Monday, 15 June 2009

NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND - Provisional Timetable




















IF THERE'S ANY HOPE, IT LIES WITH THE PROLES - GEORGE ORWELL, 1984

1st OXFORD WORKING CLASS BOOKFAIR -
'To Build a New Society in the Shell of the Old'

11 am - 6 pm, Saturday 20 June, Ruskin College, Walton Street
Supported by Oxford & District TUC & Oxfordshire IWW
Directions can be found here, Oxford City Centre, 5-10 mins from Bus & Train stations

If you are coming for the whole day you may wish to bring a packed lunch, but there are many food places near by.

READERS OF THE WORLD UNITE!

A SPECTRE IS HAUNTING ENGLAND - the spectre of the 1st Oxford Working Class Bookfair. On the eve of the Summer solstice there will be a gathering of the tribes - a bookfair - a place to meet likeminded people and exchange ideas and information - There will be talks, badges, posters, DVDs, CDs, workshops, music, culture, short films, magazines, lectures, warm atmosphere, fellowship, meet new people, education, entertainment, magazine, newspapers and BOOKS!

DIRECT ACTION

2009 is the year when everything is out in the open, whether economy, politics, climate or empire. It is the year when students at 30 universities in Britain staged occupations and sit-ins in support of the people of Palestine, and more recently occupied against cutbacks in courses & today at SOAS against attacks on migrant workers and trade unionists; It is the year when workers at Dundee Prisme Factory, Visteon Car Plants in Belfast, Enfield and Basildon, and elsewhere occupied their workplaces in opposition to job losses with no redundancy pay, when parents, teachers and pupils barricaded themselves in Glasgow and London to physically stop the council cutting education. In France, workers have popularised a tactic of bossnapping of holding bosses hostage until they accede to their demands.

We live in credit-crunched times, this event will be a place to learn and share not only the skills we need to defend our livelihoods and communities from capitalism red-in-tooth-and-claw, but also our history: Looking at the lessons of yesterday to build the mass movements of tomorrow and beyond. The day will end with a discussion of the Ruskin College Strike of 1909 and the fight for radical and progressive education. With universities shutting courses, sacking lecturers and student fees, the lessons of yesterday will be useful for the battles of today and tomorrow.

During the bookfair, there will be showings of films such as Guy Debord's Society of the Spectacle, a reading of Lucy Parsons famous address To Tramps and other happenings in the Raphael Samuel Hall in the college + an exhibition in the library.

PROVISIONAL TIMETABLE

More background about the speakers can be found here. There are still other events and happenings planned, so watch this space!

11 am -

SURREALISM, DADA & THE SITUATIONIST INTERNATIONAL
Malcolm Hopkins, Housman Books
The situationists were a radical political & cultural movement that was not confined to the streets of Paris. Their influence can be seen in the works of King Mob in England and Black Mask in the USA. King Mob shared the same interest in the Dada and Surrealist movement, the Provos, and avant garde artistic experiments.

CAPITALISM IN CRISIS - DON'T MOURN, ORGANISE!
Pete Dwyer, Radical Economics Tutor at Ruskin College (personal capacity)
Stories of how ordinary people have organised against the credit crunch, includes film footage of the recent Visteon factory occupation + a little dash of grand economics to explain the seismic shifts that have taken place in the last 18 months.

12 - 1 pm -

FIGHTING FASCISM - HISTORICAL & CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVES
David Renton, Historian of Fascism & Anti-Facsism, Cllr John Tanner
As two veteran Nazis get elected to the European parliament, we hear the story of the Red Shirts, the anti-fascist group launched by Ruskin students and trade unionists to force Oswald Moseley's Black Shirts out of 1930s Oxford, the Battle of Cable Street & an assesment of the Anti-Nazi League in the late 70s that helped stop the march of National Front. How do we tackle fascism and racism today?

1 - 2 pm - WORKSHOPS -

1. OPEN BORDERS - THE CASE AGAINST IMMIGRATION CONTROLS
Teresa Hayter, No One is Illegal, Author & Activist

2. SEXISM & THE SYSTEM - THE RISE OF RAUNCH CULTURE
Judith Orr, Author of 'A Rebel's Guide to Women's Liberation'

2 - 3 pm

'A WORKING CLASS HERO IS SOMETHING TO BE . . .' - Why Class is STILL the Issue
Ian Bone, Class Warrior, Ciaran Walsh IWW (involved in Traveller education), plus one other speaker (tbc)
It has become common place to patronise working class people, whether those who tell us that we don't exist or the condescending description of us as 'chavs' etc. and 'dole scum'. We are working class and we are proud of it. The British working class is the oldest in the world created in the furnace of the industrial revolution and brutality of enclosures and destruction of the commons. We have our own cultures, tradition, language of which we can be well proud. This meeting will discuss how working class people have and can organise for a more democratic society.

3 - 4 pm

WHERE NOW FOR THE LEFT? AN INFORMAL DISCUSSION led by
Andrew Burgin, Radical bookseller & officer of Stop the War Coalition among other things (speaking in personal capacity) tackles the thorny subject of 'left unity' in the light of the collapse of the Labour Party in recent elections, the rise of the far right, the credit crunch, more national co-operation between anarchists, the recent Open Letter to the Left of the SWP, trade unions such as RMT and PCS moving towards standing candidates etc. How can we make sure that the Left not the Right seizes the time. Plenty of time for discussion, debate, all perspectives welcome.

THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND
Steve Mills, Bristol Radical History Group, Elected Chair of Bristol UNISON (personal capacity)
Covering issues of land rights, the idea of 'the commons', the Diggers, St Georges Hill, The English Revolution, Kingswood miners and the squatting of forest land, and free mining, moving onto common law, the land is ours movement, forest rights, the one day house & the use of common land, finishing up with a good riot or two. Something for everyone: riots, community, historical rights, environmental sustainability, and links to now!

4 - 5 pm -

THE LIBERAL DEFENSE OF MURDER
Richard Seymour, Author and activist associated with popular Lenin's Tomb blog
Following the collapse of the USSR, a number of prominent thinkers on the Left found themselves increasingly aligned with their ideological opposites. Over the last decade, many of these thinkers have become close to Washington; forceful supporters of the War on Terror, they help frame arguments for policymakers and provide the moral and intellectual justification for Western military intervention across the globe. Seymour traces the journey of these figures from left to right and explores their critical role in the creation of the new American empire andshaping of our post-9/11 world.

5 - 6 pm -
1909 RUSKIN COLLEGE STRIKE 100TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION MEETING - THE FIGHT FOR INDEPENDENT WORKING CLASS EDUCATION - YESTERDAY & TODAY
Colin Waugh, Radical Educator & Author of new pamphlet on the Ruskin College Student Strike

100 years ago students at Ruskin College staged a pioneering uprising for radical education, they argued that ordinary people needed a fundamentally different kind of education and formed anti-capitalist self help networks such as the Central Labour Colleges and Plebs Leagues to provide alternative education to hundreds of workers. Come and hear the story of their struggle and relate it to the struggle for a better education system today.

Stalls including Housmans Books (Radical booksellers), Pambazuka Books (Human rights, social justice, politics in Africa), MUTE Magazine, Bristol Radical History Group, Bookmarks - Socialist Bookshop, Project for a Participatory Society UK, Andrew Burgin - Badges, Posters and Ephemera, Stop the War Coalition, Unite against Fascism, LoveMusicHateRacism, Oxford Cuba Solidarity, Oxford Palestine Solidarity, usual lefty groups and other political groups, Trade Unions, ecologists, community groups, campaign groups, booksellers and history societies etc. If you would like a stall email us asap!

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