Monday, 14 August 2017

Marikana Miners Solidarity Campaign Picket and Vigil

Wednesday 16th August
5th ANNIVERSARY DEMONSTRATION
AGAINST THE BRUTAL MARIKANA MASSACRE

1-2pm Picket Lonmin HQ, 1-3 Mount Street, London W1K 3NB
4.30-7pm Remembrance Vigil
SOUTH AFRICA HOUSE, TRAFALGAR SQUARE
Bring yellow flowers
Marikana Miners Solidarity Campaign


On 16th August 2012, the South African Police shot dead 34 striking platinum rock drillers, while they were trying to disperse. Ten people had died before the massacre. The government set up the Farlam Inquiry which cost the working people of South Africa R153 million. Farlam failed to ask the right questions (who gave the order to issue guns to the police? who ordered them to shoot to kill?) and failed to address the issues - better working conditions and better wages, and decent housing.
Although evidence showed clearly that it was the police who killed the miners -19 strikers were charged with murder (!) as well as with malicious damage to property. There has been no compensation for the victims’ families or for the injured mineworkers. A second 'Inquiry' found “that the National Police Commander Riah Phiyega was not 'fit for office' and should be dismissed”. Phiyega has challenged this and filed for a review.
The ANC government called the shots on mining company Lonmin’s behalf. Elsewhere in South Africa, the struggle continues against the destruction of the environment and the health and social consequences of mining that forces people to leave their land which is the source of their livelihood. The small number of jobs it generates cannot justify the destruction it would cause. Local communities receive no benefits. There is widespread violence against those opposed to mining. Activists are attacked and arrested on trumped up charges. Sikhossiphi Rhadebe, the chair of the resistance community in Xolobeni, was murdered in front of his wife and son on 22nd March 2016. This is another example that Rhodes’ racist legacy remains.
Lonmin (London Mining) used to be a subsidiary of Lonrho, the notorious London Rhodesia company headed by Tiny Rowland, which even a Conservative prime minister Ted Heath called ‘the unacceptable face of capitalism’ because of its wanton profiteering and corruption.  Lonmin continues today as the corporate face of neo-colonial capitalism. Principal investors in Lonmin’s murderous exploitation of African mineworkers are London based asset management funds Investec, Majedie, Schroders, Standard Life and Legal & General who own 44% of the corporation. A consortium of banks including Lloyds, HSBC and RBS are Lonmin’s biggest lenders.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

North East Labour History Society - Fifty Years of Activism Day School

Day School: Fifty Years of Activism

September 16 @ 9:30 am - 4:30 pm


Venue: University of Northumbria, Ellison Building

9:30am to 4:30pm, Saturday 16 September 2017

(Exact details of location at Northumbria University will be posted here soon).

A collaboration between the Histories of Activism Group at Northumbria University, and the North East Labour History Society.

This day school will reflect on the last fifty years in the North East, and especially the great changes that have occurred in politics, culture and society.
The workshops will focus on specific subjects such as Labour Activism and Music and we believe it will revive the spirit of the History Workshop conferences. The backgrounds of the participants will be mixed, including academics presenting their research, as well as activists and historians working outside of a formal academic framework.

To book your place in this Day School, please let us know on moderator@nelh.net. Attendance is free, and coffee and lunch will be provided.

Fifty Years of Activism

9:30 – 10:00 Coffee and Registration
10:00 – 11:00 Plenary, Keynote Speaker: Dr John Charlton

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee
11:30 –   1:00 Three parallel workshops:
Culture and Music: Workshop Leader, Dr Jude Murphy
Labour Activism: Workshop Leader, Ben Sellers
Women and the Women’s Movement: Workshop Leader, Dr Liz O’Donnell. During this session Dr Julie Scanlon will be talking about her research into the 1976 Women’s Liberation Conference held in Ponteland.
1:00 –   2:00 Lunch
2:00 –   3:00 Three Parallel Workshops
The Peace Movement: Workshop Leader, John Creaby
Politics: Workshop Leader, Nigel Todd
Cooperatives: Workshop Leader, Professor Tony Webster
3:00 –   4:00 Three Parallel Workshops
Trade Unions and the World of Work: Workshop Leader, John Stirling will begin with a brief overview of the changes in work and trade unions over the last 50 years and focus on changing ideas about ‘workers control’ to illustrate developments. He will then welcome discussion from participants about how they see the past and envisage the future.
Growth of Ethnic Diversity in the North East: Workshop Leader, Dr Avram Taylor
4:00 –   4:30 Concluding Remarks: Dr Matt Perry

To book your place in this Day School, please let us know on moderator@nelh.net. Attendance is free, and coffee and lunch will be provided.

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The roots of organising in UK working class history

 From John Page:

I am working with a broad range of trade union and community organisers
under the working name of the 'Ella Baker School of Transformative
Community Organising' on a project: 'the roots of organising in UK
working class history'.

In essence we are looking for examples of social movement building in
the past that might provide lessons for the present. The key for us is
the 'who, what, why, how' questions: how did these movements start, what
were their internal practices, how did they frame their issues, and how
did they mobilise/organise their constituency etc?

While the list of examples is very much open, we are looking at things
like the East London Federation of Suffragettes, the New Cross Massacre
Action Committee, inter war anti-fascism in the east end of London, the
upper Clyde shipbuilders work-in etc. We are particularly interested in
migrant struggles and organising.
 

At this stage we are not particularly looking at undertaking original research, it is more a case
of exploring what has already been written and in particular first hand
accounts.

If anyone is interested or would like to contribute (either by joining a
'reading group' or  simply by supplying a suggested reading list, then
please register their interest here:
https://goo.gl/forms/QL8EAVQgAQETGk2C2