Tuesday, September 26, 2017

More about 1917

We have previously posted several notices about events related to the centenary of the Russian Revolution, and they're still coming...
Images from the British Library 's Russian Revolution exhibition brochure
Peace News present:
‘1917: The Nonviolent Russian Revolution’ with Milan Rai 
Wednesday 25th October, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
Launch of a new Peace News pamphlet written by Milan Rai, highlighting the crucial role of mass nonviolent action in the Russian Revolution 100 years ago.

The Russian Revolution started in Petrograd in February 1917 with a mass nonviolent uprising of women protesting against the lack of bread on International Women's Day, and continued through to the overthrow of the Provisional Government in October 1917 and the triumph of the Bolsheviks. 

The role of mass nonviolent action - in the streets, in the factories, on the railways, and in the barracks - in the making of the revolution has never been properly emphasised. For example, the attempted coup by General Kornilov in August was defeated not by gunfire but by nonviolent action

The evening will include a critique of Neil Faulkner's A People's History of the Russian Revolution, paying attention to the way that Lenin and the Bolsheviks diminished and then crushed the grassroots workers' revolution of soviets and factory committees.  

About the SpeakerMilan Rai is an anarchist and radical activist, editor at Peace News, and the author of ‘Chomsky's Politics’ (Verso, 1995) and ‘War Plan Iraq’ (Verso, 2002) among other books. He is currently working on ‘The Anarchist Reader’ for Verso.
From LSHG:-

Celebrating 1917 [Socialist Workers' Party]
Saturday 4 November 2017 • Central London • 10:30am-5:30pm
A one-day conference to debate and discuss the legacy of 1917, on the hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution. [Details of the venue and timetable are sent to those who book a place, see below].


Why Celebrate 1917?

  • Dave Sherry, author of Russia 1917: Workers' Revolution and Festival of the Oppressed 
  • John Molyneux, author of Lenin for Today
  • Sally Campbell, editor of Socialist Review

    • The Bolsheviks and 1917

    • Kevin Corr and Gareth Jenkins, contributors to International Socialism

    • Culture and Revolution

    • Cathy Porter, author of Alexandra Kollontai: A Biography
    • Roger Huddle, editor of Reminiscences of RAR

    • The Festival of the Oppressed

    • Judith Orr, author of Marxism and Women's Liberation

    • How the Revolution was Lost

    • Esme Choonara, author of A Rebel's Guide to Trotsky

    • The Revolution and its Relevance Today

    • Steve Smith, author of Russia in Revolution
    • Alex Callinicos, author of Imperialism and Global Political Economy
    • Amy Leather, national secretary of the SWP.

    • Tickets are £10/£5 concessions.
      To book your place at this conference phone 020 7840 5600 or see the link here

      [Updated summary timetable:
      10:30-11:00 Registration
      11:00-12:30 Opening plenary Why celebrate 1917? Dave Sherry, author of Russia 1917; Sally Campbell, editor of Socialist Review; John Molyneux, author of Lenin for Today

      13:15-14:30 Workshops
       The Bolsheviks and 1917 - Kevin Corr Gareth Jenkins
       Culture and Revolution - Cathy Porter Roger Huddle

      14:45-16:00 Workshops (with discussion)
       How the revolution was lost- Esme Choonara
       The festival of the oppressed - Judith Orr

      16:00-17:15 Closing plenary -1917: Results and Prospects.Stephen Smith, author of Russia in Revolution; Alex Callinicos, editor of ISJ; Amy Leather, national secretary SWP]

      "There are many other events and conferences taking place across the UK (and obviously also internationally) to mark the centenary obviously - for example in Preston on 13-15 October, in London on 21 October, in Glasgow on 28 October, and again in London from 9-12 November."

      Socialist History Society publication on 1917

      Book Launch - New publication 
      1917 - The Russian Revolution, Reactions and Impact (Socialist History Society, Occasional Publication 41, price £6.00.)
      On Saturday 21st October
      Venue: Marx Memorial Library, Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R,
      Start time 2.00pm.
      Free to attend, all welcome.
      Speakers will include:
      Tobias Abse, Willie Thompson, David Morgan, Greta Sykes, Francis King and John Partington.
      "The Russian Revolution of 1917 changed the world forever. For once, it appeared that the oppressed workers were within grasp of the levers of state power and for a while the prospect of permanently ending exploitation seemed a real possibility. The revolutionary mood swept across continents and its impact was felt far beyond the parties of the left and the organised labour movement. The revolution inspired writers, poets, intellectuals and philosophers as much as it did workers and activists. With this special Occasional Publication the Socialist History Society commemorates these momentous events of one hundred years ago with a series of specially written articles that examine the reactions to the revolution and its impact in different areas."

      • Evaluating the lessons of October, including their British resonance by Willie Thompson
      • Against ‘vacillation, lies and rottenness’: the Russian revolution and the rift in world socialism by Francis King
      • 1917’s Several Lenins by Mike Makin-Waite
      • ‘What they can do in Russia, so can we’: the impact of the Russian Revolutions of 1917 in Germany by Helen Boak
      • Italy and the Russian Revolution of 1917 by Tobias Abse
      • Clara Zetkin on the Soviet Experiment, 1917-1934 by John S Partington
      • Secular Ecstasies and the Revolutionary Women Poets in 1917 by Greta Sykes
      • Psychoanalysis and Revolution: Sigmund Freud and his circle from fin-de-si├Ęcle Vienna to revolutionary Russia by David Morgan
      Edited by David Morgan. Available from the SHS
      The subject will also come up at the sixteenth Essex Conference on Labour History 
      at The Labour Hall, Collingwood Road, Witham, CM8 2EE, (adjacent to Witham Railway Station), from 10.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, 28th October, 2017.
      Keir Hardie
      as portrayed by Sylvia Pankhurst
      The topics to be discussed include the traditional aims of the Labour Party, the centenary of the Russian Revolution and the Co-operative Party, and James Keir Hardie, founder of the Labour Party.
      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, with the cost included in the registration fee.
      To register, please write, with the registration fee of £10 per person, to The Leys, 18 Park Hill, Harlow, Essex, CM17 (cheques payable to the Essex County Labour Party). Anyone not previously registered can pay at the door, but pre-booking is advisable to ensure enough food is provided.
      Francis Beckett – ‘The Labour Party’s Traditional Objectives’
      Francis King – ‘ Reflections on the 1917 Russian Revolution’
      Stan Newens –  ‘ The Centenary of the Co-operative Party’
      Barbara Humphries – ‘James Keir Hardie' 
      Wednesday 8 November | 19:00 - 20:30
      £11, £7 concession

      "There were two revolutions in Russia in 1917. One saw the abdication of a centuries-old dynasty, the other a seizure of power by one faction of a resistance movement many decades in the making. At this special evening event, discover the big ideas, pivotal events and key players that led up to the seismic moments in history of 1917, and find out what happened next. Hosted by Russianist Francesca Canty."
      Bishopsgate Institute
      230 Bishopsgate
      London, EC2M 4QH
      United Kingdom
      Cancellation - This is a note to say that with regret, the showing of the film REDS on November 4th has had to be cancelled. Please could you notify anyone you have informed.
      Sorry for any inconvenience. [from] Chris Knight.
      On the centenary of the October revolution,
      all are welcome to a free showing of Warren Beatty's epic:

      Hosted by the Radical Anthropology Group
       - a film based on the life of John Reed (communist and author of Ten Days that Shook the World) and Louise Bryant (feminist and journalist) against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution.
      Saturday, Nov 4, 2pm..

      Darylle Forde Seminar Room, 2nd floor, Anthropology Building,
      14 Taviton St., off Gordon Sq. WC1E 6BT

      There are still three more events in the series
      Nov 23 – 1917, A Century On: A Discussion, opened by Simon Pirani, author of Russian Revolution in Retreat, 1920-1924.
      Nov 30 – Wendy Goldman: The Family, Free Love and the Russian Revolution.
      Jan 18 – Steve Smith: book launch for the new edition of Red Petrograd, the Revolution in the Factories, 1917-18.
       All talks are on Thursdays at 6.30 pm, Birkbeck, Univ. of London, WC1B 5DQ.

       BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION event at Red Shed (Wakefield Labour Club)
      On Saturday 11 November the Wakefield Socialist History Group are holding a BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION event at the Red Shed (Wakefield Labour Club), Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1.
      The speakers are Adrian Cruden (member of Green Party Regional Council; former Parliamentary Candidate); Granville Williams (member of the National Council of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom), John Westmoreland (history lecturer, union activist and member of "Counterfire"), Robin Stocks (author of "Hidden Heroes of Easter Week") and Paul Silson (Red Flag).
      One of the many themes the meeting will be looking at is the Bolshevik Revolution and Revolutionary Culture. Admission is free and there will be a free light buffet.  Plus there is a bar with excellent real ale.
      Mayday, Minsk, 1917
      London Socialist Historians Seminar
      Monday November 13th 
      Christian Hogsbjerg, 'Every Cook Can Govern': C.L.R James and the Russian Revolution’

      WCML, Salford
      6 Dec                     Neil Faulkner
      A people’s history of the Russian Revolution

      Full details at 

      More from WCML
      Voices of revolution exhibition opens
      The Library marks the centenary of the events of the Russian Revolution with a new exhibition, which runs until 18 January 2018.

      The world changed in 1917. A century on, this exhibition focuses on the voices of the women and men who witnessed events in Russia as they happened.
      The exhibition is open Wednesdays-Fridays 1-5pm, and the first Saturday of the month 10am-4pm.

      Two events previously advertised in this e-bulletin, the 1917 conference on 4 November and the event a week later marking the 30th anniversary of the Library coming to Salford, are now both full.  We're sorry if you have missed out.

      Revolution - a play by Burjesta Theatre The momentous events of the Russian Revolution will be depicted on stage in a combination of drama, reportage and Greek-style Chorus, along with song, dance, music and poetry, in Burjesta Theatre's Revolution, which comes to Salford Arts Theatre onTuesday 7 November at 7.30pm. This theatre production is based on multiple eye-witness accounts of those involved, including John Reed's legendary account 10 days that shook the world.Tickets price £8 (£6 concessions) are available from https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/202828
      Salford Arts Theatre, Kemsing Walk, Tunbridge Square, off Liverpool Street, Salford M5 4BS.   More information from 0161 925 0111; info@burjesta-theatre.co.uk.

      Peace History Conference (Manchester/Salford): 1917

      4th November 2017 09:15 – 16:30 
      Old Fire Station, University of Salford, The Crescent, Salford M5 4NL.
      The Peace History Conference and the Working Class Movement Library present:
      A day exploring the effects of the Russian Revolutions on the British labour and peace movements.
      'Way of Seeing: The Bolshevik Revolution and the British Left'. Prof John Callaghan
      'Against Imperialist War: Communists in the struggle for peace'. Dr Kate Hudson
      'Crusading Women in the North West'. Dr Alison Ronan
      'The Last Weapon'. Theodora Wilson Wilson'. Maxine Peake (tbc) and Virginia Branney
      Tickets £11.21 – £16.52 online (£10 concessions, £15 full off-line) inc. lunch.
      And even in Ealing -
      Talk by Dr Jonathan Oates in Ealing Central Library
      103 Ealing Broadway Centre, London W5 5JY
      6.15 p.m. Tuesday 7th November
      £3 Library members, £5 non-members. Advance booking required.
      "The 1917 upheavals in Russia were a global phenomenon both in 197 and afterwards. This talk looks at local reactions to events in Russia and the support locally for Communism."

      CP Propaganda van somewhere in Britain 1921
      Not to mention the BBC...

      London's role in the Russian Revolution 

      "In August 1903, a small band of dedicated but argumentative political activists held a fractious conference in London. It consisted of Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky and about 50 other committed agitators who wanted to overthrow the autocratic rule of the Russian Tsar. Their quarrels might have seemed minor at the time, but they have rippled out across history. This was when the Russian revolutionary movement divided into the two rival factions of Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. And a key vote happened in a pub in Islington." [...] 

      "It was in London, in October 1902, that Lenin and Trotsky met for the first time. The pair discussed the political circumstances of Russia, but Lenin also showed Trotsky the sights of London."

      Here's another one:
      'Death Island': Britain's 'concentration camp' in Russia
      "When British soldiers were sent to Russia after the Russian Revolution their main enemies were the Germans*- their opponents in World War One - but they also found themselves fighting and imprisoning Bolsheviks. In the process they opened what Russians regard as the first concentration camp in their country." [...]
      * Readers of the RaHN and related blogs / aficionados of radical history and real WW1 studies may feel like commenting on this statement.
      The related programme is worth listening to: "Lucy Ash tells the story of the forgotten war fought by Western troops in Arctic Russia in The Red and the White, on the BBC World Service. Click here for transmission times, or to listen online".
      Previously on this blog: 
      British Library Event 10th July: Russian Revolution
      From the British Library 's Russian Revolution exhibition brochure
      (Picture credit: Sputnik)

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