Wednesday, 13 August 2014

SHS meeting on the Ukraine

Socialist History Society

Public Meeting

Russia and Ukraine: one history, two stories?

Speaker Francis King

Editor of Socialist History and lecturer in modern European history, University of East Anglia


Ukraine Astride the Geopolitical Faultlines

Speaker Frank Lee

Retired lecturer, author of 'Fabianism and Colonialism’, and 'The EU: an unfinished project'; economics editor of Chartist magazine

2pm Saturday 4th October 2014

Venue: Marx Memorial Library, Clerkenwell Green

Attendance is free – all welcome

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Featherstone Massacre Commemoration


In the summer of 1893 Yorkshire mine owners -faced with a fall in the price of coal- demanded that miners accept a 25% reduction in wages.
The miners resisted and on 28th July they were locked out.
The dispute dragged on and after seven weeks money was increasingly tight.  Miners knew they needed to step up their action so they began to stop the movement of coal.
On 6th September the manager of Featherstone's Ackton Hall colliery, a Mr Holiday, arrived at the pit to find a large picket of miners demanding that the loading of smudge for sale be stopped.  Holiday eventually agreed.
But the next day miners discovered wagons with Bradford destination tickets being loaded with smudge.  The miners felt they had been conned, so they toppled the wagons over.
Holiday, fearing widespread unrest, called for help and the military -in the form of the South Staffordshire Regiment- were soon sent in.
However the troops and the magistrate Bernard Hartley JP were confronted by a large crowd in Green Lane.  The magistrate read the Riot Act but when the crowd didn't disperse live rounds were fired. 
One man, James Gibb, was shot through the right breast.  He died in a local surgery the following day.
Another man, James Duggan, also died in Clayton Hospital, Wakefield after surgeons were unable to stop bleeding in his leg.
Many more people were also wounded.
Jurors at Duggan's inquest were instructed to return a verdict of "justifiable homicide."  Jurors at Gibb's inquest refused to acquiesce in this way and expressed regret at the "extreme measures" taken on the night in question.
The Bowen Commission later set up to inquire into events was a complete whitewash.  The Home Secretary, HH Asquith, did agree to pay £100 to each of the deceased families but still didn't admit any culpability.  Henceforth Asquith was known as "Assassin Asquith."

On Saturday 6th September the Wakefield Socialist History Group will be commemorating these events with a guided walk.  Mett 2pm at Bradley Arms, Willow Lane, North Featherstone.   There will be a graveside oration and tour of locations in Featherstone itself associated with the Massacre.
All are welcome and there is no charge.

Alan Stewart
Convenor, Wakefield Socialist History Group

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

The Great War and the Working Class Movement Library

From the Northern Radical History site:

The Working Class Movement Library’s exhibition, The Great War: myths and realities, opens on Wednesday 6 August.  It explores topics such as Salford’s response to the outbreak of war, the strength of the anti-war movement locally and nationally, what happened to the campaign which had gathered momentum by 1914 to get the vote for women – and the realities of trench warfare.
On this anniversary of the start of the First World War the Library wants to commemorate it, but to do so honestly.  The exhibition introduction states: ‘We will not remember the “lost” or the “fallen”.  We will remember 16 million dead whose lives were not given but were taken from them by politicians and generals’.
Veronica Trick, a member of the volunteer exhibition team, said: ‘By camouflaging this hideous event with heroic language we make the next war more likely.  We believe that there is only one morally acceptable way to remember WW1 and that is to look honestly at past wars to develop strategies for the prevention of future wars.’
The exhibition is open during the Library drop-in times, Wed-Fri 1-5pm, until 19 December 2014.
There will be a series of free talks accompanying the exhibition on Wednesdays at 2pm:
24 September 2014 The art of WW1 – John Sculley
1 October 2014 Winifred Letts, local poet – Cynthia Greenwood
8 October 2014 British trade unions and the First World War – John Newsinger.
The Working Class Movement Library was founded by the late Ruth and Edmund Frow in the 1950s and is now acknowledged as one of the most important collections of historical material on radical working class organisations in the country.  The Library is open to the public on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons.  At other times visitors are welcome to make appointments to view or use the collection. Admission to the library is free.
Working Class Movement Library, 51 Crescent, Salford M5 4WX
Tel 0161 736 3601

Monday, 4 August 2014

No Glory - No More War

No Glory - No More War 
Monday 4 August  
6.30pm - 8.30pm 
Parliament Square London
Monday 4 August is the 100th anniversary of Britain's entry into World War One. Britain's recent record of foreign wars, its commitment to NATO expansion and its support for Israeli aggression make it essential that there is a strong anti-war message on the day.
There are anti-war events taking place around the country to counter David Cameron's campaign to make the WW1 centenary an occasion for "celebration" and "glorification". 
In London the No Glory in War campaign will stage an event in Parliament Square at 6.30pm, just before the official commemoration, evoking the real horror of World War One, demanding that nothing like it happens again. We will be celebrating resistance to war at the time and today.
Speakers and performers at the No Glory - No More War event include actors Samuel West and Kika Markham. Jeremy Corbyn MP will read Kier Hardie's anti-war speech of 1914. Writer AL Kennedy will read Carol Ann Duffy's Last Post in honour of Harry Patch, the last surviving soldier from the First World War trenches, who said until the day he died in 2009 that war was 'legalised mass murder'
Also speaking are World War II Normandy veteran Jim Radfordhistorian Neil Faulkner and Kate Hudson from CND. Music will be performed by Sean Taylor and Gunes Cerit.
Stop the War is asking all our supporters who are able to attend, to bring white poppies and other anti -war symbols to make sure this anniversary is marked in the only way appropriate - with a loud call for an end to foreign wars.
If you are are a Twitter user, please use the hashtag #NoMoreWar throughout the day.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Hidden Histories: Little Germany

President: Peter Hennessy

 8pm Saturday 9 August

 Little Germany: Stratford and East London 1914

 On Tuesday 15th December 1914 a small group of Germans were led to William Ritchie & Sons, an old jute factory on Carpenter’s Road, now to become Stratford Camp. Interviewing decedents of the Germany Community in Newham and East London, Eastside Community Heritage launched an exhibition in July 2014 which is now open to the public. Epicentre West St, Leytonstone, E11 4LJ
 Enquiries: 0208 555 5248 or

Friday, 1 August 2014

Conference: Reparative Histories

Reparative Histories: Radical Narratives of ‘Race’, and Resistance

University of Brighton, 11-12 September 2014
An interdisciplinary conference inaugurating the Research Cluster, ‘Representation: ‘Race’, Culture and Identity’

This interdisciplinary conference addresses the role of historical representation in shaping radical cultural, aesthetic, and political meanings of ‘race’. Celebratory conceptions of identity, e.g. ‘hybridity’, ‘transnationalism’, and the ‘global’, developed within the abstracted frames of postmodernism often fail to account for the nature and complexity of contemporary processes of identity formation, or for their contested political mobilisations and contexts. The conference is interested in critical historical and cultural representations that are rooted in particular histories and cultures and their legacies in the contemporary moment.
The conference questions what it means to turn to history to appeal for recognition and redress in the present. It will address why the appeal to ‘origins’ remains such a powerful tool of oppression and of resistance, and how traditions of political struggle are currently being rearticulated. We are interested in why certain forms of resistance to oppression are often framed within the context of trauma rather than historical agency.  From the election of Obama to the increasingly effective slavery reparations movement, and from South Africa’s post-apartheid complexity to the rise of far-Right parties in Europe, and the reconfiguration of Europe as a fortress, ‘race’ remains a lightening rod telegraphing the fault-line within liberal democracies, and exposing their hidden histories.
The conference aims to contribute to current debates concerning the ethics and limits of representation in questioning constructions of 'race' and their re-workings in, for example, specifically Black and diasporic aesthetic and intellectual traditions, e.g. archival absences and traces; the politics of historical commemoration; twentieth century African American aesthetics and Communism; the legacies of transatlantic slavery; colonial legacies and postcolonial identities; 'race', agency and the politics of identity; trauma and representation; the historical and contemporary intersections of ‘race’ gender and sexuality; the politics of reparations; interracial anti-racisms and African Atlantic cultural formations.
Dates of Event
11th September 2014 – 12th September 2014
Last Booking Date for this Event
9th September 2014

Confirmed keynote speakers: Dr Priyamvada Gopal (University of Cambridge), and Dr Brian Kelly (Queen’s University, Belfast). 

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Stop the First World War lecture series

Conway Hall Ethical Society and the Socialist History Society present

Stop the First World War - Oppositions to the Great War

A series of talks and discussions every Tuesday evening at 7pm from 30th September to 11th November 2014.
Curated by Deborah Lavin, and presented by Conway Hall Ethical Society and the Socialist History Society.
All lectures are £5
(£3 concessions and members of participating societies)
 Bookable Online
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square
Holborn, London WC1R 4RL
Conway Hall is owned and operated
by Conway Hall Ethical Society.

Registered charity 251396

30 September at 7pm
Norman Angell - Liberal, Radical, Socialist, Pacifist or Patriot?
Prof. Martin Ceadel

7 October at 7pm
Bertrand Russell’s response to WWI
Chris Bratcher
Ramsay MacDonald and WWI
John Grigg

14 October at 7pm
British Labour Movement and the Outbreak of WWI
Prof. Willie Thompson
A Movement Divided, The Labour Movement and WWI
Prof. Keith Laybourn

21 October at 7pm
Irish Labour and WWI
Prof. John Newsinger
Radical Liberalism and the Outbreak of WWI
Duncan Bowie

28 October at 7pm
The Pankhursts at War
Katherine Connelly
Isabella Ford - Socialist and Feminist Peace Campaigner in WWI
Prof. June Hannam

4 November at 7pm
1914 and the Schism in International Anarchism
Pietro Dipaola
Not Our War
Tony Zurbrugge

11 November at 7pm
From Slaughter to Mutiny
Ian Birchall
WWI and the Russian Revolution to 1923
Prof. Christopher Read