Saturday, 23 September 2017

Celebrating 1917

1917 conference image

Celebrating 1917
Saturday 4 November 2017 • Central London • 10:30am-5:30pm
A one-day conference to debate and discuss the legacy of 1917 on the hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution.


Why Celebrate 1917?

  • Dave Sherry, author of Russia 1917: Workers' Revolution and Festival of the Oppressed

  • John Molyneux, author of Lenin for Today

  • Sally Campbell, editor of Socialist Review

  • The Bolsheviks and 1917

    • Kevin Corr and Gareth Jenkins, contributors to International Socialism

    • Culture and Revolution

      • Cathy Porter, author of Alexandra Kollontai: A Biography

      • Roger Huddle, editor of Reminiscences of RAR

      • The Festival of the Oppressed

      • Judith Orr, author of Marxism and Women's Liberation

      • How the Revolution was Lost

        • Esme Choonara, author of A Rebel's Guide to Trotsky

        • The Revolution and its Relevance Today

          • Steve Smith, author of Russia in Revolution

          • Alex Callinicos, author of Imperialism and Global Political Economy

          • Amy Leather, national secretary of the SWP

          • Tickets are £10/£5 concessions.

            To book your place at this conference phone 020 7840 5600 or see the link here

            There are many other events and conferences taking place across the UK (and obviously also internationally) to mark the centenary obviously - for example in Preston on 13-15 October, in London on 21 October, in Glasgow on 28 October, and again in London from 9-12 November.

            Tuesday, 12 September 2017

            GROUP DISCOUNT OFFER For LSHG and friends : Philosophy Football's 1917 Centenary Night Out

            From Mark at Philosophy Football...

            Our 1917 centenary show at Rich Mix ‘Art out of Revolution’ is on Saturday 21st October, we've put a lot of thought into it and come up with something truly special. And there's a special tickets deal too, 5 for the price of 4, or 10 for price of 7 for LSHG, friends and SWP comrades to take up.  Hope so!  
            The evening is presented by self-styled ‘sporting outfitters of intellectual distinction’ aka Philosophy Football. In association with the trade union RMT supported by Brigadista Ale and RnR magazine
            We open and close with Liz Wheatley’s 'Funk the Revolution’ vinyl only DJ set.  Liz is plays jazz funk, soul and rare grooves with a weekly show on Urban Jazz radio. And then we premier a film version Tim Sanders’ graphic novel of the Russian Revolution 1917: Russia’s Red Year  with voiceover by Michael Rosen
            We’ve commissioned music on the theme of ‘revolution’  by Calum Baird a singer-songwriter based in Edinburgh, Calum’s 2017 shows have included the Rivas-Vaciamadrid festival commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Jarama and Berlin’s Festival Musik und Politik. And poetry too from Barbican Young Poet Eleanor Penny. 
            On ’the revolution is dead, long live the Revolution!’  we have Richard Seymour author of Corbyn : The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics. And on the art of revolution  Owen Hatherley  author of Landscapes of Communism : A History Through Buildings with Eldina Begic who founded the fashion label Comradettes and is currently completing a PhD at the University of the Arts London on ‘ How To Wear Utopia : A Dress Manual for the Socialist Future’, Pete Ayrton the editor of Revolution! Writing from Russia 1917 and Hugh Tisdale, a graphic artist and co-founder of Philosophy Football
            Opening the second half Des Kapital :  Neve Mind the Cossacks featuring the music of Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Robbie Williams and more to explain 1917 (yes really, with audience singalongs!) and was one of the comedy hits at this year's Edinburgh and Brighton festivals fringes. Rosy Carrick has recently completed editing a brand new publication of Mayakovsky’s epic poem Vladimir Ilyich Lenin will be performing an entirely original interpretation of the poem accompanied by film and music. And to headline, the Trans-Siberian March Band, Balkan brass party-starters who provide a flamboyantly colourful mix of  high octane live performances and musical miscellany combining up tempo Russian drinking songs, Klezmer, Turkish  and Gypsy tunes with a hint of Latin and hiphop for good tuneful measure. For one night only, a special Shostakovich inspired TSMB set! 

            A 1917 centenary night out like no other, we hope you’ll agree and want to bring a party to. The 5 for price of 4, 10 for the price of 7 tickets can be booked here

            Saturday, 26 August 2017

            LSHG Autumn term 2017 seminars

            London Socialist Historians Seminars
            Autumn 2017
            Seminars are held on alternate Mondays, 5.30pm at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1. They are free to attend without ticket.
            Monday October 16th - John Rees, 'The Leveller Revolution'
            Monday October 30th  Merilyn Moos, 'Neglected histories of the diverse victims of Nazism'.
            Monday November 13th - Christian Hogsbjerg, ''Every Cook Can Govern': C.L.R James and the Russian Revolution’
            Monday November 27th -John Newsinger, From Revolution to Labourism?: Orwell and the Left'
            Monday December 11th  - Dave Hill, A History of London’s Housing Crisis

            Monday, 14 August 2017

            Marikana Miners Solidarity Campaign Picket and Vigil

            Wednesday 16th August

            1-2pm Picket Lonmin HQ, 1-3 Mount Street, London W1K 3NB
            4.30-7pm Remembrance Vigil
            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 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 Attendance is free, and coffee and lunch will be provided.


            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

            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:

            Tuesday, 25 July 2017

            SHS meeting - Thomas Spence and the Land Question

            Thomas Spence and the Land Question
            Speaker Professor Malcolm Chase
            2pm, Saturday 29th July 2017
            Venue: Marx Memorial Library, 37a Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DU
            Malcolm is Professor of Social History at the University of Leeds. He has written extensively on Thomas Spence, including a recent article ‘The real rights of man: Thomas Spence,Paine and Chartism’ and his first book The People’s Farm: English Radical Agrarianism, 1775-1840 (1988), of which a new edition was recently published. His other books include The Chartists: perspectives and legacies (2015) and Chartism: A New History (2007).
             He is Vice-President of the Society for the Study of Labour History and a member of the SHS.
            Admission free, retiring collection, all welcome