"RADICAL HISTORIES/HISTORIES OF RADICALISM, A MAJOR CONFERENCE AND PUBLIC HISTORY FESTIVAL"
1-3 July 2016, Queen Mary University of London
Keith Venables on "A World to Win: learning from the past - making the future"
"Women Making History"
The Library exhibition Spirit of `45: from warfare to welfare is open Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm (and the first Saturday of the month 10am-4pm) until 25 September.
'Protect' - new installation at WCML
Al is a sculptor and was commissioned by the Mitchell Arts Centre, Stoke-on-Trent, to make a new work to commemorate the miners' strike. Protect is the result of that commission. The curved police riot shield acts as a central form for the installation. These freestanding objects, both riot shield and protective armour, are made from red stained plywood. On each shield a statement, slogan, or quote evokes the mood and moment of the strike.
Keir Hardie centenary conference - booking now open
There will be a keynote address by David Howell from the University of York, followed by papers on Hardie and Wales, Hardie and Ireland, 'Hardie, Carlyle and the Hero’ and ‘Hardie and the Great Unrest: Struggles, Strikes, and Internationalism’. Full programme details at www.wcml.org.uk/keirhardie100.
The conference is organised by the Working Class Movement Library and De Montfort University, Leicester
and is sponsored and supported by the North West Labour History Society, the Society for the Study of Labour History and the Keir Hardie Society.
£20 waged and £7.50 unwaged including refreshments and lunch. Places must be reserved and paid for in advance. Please email Royston Futter, email@example.com
Heritage Open Days toursThe Library is marking Heritage Open Days 2015 with 'behind-the-scenes' tours on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 September at 2pm. You can book in advance via firstname.lastname@example.org.
For details of Heritage Open Days events across the UK head to www.heritageopendays.org.uk.
Talk on William Morris and stained glass To mark Heritage Open Days there will be a talk at 11am on Saturday 12 September at Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre, Tameside Central Library, Old Street, Ashton-Under-Lyne OL6 7SG. Paul Renshaw will speak about ‘The stained glass of William Morris in Greater Manchester’. His talk will focus on Tameside and incorporate other stained glass designers in the Victorian era. Attendees will then be free to visit any of the historical buildings that are open and see the stained glass.
If you would like to book a place on the talk please ring 0161 342 4242.
Autumn talks at the Library
WCML's Wednesday afternoon talks start up again on 16 September at 2pm with a talk by Pat Thane (postponed from June) on the 1945 welfare reforms. This talk runs alongside the Library exhibition Spirit of '45: from warfare to welfare, which is on until 25 September.
Future talks: 30 September 2pm 'All our own work': the pioneers of Hebden Bridge and their co-operative mill
Andrew Bibby introduces his new book, which tells the tale of the early worker-run cooperatives in Britain and in particular the fustian mill in Hebden Bridge which operated for almost fifty years as a cooperative.
14 October 2pm Nat, Sam and Ramona - the story of a Spanish Civil War photograph
A talk by Marshall Mateer based on new research from items in the WCML archive. This is the story of three volunteers – Nat Cohen, Sam Masters and Ramona Siles Garcia - during the early months of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. [See previous post for the Joe Jacobs connection]
28 October 2pm Artist Tim Dunbar will give a talk alongside his exhibition Guernica in Manchester re-representation, which will open on 2 October.
Full details of all forthcoming events at the Library can be found at www.wcml.org.uk/events
Politics and Pride
The People's History Museum (Manchester) is celebrating LGBT+ history and activism over the bank holiday weekend. They say: 'Discover how the history of gender and sexuality has been affected by society, politics and activism over the past 200 years in our LGBT historytour on Friday 28 August. Then head down to venues on the Oxford Road Corridor for Political Pride, a weekend of alternative events to take Pride back to its roots on 29-30 August. We’ll be there banner making, badge making and displaying some of our LGBT+ collections. The programme is packed with workshops, discussions, performances and free family friendly fun'.
*On Sunday 9th August we have the Kinsley Evictions Guided Walk. It starts 2pm at Winding Wheel by Fitzwilliam Railway Station. The guide is John Gill.
*On Saturday 12th September we have the Featherstone Massacre Commemoration: more details to follow.
*On Saturday 17 October, the Wakefield Socialist History Group are holding an event at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield..starting at 1pm.
THE FALL OF SAIGON: Forty Years Since the Vietnam War.
Speakers: Matthew Caygill (Left Unity) and Stephen Wood (Alliance for Workers Liberty)
Free admission and free light buffet
The US had promised $3.5 billion in reconstruction at the Paris Peace talks. When it lost he war it didn't pay a penny. Rather it leaned on the IMF, World Bank and UNESCO to make sure they too denied Vietnam any help.
In the early days the country struggled. Peasants were given ration cards in exchange for their crops so there was no incentive to produce.
Faced with these difficulties the Party abandoned the command economy in the mid to late 80s in favour of "market socialism." Entrepreneurs were allowed to "colonise" spaces not filled by state managed enterprises (Brown 2015).
The 7th Party Congress -five years later- ratified policies that would integrate Vietnam "into regional and global systems." These changes were known collectively as "doi moi" - renewal. Foreign investors flocked in and, in 1994, the US finally lifted its' trade embargo.
Davies (2015) says there were elements in the Party that still wanted to defend "socialism." Poverty was reduced. Primary schools were built. There was free health care.
Around 2000 however the rate of change accelerated and the political balance shifted. State industries were sold off. Vietnam joined the World Trade Organisation. It became a fully integrated member of the global capitalist economy.
Today Vietnam "no longer stands up for the poor." The country's labour code has been watered down (at the behest of multi-nationals). The "official" unions do little and the minimum wage has been frozen. Charges have reappeared for education and health. And all the time party officials pocket money from privatisation. "Transparency International" says Vietnam is phenomenally corrupt.
*On Saturday 21 November we look at the Left's attitude past and present to Europe at a meeting, "Europe and the Left" at the Red Shed. Again it starts at 1pm.
DREAM TO CHANGE THE WORLD: THE LIFE & LEGACY OF JOHN LA ROSE
An exhibition running until 29 August 2015
245 St John Street,
The Dream to Change the World exhibition is the culminating event in the George Padmore Institute's five year project to conserve and open up to the public John L Rose's personal archives.
John La Rose (1927-2006) was a poet, essayist, publisher, trade unionist, cultural and political activist. He belonged to a Caribbean tradition of radical and revolutionary activism whose input has reverberated across