Thursday, July 24, 2014

IWCE in Edinburgh at Festival time

Independent Working Class Education Events coming up in Edinburgh, during the Festival.

1.     Tuesday 12th August at 5pm:
        In the George Washington Browne Suite at Edinburgh Central Library,
           George IV Bridge EH1 1EG - 
    "Ragged University: ‘Plebs; The Ruskin College Strike of 1909′
plus ‘The Plebs League in the North East of England 1908/1926′

2.    Wednesday 13 August 2014 at 1.00pm
    43-45 West Nicolson Street
    EH8 9DB
It's more than a hundred years ago that trade unionists in Oxford went on strike for an 'independent working class education' and set up the Plebs League. Colin Waugh, researcher and author, will tell their fascinating story and spark off a discussion on what the Plebs League means for us today

Contact Keith Venables: 

or Just Turn Up

Monday, July 21, 2014

East Enders of WWI: Exhibition and Events

(from East London Suffragette Festival Programme)

THROUGHOUT AUGUST: East Enders of WWI Exhibition
Tower Hamlets Community Housing are commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War by hosting an exhibition showing the faces and stories of many young people who lived or worked in Tower Hamlets when the war broke out, including the East London suffragettes.
See photos of the suffragettes’ activities in Bow and learn about their remarkable wartime work.
9.30am - 4.30pm Mon-Fri                Free

Tower Hamlets Community Housing, 285 Commercial Road, Stepney, London E1 2PS

Related events:-

Explore Tower Hamlets WWI Archive
A day of talks, stalls and refreshments to launch Tower Hamlets’ WWI commemoration.
·         Michael Berlin (Birkbeck, University of London) will speak on ‘Pacifism in the East End during World War One’
·         Borough Archivist Malcolm Barr-Hamilton will highlight aspects of the collections relating to World War One
·         Author Sarah Jackson will speak about the remarkable wartime work of the East London Federation of the Suffragettes
11am – 5pm          Free

Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives, 277 Bancroft Road, London E1 4DQ
Suffragettes, Sisters and Struggles
An exhibition of radical posters of women’s activism from various sources, including the See Red Women’s Workshop.
10am to 6pm, not open Sunday            Free
Four Corners, 121 Roman Road, Bethnal Green, London E2 OQN 

Meath Gardens History Picnic
Join us for a Sunday afternoon picnic in beautiful Meath Gardens. Learn about the history of the park (formerly Victoria Park Cemetery) and its creator Fanny Wilkinson - the first woman landscape gardener in Britain!
Meet at the entrance arch on Bullard’s Place (map: From there we’ll walk a short distance to a good picnic spot or an alternative indoor venue if it’s raining. Please bring a towel or blanket to sit on and food to share!
1pm – 3pm        Free
Minnie Lansbury
Historian Janine Booth will give a talk about local hero Minnie Lansbury: alderman, activist and one of the most active members of the East London Federation of the Suffragettes.
6.30pm – 7.45pm         Free
Bow Idea Store, 1 Gladstone Place, Roman Rd, London E3 5ES

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bristol Dockers and WW1

Should Britain Go To War with Germany?
Date: Saturday 26th July, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: Outside the Arnolfini, Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4QA
Dress: Period, Flat caps, hobble skirts etc.
Mass meeting, debate and resolutions
With Ernest Bevin (National Organiser Dockers Union) and Ben Tillett (General Secretary National Transport Workers Federation)
On Narrow Quay by the Arnolfini, Bristol
On Sunday 2nd August 1914, tens of thousands of people demonstrated across the country against Britain's entry into what became the first World War. In Bristol an anti-war demonstration on the Downs was followed by a mass meeting of Dockers on the Grove to discuss the worrying situation on the Continent. In the preceding week, the dispute between Austria and Serbia had begun to escalate towards a major conflict between the imperial powers; France, Russia, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Britain and the Ottoman Empire. Germany declared war on Russia and by Sunday 2nd August, Britain was on the brink of declaring war on Germany. At the height of the crisis in Bristol, Dockers Union members and their leaders met in public to debate whether to support the drive to war or not.
So come down to Narrow Quay (next to the Arnolfini) to hear the arguments, have your say and raise your hands, Brothers and Sisters, for or against.....

Saturday, July 12, 2014

East London Suffragette Festival August 2014

Festival starts in just 20 days! 

We have around ten events planned, and we're adding them to the programme page on the website as they are confirmed, and creating Facebook events for all of them too (although we have a bit of a backlog). Highlights include:
  • Women's activism film night in Bethnal Green
  • History picnic in Meath Gardens
  • Sunday lunch at G Kelly's pie and mash shop on Roman Road
  • Suffragette history walk around Bow
And of course our main event at Toynbee Hall on Saturday 9 August, with speakers including Laura Pankhurst, Louise Raw, Nimco Ali and Shahida Rahman, plus suffrage plays, poetry, workshops on creative writing and film-making, plus storytelling, crafts and facepainting for children.
Help us spread the word
Can you print and distribute a few of our flyers and posters in your neighbourhood? Here are the links to download from:
We also need stewards and helpers to come down to Toynbee Hall  for our main event and help run the cake stall and the jumble sale and encourage people to fill in feedback forms. Even if you can only join us for a few hours that would be a big help. Please email 
Our last open meeting before it all kicks off is on Wednesday 16 July from 7pm in the meeting room at the Brady Arts Centre on Hanbury Street in Whitechapel.
We're having our festival afterparty at The Culpeper pub on Commercial Street from 6pm on Saturday 9 August. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Another showing of King and Country, 1964

This month's Haringey Independent Cinema screening on Thursday 31st July takes a different look back to the 'Great War' currently being commemorated. Among the finest of a long line-up of 1960s anti-war films, King and Country gives an understated but chilling indictment of the horrors of war and the inhumanity of military justice. Read more about the film below.

As is our tradition this will also be our summer social so the evening begins with free food and drink and chat! Doors open at 7pm, and as always we're at West Green Learning Centre at Parkview School, West Green Road, N15 3RB. For travel directions see our website

[from email on behalf of Haringey Independent Cinema]

King and Country, 1964. 86 minutes Dir. Joseph Losey. (Unfortunately no subtitles available)

As with several British films made in the period of 60’s realism, including ‘Look Back in Anger’ and ‘A Taste of Honey’, King and Country was adapted from the stage play, ‘Hamp’. Losey utilises the trial of Tom Courtenay’s Private Hamp to show the unbelievable horrors of war as experienced in the medieval, rat-infested trenches of the First World War. The juxtaposition of soldier and officer in this setting strips bare the glaring class divisions and injustices demanded by imperialism.

Hamp, a poor, working class Islington lad, volunteers for the ‘Great War’ in blissful ignorance of what he is letting himself in for. Unhinged by traumatising events, he is arrested whilst attempting to walk home and charged with desertion. Hargreaves, the defending officer played by Dirk Bogarde, is Hamp’s antithesis – articulate, educated, urbane and self-assured. His initial disdain for Hamp’s ‘cowardice’ is rapidly transformed into something approaching sympathy when confronted by the realisation of the shabby inadequacies of notions like duty.

However shocking the film, it is difficult to believe that humanity could, once again, slide into a similar, barbaric abyss. Think again. The battleground has changed, with millions finding themselves in that abyss, courtesy of the continuing shocks of Bush/Blair’s perpetual ‘War on Terror’.

And an event coming up in Bristol:

Title: Should Britain Go To War with Germany?

Date: Saturday 26th July, 2014

Time: 2:00 pm

Part of: Remembering the Real WWI