Talk: Sisters with mourning hearts: a forgotten story of radical Manchester women in 1915
No booking necessary - just come along!
One hundred years ago a group of Manchester women signed an open letter to the women of Germany and Austria sending their solemn greetings and declaring that they wished for peace. They received warm and heartfelt thanks from the German and Austrian women. The letter is an important part of the international women's movement for peace.
Join Dr Alison Ronan for an illustrated talk on the letter, its historical context and the stories of women who signed it. The event will feature a short film by Sue Reddish.
The letter is held by Manchester Central Library. A copy of the document and an interactive display telling the story of the women who signed it will be on display in Archives+.
During the first winter of the First World War, in December-January 1914/1915, 101 pacifist and suffragist British women including a group of women from Manchester and North-West England and with international and European connections, woven in the pre-war activities of the International Suffrage Alliance, wrote an Open Letter to the women of Germany and Austria declaring that:
- day out to Macclesfield where there is a memorial to soldiers shot for desertion
- the arboretum in Staffordshire
- a creative day making banners
- a day for CO researchers to compare notes
[Update] Also in Manchester -
[Update] Provisional programme:
Entrance is free and there will be a free light buffet.
We are looking for speakers for the event. If you would like to speak or can recommend a speaker please get in touch.
This was at a time when many working class men were at the front fighting. Women saw it as a betrayal and began to organise tenant groups to resist the rises.
In Glasgow in particular the women got the support of the Independent Labour Party and were championed by socialists such as John Maclean. They also won backing from workers in the factories and shipyards. Their agitation forced the government to take action. Rent controls were introduced. So too was security of tenure which made it more difficult for landlords to evict tenants.
Then in 1972 rent strikes broke out across Britain in response to the Heath Government's notorious Housing Finance Act. That legislation aimed to force council rents up to market levels. Whilst Labour Councils -even those that originally resisted- eventually caved in one by one Clay Cross stood firm to the end. Eleven councillors risked prison because of their refusal to implement the rises.
And in Liverpool in the mid 80s the then socialist council -in the face of massive opposition from Whitehall- embarked on a huge house building programme. It built 5000 new homes and froze council rents.
So housing has been and still remains a focus for class struggle.
[Update/Reminder] The next meeting of the Wakefield Socialist History Group is on
Saturday 28 February 2015, 1-4pm at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield.
The event will be focusing on HOUSING AND THE CLASS STRUGGLE.
The speakers confirmed so far are:
*Cllr Hilary Mitchell
*Karen Fletcher (Secretary, Barnsley Against the Bedroom Tax)
*Alan Stewart (Convenor, Wakefield Socialist History Group)
*Kevin Feintuck (rank and file housing worker in Sheffield)
The chair is Kitty Rees.
Admission is free and there will be a free light buffet.
Hope to see you there!
Saturday 11 April 2015 'The most lovable figure’: George Lansbury and East End politics Speaker: Professor John Shepherd
focusing on Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender struggles.