A WEEKEND OF SOCIALIST DISCUSSION AND DEBATE HOSTED BY WORKERS' LIBERTY
Friday 21 - Sunday 23 June, 2013
University of London Union, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY (read how to get to ULU here)
Book online here (ticket prices include food for the whole weekend and, on request, accommodation and creche places).
Before 1 June: £30/ £18/ £8 for the weekend, £18/ £12/ £5 for single-day tickets.
(Tickets bought in June or on the day will be somewhat more expensive)
For five years the ruling class, in Britain and worldwide, has been using the crisis of their system to their advantage – to ride roughshod over our living standards, our rights, and our resistance. Capitalism is discredited, but the tide of class struggle is running strongly in the capitalists’ favour.
To turn the tide, we need to turn around the labour movement.
Our unions have been passive in the fact of cuts and attacks. How do we do change that? How do we make the talk about the ‘rank and file’ a reality? What is the role of Marxist ideas in the fight?
To turn the labour movement around, we need to turn around the left.
How can we make the left a force capable of shaping politics? Why is it so divided and how can we overcome that? Is Marxism discredited, or does Marxism need to be renewed? How?
Ideas for Freedom will discuss Marxist and other ideas and perspectives on working-class struggle today, the politics of oppression and liberation, historical events, international solidarity, revolutionary organisation after the new SWP split, political representation, culture, economics and much more.
This event combines commitment to activism in the workers’, student, feminist and other movements with a serious, thoughtful approach to Marxist ideas – a chance for activists to engage in genuine debate, discussion and self-education.
This is a provisional agenda which will be subject to regular updates and changes, including extra sessions.
THURSDAY 20 JUNE
Meet 6pm, Aldgate East station
Radical East London walking tour, led by David Rosenberg of East End walks
FRIDAY 21 JUNE
The spirit of ’45: How the working class won, and why it didn’t go further
A showing of Ken Loach’s The Spirit of ’45, followed by a discussion led by Save Lewisham Hospital steering committee member Jill Mountford and Daniel Cooper, Vice President of University of London Union
SATURDAY 22 JUNE
Plenary session: Expropriate the banks, liberation, workers' control, workers' government – Marxist ideas to turn the tide
Speakers include Unite activist Elaine Jones, Unison activist Ed Whitby and RMT activist Janine Booth
i. Lessons from the Communist International: “Transitional demands” (Tom Harris)
ii. Class-struggle workplace and community activism in Turkey (speaker from UID-DER, the Association of International Workers’ Solidarity)
iii. The Paris Commune: the first workers’ government (Rosie Huzzard)
iv. Fighting cuts: what now? (speakers include Edd Bauer, Birmingham Communities Against the Cuts and Ruth Cashman, Lambeth Save Our Services and Workers’ Liberty)
i. The International Socialist/SWP tradition: what went wrong? (speakers include Sean Matgamna, Workers’ Liberty, and John Palmer, both of whom were on the IS National Committee)
ii. Sexual violence: the global picture (Camila Bassi)
iii. Challenging sexism in the labour movement (speakers will include Becky Crocker, London Underground RMT activist, and Maria Exall, CWU activist TUC LGBT Committee chair)
iv. Clay Cross: how a Labour council defied a Tory government and won (Edd Mustill, author of The Rest of the Cod, a new play about Clay Cross)
i. The cleaners’ revolt (includes speakers from the Tres Cosas campaign, the IWGB and London Underground RMT)
ii. Lessons from the Communist International: “The workers’ united front”
iii. What happened to the Labour Left? (speakers include John McDonnell MP, chair of the Labour Representation Committee, and Jon Lansman, Campaign for Labour Party Democracy)
iv. How South African workers beat apartheid
Social and fundraiser for the Tres Cosas University of London cleaners’ campaign - Facebook event here
SUNDAY 23 JUNE
i. What is Hugo Chavez’s legacy? (Paul Hampton)
ii. Workers vs “communist” bureaucrats: Solidarnosc 1980-81 (Tony Byrne)
iii. Fighting blacklisting and victimisation (victimised Australian trade union and Workers’ Liberty activist Bob Carnegie, by Skype; Blacklist Support Group – inv.)
iv. Revolution by stages: theatre and socialism (Sarah Weston and Ellie Clarke)
i. Why they fought: the Warsaw Ghetto uprising (Vicki Morris and Chris Marks)
ii. What happened to the working class? (Scott Lash, Goldsmiths University, and Martin Thomas, Workers’ Liberty)
iii. Lenin vs “Leninism” (Cathy Nugent)
iv. Lessons from the Communist International: “Workers’ government” (Martyn Hudson)
i. Gramsci: a Marxist for difficult times (Martin Thomas)
ii. The real Chinese revolution: 1925-7 (Stephen Wood and Heather Shaw)
iii. Judith Butler and her discontents (Hannah Thompson)
iv. Black soldiers in the Second American Revolution: the story of the 54th Massachusetts (Sacha Ismail)
The Saturday evening Latino night fundraiser with the 3 Cosas Campaign – cleaners at University of London fighting their bosses for sick pay, holidays and pensions. Facebook event here.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 07796 690 874
Free crèche, accommodation and food included in the ticket prices – but if you want to book a place in the crèche or accommodation, please try to let us know in advance.