Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March On Listings

Patron: Peter Hennessy
Founded in 1996, the club challenges the commercialisation & isolation of modern life.  We meet monthly on Saturday evening.
‘Fellowship is life & the lack of fellowship is death’.  William Morris
Saturday 9th April 2016
ABE GIBSON, POET     Speaker/ performer: Abe Gibson
Formerly Poet in Residence at London Transport Museum,Writer in Residence at Feltham Young Offenders Institute and Ronnie Scott Club performer, Abe has a formidable way with words, accents & mannerisms, and delights audiences with his charming, funny, acutely observed characters. As a caretaker on a Hackney Council estate for 25 years, he’s used this opportunity to closely study people from all walks of life and portrays them at least as well as many professional actors. Abe will explain how and why he writes and performs, and treat us to a rendition of some of his favourite poems. His poetry collection ‘Violently Tender’ will be on sale. There is likely to be some (voluntary) audience participation.
Venue Epicentre, West Street, Leytonstone E11 4LJ 
Times 7.30 pm   Buffet (bring something if you can)  
           8.00 pm   Talk & discussion till 10pm
Travel: Stratford stations & 257 bus  Leytonstone tube (exit left) & 257/W14 bus  Overground: Leytonstone High Rd, turn right and short walk
Access  Disabled access, car park, bikes can be brought in, quiet children welcome. You can phone to confirm the talk will be as shown. Meetings open to all - just turn up.
Enquiries  0208 555 5248   Free entry / voluntary donations welcome / raffle

donations welcome / raffle
The Riots in Acton and Southall

Talk in Ealing Central Library, Tuesday 26 April, 6.15 - 7.15 p.m. 
Free admission, advance booking required.

"The rioting in Ealing in 2011 is in recent memory but there {has] been equally violent rioting in the 20th century. Best known are the disturbances in Southall in 1979 and 1981, but there was also anti-German rioting in Acton in 1915. The talk explores the reasons for these outbreaks of violence, their course and consequences.". 

UPDATE, Anarchist April:

8th Bristol Anarchist Book Fair in Bristol, on April 30th: Building An Anarchist Future - see also separate post, 3-4-16

Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair


Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair 2016. Saturday 23rd April 2016
10am-6pm at Showroom Workstation 
15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 2BX
"The Sheffield Anarchist Book Fair is a free event organised by local activists and volunteers.

Each year, the book fair brings together radical booksellers, distributors, independent presses, and political groups from around the country, and features books, pamphlets, zines, art, crafts and films. It includes speakers, panels and workshops, and is followed by an evening social. Check our Facebook page for ongoing events leading up to the weekend.

For more information see https://sheffieldbookfair.org.uk/

11th Dublin Anarchist Book Fair in Dublin, Ireland on April 15th and 16th


Space the Final Frontier:
Public meeting convened by London Anarchist Federation

7 p.m. Thursday March 17th

Public spaces- how they're being taken away from us, how we can get them back

We look at the idea of the Commons, fights around public spaces, walking at night, women and public spaces, psychogeography and new visions of the city...

at the Common House, 5E Pundersons Gardens, London E2
Disabled access. Refreshments, plenty of time for discussion.
End the #spycops secrecy – make the Public Inquiry PUBLIC
Neither Confirm Nor Deny = Neither Truth Nor Justice
Release the Names, Open the Files

Solidarity Demo: Tuesday 22 March 9am-10am
Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand, London WC2
(Holborn or Temple tube)
[see also separate blogpost 21-3-16]
Socialist History Society Public Meeting

Ada Salter and Ethical Socialism
Speaker: Graham Taylor

7 p.m, 26th April 2016
Venue: Marx Memorial Library, Clerkenwell Green (near Farringdon Underground)

"Ada Salter was a pioneer of an ethical brand of socialism well known nationally and in her local Bermondsey in the early twentieth century. For a long time Salter has been unfairly been neglected. In this talk, which will be based on his new book on Ada Salter, Graham tells the story of this remarkable woman for the first time, documenting her significance for the history of both socialism and feminism. Salter was responsible for most of the ideas behind the Bermondsey Revolution, drawing on her experiences in the women’s movement and as President of the Women’s Labour League. Her ground-breaking ideas on urban development were to spread all over London through her work as an LCC councillor, and all over Britain through her role as Chair of the National Gardens Guild. Salter’s experiences as a ‘Sister of the People’ in the London slums eventually led her to the Independent Labour Party, and to the belief that achieving social justice required a grassroots alliance between the labour and women’s movements. Ada succeeded in winning huge majorities for her ideas."



Meeting of the Radical History Network of NE London.
WEDNESDAY (9th March)

'A Revolutionary schoolgirl in the 1960s'
Speaker: Di Parkin
9th March 2016
7.30 pm

One day after international women's day, Di Parkin will give a talk that is based on the earlier 'Running Down Whitehall with a Black Flag'.
Using reminiscence and some archives, it gives a snapshot of left action between 1962 - 1965, including Aldermaston Marches, opposition to Franco, protests against the visit of Queen Frederika, and other activism.

Plus discussion

The talk provides an opportunity to share experiences, hear about 
and discuss some of the events and movements that challenged 'the old order'.
  • How does this history connect with campaigns today?
  • What are the main differences and similarities? What was better; what was worse? 
  • Things we can learn from? How much do different generations learn from each other?
Wednesday 9th March 7.30 pm
Wood Green Social Club, 3 Stuart Crescent, London N22 5NJ
(Off the High Rd, near Wood Green tube and buses 329/121/141)

Free to attend, all welcome. 
And pass on to others who may be interested.
Emergency picket of New Scotland Yard, Weds 9 March, 4-5pm, protesting spy cops' actions, and demanding Met abandon policy of Neither Confirm Nor Deny... as a solidarity action with events elsewhere...
Please pass on if you can't attend.
There's a Netpol demo at Home Office from 5pm, protesting the Security & Policing event... 

The last [LSHG] socialist history seminar of the Spring term is on 
Monday 7th March, 5.30 p.m., 
Room 304 Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St, WC1.

Ben Lewis will speak on a new edition of the writings of the German socialist Clara Zetkin, on the evening before International Women's Day.

A reminder also that contributions for the summer issue of the London Socialist Historians newsletter are welcome with a deadline of April 1st: keith1917@btinternet.com

LSHG Summer programme

London Socialist Historians Group Forum
Saturday 30 April - midday - 4 p.m.

One Hundred Years On: The Irish Easter Rising

Institute of Historical Research, Malet St, London, WC1E 7HU - Lower ground floor conference area
Speakers include John Newsinger and James Heartfield

 On 24 April 1916, Easter Monday, a force of some 900 Irish Volunteers and Citizen Army members seized control of the centre of Dublin and proclaimed the Irish Republic. They held out against the British army until the deployment of artillery forced their unconditional surrender on the 29th. By this time 64 rebel fighters had been killed, together with 132 soldiers and police and some 250 civilians, many shot out of hand by the troops. In the context of the horrors of the First World War, this was a minor episode, the death of some 450 people at a time when hundreds of thousands were being slaughtered on the Western Front. Indeed, there were at the time considerably more Irishmen fighting for the British in France than took part in the Rising. Nevertheless, the Rising had an impact out of all proportion to the numbers involved, the damage suffered and the casualties inflicted. It prepared the way for the triumph of Sinn Fein in 1918 and for the War of Independence and the Civil War that followed. A hundred years later, the rebels are generally celebrated as heroes but important questions remain. Did the they believe they had a realistic chance of success in the face of apparently overwhelming odds or was their rebellion a self-conscious blood sacrifice intended to keep the spirit of republicanism alive? How much popular support did the Rising have at the time? How significant was their alliance with Imperial Germany? What was the attitude of the British left, both revolutionary and reformist, to the Rising? Did Labour MPs really cheer the news of the execution of the rebel leadership in the Commons? What part did women play in the Rising? And what of James Connolly? Was his participation, indeed his leadership role, in the Rising, the fulfilment of his socialist politics or an abandonment of them? What was the significance of his membership of the Irish Republican Brotherhood? Did Connolly really argue that the British would not use artillery because of the damage it would cause to capitalist property? Did he tell the Citizen Army men and women to hold onto their rifles because they were out for social freedom and not just political freedom or is this just a myth invented years later? What became of Connolly’s socialism after his death? Why was the socialist presence in the War of Independence so easily contained, indeed marginalised? For Sean O’Casey, Connolly had forsaken his socialist commitment in favour of republicanism and the only genuine socialist martyr of Easter Week was Francis Sheehy-Skeffington. What was the impact of Sheehy-Skeffington’s murder at the hands of British troops on opinion in Britain? How important was Catholicism to the rebel fighters? Even Connolly was reconciled with the Church before his execution and privately urged his Protestant wife to convert as a dying wish. And the only Protestant in the rebel leadership, Constance Markiewicz herself subsequently converted. There are a host of questions still to be explored and debated while at the same time honouring the memory of those who died fighting the British Empire.

 Saturday 21 May - midday
 The British General Strike of 1926 - 90 Years On  
London Socialist Historians Group forum
Speakers tba - lower ground floor conference area, 

Institute of Historical Research, Malet St, London, WC1E 7HU

 Plus seminars coming up on Mondays - details tbc

NEWS FROM NOWHERE CLUB Saturday 12 March 2016
Crisis? What Crisis? Re-Assessing the British ‘Winter of Discontent’ 1978-1979                    Speaker: Professor John Shepherd              
On 22 January 1979, 1.5 million workers were on strike - the highest number since the 1926 General Strike. Iconic media images of the industrial unrest that swept Britain in an arctic winter captured mountains of uncollected rubbish in London’s theatre land, militant shop stewards turning patients away from hospitals & a national strike by road hauliers that threatened to bring the country to a standstill. Even corpses were left unburied. Within weeks the beleaguered James Callaghan Government fell from power by a single vote. In the 1979 general election, Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister, beginning 18 years of unbroken Conservative rule. John Shepherd examines the causes, course & consequences of a major turning point in modernBritish political history.
Epicentre, West Street, Leytonstone E11 4LJ 
7.30pm Buffet (bring something if you can)   8.00pm Talk & discussion till 10pm
Travel & Access
Stratford stations & 257 bus  Leytonstone tube (exit left) & 257/W14 bus  Overground: Leytonstone High Rd, turn right, short walk
Disabled access, car park, bikes can be brought in, quiet children welcome. You can phone to confirm the talk will be as shown. Meetings open to all - just turn up. Enquiries 0208 555 5248     
Free entry: voluntary donations welcome

Independent Working Class Education Network
Saturday 19th March 10.00 - 4.30
The Labour Movement: where's it from? where's it going?
To book your place, Email: Keith Venables iwceducation@yahoo.co.uk

In association with Labour activists across East Anglia. the
IWCE Network invites you to a Day School for political activists and trade
unionists looking at the historical and contemporary issues facing the
Labour Movement.

We'll look at the role of agricultural workers, Chartism, the
crucial importance of education and our journeys, the Trade Union
Bill, from Blair to Corbyn and more. Lots of discussion.

£10.00 includes lunch. Pay on the day.

Methodist Chapel, Chapelfield, Norwich. The church is off the westbound carriageway of Chapel Field Road, near the junction with St Stephen’s Road.
Take the left turn, Wessex Street, just before the crossing lights.
Postcode: NR2 1SD.


Saturday 2nd April
from 11.00 - 3.00
Working Class Movement Library51 Crescent, Salford, near Manchester,
M5 4WX.

Programme to follow.

To secure a place email: iwceducation@yahoo.co.uk

Wakefield Socialist History Group also have a number of events between now and the end of the year.

Our next event is on SATURDAY 25 JUNE, 1pm at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1 when Shaun Cohen from the Ford Maguire Society will be talking about  THE YORKSHIRE REBELLION OF 1820.  

Admission is free and there is a free light buffet. There is also a bar with excellent real ale.  All welcome.


This fourth event by Applied History Network will be held at MayDay Rooms, London EC4Y 1DH 
on Tuesday 19 April from 6.30 p.m. until 8 p.m
The event is free of charge but registration is required. Please sign up on our Eventbrite page.

Libertarian Education: Marginal Experiment or Instrument of Social Change?
A free discussion event
Tuesday 19 April 2016, 6.30pm-8pm
MayDay Rooms, 88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1 DH 
This time we will be focusing on 'libertarian education', which is based on principles such as non-hierarchical relationships, mutual-aid and personal responsibility. In the last century, these values inspired the foundation of radical/democratic schools and (anti)universities. They challenged the role of mainstream schools as ‘reproducers of authoritarian social structures’ and universities as ‘selectors of the ruling class’.
 Recently, while the British education system has become increasingly subdued by free-market logic and bureaucratic procedures, parents and students have started expressing a growing interest in libertarian educational experiences. However, these still remain mostly marginal. What are the historical reasons for this? Is libertarian education possible within a neoliberal society after all? Can it help transform the status quo?
To start a debate on these and other questions, we have invited speakers who will provide different perspectives on libertarian education.

WCML Update:- 
Working Class Movement Library
51 The Crescent
Salford, M5 4WX

James Hudson, WW1 conscientious objector, tells his story There are two more public performances at the Library by Joel Parry of No Power on Earth, the monologue by Sue Reddish telling the story of an ordinary Salford school teacher at the start of the First World War who finds himself at odds with the popular mood:
Wednesday 2 March at 1pm
Saturday 5 March at 12.30pm.

The free performances accompany the Library's current exhibition To End All Wars. And good news - the exhibition run has been extended until Thursday 14 April. It's open Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm, and the first Saturday in March and in April 10am-4pm.

Come along to the Library a bit earlier on Wednesday 2 March if you can for the launch at 12.15pm of Alison Ronan's book Unpopular resistance: the rebel networks of men and women in opposition to the first world war in Manchester and Salford 1914-1918.  And then stay on to hear our free talk at 2pm about rapper dance! - see below.

And if you're coming on Saturday 5 March bring your butties, because once you've watched the play you can stay on for our International Women's Day talk which is at 2pm that day...  See details below.
Rapper dance - its creation and what it meant to working communities
On Wednesday 2 March at 2pm our free Invisible Histories talks series starts up again with a talk by Tom Besford.

Rapper sword dancing is a form of traditional dancing from the North East of England. The dance was most often performed around the pubs and bars of mining towns and at competitions in the towns and cities throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.  This talk will be given in the context of the Dancing England Rapper Tournament (DERT) which is coming to Manchester on Saturday 12 March.

Next up in the Invisible Histories series is:

16 March 2pm Chloe Mason Justice for Alice Wheeldon!

In 1917 socialist, feminist and anti-war activist, Alice Wheeldon, her daughter and husband were given long prison sentences, on flimsy evidence, for supposedly plotting to kill Prime Minister Lloyd George and Arthur Henderson, leader of the Labour Party. Chloe Mason, Alice’s great-granddaughter, will speak about the campaign to have the case recognised as a miscarriage of justice.

For the full listing of talks click here.

On Friday 8 April at 1.30pm the launch of a new book about activist Benny Rothman will take place at the Working Class Movement Library.  Unite the union's biography Benny Rothman: a fighter for the right to roam, workers' rights and socialism, written by Mark Metcalf, covers not only the part played by Benny in the Kinder Scout mass trespass,  but also his battles against Mosley's fascist Blackshirts and his wide-ranging campaigns as a trade unionist and environmentalist.

Benny's son Harry will be in attendance at the event, and everyone who comes along will get a free copy of the 64-page book.  Further details from Mark Metcalf at 07952 801783, mcmetcalf@icloud.com
  The librray is located at 51 The Crescent Salford

Remembering Mary Barbour - International Women's Day event On Saturday 5 March at 2pm the Library's IWD event welcomes historian Catriona Burness who will give a talk, 'Remembering Mary Barbour - social reformer, rent strike leader, women's peace crusader and pioneering woman councillor'.

Mary Barbour worked tirelessly to change laws to help families in poverty.  Her capacity to mobilise working class families, especially women, to challenge the power of landlords and the state during the 1915 Govan rent strike led to the passing of one of Europe’s first rent restriction acts.  She also fought for free school milk, children’s playgrounds, municipal wash-houses, and an end to slum housing.

We will also hear from Karen Bosson, North West Regional Women’s Secretary of the Communication Workers' Union and member of the TUC NW Women's Committee, on current women trade unionists' campaigns in our region.

Admission free; light refreshments afterwards.

This event is part of Wonder Women, Manchester’s annual feminist festival.

Co-operative Education Conference 2016
The Co-operative College is holding a two-day Co-operative Education Conference in Manchester on 21-22 April. This aims to give co-operators, practitioners and researchers from the UK and internationally an opportunity to engage in debates across the themes of:

– Shaping Co-operative Education Systems
– Character, Learning and Co-operation
– Learning for Global Co-operative Livelihoods.

More details here.

An exhibition marking the centenary of the introduction of conscription in early 1916.
The north-west had a vigorous anti-war movement from 1914 onwards. This exhibition looks at some of those involved, both men and women, who fought for peace. Bill Chadwick from Westhoughton and Hugh Hutchinson from Bolton, whose stories were previously known only to their families, can now take their place amongst more famous names. Documents from the Hyde branch of the No-Conscription Fellowship, a unique collection held by the Library, are also on display. This is an alternative narrative of the war that deserves to be remembered as much as we commemorate those who fought and died.
Exhibition opening times: Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm and the first Saturday of the month 10am-4pm.  Runs until 1 April. Admission free.
The Library is extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the funding for this project, awarded through HLF’s First World War: then and now programme. 
A specially-written 'Living History' performance, No Power on Earth, will accompany the exhibition thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund. This tells the story of James Hindle Hudson, a Salford conscientious objector.  The 30-minute free performance can be seen at the Library on Wednesday 2 March at 1pm and Saturday 5 March at 2pm, and at Salford Museum and Art Gallery on Sunday 21 February at 2pm.  It will also be put on in Salford schools during February.
Invisible Histories talks
A new series of free Wednesday afternoon talks will begin in March.  Full details at www.wcml.org.uk/events.

2 March 2pm Tom Besford  Rapper dance - its creation and what it meant to working communities

16 March 2pm Chloe Mason Justice for Alice Wheeldon!

30 March 2pm Cyril Pearce Communities of resistance: patterns of dissent in Britain during the First World War

13 April 2pm Robin Stocks Manchester volunteers in the Easter Rising

27 April 2pm Richard Milward – Luddites’ Nightmares
Jim Allen retrospective
A Jim Allen retrospective season takes place at Manchester's Home from 9 to 31 January.  It includes screenings of The Spongers (with accompanying Q&A with producer Tony Garnett), The Lump, The Big Flame, Raining Stones and Days of Hope.  Full details here
Jim Allen (1926-1999) was a socialist writer of international significance, who made a major contribution to British TV drama in the 1960s and 1970s and to British film in the 1980s and 1990s.
The Library is very pleased to house the Jim Allen archive, which his family have kindly entrusted to us. The archive includes books, videos, scripts (produced and non-produced) and other material. The Library welcomes deposits of new material from anybody who knew or worked with Jim. More information at www.wcml.org.uk/jim-allen.


From London region CND:

June is to be a “month of direct action” against Trident at Burghfield near Reading, where Trident nuclear warheads are assembled.  This month of action is being organised by the Trident Ploughshares campaign.

A London group to take part is being organised to take part in this month of action.

 We have one initial meeting and have formed a small group to take part. 

 Now we want to invite other people in London to join our group.  If you’d like to, please come to our second meeting on Monday the 14th March from 6.30pm at the CND office at 162, Holloway Road N7 8DQ; nearest tube Caledonian Road on the Piccadilly Line.  (Turn right out of the station and the front door of the office is about 150 yards down the Holloway Road, on the opposite side of the road, past the London Metropolitan University buildings.  There is a large nuclear disarmament symbol on the door, which is a bit obscured behind a bus stop shelter.)  

UPDATE: leaflet about women’s action on Trident on June 20th at Burghfield now available.


The next event for the Public History Discussion Group, ‘Walk – bombs in Bloomsbury,’ with Dr Gabriel Moshenska will be held on Saturday 19th March at UCL's Institute of Archaeology.
This c. 90 minute walking tour examines the history of explosions in Bloomsbury from the late nineteenth through to the early twenty-first century. It focuses on the traces left behind by bombs: scars on buildings; memorials; memories; and absences. The tour can easily be made fully wheelchair friendly if required.
Please assemble on the steps outside the Institute of Archaeology at 11:00 am.
In the event of bad weather there will be a powerpoint-assisted lecture instead on the same topic, held in room 6.12. 
Future Date for your Diary

Saturday 7th May: 
Rethinking Urban Histories through Anti-Gentrification Struggles, Dr. Sue Pell.


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