Sunday, 19 June 2011

George Padmore plaque in Camden

George Padmore, celebrated pan-Africanist and revolutionary organiser, will be commemorated on what would have been his 98th birthday with a blue heritage plaque in Camden, the London borough in which he lived from 1941 to 1957 with his partner and collaborator, Dorothy Pizer.

The plaque will be unveiled in the presence of the High Commissioners of Trinidad and Tobago and Ghana and the Mayor of Camden. The ceremony will be followed by a reception at Mayor's office, Camden Town Hall, Euston Road, London WC1H 9JE (5 mins walk).

The George Padmore Institute is a co-organiser of the event with the Nubian Jak Community Trust.

Date: Tuesday 28 June
Venue: 22 Cranleigh Street, Camden, london NW11BD
Time: 1.00pm

Tube: Mornington Crescent, Euston

Edited to add: See here and also this new CLR James legacy project website

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Conference on Black Political Activists in Britain

Organised by the Black and Asian Studies Association
Saturday, 25th June 2011
University College London,
Stewart House,
32 Russell Square,
London, WC1B 5DN
Black Political Activists in Britain
When BASA was founded in 1991, one of its main aims was to campaign for the recognition of the role that people of Black and Asian descent have played in British life for centuries. This anniversary year conference reflects the theme of campaigning by looking at their role in politics. Go to the website for further information

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

CFP: Critique Special Issue on Rosa Luxemburg

Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory: Call for Papers on Rosa Luxemburg. 2012 Special Issue: Legacy of Rosa Luxemburg
Call for Articles
Born in Tsarist Poland in 1871, she emigrated to Germany and became one of the most inspirational figures of the Second International. Luxemburg arrived in Berlin in the spring of 1898 in time join the Revisionist debates, which made her famous as a Marxist theoretician. Time and again Luxemburg proved herself as a gifted orator, inspiring workers to join the socialist movement, as well as she a talented theoretician, attempting to expand Marx's work and make it relevant to early 20th century movement. However, Rosa Luxemburg was and remains a controversial figure.
To mark the 140th anniversary of Rosa Luxemburg’s birth, Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory will be producing a special issue on and around Luxemburg’s works and her legacy. The special issue would like to examine some of her most well known works (such as the Russian Revolution, Mass Strike, National Question, and Organisational Question, Accumulation of Capital) and address their relevance to today.
What is Rosa Luxemburg’s legacy?Is her work still relevant today?During a time of economic crisis, does Luxemburg’s work, Accumulation of Capital have anything to offer the 21st century?Why does Luxemburg continue to inspire?
Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory welcomes contributions covering any aspect of Marxist political economy, philosophy and history. Articles should not normally exceed 7-8,000 words in length.
Articles must include an abstract of no more than 300 words and a maximum of 6 key words. Please note that Critique does not use the Harvard system and expects footnotes to appear at the bottom of the page.
For further instructions and advice for authors please visit: . For further details about Critique visit: . The final deadline for articles is December 1, 2011. Please send articles via email to the special issue editor: Dr. Lea Haro, and to:

Monday, 13 June 2011

Reminder: LSHG meeting on Ray Challinor

London Socialist Historians Group meeting:
Ray Challinor- Socialist Activist and Historian.
Speakers include Stan Newens

Saturday 25th June,
1pm, Germany Room,
Institute of Historical Research,
Senate House,

[Edited to add: See the Ray Challinor Internet Archive, which now includes pieces written by Ray on the 'physical force Chartist' Peter Murray McDouall and the miners' leader Alexander MacDonald]

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Time to Tell - Gus John Book Launch

Time To Tell - The Grenada Massacre & After...

Join Professor Gus John at Centerprise as he launches his new book "Time to tell - The Grenada Massacre and After" Plus: Special Guest Akala performing his poetry.
Free Event
5th June, 5.30-9pm, Centreprise, 136-138 Kingsland High St, London
This event is part of Centerprise's Midsummer Literature Festival

Legacies of Emancipation in the Americas

Legacies of Emancipation in the Americas
14 June 2011, 18:30 - 20:00
Speakers: Robin Blackburn (Essex University), Richard Drayton (King's College London), Denise Ferreira da Silva (Queen Mary, University of London), and playwright and critic Bonnie Greer explore the long-term legacies of the processes of emancipation of enslaved African populations that began in the late eighteenth century in different parts of the Americas.
DescriptionThis event is co-sponsored by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library and the Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London.
Price: £7.50 / £5 concessions
Venue : Eccles Centre, British Library
96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB

WEA North East centenary summer school


Friday8-Sunday 10 July
The Workers' Educational Association North East Region is celebrating 100 years of providing adult learning in our region. As part of our Centenary celebrations we will be holding a very special weekend residential Summer School this July to coincide with the 2011 Durham Miners’ Gala at the beautiful College of St Hild and St Bede, Durham. Join us for three days of fun, friendship and learning!

The sessions will be interesting and enjoyable in themselves, but there is even more to this attractively priced weekend!

The summer school also includes an opportunity to take part in the historic 127th Durham Miners' Gala at which we will be unveiling the WEA North East Region's new Centenary banner. The Gala involves a huge procession with banners and bands through the centre of Durham City, leading to the Big Meeting on a nearby field with tens of thousands of people from all over Britain and the world.

There will be speakers galore from the trade union and other movements, and for the first time in many years, the Leader of the Labour Party will also be addressing the crowd.

The Big Meeting has its other features as well - a famous tea tent, union and Co-op displays, more of the bands, and a huge marquee in which you can find historical and other stalls, and not least the annual WEA stall where we launch our courses brochure for the coming year!

Every year, the Gala grows in size and variety. Although the pits have closed, the traditions of the mining villages bring about the yearly parading of former Lodge banners, and many local schools in County Durham have now made their own banners for the Gala. A video of the 2010 Gala can be found on the Guardian website (there's a slightly tedious wait before the introductory advert finishes!):

So, one of the sidelights of the Centenary summer school is that you get to stay in accommodation right in the centre of Durham City at a very reasonable price and within easy reach of other sights such as Durham Cathedral.

We would like to invite WEA friends from all over the country to join us for the weekend.   For more information contact: WEA Regional Office, Joseph Cowen House, 21 Portland Terrace, Jesmond,
            Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 1QQ. Telephone: 0191 212 6100 or email:

Friday, 3 June 2011

Book Launch: Jailhouse Lawyers by Mumia Abu-Jamal

From death row in Pennsylvania, launch of a new book in the UK...

By Mumia Abu-Jamal

Foreword by Angela Y. Davis,
Introduction by Selma James
Published by Crossroads Books
Price: £11.99
Free to Prisoners. Donations welcome to help cover costs.

Book Launch:
30 June 2011, 4-5pm
House of Lords, Committee Room 4
Hosted by Lord Ramsbotham (Former HM Chief Inspector of Prisons)
- Selma James, Crossroads Books editor, Introduction to Jailhouse Lawyers
· John Hirst, Ex-prisoner, won European Court decision for prisoners’ right to vote.
· Flo Krause, Barrister who represented John Hirst in the European Court
· Ian Macdonald, QC Wrote letter to US court on racism in Abu-Jamal’s trial, signed by over 100 UK lawyers
· Emmanuel De Silva, Jailhouse lawyer
· Benjamin Zephaniah, Poet, ex-prisoner
· Niki Adams, Legal Action for Women

From death row, award-winning journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal introduces us to fellow prisoners who litigate against their jailers, risking punishment or even death, to win justice for themselves and other prisoners.
“This is the story,” he writes, “of law learned not in the ivory towers of multi-billion-dollar endowed universities [but] in the hidden, dank dungeons of America – the Prisonhouse of Nations.”
Selma James’s Introduction presents the parallel universe of UK jailhouse lawyers who, like their US counterparts, are leading a justice movement inside prisons.

UK prisoners, denied the vote, are campaigning for this fundamental right. A legal challenge brought by a jailhouse lawyer supported by a dedicated legal team won a European Court ruling in 2004 that a blanket ban on votes for prisoners violates their human rights. Yet the government, in opposing votes for prisoners, acts as if those of us who are prisoners are less human, and deny that prisons and what goes on in them also frame the kind of society we all inhabit.

The UK publication of Jailhouse Lawyers is an opportunity for prisoners’ campaign for the vote and other efforts for fundamental reforms to be more widely known and supported.


Anger with accuracy. Outstanding. Ian Macdonald QC

Deserves to be read by policymakers. Lord David Ramsbotham, former HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

Illuminates what is possible for jailhouse lawyers in Britain. Ben Gunn, UK jailhouse lawyer

A champion of law in an institution that is lawless. Benjamin Zephaniah, poet, ex-prisoner

Gallant prisoners who do battle with the authorities. Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve

A brilliant analysis of law and lawyers as instruments of injustice. Lord Anthony Gifford QC, UK barrister and attorney, Jamaica

A must read for prisoners and prison reform groups. John Hirst, former jailhouse lawyer

In the grand tradition of prison writing. Frances Crook, Director, Howard League for Penal Reform

An international learning tool – of particular importance to the Caribbean. Richard Small, attorney, Jamaica

The truth about death row and its distinguished inhabitants. Niki Adams, Legal Action for Women

Make way for inside voices. Everybody should read it. Flo Krause, barrister

Mumia Abu-Jamal has once more offered us new ways of thinking about law, democracy, and power. Angela Y. Davis, from the Foreword

They learn the law, the procedures, the jargon, and mount an often formidable legal defence. In the process they carve out a life for themselves. Selma James, from the Introduction