Juneteenth: History, Memory, and Reflection

PolicyMatters

written by Dr. Craig Stutman

Context

The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified on December 6, 1865, declared that the institution of slavery and involuntary servitude had been officially terminated (“except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted”).Yet the process of emancipation had, in reality, started centuries earlier. In fact, its history has spanned the countless mutinies which had occurred on ships carrying enslaved Africans to the shores of the New World to the 1739 Stono Rebellion in South Carolina; it has been forged by Gabrielle Prosser, Denmark Vessey, and Nat Turner’s revolutions; it was driven by an African-American led abolitionist movement with leaders such as Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and William Still; and it was powered by those who were the enslaved freedom seekers themselves– the men, women, and children who risked their lives for autonomy, self-determination, and one day, citizenship.

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A review: Food, Health and Capitalism: Covid-19 and Beyond

Anarchist Communist Group – Books & Pamphlets
https://www.anarchistcommunism.org/publications/

Price: £3.50, including postage, for this 44 page pamphlet.
Order your copy via PayPal to londonacg@gmail.com

Over the last few years, we’ve had stalls at a number of vegan fairs. While we’ve met some interesting people at these fairs, overall, they don’t tend to be that political in character. Which is why we turn up to try and put some politics into the discussions at these events! The impact of the COVID-19 crisis will hopefully prompt more people to ask questions about how we get our food, leading to them looking at the politics of this.

While we’ve always had a range of literature on our stalls looking at various aspects of how our food is produced and the numerous problems there are with that, we’ve never really had anything to hand that pulls all of the arguments together. In particular, we’ve…

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My review of “Never Counted Out! The story of Len Johnson Manchester’s Black Boxing Hero and Communist” by Michael Herbert

lipstick socialist

len jWhen my parents moved to Clayton, a working class suburb of Manchester in 1963, it was a large sprawling council estate surrounded by engineering and manufacturing factories and dominated by two busy main roads, Ashton New and Ashton Old Roads. The population was very white working class with a small Irish community that had lived there for many years.

It had a radical edge due to some of the people who lived there including Harry Pollitt General Secretary of the Communist party and   communist activist and co-founder of the WCML: Eddie Frow.  It was Eddie who encouraged my partner, Michael Herbert to write about another less-known Claytonian, communist and boxer Len Johnson (1902-1974).

Eddie and Ruth had known Len through the CP and were keen that his life should be written up.  By this time, Len was dead, but some of his family, boxing pals, and comrades were still alive…

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Heckler online crisis edition No.14

Here’s the 14th online crisis edition of the Heckler.

PLEASE NOTE – For the best viewing experience, we recommend that you download the PDF of the Heckler from DropBox to your PC/laptop/phone.

We will continue to produce these online editions of the paper for as long as this ever evolving ‘crisis’ lasts and the resulting security situation keeps us off the streets. But, producing an online paper and doing what we can to boost its circulation on the Net is no substitute for handing out a physical paper and having face to face conversations and debates with real people. As to when we’ll be able to do this, given how unpredictable and increasingly volatile things are, we honestly have no idea.

Having said this, we will be contacting the printers we have used for the paper to see if they are still operating – if they are, we hope to…

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Time For Ruling Class Heads On Pikes

The Peasants Are Revolting. Illustration by Clifford Harper.

The piece below is from the D.i.Y. CULTURE#9 COVID-19(84) – Dystopian Visions edition

PLEASE NOTE – For the best viewing experience, we recommend that you download the PDF of DiY Culture No.9 from DropBox to your PC/laptop/phone.

By Dr Lisa Mckenzie, working class academic

Mishandling of Black Death 640 years ago led to the Peasants’ Revolt. It’s time we modern-day peasants rebelled over Covid-19.

The coronavirus has been killing poor people at twice the rate of better-off people, and exposing the appalling inequalities and injustice of our broken system. We need a new revolt, to bring about real change.

“Things cannot go well in England, nor ever will, until all goods are held in common, and until there will be neither serfs nor gentlemen, and we shall be equal” said the Priest John Ball, during his speech before marching into London with…

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J.K. Rowling and The Chamber of Terfdom.

Wessex Solidarity

I’m going to be 27 by the time 2020 comes to a close and as someone who is firmly in the millennial category, the whole universe of Harry Potter has been a fixture in both my childhood and my adult life. As a kid I remember my dad taking time out from his taxi driving job on a Friday night so he could join the queues at my hometown’s sole bookshop to be one of the first to obtain the new Harry Potter book.

The first time I remember going to the cinema was in 2001 to see the first Harry Potter film and I remember my excitement to see the story on the big screen as a seven year old boy shivering outside the tiny, two screen cinema that was in the big town about a half hour’s drive from our house. I remember how magical it was to…

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History of the Irish in Britain Representation Group by Patrick Reynolds. Part 3: 1983

lipstick socialist

Patrick Reynolds was one of the founders of IBRG and played a key role in its history. He is now writing up that history and putting it into the context of radical history in Britain and Ireland in the C20th.

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IBRG badges June (2) Badges produced by Diarmuid Breatnach of Lewisham IBRG

On Sunday 16 January 1983 (1) the IBRG National Executive Council  met at the Yorker Public House in Nottingham with Jim King in the Chair and Judy Peddle as Secretary. Nine members of the NEC attended including John Martin and Nessan Danaher.

The meeting heard that Jim Curran had been elected Chair of the London Regional Council after NEC London member Bridgit  Galvin had resigned.  There was a structural problem within IBRG in that London despite having a number of branches it  had only one member on the NEC because of the way IBRG was set up outside of London. …

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Guerilla gardening – where to start

Think back to the food shortages at the start of the COVID-19 crisis that were a result of some people feeling they needed to stockpile food in case they had to self isolate. It only took a slight uptick in demand to knock what can often be lengthy food supply chains out of synch. This revealed the fragility of the food production and supply system many people take for granted.

It would appear that since the onset of the crisis, there’s been a growth in interest from people wanting to grow more of their vegetables and fruit: Coronavirus lockdown UK: How to grow your own food in small spaces instead of stockpiling. Obviously, if you have access to your own back garden, you’re already at an advantage. However, not everyone has access to a garden. In this situation, the best strategy is to team up with like minded neighbours and…

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My review of “A Collective Bargain. Unions, Organizing, and the Fight for Democracy” Jane McAlevey

lipstick socialist

What do you want to do ?

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a collective bargain

There are three reasons why I like this book.

One; it’s written by an activist. There are too many books being published by people who want to preach about what we should but do little beyond that. Give me people who actually make a difference.

Two:  it reminds readers in Europe that the USA is not Trumpland but is a society with a radical trade union history – past and present.

Three; it’s an inspiring book. Jane has a history of activism and she highlights many individuals and groups of workers who are on the frontline of defending their jobs and conditions –and particularly the  women and black workers who are a significant part of the American labour market.

At the heart of this book is the belief that unions are the only effective response to the destruction of democracy by…

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D.i.Y.Culture #8 – Bakunin Bumper Birthday Special

This was first published on DiY Culture

D.i.Y.Culture #8 – Bakunin Bumper Birthday Special, is now available to view/download from here

Please share far and wide.

In this issue: Richard Parry on Questioning Authority, Anarchy on Tristan De Cuhna by Ian Bone, why rich cunts should go back to school/work first by Lisa Mckenzie, 4 more pages from the Gata Negra anarcha-feminist collective in Valencia, Clampdown in the Philippines by anarcho-punk comrades on the spot, can the movement get over itself and build serious lockdown resistance?? by the Whitechapel Anarchist, Artworks from Clifford Harper, The Slow Burning Fuse, Existential Comics, Gord Hill and Bart Cooper, and a further report from Vipera of the Moscow Anarchists. There are also contributions from anarchist care/NHS-workers, tube workers, education workers and Tales From the Tofu Press – so once again, get your teeth into a small slice, the virtual cake of liberty. If you’ve…

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