Stop,Look,Listen…my weekly selection of favourite films, books and events to get you out of the house

Watch. Salute..these days Olympic sportspeople are no different from celebrities and little is left of the ethos of the Olympic message. But in 1968 three men used the winning stand to express their opposition to racism and discrimination. The 1968 Olympics are now famous for the host country Mexico killing 2000 students in the city, whilst in the Olympic arena two American black athletes gave the black power salute. This film reminds us of the third man on the podium, Australian Peter Norman, who went along with the protest and, like the Tommie Smith and John Carlos, put his life at risk by doing so. In Australia at the time, like in America, Aborigines faced racism and discrimation, and there was a “white Australia Policy”. But a campaign raged in the country, waged by Aborigines, students and liberals, to demand equality for the original Australians. As the “white man” on the podium Norman represented all those people who opposed injustice across the world. After returning to Australia he was blacklisted by the sporting authorities and many people forgot about his role in the protest. His nephew, Matt Norman, made this film in 2006 which reminds us of the importance of standing up what is right and as Matt Norman says “ALWAYS STAND AGAINST INJUSTICE!” See

Look..Demon Drink, Temperance and the Working Class, an exhibition at the People’s History Museum in Manchester. We are used to health messages telling us that drinking is dangerous, whilst at the same time the government makes it easier and cheaper to buy and consume alcohol. I wonder why…something to do with the economic decline and keeping us quiet? This exhibition shows us that there is nothing new about people drinking excessively and other people trying to stop them. The north-west was the birthplace of the Temperance Movement in which people took the pledge not to drink alcohol although few people know of this history. In Demon Drink we can see why people were concerned about drinking and what the Temperance Movement did to promote abstinence including providing a culture and social activities based around enjoyment without alcohol, such as temperance beauty parades,lessons,games and sporting events. There were even trades unions such as the Dockworkers and Railwaymen that had temperance sections. It is a fascinating exhibition and, whilst you might think some of the ideology is based on middle class people stereotyping the working classes as the drinking classes, there are some interesting points made that are as relevant today as during the heyday of the Temperance Movement.see

Read..The Manchester Man by Mrs.G.Linnaeus Banks in 1876. One of my favourite books and I have bought this for many of my friends and visitors to the city. It is a book that is much loved by people in the north-west. It is a story of 18th Century Manchester, and of those who benefitted from the prosperity of the development of the city and those who gained little. It is a very moral story and a real adventure story. Some of the names are still familiar today eg Jabez Clegg, an orphan who becomes an apprentice, and then rises through society to become an important figure in the new commercial life of Manchester.

Know about..Shaker Aamer…he has been in Guantanamo for 10 years. He has been tortured,imprisoned and detained without trial. Although now cleared of any crime he is still stuck in Guanatanamo in a nightmare limbo. Spectacle have made a film about Shaker to promote his campaign see video on Shaker Aamer and sign the petition

About lipstick socialist

I am an activist and writer. My interests include women, class, culture and history. From an Irish in Britain background I am a republican and socialist. All my life I have been involved in community and trade union politics and I believe it is only through grass roots politics that we will get a better society. This is reflected in my writing, in my book Northern ReSisters Conversations with Radical Women and my involvement in the Mary Quaile Club. .If you want to contact me please use my gmail which is lipsticksocialist636
This entry was posted in art exhibition, book review, films, human rights, labour history, Manchester, novels, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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