Thursday, December 14, 2017

Forward to 1918, 1848, and other anniversaries and events... i.e. more listings

4th anniversary of picket at Ashton Job Centre 10-12
Nothing if not festive...
Exposing the unfair treatment of jobseekers, the horrors of Universal Credit, unfair sanctions and heinous treatment of claimants at Ashton under Lyne Jobcentre.

... week [beginning 18/12] it is the 4th anniversary of this weekly picket. Please join Charlotte and friends who stand outside the JC every week providing support including food parcels and advice. Bring some food if you can. Read more about the picket here
[From Mary Quaile Club]

Anarchists, Revolutionaries, and Franco-British Imperial Policing in French Chandernagore, 1905-1930

January 18, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm 

Venue: Royal Asiatic Society Lecture Theatre

14 Stephenson Way   London, NW1 2HD   United Kingdom
Phone: 02073884539

(Free event, no booking required).
LSHG Spring 2018 Seminar Programme
London Socialist Historians Seminars Spring 2018
Monday 22nd January - Steve Cushion, '“By Our Own Hands"
        - A People's History of the Grenadian Revolution'
"Much ink has been spilt over the final days of the  Revolution in Grenada (1979-83), while much less research has been done on the preceding four years. By concentrating on the final implosion and discussing in infinite detail who was really to blame, there is a danger that many social advances will be forgotten. Caribbean Labour Solidarity has produced a pamphlet on the achievements of the Grenada Revolution intended to provide an easily accessed source of information on the achievements of the Grenadian people during the Revo’ and to counter the prevailing negative narrative arising from the tragic end of this exciting period in Caribbean history. The social and political achievements of the people of this tiny island, which was still suffering the legacy of slavery, colonialism and dictatorship, should inspire us all."
Steve Cushion is secretary of Caribbean Labour Solidarity. He is a committee member of both the Socialist History Society and the Society for Caribbean Studies. He is a retired university lecturer and is branch secretary of the London Retired Members’ branch of the University and Colleges Union. He is author of “A Hidden History of the Cuban Revolution” and ” Killing Communists in Havana”.
Dennis Bartholomew worked in the Grenada High Commission during the period of the Revo’. He was a member of Cause for Concern, a UK-based group that supported the New Jewel Movement prior to 1979. Following the US invasion he has worked to promote the ideas and successes of the Grenadian Revolution.
Monday 5th February - Kevin Morgan, 'Communism and the Cult of the Individual: Leaders, Tribunes and Martyrs under Lenin and Stalin'

Monday 19th February - Marika Sherwood, ‘They were not communists they were independistas! The beginning of the Cold War in Ghana and Nigeria in 1948.’

Monday 5th March - Keith Flett, Monday 10th April '1848 revisited'

All at 5.30pm, Room 304, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St, London WC1. Free without ticket.  For more information please contact Keith Flett at the address on the linked website.  

NEW: The latest issue of the London Socialist Historians Group Newsletter #63 is now online, with a comment piece by Keith Flett on the royal wedding, and a book review of Origins of Collective Decision Making by Andy Blunden which discusses the Chartists' view of democracy.  Other pieces include an obituary of William Pelz, and book reviews by Ian Birchall and Merilyn Moos.  With respect to the LSHG Newsletter, letters, articles, criticisms and contributions to debate are most welcome - please contact Keith Flett at the address on the LSHG website for more info, and on how to be a member of the LSHG. The deadline for the next issue of the Newsletter is 12 March 2018. The LSHG Spring seminar programme is listed above.
Call for Papers: Workshop on the German Revolution and the Radical Democratic Imaginary
The University of Exeter, 24 May 2018

"In the wake of the First World War, workers and soldiers across Europe organised into democratic councils in order to challenge existing social hierarchies and strive towards self-government and workers’ control over production. During the 1918 German Revolution, a number of institutions and
practices were proposed from within the German council movements to create a more participatory, democratic and worker-controlled society. Although there was much disagreement over specific proposals, council delegates were strongly in favour of deepening and extending existing forms of democracy beyond the limits of the bourgeois liberal state. Yet a hundred years on and political theory has drawn little from the discourses and practices of this significant historical era. Our aim with this workshop is to rejuvenate interest in political theorists and actors of the German Revolution and to place them in dialogue with conversations in radical democratic theory. We pose the question of how these political experiences should be theorised and what significance they hold for political practices today.
"The workshop will be an opportunity for scholars from a variety of disciplines to form ongoing research networks based on shared areas of interest. Through the workshop, we will organise a number of research groups in which scholars will be asked to pre-circulate papers and provide feedback to another member of their group. The idea of the conference is to cultivate a space for in-depth discussion and collaborative research. We are open to scholars engaging with the German Revolution from a variety of perspectives including council communism, libertarian socialism, anarcho-syndicalism and radical democracy, among others. Papers could also contribute to broader debates in political theory on questions of democracy, agency, representation and power. We welcome papers from both a theoretical and historical perspective and anticipate the conference to spark discussion between political theorists and historians.
"A limited number of bursaries will be available for postgraduate students to cover transportation costs. Please include a request with your abstract if you are a postgraduate student who would like to apply for such a bursary."

Deadline for submission of abstracts for conference papers (up to 300 words):
5PM, 26 January 2018. Send abstracts to

Workshop Date: 9:30AM - 6:00PM, 24 May 2018.
Workshop website:
Organised by James Muldoon and Martin Moorby, University of Exeter
Independent Working Class Education Network 

IWCE Network

Because of the London NHS Demo on Saturday 3rd Feb,
we've had to POSTPONE the joint day school with We Own it.

It will now be on 19th May. More soon.


Keith Venables for IWCEN/WOI

Day Event looking at
Public Ownership: what would it look and feel like?   POSTPONED
Saturday 3rd February 2018 from 10.00 - 3.30
UnitetheUnion Building in Holborn, London.

Co-presented with We Own It. More details will follow but it's important to book soon.
You can email us at

Public Ownership: what would it look and feel like?
Day School organised by Independent Working Class Education Network and We Own It.
Saturday 3rd February, 2018, 10.30 - 3.30.
UnitetheUnion, 128 Theobald's RoadHolborn, London (nearest tube,
Holborn, WC1X 8TN)  £5.00 - pay on the day - includes a modest lunch.

"Public ownership used to be out in the wilderness. Now it’s all the rage! But we
will have to fight for it"
What are the key issues? 

What can we do to promote public ownership?
We'll provide interesting background and the opportunity for discussion on a range of issues and sectors. 
To Register email Keith Venables, as soon as possible.
Working Class Movement Library
51 The Crescent,
SalfordM5 4WX

"Note to those of you who may be planning to visit the Library over the next few months: we will be short-staffed probably until mid-April due to a member of staff being called for lengthy jury service [...]  We are working on ways of ensuring we keep Library services running [...], but would ask anyone wanting to use us as a reader to contact us in advance to make an appointment, and to bear with us if there is some delay before an appointment is available.  Apologies, but we hope you understand."

Film screening Red October: Revolution in Russia
We mark both the New Year and the last week of our Voices of revolution exhibition with a free film screening on Wednesday 17 January at 2pm.  With rare archive footage, this documentary film marks 100 years since the Russian Revolution - exploring the history of the revolution, its impact in Britain, its cultural legacy and its reach worldwide with leading historians, labour movement figures and international perspectives.
It was produced by Platform Films with the Russian Revolution Centenary Committee, the Marx Memorial Library and the Society for Co-operation in Russian and Soviet Studies,and is narrated by Maxine Peake.
We also have a new booklet available giving the text of the display boards in our Russian Revolution exhibition.  So if you can't make it here to see the exhibition, you can still get a flavour of it!
It's only £2 plus p&p - click here to purchase one.
This screening marks the end of our Russian Revolution centenary exhibition Voices of revolution - which closes on Thursday, 18 January

2018 events
We have lots of talks, events and exhibitions planned for early 2018, from a celebration of the writings of Thomas Paine to a play about Sylvia Pankhurst to celebrate International Women's Day.
Click here for the full listing of future events.

In the 1820s radical groups in Manchester and elsewhere celebrated the birthday of Thomas Paine. At our joint event with the Mary Quaile Club "The world is my country", on Saturday 27 January from 1 to 4pm, we will be reviving the custom and highlighting Paine’s ideas in works such as Common senseThe rights of man and The age of reason, which were enormously influential in the British radical movement of the late 18th century.  
We are delighted to welcome as special guests the writer Trevor Griffiths, author of a play about Paine, These are the times, and Mandy Vere from News from Nowhere bookshop
This event is free.  Advance booking is strongly advised; .

2018 is the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, in which some women first won the right to vote. To celebrate this landmark, Manchester’s radical feminist festival Wonder Women 2018 is offering a packed programme of exhibitions, tours, debates, performances and one-off screenings happening throughout March,
The Creative Tourist Web site gives details, including the WCML's hosting of Lynx Theatre's play about Sylvia Pankhurst on Saturday 3 March, and our event here on Saturday 10 March to celebrate the deposit at the Library of the original handwritten minutes of the Manchester and Salford Women's Trade Union Council.

For our next exhibition we are hosting a travelling exhibition from the Marx Memorial Library, The Tolpuddle Martyrs in print.  As well as detailing the history and impact of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, this also features contemporary newspaper reporting, some of it not seen in public for almost 200 years.
Items from the Library collection will also be presented alongside the exhibition.
The exhibition is open from 24 January to 15 February, Wed-Fri 1-5pm, and Saturday 3 February 10am-4pm.

UPDATE: LGBT History Month - How Arena 3 saved my life
The arrival of the very first lesbian newsletter, Arena 3, in 1964 was a quiet revolution. A talk by writer and researcher Jane Traies on Saturday 17 February at 2pm explores its impact through the oral testimonies of older lesbians whose lives were changed by this new contact with other women like themselves.  
Plus, the Manchester Lesbian Immigration Support Group will talk on their work with women from around the world who are seeking sanctuary in our area.
Admission free; all welcome.
50th anniversary of Roberts Arundel strike
"The 50th anniversary of the Roberts Arundel strike is marked by an exhibition organised by Stockport Trades Union Council and now showing at Stockport Local Heritage Library in the Central Library, Wellington Road South, Stockport SK1 3RS, Monday to Saturday, until Saturday 23 December.
"Throughout 1967 Stockport captured national headlines. 150 workers walked out in November 1966 when their new boss Robert Pomeranz from North Carolina refused to talk to the union. The issue was his decision to start a handful of women working at a lower rate than men had been paid for doing the same work until Pomeranz had made them redundant a few weeks earlier. The dispute quickly escalated when in less than a week he sacked every striker and immediately advertised 235 jobs in the Manchester Evening News. Despite numerous attempts to settle the dispute, the strike lasted until April 1968 when Pomeranz finally closed the factory.
"Drawing on the archives of the Library, local photographer Darren Ord has created an exhibition which shows how the strike made Stockport national news for over a year, with workers' Weeks of Action including mass pickets, marches and rallies as well as many examples of solidarity including a weekly levy of engineering workers across Stockport, Manchester, Ashton and Oldham which raised £95,000 – equivalent to £1,500,000 today."

Library opening hours over the Christmas period
The Library will close on Friday 22 December at 5pm, and re-open on Tuesday 2 January at 10am.
Festive regards to you all.

Please note that the talk by Adele Douglas on Spanish Civil War on 31 January LISTED BELOW* *has been cancelled.
Other events in our locality include: Manchester and the Spanish Civil War - talk*
*There will be a free talk on the response to the Spanish Civil War by the British Left, predominately in Manchester and the North West, on Wednesday 31 January from 6 to 7pm at Archives+, Manchester Central Library.   It will be given by Adele Douglas, who is undertaking a dissertation at the topic, and will highlight items from the Labour History Archive at the People's History Museum.
Wakefield Socialist History Group
From email, on Organising Committee meeting: 
*Alan Stewart gave a convenor's report.  The Group had hosted eight events at the Red Shed this year on: Robert Burns, World War One, the Spanish Civil War, Syndicalism, Democracy, George Orwell, the Yorkshire Miners and the Bolshevik Revolution. [See previous listings for more details of these on this blog] Some meetings had attracted over 40 people although the average was a very healthy 30.
*Ken Capstick was not able to attend this organisation meeting due to ill health.  However we discussed the options in terms of getting his work on David Swallow published.  Harris Brothers at Featherstone suggested.  To investigate further and also to discuss again at a short organising committee meeting after the Burns event on 27 January.
*Granville Williams spoke about the Campaign for Broadcasting Freedom's £20,000 crowd funding appeal to step up the battle to stop the Murdoch's buying up SKY TV.  
Please support...
*In terms of future events -on January 27 we have a Burns Night. On March 17 we intend to have "Socialism and the USA: Marxism and Class Struggle in America."  And then on May 19th..."Robert Tressell and the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists."  All to be held at the Red Shed and start at 1pm.
*Bob Mitchell and Karen Stewart both advocated having an event later in the year about 1918 and women's franchise/suffragettes.  Agreed.
Next event:
SOCIALIST BURNS NIGHT on Saturday 27 January 1pm at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1.
Convenor, Wakefield Socialist History Group

Looking ahead:
On Saturday 24 March, the Wakefield Socialist History Group are holding an event at the Red Shed (Wakefield Labour Club), Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1 on SOCIALISM AND THE USA: MARXISM AND THE CLASS STRUGGLE IN AMERICA.  It starts at 1pm.


’The Digital Critic: Literary Culture Online’ 
with Houman Barekat, Joanna Walsh and Robert Barry
Wednesday 10th January, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

’The New Poverty’ with Stephen Armstrong
Wednesday 17th January, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

’Tear Gas: From the Battlefields of WWI to the Streets of Today’ with Anna Feigenbaum
Wednesday 31st January, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross,
London, N1 9DX
tel: 020 7837 4473
Friday 8 June 2018, University of Liverpool

"Around the time of the financial meltdown of 2008 and the ensuing economic crisis, the slogan ‘Fuck May ’68, Fight Now’ appeared on protest banners and spray-painted on walls all over Europe. In disavowing the legacies of that earlier moment of revolt and revolutionary optimism, it counterposed the urgencies of current struggles against the nostalgia and romance for the radical event. Yet disavowal or refusal have not been confined to a new generation of activists. The whole process of its memorialisation in the media and public culture can be said to have induced form of historical amnesia, in which, according to Paul Foot, a ‘1968 anniversary industry’ has portrayed what happened as ‘an aberration, a moment of delirium which seduced the youth of the time’. Even among historians, there has been a tendency to downgrade the significance of the 68 events in favour of far more consequential long-term processes of change running through the post-war period.
"But these have been far from the only response to the legacies of ’68. The reconstruction of past traditions of radicalism has been a central activity in many post-68 movements. The politics of the Women’s Liberatio_nMovement, for instance, was intimately linked to the rediscovery of women’s role as political agents and agitators in history. Indeed, the fusion of participatory politics and historical (or academic) study remains a vital legacy of 1968, represented, above all, in movements like History Workshop, Geschichtswerkst├Ątten, Dig Where You Stand, and others.
"This conference takes the 50th anniversary of 1968 as an occasion to critically assess the various ways in which radical events and movements since the 1960s have been retold, not just in historical writing, but through a broad range of cultural media, activities, and practices, including by activists themselves. It also seeks to explore how the representation of the past is involved in the struggle over cultural and political meaning in the present, over what counts as history and what does not. Finally, it aims to reflect on how memory and history continue to inform political activity in the contemporary moment. In doing so, the conference organisers invite contributions from activists, historians, and other scholars, but also artists, journalists, curators, archivists, educators, filmmakers, musicians, and cultural workers."

Points for discussion might include:
  • How do activists and movements remember (or ritualise) past traditions of political struggle?
  • What tensions or contradictions are negotiated in this process? (e.g. between past and the promise of a better future).
  • How have certain media and forms shaped the memory of radicalism?
  • What are the ethical and political implications of writing the history of the radical event? Or: How do we write the history of revolution in a post-revolutionary age?
  • Has the history and memory of 1968 become fetishised in academic research?
  • Is history still a weapon?
Presentations of up to 20 minutes are welcomed on any area of political or cultural protest since the 1960s along the lines described above. Please submit proposal abstracts of 250-300 words to Ian Gwinn, e-mail address: .Any enquiries may be sent to the same address.
The deadline for this call for participation is Friday, 16th February 2018.

Funding should be available for travel expenses and accommodation for those speakers who need it.
The conference will take place on Friday 8th June 2018.
From Mary Quaile Club:-

NEW: Bernadette Hyland will be  speaking on Wednesday 17th  January, 2pm,  in the Tameside Archives in  Ashton Library on Old Street.
She will be speak about her work on the Minutes of the Manchester and Salford Women's  Trades Council, 1895 - 1919.  For 24 years this organised women  in some of the low-paid jobs in Manchester. The organisers included Eva Gore-Booth and Mary Quaile. The  handwritten Minutes were unearthed during research into the life of Mary Quaile and were transcribed  in their entirety by Bernadette on behalf of the Mary Quaile Club.
More information: 

"The world is my country": a celebration of the life and writings of Thomas Paine, "the most valuable Englishman ever"

Saturday 27 January 2018, 1pm, at the Working Class Movement Library.

"In the 1820s radical  groups celebrated the birthday of Thomas Paine. At this event we will be reviving the custom and highlighting  the importance of Paine’s ideas in works such as Common Sense,The Rights of Man and The Age of Reason, which were enormously influential in the British radical movement of the late C18th and early C19th. 
The speakers will be:
  • Michael Herbert who will talk  about the celebrations of  Thomas Paine's birthday by radicals in Manchester and elsewhere.
  • Mandy Vere from Liverpool's News from Nowhere bookshop
  • Trevor Griffiths, author of a play about Thomas Paine, These are the Times. Trevor was born in Manchester and has written extensively for televison, film and the theatre from the 1970s onwards. His other work includes Occupations,  All Good Men,  Through the Night, Comedians, Reds, Food for the Ravens and the series Bill Brand.
Light refreshments will be served after the speeches.
This event is free and has been organised jointly by the Mary Quaile Club and the Working Class Movement Library. The venue is the Annexe at the rear of the library, whose address is 51 Crescent, Salford , M5 4WX. Directions here.

Advance booking is strongly recommended
To book a place please email:"

The Lynching: A Play Written & Performed by Jackie Walker

Thursday 18th January 2018 - Performance Start Time 7pm
Friends Meeting House Main Hall, 6 Mount Street, behind Central Library, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 5NS

Admission Free  Suggested Donation £10 waged/£5 unwaged - email to reserve seat

A report can be found at

The Lynching - a play by Jackie Walker 18 January Manchester
The Lynching by Jackie Walker Flyer

Suspended from the Labour Party and vilified with fake accusations of antisemitism, Jackie Walker tells the story of her extraordinary activist parents and her own struggles fighting  racism in the UK.  How did a black, lifelong anti-racist and supporter of Jeremy Corbyn end up suspended from the Labour Party?

The Lynching is a theatrical performance, a ‘one woman’ show based on the history of black struggle. The play touches on her experiences as a black Jewish woman in the Labour Party and the struggle to bring the Palestinian narrative into the mainstream in the fight for Palestinian rights.

There will be a Q&A discussion session after the performance.

“… a great night. Jackie possesses a lovely singing voice and the honed acting skills of a veteran performer … very funny and frank about her own bolshy nature”  Alexei Sayle The Guardian  19 Nov 2017

Jackie’s play is not a diatribe … but a very skilfully crafted work of art … that forces the audience to draw their own conclusions about racism, oppression, witch-hunts and over-zealous social workers ” Suzanne Gannon  Labour Briefing 4 Nov 2017
At the Epicentre, West Street, Leytonstone E11 4LJ    
Doors open at 7.30pm Buffet (please bring veggie item if you can)
8.00pm Talk & discussion till 10pm & back to buffet till 10.30pm.

Travel and Access
·         Stratford stations & 257 bus
·         Leytonstone tube (exit left) & 257/W14 bus
·         Overground: Leytonstone High Road, turn right, short walk  (open from 14 January)
·         Disabled access
·         Car park / bikes can be brought in
·         Quiet children welcome
·         Phone to confirm the talk will be as shown
·         Open to all. No booking, just turn up
·         Enquiries 0208 555 5248 or

Free entry: donations welcome / raffle   Voluntary membership £5 a year
The club is a real beacon of light.’ Peter Cormack, former Keeper, William Morris Gallery

Saturday 13th January 2018 
Radical Routes   Speaker: Emily Johns
Here we are in twenty-first-century Britain, in a world not of our making but one that has been moulded over thousands of years of exploitation and injustice. Radical Routes is a network of housing & worker co-ops stretching from Scotland to Cornwall seeking to change all this through positive social change. Imagine collectively taking control of our housing, work, education, health and play.  Imagine a horizontally organised, mutual aid network using consensus decision making to loan out a million pounds, to move property into common ownership, to make anarchy in action. Emily Johns is a member of Walden Pond Housing Co-op, an artist and Peace News production editor.

Saturday 10th February 2018
George Orwell, the Labour Party and the Left   Speaker: Professor John Newsinger
George Orwell was a lifelong socialist. As far as he was concerned, socialism was involved in the achievement of a democratic classless society, a society in which the rich had been altogether dispossessed. His experiences in Spain in the 1930s convinced him that this would require a revolution and he held to this belief through the Second World War, even hoping that the Attlee government might go down a revolutionary road. This talk examines the trajectory of his political thinking and his changing attitudes towards the Labour Party. John Newsinger is Professor of Modern History at Bath Spa University and the author of several books, including the graphic novel, 1917: The Red Year. He is co-editor of the journal George Orwell Studies and has a new book on Orwell, ‘Hope Lies in the Proles’: Orwell and the Left, coming out in March 2018.

 [further details of later meetings will be posted nearer the times]
Saturday 17th March 2018  ***NB THIRD Saturday***
Wounded Leaders: Why British Politics Is So Flawed   Speaker: Nick Duffell 

Saturday 14th April 2018
The Cinema Museum: Keeping Alive the Spirit of Cinema from the Days before the Multiplex 
Speaker: Martin Humphries 

Saturday 12th May 2018 
A Lancashire Miner in Walthamstow:  Sam Woods and the By-Election of 1897   Speaker: Professor John Shepherd 

Saturday 9th June 2018
Allotment Gardens: A Surprising History   Speaker: Dr Lesley Acton 

Saturday 14th July 2018 
The Vi Gostling Memorial Lecture  (part of the Leytonstone Festival) 
Radical Hospitality, Personalism and Freedom of Movement: A Catholic Worker Perspective   Speaker:  Nora Ziegler 

Saturday 11th August 2018
Is Local Press All Over?   Speaker: James Cracknell, Waltham Forest Echo 

Saturday 8th September 2018 I Ain't F***ing Doing That!  Working with People No One Wants to Work With   Speaker: Charlie Weinberg  
Saturday 13th October 2018 Paupers, Priests & Progressives:  A Personal History of the Salvation Army     Speaker: Captain Josh Selfe 
Saturday 10th November 2018 Lest We Forget: Cycling the Iron Curtain – The Borders of a Divided Europe  Speakers: Katherine and Tom Marshall 
Saturday 8th December 2018 How Far Away Are We from a World Free of Nuclear Weapons?  Speaker: Stephanie Clark
London CND 2018 conference
Sat 13 January 2018
12:00 – 17:00 GMT
SOAS (School of Oriental & African Studies),
 University of London

"Living in interesting times: how the world's shaping up under President Trump."

Panel discussions on foreign policy, anti-nuclear and anti-war campaigning, and the UN global nuclear ban treaty – with plenty of time for audience participation.
*Molly Scott-Cato, Green MEP
*Catherine West MP
*Brian Becker, US anti-nuclear campaigner
*Enrique Castillo, Costa Rican Ambassador
*Jim Hoare, former UK ambassador to DPRK
*Sami Ramadani, Iraqi Democrats
Tickets are free to book…

(The conference will follow London CND's Annual General Meeting, which runs from 9.30am to 11.30am in SOAS Room G3.)
Updates and new listings to follow here as they come in. 

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