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

Watch….William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe(DVD) You may have heard of Chartist journalist and lawyer Ernest Jones who went to prison for his politics in the 19th Century or Gareth Pierce and Michael Mansfield who have taken a rigorous political view of their trade as lawyers. William Kunstler, In the United States in the 1960s, took an equally political view of his role as a lawyer. In this film made by his daughters they examine why he took a path that led to him and his family facing their own trial by the media and the public. Kunstler came from a respectable middle-class Jewish family, became a major in the American army during the Second World War and then followed the usual middle-class path of becoming a lawyer, marrying and having two children, and living in a wealthy suburb of New York state. By the 1960s, however, he had abandoned this life style and became a radical civil rights lawyer. He represented civil rights activists in the South of America, the Chicago 10, who were on trial for protesting against the Vietnam War, and prisoners in the notorious Attica Prison. The film-makers are the daughters from his second marriage, who were on the frontline of Kunstler’s life as he moved his legal practice to the basement of their family home in central New York. It is fascinating to see the mixture of home movies and family films interspersed with TV news of Kunstlers’ legal cases and the reaction of the media and politicians to his work. During the Chicago trial he was himself sentenced to prison for contempt (although it was overturned on appeal ). It is hard to imagine that today any lawyer would put themselves on the line for their politics in the same way. The New York Times is quoted about Kunstler as “the most hated and most loved lawyer in America.” Watch the DVD and you will understand why.

Read..…When The Sky Rained White With Fire by Musheir El-Farrar (Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign, £8.99) Musheir is from Gaza and his book tells the true story of the 21 days of the Israeli Operation Cast Lead in 2008. Musheir interviewed 17 families who describe their horrific experience, an experience that makes you want to stop reading as the details are so awful. The launch of this important book is on Wednesday 30th January 2013 at 7.00pm in Friends Meeting House (behind Central Library) Manchester.

Listen to …some Lancashire dialect…From Tum Fowt to Windmill Land: Allen Clarke, Bolton’s literary champion of the working classes. Bolton Library and Museums Services are marking the 150th anniversary of the birth of local dialect author Allen Clarke with an event at Bolton Central Library on Saturday 23 February from 11am to 1pm. Speakers include Paul Salveson, MBE, author of a book on Clarke, and Clarke’s grand-daughter Shirley Matthews Clarke. Admission free.

Celebrate….. Lancashire Archives is hosting its celebration of LGBT History Month, Outing the Past 3!, on Saturday 2 February, from 11am to 4pm.The day will be free, including lunch. Speakers include Teresa Nixon, West Yorkshire Archives Service on the Diaries of Anne Lister; Robert Thompson, Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive, on the press treatment of homosexuality in the 1950s and 1960s; and Kaye Mitchell, University of Manchester, on 1950s lesbian pulp fiction.
Further information from Kathryn Rooke, Lancashire Record Office, Bow Lane, Preston PR1 2RE; email; tel 01772 533032.

See a play………. for today…on Fri 25th, Sat 26th, Mon 28th & Wed 30th January, & Fri 1st February – Burjesta Theatre: The Pied Piper of Liverpool 7.30pm at The Casa, Hope Street, L1 9BQ – Sometime in the near future, Liverpool is a city in crisis. As the Mayor closes down hospitals, schools and libraries, a plague of rats overruns the city. Come from ‘afar’ the Pied Piper soon realises that all is not as it seems at the Town Hall. Look forward to seeing the dastardly ‘Lord Rug’, the villainous ‘Runcorn Local’, the seductive ‘Dame Hoodless’ and lovelorn Jennifer whose hearts pounds in vain for the Pied Piper. Will the noble Queen Rat rally ‘Ratkind’ to avoid a dreadful end? Will troubled 16 year-old Anthony come to the fore to save the day? And what does the Pied Piper’s Sparrow have to teach us about the meaning of life?
Not suitable for children! Tickets £5 – pay on the door or reserve on 07913 449 396

More info on Burjesta Theatre see

Look…….one of my favourite poets and artists William Blake is the subject of a new exhibition at John Rylands Library (a fascinating building) Burning Bright Focusing on his achievements in the art of books, this exhibition features designs and prints by the artist and poet William Blake, whilst also examining the creative impact of his works. You can visit the exhibition from 8 February until 23 June, but if you can’t wait until then, there is a programme launch event on Thursday 31 January at 6pm, where you are invited to celebrate forthcoming events and exhibitions over a glass of wine and nibbles.

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, biography, Communism, education, films, human rights, labour history, Manchester, Middle East, Palestine, poetry, Socialism, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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