Thursday, April 19, 2018

“The Red Flag of Anarchy” by Andrew Lee: Review

(A Book Review by Christopher Draper)

Do you remember those wooden rulers on sale at Woolworths with the names and dates of all the British Kings and Queens on the back? That was the kind of history I learnt at school. Regrettably, a lot of alternative history isn’t much better with a similar emphasis on London-based leaders. I’ve always preferred to read about radical lives and politics away from the metropolitan bubble and Andrew Lee’s new history of Sheffield’s pioneering socialists and anarchists is a perfect paradigm of “people’s history”.

Andrew Lee’s book embodies the ideals it chronicles with a beautiful cover designed by libertarian socialist Walter Crane. The text is printed on decent quality paper and it’s lavishly illustrated with numerous portraits and political posters. Computer screens might usefully churn out dry facts but Andrew Lee appreciates that wisdom is more surely gained through a slow, aesthetically pleasing book-read and there is a lot to mull over in “The Red Flag of Anarchy”.

Focussed on the Sheffield scene from 1874 to 1900 the author depicts a rich political culture created by predominantly working class activists of every flavour. He doesn’t push any political line but the book is suffused throughout its 178 pages with an inspiringly libertarian spirit. Lee’s achievement is to conjure up a vivid picture of a welcoming, inclusive yet militant socialist milieu. Activists who for an all too brief moment managed to create the germ of a new society within the shell of the old. An alternative society that created communist colonies, embraced gay lifestyles, published a regular anarchist newspaper, operated a “Commonwealth Café”, organised picnics and ran raffles with books by Bellamy and Thoreau as prizes or alternately “A Handsomely Framed Portrait of Ravachol”!

“The Red Flag of Anarchy” is invaluable not just for its contents but as an inspiration and model for socialists all around Britain to get your shovel out and start digging down into your own local libertarian past. I know from my own researches that there’s always been far more going on out of London than our erstwhile chroniclers would have us believe.

I have just two criticisms which I hope Andrew might address in future editions. The first is the absence of an index. This isn’t so much of a handicap as it would be in a text-only volume as the extensive contents list and numerous illustrations facilitate navigation but digitisation makes compiling an index simple and speedy. Secondly I would like some analysis of why Sheffield’s socialist oasis became barren. At the end of the book Lee observes, “It was the end of an era, everything was going to change…Parliamentary politics was to become the order of the day” but it wasn’t inevitable, what exactly occurred in Sheffield? My own research, for example, shows that in Leicester all manner of socialists cooperated for years until the foundation of the ILP in 1893. Thereafter Leicester ILP refused to have any truck with local anarchists whose direct-action was thought detrimental to attracting votes. ILP sectarianism thus transformed Leicester’s lively socialism into bureaucratic electoralism. Were the same forces at work in Sheffield?

If we are ever to regain the radicalism and comradeship of early socialism it’s crucial that we identify what went wrong last time. Andrew Lee reminds us of an era when Labour Clubs were far more than dreary drinking dens. Available from Amazon for £10.00, in my opinion “The Red Flag of Anarchism” is the most valuable and entertaining study of grass-roots, pioneering Anarchy in the UK since John Quail’s classic “Slow Burning Fuse”.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Spring Forward Events etc. 2018

From CND
Oppose plans for more air strikes in Syria
Over the last few days we have been hearing talk of 'world war three', as war drums beat for military escalation in Syria. CND opposes this course of action which will only increase the likelihood of this terrible conflict spilling over into the wider Middle East and potentially beyond that.
There can be no justification for chemical weapons attacks, or for despicable bombing that targets civilians, but further air strikes will only extend the appalling suffering of the people of Syria.
CND works for 'the prevention and cessation of wars in which nuclear weapons may be used' and there can be no clearer example of such a situation than that which we are currently facing. Diplomatic and political solutions must be sought.

Take action: Protest  Please join us at Downing Street this evening (Friday 13th April) at 5 pm to protest against UK involvement in any military escalation. More information
Take action: Contact your MP - Please ask your MP to oppose military plans for escalation of the war in Syria. Write to your MP
‘Tottenham's Trojan Horse? A Tale of Stadium-led Regeneration in North London', author Mark Panton in conversation with community activists Dave Morris and Martin Ball
Wednesday 4th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
 Housmans is delighted to welcome Dr Mark Panton for the launch of Tottenham's Trojan Horse? A Tale OF Stadium-led Regeneration in North London.
In 2010 Haringey Council in London granted planning permission to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club for a new stadium and other linked developments. In 2012 Haringey unveiled regeneration plans for the borough that included demolition of homes and businesses to make way for a proposed fans’ walkway from a relocated train station entrance to the site of the new stadium. A process that was already challenging for the football club, the council and the local community now became tortuous. Those most affected by the proposals felt left out of the decision making and had to find a voice. 
Mark Panton will be in conversation with Haringey community activist Dave Morris to discuss the demolition of properties for the fans’ walkway in Tottenham, the Our Tottenham network of community groups and the Haringey Development Vehicle.
‘Tottenham’s Trojan Horse?’ is fully illustrated by Amanda Lillywhite in a comic format. It features research from Mark Panton’s doctoral thesis and dialogue from interviews conducted by him. It was funded by the Birkbeck School of Business, Economics and Informatics, University of London.

'Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions' with Johann Hari

Wednesday 11th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
Tickets available here

“There was just this enormous sense of solidarity”:
London and the 1984/85 Miners’ Strike
with Terry Conway, Hilary Wainwright,
Diarmaid Kelliher, Gary Cox and Terry Harrison
Wednesday 2nd May, 7pm
Free Entry

‘May Made Me: An Oral History of the 1968 Uprising in France’
with Mitch Abidor
Tuesday 15th May, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against purchase
More about May, in June in Liverpool
Date: FRIDAY, 8TH JUNE 2018 (9am-6pm)

 All Power to the Imagination! A workshop about the protests of 1968 and the movements that followed in its wake, with people who were there then, people who came after, and people who are doing it now! Come along. It's FREE!!!
Check out the programme: 

and to register:
For historical background, see Radical History Calendar and Past Tense blog, 15-4-2018:
"Today in London radical history, 1870: a Land & labour League unemployed demonstration."
New Anarchist Research Group
April Meeting
Saturday 28 April, 2018, 2:00pm - 4:00pm at The Studio, The Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton St, London WC2H 9BX
(Please note temporary change of venue
Co-Producing Research on Anarchism and Constitutional Politics
Presented by the Loughborough University Anarchist Research Group.*
This talk covers research conducted over the past 2 years with a range of anarchist and left-wing groups in the UK on the topic of constitutionalising in anarchist politics. Building on a method of co-producing research with activists, the project explored how anarchist groups constitutionalise, that is, how they make rules and agreements, put decision making procedures into practice, define their core principles, create institutions and negotiate and navigate power imbalances. The talk will cover some of the results of the research and discuss how engaging with activist groups is central to how these results have come about.

*Anarchist Research Group at Loughborough University
The Anarchist Research Group is based in the School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences at Loughborough University. Its aims are to: provide an informal space for the discussion, exploration and analysis of anarchist ideas and practices; support anarchism research across scholarly disciplines in the University; help raise the profile of anarchist studies through scholarship and public engagement; co-ordinate with external networks to promote international collaborative work and anarchism research at Loughborough; organise seminars for postgraduate researchers working on aspects of anarchist history and politics.
Participants, Thomas Swann and Ruth Kinna are all involved in the project Anarchy as a constitutional principle: Constitutionalising in anarchist Politics
(Unfortunately Alex Pritchard is unable to take part in this meeting) 

May Meeting
Saturday 26 May 2018, 2:00pm - 4:00 pm at The MayDay Rooms, 88 Fleet Street, LondonEC4Y 1DH
The Anarchist Cinema:
James Newton
This talk will focus on the complex relationships between political anarchism and the cinema. It will look at the history of anarchist uses of film, how contemporary radical groups utilise the medium to promote and organise, and ways in which anarchist theory can be used to understand cinema as an art form and institution.
It will also discuss the problems and contradictions of a term such as 'anarchist cinema', and propose ways in which there can be an anarchist alternative to mainstream cinematic practices

1968-2018: A Celebration of 50 years of Resistance, Campaigning 
and Alternatives for A Better World

- despite 50 years of police opposition, spying and repression. Full details here.

Saturday 7th July, 1-3pm   Roll Call / Commemoration / Celebration: Grosvenor Sq, London W1

Sunday 8th July, 10-4pm    Conference / Exhibition: Conway Hall, Red Lion Sq, London WC1

1st to 8th July   Week of local events and activities around the UK - please organise!

Flyer available for download/copying/distribution.  
Planning meeting for the above
Monday 9th April, 5.30pm 
@ Bindmans, 236 Grays Inn Rd, London WC1X 8HB.  
Contact if you aim to attend:
Remembering the 1968 Revolts - Nottingham

Join us for a film screening, an exhibition of original sources and a panel session of people sharing their memories of struggles fought here in Nottingham during that iconic year, which saw deeply-rooted conflicts erupt into open revolts all around the globe.

Sunday, 3rd June 2018
From Midday at Broadway Cinema, Nottingham.

Midday-2pm film screening of “if....” (ticketed)
2-3pm browse our exhibition (free)
3-5pm panel session (free)
Please note that spaces for the panel session are limited (first come, first served).

From Midday to 2pm there will be a screening of “if….”, followed by an hour (2-3pm) to browse our exhibition of fantastic source materials (pamphlets, newssheets, posters, unpublished correspondence, etc.) documenting the 1968 Revolts in Paris, Berlin, Prague (etc.), and of course events here in Nottingham. At 3pm we will get together for a panel session with people sharing some of their memories of the struggles fought in Nottingham in 1968 (spoilers: the struggle for equal pay and anti-racist work were already high on the agenda five decades

The film screening is ticketed. You will be able to purchase tickets from Broadway Cinema at their usual rates from early May. We have a very limited number of discounted tickets available. If you would like us to reserve you one of these tickets, please do get in touch (please note, if you do not get a response email confirming your reservation before Sunday 6th May, you are not on the list and will have to purchase a ticket from the Broadway Box Office). The exhibition and the panel session are of course free of charge.
have also organised an event to commemorate
the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Revolts
 on Thursday, 10th May
"May Made Me: an oral history of the 68 uprising in France"
with Mitchell Abidor.
You can also catch this in London, at Housmans on 15th May - see above -
or Bookmarks on 16th May:-
May Made Me
Wednesday 16 May 6:30
Bookmarks Bookshop
1 Bloomsbury Street, London, WC1B 3QE
With Mitchell Abidor
The mass protests that shook France in May 1968 were exciting, dangerous, creative and influential, changing European politics to this day. Students demonstrated, workers went on general strike, factories and universities were occupied. At the height of its fervour, it brought the entire national economy to a halt. The protests reached such a point that political leaders feared civil war or revolution. Fifty years later, here are the eye-opening oral testimonies of those young rebels. By listening to the voices of students and workers, as opposed to those of their leaders, May '68 appears not just as a mass event, but rather as an event driven by millions of individuals, achieving a mosaic human portrait of France at the time. This book reveals the legacy of the uprising: how those explosive experiences changed both those who took part, and the course of history. May Made Me will record these moments before history moves on yet again.
Admission £2.00 Payable on door
Reserve your place here or call 020 7637 1848

One Or The Other - East End Film Festival - 
1pm 22nd April, 2018 at Rich Mix
"A rich visual essay probing the relationship between the homeland and the creation of a nation state, One Or The Other asks if the long distance nationalism of Western diaspora has had more influence than responsibility over modern Israel and Palestine. The narration guides the argument as home movies and archive film overlay long takes of contemporary Israel. The presentation of these different historical periods raises questions of history, loss and the manner in which cinema has been used as a tool for expropriation."
~Will Swinburne
Making use of Oral Labour History
Britain at Work (B@W) 1945-95 in association with British Universities’ Industrial Relations (BUIRA) IR History Group and Oral History Society (OHS)
Saturday 2 June 2018, 11am – 5.00pm
(opposite Madame Tussauds and nearly opposite Baker Street tube)
Room C279 (lunch C287)
For further details and to reserve a place please email Michael Gold ( or Linda Clarke (
This year’s Britain at Work Oral Labour History Day will focus on what we do with the recordings we make, both audio and video. How do we share what we learn from interviews and how do we make sure that oral histories we collect are preserved for future use in safe environments and archives? The day will begin with an opening address by Robert Perks, Lead Curator, Oral History and the Director of National Life Stories at the British Library. Rob is also secretary of the Oral History Society and an editor of the journal Oral History. He will talk about developments and opportunities for the dissemination and sustainability of oral history collections.
Rob will be followed by roundtable reports from participants currently involved in oral history in work settings. After lunch, there will be presentations, beginning with Martin Astell, Sound and Video Archivist at Essex Record Office, who will talk about being an archivist working in a local authority museum/archive and the challenges besetting local archives and archivists. This is followed by presentations on the diverse results of oral history projects: books, films, a pop-up museum and a comic.
B@W is an initiative to capture the memories of people at work between 1945 and 1995, some of which are to found at the TUC Library Collections held at London Metropolitan University (
Draft Programme
10.30-11.00 Registration
11.00-11.15 Welcome and introduction: Michael Gold and Linda Clarke
11.15-12.00 Keynote: How can I future-proof my oral history project? Guidance on best archival and legal practice for preservation and public access and reuse’. Rob Perks, Lead Curator, Oral History & Director of National Life Stories at the British Library. Chair: Joanna Bornat
12.00-13.00 Roundtable: brief contributions from participants on their current interest in oral labour history. Chair: Michael Gold
13.00-14.00 Lunch: 
14.00-15.30. Diverse uses of oral history. Chair: John Gabriel
·       Local collections: Martin Astell on Oral history collections at the county record office - and how to set them free, Senior Archivist (Sound and Video), Essex Record Office
·       Film: Alex Gordon/ Chris Reeves (RMT History Project)
·       Book: Sally Groves (author of Trico: a victory to remember)
15.30-15.50 Break
15.50-16.40 More diverse uses: Chair: Linda Clarke
·       Educational website and book: Sundari Anitha / Ruth Pearson (Striking Women)
·       Pop-up Museum: Padmini Broomfield and Emma Golby-Kirk (Ford Transition, Southampton)
16.40-17.00 Discussion + chair’s closing observations: Michael Gold 
Dave Gibson Labour History Lecture
The First Annual Dave Gibson Labour History Lecture
Organised by Barnsley TUC and Barnsley College UCU
'Orwell and the Workers' 
With Prof John Newsinger (Bath Spa University) and author of 'Hope Lies In the Proles': George Orwell and the Left
Saturday 16 June 1pm The Civic, Hanson Street, Barnsley, S70 2HZ

"The first annual Dave Gibson labour history lecture will focus on George Orwell. Orwell visited Barnsley while researching ʻThe Road to Wigan Pierʼ and his collected works contain shocking details about the state of housing in Barnsley at the time of his visit. Dave Gibson used this information in his contribution to a Workers Educational Association course on labour history in Barnsley and Graham Mustin will give a short presentation based on Dave's lecture notes.
"The main talk, entitled ʻOrwell and the Workersʼ will be by John Newsinger, professor of history at Bath Spa University and an acknowledged expert on Orwell. John has written the highly acclaimed ʻOrwell's Politicsʼ and most recently ʻOrwell and the Proles: George Orwell and the Leftʼ a critical account of Orwell's politics exploring his anti-fascism, criticism of the USSR and enduring commitment to socialism."

FOR FURTHER DETAILS CONTACT: Email: | Mobile: 07985 02800

Northern Launch of "Workers Playtime" 19 May 6pm at Three Minute Theatre new collection of political plays, published by New Internationalist and the General Federation of Trade Unions

The northern launch of Workers’  Play Time, a collection of plays about trade unionism,  published by New Internationalist and the General Federation of Trade Unions
Doug Nicholls, General Secretary of the GFTU,  will introduce  the event.  

We are also delighted to welcome Sally Groves, a shop steward in the successful strike for equal pay  in 1976  at Trico works in Brentford, London. Sally  has co-authored a   book about the strike called Trico: a Victory to Remember, which will published later [this] year.

John Topliff of Three Minute Theatre and his actors will perform excerpts from  a number of the plays, including:Dare To Be Free (2016) by Jane McNulty is  about Manchester Irish Trade Unionist Mary Quaile and links her story with the low paid zero hour workers today.

The Chambermaids by Kathleen McCreery (1987) recounts the story of a group of Grosvenor House Hotel chambermaids who in 1979 took on Trust House Forte when their Jarrow-born shop steward was unfairly suspended, and were sacked and evicted.

Out on the Costa del Trico, (1977)  which was created by the Women’s Theatre Group about a group of female window screen wipers who won their strike for equal pay after 21 weeks on strike in the summer of 1976.

You can read a review of  Workers’ Playtime  here
And there is a Morning Star Article:

Start time; 6pm. Refreshments and bar available.
Entrance is  free but donations welcome.
Advance booking is strongly recommended, please email:

At our latest event at Three Minute Theatre Suzanne Bury chaired an evening of speeches, drama and song to launch a book of radical plays “Worker’s Play Tme”  edited by  Doug Nicholls, General Secretary of theGFTU. We were very pleased  that  Doug  could join us. In his opening address he outlined how cultural and artistic expression has always been integral to labour movement struggles: “There have never been bread without roses,” he said, “and we need more of both.”

Three Minute Theatre’s own  in-house company, the Manchester Shakespeare Company, then dramatised excerpts from three of the plays included in  Worker’s Play Time. All three of them reflected the way in which women (and some men) have fought for justice in their pay packet and equality at work.
“The Chambermaids”, written in 1987, showed how a group of chambermaids took on the Trust House Forte empire when their shop steward was sacked. “Dare to Be Free” commissioned by the Mary Quaile Club told the story of Mary Quaile,  a forgotten Manchester Irish trade unionist,  and linked her struggle with today’s fast food  strikers.
“Out on the Costa del Trico” was written by the Women’s Theatre Company in 1977 about the Trico strike of 1976 when 400 mainly women, who made  window screen wipers,  went on strike for equal pay. They won and  we were very  pleased  that Sally Groves, who was the publicity officer for the strikers and later became a shop steward  could join us.   Sally explained how they succeeeded after 21 weeks on strike but also pointed out  why it could not happen today with the legislation restricting trade union activity and  why such action is even more important in 2018.
Sally  explained how  the American multinational Trico totally underestimated the strength of the women. “They thought we would give up after we lost at Tribunal but not one of the women broke the strike and went back to work. In fact it just made us angrier and  more determined to stay out.” Next month a book about the strike written by Sally Groves and Vernon Merritt is being published Trico: A Victory to Remember  The 1976 Equal Pay Strike at Trico Folberth, Brentford.
Our thanks to Doug Nicholls, John and Gina at Three Minute Theatre,  the Manchester Shakespeare Company and Sally Groves.
You can buy Worker’s Play Time here. 
Also from MQC:
The next strike at McDonalds, the first in Manchester, is taking place on 
International Workers Day, May 1.
They are demanding £10 an hour and for their right to join a union to be respected.

If you can, please support by attending the picket
Midnight Picket 00:01 - 01:00.Morning Picket 0700-0800

National Archives:
A couple of free events:
Suffragettes in trousers: male support for women's suffrage in Britain
Thu 26 April, Free
14:00-15:30, Kew
In this talk, Claire Eustance, Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Greenwich, will share the stories of some of the men who went to great lengths to support the campaign for women's suffrage
At the National Archives
and Saturday 28 April 2018, 13:00 FREE:
"Join us in The National Archives’ library as we literally rewrite history and improve the free encyclopaedia’s coverage of campaigners and activists through the ages. Starting with a crash course in editing for beginners, we will use the library’s collections to produce new articles on neglected heroines and heroes from around the world.
This is a drop-in event. Booking is not essential, but please register if you intend to come so we can guage numbers."

More information and non-free events on website.

Saturdays 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.

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

Martin is the director & co-founder of The Cinema Museum. Set in historic surroundings in Kennington, close to the Elephant & Castle, the outstanding museum houses a unique collection of artefacts, memorabilia & equipment that preserves the history & grandeur of cinema from the 1890s to the present day. His illustrated talk will cover the founding of the museum, the collection, its activities & events. ‘The Cinema Museum is culturally very important to the history of movies & gives insight into how things have changed. It was the workhouse where Charlie Chaplin went as a child. It is a monument of great importance to anyone interested in cinema.’ Sylvia Syms


Saturday 12th May 2018

A Lancashire Miner in Walthamstow:  Sam Woods and the By-Election of 1897  
Speaker: Professor John Shepherd

The Walthamstow by-election of 3 February 1897 was the most remarkable result of over 70 similar contests during the 1895-1900 parliament. Sam Woods, a 50 year old miner from Wigan, defeated Thomas Dewar, the wealthy director of Dewar’s Whiskey and unexpectedly became Walthamstow’s first Labour MP. A complete stranger to the district, he was adopted shortly before polling day for an extensive constituency that usually returned Tory politicians. Late Victorian Walthamstow also comprised Leyton, Leytonstone, Harrow Green and Woodford.  The by-election campaign unexpectedly attracted large crowds of working class women and men, although it took place alongside a similar by-election in neighbouring Romford. Sam Woods’ impressive victory represented a swing of over 11%. He became Walthamstow’s first Labour member many years before Valentine McEntee, Clem Attlee and Stella Creasy. John’s illustrated talk provides fascinating insights into the birthplace of William Morris, socialist, artist and author of News from Nowhere, during a significant period of working class politics in suburban Walthamstow. John is Visiting Professor of Modern British History at the University of Huddersfield. His publications include books on George Lansbury and James Callaghan. He is currently finishing a study of Jon Cruddas MP and the Labour Party for Manchester University Press.          
Saturday 9th June 2018
Allotment Gardens: A Surprising History   Speaker: Dr Lesley Acton

Think allotments are just about growing vegetables? Think again. Allotments have a long history and are reflective of the times in which we live. This talk will explore the many sides of allotment history: growing food, intrigue, lawsuits, government, politics, wars, land grabs, art, culture, recreation and not least of all, want and plenty. Lesley Acton PhD is the author of Growing Space: A History of the Allotment Movement. She has worked for many years in the heritage industry as well as researching cultural history, urban agriculture, food security and culinary history. 
Bruce Castle Museum, Lordship Lane, Tottenham, N17 8NU
Al Johnson’s new sculpture
The Lost Files 
Saturday 5 May to Sunday 23 September 2018
Wednesday to Sunday 1 – 5 pm
Artist’s Talk: 21 May 2018, 12.15
The Lost Files explores the experience of the conscientious objectors: individuals who could not participate in World War One for moral, religious or political reasons. The sculpture is focused on 350 conscientious objectors and their families who lived in Hornsey, Tottenham and Wood Green, and considers how it felt to take such a courageous stand, at risk of imprisonment, derision and ostracism.
The exhibition is part of Conscientious Objection Remembereda series of events developed by Haringey First World War Peace Forum."

Phone: 020 8808 8772      Email:
Tube: Wood Green/Seven Sisters    Train: Bruce Grove    Bus: 243/123/318
Al Johnson website:

Haringey First World War Peace Forum  Email:
From LSHG:
London Socialist Historians Group Newsletter #64 (Summer 2018)
The latest issue of the London Socialist Historians Group Newsletter is now online - featuring a comment piece by Keith Flett on the Peterloo massacre in the light of the current massacres of Palestinians by the Israeli state in Gaza, a review of Communist Insurgent: Blanqui's Politics of Revolution by Doug Enaa Greene and an extended second part of a review of The Origins of Collective Decision Making by Andy Blunden. The deadline for the next issue of the Bulletin is 1 September 2018. Letters, articles, criticisms and contributions to debate are most welcome. 

LSHG seminars and events 

Monday 14th May (time and venue to be confirmed) Mitch Abidor, 'Paris, May 1968'

Saturday 19 May - London Socialist Historians’ Group Workshop
Treason: Internationalist Renegades and Traitors

Saturday 19th May, 12 – 5pm 
Wolfson Room, Institute of Historical Research Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU.

Entry is free without ticket although there will be a collection to cover expenses, but please register via the eventbrite link if possible
"The Levellers who refused to support Cromwell’s war in Ireland, the Polish troops who rebelled against Napoleon and sided with the Haitian Revolution, the Irish-American “St Patrick’s Battalion” who rejected American imperialism to fight with the Mexicans, the British people who joined the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Confederate deserters who opposed slavery, the German anti-Nazis who deserted and joined the Red Army or fought with the French Resistance and the French anti-colonialists who sided with the independence fighters in Algeria and Vietnam. There have been some rare but truly inspiring and heroic examples of internationalism throughout modern history, when those being drafted into fighting for unjust wars rebelled to side and fight against imperialist oppression. This workshop will try to recover the lives and often hidden histories of these true ‘citizens of the world’, as well as considering moments in history where the potential for anti-imperialist internationalism did not materialise.   Speakers include: Merilyn Moos, Ian Birchall, Jonathan North and Steve Cushion."

Monday 19th June, Keith Flett - 'The Chartist Challenge in 1848. Could it have won?'
 Room 304 (third floor) at 5.30pm in the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Entry to LSHG seminars is free without ticket although donations are welcome. 

 Seminars for  Autumn Term 2018 pencilled in with agreed speakers on: 
the 60th anniversary of CND; the school history curriculum; and the history of Women's Voice .   
For more information on any of the above please contact Keith Flett at the address above.

Other events coming up -
Marxism 2018 - a festival of socialist ideas - 5-8 July - central London 
Working Class Movement Library
51 The Crescent,
SalfordM5 4WX

On Saturday 7 April from 12 noon till 3pm we will be hosting a drop-in day on the theme of Chartism and its demand for political reform, with a focus on Chartist leader, lawyer, poet and honorary Mancunian Ernest Jones.
 This event is part of our Voting for Change project with the People’s History Museum.  Come and see some of the exciting newly acquired objects that help both organisations better tell the history of the fight for the vote.  Drop in, no need to book.
Free Wednesday 2pm talks:
   11 April   Michelle Green and Frank Salt   Protest: stories of resistance

25 April Geoffrey Tweedale  
Cover up and collusion: understanding the tragic history of asbestos. 
The devastating legacy of asbestos will be with us for many years to come; yet the dangers of the mineral have been recognised for over a century.  The historical record shows that for decades government, industry, and medicine endorsed the continued manufacture and use of asbestos – and the inevitable exposure of workers (and others) to hazardous dust – while hindering a full appreciation of the risks
Geoffrey Tweedale is the author of Magic mineral to killer dust: Turner and Newall and the asbestos hazard.
Our April Object of the Month also focuses on Workers' Memorial Day, which is on 28 April.

9 May Liverpool Labour Police Striker - the William Smith Story
A short film with Q&A with Director Simon Partridge.
Pieced together through extensive research, this short independent film tells about Liverpool in the 1920s and particularly the events around the 1919 police strike, in which 954 policemen were sacked when they walked out in attempt to have their union recognised.
The thought of a body of police with allegiance to the Labour movement may seem unlikely now but it happened in Liverpool.
Simon Partridge has spent five years trying to piece together the story of his great-grandfather William Smith, a man about whom very little was known and who put himself in the middle of sometimes violent political change in the city. 
The film is screened in the hope that people will come forward with further information connected to the local people, places and events that surrounded the strikers.
The filmmaker acknowledges the support of the University of Central Lancashire and also the numerous archives and individuals who have made this film possible.  Archive material from WCML relating to the strike will be on display on the day.

23 May Philippa Lewis   Capturing the heritage of the workers’ co-operative movement, 1970s-1990s
6 June David Swift  The war and the workers: the labour movement and the home front during WW1
20 June Film - Socialists, suffragists, pacifists and cyclists!: the last Clarion House
4 July Invisible Histories digitisation project - Seeing the hidden, hearing the unheard
Full details at
Frow Lecture, in honour of the Library's founders,
Saturday 12 May at 2pm
 Shirin Hirsch:
"In the shadow of Enoch Powell: race, class and resistance."
The lecture will take place at the Old Fire Station, University of Salford, and the Library is once again grateful to the University for hosting this event.
All welcome; admission free; light refreshments afterwards. 

Political song weekend

 Strawberry Thieves, the London socialist choir, are holding a workshop at St Margaret's Church, Rufford Road, Manchester M16 8AE on Saturday 14 April from 11am to 4pm.  The workshop is open to choirs and individuals interested in learning campaigning songs, and costs £20 (£15 concessions).  The day will culminate in a performance at 7pm which family and friends can attend, price £10 (£5 concessions, children free).
 Further details of the day and its accompanying events (including a peace trail walk round Manchester on Sunday 15th), and to book: Hazel Roy on 07931 58705,
The TUC Library's travelling exhibition Labour's special relationship: connections between the British and American labour movements from the 19th century until today ends on Friday, 20 April. It explores one of the most important – and yet one of the least examined – parts of the international workers’ movement, and is accompanied by items from the WCML collection. 
The exhibition is open this Wednesday and Friday, 1-5pm - please note that the space is in use for a workshop on Thursday afternoon so the exhibition cannot be viewed then

On Friday 27 April at 1pm our new exhibition opens, running until 27 September.
In 1868 at the Mechanics' Institute in Manchester a meeting took place that became the first successful attempt to bring together the trades unions. This exhibition celebrates 150 years of the Trades Union Congress and looks at the continuing need for unions now.

And on Thursday 17 May from 2 to 5pm we host a celebratory event alongside our exhibition, with Clare Coatman from the North West TUC young workers’ project talking about the future of unions, and reaching out to young workers.  Join us for discussion and cake!

Exhibitions are open Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm, and the first Saturday of most months 10am-4pm.

Conscientious Objectors' Day

On Tuesday 15 May from 5 to 6pm the Friends of Manchester Peace Garden will be meeting outside St Ann's Church in Manchester's St Ann's Square to commemorate those in the First and Second World Wars who stood their ground as conscientious objectors.  All welcome.
See also International Conscientious Objectors' Day

 Wakefield Socialist History Group

"Robert Tressell and the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists"
on Saturday 19 May 1 p.m. 
at the Red Shed.
A reminder that the Wakefield Socialist History Group are holding a RAGGED TROUSERED PHILANTHROPISTS event at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield on Saturday 19 May.  
It starts at 1pm. There will be speakers, a film and discussion..and a free light buffet.

Forwarding an excellent article by Adrian Cruden on Robert Noonan's [novel] "Ragged Trousered Philanthropists."
Convenor, Wakefield Socialist History Group
Summer Term seminars
"[With ref. to] continuing UCU industrial action on pensions. Our position is clear. As socialist historians we support the UCU action and we will not run a seminar on any day of strike action. We cancelled one on 1848 in early March for that reason.
At the moment it remains unclear what the strike dates will be in the summer term, if the dispute remains unresolved, as it currently is.
We are going ahead with a research workshop on Saturday May 19th which focuses on Treason, internationalist renegades & traitors.
We also plan to go ahead, the above notwithstanding for three other seminars:

Monday 23rd April 5.30pm Room 304, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet Street London. '40 years on from the Rock Against Racism Carnival in Victoria Park'. Roger Huddle and others

Monday 14th May (time and venue to be confirmed) Mitch Abidor, 'Paris, May 1968' 

Monday 19th June 'The Chartist Challenge in 1848. Could it have won?' Keith Flett

We also have seminars pencilled in with agreed speakers on the 60th anniversary of CND, the school history curriculum and the history of Women's Voice for the Autumn Term 2018."
Contact: Dr Keith Flett 07803 167266
Twitter @LSHGofficial.
Raymond Williams Foundation 2018 Residential event:
18-20 May 2018, The Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool
‘The long revolution today: education, culture and politics for all’

"30 years after Raymond Williams’ death, the Raymond Williams Foundation (RWF) invites people for a weekend of discussion about how we can loosen the stranglehold the elite still largely retains on our educational, political and cultural life. Bringing together a wonderful line-up of speakers and the chance for collective participatory discussion, the aim is to generate ideas and proposals and help navigate ways ahead.
The mission of the Raymond Williams Foundation (RWF) is to support ‘an educated and participating democracy’. This weekend will build on a three-decade-long tradition of the RWF convening a mix of people-centred discussions and innovative and progressive forms of participatory action on the ground. See attachment for more detail."
Working-class political education: what to do?
A participatory conference for change-makers (academics, trade unionists and community activists) on working-class/trade union education, politics and organising, hosted by 'Critical Studies'.
7-8 July 2018 
London, at Unite the Union, Theobald’s Road.
As previously posted, there is a sliding scale of registration fees: if your employer is paying, or you are sponsored by your trade union or other group, then the cost is £75. If you are self-paying then the cost is £37.50. If you are unemployed or on a low income, then you can still attend, as we have reserved a number of places for those who cannot afford to pay... 
Registration will be on a first come, first served basis and there is a maximum of 100 places.
While the event itself is now fully booked, it is clear that the issue of working class political education (or perhaps more precisely the lack of a strategy or structure to deliver it) is finally beginning to garner some interest. The full programme is here: The organisers at the Ella Baker School are keen to promote this debate through a series of regional meetings, conferences, so if you are interested in helping to stage a regional event, do contact them on:
Also from IWCE:
From Windrush to Trump - the need for a new internationalism
Seminar 2nd June
To book:
Date and Time 
Sat 2 June 2018 14:00 – 17:00    
Venue Global Justice Now 66 Offley Road London SW9 0LS

"There is a resurgence of activist politics in the UK. From fighting austerity and privatisation to exploring new models of public ownership, we’re witnessing a revived challenge to neoliberal capitalism.
However, the focus of this activism has been largely confined to the national scene. But to really take on the 1%, an international politics is necessary. From neoliberal trade deals to exploiting tax havens, corporate power works globally. To defeat it, we need to construct struggles across borders.
Join a participatory workshop exploring the way the global economy works today, why we need to build international solidarity, and how we can do it."

With Global Justice Now campaigners Nick Dearden (director) and Ed Lewis (campaigner)
and Keith Venables from Independent Working Class Education.

From Sparrows' Nest:

You can now find our new Document Of The Month and numerous additions to our Digital Library on our websiteOur Document Of The Month for March 2018 is -
Don't Mark His Face - The Account of the Hull Prison Riot (1976) and its brutal aftermath...:  

And this month's additions to our Digital Library include:
four years of the SWF's Direct Action newspapers (1964-68): 
Don’t forget the upcoming and ever brilliant:
ExLibris Charity Masked Book Sale 2018
16 Vernon Avenue Carlton,
 NG4 3FX Nottingham, United Kingdom

"Over two weekends (Fri 27th April till Mon 30th April and Fri 4th May
till Mon 7th May) you have another chance to visit Carlton’s finest
pop-up bookshop. 
Find countless brilliant books for incredibly cheap
prices and help raise funds for the Notts Refugee Forum and Hayward

New radical history podcast

 The Working Class History project has launched a podcast
… or on iTunes, Stitcher or your favourite podcast app.

"In a north London vein so far we have had two episodes about the Angry Brigade, in discussion with John Barker who was convicted as part of the group, one on the Grunwick strike (albeit in north-west London) and our most recent one on anti-fascist youth movements in Nazi occupied Europe during World War II, with East London-residing historian Nick Heath.

"So please feel free to check it out and share with your networks – also if any of you have a story for us, or would like to appear on the podcast to chat about any groups, events, campaigns or social movements you have either been involved in or have researched please get in touch!"

History isn't made by kings and politicians, it is made by us: the billions of ordinary people. 
This project is for our, often forgotten, history.
Public Ownership: what would it look and feel like?
To Register email Keith Venables, as soon as possible.

This Day School is organised by Independent Working Class Education Network                          
with Barry Faulkner, national political education coordinator for Unite the Union, and features Cat Hobbs from "We Own It."
Saturday 19th May, 2018, 10.30 - 3.30.
UnitetheUnion, 128 Theobald's RoadHolborn, London*
£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.   

UPDATEIf you haven't already done so, it's time to register. 
Email Keith Venables, as soon as possible.
*[note Change of Venue - below]
Day School organised by Independent Working Class Education Network                            with Barry Faulkner, national political education coordinator for
Unite the Union, and featuring Ellen Lees from "We Own It."
Saturday 19th May, 2018, 10.30 - 3.30.
UnitetheUnion London Regional Office, 33-37 Moreland St, Clerkenwell,
London EC1V 8BB   (nearest tube, Angel)  £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.   
And another...

(Meanwhile in Canada: Montreal Anarchist Book Fair on May 26th and 27th)

Second Bristol Radical History Festival on Sunday 6th May
The all-day  event (10.30am-4.30pm) will include history walks, talks, performance, bookstalls and displays and is taking place on several floors and galleries in the M Shed Museum.
This year’s festival follows the successful event run at the M Shed in September 2017 and has two themes. We are working closely with the Bread, Print and Roses Collective to mark the 50th anniversary of May 1968, a month that saw worldwide demonstrations against capitalism, authoritarianism and war. We look at the legacy of May ’68 in Bristol, scene of significant student occupations, and beyond. The Remembering the Real WWI Group will also be putting on a programme of events to reflect on the impact and aftermath of the First World War, as we approach the centenary of the 1918 armistice. 
The aim of the RHF to bring radical hidden histories and histories from below into the public domain through various media and to link these to contemporary movements and struggles.

UPDATE: 2018 marks the anniversaries of two of the most significant historical moments in the 20th Century.
The First World War ended in 1918. This centenary sees the Remembering the Real World War One group presenting recent research into the hidden histories of rebellious miners, mutinous soldiers and those on the run from conscription as well as examining how the war and its victims are physically memorialised.
May 2018 also marks the fiftieth anniversary of the May 1968 events. These signalled the rise of the counter-culture and emergence of the new social movements that continue to define cultural and political debates. The Bread, Print and Roses Collective revisit 1968 in bringing together those ‘who were there’ to discuss what happened in Bristol, from university occupations, the founding of St Paul’s carnival and the underground music scene to the emergence of the women’s liberation movement and the struggles for workers’ control in the aerospace industry.

A series of history talks, films and panels are taking place in the meeting rooms  Studio 1 (World War One) and Studio 2 (1968) on Level 1 from 10.30am – 4.30pm.

puppet showstory telling and poetry are taking place in the Life Gallery cinema space on Level 1 from 11.30am – 3.00pm.

An exhibition of international political posters from 1968 and the works of radical artist Dennis Gould along with poster and banner making workshops and other activities are situated on the foyer of Level 2.

History walks will be starting at Christchurch, Clifton at 11.00am and 
at M Shed at 11.30am and 4.30pm.

Bookstalls are situated on the foyer of Level 1.
Radical history videos relating to 1968 will be showing all day on the Level 1 foyer.

Join us, comrades, and tell your friends and family!
For further information, see the Bristol Radical History Festival.  

Additions and Updates to follow: See also previous listing(s).
See Past Tense blog for frequent articles on anniversaries 
as on the now legendary