Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oxford Working Class Bookfair

Someone posted this in comments, (thanks) but it sounds an interesting enough event to publicise on the front page - so here you go -

Saturday 20 June, 11 am - 6 pm
Ruskin College, Walton Street, Oxford

We cordially invite YOU to visit the 1st ever OXFORD WORKING CLASS BOOKFAIR! There will be books, talks, workshops, short films and more books and magazines . . .

We plan to recover/reclaim some of the hidden history of Oxford, with its gallery of rogues, rebels and revolutionaries, to touch upon some topics of contemporary relevance to the man & woman on the street today, provide quality entertainment, discuss the big issues past and present & hopefully have a real good time to boot! - All in a relaxed and warm atmosphere!

The range of local groups invited includes; political groups, Trade Unions, community groups, campaign groups, booksellers and history societies. If you would like to have a stall email us at the address above!

The event will include a commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the 1909 RUSKIN COLLEGE STUDENT STRIKE, a pioneering student uprising for independent working class education, that saw students breakaway to form a radical education and self-help networks based on an alternative progressive view of what education could be. They argued that it wasn't enough for the working class to have limited extended access to higer education, but rather that they needed a fundamentally different kind of education, curriculum & pedagogy to meet their needs and the needs of the class. They were involved in the PLEBS LEAGUE (a grassroots education iniative) and set up an anti-capitalist education network of CENTRAL LABOUR COLLEGES, many of the leaders of the student uprising were miners and trade unionists who went on to be authors of THE MINERS NEXT STEP, a classic text of rank & file trade unionism and syndicalism.

Along the way, we will learn the story of the RED SHIRTS, a group set up at Ruskin College to sabotage the attempts of Oswald Mosely's fascist BLACK SHIRTS to get a base in 1930s Oxford & consider how we fight against fascism & racism today. There will also be sessions on culture, trade union & labour history, feminism/women's liberation, ecology & climate, war & empire etc. More information about speakers, events and other happenings planned will appear on our page shortly - watch this space! Sponsors include the local I.W.W and trade unionists.

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At 1:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for flagging this up!

More info about the programme

(there are some interesting speaker additions to the programme in the pipeline (Watch this space), we recently had some various interesting people from the cultural world contact us & the programme of musical and artistic happenings has yet to be announced!)

Paul Mason, author of 'Live Working or Die Fighting - How the Working Class went Global' may be speaking also, he has agreed in principle but is checking his diary - he's a busy guy . . .!

Love & Rage.


At 6:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now supported by Oxford & District TUC


We are pleased to announce a new workshop on the issue of immigration and solidarity with migrant workers at the Oxford Working Class Bookfair with Teresa Hayter, an acclaimed authour and activist on on migration and anti-racism issues. She has been active in the Campaign to Close Campsfield since the immigration prison was opened, near Oxford, in 1993. She is one of the authors of the No One Is Illegal manifesto. Before that, she was active in anti-racist and other workers campaigns. She has written seven books, including Aid as Imperialism (Penguin, 1971), The Creation of World Poverty (Pluto, 1981) and Open Borders: The case Against Immigration Controls (Pluto, 2000, 2nd edition 2004).


Oxford Working Class Bookfair to host meeting on history of anti-fascism in Britain from 1930s to Present day struggles. Saturday 20 June, 11 am - 6 pm, Ruskin College, Walton Street, Oxford Free admission.


'Don't Mourn - Organise!' - Joe Hill, IWW

Watching 2 veteran Nazis strutting around as they became MEPs must have turned many a stomach. Andrew Brons, the BNPs first elected MEP is a former member of the National Socialist Movement, deliberately founded on Hitlers birthday, whose members carried out bombings of synagogues and Jewish property in the 60s. In 1984 he was arrested for breach of the peace after he was observed shouting slogans such as 'Death to Jews' in Leeds town centre whilst trying to flog fascist newspapers.
Nick Griffin, the Fuhrer of the BNP is on record as denying the holocaust and has called for a 'strong, disciplined organisation with the ability to back up its slogan ‘Defend Rights for Whites’ with well directed boots and fists. When the crunch comes, power is the product of force and will, not of rational debate'.
So, What is to be done?


OXFORD WORKING CLASS BOOKFAIR is pleased to be hosting an emergency meeting - as part of a day of talks, discussion forums and workshops addressing the issues facing our people in these credit crunched times - discussing the lessons of anti-fascist campaigns and social movements in Britain such as the Battle of Cable Street in the 30s, the Red Shirts, a militant campaign set up by trade unionists around Ruskin College that forced Oswald Moseley's Black Shirts and British Union of Fascists out of Oxford, the Anti-Nazi League & Rock against Racism in the late 70s etc. with a view to discussing what we can do to stop the cancerous growth of fascism and racism today. Speakers will include David Renton, historian of anti-fascism & author of 'When We Touched the Sky, the Anti-Nazi League 1977-1981' and stuff on local history of anti-fascism in Oxford + local anti-racist, trade union & community activists. Come and join the debate and discussion



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