Watch..Big Flame by Jim Allen, Tony Garnett and Ken Loach. It was made in 1969 by the BBC when trade unions had some political as well as militant credibility. Jim was a Marxist and his politics reflect the subject matter and drive behind the script; that strike action for political ends is a legitimate democratic strategy. There are few images on tv or film that show working class people engaging in politics, particularly the politics of the workplace. That is only one of the reasons why this is such an important film. It gives back to working class people a belief that they can make change, that they have the power, and that collective action is the only way to achieve equality in society.
Read…Malkin Child by northern writer Livi Michael. Livi has written 12 books for children and 4 for adults. Many of her stories encompass the history of the north and her latest book is about the Pendle Witches. On the word of a nine year old, Jennet Device, her family and friends were arrested, put on “trial” and hung as witches in 1612. you can read my interview with Livi here
Celebrate…one of the most important events of the Second World War when Hitler was defeated at Stalingrad. This autumn is the 70th anniversary of the Nazi onslaught on Stalingrad. The siege of the city and the eventual defeat of the Nazi war machine marked the beginning of the end for Hitler. An epic moment, the turning point of the war, a great anti-fascist victory that inspired millions all over Europe resisting the Nazi occupation. Philosophy Football have produced an anniversary range of teeshirts which are inspired by Anna Akhmatova’s poem the designs are based on a medal, a fuselage, a propaganda poster, a book title from the time and the slogan with which the Russian people greeted their eventual victory. Nobody is forgotten. Nothing is forgotten! Here is the poem
We know what’s at stake and how great the foe’s power,
And what is now coming to pass.
The hour of courage has struck on the clock
And our courage will hold to the last.
The bullets can kill us, but cannot deter;
Though our houses will fall, we shall remain.
Anna Akhmatova, 1942
Listen…to Sarah Gillespie at the Manchester Peace Festival. Finale concert with Sarah Gillespie
Saturday 6th October, the Night & Day Cafe, Oldham St, Manchester ‘Sarah Gillespie’s eclectic mix of Beat poetry with jazz, folk and Middle Eastern elements is a sonic reflection of the London street.’
Tickets cost £10 and £5 concessions more information here
Look….Music & Liberation, an exhibition about Women’s Liberation Music Making in the UK (1970-1989) shows how feminists used music to entertain and empower women during the 1970s and 1980s. Featuring the work of Jam Today, the Northern Women’s Liberation Rock Band, Feminist Improvising Group, Ova, the Fabulous Dirt Sisters, Abandon Your Tutu, the Mistakes and many others, the exhibition brings together a diverse collection of women’s cultural heritage. Visit it from 1-14 October at Bureau ‘off-site’ Three Piccadilly Place Manchester M1 3BN
Monday 1 October Demonstration supporting Pussy Riot in London, , from 11 am till 1 pm, opposite the Russian Consulate at Bayswater Road.
Tuesday 2 October; Fighting Further Cuts…Manchester Coalition Against the Cuts. 7pm at NUJ. Further details;
On 4 October the trial begins in Turkey of 69 trade union leaders all of them women, from the public sector union on trumped-up charges of “terrorism”. See Labourstart. Please send a message of protest and support for the women.
Volunteer…for Love arts festival in Leeds this month. The aim of the festival is to develop the role of the arts in health and social care, whilst enabling people who may feel excluded to take part in the rich cultural life of Leeds. Love Arts harnesses the power of the arts to explore mental health issues such as identity, stigma, social justice and even happiness! Further details contact email@example.com and see website http://loveartsleeds.co.uk
Drop in…to Firebox in London..a new left wing café offering more than coffee and cakes. Launch party with Tony Benn on 6 October. Further details here