Wednesday, September 16, 2015

URGENT: Undercover Policing Public Inquiry - core participant status

Message primarily for anyone who has or may have been involved in a campaign/activist group/movement that was infiltrated by undercover police operatives in the last few decades - and also of (less urgent) interest with reference to radical history.

As you are no doubt aware, since 2010 this issue has been brought to public attention by the hard work of a large number of activists from various movements, some of whom have been targeted in more personal and intimate ways, having been involved in 'relationships' with several of these police spies.

As you may or may not know, public pressure has forced the Home Secretary into announcing a Public Inquiry into undercover policing in the UK. Without a doubt we all feel some cynicism about the possibilities of finding out how many police spies have penetrated which groups, campaigns and families, or of what real change might come out of the process.However, the more of us that have an input into the Inquiry, the more they MIGHT be forced to reveal, and the greater the chance of putting the state on the back foot and restricting some of the clandestine activities they may feel they can get away with. Temporary or partial as this may be, some of us feel this makes it worth taking part in the Inquiry.

Attached to this email are two documents* about participating in the Public Inquiry into undercover policing, which include pro forma texts for applying to the PI for core participant status.  Applications should be made this week, *by 4pm Friday 18th Sept.*  (They're not making it easy on us for obvious reasons). Applications can still be made at a later date but you will have less ability to influence the course of events or who you are represented by. (You will need to read the statements for a proper explanation of what a Core Participant is... It does give people some legal protection and representation, and some input on how the Inquiry develops).

Please pass these documents on to anyone you know who has been involved in any campaign in the UK since 1968!  They may also want to consider taking part.

*Pro Forma
*Information/advice

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

British history and anti-racist campaigning: A discussion event

Tuesday 20 October 2015, 6.30-8 p.m., London EC1

From:  The Applied History Network [which] is a group of PhD students and early career researchers committed to politically engaged history. We put on regular evening events in London which aim to apply an historical perspective to contemporary events and debates.

The event grew out of conversations started at the ‘what is radical history?’ conference at Birkbeck in March 2015. In an effort to carry on these important debates, we put on free events every two months in central London. We have events scheduled for 20 October 2015, 1 December 2015, February 2016, April 2016 and June 2016.

We are pleased to announce that our first event ‘British history and anti-racist campaigning‘ will be held at the Marx Memorial Library, London EC1 on Tuesday October 20th at 6.30pm until 8pm. Please go to our Eventbrite page to register. The event is free of charge but registration is required.

This event is inspired by listening to anti-racist campaigners say that their work is hampered by a general lack of historical knowledge in respect of Empire and colonialism amongst the white British public. In order to explore this more fully, the event will bring together four speakers to examine the relationship between the white general public’s understanding of British history and anti-racist campaigning work. Since the point of the event is to assist historians in directing their research in socially responsible and useful ways, the speakers will be campaigners, journalists, and educationalists rather than academic historians. The panel members will each approach the topic from a different vantage point based on their experiences and will speak for 10-15 minutes each. After which, the discussion will be opened up for the next hour or so to include the floor.

Event Info:

Date: Tuesday 20 October 2015

Time: 6.30pm-8pm

Venue: Marx Memorial Library, 37a Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1R 0DU

Format: 4 speakers (10-15 mins each), followed by an open discussion with the floor

Eventbrite: 
Register here

Facebook: 
Applied History Network

Website: 
Applied History Network

Speakers:

Kiri Kankhwende: ‘How the lack of a historical perspective fuels racist media narratives about migrants’.
Kiri is a journalist and immigration and human rights campaigner.

Rita Chadha: Title tbc.
Rita is the Chief Executive of RAMFEL.

John Siblon: ‘Losing and gaining the British Empire in the classroom’.
John is a Sixth Form History Teacher in London and PhD candidate.

Suresh Grover: 'Before My Memory Dies: The Persistence of Imperial Racism'
Suresh is Director of the The Monitoring Group and a Civil Rights campaigner and will explore how the role of the British Empire remains invisible in understanding the cause and impact of racism in UK today.


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Message from PM Press, relevant to above topic (in the US context):

We launched a Kickstarter campaign to print 5,000 copies of Understanding Jim Crow: Using Racist Memorabilia to Teach Tolerance and Promote Social Justice by David Pilgrim, founder and curator of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia.
This book is an essential resource and teaching tool to understand the historical and current climate of race relations and systemic racism in America. The book is finished and ready to print. We just need your support to help get the book into as many hands as possible. The more pre-orders we get, the more copies we can make (and the less expensive it will be per copy to print). Please donate generously and share widely. Donations from U.S. citizens* will be tax deductible. Thanks very much in advance for the support!
See images and sample text and pre-order your copy of the book HERE.
Learn about the book and tax-deductible* rewards HERE
"One of the most important contributions to the study of American history that I have ever experienced." ----Henry Louis Gates Jr., director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African American Research and contributor to Understanding Jim Crow

UPDATE ON THIS CAMPAIGN
Thanks to our backers and supporters, we reached half of our Kickstarter goal of $10,000 in just ten days! But we still need your support! 
Please help us exceed this goal by October 16th...
WIN A FREE PRINT OR EBOOK COPY OF UNDERSTANDING JIM CROW BY SHARING THE CAMPAIGN ON FACEBOOK OR TWITTER. DON'T FORGET TO TAG PM PRESS SO WE CAN ENTER YOU IN THE DRAWING. WE'LL ANNOUNCE A WINNER ON OCTOBER 16TH! 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Listings, into autumn

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.

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Saturday (12th September) the Wakefield Socialist History Group are holding a Guided Walk to commemorate the 1893 Featherstone Massacre.  All are welcome on the walk and there is no charge.
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 oSaturday 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. > - 

UPDATE from Wakefield: 
The meeting scheduled for 31 October on "James Connolly" has been postponed due to the speaker, DR O'Connor Lysnaght, double-booking.

Saturday 21 November, the Wakefield Socialist History Group will be holding an event, EUROPE AND THE LEFT: How should socialists vote in the referendum?
[What about "Should socialists vote in the referendum?" - RaHN]
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.

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IWCE in LONDON Saturday 19th September 2015

10.30 - 2.30        UnitetheUnion, Unite House, 128 Theobald's Road, 
Holborn, London, WC1X 8TN {near Holborn Tube}
Cost: £6.00 (includes lunch). Pay on the day.
As with all IWCE Events, there will be plenty of discussion.


"Women Making History"
Researching
What does the Record say?
Women, Work and Trade Unions,
Lessons for Today.
Draft Programme:
Welcome and introduction to the day: Professor Jane Martin and Keith Venables
What the record says:
    Helen McFarlane and Colin Waugh
    Rebecca Webster on NUWT/IoE
    Dawn Taylor Women Teachers
Past and Future
    Chloe Mason on Alice Wheeldon
          Lunch
Women, Work and Unions
    Dawn Lavin on Annie Besant
    Sheila Cohen on Ford    
Plenary:
What does this mean for today?
    Jane Martin and Keith Venables    
See also website.
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Symposium about culture and labour at Karl Marx Library, 18th September
Playbour: Work- Play. About art and immaterial labour  at Karl Marx Memorial Library on Friday 18th September 2015. 
Symposium occurs from 12 noon onwards.
The aim of the symposium is to ask what kind of labour art and culture represent, both in terms of its historical conditions, its current situations and how we could partly shape the means and the understanding of its potential futures.
The symposium is not traditional but can be said to move beyond the theoretical, political and the performative. 
Participants: Janna Graham (Canada/England) Nico Vass (Argentina/England), Ben Seymour (England), Dan Mihaltianu (Romania/Germany/Norway), Frans Jacobi (Denmark, Norway) Arne Rygg (Norge), Veronica Diesen (Norway, England) and more.
To secure a seat please RSVP to veronicadiesenatgooglemail.com 
Related Performance: Das Kapital Distillation at Housman Radical bookshop - 
In addition to the symposium Dan Mihaltianu will be having a performance at Housmans bookshop called Kapital Distillation. If you would like to participate at the performance at Housmans, RSVP is needed.

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    WCML Events and notices

Working Class Movement Library, 51 The Crescent, Salford, M5 4WX

Pat Thane talk on the 1945 welfare reforms
16 September 2pm A welfare state not a “dependency state” – the reforms of 1945
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).

 
Heritage Open Days tours
The Library is marking Heritage Open Days 2015 with 'behind-the-scenes' tours on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 September at 2pm (only two spaces left on the Friday tour).  You can book in advance via enquiries@wcml.org.uk.
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.
Personal Effects is an installation exploring the inside of other people’s stuff. Real lost luggage is split open, suspended in free-fall, spilling out the private worlds within. What do strangers carry with them?
More information to follow.  More about Flow Salford here.

Keir Hardie centenary conference
There are a few places left at our Saturday 26 September conference marking the centenary of the death of Keir Hardie.  Full programme details at www.wcml.org.uk/keirhardie100.
Places must be reserved and paid for in advance (£20 waged and £7.50 unwaged including refreshments and lunch). Please email trustees@wcml.org.uk

Salford Stories and Radical Readings II
Following last year's sell-out success we are pleased to announce another fundraising event for the Library, hosted at the University of Salford on Sunday 22 November at 2pm.  We will be announcing the line-up of actors and booking details in a future e-bulletin, or keep an eye or our Web site at www.wcml.org.uk/events
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/

Precarious Passages

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 2015

This 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, gmdcnd@gn.apc.org.

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 john.halstead@blueyonder.co.uk or j.martin@hud.ac.uk.

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LSHG Autumn Term Seminars

London Socialist Historians Seminar Autumn 2015.
All seminars start at 5.30pm in Room 304 Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St, London WC1. Free without ticket

12th Oct: Merilyn Moos: 'Generations: the impact of the personal and political on children born in Britain to refugees from Nazism'

26th Oct: John Newsinger: 'British Counter Insurgency. A history'

9th Nov: Chris Jury: 'Politics, theatre and history'

23rd Nov:  Sue Jones: 'My longing desire to go to sea': wanderlust and wayward youth in early modern England

7th Dec: Roundtable, Keith Flett & others:  'How to remember the 1926 General Strike, 90 years on'

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LSHG Seminar: Chris Jury on Politics, Theatre and History

The next seminar in the autumn term 2015 series is on Monday November 9th at 5.30pm in Room 304, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St, London WC1.
Chris Jury will speak on politics, theatre and history. Chris is a well known actor and director (including over 40 episodes of Eastenders..)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Jury
You may also be interested to know that the two most recent LSHG seminars are now available as podcasts here:
http://londonsocialisthistorians.blogspot.co.uk/
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AND The 2015 London Anarchist Bookfair
will be on Saturday 24th October from 10am to 7pm
Central Saint Martin’s
University of the Arts London
Granary Building
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.
If you want to book a stall or meeting or want an advert in the bookfair programme go to the bookings page.
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.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Solidarnošč 1980: How (some of) Solidarity Saw It

It was 35 years ago that events in Poland, hitting the world headlines, were giving hope and encouragement to many on the anti-authoritarian left. In London, members of the Solidarity group – including Chris Pallis, as noted previously – were among those who reacted most promptly and positively. [This was not a ‘party line’, however: some people associated with the group took a less sanguine view, at the time or with hindsight. One later recalled, “in 1980-1 over the Polish strikes … an understandable but rather desperate desire to whistle in the dark led us all to overlook the deeply reactionary aspects (in retrospect, these were the most important aspects) of Solidarnosc.” For others, the most important aspect was that such a movement should have got under way at all after so many years of repression in all areas of life.]
The article reproduced here appeared (p.S16) in a 24-page Supplement, ‘Summer in Gdansk’, included in the magazine Solidarity for Social Revolution, no. 14, Oct.-Nov. 1980, pp.S1-S24, and also distributed separately.          
          



MEANWHILE IN BRITAIN…

TWO MEETINGS

A meeting was held at the Conway Hall, on Tuesday August 26, to discuss events in Poland. It was called under the auspices of the London Solidarity group, in cooperation with other tendencies and individuals. The widespread interest aroused by the Polish workers’ struggle was shown by the numbers who attended, in the holiday season and at very short notice. The Small Hall was packed to the door, standing room only. At the end of three hours we went away feeling that something had been achieved: the setting up of a Polish Solidarity Committee; planned intervention at TUC Conference with the aim of stopping the proposed delegation of fraternal bureaucrats; and the sending of two telegrams, one expressing solidarity with the strikers through B [initial only given] in Paris, and one to the Polish government supporting the workers’ call for the establishment of free trade unions.
Success, then? To a considerable extent, certainly, and well worth doing. But there were some dissenting voices (as readers of Freedom may have noted) and criticisms which are worth considering. It could all, perhaps, have been done better, and there may be some lessons for future occasions.
For a start, like an earlier meeting we held in the same place (on the anniversary of Kronstadt) this one was traditionally structured: platform of speakers and chairman behind a table complete with jugs of water, etc., facing the rest of us, the audience. Without claiming (cf. World Revolution) that we only have to sit round in a circle, séance-like, to invoke the true spirit of libertarian revolution, it is worth noting that this non-Solidarity style of meeting accentuated one of the worst mistakes of the evening: the fact that it looked like the presentation of a ‘united front’ from the platform, instead of a forum open for discussion of different views.
This is important because some of the views presented differed widely from ours: there was one speaker from Solidarity, Terry Liddle; an anarchist, Philip Samson; and two Poles. One [of the Poles] was an ex-Labour councillor (in close contact with the KOR [Workers’ Defence Committee] and its publications in Polish) who gave an interesting factual description of current events, the other a member of the Polish Socialist Party in exile, affiliated to the Second International, who went on about what he had said to Willy Brandt the last time they met. If the traditional structure of the meeting was inevitable, all the more care should have been taken to emphasise the open, un-‘fixed’ nature of the set-up – the organisers had not met all the speakers and certainly did not know what they would be saying. (Those who think that meetings should only be held if the organisers do know who will be there – and what they will be saying – should say so explicitly.)
By the time the collection was taken, and the gist of the proposed telegram(s) mooted, time for discussion from the floor was limited to just under an hour, so that the chairman had to be firm in trying to ensure a maximum number and variety of contributions. Nevertheless the adverb ‘ruthlessly’, applied to the chairing by Freedom’s correspondent, is not inappropriate. This appeared to some extent in the debate, although quite a number of opposing views were heard. It became more obvious when the final wording of the telegrams was discussed. There was no chance to do this properly, the formula ‘supporting the struggle for free trade unions’ being taken to express the feeling of the meeting. A proposed amendment, from the only Solidarity member to speak from the floor, that the words ‘independent class organisations’ replace the words ‘free trade unions’ was not accepted. And it was only thanks to a quick-thinking and persistent anarchist that ‘All power to the workers’ was added at the  end of the first telegram, thus differentiating us from the wide range of right-wingers and social democrats currently professing solidarity with the  Poles, and suggesting that our aim was not the sort of trade unions prevailing in the West.
So we can observe, once again, that participation in any sort of united front or concerted action with other tendencies requires extra care in clarifying, not blurring, our particular views. Otherwise the dominant ideology prevails by default, and we find ourselves being used for ends we do not support – and ultimately playing false to those we do.

MEANWHILE, AT THE OTHER POLE…

But whatever our self-criticisms about failures of perfect libertarian practice, we can console ourselves with the thought that it could have been worse. This was demonstrated by the SWP meeting on the same subject three nights later, attended by a few of us armed with leaflets, doing a ‘World Revolution’ (needless to say, WR were also there, doing the genuine thing!). One of us even stayed until near the end.
After a cheering cock-up at the beginning over what time it was due to start (Socialist Worker had said 9 p.m., Time Out 8 p.m., so they made it 8.30) the meeting (smaller than ours) swung into the familiar routine: two quite lengthy speeches, the first more narrative in style, the second giving the line; collection (Let’s not hear the clatter of coins, comrades, nor yet the rustle of paper, but the squeak of pens writing substantial cheques); questions from the floor to the platform, answered in batches for added glibness; and final summings-up with exhortations to build the revolutionary party (at this point our reporter made no excuse and left). Of course experienced questioners took the opportunity to put a few points across. The lad from World Revolution did his stuff, about the counter-revolutionary nature of all unions, and two people involved in the [newly formed] Polish Solidarity Campaign gave some information about it and asked for a statement of the SWP position. The answer was that the SWP supported the ‘existing rank-and-file trade union movement of solidarity with the Polish workers’ and would not ally itself with the right wing in the unions by calling for withdrawal of the [TUC] delegation. The SWP evidently preferred, even at this time, to maintain its alliance with the stalinists on the Liaison Committee for the Defence of Trade Unions.
 L. W. and M. B.

Participants’ history of PSC
(Giles Hart, who edited the booklet, died on 7 July 2005, a victim of the London Bombings)

Other analyses are available...
A couple of titles for further reading:
Peter Raina, Political Opposition in Poland. London, Poets’ and Painters’ Press, 1978. 
            Marjorie Castle and Ray Taras, Democracy in Poland, Westview Press, 2nd edition 2002.