Changing Labour, Changing Politics: Ideas for Freedom 2016

Ideas for Freedom is the annual weekend of socialist education, discussion and debate hosted by Workers' Liberty from the 7th to 10th of July. Student Central, Malet St, London WC1E 7HX:

The main theme of this year's event, Changing Labour, Changing Politics will be visions of and ideas about rebuilding the labour movement and renewing socialist ideas in the wake of election of a new leadership to the Labour Party.


Tickets bought before the event are £38 waged, £18 low-waged/university student and £7 unwaged/school student. Tickets on the door will be more expensive.

Tickets for the Thursday or Friday evening events are £5; if you decide to come to the rest of the event you get a £5 discount on tickets.

Venue information
Workers’ Liberty is committeed to holding accessible events. The venue for Saturday and Sunday daytime is step-free and has accessible toilets. A disabled ticket holder's carer can attend free of charge. Or you are welcome to phone 020 7394 8923 or email to discuss how we can help you access the event.

More details for the venue and other information can be found here.

What's on?

Thursday 7 July night: Walking with Minnie
A radical walking tour around London's East End, following the footsteps of Minnie Lansbury, socialist suffragette, teacher trade unionist, and leader of the Poplar Rates Rebellion. Meet at Bow Road Tube, 6pm. Look for the red flag

Friday 8 July night: What is the future of the Labour Party? The left debates John McTernan
Tony Blair's former special adviser debates Jill Mountford of the Momentum Steering Committee on the future of Labour. Chaired by Jon Lansman of Momentum.
7pm, at the Indian YMCA, 41 Fitzroy Square, London, UK W1T 6AQ

Separate tickets are available for Thursday and Friday night for £5, see the form below

Ideas for Freedom 2016 agenda
(N.B. this agenda is not yet finalised and may be revised)


11:00am – Registration opens

11:45am – Opening rally

12:30pm-2pm – First set of workshops:
How the Labour left organised in the past: the story of the Rank-and-File Mobilising Committee, with John Bloxam, Workers′ Liberty and former National Organiser of the Rank-and-File Mobilising Committee.
The Revolutionary thought of Karl Kautsky with Rida Vaquas
The struggle for LGBT rights in the labour movement. How did we win some recognition for LGBT rights in the labour movement, and what still needs to be done? With Peter Tatchell, former Labour Parliamentary candidate in Bermondsey; and Maria Exall, TUC LGBT committee.
The 1926 General Strike: the revolution that nearly was With professor Keith Laybourn

2pm-3pm – Lunch

3-4.25pm – Second set of workshops:
Should we renew Trident? Labour left activist Laura Rogers debates Luke Akehurst of Labour First on whether the Labour Party should be in favour of renewing Trident.
The fight for disability rights, with Paula Peters, Disabled People Against Cuts; and Mandy Hudson, National Union of Teachers Executive disability rep.
New unionism: organising the unorganised with Alastair Reith and Victoria Hopgood from the Unite New Zealand fast food rights campaign, Henry Chango Lopez from the IWGB union at the University of London and Kelly Rogers, BECTU rep at the Ritzy Cinema.
50 years since the foundation of the Alliance for Workers′ Liberty. Sean Matgamna founding member, discusses how he and others launched our tendency in 1966, alongside longstanding activist Bruce Robinson.

4.25-4.55 – Break and announcements

4.50-6.20 – Third set of workshops:
The fight for free speech around the world with Gita Sahgal, Centre for Secular Space; Melanie Gingell, lawyer involved in the Free Raif Badawi campaign; Imad Habib, Council for ex-Muslims of Morocco; and Omar Raii, National Union of Students National Executive.
How inequality is killing us with Professor Danny Dorling, author of Inequality and the 1% and Injustice: Why social inequality still persists.
The Iranian Revolution: three myths and three lessons, with Morad Shirin from the Iranian Revolutionary Marxist Tendency
The story behind the junior doctors' strike, with Dr Yannis Gourtsoyannis, BMA Junior Doctors' Committee; and Dr Yousseff El-Gingihy, author of How to dismantle the NHS in 10 easy steps.

6.20-6.30 Break

6.30 to 7.50 – Fourth set of workshops:
History PLC: The Commodification of the Past. With the increase in TV history dramas like Wolf Hall, is history being distorted to make good TV? With Cath Fletcher, author of The Black Prince of Florence.
Did the Grunwick strike change the labour movement for black and migrant workers? With speakers from the Grunwick 40 campaign and migrant workers campaigns today.
Marxism and Autism with Janine Booth, Chair, TUC Disabled Workers' Committee and author of Autism Equality in the Workplace; and Dr Dinah Murray.
100 years since the 1916 Easter Rising. 100 years after radical republicans tried to take power in Dublin, Liam McNulty and James Heartfield discuss the event and its legacy.

From 8:30 – Saturday night social: The Grunwick strike, 40 years on - with a film showing and presentation from the Grunwick 40 campaign, plus memories from attendees at the pickets


10am-12 noon – First set of workshops:
The world economy since 2008 with Martin Thomas of Workers’ Liberty
Anti-semitism, anti-Zionism and the left. A discussion and debate on wether the left has a problem with anti-semitism with David Rosenberg, Jewish Socialists Group; Daniel Randall, Workers' Liberty; and Hannah Weisfeld, Yachad.
The politics of crime dramas, with Clive Bradley, writer of the BBC’s Trapped.
How does capitalism continue? Housework, caring, and bringing up children, with Cathy Nugent, editor of Solidarity.

12-1pm – Lunch

1-2.25pm – Second set of workshops:
Fighting for reproductive rights. Feminist Fightback and Ana Oppenheim, National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and National Union of Students National Executive, discuss the attacks on women′s reproductive freedoms and the movement against them.
Can religion play a progressive role in politics? With Maryam Namazie, Worker-Communist Party of Iran; Kate Harris, Workers' Liberty; and Lev Taylor, organiser of BirthWrong Tours and Anarchist Torah Study for the Jewdas collective.
How do we change the Labour Party? With Ian Hodson, President of the Bakers, Food, and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU); Pete Radcliff, Broxtowe CLP; and Sophie Namezi, Kings College Labour club co-chair.
Hungary 1956: how workers fought against Stalinism, with Matt Cooper, Workers′ Liberty.

2.25-2.35pm – Break

2.35-4pm – Third set of workshops
After the EU referendum result, how can the class-struggle left regroup and fight back. An open forum of the "remain" left. Including Michael Chessum, Another Europe is Possible; Vicki Morris, Workers' Europe; Socialist Network and Workers' Power.
Changing labour: Work in global capitalism. Is the way we work changing in the modern world? with Professor Ursula Huws, author of Labor in the Global Digital Economy, and Bruce Robinson, Workers′ Liberty.
From Chartism to the Labour Representation Committee. Sam Greenwood of Workers' Liberty and Colin Waugh, Independent Working-Class Education Network, traces the development of workers' movements in Britain from the 1830s to the foundation of the Labour Party.
Bernie Sanders and the "Political Revolution": Where next for the movement that has erupted around "democratic socialist" Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders? With Eric Lee, LabourStart and London For Bernie organiser, Kari Mosleh, London For Bernie and delegate to Democratic National Convention, Stephen Wood, Momentum

4pm Closing plenary: Stand up for socialism!

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