Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Freedom to Protest: 2005 Conference Papers

The freedomtoprotest.org.uk site is due to close imminently....

In 2005 the McLibel case defendants, after the longest trial in English history (vs the McDonald's Corporation), celebrated a legal victory at the European Court of Human Rights. 

See www.mcspotlight.org   This capped a 15 year long successful global campaign of publicity and defiance against McDonald's attempts to suppress criticism.  The McLibel Support Campaign then linked up with a number of campaign groups to discuss how to develop wider solidarity and resistance to oppression. 

On October 23rd,  230 people from over 80 local and national organisations took part in a historic Freedom To Protest conference in North London. The conference was organised by and for campaigns and groups affected by recent repressive laws and measures being increasingly used by the government and companies to try to suppress public protest and dissent. Participants pledged to help develop and support effective strategies for standing up for the public's freedom to protest against injustice and oppression.

There was a very wide and diverse range of local and national organisations supporting and taking part, including:  Aldermaston Women's Peace camp; Birmingham Guantanamo Campaign; Campaign Against Criminalising Communities; Campaign Against the Arms Trade; Campaign to Close Campsfield; Cardiff World Development Movement; Corporate Watch; Friends of the Earth; Gate Gourmet strikers; Genetic Engineering Network; Haringey Against ID Cards; Hunt Saboteurs Association; Legal Defence and Monitoring Group; London Rising Tide; McLibel Support Campaign; Newham Monitoring Project; Parliament Square Peace Campaign and Brian Haw Supporters; Peace News; Rhythms of Resistance; Schnews; School Students Against the War; Torbay & District Trades Union Council; Trident Ploughshares; Undercurrents; and the Veggies Catering Campaign.

Those present shared their experiences and views in order to promote mutual aid & co-ordination between organisations, and to inspire and empower each other. At the end, participants sent out some positive and determined messages:
- Wherever there is injustice or oppression, there is protest and resistance 
- Repression will never succeed in silencing public dissent and protest
- Any oppressive laws can be rendered unworkable through increased protest, non-co-operation and defiance.

Full details of the conference can be read here. (24pp.)

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Bristol Radical History Festival 2019

Saturday 12th October 2019
Bristol Radical History Group (BRHG) and the Remembering the Real World War I Group (RRWWI) have organised a full programme of events, in collaboration with our hosts at M Shed.
Again, we will reveal hidden histories, debate and agitate for a future of better pasts. 
The 2019 festival has two main themes:
  • 1919: Year of Revolutions
The aftermath of the First World War was one of the most revolutionary moments in the Twentieth Century. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, there were revolutions and uprisings across Europe, in Germany and Hungary, and beyond, in Egypt and Mexico. In Ireland, 1919 would witness the establishment of a separatist parliament in Dublin, an escalation of guerrilla warfare and the establishment of a ‘soviet’ in opposition to British rule. In Britain, these were tumultuous times as thousands of rebellious troops returned from the front-line demanding immediate demobilisation, whilst mass strikes broke out on the railways and amongst miners and engineers threatening a syndicalist takeover. We look at what happened, what was at stake and the legacy of the ‘Year of Revolutions’ in Bristol, Britain and Ireland. 
  • Green History: from 18th Century roots to Extinction Rebellion
Our second theme features the history of concern for the environment. We will cover more than two centuries from origins of ‘green’ awareness during the Romantic era through to first-hand accounts from those who took part in late-twentieth-century activism and Black2Nature, who campaign for inclusion and ethnic diversity in environmentalism. How can green history inform present-day debates during the resurgence of environmental concern on the part of Extinction Rebellion, Youth Strike 4 Climate and Earth Strike?
Following the success of the 2017 and 2018 events, this year’s Bristol Radical History Festival is again hosted by M Shed, Bristol’s social history museum located on the historic harbourside.
It’s not just talks! 
Expect walks, films, singing, a performance space with a puppet show, storytelling and poetry, and an exhibition space, as well as stalls with books and merchandise from local and national groups. Not to be missed – go up to Level 2 to see the Regional Radical Press exhibition, with highlights from UWE Bristol Regional History Centre’s current project  All the events are free with no booking required!
We are also thrilled to announce a tie-in event: ‘3 Acres and a Cow: A History of Land Rights in Folk Song and Story’. This will be hosted at Bristol’s Cube Microplex on the evening of Friday 25thOctober.


Full Radical History Festival Programme here

Note: events will be added to this list and there may be changes of times.
Selected Highlights:
“We want out” – Bristol and the British armed forces strikes of January 1919

Event Details

Date: Sat 12th Oct, 2019 
Time: 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm 
Venue: M Shed, BS1 4RN 
Price: Free 
With: Roger BallNeil Gordon-Orr 
Series: Bristol Radical History Festival 2019
Regional Radical Press in Britain 1968-1988 exhibition

Event Details

Date: , 2019 
Venue: M Shed, BS1 4RN 
Price: Free 
With: Steve Poole 
Series: Bristol Radical History Festival 2019
The 'Industrial Unrest Committee' and Industrial Legality during the 1919 Railway Strike

Event Details

Date: , 2019 
Time:  to  
Venue: M Shed, BS1 4RN 
Price: Free 
With: Philip Kuhn 
Series: Bristol Radical History Festival 2019
‘England’s difficulty is Ireland’s opportunity‘: How Irish Nationalism responded to the Great War

Event Details

Date: , 2019 
Time:  to  
Price: Free 
With: Joe MooneyDee DaleyNick Heath 
Series: Bristol Radical History Festival 2019
and lots more...

Thursday, September 12, 2019

New Anarchist Research Group, London, meetings

New Anarchist Research Group, London

Meetings in September and October to be held in the MayDay Rooms,  88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1DH

Saturday 28 September 2019 2:00pm - 4:00pm
An Attempt at Anarcho-syndicalism in a time of crisis
Shiri Shalmy

Over the past five years, UVW members won significant improvements to pay and conditions through militant workplace organising and a diversity of direct action tactics. Recently, UVW started organising sex workers, legal workers and cultural workers - three sectors that were typically un-unionised and considered unorganisable. This autumn, UVW members will take strike action across seven different workplaces, including universities, hospital and the Royal Parks, where they demand the London Living Wage, occupational sick pay and an end to the exploitative practice of outsourcing. 
We will discuss UVW's unique organising principles and methods, the complexities of horizontal trade unionism and the union's work to develop a community of solidarity in a time of social and political crisis. 
Shiri Shalmy is an organiser at United Voices of the World, a members led trade union organising some of the UK's most marginalised, low waged and precarious workers

 Saturday 26 October 2019 2:00pm - 4:00pm 
Anarchist education as prefigurative practice; tensions and possibilities
Judith Suissa

Hannah Arendt
In this talk, I will revisit some earlier work on the idea of anarchist education as prefigurative practice to explore some of the tensions suggested by such work. Drawing on Hannah Arendt's reflections on educational authority and on recent work on utopian pedagogy, I will explore ways in which, from an anarchist perspective, these tensions can be seen as productive pedagogical tensions rather than weaknesses.

Judith Suissa is Professor of Philosophy of Education at the UCL Institute of Education. She is the author of Anarchism and Education (PM Press, 2010) and (with Stefan Ramaekers) The Claims of Parenting; Reasons, Responsibility and Society (Springer, 2012).

Our meetings are friendly and informal, but please note that we do ask for a donation to cover the cost of the venue.
See previous post for other autumn listings
Reminder from Autonomy Now
This Land is Ours: The Fight for Land Justice
Speakers from the Anarchist Communist Group.
7pm start, Thursday September 26th.
Free entry. No booking required.
Venue: Housmans Bookshop
5 Caledonian Road
King’s Cross, N1 9DX
Maps/directions here.