Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Ringleaders and Reds in Khaki – British Army mutinies during the First World War


Sat 15th Oct, 2016            2:30 pm to 5:30 pm              

Ringleaders and Reds in Khaki - British Army mutinies during the First World War
Date: , 2016 
Time:  to  
Venue: Friends Meeting House, BRISTOL BS2 9DB 
Price: Donation 
With: Julian PutkowskiLois Bibbings,People’s Histreh 
Series: Resisting the War: Deserters, Conchies and MutineersRemembering the Real WWI

Julian Putkowsk is a college lecturer, broadcaster and writer with an established interest in military discipline and dissent in the British Army. With Julian Sykes he co-authored Shot at Dawn(1989); he actively supported the ensuing campaign to secure exoneration for soldiers executed by the British Army and the Blair government’s response in both Murderous Tommies (2011), co-authored with Mark Dunning and Three Uneasy Pieces (2014). Julian’s research about rebels in khaki was reflected in British Army Mutineers 1914-1922 (1998) and his views about military ‘collective bargaining’ can be accessed online here.

Drawing on forty years research, this talk will air and invite debate about the social interpretation, political significance and leadership of the mutinous outbreaks that convulsed the British Army during the First World War.

"British Military historians and assorted flag-wavers celebrate the enthusiastic rush to the colours; the ensuing blood sacrifice of British Tommies, White Dominion troops and (belatedly) colonial formations and even military labourers. The stereotype of soldiers dutifully marching to their deaths was always a conservative mirage but only a handful of books have drawn attention to the hundreds of thousands of soldiers and military auxiliaries who rebelled, mutinied and challenged their commanders and political masters during the First World War. The ‘Unknown Army’, the pioneering study by Douglas Gill and Gloden Dallas produced in the late 1960’s chronicled the incidence of mutinies in Northern France and the UK; Andrew Rothstein’s brave claim that the mutineers were unconscious or perhaps semi-conscious Marxist Leninists, and David Englander’s promising exploration of khaki collective bargaining all challenge the dominant deferential stereotype.
Though there have been a few TV commemorations referencing indiscipline and dissent, the absence of substantive research has left the field open to sensationalism and fantasy, and for the most part public understanding has long been skewed by ‘The Monocled Mutineer’, book and TV drama. Notwithstanding twaddle about Percy Toplis, the declassification of soldiers’ service records admits identification of ringleaders who were punished for mutiny but the personalities who successfully organised, represented and negotiated deals with generals and politicians remain largely anonymous. The latter escaped being court-martialled, they were intelligent, literate, and politically savvy individuals and their names were certainly unknown to more than a handful of mutineers..."

And there's a walk this weekend:
Sun 2nd Oct, 2016            11:00 am              
Resisting the War: Deserters, Conchies and Mutineers   
Meet at Bristol Temple Meads station forecourt. 
"Well over 50 people turned up when we put on this walk in July. It was so popular we’re doing it again."
 […]               Geoff Woolfe

Sunday, September 25, 2016

15th ESSEX CONFERENCE ON LABOUR HISTORY

Saturday, 29th October, 2016
 Sponsors: Labour Heritage; Essex Labour Campaign Forum
at The Labour Hall, Collingwood Road, Witham, Essex CM8 2EE 
(adjacent to Witham railway station)
  
PROGRAMME 
  10.30 – 11.00 a.m.      Conference assembles (tea and coffee will be provided) 
 
11.00 – 11.10 a.m.      Chair’s opening remarks – Charles Cochrane, Chair, Essex Labour Campaign Forum 
 
11.10 – 12.05 p.m.      The Left in the mid-20th Century and the Role of Aneurin Bevan
                                    Francis Beckett (Labour historian and author) 
 
12.05 – 1.00 p.m.        Ireland – the 1916 Rising and Social Progress
                                    Ivan Gibbons (former Director of Irish Studies at St. Mary’s University Twickenham, and Director of the Irish Cultural Centre, Hammersmith)
  
1.00 – 2.00 p.m.          Lunch, arranged by the Essex Labour Campaign Forum. 
 
2.00 – 2.45 p.m.          George Lansbury and the 1921 Poplar Rates Dispute
                                    Chris Sumner (George Lansbury Memorial Trust) 
 
2.45 – 3.30 p.m.          A Life in the Labour Movement
                                    Stan Newens
(former MP, MEP and Labour historian)
 
 
3.30 – 3.55 p.m.          Discussion and suggestions 
 
3.55 – 4.00 p.m.          Conclusion of the Conference

"The Conference is completely open and friends, relatives and acquaintances are welcome, whatever their political allegiances.  Questions and other contributions will be invited from the floor, lunch will be provided by the Essex Labour Campaign Forum and the cost is included in the registration fee (£8 per person)... Those not previously registered can pay at the door, provided there are places, but pre-booking* is advisable – particularly for catering purposes."
*Contact details available from the sponsors or radicalhistorynetwork@gmail.com

Monday, September 12, 2016

Public Meeting on Haringey Solidarity

Saturday October 29th
@ Park View School, West Green Road Tottenham N15
As part of the London Anarchist Bookfair* at the above venue

Haringey Solidarity: Lessons from 4 decades of radical anti-authoritarian community action in Haringey
Organised and introduced by members of Haringey Solidarity Group and the Radical History Network of NE London

A look at some local campaigns and organisations from the late '70s onwards fighting back against capitalism and the State and trying to create a better world. Including strike support, unwaged struggles, anti-poll tax movement, women's struggles, anti-racist action, anti-police campaigns, community/neighbourhood self-organisation, lesbian and gay liberation, libertarian and anarchist activity, housing action groups and campaigns, resistance to property developers, defence of public and community services and facilities, radical community centres and projects... and more. We will also note where local groups and campaigns have linked or federated with similar ones around London and the UK. Followed by general discussion. 

We particularly welcome people who live or work in Haringey, and also others from round the country who may want to be inspired or to share some of their own experiences/successes etc.

*Times and locations (rooms) for bookfair meetings will be given on the final programme in due course.
Other bookfair meetings (with a likely radical-history connection) confirmed so far include:

Anarchist solidarity and anti-war initiatives in the nineties 
A recollection from Croatia
There is no objective history. There are only different interpretations of what has happened and a very clear idea that the “ordinary”, “little” people are the victims of all systems, whether these systems are founded on this or that ideology, nationalism, religion… The wars that took place during the nineties in Europe produced only victims. Victims were caused by the media propaganda, nationalism, the states and their leaders, local thugs, different obeyers, the ones who “carried out the orders”… In a situation like that, of mass war psychosis, there were still pockets of resistance to the conflict, to nationalism, against hate and the war itself, although it was all around us and became the integral part of our lives. It became the new normality. This talk will look at anarchist solidarity, different anti-war initiatives and their influence during the nineties.
Organised by: Antipolitika

What have the anarchists ever done for us?
All the answers to all the questions you have ever had about the world-wide anarchist movement over the past 150 years. Who are the anarchists anyway, and what do they want? How did Marlon Brando get things so badly wrong? Why do Greek anarchists love sausage? How did the long-running anarchist controversy over facial hair finally get resolved? Where in the world do Edelweiss Pirates come from? All this and more, including the all important: What have the anarchists ever done for us?
Organised by: Kevin Eady

Working Class Anger in West London
AngryWorkers give an update about their workers inquiry from the warehouses and factories in west London. We will share our experiences of proletarian existence in all it's most modern, 'hidden', and exploitative forms. We will be talking about: work regimes; housing; gender divisions; migration; our practical efforts (solidarity meetings and newspaper), as well as how we can collaborate with others.
Organised by: AngryWorkers (www.angryworkersworld.wordpress.com)

New Frontlines Against Prisons 
Situating prisons at the base of gender, race, and class, this workshop explores recent anti-prison struggles in England, Wales and Scotland. Introducing the UK Government’s new project for US-influenced mass incarceration with nine new mega prisons on the horizon and large workshops to exploit prison labour. Learn about the growing resistance to prisons as a frontline of anti-state struggle.
Organised by: Empty Cages Collective (www.prisonabolition.org)

Fighting for Free Public Transport with The Traffic Power Structure
Planka.nu was founded in 2001 by a Swedish based activist network to fight for free public transport. Thanks to creative direct action, witty public interventions, and thought-provoking statements, the network has become a leading voice in Scandinavian debates on traffic
Organised by: PM Press and Planka.nu (http://planka.nu/)

Red Rosa: a graphic look at Dr Luxemburg
Rosa Luxemburg was an economist, lecturer, journalist, poet, painter and uncompromising revolutionary socialist. In a talk illustrated with excepts from the best-selling graphic biography (Verso 2015), cartoonist Kate Evans gives a flavour of Dr Luxemburg’s life and work and explores the contemporary relevance of her legacy. Some gratuitous nudity. Only in cartoon form.
Organised by Kate Evans (www.cartoonkate.co.uk)

The Bonnot Gang
Over a six month period from December 1911 to May 1912, 35 year old mechanic and thief, Jules Bonnot, and his young anarchist associates in crime, caused panic across France with their audacious robberies, and the shooting of 2 police officers. Four were killed in shoot-outs with the police and 3 executed by guillotine, while several others were sent to Devil’s Island (from where they later escaped). Richard Parry will talk about this notorious gang of French and Belgian anarchists to coincide with the launch of the second edition of his book by PM Press.
Talk by Richard Parry (see PM Press for book details: http://www.pmpress.org)

What is Anarchism? + Wildcat Anarchist Comics with Donald Rooum
Wildcat Anarchist Comics collects the drawings of Donald Rooum, mostly (but by no means entirely) from the long-running “Wildcat” cartoon series that has been published in Freedom newspaper since 1980. Donald will be presenting new editions of What is Anarchism? and Wildcat Anarchist Comics.
Organised by: PM Press (www.pmpress.org)

The Hammer Blow: How 10 Women Disarmed a Warplane
On 29 January 1996, a small group of women broke into a British Aerospace factory in Warton and disarmed a Hawk warplane bound for use in Indonesia's then-ongoing genocide in East Timor. Charged with committing over £2m of damage, they spent six months on remand before being acquitted of all charges by a jury. On 29 January 2016 Peace published The Hammer Blow Andrea Needham's gripping inside account of this seminal direct action that has inspired countless activists across the globe. Come and hear her talk about this action and its lessons for today.
Organised by: Peace News (www.peacenews.info)

For full list and updates see the website *- Meetings tab. http://www.anarchistbookfair.org.uk/
* Now with added Tweets!

UPDATE:
This year’s London Anarchist Bookfair will be on Saturday 29th October from 10am to 7pm. 

Venue: Park View School
West Green Road, London, N15 3QR 

All stalls and meetings are now booked and scheduled. For details of the meetings at the Bookfair check out the “meetings” page on this website. You can also get a programme from Freedom or Housmans bookshops and other social spaces or on the day.
                                                                                                                                                                  
Room
Building
Floor
11-12
12-1
1-2
2-3
3-4
4-5
5-6
Learning Centre
Ground
Revolutionary Working Class Politics is back
Prints in resistance
Syrians in Revolution and War
Technology and the Future of Work
Learning Centre
Ground
Veganarchism
Liberatory Technology
Fighting for Free Public Transport
Wildcat Anarchist Comics
Anarchy: Rules!
Free Chelsea Manning!
Learning Centre
Ground
Participatory Economics
Haringey Solidarity
Class Anger in West London
New Anarchist Research Group
Anarchist Accounting
Insurrection! What about production ?
Learning Centre
Ground
2017 Earth First! camp
Co-operative Housing and Work
The Hammer Blow
Milan Rai on Anarchism
Anthropology, Ecology and Anarchism
Unwaged Workers’ Organising
Floor
11-12
12-1
1-2
2-3
3-4
4-5
5-6
Learning Centre
First
Engaging with Conflict
Capitalism, Anarchism & Mental Health
The Politics of Birth
Anarchism and the struggle against the borders
Red Rosa
Gender, fundamentalism and activism
Learning Centre
First
Authoritarian arguments & anarchists
The Substance of Capital
Universal Basic Income
The Bolshevik Myth Reloaded
Referendums
Blessed are the Peacemakers?
Natural appeal
Floor
11-12
12-1
1-2
2-3
3-4
4-5
5-6
School 
Ground
Anarchism and black bodies
Undercover Policing
Disabled People Against Cuts
Wildcat Strikes and Flying Pickets
Suffer the Little Children
Resisting Workfare
What has Anarchism done for us?
Floor
11-12
12-1
1-2
2-3
3-4
4-5
5-6
School 
First
Decoding Chomsky
Antimilitarism in Croatia
Fenix Didn't Raise From the Ashes
CNT France
The "movement" in France
School
First
After Brexit, Populism, Corbynism etc.…
Political climate in Turkey
Decriminalise sex work
What's "direct action"?
Bulgarian Anarchist Movement
Greece and refugees
School
First
The Bonnot Gang
Land and Anarchism
Can anarchism save the planet?
Climate vs. Green Capitalism
Refugees not welcome here
Rojava - it’s complicated
School
First
The Case for Protest Anonymity
Stand up against the Technoworld
What is Anarchist Education
Art & Anarchism
South London in Struggle
School
First
Meet the Anti Fascist Network
New Frontlines Against Prisons
Activist burnout and mental health
The state of education in Britain today
Capitalism and the car
FREE SPACE
Floor
11-12
12-1
1-2
2-3
3-4
4-5
5-6
Learning Centre
Ground
Putting together the next issue of Strike! Magazine


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

About Sylvia Pankhurst: Further to RaHN Meeting

Meeting of the Radical History Network of North East London
Held on Wednesday 29th June 2016 at Wood Green Social Club

The SPEAKERS were:-
SARAH JACKSON, co-author of Voices from History: East London Suffragettes and co-founder of the East End Women's Museum - www.eastendwomensmuseum.org.
See also: www.eastlondonsuffragettes.com/
GEOFFREY BELL, author of Hesitant Comrades - The Irish Revolution and the British Labour Movement, He has also written an article in 'History Ireland' on Sylvia Pankhurst and Ireland's 1916 Rising and its aftermath.

There was also, of course, discussion around the talks, with numerous contributions, questions and comments from several people present.


Back cover of The Suffragette Movement, paperback edition
In lieu of a meeting report, one of those who attended has prepared an extended account of the topic as above, in both of its aspects, which can be accessed here (15pp., c8500 words as currently formulated). 
It is largely but not exclusively based on what the two speakers have said and written. -   
Sylvia Pankhurst’s Life and Legacy
"Sylvia Pankhurst was a campaigner for the suffragette movement. She was for a time a prominent left communist who then devoted herself to the cause of anti-fascism. This report is in two parts; her movement for equality in the East End of London, and her commitment to the Irish Revolution after the Rising of 1916." 

The main headings are:
Suffragettes
Brief Background to the Suffrage Movement

Sylvia Pankhurst and the East London Federation of Suffragettes
(Mainly in the words of Sarah Jackson)

Votes, Wages and Milk:
the East London Federation of Suffragettes on the Home Front, 1914-1916

Sylvia Pankhurst and Ireland’s Easter Rising
A Brief Guide to Ireland’s Easter Rising and its Aftermath 
Geoffrey Bell wrote
Section including
  • support of the workers in the Dublin Lock-Out
  • association with James Connolly
  • eye-witness account of the aftermath of the Rising 
  • what such endeavours had to do with Pankhurst’s broader socialist principles... 
Additional points from the meeting and book

Unwavering support of complete self-determination
Socialism and Nationalism
Optimist
Religious hatred and class struggle
Call to Action

==================
The subject and date of the next Meeting of the Radical History Network of North East London have yet to be decided.
In the mean time, the group will have a presence at the London Anarchist Bookfair in October, including a meeting:-

Haringey Solidarity
Lessons from 4 decades of radical anti-authoritarian community action in Haringey
A look at local campaigns and organisations from the late '70s onwards fighting back against capitalism and the State and trying to create a better world. Including strike support, unwaged struggles, anti-poll tax movement, women's struggles, anti-racist action, anti-police campaigns, community/neighbourhood self-organisation, lesbian and gay liberation, libertarian and anarchist activity, housing action groups and campaigns, resistance to property developers, defence of public and community services and facilities, radical community centres and projects... and more. We will also note where local groups and campaigns have linked or federated with similar ones around London and the UK. Followed by general discussion. 
Organised by Haringey Solidarity Group (http://www.haringey.org.uk/ ) and the Radical History Network of NE London (http://radicalhistorynetwork.blogspot.co.uk/)