The Pearl Button (Home)….another brilliant documentary by Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzman, once more looking at the brutal history of his country; this time in Chilean Patagonia. At one time the nomadic Kaweskar (or “Water People”) paddled up and down the length of the immense Chilean coast, living in harmony with the ocean which was their life and their livelihood. The pearl button is a reference to the price paid for a young indigenous man to be taken back to England by a British sea captain. But there is a modern twist to the story:in the 1970s the Pinochet regime used the now deserted home of the Kaweskar people as a concentration camp and the water around it as a place to dump dissidents whom they they had murdered. In the film the remaining Kaweskar people tell their story, as do the survivors of the concentration camp. It’s a stunningly beautiful film, but telling a story of conquest, genocide and horror.
The Easter Rising,which took place in Dublin one hundred years ago next month. Glossop Labour Club have organised a day of talks and films to mark the event on Sunday 3 April. Taking part is writer Robin Stocks, author of Hidden Heroes of Easter Week which reminds us that Irish people from this side of the water went to Ireland to take part in the Rising. Further details see
A new book by Mark Metcalf about local hero and communist Benny Rothman:Benny Rothman; a fighter for the right to roam, workers’ rights and socialism. He is best known for his involvement in the Kinder Trespass in the 1932, but, as Mark points out in this new book, Benny did much more in his life. As a young man Benny was active in the Young Communist League in North Manchester and was out on the streets fighting the fascists; he was a lifetime shop steward; as well as active in environmental campaigns. At a time when important socialist events such as International Women’s Day and Peterloo have been taken over by a middle class elite, it is good to see an event that firmly anchors our history into a Communist tradition of activism and collectivism. And you will get a free copy of the book if you attend a book launch on Friday 8 April 1.30-4.00pm at the WCML in Salford.
The Fast Food Global Day of Action on 14 April in Wakefield. The fast food workers campaign, led by the Bakers and Food Allied Workers Union, is one of the most dynamic going at the moment, and other unions and activists could learn a lot from them. They are following in the footsteps of earlier trade union activists such as Mary Quaile, in their demands for a living wage and trade union rights. But theirs is a truly international campaign as it is linked up with the fast food workers in the USA, who will also be campaigning across 300 cities on 14 April. Further details see
At a modernist building before the philistines knock it down. Join the Manchester Modernists on a visit to The Radcliffe Civic Suite, which was built in 1974, and due for demolition by the end of April. The tour will also include a look at other local art deco buildings. A bargain at £3.50/2.50! Further details see