again posed a serious political threat. Lewisham led directly to the formation of the Anti Nazi League (ANL) which, together with Rock Against Racism (RAR), and nowadays Love Music Hate Racism mobilised hundreds of thousands in collective expressions of solidarity between those of differing cultures and ethnic backgrounds. Organised racism was marginalised for the next quarter of a century' "

"Come and march and meet with some of the key individuals, who alongside many others, helped beat back the rise in racism and the fascists who fed off such poison.
People who played a critical role at Lewisham and some who helped form the Anti Nazi League (ANL), will recall the day the Nazis were stopped from marching and why it matters today. We'll assemble at Clifton Rise, a key location on the day.
The united front of socialists, trades unionists, Labour members... anyone against the Nazis, that was the ANL, was inspired from Lewisham. Alongside Rock Against Racism, the ANL was crucial in undercutting the then growing NF.
The ANL combined physically confronting the Nazis wherever they raised their ugly heads with powerful propaganda exposing the little Hitlers. It was a mass movement, that faced with the challenges posed by Le Pen, Golden Dawn and Jobbik, still resonates. Please share this event, invite your friends, let's celebrate the victory and ensure today's fascists are defeated."

Hosted by Unite Against Fascism
See also the commemorations being organised by Goldsmiths College - here
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North East Labour History Society - Fifty Years of Activism Day School
Venue: University of Northumbria, Ellison Building9:30am to 4:30pm, Saturday 16 September 2017

A collaboration between the Histories of Activism Group at Northumbria University, and the North East Labour History Society.

This day school will reflect on the last fifty years in the North East, and especially the great changes that have occurred in politics, culture and society.
The workshops will focus on specific subjects such as Labour Activism and Music and we believe it will revive the spirit of the History Workshop conferences. The backgrounds of the participants will be mixed, including academics presenting their research, as well as activists and historians working outside of a formal academic framework.
To book your place in this Day School, please let us know on moderator@nelh.net. Attendance is free, and coffee and lunch will be provided

9:30 – 10:00 Coffee and Registration
10:00 – 11:00 Plenary, Keynote Speaker: Dr John Charlton11:00 – 11:30 Coffee
11:30 –   1:00 Three parallel workshops:
Culture and Music: Workshop Leader, Dr Jude Murphy
Labour Activism: Workshop Leader, Ben Sellers
Women and the Women’s Movement: Workshop Leader, Dr Liz O’Donnell. During this session Dr Julie Scanlon will be talking about her research into the 1976 Women’s Liberation Conference held in Ponteland.
1:00 –   2:00 Lunch
2:00 –   3:00 Three Parallel Workshops
The Peace Movement: Workshop Leader, John Creaby
Politics: Workshop Leader, Nigel Todd
Cooperatives: Workshop Leader, Professor Tony Webster
3:00 –   4:00 Three Parallel Workshops
Trade Unions and the World of Work: Workshop Leader, John Stirling will begin with a brief overview of the changes in work and trade unions over the last 50 years and focus on changing ideas about ‘workers control’ to illustrate developments. He will then welcome discussion from participants about how they see the past and envisage the future.
Growth of Ethnic Diversity in the North East: Workshop Leader, Dr Avram Taylor
4:00 –   4:30 Concluding Remarks: Dr Matt Perry
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Also on LSHG blog:
The roots of organising in UK working class history  From John Page: 
I am working with a broad range of trade union and community organisers under the working name of the 'Ella Baker School of Transformative Community Organising' on a project: 'the roots of organising in UK working class history'.In essence we are looking for examples of social movement building in the past that might provide lessons for the present. The key for us is the 'who, what, why, how' questions: how did these movements start, what were their internal practices, how did they frame their issues, and how did they mobilise/organise their constituency etc?
While the list of examples is very much open, we are looking at things like the East London Federation of Suffragettes, the New Cross Massacre Action Committee, inter war anti-fascism in the east end of London, the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders' work-in etc. We are particularly interested in migrant struggles and organising.
 
At this stage we are not particularly looking at undertaking original research, it is more a case of exploring what has already been written and in particular first hand accounts.If anyone is interested or would like to contribute (either by joining a 'reading group' or  simply by supplying a suggested reading list, then please register their interest here: https://goo.gl/forms/QL8EAVQgAQETGk2C2
 ===========================
 Wakefield Socialist History Group
DEMOCRACY UNCHAINED: TOWARDS A REAL DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT
Saturday 22 July 1pm at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1 1QX.
That's "the famous Red Shed in Wakefield (as featured in the Mark Thomas play!)"

The speakers are Corinna Lotz and Paul Feldman from "A World to Win."
"A World to Win" campaigns to develop "democratic alternatives to capitalism in theory and practice" and campaigns also for People's Assemblies that can help bring about a revolutionary transition.
Also speaking is Steve Freeman from Left Unity and the Republican Socialist Alliance.  Steve will be discussing A DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION: ANOTHER ENGLAND IS POSSIBLE.


Admission is free; free light buffet.  Plus there is a bar with excellent real ale.
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Saturday 9 September: GEORGE ORWELL AND SOCIALISM
Meetings are at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1 1QX.  
Admission is free and free light snacks are provided. There is also a bar with excellent real ale.
"..the ILP is the only British party - at any rate the only one large enough to be worth considering - which aims at anything I should regard as socialism" (Orwell, 1938)
 "..the real struggle (in Spain) is between revolution and counter-revolution; between workers who are vainly trying to hold on to a little of what they won in 1936 and the liberal-Communist bloc who are so successfully taking it away from them" (Orwell, 1937)
 "..everyone who uses his brain knows that Socialism, as a world-system and wholeheartedly applied, is a way out..Socialism is such elementary common sense that I am sometimes amazed that it has not established itself already" (Orwell, Road to Wigan Pier 1937).
The speakers so far are:
*Brian Bamford (co-author of "The Boys on the Blacklist") who will be speaking on "Professor Preston and George Orwell: The Varietes of Historical Investigation and Experience"
*Alan Stewart (Convenor of Wakefield Socialist History Group) talking about "How George Orwell ended up in Barnsley!"
Other speakers invited. If interested get in touch.
Admission to the event will be free, plus free light snacks, and there is a bar with excellent real ale.
--------------------------
To come: Saturday 11 November: 
THE BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION: ART AND REVOLUTION.
======================
Radical history walks in August in Manchester
Mary Quaile Club co-founder Michael Herbert will be doing three  walks in August on Votes for Women, Peterloo and Radical  Ashton-under-Lyne..
The cost of each walk is £8. Advance booking is strongly recommended as places are limited. 
To reserve places or  for more information, please email  Michael: redflagwalks@gmail.com.

 Saturday 12th August. ” Manchester First in the Fight”: Votes for Women, 1866 to 1928
Meet at 11.30am outside  the Friends  Meeting House, Mount Street, Manchester.
This  walk will tell the story of the campaign for “Votes for Women” in which Manchester played a major role. We will encounter the leading figures of the suffragist and suffragette movement including Lydia Becker, Esther Roper, Eva Gore-Booth, Annie Kenney, Hannah Mitchell and  the Pankhurst family.

 Saturday 19th August. The Story of Peterloo Masacre, August 1819

Meet at 11.30am, by the statue of  Richard Cobden, St Ann’s  Square
The  Peterloo Massacre of 16th August 1819 was Manchester’s most traumatic political event. A peaceful crowd of men, women and children, numbering tens of thousands, was attacked without warning  by the miltary, resulting in many deaths and injuries. This walk will explore the background to the Massacre,  setting it in the context of  the radical  movement of the late C18th and early C19th and the Manchester food riots of 1812. At the end we will follow the events on the day on the place where Peterloo took place.

 Sunday 27th August. Radical  Ashton-under-Lyne.
Meet at 11.30am by  the Town Hall steps. Market Square.
This walk will explore a number of episodes in Ashton-under-Lyne’s radical past, including the political career of socialist and suffragette Hannah Mitchell, the Chartist Rising of 1848, the Bread Riot of 1863, the Anti-Irish Riot of 1868 and the formation of the Co-operative movement.  This walk will be a fund raising walk for The Poor Side of Life blog, written by Charlotte Hughes.
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Peace History Conference (Manchester/Salford): 1917

4th November 2017 09:15 – 16:30 
Old Fire Station, University of Salford, The Crescent, Salford M5 4NL.
The Peace History Conference and the Working Class Movement Library present:
a day exploring the effects of the Russian Revolutions on the British labour and peace movements.
'Way of Seeing: The Bolshevik Revolution and the British Left'. Prof John Callaghan
'Against Imperialist War: Communists in the struggle for peace'. Dr Kate Hudson
'Crusading Women in the North West'. Dr Alison Ronan
'The Last Weapon'. Theodora Wilson Wilson'. Maxine Peake (tbc) and Virginia Branney
Tickets £11.21 – £16.52 online (£10 concessions, £15 full off-line) inc. lunch.
Page from A W Zurbrugg, ed. Not Our War:  Writings against the First World War. Merlin Press 2014.