The Black Panthers Vanguard of the Revolution (Home). This is the story of how thousands of black working class women and men were not prepared to accept being treated as second class citizens in the USA of the 1960s; they were Black and they were Proud. Their anger led to the creation of a new organisation; the Black Panthers. They were political – they saw the links between capitalism and racism – and they took up guns to protect their community. But they also looked after the poor in their community, setting up breakfast clubs for children, health clinics for black people and producing their own newspaper as part of their campaign for justice. Over the years I have seen many documentaries about the Panthers and this is one of the few that interviews the women who made up a significant part of the organisation, including women such as Kathleen Cleaver, partner of the better known Eldridge. The USA in the 60s, looking back, seemed a totally mad society run by lunatics such as Edgar Hoover of the FBI and President Richard Nixon. The anger of the young black people seems totally understandable, an anger that had a political strategy as well as a military one. The 60s generation was an angry one but one that still seemed to believe in a better future. Today it seems that there is a growing anger in this country but one that does not have any political focus beyond joining (sorry Jeremy Corbyn) the discredited political parties. For all the problems inherent with the Black Panthers but they did for a time represent the hopes and dreams of many black people across the age range and they showed how it is working class people deciding their own agenda that will really deliver justice and equality. In the Uk you can support this group who campaign for justice for people who have died in police custody see
Manchester deserves better mental health-a national scandal. Join trade unionists and local campaigners on Saturday 7 November 2-5pm at the Friends Meeting House, Manchester. They say; Our branch of UNISON, Manchester Community & Mental Health, is extremely concerned about the state of mental health services in Manchester. Services and staff are near breaking point in Manchester – which is a local scandal. It’s a national scandal too, that mental health services generally are still so poorly resourced. Further details see
about Malcolm Hulke. He wrote episodes of The Avengers and Doctor Who in the 60s and 70s and invented the Silurians, but for me, he was much more interesting because he was also a member of the Communist Party and expressed his progressive ideas (including women’s equality) about society through his writing. Radical historian Michael Herbert will be talking about him on 11 November, 2pm, at the WCML. Read his pamphlet telling the real story of Malcolm’s life see.
to an exhibition about Margaret Ashton ( 1856 – 1937); the first women councillor for Manchester City Council, a suffragist and a campaigner for social reform. She came from Hyde, Tameside a meber of a wealthy mill owning family. Might sound tame or even conservative in today’s politics but she was one of the brave people who opposed the First World War from a pacifist perspective for which she was attacked by Manchester City Council which saw her politics as akin to treason. Find out more about this pioneering woman at Manchester Central Library from 4 Nov – 11 December.