Saturday (12th September) -
from Past Tense ... we'll be doing a stall, selling our wares this Saturday (12th September) at the great Hidden River Festival, which celebrates North London's New River. It's on 12-6 on the New River path beside the East and West Reservoirs at Woodberry Down, N4. There will be live music, food stalls, art, beer, storytelling and kids' activities...
Check out some info here and background on New River here.
Meet 2pm at Bradley Arms, Willow Lane, North Featherstone WF7.
The guide is John Gill, a local socialist historian. A graveside oration will be given by Alan Stewart, Convenor of Wakefield Socialist History Group.
And on Saturday 17 October, the Wakefield Socialist History Group are holding an event at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield..starting at 1p.m. -
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
left Vietnam in a state, Nick Davies (2015) says, of "physical
ruin." There were unexploded shells and landmines. Agent
Orange had destroyed the forests. Orphans roamed the street and Saigon was
in the grip of a heroin epidemic.
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. > -
The event will be held from 1-4pm at Wakefield Labour Club ("Red Shed"), Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1.
Admission is free. There will be a free light buffet. And there is a bar with excellent real ale.
The speakers cover a range of positions on the question and are:
*Paul Feldman (author of "Unmasking the State"; active in "Assemblies for Democracy")
*John Westmoreland (Counterfire)
*Paul Bennett (Socialist Party of Great Britain)
*Kevin Feintuck/Kevin Taylor (Communist Workers' Organisation)
*John Tummon (member of Republican Socialist Alliance)
Opening contributions will be followed by questions/discussion.
Working Class Movement Library, 51 The Crescent, Salford, M5 4WX
Pat Thane, Research Professor in Contemporary British History, King's College, London, will speak about the post-war welfare reforms. This talk runs alongside our exhibition Spiritof ’45: from warfare to welfare.
Early co-operatives and other talks
30 September Andrew Bibby ‘All our own work’: the pioneers of Hebden Bridge and their co-operative mill: Our Invisible Histories talks continue on Wednesday 30 September at 2pm with Andrew Bibby's talk Britain's early productive cooperatives, why they were forgotten and why they're relevant today. Andrew 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.As it's the Salford Food and Drink Festival period we will be putting on a particularly fine range of biscuits after the talk...
14 October Marshall Mateer Nat, Sam and Ramona - the story of a Spanish Civil War photograph
28 October Tim Dunbar Guernica [see exhibiton notice below]
11 November Michael Herbert Doctor Who and the Communist: the writing career and politics of Malcolm Hulke.
All the above talks are at 2pm and are followed by a brew. They are all free to attend.
Guernica in Manchester Re-Representation Guernica in Manchester Re-Representation is our new exhibition, opening on Friday 2 October. Tim Dunbar's drawing project is based on an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the exhibition of Picasso’s Guernica in a car showroom in Manchester that is reported to have occurred during the first two weeks of February in 1939. The project includes a quarter scale “mapping” study of Guernica and a number of text-based drawings based on written descriptions of direct encounters with the painting. Drawings have been informed by reference to the ‘Manchester Foodship for Spain’ archive material in the Working Class Movement Library, and eyewitness commentaries of the Manchester Guernica exhibition, including two previously unknown accounts from students who studied at Manchester School of Art in the late 1930s. The project is underpinned by the notion of a ‘conspiracy of Guernica’ implicated by Herbert J. Southworth in his classic text “Guernica! Guernica! A study of journalism, diplomacy, propaganda and history”. The exhibition is open Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm until 13 November (also Saturdays 3 October and 7 November, 10am-4pm).
For details of Heritage Open Days events across the UK head to www.heritageopendays.org.uk.
Flow Salford Festival - installation by Hannah HiettThe Library is pleased to be playing a part again in the second Flow Salford, a weekend festival 'celebrating the vast, the varied and the very new theatre being made in Salford today'. An installation by Hannah Hiett can be viewed in our hall 3-6pm on Friday 25 September and 10am-4pm on Saturday 26 September.
Places must be reserved and paid for in advance (£20 waged and £7.50 unwaged including refreshments and lunch). Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE: Salford Stories and Radical Readings II. We are sorry to announce that we have had to postpone this event from its expected date of 22 November, due to the unavailability of some of those who had hoped to be able to appear. We'll keep you all posted when we get a new date.
Black History Month
Black History Month Greater Manchester launches in Manchester Cathedral on Wednesday 30 September at 7.15pm with an evening of entertainment, music and song. The event is free but donations of £2 on the door would be welcomed. Reserve your place at www.gmbhmlaunch.eventbrite.co.uk.
There is a huge range of events and activities during the month, including a handling session at Manchester Central Library about material from the 1945 Pan-African Congress in Manchester, screenings at Home of films such as a documentary about the Black Panthers and 'Malcolm X's favourite film' Nothing But a Man, and an exhibition at Gallery Oldham, Forward to Freedom, telling the story of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement.
The Library's contribution to the month is our talk by Marika Sherwood, The forgotten war: World War I in Africa, on Tuesday 20 October at 2pm.More details of all the events at http://blackhistorygm.org/
Manchester Left Writers (MLW) are teaming up with the North West Film Archive (NWFA) for Precarious Passages, a performance and film event at Central Library on Tuesday 20 October 6pm-7pm. Members of MLW will pair up to read narrative, poetic, call-and-response pieces of writing based on their experiences and encounters in the city and the sensations of contemporary life. Each of the Precarious Passages readings will be accompanied by historic films selected from the NWFA.
In addition, a new piece of writing and performance will be created especially for the event, responding to the 1961 film footage of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin visiting Trafford Park. Gagarin, who was himself a foundry worker, visited foundry workers in Trafford Park just three months after his space flight in Vostok. Manchester’s welcoming of Gagarin took place against the backdrop of the Cuba crisis and further East-West tension in Berlin.
The event is part of Manchester Literature Festival. It is free but booking is recommended at www.quaytickets.com/mlf
Peace history conference 2015This year's peace history conference in Manchester is entitled Peace History: an International Perspective and takes place at the Friends Meeting House on Saturday 10 October (with a guided walk and evening concert the day before). There will be presentations on the Chinese Labour Corps in World War I, on the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (which was founded at The Hague conference of 1915 and still works for peace and freedom around the world) and on the Campaign Against the Arms Trade. A film on people living alongside US military bases will also be screened. More details here.
Tickets price £25 (£12 concessions) are available online or via/from Jacqui Burke, GMCND, email@example.com.
SSLH autumn conference
The Society for the Study of Labour History autumn conference takes place on Saturday 28 November at the University of Huddersfield, West Building, WG17. It explores the History of Adult Worker Education from its nineteenth century origins to the demise of adult education in an age of austerity. The provisional programme includes topics such as the Fenwick Weavers, the foundation of the London Mechanics' Institution, the Leeds Arts Club and the origins of Guild Socialism, and 'healing the fault line in the age of austerity'.
The conference is free but it is necessary to register in advance. Reserve a place at http://tinyurl.com/ncvnfrr or find out more details by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.=========================================
will be on Saturday 24th October from 10am to 7pmCentral Saint Martin’s
University of the Arts London
1 Granary Square
London N1C 4AA
Central St. Martin’s is a huge building behind Kings Cross train station. It is a fantastic space for us all to display why anarchism is just such a bloody good idea. In these days of hyper capitalism an alternative is needed. That alternative can only be anarchism. Come and find out why.
UPDATE: Now fully booked. Programme under 'Meetings' tab at http://anarchistbookfair.org.uk/
See also 'Other events':
Coming up 24 Oct: Eurostar St Pancras demo, solidarity with Calais migrants.