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

cesar chavez
Cesar Chavez (DVD) made last year but has been given little distribution in this country. Cesar was an activist in the movement to unionise poor Mexican workers in the USA and this film reminds us of how difficult it is to get justice at work for some of the most vulnerable workers. Like many Mexicans Cesar and his family came to the farms of California to find work. They found poverty and exploitative conditions that resembled 19thC feudalism. But out of this sprang a great movement for justice, led by a truly inspiring man. A man, who was flawed like all of us, and the film shows the price he paid for his politics. Cesar’s son became a target at school because of his father’s radicalism and this led to a major break with his father. The campaign was a family affair with Cesar’s wife and the mother of 8 children, Helen, taking part in the protests. Cesar went onto to co-found the National Farm Workers Association which at its height represented 50,000 Mexican field workers in California and Florida. This is a truly inspiring film.

earth first
Earth First! Summer Gathering Wednesday 19 August – Monday 24 August. Learn some skills in grassroots ecological direct action, meet other activists and find out about campaigns including fracking. It all takes place over five days in the lovely Peak District. Further details see


In Search of Peace

In Search of Peace

At House Proud a fascinating exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery. In the 1930s the Gallery was one of the first to collect mass-produced or limited edition home furnishings. House Proud is made up of objects from the Gallery’s own Industrial Art Collection. It includes glass, metalwork and furniture. Some of them look very familiar as they were designed for mass production. Loved this slightly strange one by Louisa Hodgson, In Search of Peace.

pizza express
Low paid workers at Pizza Express. They say: No Justice: No Pizza!. They are only paid £6.50 an hour and PE then take an 8% “admin fee” to process the customer credit card tips through the payroll!. PE workers reckon the management are profiting by £1m. They were out picketing the restaurants this week and their union, Unite, has started an online petition
Sign their petition at
Or you could always pay the waiter/waitress the tip in cash.

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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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