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

WatchGasland Part 2. Find out about what fracking is about and how it is now taking place in over 32 countries across the world. Fracking is a dangerous process and one that can seriously destroy local communities, never mind destroy the climate. This film does not just show how dangerous it is but also shows how the gas and oil industry are manipulating the democratic process to ensure that the process and the industry grows across the world. We have our own fracking nightmare at Barton Moss in Salford (not far from where this film is being shown) and the reality is that, unless stopped soon, fracking is going to come to your town at some point.
Thanks again to the Manchester Film Cooperative for organising a film and debate on this serious issue. More details see

Listen to... Peter Tatchell, one of the few interesting and inspiring speakers of this era. He is best known for his campaigning on gay rights issues but his record of activity shows that he is a true democrat, working hard to stop the erosion of all peoples’ democratic rights in this country. He is speaking on ‘Queer Britain – the struggle for LGBT rights 1958-2014’ in which he will discuss how the battle for law reform was won – one of the most successful law reform campaigns in British history – and the current challenges facing the LGBT community. His talk is at the Old Fire Station on 1 February at 2pm as part of LGBT week see

Find out about…five Cuban men who have spent fifteen years in prison in the USA. As the Cuban Five pointed out in their defence, they were on a mission in Miami, beginning in 1990, to monitor the actions of Miami-based terrorist groups, in order to prevent those groups from carrying out attacks on their country of Cuba. They never harmed anyone nor ever possessed nor used any weapons on their mission. Their objective was simply protecting people from terrorism. An International Commission of Inquiry is taking place in London at the moment to find out more about the case and there is a public meeting on Saturday 15th February, Central Hall Oldham Street, M1 1JQ Further info see

Read “The Colour of Milk” by Nell Leyshon. The story of a young woman growing up on a farm in 1831. Written as a monologue, which makes it a powerful narrative, we are taken into the life of a young illiterate woman called Mary. She tells us of her family, of living on a farm and the way in which her life unfolds. Once you start reading it you just cannot stop. Brilliant. Buy it from

Be inspired.…activists have set up a Mary Quaile Club to educate and encourage people to become more involved in campaigns. Mary Quaile was an Irish woman who was active in campaigns around women and low wages at the beginning of the century. All her life she campaigned for a better society, including opposing the First World War and encouraging women and girls to get involved in their trade unions. She lived in Manchester and was one of the few women to be elected to the TUC General Council. The MQC takes inspiration from her life and their first meeting is in Salford, arguably one of the most political parts of the north-west, with feminist historian Paula Bartley speaking about her new book on Ellen Wilkinson and Hugh Caffrey of Greater Manchester Keep Our NHS Public outlining the campaign to stop the privatisation of the NHS. See

Experience... The Seven Deadly Sins, a collaboration between Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht written in 1933. A fusion of opera, dance and theatre it is a satire on society and a parable about the evils of greed and capitalism. So just right for the times we are living through! Well done to Mark Elder and co at the Bridgewater Hall for this rare performance of a great work! It is a shame that the tickets are so expensive. See it on 10 April. For further details see And if you cannot afford to go have a look at this version see

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
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