Friday, October 31, 2014

SHS Conference: Not Such a Lovely War

Saturday 1 November 2014

The Socialist History Society are holding a Day conference on:
 the origins and consequences of the First World War
" that will present a view very different from that officially celebrated by the media and government."
Speakers confirmed so far: 
Kevin Morgan on 'Class cohesion and spurious patriotism: trade union internationalism in the First World War',
Stan Newens on 'Imperialist Rivalries and the Origins of the First World War'; 
Keith Flett on 'So Bloody Much to Oppose - grassroots opposition to World War One', 
Helen Boak on '"Down with the war! We don't want to starve any longer.": German working-class women and the First World War'. 
Helen Toomey on ‘The arms trade before, during and after the First World War’.

Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL. 
11.00 am to 4.30 pm. (NB: time as originally listed was incorrect) 
Free attendance.

Also from the SHS events list:
Tuesday 4 November 2014 Stop the First World War.
Pietro Dipaola on "1914 and the Schism in International Anarchism"; Tony Zurbrugg on "Not Our War"
Venue: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL. 7.00 p.m.
Tuesday 11 November 2014 Stop the First World War.
Ian Birchall on "From Slaughter to Mutiny"; Christopher Read on "WWI and the Russian Revolution to 1923"
Venue: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL. 7.00 p.m.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Come and see us at the Anarchist Bookfair this Saturday!

Sat 18th October 10am - 6pm at Queen Mary's University, on Mile End Road. See map and further details on the website via the link below.

Radical History Network of North East London will have a stall at the bookfair with our general leaflet, pamphlets from many of the most recent meetings plus details of many of the past meetings. Also other relevant literature and booklets. If you missed a meeting/discussion on a particular topic you might want to get yourself a copy of the booklets produced from them.

We haven't got enough people to look after the stall for the whole day - if you are a supporter and are coming anyway, and can spare an hour or two. help would be  welcome.

But please still come and say hello either way.

Next RaHN meeting
will be on the topic of Radical Childcare and will be on Wednesday 10th Dec. (Full title and specifics not yet confirmed - but if you have any experience/interest in this topic please get in touch beforehand, or just come along to the meeting - all contributions welcome!)

Meeting that may be of special interest to RaHN supporters:

5.00pm – 6.30pm
Terrorism, Feminism and a Century of War, 1914-2014

In June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a student influenced by both anarchism and nationalism, shot Franz Ferdinand and triggered the First World War. Tragically, many of Europe's socialist and feminists then supported this horrific war. However, a few courageous activists, such as Sylvia Pankhurst and the East London suffragettes, did oppose the bloodbath. Mutinies and revolutions across Europe eventually ended the First World War. But capitalism - and its wars - continued for another century. As the capitalist bloodbath continues in the Middle East and the Ukraine, what hope is there for a movement that finally ends war? 
Speakers: Bojan Aleksov on Gavrilo Princip; Laura Schwartz on 'Feminism and the Great War'; Gabriel Levy on the civil war in the Ukraine.

Organised by: 'Remembering the real World War One' (London)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Frank Kitz memorial stone fund

Nick Heath writes:

“I have been in contact with a member of Frank Kitz's family. Frank Kitz, you may remember, was one of the leading lights in the Socialist League, and a working class anarchist who devoted his life to social emancipation.* He died in extreme poverty and is buried in a common grave in Morden cemetery in London.

I and members of the Kitz family would like to honour the life of FK by providing a memorial stone at the cemetery. The inauguration of the stone would be marked by a ceremony.”

Those who would like to contribute to a fund to pay for the stone can make cheques or postal orders out to N. Heath and send
c/o London AF, Freedom Bookshop,
Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High Street,
London E1 7QX

* and “One of the instigators of the 1892 Lammas Day Land Riot in Leyton!

Kitz, Frank (1849-1923)
Works by Frank Kitz
·     Kitz, Frank. Recollections and Reflections.

Works about Frank Kitz
·     Kitz, Frank. Recollections and Reflections.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Events: London Anarchist Book Fair and After

25 October 2014, London: 
Emily and Gabriel from Peace News will be talking about the 
feminist opponents of World War One
at Feminism in London 2014. 1.30 – 2pm in the Jeffrey Hall.

40th Anniversary of a Women’s Photographic Collective, 1974-1980

Sunday 12th October 2014, 2-5pm

Chats Palace, 42-44 Brooksby’s Walk, London E9 6DF

The Hackney Flashers Collective was active as a feminist agitprop group in
London 1974 -1980. The group produced two photographic/graphic exhibitions
addressing complex ideas about women’s lives as workers and as mothers,
inside and outside the home:  Women and Work and Who’s Holding the Baby.

To mark the recent launch of the Hackney Flashers website the group are
calling a meeting of the generations: how did they work as a collective in
the 1970s? How is the struggle for the most basic of women’s rights being
carried on now, forty years later?  A rare chance to see some of the
exhibition panels from  the time and to discuss work still to be done.
Free and open to all. Should be exciting!

(some bits Iabout the group here: )

Terrorism, Feminism and a Century of War, 1914-2014

Bojan Aleksov on Gavrilo Princip, the assassin who triggered World War One
Laura Schwartz on feminism and the Great War
Gabriel Levy on Putin and the war in the Ukraine

5pm, Mason Lecture Theatre
Anarchist Bookfair
Saturday 18 Oct.
Queen Mary Uni., Mile End Rd. E1 4NS.

See for more on a day of meetings: Peter Linebaugh, Middle East, Africa, Guy Debord, feminism, anti-fascism, abortion, workplace & housing struggles etc…

Paine, Carlile, Cobbett, Chartists, Marx, Morris, Kropotkin, Bakunin, Matchwomen, Pankhurst, Goldman

author of: 'The London Hanged'

Sunday 19 October, 2.30pm

St. Bride’s Avenue, Fleet St. EC4 1DH. Blackfriars Tube.


'Sylvia Pankhurst: Everything is Possible'

Thursday 6 November, 7pm.
88 Fleet Street,
St. Bride’s Ave., EC4 1DH.
Blackfriars Tube.

A unique opportunity to hear from an activist from the Balkans who has been on a speaking tour about Central European and Balkan uprisings from an anarchist perspective. She was at the recent Balkan anarchist bookfair event in Bosnia and is in a position to talk more generally about the latest developments in the region.
Venue: The Sparrows' Nest.
Date: Tuesday 21st October 2014.
Time: Starts 7pm (ends 9pm approx.)
We would appreciate an indication of numbers so please us email in advance to say you are coming (or if you need directions), but equally just turn up.

Note also: the meeting takes place following the London Anarchist Bookfair and the AFem2014 anarcha-feminist conference so we will have a lot of new goodies and information to share!

Monday, October 6, 2014

History From Below Network (International) Conference

The international History From Below network is a diverse community of historytellers, historical agitators, artists, independent archivists, history groups, political archaeologists etc. It was founded 2012 in Barcelona to reflect a growing worldwide movement of historical activism and public interest in radical history, and to build an alternative, non-academic resource for the production and transmission of oppositional forms of history. As radical history becomes increasingly popular, more and more activists – from squatters and footballers to curators and birdwatchers – are making the transition to historians, merging past struggles, new technology and street culture to build new and surprising narratives.

You can view their website here:

Bristol Radical History Group (BRHG) are hosting the 2014 meeting of the international History From Below (HFB) network and would like to invite you to attend. This is the format of the HFB weekend meetings:

History From Below Network Conference 2014, Bristol, UK

Date: Saturday November 1st - Sunday November 2nd 2014

Venues:   Saturday: Hydra Bookshop, 34 Old Market St, Bristol, BS2 0EZ (see
                 Sunday: Friends Meeting House, Champion Square, Bristol BS2 9DB (just round the corner from the Hydra Bookshop)

Draft Programme

Saturday November 1st: History From Below network meeting (Hydra Bookshop)

11.00pm - 5.00pm This will be open to delegates from HFB groups and groups who may want to join the network. Agenda to follow.

Sunday November 2nd: History From Below: Remembering the Real World War 1 (public day)

We are putting a call out to all HFB groups for presentations/performances concerning some aspect of history of the WW1 period (1914-1921) to be delivered to a public audience on Sunday. They can be as short as 5mins or as long as 30mins and can involve PPT, video, audio, graphics etc. This is an exciting opportunity for us and the public to derive an international angle to the history of WW1. Please could you supply to BRHG a title and short abstract (maximum of 100 words) so we can add to the publicity.

So far we have...
Jean Jaurès (1914-2014) (Mario van Driessche, Ghent, Belgium)
Boden 1917: Why did you shoot your own officer? (Peter Box, Sweden)
‘Pistolerismo’: Barcelona during WW1 (Mariano Maturana, Barcelona, Spain)
The Christmas Truces 1914-15: Miracle, myth or mass mutiny? (Roger Ball, Bristol, UK)
Resistance to World War 1 in East London (David Rosenberg, London, UK)
No Glory in War Manchester - Alternative Ways of Marking the World War I Centenary (Ian Gwinn, Manchester, UK)

Travel Arrangements
Hydra Bookshop (Sat) and the Friends Meeting House (Sun) are both in central Bristol, five mins walk from each other and ten minutes walk from the Central Bus/Coach Station and Bristol Temple Meads train station.

We have limited private accommodation, so please let us know if you need help with this as soon as you can. BRHG can also help with finding cheap accommodation.

Please let BRHG know if you are coming to the conference and how many of your group will be participating. Any queries should be addressed to BRHG (

BRHG are combining the weekend conference with a week or so of events in Bristol in early November entitled Remembering the Real World War 1 which will include history talks, films, gigs and other events. Full details of these events are here (and here):

Three weeks of talks, films and art uncovering hidden histories of resistance to the ‘Great War’ in Bristol and beyond. From deserters, conchies and pacifists to rebel miners, radical trade unionists and reds. Featuring Adam Hochschild, Sheila Rowbotham, Gee Vaucher and Dominic Rai. Full details including times & venues can be found by following the links to our website. For more information email
Thursday 23rd October – internationally renowned author & historian Adam Hochschild* talks about ‘1914-1918: The War within the War’

Tuesday 28th October – the Campaign Against the Arms Trade’s Arming All Sides project presents ‘World War One: Arming All Sides‘.

Thursday 30th October – explore Bristol’s cultural links to WW1 through the eyes of asylum seekers and refugees in ‘Echoes of the ‘Great War’: Imperialism, displacement and migration‘. Full details here.

Sunday 2nd November – delegates to the international History From Below Network conference will present ‘Hidden histories of World War One‘ from across the globe. Also Gee Vaucher of CRASS will be discussing her anti-war art which wil be on display.

Tuesday 4th November – hear Sheila Rowbotham talk about Alice Wheeldon who was framed and imprisoned for opposing the war and June Hannam talk about Bristol women who campaigned against the war in ‘Women Resisting the Great War‘.

Wednesday 5th November – come down to the Central Reference Library for ‘Opening the Archives: Resistance to World War One in Bristol‘. See primary sources relating to resistance and reaction during World War One. 

Thursday 6th November – hear the story of Alfred Jefferies, the Bristolian shot for desertion in November 1916, and how people in Bristol organised and campaigned against the war in ‘Deserters, Conchies and Reds: Bristolian Families in the Great War‘. 

Saturday 8th November– historian Kevin Morgan discusses trades union opposition to the war and Ian Wright explains how divergent attitudes to the war effected the Forest of Dean Miners’ Association in ‘Trade Unions and Resistance to the Great War‘. 

Wednesday November 12th – following on from David Olusoga‘s recent documentary, writer-director Dominic Rai brings to life the experiences of Indian soldiers in Flanders, popularised in the acclaimed novel Across the Black Waters by Mulk Raj Anand in ‘The World’s War: Forgotten Soldiers of Empire‘. 
* also appearing at  TUC Library at London Metropolitan University lunchtime talk:

To End All Wars: The Story of the First World War. A talk by Adam Hochschild

London Metropolitan University

Friday, 24 October 2014 from 13:00 to 14:00 (BST)

London, United Kingdom

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Our Friends in the North and the Real WWI

No Glory in War- Manchester

A day school for activists, researchers and people interested in alternative WW1 histories
Saturday 15 November at Manchester Metropolitan University (Business School)
The event will offer a space for activists, researchers and historians to explore alternative and global narratives, how we can use lessons from the past to build resistance to wars in our time and develop ideas for activism.
Further details, including booking information online at:

[previously poseted as: ] World War I Day School
Saturday 15th November 2014, 10.30am-4.30pm
Manchester Metropolitan University

This day school will develop a creative and inclusive space for activists, researchers and anyone else interested to explore different narratives of WW1, share our knowledge, views and ideas, take part in debate, and plan events for the next four years.
We will create a timeline of events, individual stories and family reminiscences during the day which we will use to stimulate planning activity to create a timeline for activism 2014- 2018.
Professor Karen Hunt, Keele University, will speak about Food and Austerity, workshops include research on conscientious objectors and other WW1 themes, building an anti-war movement today, making handbills – lessons from the past, and ways of getting our messages across. There will be space to discuss these and other topics you are interested in and to express your artistic side by contributing to the No Glory in War Manchester banner we will be making through the day.

World War I: Those Who Refused to Fight –  15 October 2014, 7pm at Friends Meeting House, Manchester.
Ali Ronan will give a talk on the No Conscription Fellowship Maintenance Committee 1916-1918 which was instigated by a group of Quakers in S Manchester. Barry Mills will talk on John Graham and the Quaker response in Manchester to the outbreak of World War I. 

On Saturday 1st November the Wakefield Socialist History Group will be holding a meeting at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield from 1 to 4pm with the title, WW1: From World War to World Revolution.  The speakers are Stephen Wood and Dave Sherry.
<< World War One, Tony Saunois (2014) writes, ended "one historical era, opened another and reshaped international and class relations."  In particular it "acted as the midwife to the greatest event in human history: the Russian Revolution."  Workers revolution also swept Germany.  A Soviet republic was declared in Bavaria and briefly in Hungary.  There we also military/naval mutinies and mass strikes in Britain. >>

Ashton under Lyne
The Mary Quaile Club are holding a Hannah Mitchell Day on Saturday 18 October. Hannah was an active Socialist, suffragette and peace campaigner as well as a councillor in Manchester in the 1920s. There will be talks on her life and politics, readings and songs.
It will take place in Topaz Cafe, 216 Katherine Street, Ashton under Lyne OL6 7AS, starting at 10.30am. The entrance is £6 (£4 waged) which includes lunch. Places are limited and may be booked in advance by emailing

World War I Tuesday ‘Not Such a Lovely War’ Talks and Discussions at Friends Meeting House, Silverwell Street, Bolton, 7.30 – 9pm
14 October: Early One Morning – Les Smith, the playwright
21 October: The Power of forgiveness: What can experiences in Rwanda teach us about the aftermath of World War One?- Margaret Johnston
28 October: World War 1 Poetry of Isaac Rosenberg – Dr Jon Glover
4 November: Responses to World War 1 by Quakers and Other Opponents of War in Bolton and Manchester – Barry Mills
11 November: Women Against World War 1 in Manchester and Bolton – Ali Ronan
18 November: New Thoughts on British War Resisters – Cyril Pearce (Cyril has detailed database of 17,000 British WW1 COs )
25 November: Experiences and Beliefs of Alfred Evans, World War 1 CO threatened with Execution – Malcolm Pittock (his nephew)
Organised by Bolton Quakers and all welcome

Independent Working Class Education Seminar in Leeds

UPDATE and programme

Independent Working Class Education
Leeds Day School 

10am - 4pm, Saturday 1 November
Swarthmore Centre, 2-7 Woodhouse Square,
Leeds LS3 1AD
To book: email  

10.00   Welcome + presentation of the draft IWCE manifesto

10.30   Panel on public provision: WEA and university adult education - Jol Miskin, Dick Taylor

11.15   Radical theatre and cultural empowerment - Ron Rose and Mick Martin

12.00   Panel: Independent educational initiatives - Reinhard Huss (Café Economique),
            Ed Carlisle (Leeds Summat), Brian Flynn (Enough Waiting), Alasdair Beal (Café Scientifique)

12.45   Lunch break (food available in the Swarthmore cafe)

1.30     IWCE when researching and discovering Nineteenth Century Liverpool -
            Dave Douglass

2.15     Enlightened publics: popular educatio_nMovements in Europe - Tom Steele  
3.00     Migration and adult education - John Grayson

3.45     IWCE manifesto feedback

4.00     close   Cost:    £5 (for room hire) Pay On Day. Food available.

If you are coming by train, catch the City Bus from the station to Park Lane College. Get off at the Clarendon Wing stop in Woodhouse Square. Swarthmore Centre is round the corner. There's free parking in the car park of Joseph's Well, Hanover Walk, an office building just next door to the centre.

May we invite you to the next IWCE?

Leeds, 1 November 2014
10.00 am - 4.00 pm

Venue: Ellen Heaton Room, The Swarthmore Centre,
2-7 Woodhouse Square, Leeds LS3 1AD

To book a place: email Keith Venables

Provisional programme:
The main focus of this IWCE meeting will be on assessing the present state of adult education in all its forms.  
Sessions / talks are planned on
·        local authority and university provision
·        the WEA and trade union provision
·        independent community initiatives such as the ‘café’ movement (Leeds panel)
·        the history of popular education Movements in Europe (Tom Steele)

 Also includes sessions on:
·        the draft IWCE Network Manifesto
·        theatre and / in education  (Ron Rose)

Cost: £5.00 includes Refreshments. Pay on the day.

The Swarthmore Centre is close to Leeds city centre, 10 minutes’ walk from the station (or 5 minutes on the frequent circular City Bus).