Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Notices and Alerts for September and after

(see also previous listing)
From CND
Day of action at the ExCeL, London • 4 September 2019
Nuclear weapons manufacturers are visiting London in September.  
They will exhibit at one of the world’s largest arms fairs
the Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI).
Join the No Nuclear Day at the ExCel in the Royal Victoria Dock
10 am to 4 pm on the 4 September 2019
Further details including meet-up point and map on the CND web site
Sign up and share the event on Facebook
No Nuclear Day has been called by CND and Trident Ploughshares.
It is part of a week of protest co-ordinated by Stop the Arms Fair
the campaign against DSEI, founded in 2011.

UPDATE: How it went according to CND
From Medact Peace and Security Campaign
Sign our DSEI letter - We are still collecting signatures from those who work or have worked in health for a letter calling on the UK government to end their support of arms fairs such as the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) - which you can find here: www.medact.org/2019/actions/sign-ons/end-the-cycle-of-violence-take-action-against-uk-dsei-arms-fair/

Come along to the letter hand-in - We will deliver this letter in person to the Department for International Trade in the first week of September - a week before DSEI begins - and would love to have as many signatories as possible join us for this. We do not have a specific date yet but it will be in the daytime of the week beginning 2 September. If you are interested and would like more information, please email reemabuhayyeh@medact.org 

The huge volumes of arms sales agreed at the DSEI arms fair in London every two years are a serious upstream driver of death, disease and destruction of livelihoods across the world.
[Medact updating] 
Public meeting on Monday 30 September: 
'Do No Harm’ - a meeting about war, the arms trade and health. 
  • Rita Dayoub, a Syrian dentist, Academy Associate at Chatham House and founder of ‘Health Workers at the Frontline’
  • Dr. Sara Beleil, Psychiatrist and Academic Secretary at the Sudan Doctors’ Union UK
  • Ann Feltham, Parliamentary Coordinator at Campaign Against the Arms Trade 
And discussion on what health workers can do  to challenge the UK’s role in fuelling wars abroad that lead to public health catastrophes and destruction. 

Please RSVP for this event free here:


Student Climate Strikes in September
On 20th - 27th September, children and young people will be taking to the streets to call for climate action in the next escalation of the Student Climate Strikes campaign --

(see BBC and other mainstream media for more news on this)


Saturday 14th September 2019

Radical Adult Education Where You’d Least Expect It: ABCA 1941-45  
Speaker: Colin Waugh
The Army Bureau of Current Affairs (ABCA) is mainly known for its alleged contribution to the 1945 Labour landslide. However it was also an extremely radical experiment in adult education. Constructed by the ‘radical general’ Ronald Adam & his civilian adviser W. E. Williams, the originator of Pelican Books and later of the Arts Council, & based on a critique of the tutorial class method that had become traditional in the WEA, it set out to engage the highest possible proportion of the army’s three million conscripts in lively discussion, both of how the war was being conducted and of current affairs more generally.
To do this it trained many thousands of junior officers in how to conduct genuinely open discussions, as well as producing stimulus material in the form of booklets and maps that still look modern today. Extensive use was also made of drama and film. All this was done in the teeth of opposition from senior politicians & sections of the army high command. At the end of the war, attempts were made to extend approaches developed within ABCA to civilian adult & further education.
Epicentre, West St E11 4LJ
7.30 for 8pm
Free entry
All welcome
Enquiries 0208 555 5248

From January 2020 we will move to St John's Church Hall E11 to avoid noise from big parties in the large hall at the Epicentre. But the next four meetings will be at the Epicentre.
 Saturday 12th October 2019
Fighting the Cause of Firefighters    
Speaker: Matt Wrack, General Secretary, Fire Brigades Union
 Matt’s political life began in early adulthood, culminating in his 2005 election & two re-elections as head of the FBU. He was listed in ‘The 100 Most Influential People on the Left.’ As a firefighter in Silvertown and Hackney, he was a very active union member. Campaigns and strikes have centred around compensation for firefighters killed at work; climate change and flooding; austerity; the effects of ‘localism’ on the service; reinstatement of suspended colleagues; pay & pension disputes; the Grenfell disaster. He sits on the TUC Executive Committee & featured on a Radio 4 documentary after deciding to take a salary at the average amount of a firefighter. He lives in Leytonstone.

At the Epicentre, West St E11 4LJ
7.30pm Buffet   8.00pm Talk
All welcome
Free entry, donations welcome, raffle.

Enquiries 0208 555 5248

"Please don't arrive before 7.30pm, as we are setting up the room before then. If you are early, there are tables and chairs in the foyer, and second hand books to buy and leaflets in the little information room on the right as you come in the front door. Thanks."
From Autonomy Now email notifications (selection)

News From Nowhere, Leytonstone [as above]
Talk: Radical Adult Education Where You’d Least Expect It: ABCA 1941-45 

Speaker: Colin Waugh
Saturday 14th September 2019
Meetings start with a buffet at 7:30pm followed by a talk at 8:00pm, then discussion at about 9:00pm
Epicentre, West Street, Leytonstone, London, E11 4LJ
Public Transport details: https://newsfromnowhereweb.wordpress.com/about/

Film & Panel discussion – The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade
With Andrew Feinstein
Monday 16th September 2019
Time start 18.15 (sharp)
70/77 Cowcross Street,
London, EC1M 6EJ
£3. Details: 

Mental Health Discussion Group
Housmans Bookshop
Monday 23 September @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm, Free
Hal, who some of you met at the last Autonomy Now talk, is a registered therapist. He has noted that political anxieties – such as Trump, Brexit, Boris Johnson, racism, elitism, sexism, climate catastrophe etc – are being increasingly cited as a cause of considerable distress. In response, he wanted to create a supportive environment to discuss these issues, emphasising the impact the current political climate has on our collective psyche and on our emotional wellbeing.
Booking preferred. Further details: https://housmans.com/event/mental-health-discussion-group/

Autonomy Now 
This Land is Ours: The Fight for Land Justice
Speakers from the Anarchist Communist Group.
Housmans Bookshop, free entry
Thursday 26th September
7pm start. No booking required.
The speakers did one of the better talks at the last London Radical Bookfair. They will be doing a new and updated version for us.
Details: https://autonomynow.noblogs.org/this-land-is-ours-the-fight-for-land-justice/

Working Class Movement Library
51 The Crescent,
SalfordM5 4WX

Heritage Open Days tours
The Library is marking Heritage Open Days 2019 with free 'behind-the-scenes' tours on Friday 13 and Thursday 19 September at 2pm. Book in advance via info@wcml.org.uk.

The plan that came from the bottom up

OSaturday 14 September at 2pm we are screening the 30-minute version of The plan that came from the bottom up, a film about the extraordinary story of the Lucas Aerospace engineers who 40 years ago responded to the threat of redundancy with their own plan of action, developing alternatives to the military products their company made.  Mike Sanders from Manchester University will then chair a discussion about changing not just what we produce, but how we produce it, and thinking politically about technology.  Admission free; all welcome.

Tastes of honeyTastes of honey: the making of Shelagh Delaney and a cultural revolution is Selina Todd’s new authorised biography of Salford playwright Shelagh Delaney, which tells the story of how a working class teenager stormed late 1950s theatreland, and what happened next…  Delaney helped change the 20th century cultural and social landscape, putting working class lives centre stage and redefining what art could be, thus also inspiring a new generation of writers, musicians and artists.
On Wednesday 18 September at 2pm Selina will discuss Delaney’s upbringing, life and work, while Rob Lees (MaD Theatre Company) will talk about the experience of bringing Delaney’s work to life on stage in 2019, and Jenna Omeltschenko (Touring Partnerships Manager, National Theatre) will discuss the National Theatre’s new production of A Taste of Honey, which premieres at the Lowry in September. 
This is not a ticketed event but we expect it to be very busy - please arrive early to ensure a place...

Remembering the 1969 Manchester anti-apartheid march to the Springboks match
As part of the Library's 'Not just Peterloo' series of events, looking at the policing of popular protest, a free witness event on Thursday 3 October at 2pm brings together a panel of people who were at the Manchester demonstration on 26 November 1969 against the controversial South African rugby tour. 7,000 people marched, to be met by nearly 2,000 police officers. 150 protestors were arrested, with 77 charged.
The discussion will include why the protest was so large, the second largest of the whole tour (the Anti-Apartheid Movement organised protests at all 26 matches), and why the police acted so decisively with the chief constable telling the press afterwards they could say the demonstrators were frightened.
All are welcome. 
Please contact organiser Geoff Brown via the Library on info@wcml.org.uk if you were there on the day and would like to join the panel.

Women making history: locally, here, there and everywhere [Reminder]A day school, Women making history, will run in the Library annexe on Saturday 7 September from 11am to 3pm.

Organisers Keith Venables and Ali Ronan have put out a call welcoming stories, poems, films and exhibitions - contributions in any medium lasting 15/20 minutes are invited.
The event is free but donations are welcome.  Please get in touch to register:
Ali Ronan alironan61@gmail.com or Keith Venables iwceducation@yahoo.co.uk

Our much-praised exhibition Peterloo: news, fake news and paranoia finishes on Thursday, 19 September.  Drop by here (ideally between 1 and 5pm on Wednesday and Thursday when we have a volunteer in the hall to welcome you, but we'll let you in of course any time we're open...) to have a browse.

Our next exhibition, The Basque children: child refugees from the Spanish Civil War, opens on Wednesday 25 September.  All are welcome to join us for the formal opening at 6pm that day.  This is a guest exhibition from BCA’37 UK, the Association for the UK Basque Children, and tells the story of the children who came to colonies in Manchester, Salford, Bolton and other cities in the North West.
There will be a free talk by Simon Martinez alongside the exhibition on Wednesday 23 October at 2pm - details here.

The exhibition will run until Thursday 21 November, and is open Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm, and the first Saturday of the month 10am-4pm. 
Invisible Histories talks
Our autumn series of free Wednesday 2pm talks start up again on 9 October with a talk on sculptor Arthur Dooley.

Subsequent subjects include:
* stories behind a scrapbook of political cartoons by John Doyle, from around the time of the 1832 Reform Act, recently purchased by the Library, and
*Glasgow in 1919.    Full details at www.wcml.org.uk/events.

Engels Lecture
On Saturday 2 November at 2pm the Library hosts the second Engels Lecture, with John Green speaking on the topic 'In the footsteps of Marx and Engels - Willi Münzenberg, a forgotten giant of the working class movement'.  More details here.

This is WCML’s first hosting of this annual event, which was inaugurated last year at the Marx Memorial Library and will alternate between us.  Admission free; all welcome.

Bones of Paine project update
A reminder that to mark the bicentenary of the bizarre story of radical Thomas Paine's bones coming to Salford, and to celebrate his revolutionary writings and ideas (Common Sense, Rights of Man, Age of Reason) the Library and Walk the Plank are working together on an Arts Council-funded project which mixes the traditional with the contemporary, and the unusual with the familiar.
Wigan Diggers' Festival
On Saturday 7 September from 11am to 9.30pm the 9th Diggers' Festival takes place in Gerrard Winstanley Gardens, The Wiend, Wigan.  There will be live music, poetry, comedy, educational talks, exhibitions, and food and drink.  More details about this free event at wigandiggersfestival.org.

Salford Histories FestivalOn Saturday 21 September from 10am to 4pm the Salford Histories Festival takes place at Walkden Methodist Church, Manchester Road, Walkden M38 9AN.  Organised by Salford Local History Forum, this free event includes displays, talks, stalls and refreshements, as well as a walk along the Walkden Heritage Trail from 10.30am to 12.30pm.  Come and say hello to us on the Library stall, and hear more about our Bones of Paine project...
Banned - books for peaceOn Monday 11 November at 7pm in Cross Street Unitarian Chapel in Manchester, the Peace History Conference (involving Greater Manchester CND and the Working Class Movement Library) will be holding an event surrounding banned books - more specifically the works of Theodora Wilson Wilson. 

Local film-maker Nick Wilding has put together a short film with Maxine Peake, discussing Theodora's work The last weapon and the context within which it was written, and featuring readings from the novel by Maxine.  Afterwards there will be a talk from academic Paul Anderson, followed by discussion with the audience.

Further details here
Black Diamonds 
with associated drawings and prints, 
at the Lowry Hotel, 50 Dearmans Place in Manchester
26-9-19 to 19-11-19
"Black Diamonds is a sombre sculpture that expresses anger at the final round of coal mine closures that began during Margaret Thatcher’s leadership.The closures marked the death knell of the 2000-year-old British mining industry. Black Diamonds expresses horror at this wanton destruction, and solidarity with those who fought to save their jobs and communities. A series of life size black satin crows, a symbol of death, hover over piles of coal on blackened plinths, while a reliquary reveals a red satin interior filled with coal – Black Diamonds. A banner, an evocation of those traditionally carried by trade unionists, lists the names of more than two hundred pits closed as a result of this action. There are now three coal mines in Britain, two under threat of closure, although 40% of British energy needs are derived from imported coal."
From LSHG 
LSHG update for the autumn 2019 term (from email).
The IWGB boycott of Senate House continues and it would be fair to say that the University is being obdurate in terms of the legitimate issue of bringing outsourced workers back in-house on decent terms and conditions.
While the dispute continues it's the job of socialist historians to offer solidarity.
That means we cannot hold seminars at the IHR for the autumn term
... working with others on alternative arrangements.

On Monday 28th October at Kings College David Edgerton will speak on the rise and decline of Britain.
On Thursday 14th November at Bookmarks there will be a launch of the new Socialist History Society publication on Treason with Merilyn Moos, Christian Hogsbjerg and Steve Cushion. This comes out of an LSHG conference held in 2018 at the IHR and we will be supporting the launch.

Later in November I am hoping Martin Hoyles will speak on his new book on Ira Aldridge.
Full details of these events will be available a little nearer the time.

If supporters have ideas for speakers (and venues) do get in touch!

The next newsletter will be about in mid-October.

Contributions, reviews, comments are welcome. At the moment the plan is to focus on matters industrial with the IHR dispute, the disgraceful victimisation of trade unionists at Ruskin with its close associations with socialist history and of course the current wider UCU dispute.
Finally of course we supported the Climate Strike on 20th September and will be supporting the climate actions in October.

People’s History? Radical Historiography and the Left in the Twentieth Century
[For conference on] Saturday and Sunday, 15 and 16 February 2020 at the School of History, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK. 
Organised and hosted by UEA School of History in conjunction with the journal Socialist History and the Institute of Working Class History, Chicago.
... This conference seeks to explore all aspects of the status and uses of history in modern left imagination. We are seeking papers of 5000 to 10000 words to be presented at the conference. Conference themes may include, but are not limited to:  
  • History, Marxism and international socialism
  • History, class and class consciousness
  • History, philosophy and critical theory
  • History, gender, race, sexuality
  • History and (post)colonialism
  • History and/as activism
  • History, pedagogy and empowerment
  • National and international histories
  • Party histories
  • History and the role of the historian as public intellectual
Proposals for papers and any enquiries should be submitted here. The deadline for submitting proposals is Friday 29 November 2019. We shall inform all applicants as to whether their proposals have been accepted as soon as possible after that date. The deadline for receiving completed papers from successful applicants will be Monday 3 February 2020. Selected papers will be published in a special issue of the journal Socialist History. Attendance at the conference for both presenters and audience will be free of charge, but we ask that anyone wishing to attend registers in advance.

Remembering the Stop the Seventy Tour campaign

Autumn 1969 and Spring 1970 saw demonstrations and pitch invasions of grounds to disrupt the Springboks rugby team - representing apartheid South Africa - as they toured Britain and Ireland. Organised by the Stop the Seventy Tour Committee with the support of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, this mass civil disobedience in the face of police brutality successfully stopped the 1970 South African cricket tour and future cricketing tours until apartheid fell - a victory for anti-racists everywhere and a tremendous example of international solidarity. We are researching the campaign and its roots for a pamphlet to be published early next year to mark the victory - and would very much welcome testimony or memories from any involved in this inspiring campaign. 

Please find us at geoff.brown@gmail.com or c.hogsbjerg@brighton.ac.uk 
- many thanks
In solidarity,
Geoff Brown and Christian Hogsbjerg


Book Launch 14th November 2019
Bookmarks Bookshop
1 Bloomsbury Street, London WC1B 3QE 
Treason: Rebel Warriors and Internationalist Traitors. Edited by Steve Cushion and Christian Høgsbjerg .An Occasional Publication from The Socialist History Society
Available for £5 + p&p [£1.50 in UK, £5 to Rest of World] – for more details please contact Steve Cushion on s.cushion23[a]gmail.com – you will be able to pay by bank transfer, paypal or cheque.  
(Free to members of the SHS.) 
BUIRA History of Industrial Relations Study Group
Labour Unrest pre-First World War: Germany and the UK Compared
Tuesday 12 November 2019
3.30pm for 4.00-6.00m (Tea/ coffee from 3.30)
University of Westminster Business School, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS (room tbc) (opposite Madame Tussauds and nearly opposite Baker Street tube)
The event is free and no need to register in advance but for further details, please email Michael Gold (m.gold@rhul.ac.uk) or Linda Clarke (clarkel@wmin.ac.uk).


3.30-3.50pm:Tea/ coffee/ refreshments
3.50-4.00:Welcome:Michael Gold and Linda Clarke (Chairs)

4.00-4.30:Ralph Darlington
Pre-First World War Labour Unrest and Women’s Suffrage Revolt: Never the Twain Shall Meet?
During the years immediately preceding the First World War, Britain experienced social unrest on a scale beyond anything since the first half of the 19th century.
Both the women’s suffrage revolt for the vote (embracing suffragettes and suffragists) and the unprecedented labour unrest of 1910-14 (involving strikes in pursuit of higher wages, better working conditions and trade union recognition) utilised dramatic
extra-parliamentary ‘direct action’ forms of militant struggle from belowthat represented a formidable challenge to the social and political order of Edwardian Britain.This presentationre-examines the historical record to deploy both new and previously unutilised evidence to provide a detailed assessment of the interconnections between the women’s and labour
movements in this defining period of British history.

4.30-5.00: Joern Janssen

1910 Eight-week Lockout in the German Construction Industry: a Victory of Labour against Private Property

This presentation analyses the greatest industrial confrontation in German history, which ran from 15 April to 20 June 1910 and ended with the virtually complete defeat of the construction employers’ federation on 16 June 1910 through the verdict of a tripartite court of arbitration. It consolidated a new stage in labour-property relations and the role of labour in the development of anonymous capital. This industrial dispute
was about a national framework agreement on collective employment relations and bargaining. It transformed employee organisation and divided the employers’ organisation, benefiting, on the one hand, the central sectoral industrial labour unions to the detriment of trade organisations and, on the other, the anonymous corporations to the detriment of personal ownership of industrial enterprise.

5.00-5.30: General discussion
5.30pm: Close (followed by drinks until6.00pm)
Ralph Darlington is Emeritus Professor of Employment Relations at the University of Salford.He
is the author ofThe Dynamics of Workplace Unionism (Mansell 1994) and Radical Unionism: The Rise and Fall of Revolutionary Syndicalism(Haymarket 2013), co-author of Glorious Summer: Class Struggle in Britain 1972 (Bookmarks 2001), and is currently researching for a book to be published by Pluto Press onThe Labour Unrest 1910-1914.

Joern Janssen, born in Düsseldorf in Germany, studied architecture in the 1950s and worked as an architect from 1960 to 1970. He was awarded his PhD in political sciences (rer. pol.) in 1973 and became a Professor in construction economics at the Fachhochschule Dortmund from 1972 to 1997. He was a Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster 1997-2001, and since 1997 has been researching the history of labour-property relations.

[14th September] Today our newest additions to the Digital Library went online. Mostly local materials, in preparation for our Nottingham Prints Exhibition (27-29 Sep), but thanks to a very kind donation we have now also been able to complete our set of 1980s anarchist computer magazine Black Chip.

And our Document of the Month for September is...
- A 1987 (probably) publication, thought to be lost to time, but we were thrilled to discover it after all in the vast and treacherous realms of our uncatalogued materials!

Finally, we are getting very excited about our forthcoming Nottingham Prints exhibition. Although it was (and still is!) lots of work, we are very much enjoying putting together loads of exciting materials for our three day exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary.

You can already explore hundreds of alternative and radical titles from the 1970s to the 2010s we have processed for you, all available for free in our Digital Library. The dedicated Spotlight on: ... feature has now (Sat 14th Sep) been updated with loads more titles.

Dive in and we hope to see you at the Nottingham Contemporary on Friday 27th, Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th September 2019 (Fri/Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm). 

If you are able to, it would be amazing if you are please able to help us promote the event. Please feel free to retweet our stuff, forward this email or - if you want to be old school - we will be at the Green Festival tomorrow (Sunday 15th) and leave leaflets with ExLibris - The Masked Booksellers if anyone wants to pick up a few.

Thanks and all the very best wishes
A Sparrow  
UPDATE: How it went -
Many thanks to everyone, we had a great weekend at the Nottingham Contemporary.

Almost 500 people (not counting the ones who came in, looked confused and wandered off again) saw and engaged with our exhibition of local alternative and radical news media.

Many thanks to everyone who joined us to celebrate these wonderful materials, to everyone who promoted the event, helped putting it up and taking it down again, to those who donated more materials (some very good stuff will be added soon!) and of course many thanks to the Notts Zine Library and everyone at the Nottingham Contemporary for hosting the event and supporting us all weekend.

We are pretty exhausted but very happy. A proper update with photos and all will follow soon.

Please note that this month  we will only be open as normal (Wed 11am-2pm) on the 9th and the 30th October, but please feel free to get in touch to arrange a visit by appointment.

Our normal weekly opening times will resume from the 30th October.
From People's Histreh

Another of our popular guided walks ‘To the Castle!’

Saturday, 9th November 2019
Start 4pm St Peter Square (outside M&S)
It has been a good while since we did one of these and people keep asking us whether we will run another one. So there you go, back on populari(ish) demand.
As always this event is free of charge and wheelchair accessible.
For details please see our events page.