Wednesday, 28 February 2018

LSHG seminar on 1848 cancelled in solidarity with UCU strike

The next LSHG seminar was due to take place on Monday 5 March and discuss the anniversary of the revolutionary year of 1848 - this has now been cancelled out of solidarity with the UCU strike taking place that day and will be rescheduled for later in the year - for more details see here

Monday, 26 February 2018

History Acts on Strike - how to win?

History Acts on Strike: How to Win?

Can history help us win this dispute? Can we link our struggle over pensions to the struggles against casualisation of teaching and outsourcing of university staff? In an emergency History Acts teach-out, historians of trade unionism discuss strategies and tactics with union officials and activists.

Wednesday 7th March, 6pm to 8pm
MayDay Rooms, 88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1DH

Free entry. No need to book in advance. For information contact Steffan Blayney or Guy Beckett

History Acts workshops are led by activists, who give a short talk or presentation about their work. Historians working on a relevant topic will then respond, before opening it up to group discussion.

Our panel


Mike Berlin is joint-President of Birkbeck UCU and a historian specialising in the social history of early modern London. UCU members are currently on strike to defend their right to a fair pension.

Catherine Oakley is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Leeds and co-founder of The Academic Precariat (TAP), a new activist platform for research and teaching academics, and other categories of staff in the Higher Education sector united by the material and psychological conditions of precarity.

Dr Laura Schwartz is Associate Professor in Modern British History at the University of Warwick. Her main research interests are the history of feminism and radical movements in Britain, and she is completing her third monograph on ‘Feminism and the Servant Problem: Class Conflict and Domestic Labour in the British Women’s Suffrage Movement’.

Dr Jack Saunders is a historian of work and workplace culture in post-war Britain. Having previously worked on workplace culture and labour militancy in the British motor industry, he is now a Research Fellow on the University of Warwicks’s ‘Cultural History of the NHS project’. His current research looks at how working for the NHS has shaped the cultural values of health workers, particularly their attitudes towards work, efficiency and productivity.

Both Laura and Jack have been involved with Fighting Against Casualisation in Education (FACE), a network aiming to bring together casualised academic workers involved in struggles around the country, to organise for better labour conditions.
Twitter: @HistoryActs

Saturday, 24 February 2018

1968-2018 A Celebration of 50 years of Resistance, Campaigning and Alternatives for A Better World

1968-2018: A Celebration of 50 years of Resistance, Campaigning and Alternatives for A Better World

- despite 50 years of police opposition, spying and repression
Sat 7th / Sun 8th July 2018  

Sat 7th: Anniversary Roll Call / Commemoration / Celebration in Grosvenor Square, London W1 @ 1pm - 3pm

Sun 8th: London Gathering and Exhibition

1st to 8th July  -  week of local events and activities around the UK 

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Next planning meeting for the above
Sunday 11th March, 5pm @ Housmans, 5 Caledonian Road, N1 9DX

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In 1968, following demonstrations against the Vietnam War in London's Grosvenor Square, the police set up a Special Demonstration Squad (SDS). Since that time, 50 years ago, over 1,000 groups campaigning in the UK for a better world have been spied on, infiltrated and targeted by political policing. Their protests and demonstrations are also subjected to ongoing police opposition and control to try to limit their effectiveness.
This targeting has included groups campaigning for equality, justice, the environment and international solidarity, for rights for women, LGBTQ, workers and for animals, for community empowerment, and those campaigning against war, racism, sexism, corporate power, legal repression and police oppression and brutality. Such groups have represented many millions of people throughout the UK who want to make the world a better, fairer and more sustainable place for everyone.

Yet almost any group of any kind that stood up to make a positive difference has been or could have potentially been a target for secret political policing.
We now know this because of campaigners' recent efforts to expose and challenge the SDS and other similar secret units, and their shocking and unacceptable tactics. Individuals within those campaign groups have been spied on, subjected to intrusions in their personal lives, been victims of miscarriages of justice, and many deceived into intimate and abusive relationships with secret police, ie people that who were not who they said they were. In July 2015 we succeeded in forcing Theresa May (now Prime Minister) to set up the current Undercover Policing Public Inquiry, which was tasked with getting to the truth by July 2018, and insisting on action to prevent police wrong-doing in future. Now, 3 years on, the public inquiry has achieved very little due to police obstruction.
When the SDS was formed they stated that they would 'shut down' the movements they were spying on. But despite disgusting police tactics, movements for positive change are still here and growing, and have had many successes on the way.


This planned two-day event in London, backed up by a call for a week of actions all around the UK, is in support of those campaigning for full exposure and effective action at the Undercover Policing Inquiry, and against police attempts to delay and undermine it. We aim to encourage more groups to find out about the Inquiry and how they can get involved and support each other, and to unite the many different groups and organisations who have been victims of our police state because of their efforts to improve society. 

 Backed by the Campaign to Oppose Police Surveillance [C.O.P.S.] -