Meetings 2018

Alternative Working Class ‘Question time’!

Chaired by Charles, branch sec, Dorset IWW.

On the panel, Lisa Mckenzie and Martin Lux from London Class War, Cassie from Bristol, John from Moral Decay Distro, Paul from Dorset IWW, others to be confirmed.

‘History should become common property’: History Workshop in Britain – from the New Left to New Times. Hosted by Ian Gwinn.

The History Workshop movement was a grassroots coalition of radical academics, and feminist, labour and amateur historians, which was founded at Ruskin College, Oxford in the late-60s under the guidance of the Marxist historian Raphael Samuel.

This talk will explore the origins, development and eventual decline of the movement, with particular focused placed on the political and social complexion of the movement, the different forms of “doing history” it pioneered, and the connections it established with similar movements abroad. It ends with a discussion of the continuing relevance of History Workshop and prospects for radically democratic approaches to historical research and practice today.

History Workshop Online 

Ian Gwinn’s Article about HW in Socialist History journal 51

How to stop a war: The German Servicemen’s Revolt of 1918 – Hosted by Bristol Radical History Group

The German revolution of 1918-20 and its violent suppression is a little known event in the British popular memory. Where it is described in history books the narrative typically commences with the mutiny of sailors from the German High Seas fleet over the first few days of November 1918. However, the numerous actions against the continuation of the war by hundreds of thousands of German soldiers on the western front during the preceding summer, have only been recently exposed by the work of historian Nick Howard.

Armed soldiers and sailors during the German revolution

Drawing extensively on the research and writings of Howard, this talk exposes the scale and content of this resistance, which developed from refusals, desertion and mutiny to the formation of Soldiers’ Councils, the organisational cells of the revolution that followed. It also charts the extraordinary events in ‘occupied’ Belgium where, in the autumn of 1918, nationalist war transformed into internationalist civil war.

01 Dec 1918, Berlin, Germany — Sparticists carry the red flag through the streets of Berlin in their call for a revolution and the establishment of a socialist republic

01 Dec 1918, Berlin, Germany — Sparticists carry the red flag through the streets of Berlin in their call for a revolution and the establishment of a socialist republic

Organising Across Borders – Hosted by Bristol Anarchist Federation

It is easier now than ever before to find out about struggles and insurrections around the world.  The Anarchist Federation is part of a larger organisation with sister organisations across the globe with whom we keep regular contact: come along to our talk, if you want to hear about what anarchists have been doing from within Turkey to Argentina, or if you want to discuss why international solidarity is important, and what we can do to strengthen this.

Resisting the Prison Industrial Complex hosted by Bristol Anarchist Black Cross

A workshop on supporting prisoners, opposing prison expansion and the campaign against IPP.

Five years since the IPP sentence was legally abolished, thousands still languish in jails with no release date. Parole board delays, prison overcrowding and sheer neglect is leading to unprecedented rates of prisoner suicides. IPPs have one of the highest rates of self harm in the prison system in its entirety. 80% are over tariff and desperate to be free. IPPs are part of the exponential prison expansion that has been happening in recent years. Prisons are a frontline for resisting racism, sexism and working class exploitation.

Strategy 101 – Hosted by Tim, who gave last year’s very popular analysis of the 2010 Millbank riot. Tim is editor of the Student Organisers’ Handbook.

Thinking about “strategy” is normally reserved for business people and politicians. As ordinary workers it’s our job to just do what we’re told. If we’re going to win disputes and campaigns though, we need to learn about strategy for ourselves. This workshop covers the basics of how to make good plans so we can win disputes in our communities and workplaces. Aimed at anti-cuts campaigners and rank-and-file trade union members.

Striking At Ford – Hosted by Charlie Lopez

Fellow Worker Charlie Lopez was on the assembly line at Ford Dagenham for 3 years during  a time of intense class conflict in the 1970s.  He helped  form the Dagenham Ford Workers Group which later became part of the national Ford UK Workers Combine — an unofficial, independent rank and file network organising inside Ford factories throughout the UK. In 1979 the Combine helped spark a national strike which lasted for nine weeks.

Charlie is a photographer and was able to visually document some of his experiences, including the real-life ´ Made in Dagenham` dispute.  He will use his photographs from the time to illustrate the talk.

Dagenham  is no longer what it was in the 1970s. But perhaps some of the techniques and experiences of organising at that time  can still be applied today in different contexts. There will be a discussion.

Talking Trans – Hosted by Jay

Did you ever wonder about the lived experience of transgender people?

Here’s an opportunity to ask the questions you probably wouldn’t ask on the picket line. We’ll explore topics around gender and sexuality, to have surgery or not, what does surgery involve, interactions within queer and straight communities and what does the Gender Recognition Act really mean to me. Come with an open mind and all the questions you never felt able to ask.

Why we fight the TERF war. Hosted by Sister not Cister.

Over the last year or so, we have seen an increase in Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFs) rearing their hateful heads and spouting bigotry with great ferocity, often within our own communities. Come to this workshop to learn more about why TERFs are so dangerous and discuss the ways in which standing up against trans hatred is directly connected to fighting racism, capitalism and the prison system. We will talk about what we can – and must – do to stop them. Zines will be available for free / donations to supporting trans prisoners.