Ideas for Freedom 2013: Marxist ideas to turn the tide

For our report of Ideas for Freedom 2013, plus speeches, recordings etc, see here.



Saturday and Sunday sessions are at the University of London Union. For a map of where University of London Union is see the ULU website. This shows where Euston, Euston Square and Russell Square stations are in relation to ULU.

1. Parking

There is free parking all weekend on the roads next to Euston station - where our Friday night venue, the Exmouth Arms, happens to be - postcode NW1 2HR. This is not much more than five minutes walk from ULU.

2. London Overground

Unfortunately the relevant bits of the Northern Line are closed this weekend, which could create some problems for getting to IFF. However, the problem is not bad.

The nearest stations, which are very near, are Euston (Victoria Line) and Russell Square (Picadilly line). Goodge Street is only on the Northern Line so will be closed.

If you're coming from Kings Cross or North London then Kings Cross connects to Russell Square on the Picadilly Line.

If you're coming from South West London or the South West, you can go from Waterloo to Green Park on the Jubilee Line and then up to Euston on the Victoria Line.

If you're coming from South East London or the South East, you can go from London Bridge to Euston via Green Park, or alternatively up the East London Line of London Overground up to Whitechapel and then on the Hammersmith and City Line to Kings Cross or Euston Square.



Friday 21 - Sunday 23 June, 2013
University of London Union, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY (read how to get to ULU here)

Before the event: £33/ £22/ £8 for the weekend, £18/ £12/ £5 for single-day tickets.

Weekend tickets


Day tickets

One day

Tickets bought on the day will be £38, £25, £10 or £20, £15, £5 for day tickets.

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?

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.

Facebook event
Facebook event for the "Introduction to workers' power" stream
Facebook event for "Socialism, art and culture" stream



Meet 6pm, Aldgate East station
Radical East London walking tour, led by David Rosenberg of East End Walks
If you're lost or late, ring Daniel on 07961 040 618
Facebook event


The spirit of ’45: How the working class won, and why it didn’t go further
@ the Exmouth Arms, Star Cross Street, Euston, London NW1 2HR
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.
Plus Anita Downs, nurse and Unite union activist at Lewisham hospital (and also campaign steering committee member), on the fight to save the NHS today.
Facebook event



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
Plus Greek revolutionary socialist Theodora Polenta on the fight for workers' demands and a workers' government in Greece

Lunch break

i. Introduction to workers' power: the Paris Commune: the first workers’ government (Rosie Huzzard, NUS National Executive and Workers' Liberty)
ii. After Taksim Square: workers and the revolt in Turkey (speaker from UID-DER, the Association of International Workers’ Solidarity)
iii. 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)
iv. Marxist feminism: women and the rise of capitalism (Cath Fletcher, UCU activist and Workers' Liberty)
v. How do we revolutionise the trade union movement? (Laura Rogers, activist in rank-and-file teachers' organisation LANAC, and Daniel Randall)


i. Lessons from the Communist International: “Transitional demands”/“Workers' united front” (Tom Harris, Workers' Liberty)
ii. Introduction to workers' power: the 1913 Dublin lock out (Patrick Murphy)
iii. Marxism and feminism: Challenging sexism in the labour movement (speakers will include Becky Crocker, London Underground RMT activist and Workers' Liberty member; Maria Exall, CWU activist TUC LGBT Committee chair; Jenny Lennox, NUJ organiser)
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)
v. Is the Greek working class still moving left? (speakers include Spiros, from Greek socialist group OKDE, speaking via Skype)


i. The cleaners’ revolt (speakings including Robinson, Tres Cosas campaign and IWGB University of London branch, and Richard Crane, ISS cleaner and London Underground RMT rep)
ii. Marxism and feminism: Sexual violence - the global picture (Camila Bassi, UCU activist and Workers' Liberty)
iii. Black soldiers in the Second American Revolution: the story of the 54th Massachusetts (Sacha Ismail)
iv. Can benefit workers defy the government's attack on claimants? (with PCS union and benefits rights activists)


Social and fundraiser for the Tres Cosas University of London cleaners’ campaign, fighting for sick pay, holiday and pensions - Facebook event here


i. What is Hugo Chavez’s legacy? (Paul Hampton, Workers' Liberty)
ii. Introduction to workers' power: Workers vs Stalinism, Solidarnosc 1980-81 (Tony Byrne, RMT activist and Workers' Liberty)
iii. Fighting blacklisting and victimisation (victimised Australian trade union and Workers’ Liberty activist Bob Carnegie, by Skype; Blacklist Support Group – inv.)
iv. Theatre of the oppressed (Sarah Weston and Ellie Clarke)


i. Why they fought: the Warsaw Ghetto uprising (Vicki Morris and Chris Marks)
ii. The AWL tradition: where Workers' Liberty comes from and what we are (Sean Matgamna)
iii. Lenin vs “Leninism” (Cathy Nugent)
iv. Lessons from the Communist International: “Workers’ government” (Martyn Hudson)
v. How the market rules healthcare in America, and why the Tories want the same for the NHS — including screenings of excerpts from Michael Moore's film Sicko. (Stuart Jordan, health worker and Workers' Liberty member)


i. Gramsci: a Marxist for difficult times (Martin Thomas)
ii. Introduction to workers' power: The real Chinese revolution: 1925-7 (Stephen Wood and Heather Shaw)
iii. Marxism and feminism: Judith Butler and her discontents (Kate Harris)
iv After the Woolwich murders — organising against racism and fascism (speakers including Ruth Cashman, Lambeth Unison)

Closing plenary


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 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.


For a report, speeches and more from IFF 2012 see here.
For a report and pictures of IFF 2011, see here.