So, after a great NUJ meeting with a brilliantly ethnic diverse turn-out, I turn on the TV and the BBC is showing “Last Whites of the East End“. Despite being fully aware it would annoy me, I watched it. I’ve been trying to think of something to blog about, so here’s another blog about history.
According to the programme, “white British” people are leaving the East London and it’s the end of the “good old East End”. This needs serious unpicking.
Continue reading “Last “whites” of the East End”
Apart from a few notable exceptions, there’s been an indefensible level of silence about the firebombing of Freedom Bookshop on Friday morning. Only one TV channel, Press TV, bothered to send a camera crew to East London. ITV, the Evening Standard and the Guardian did write stories about it, even if the latter did use the bizarre phrase about the shop that “[i]t claims to stock thousands of books, newspapers, pamphlets…” It’s a bookshop, what exactly makes a statement of easily verifiable fact a claim?
Continue reading “Media silence over Freedom firebombing – imagine if it was Waterstones”
Many years ago, I was reading Emma Goldman’s autobiography sitting beside the pool while on holidays in Greece (not necessarily everyone’s idea of relaxing, but I’m not everyone). I sat bolt upright in my sun-bed when I got to page 567 and Goldman writes of lecturing in Philadelphia. There, she writes, she met “two persons whose friendship recompensed me for the otherwise dreary experience, Harry Boland and Horace Traubel.” Harry Boland! She goes on, “Harry was an old devotee and always generously helpful in every struggle I made.”
Continue reading “A tale of two Harry Bolands”
This month marks the centenary of the great 1912 East End Jewish tailors’ strike, which saw 13,000 immigrant sweatshop workers walk out on strike. Three weeks later, on 25 May 1912, the bosses capitulated – they’d won.
Continue reading “Commemorating the 1912 East End Jewish tailors’ strike – two events”
The Budget is out – tax cuts for the rich on top of trying to destroy the NHS, welfare cuts, tax avoidance, university fees, post-riot sentencing, hackgate, occupy evictions – the reasons to be angry go on and on and on and on. But, after the massive student demos of just over a year ago, the 26 March demonstration and the 30 November strikes, things seem to have gotten fractured. Lots of small demonstrations and actions, but what we need to do is bring everyone together and create a massive force to take down this government and scare the next.
Continue reading “All out for May Day”
I filled in for Yodet on the Circled A show on Resonance FM last week and you can hear it on the Circled A website.
Continue reading “My radio presenting debut on the Circled A show on Resonance FM”
Update: Following these two successful meetings – and also raising the issue at tonight’s NUJ Claudia Jones lecture, I’ve set up a new mailing list and will discuss setting up a follow-up discussion and planning meeting with NUJ colleagues. Stay tuned for further details.
Continue reading “Two meetings on reclaiming the media”
Following the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, it is important to remember not just the day itself, but where it came from. The most important thing about what happened on that day was how the other major East End community – the largely Irish dockers – came out in solidarity with the Jewish community in Whitechapel. The roots of this solidarity lie in the strikes of the Great Unrest period more than 20 years before.
Continue reading “The roots of Cable Street”
Readers of a certain blog on a certain newspaper site might have gotten the false impression that I was against the post-riot clean-up operations in London. On the contrary, I promoted plans for Tottenham on Twitter, started early collecting abandoned shopping trollies on Wednesday morning en route and then, alas, found that it wasn’t possible due to the police cordon still being in place on Tottenham High Road. By Thursday, the area had pretty much already been cleaned up by the Council.
Continue reading “For the record – I supported the clean-up operations”