Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Listings: into the conference season

(Including reminders and updates from regularly featured groups)

Peace History Conference 2017: Protest, Power & Change

Protest, Power & Change is the theme of the 2017 Peace History Conference, organised by Movement for the Abolition of War in partnership with Imperial War Museums.
Friday 9 June at Tavistock Square WC1 and Oasis Hub Waterloo, 1a Kennington Rd SE1
Saturday 10 June at IWM London, Lambeth Road, SE1

Frank Cottrell Boyce, children’s novelist and screenwriter, will open the conference.  
Among topics on the programme will be 
  • ‘Fewer Bombs, More Jobs: The Lucas Aerospace Combine Shop Stewards’ Alternative Plan 1976’ 
  • and ‘Lysistrata in the Rainforest: the women’s nonviolent campaign which ended the civil war in Liberia’.
Other sessions pick up on the anniversaries of 2017:
  • 50 years since Martin Luther King’s momentous denunciation of the Vietnam War, 
  • 60 years since activists started coalescing into the movement that became CND, 
  • 150 years since the births of anti-war artist K├Ąthe Kollwitz and feminist peace campaigner Emily Greene Balch,
  • and 500 years since Erasmus published his ‘Complaint of Peace’.
PHC 2017 is timed to coincide with the exhibition ‘People Power: Fighting for Peace’ at IWM London, making a visit doubly worthwhile.  (Exhibition ends 28 August.). 
The Imperial War Museum is the venue for the Saturday conference.

[RaHN Note: The IWM has hosted previous conferences in this series, starting with the first.]

Additional events on Friday 9 June
 - an afternoon walk along the London Peace Trail (starts 3.30 pm from Tavistock Square WC1) 
and at 7.30pm the acclaimed play ‘This Evil Thing’, which tells the story of First World War Conscientious Objectors.  Written and performed by Michael Mears, the play is at Oasis Hub Waterloo, 1a Kennington Road, SE1 7QP.

Programmes/booking forms are available. You can book online at or use a form as below, making your cheque payable to MAW and return form and cheque to: 
MAW Peace History Conference 2017, 11 Venetia Road, London N4 1EJ - 
I / we would like to attend the Peace History Conference and enclose a cheque to cover the following:
Conference Registration - £20 standard £5 full-time student
This Evil Thing’ - play on Friday night £6
Additional donation
I/we will join the Peace Trail on Friday 9 June (tick for yes)
Exhibition as above at IWM London until 28 August 2017 
People Power: Fighting for Peace
"Take a journey from the First World War to the present day, exploring how peace movements have influenced perceptions of war and conflict in this major exhibition.
From conscientious objectors to peace camps and modern day marches, Fighting for Peace tells the stories of passionate people over the past one hundred years and the struggles they have endured for the anti-war cause. 
Over three hundred objects including paintings, literature, posters, placards, banners, badges and music reveal the breadth of creativity of anti-war protest movements, reflecting the cultural mood of each era."
IWM Members
Art Fund Members
Haringey Diversity Festival: Battle of Wood Green 40 years on
23rd April 2017
On Sunday 23rd April this year there will be a celebration of the diverse place Haringey today is, welcoming people whatever their background. The context is the 40th anniversary of the National Front march from Ducketts Common, Turnpike Lane on 23rd April 1977. Dubbed the ‘Battle of Wood Green’ the fascist march was broken by protesters, many shoppers out on that Saturday afternoon 40 year ago, as it entered Wood Green High Rd. Haringey has never looked back, and neither have the fascists. They never attempted a public display in the area again after that day.
Details of the history of the day and what is planned for 23rd April this year can be found via @BattleOfWoodGrn which also links to a Facebook page.The event is organised by Haringey TUC in association with Unite the Union and the two Haringey Constituency Labour Parties.
AND  'The Battle of Wood Green' 40 years on
London Socialist Historians Group Open Forum
Monday 24 April 2017, 5.30pm
Institute of Historical Research 
IHR Seminar Room N304, Third Floor, IHR, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
All welcome - no need to book in advance
The Battle of Wood Green took place on Saturday 23 April 1977. A National Front march left Ducketts Common to march down Wood Green High Road. They were opposed by 3000 anti-fascists and large numbers of Saturday shoppers. Although there had been street skirmishes before, this was the first serious disruption of an NF march.
All are welcome to attend and discuss the Battle of Wood Green and its effect on the future of anti-fascist struggle leading up to the present day - free / donations welcome

News from Nowhere Club special event
Sat 13 May  7.30 for 8pm at the Epicentre
West Street, Leytonstone E11 4LJ

Speaker / Performer: Chris Harrison

A musical evening, featuring poems by Joseph Skipsey, a self-educated coal miner, set to music by his great-great-grandson, Chris Harrison.  Joseph Skipsey, ‘The Pitman Poet’, was born in Northumberland in 1832.  He began colliery work aged seven. Having taught himself to read & write, he published his first book of poems in 1859.  Chris has set 24 of Skipsey’s poems to music, calling the project “Carols from the Coalfields”, after the collection which Skipsey published in 1886.  The songs offer a rich & varied picture of life in the mining communities, while describing issues & experiences still relevant today.  His CDs, volumes 1, 2 & 3, will be on sale (£5 each.)

Working Class Movement Library
51 The Crescent,
SalfordM5 4WX

All welcome, admission free, light refreshments afterwards. 
26 April Ruth Cohen  Margaret Llewelyn Davies: socialist, feminist and co-operator
This visionary campaigner led the Women's Co-operative Guild between 1889 and 1921 -  a period in which it became an outstanding public voice for working class women, and has been described as the ‘left wing’ of the co-operative movement.

10 May Deborah Mutch  'What I mean, my dear': The Woman Worker and the male voice
The Woman Worker began on 1 September 1907 when it was published by the National Federation of Women Workers and edited by Mary R. Macarthur.  Although intended by its founder, Robert Blatchford, as the first workers'/socialist publication specifically for women, from the very first issue there was clearly going to be a tussle to have the female voice heard.  This talk will discuss the amount of space given over to the male voice in this female publication, and the tone of conversation between the genders across the pages.

Published by North West Labour History Society, 2015
24 May 
Alison Ronan The real rebels of WW1
A short film and illustrated talk by Ali Ronan about the Women’s Peace Crusade in East Lancashire during 1917-1918

7 June Stephen Mustchin - Strikes, workplace occupations and 'the right to share hardship': engineering trade unionism and the 1980 occupation at Gardner
This talk focuses on engineering trade unionism, workplace conflict and strikes at the famous Eccles-based engine manufacturer L. Gardner and Sons.
21 June Dean Kirby - Angel Meadow
Journalist Dean will take listeners on a journey through this 19th century Manchester slum which was re-christened 'hell upon earth' by Friedrich Engels.
5 July Bruce Wilkinson - Three Lancastrian poets of the '60s
Bruce's book Hidden culture, forgotten history looks at the 1960s publishing and political activities of working class Lancastrian poets Jim Burns, Dave Cunliffe and Tina Morris, and traces their literary and activist impact.
19 July Dave Randall - Sound system: the political power of music
Years of touring, playing and protesting have given Dave an insider’s view of the music industry, enabling him to shed light on the secrets of celebrity, commodification and culture.

Further details of these talks, plus more coming up, are at

Also from/at WCML - 

1842 - blood on the streets of Halifax

On Friday 28 April at 5.30pm Catherine Howe, author of Halifax 1842: a year of crisiswill lead a
guided walk of the sites where at least six workers were shot or sabred to death and hundreds injured by the military when they struck for democratic reforms in August 1842. Meet at Halifax Central Library; free, donations welcome.
For more information, e-mail, tel 07392 852561 or 01422 885211.
Salford May Day 
On Monday 1 May the annual May Day parade is being organised by Salford Trades Union Council.  This year the theme is Unity in the Community and community groups are invited to bring banners and flags and join in the parade.
Assemble: Sacred Trinity Church, Chapel Street, 1pm.  There will be a rally in Bexley Square from 2.30pm with speakers including the Bishop of Manchester, Salford MP Rebecca Long Bailey and Mayor of Salford Paul Dennett.
Organisations are invited to have a stall at Bexley Square - to book a space mail

The flame still burns: the creative power of coal

This year is the 70th anniversary of the nationalisation of the coal industry.  Vesting Day for the National Coal Board was 1 January 1947.
On Thursday 15 June from 7 to 9pm we host an event centred around a book, The flame still burns: the creative power of coal, which explores the sheer power of an industry which created rich, diverse cultures in the different mining communities, and continues to inspire fresh creative work today.
Granville Williams, the book's editor, will introduce a selection of films produced by the versatile and creative NCB Film Unit between 1947 and 1984. Admission free; all welcome

Alun Parry - 'Freedom Rider' gigWe look forward to welcoming singer-songwriter Alun Parry on Thursday 19 May at 7pm.  Alun describes his music as ‘indie folk meets Americana on the way to a picket line’. Come and hear him live as he plays his new album Freedom Rider, a rousing and defiant collection of songs exploring social history and celebrating the human spirit. Find out more at price £8 plus 50p booking fee are available in advance here.

8th annual Frow LectureA reminder that the 8th annual Frow Lecture will take place on Saturday 6 May at 2pm at the Old Fire Station, Crescent, Salford. 
Kevin Morgan, Professor of Politics and Contemporary History, University of Manchester and Library trustee, will speak about our founders. 'Wait while you and I get our books together': Ruth and Edmund Frow and the making of the Working Class Movement Library will draw on Ruth and Eddie's papers to tell how political comradeship and a remarkable Cold War love story gave rise to the Library as we know it today. Admission free; all welcome; light refreshments after.

James Connolly exhibition closes soon, Marx and Engels thereafter!

There's currently another chance to see our exhibition 'We Only Want the Earth', first shown on the centenary of the Easter Rising.  It explores the life of one of its leaders, James Connolly, socialist, trade unionist, nationalist and revolutionary.  We only want the earth reveals the life and prolific works of this enigmatic man.
This exhibition closes on 27 April, and from 28 April you will be able to visit our new exhibition, The life and work of Marx and Engels.  This exhibition celebrates the truly creative partnership between Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, and the body of revolutionary, philosophical and economic writings that their collaboration produced.
Exhibitions open Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm, and  first Saturday of month 10am-4pm. Admission free.

HiDDEN 'object swap' The Library is one of the eight members of the HiDDEN network of small cultural attractions in and around Manchester. From now until July HiDDEN members have done an 'object swap', and visitors can see in our hall some items from the Belle Vue collection at Chetham's Library.  There are also items on display at Chetham's from our collections here, on a Marx and Engels theme in tribute to the many visits paid by both men to study in that building.  Pop in to both libraries to see the displays - and while you're about it, why not also visit the other HiDDEN members?: Elizabeth Gaskell's House, Greater Manchester Police Museum, Manchester Jewish Museum, Museum of Transport, Pankhurst Centre and Victoria Baths.

 Marx Memorial Library Open Day
37a Clerkenwell Green
Marx Memorial Library
On 1 May MML opens its doors to a Russian Revolution themed May Day Open Day
10am-3pm, featuring
- exhibition launch of 'The Impact of the Russian Revolution, 1917-1922'
               funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund
- launch of ticket sales to our International Conference onthe October Revolution on 4 Nov
               just £7 for one day only
- labour movement speakers and revolutionary songs
- stalls, tours, tea and cake

Also at MML:
The Guernica Children
 On Thursday 27 April 7pm we mark 80 years since the bombing of Guernica by Nazi Germany's Condor Legion with a screening of Steve Bowles' film The Guernica Children and a presentation from Herminio Martinez, one of the 4000 Basque Children refugees who came to Britain.

[Reminder]  Banners For Spain
Exhibition (joint with Islington Museum and with support from the Textile Society and GFTU) opens on 5 May. It showcases 6 stunning newly conserved Aid Spain banners and looks at the response to the Civil War in London and, in particular, Islington. Further details here.

Launch of website on the history of Manchester and Salford Women’s Trades Union Council 
1895 to 1919
“Any help possible will be given”: official launch of the website on the history of Manchester and Salford Women’s Trade Union Council, 1895-1919

Saturday 29th April  2017, 2.15pm,  in the Mary Quaile Room, Manchester Mechanics Institute, 103 Princess Street, Manchester M1 6DD. Speakers: Bernadette Hyland (Mary Quaile Club),  researcher and political activist; Lisa Turnbull, activist in the Durham Teaching Assistants dispute

On Saturday 29th April the Mary Quaile Club will launch the website on the history of the Manchester and Salford Women’s Trade Union Council 1895-1919, a unique historical archive on women and trade unions.   This will take place at 2.15pm in the Mary Quaile Room at the Mechanics Institute, 103 Princess Street,  Manchester. More information:
The MSWTUC was formed in February 1895 specifically to organise women workers, often in low paid jobs, into trade unions. The Council fostered trade unions among sewing machinists, upholsteresses, tailoresseses, cigar makers, cotton power loom weavers and many other trades. 
Christabel Pankhurst was a member of the MSWTUC, as were other prominent Manchester  woman  such as  Margaret Ashton, the first woman councillor on Manchester City Council. The Council’s paid organisers included Sarah Dickenson and Eva Gore Booth.
The two handwritten volumes of the  Minutes of the MSWTUC  came to light during the research into the life of Mary Quaile, who worked for the Council  1911-1919  as an organiser.  Her great-nephew, Martin Ennis, presented them to the Mary Quaile Club. It seems that Mary took them with her when the MSWTUC office closed in April 1919 after the Council merged with the Manchester Trades Union  Council. 
The Minutes have been transcribed by Mary Quaile Club member Bernadette Hyland, who said:
“We believe that these Minutes are a unique item of national significance and will be a major contribution to our knowledge of  women workers and trade unionism in the late C19th and early C20th. The Minutes are hand-written, cover 760 pages in total, and are the complete record of the meetings of the Council, including both the decisions reached and also often what was said by those attending. They show the daily grind of supporting and encouraging working women into trade unions and agitating  for decent pay and proper working conditions. A century later women  still face many of the same problems with cuts in pay, benefits slashed and  the growth of zero hour contracts. We  feel that the work of the Council can  be an inspiration to today’s women workers.”
The website will contain both the transcription  and copies of the original minutes. This project has been funded by donations from individuals and  from trade unions, including the General Federation of Trade Unions,  National Union of Journalists, Professional Footballers Association, PCS, RMT, Unison  and Unite. Bernadette Hyland will be speaking at the launch,  as will Lisa Turnbull,  an activist in the Durham Teaching Assistants campaign against a 23% cut in wages that Labour-controlled Durham County Council is attempting to impose. 
On Saturday 13 May at 1pm the Wakefield Socialist History Group are holding an event: SYNDICALISM AND THE GREAT UNREST 
at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1 1QX.   
There will be a range of speakers. 
Admission is free and there will be a free light buffet.
Convenor's introduction to the topic:
Challinor (1977) has described Tom Mann as the "originator of syndicalism in Britain."  But he came to syndicalism by a circuitous route.
Mann had been a longstanding, seasoned political activist travelling through a "bewildering series of organisations" including the SDF, the Socialist League and the ILP (Levy 1987).
He had been an industrial militant.  He'd been in the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, had been joint leader of the 1899 Dock Strike and had been to the fore in the Workers' Union, recruiting the previously unorganised.
Tom Mann had dabbled widely therefore with various approaches.  Yet it is fair to say that when he left Britain in 1901 he was still, to all extents and purposes, a "state socialist."
The shift in his outlook towards syndicalism took place, Holton (1976) suggests, whilst he was staying in Australia and New Zealand between 1901 and 1910.
There he saw how the state behaved as an employer in the Victoria railway strike of 1904.  Nationalisation wasn't a genuine solution for workers!
He also witnessed how workers at Broken Hill mines  and the Port Pirie smelting works were conned by the promise of state arbitration in 1908.  The division of workers into a multiplicity of relatively small unions hadn't helped either!
Mann now felt industrial unionism -not sectionalism- was the way forward.  So too was the use of sympathy strikes and even a General Strike!
Back in Britain he started a publication, THE INDUSTRIAL SYNDICALIST, with Guy Bowman in July 1910.  And that December he and a "few comrades" established the Industrial Syndicalist Education League as an "all embracing propagandist body" linking "revolutionary opinion with militant thinking."
The ISEL's influence would prove considerable as it drew together "many of the hitherto disparate syndicalist groupings" into a more focused movement.
Centerprise book launch, Sutton House, Sunday 7th May.
Celebrate the launch of A Hackney Autobiography: a mobile app and website and the publication of The Lime Green Mystery: An oral history of the Centerprise co-operative.
When: Sunday 7th May, 5 - 7 pm
WhereSutton House, 2 and 4 Homerton High Street, London E9 6JQ. Map here.
Booking essential. Contact: to reserve your place. 
Before the party, there's a unique chance to preview one of the audiowalks featured on the app as a group. Meet at 3:30 at Homerton station  and RSVP asap as places are booking up quickly.
What: hear a roundtable of speakers who are engaged in cultural and community activities in related fields, reflect on the history of Centerprise as re-presented by a hackney autobiography and join the discussion. Receive a free copy of The Lime Green Mystery, preview the app and get help downloading it.
Friday 19 May 2017 : On the evening before Levellers Day, John Rees author of 'The Levellers Revolution' will be speaking as part of the Levellers seminar at the CWU training centre at Alvescot Lodge for the Levellers Night seminar talking about ‘Scottish Covenanters, English Levellers, and “Popular” Revolutions in mid-17thC Britain’ with Laura Stewart, author of ‘Rethinking the Scottish Revolution’.  Levellers’ Day 2017 will take place in Burford on Saturday 20 May 2017 - see here for more details
International Conference: 
Wars of Position: Marxism and Civil Society
8-10th June 2017 at People’s History Museum, Manchester, UK
 Key-note speakers: Jodi Dean, Neil Faulkner, Kevin Morgan
This international conference brings together: analysis of the theory and practice of twentieth-century Marxist parties in relation to civil society; analysis of contemporary Left formations’ approaches to civil society; and analysis of the ‘idea of communism’ today and the relevance or obsolescence of ‘the party’ in the twenty-first century. Book (deadline 26th May):
Full price/concession: £100/£65 (three days), £40/£25 (Thursday), £30/£20 (Friday, Saturday)
 Book accommodation (deadline 10th May):
London Radical Bookfair 2017
Registration for the 2017 London Radical Bookfair will be opening in a few days. For the second year running, the bookfair will be held in the Great Hall at Goldsmiths University, in South East London. Apart from a wide range of radical booksellers, authors and publishers, there will also be stalls with comix and zine makers, artists and exhibitions, plus workshops and talks. You can download the official 2017 London Radical Bookfair poster here for social media purposes. LINKS ;
Alliance of Radical Booksellers                         Alternative Press
The Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing           The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award
Assorted Festivals and Book Fairs as notified by PM Press:
Manchester Punk Festival in Manchester, UK from April 20th to 22nd

Historical Materialism in New York, NY from April 21st to 23rd

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in Los Angeles, CA on April 22nd to 23rd

Ghent Alternative Book Fair in Ghent, Belgium on April 22nd

Cambridge Radical Book Fair in Cambridge, UK on April 29th

Brooklyn Folk Festival in Brooklyn, NY on April 29th and 30th

People's Climate Rally in Washington, D.C. on April 29th

9th Annual Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair in Arcata, CA on April 29th
For the full (PM Press) schedule, please go HERE 
Forwarded from Sparrows' Nest:
ExLibris book sale (Nottingham)
16 Vernon Avenue, Carlton, Nottingham, NG4 3FX
The sale will be opened at 10am on Friday April 28th by St Anns-born Henry Normal.  As well as being a thoroughly nice and interesting person, he has done tons of creative things in poetry, TV, etc.   We wait with baited breath to see whether he will mask up.  (We think he will!)  Henry has written a poem specially for ExLibris, which will have its first reading at the opening.
The second half of the booksale will also have a ceremonial opening [For those who like that sort of thing...].  Councillor Sandra Barnes, the Mayor of the Borough of Gedling, has very kindly offered to open it at 10am on Friday May 5th.  Any worries that you might not recognise her because of her mask can be laid to rest – look for the Mayoral Chain of Office. [...]
Because we have so many books priced at 10p (in Saithwaite House/the shed), and are having storage problems with them, there will be an innovation this year.  You can still buy one for 10p, 2 for 20p, etc.  But you can also fill a cloth shopping bag with as many as you can cram in, and have bag and books for 30p.
These shopping bags are not to be confused with the beautiful handmade one-off pieces designed and made by Margaret which we will be selling at only £5 each, again with all proceeds going to our two charities.
We have a lot of children’s books too.  Visitors from last year may remember the ExLibris Express – the train built out of a felled tree, pallets and wind turbine tail vanes.  It will again be stopped at Adlestrop Station for young (and older) visitors to explore, and this year has beefed-up bubble supplies.  The station has had major improvements made, in the form of the addition of a ticket office, open to staff only (i.e. anyone small enough to fit in).
Again, we’ll be collecting vegetarian food for local food banks.  Tins are preferred because it doesn’t matter if they get a bit damp while they’re in the garden.  Women’s sanitary products will also be welcome for food banks.
THANK YOU EVERYONE!  These booksales can only ever take place with all the help and support we get from so many people.  So whether you are one of our volunteers, or you’ve donated books, or you’ve spread the word, or you’ve bought books: your contribution is greatly appreciated.  ExLibris Masked Charity Booksales are a community effort.
Thanks for your continuing support, and we hope to see you soon,
Your Masked Booksellers.

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