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Ten years after the biggest demonstrations in history in February 2003, this conference will discuss and plan opposition to continuing and further wars. As millions around the world predicted, the war on terror has caused catastrophe from Afghanistan and Pakistan through Iraq and the Middle East to Libya, Somalia and beyond.

The Conference will bring together leading activists and commentators to analyse continuing Western aggression and how to confront it.

Tickets cost £15 / £8 concessions.

Book your ticket on the conference web site or telephone 02075619311 or email

Organised by Stop the War Coalition.

You can help us promote the event by sharing with your Facebook contacts here




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Call For Proposals

Historians Against The War
National Conference
5-7 April 2013
Baltimore, Maryland

“The New Faces Of War”
A Conference for Historians and Activists

Historians Against the War invites proposals for papers, panels, roundtables, and workshops for our upcoming national conference at Towson University, Baltimore, Maryland, April 5-7, 2013, co-sponsored by the Towson U. College of Liberal Arts.

We envision a conference that will attract historically minded scholars, activists from a variety of social movements, graduate students, educators, artists, and independent researchers and writers. We see the theme, “The New Faces of War,” as a chance to reflect on the myriad ways in which war making has changed in these early years of the 21st century. We want to explore such topics as the emergence of protracted US wars that stay below the radar of public debate, the concentration of war powers in the office of the president (e.g., the “kill list”), the downplaying of US “boots on the ground” in favor of drone warfare and the human toll in foreign countries, the outsourcing of military functions to private corporations, the militarization of policing in the US itself, the legalization of torture, and the proliferation of spying on US citizens in tandem with denial of citizen access to government records. We also seek to explore the connections between militarism, war, and the current economic crisis, as well as appropriate strategies for opposing war and militarism in their new forms. We want to analyze the role of antiwar movements past and present.

In addition to the presentation of academic papers, we encourage interactive formats that promote open dialogue and collective learning among people on the program and members of the audience. Thus we welcome proposals for roundtables and workshops that engage, for example, with activism or teaching.

Proposals are due on 30 October 2012. Please include a title and a short (perhaps 200-300 words) description of your proposed contribution (including each part of a group proposal, as in a panel with three papers or a roundtable with four participants), a short bio for each contributor or participant, and complete contact information. For group proposals, please make every effort to put together a balanced and diverse group of contributors or participants. Submit your proposal electronically to  Any questions may also be sent to

Please help us build this conference by spreading the word to other scholars and activists!

Historians Against the War is a network of history teachers, scholars, and activists seeking to bring historical analysis to bear on U.S. foreign policy and its social/political impact. To find out more, visit the HAW website at

The first HAW conference “Empire, Resistance, and the War in Iraq: A Conference for Historians and Activists” was held at the University of Texas, Austin, February 17-19, 2006.

The second HAW conference “War And Its Discontents: Understanding Iraq And The U.S. Empire” was co-sponsored with the Peace History Society and held in Atlanta, Georgia, April 11-13, 2008.

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'Having a great time here in Iraq!'


Newsletter No.1168  
02 September 2010  
Email Tel: 020 7801 2768  



Tony Blair says in his memoirs that Iraq was the nightmare he did not see coming. The majority of people in Britain had no difficulty in seeing that the nightmare we faced was not Iraq, but Tony Blair and his war policies.

Blair’s legacy will be that of a war criminal who waged an illegal war which killed hundreds of thousands and left Iraq in pieces, and who when he left office exploited his crimes to accumulate wealth soon expected to top £60 million.

We will not forget Blair’s crimes or the victims, whether Iraqi civilians or British soldiers, and we will continue to campaign for his indictment for the violation of countless international laws.

Which is why on Wednesday 8 September Stop the War will hold a protest outside Waterstone’s bookshop in London’s Piccadilly, when Blair will be doing a book-signing.

Tony Blair is not like any other author promoting a new book, but a war criminal who should be behind bars awaiting trial.

It takes a couple of minutes using our model letter to send an instant message to Waterstone’s urging them to cancel Tony Blair’s book-signing.  

If Blair’s book-signing is not being cancelled,  Stop the War will organise a protest at 12.30pm outside Waterstone’s in Piccadilly, London. Please join us, if you can.



Parliament will debate the war in Afghanistan next week against the background of claims by the politicians and military waging war that the invading armies are “making progress”.

Twenty-one US soldiers were killed over last weekend — adding to the number killed this year, which is fast approaching the total for the whole of 2009. This exposes the reality in Afghanistan, as do the continually rising numbers of Afghan civilians being killed at a higher rate than in any previous year of the war.

Stop the War has organised a public meeting in the House of Commons the day before MPs debate the Afghan war. The title will be Afghanistan: Time To Go, and the speakers will include MPs Caroline Lucas, Jeremy Corbyn and Paul Flynn, who will be joined by Joan Humphries, from Military Families Against the War, whose grandson was killed in Afghanistan.

The meeting is part of the campaign mobilising support for the Afghanistan: Time To Go national demonstration in London on 20 November.

RIGHT SIDE ENTRANCE  (Ask for Stop the War meeting)


A group of military families have come together to produce a letter to MPs in the run up to next week’s debate and vote on Afghanistan in Parliament.

The letter calls for the troops to come home, and ends by saying:

“Politicians who send and keep the British Military in Afghanistan should take heed of the majority of the population  
who want the troops home, remembering that they are elected as our servants not our masters. This pointless waste of life must end now before too many more suffer.” (SEE LETTER HERE:

The families are asking others who have military connections to add their names to the letter. If you are in contact with military families who have relatives serving in Afghanistan, or about to be deployed there, please bring this letter to their attention.


Any members of military families who would like further information, can contact Joan Humphries, whose grandson was killed in Afghanistan: Tel 07859 168 440, Email


Barack Obama’s speech this week announcing that the Iraq War is over is, as Robert Fisk says, just “tomfoolery”: SEE  

The Americans are not leaving, the occupation is not over and the fighting continues. And as Hadani Ditmars reports in her article, Iraq in Pieces, the legacy of the illegal war is a nightmare for the Iraqi people, SEE


Artists Peter Kennard and Cat Phillips have made available to Stop the War 100 signed copies of their iconic picture of Tony Blair photographing himself with his mobile phone against a backdrop of Iraq in flames. SEE PRINT HERE:

These limited edition 51cm x 51cm prints are available to Stop the War supporters, on a strict first come first served basis, at a cost of £10 plus £2.50 postage, from the national office: Tel: 020 7801 2768

Demand is likely to be very high for signed prints of this now legendary image, so if you would like one, it is advisable to apply immediately.


We have had a tremendous response to our appeal in our last newsletter for supporters of Stop the War to become national members, as one of the best ways to help fund our activities.

We are still in urgent need of raising funds for the events we have planned for the coming months, not least the national demonstration on 20 November.

If you have not yet contributed and would like to support our fund raising drive, by becoming a national member or by making a donation, you can do so in three ways:

* ONLINE:   
* BY PHONE: 020 7801 2768  
* BY CHEQUE: Payable to “Stop the War Coalition”, send to: 231 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1EH


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No Future




Wednesday, September 8th
7 pm (Box office opens at 6:30)
The Bloor Cinema
506 Bloor Street West @ Bathurst
Toronto, ON

In co-operation with Continuing Education Students Association at Ryerson, the War Resisters Support Campaign is pleased to present:

Naomi Klein introducing

Howard Zinn: You Can’t be Neutral on a Moving Train
A documentary screening with film makers Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller and Iraq war resister Jeremy Hinzman, introduced by Naomi Klein

Admission: $10.00

For information or advance tickets, please contact us at

War Resisters Support Campaign or

Media sponsor:



Sep 7, 2010
University of Toronto
Regis College
100 Wellesley St. West
Toronto, ON

Between the Lines welcomes one and all to the launch of Our Friendly Local Terrorist by Mary Jo Leddy.

About the book:

“A chilling story that shakes your faith in our vaunted Canadian immigration system. Secret hearings, spying, betrayal, no accountability are features we associate with desperate dictatorships elsewhere, not our own government here in Canada. It is no wonder Canada’s stature in the human rights world has sunk to its lowest level ever. This is a national disgrace.” – Helga Stephenson, human rights activist

Contact name: Between the Lines

(Also Sep. 8, 5:00-7:00 pm, Romero House, 1558 Bloor St. West, Toronto)



Equal Voice, Toronto Women’s City Alliance and YWCA Toronto will host a mayoral
Debate on the issues that matter to Toronto women.

Friday, September 10, 2010
6pm to 8:30pm
YWCA Toronto
80 Woodlawn Ave. East, Toronto
(North of Summerhill Subway)

Mayoral Candidates:

* Rob Ford
* Joe Pantalone
* Rocco Rossi
* George Smitherman
* Sarah Thomson

Moderator to be confirmed

Child-minding is available. Please call 647-235-8575 to register for child-minding.

Seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis.



Thursday, September 2, 2010
6:00 PM
The Dr. Chun Resource Library
The Centre for Women and Trans People at U of T
563 Spadina Ave., Room 100 (North Borden Building)
Wheelchair accessible through Bancroft Ave.

Hosted by OPIRG & The Centre for Women and Trans People at UofT

FREE event! Yummy refreshments will be provided!

Ravensong is a passionate novel about a young woman’s search for answers to difficult questions by one of our foremost First Nations writers. Stacey must balance her family’s traditional ways against white society’s intrusive values. It is set in the 1950’s Pacific Northwest.

Lee Maracle is of Salish and Cree ancestry and a member of the Stó:lō Nation. Besides being a professor at the University of Toronto, she has also been the Stanley Knowles Visiting Professor in Canadian Studies at the University of Waterloo. Maracle has been the Traditional Cultural Director of The Centre for Indigenous Theatre and has worked as an instructor of dramatic composition and theatrical representation. Maracle’s works reflect her antipathy toward racism, sexism, and white cultural domination.

The Dr. Chun Resource Library is a joint project of the Centre for Women and Trans People at U of T, and OPIRG-Toronto.



October 6, 2010
6:00-8:00 pm
Yorkwoods Library Theatre
1785 Finch Avenue West, Toronto

Sponsored by the Latin American Community Roundtable, a coalition of 16 organizations working with the Latin American community in Toronto.

To find out more about the October Mayoral Debate, please contact Adriana Salazar of the Mennonite New Life Centre at (416) 699-4527 ext. 229 or



Sunday September 5, 2010
2:00 pm
36 Sunnylea Drive
St. Catharines, ON

Guest speakers:

* Judy Rebick –
* Bryan Palmer – Labour Historian

Music by George Hewison

An Injury to One is an Injury to All

Further info: (905) 934-6233 or (905) 984-1763 email:



Tuesday 7 September
7:00 pm
Paupers Pub, second floor lounge
corner of Bloor and Lippincott Sts. (near Bathurst)

Sponsored by Ontario Health Coalition

Coalitions can be important tools for social change and union revitalization. What makes them successful? What causes them to fail? Union and community organizer Amanda Tattersall examines successful coalitions between unions and community organizations in three countries: the public education coalition in Sydney, Toronto’s Ontario Health Coalition fighting to save universal health care, and Chicago’s living wage campaign run by the Grassroots Collaborative. She explores when and how coalitions can be a powerful strategy for social change, organizational development and union renewal.

For more about the book or to buy the book visit




by Jordy Cummings, The Bullet

In the last week of July 2010, workers of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 9537, who have been locked out of their workplace and on the picket-lines for nearly five months, found a big pile of shit sitting right smack-dab by their picket-line outside of a warehouse in Vaughan, just north of Toronto. One could not ask for a better symbol of retail-capital’s attitude toward their workers.

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Growing evidence from the U.S. indicates the for-profit virtual university is no solution and Canadian universities, faculty and potential students should be more aware of the potential pitfalls of privatized post-secondary education.

Read more:



by Peter Rachleff, Labor Notes

On the heels of a commemoration marking the 25th anniversary of the landmark strike at the Hormel plant in Austin, Minnesota, historian and strike supporter Peter Rachleff reflects on the battle waged by Food and Commercial Workers Local P-9 and its legion of backers across the country.)

>From the late summer of 1985 into the early spring of 1986, the small town of Austin, Minnesota, figured prominently in the national news. The dramatic themes and issues, twists and turns, of a labor conflict there captured the national imagination. This interest was not merely passive, as more than 30 support committees formed across the U.S. and aid for the strikers came from nineteen countries. This strike touched a raw, deep nerve.

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by Ratna Omidvar, Toronto Star

Employment equity isn’t about quotas. It’s about providing opportunities for competent individuals.

It angers Canadians to think that someone could get a job just because of the colour of his or her skin.

And it should.

Read more:–a-place-for-equity-policies



In Canada and around the world there is clear evidence that the privatization of water services has meant:

* Rate hikes and cut-offs to low income households
* Violation or elimination of environmental regulation
* Reduction in quality of services
* Lay-offs and poor labour standards

Public private partnerships (P3s) are often used to privatize water services. Water is a human right and a public resource. Privatization restricts access to water – a vital life resource – to those who can afford to pay for it.

This is why the Council of Canadians has launched a campaign calling on the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) to stop investing in private, for-profit water services in Chile.

Read more:



by Alex Himelfarb, The Mark

Quite a bit of work has been undertaken recently on why people often vote against their own interests… this now growing body of thought seeks to explain why those who should most want change often vote for ideological parties that defend the status quo or more accurately, in English speaking democracies, parties that trust to the markets and tradition, even if neither has been very kind to many of us.

Read more:



Kaela Jubas
Adult Education Quarterly published 24 August 2010, 10.1177/0741713610380444


Andrew J. Diamond
Journal of Urban History published 25 August 2010, 10.1177/0096144210374465


Gregor Gall Fiorito & Arthur D. Martinez
Journal of Labor Research, Volume 31 Number 3, 10.1007/s12122-010-9092-3


Amparo Castelló-Climen
Journal of Economic Inequality, Volume 8, Number 3, 10.1007/s10888-010-9133-4




The Dominion Newspaper Cooperative/Media Co-op is hiring a part-time administrator to communicate with the Co-op’s membership.  The individual will work closely with the Media Co-op team in Montreal and be responsible for communicating with members about subscriptions, distribution, donations and sustaining.

The position may expand to include bookkeeping and payroll in the near future, so experience in managing finances and working in Simply Accounting are an added bonus.

The individual will also have the opportunity to learn more about other aspects of the Dominion’s day-to-day operations by working with the editorial collective in the Dominion’s Montreal office.

The position is for 8 hours per week at a rate of $9.50 per hour with a start date in mid-September. If bookkeeping is introduced into the job description, hours will increase to 12 per week.

Please send your resume and cover letter to with the subject line DOMINION ADMIN JOB no later than September 7, 2010.


The Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) is seeking applicants for two 26-week internships as part of the Ontario Co-operative Association’s Co-operative Internship (CIEP) program. Applicants must be Canadian citizens or legally entitled to work in Canada, 30 years of age or younger, have a post-secondary diploma or degree and not be currently enrolled in studies related to a diploma/degree program. Deadline for applications is September 7, 2010.

The internship positions are:

* Communications and Web Specialist
* Government Affairs Research Associate 

You can find links to these job postings at:



The Program Director, Community Education Programs, will be responsible for the design and implementation of externally-funded, collaborative, community-based programs and projects. The focus of the work will be on creating access to education for non-traditional students, in particular those from groups underrepresented in the University. The Program Director will work with University faculty and staff, community associates, and colleagues in Continuing Studies to design, deliver, evaluate and identify funding for programs and projects related to outreach education.

For further information about the position and details of the application process please visit:



Social Planning Toronto is a non-profit community organization committed to independent social planning at the local and city-wide levels. We work to improve the quality of life for all people in Toronto through community capacity building, community education and advocacy, policy research and analysis, and social reporting.

Social Planning Toronto is seeking an experienced and skilled part-time co-ordinator to support the organizing efforts and co-ordination of the Coalition for Change (approximately 50 hours a month for 10 months).

The Coalition for Change is a newly established coalition with a diverse grassroots membership of organizations focused on improving the rights and conditions facing temporary migrant workers.  One of the key principles of the coalition is to support the leadership and participation of migrant workers themselves in participating in activities and campaigns to improve working conditions and immigration status in Canada.

Deadline for Applications is September 3rd at 5:00pm, 2010.

For more information visit:



Head: Peter Sawchuk
Co-ordinator: D’Arcy Martin

The Centre for the Study of Education and Work (CSEW) brings together educators from university, union, and community settings to understand and enrich the often-undervalued informal and formal learning of working people. We develop research and teaching programs at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (UofT) that strengthen feminist, anti-racist, labour movement, and working-class perspectives on learning and work.

Our major project is APCOL: Anti-Poverty Community Organizing and Learning. This five-year project (2009-2013), funded by SSHRC-CURA, brings academics and activists together in a collaborative effort to evaluate how organizations approach issues and campaigns and use popular education.

For more information about CSEW, visit:


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David Cameron


Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Time: 19:00 – 21:00
Location: Housmans Bookshop
Street: 5 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross
Town/City: London, United Kingdom

Richard Seymour, blogger of ‘Lenin’s Tomb’ fame, and author of ‘The Liberal Defence of Murder’ will be in store discussing his latest publication, ‘The Meaning of David Cameron’.

The Tories are posing as a ‘progressive’ and ‘radical’ alternative to New Labour. Drawing from George W Bush’s ‘compassionate conservatism’, they maintain that the ‘Big Society’ can do what ‘Big Government’ cannot – produce a cohesive, mutually supportive, happy society. Cameron’s court intellectual, Philip Blond, maintains that this if David Cameron’, which is a viable alternative to the failures of the egalitarian left and the excessively pro-market right. But is this more than campaign mood music? And are the conservative traditions that they draw on – from the bucolic, pseudo-medievalism of G K Chesterton to the anti-statism of Friedrich Hayek – really a bulwark of progress and radicalism?

Richard Seymour argues that such ideas can only seem ‘progressive’ in light of New Labour’s acquiescence to Thatcherism. To understand the Cameronites, it is necessary to understand how the social landscape and corresponding political language was transformed by the collapse of post-war social democracy and its more radical competitors. To resist the Cameronites, he argues, it is necessary to attack the neoliberal consensus on which all major parties found their programme.

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Capitalist Trickle Down


Socialists and the Capitalist Recession

IIRE/Socialist Resistance, Notebook for Study and Research no. 39/40, (216 pp.)

With shipping to: Europe €14,50 Rest of World €21,00

http://iire. org/en/component /content/ article/18- notebooks- for-study- and-research/ 184-socialists- and-the-capitali st-recession. html

The credit crunch of 2008 produced an international recession in 2009. In this new book Claudio Katz and Michel Husson, both fellows of the International Institute for Research and Education, and SSP activist Raphie de Santos lead an attempt not to only to describe the present crisis, but also to understand its causes and debate socialist solutions.

This 216-page book brings together much of the most powerful socialist analysis of the recession.

Sean Thompson shows how neoliberal globalisation has an inbuilt tendency towards deflation. As explained in the article by François Sabado, the period since the turn of the century has been a disaster for American capitalism; first the catastrophe in Iraq and of the Bush government in general, and now an economic collapse that has completely undermined neoliberalism’s ‘Washington Consensus’.

The ideologues of capitalism are on the defensive. But the Marxist explanation of the crisis has to be hammered home. Who caused this crisis? Why did it occur? What is it in capitalism that leads to the globalisation of poverty while a tiny elite become mega-wealthy? And what are possible alternatives? This book is a signal contribution to making those arguments.

To give the socialist analysis in this book strong foundations the book also includes ‘The Basic Ideas of Karl Marx’, an outline by Ernest Mandel of the core ideas of scientific socialism.

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Crisis Sublime


Bookmarks Bookshop is pleased to announce our Spring 2010 programme of author events. Most events are free to attend. You can have a glass of wine, listen to the authors introduce their books, and ask questions. Afterwards, you can browse our selection of radical books, DVDs, t-shirts, gifts and cards. To book a place at any of the events below,  email:

The Imperial Controversy: Challenging the Empire Apologists, by Andrew Murray (Chair of Stop the War Coalition), Tuesday 20 April 6.30pm, Free.
Andrew Murray meticulously uncovers the intimate links between the war on terror and the history of empire, between colonialism and Nazism, between the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq and Britain’s bloody imperial record – and shows why the cheerleaders for today’s western military interventions now want to rehabilitate it. (Seumas Milne)

My Father Was a Freedom Fighter
Ramzy Baroud
Friday 23 April, 6.30pm, Free
Ramzy Baroud’s new book provides a deeply personal account of his family’s experiences, across three generations, of the theft and occupation of Palestine by the Israeli state. The book places Baroud’s experiences within the context of the broader political events of the conflict, in such a stark and moving way that this account evokes an understanding of what it is to be a Palestinian in a Gazan refugee camp.

The Enigma of Capital: And the Crisis of Capitalism/Companion to Capital
David Harvey
Tuesday 27 April, 6.30pm, Free
Capitalism will never fall on its own. It will have to be pushed. The accumulation of capital will never cease. It will have to be stopped. The capitalist class will never willingly surrender its power. It will have to be dispossessed. David Harvey is the world’s most cited academic geographer and his course on Marx’s Capital has been downloaded by well over 250,000 people since mid-2008.

Injustice: Why Social Inequality Persists
Danny Dorling
Monday 10 May , 6.30pm, Free
“Beliefs which serve privilege, elitism and inequality, infect our minds like computer viruses. But now Dorling provides the brain-cleaning software we need to begin creating a happier society.” Richard Wilkinson author of “The Spirit Level”

Night of the Golden Butterfly
Tariq Ali
Wed 12 May, 7.30pm, £4/£2 concessions
Political campaigner, novelist and historian Tariq Ali will be talking about the fifth and concluding book in the Islam Quintet. Bloomsbury Church, 235 Shaftesbury Ave, WC2H 8EP, 2 minutes from Bookmarks

Bonfire of Illusions: The Twin Crises of the Liberal World
Alex Callinicos
Tuesday 18 May, 6.30pm, Free
The crisis of 2007–9 is an event of historic importance that has affected economy, society and politics. Callinicos analyses its causes within the broader development of capitalism in recent decades. Particularly relevant is his stress on ‘financialisation’ as well as the implications he draws regarding the balance of imperial power across the world.

Bookmarks: The Socialist Bookshop
1 Bloomsbury Street, London, WC1B 3QE
020 7637 1848

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Political Moment


Image Politics – To see is to Destroy 

Seminar April 10 & 11 2010, Folkets Hus (The People’s House), Copenhagen 

Since September 11 a new visual landscape has emerged following the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. As a part of the so-called War on Terror a visual bombardment threatens to leave us with still fewer counter-images and resistance-strategies. Censorship of the media and control of the public sphere has become the order of the day. But the images from the Abu Ghraib prison show that despite a tightly managed visual regime – images that disturb the tightly managed control of representation of the war do still appear.

The seminar’s main focus will be the image politics during the War on Terror combined with an attempt to pick up on new modes of resistance and production of counter images emerging from subcultural groupings around the world. 

Speakers include: Iain Boal/Retort (US/Ir), O.K. Werckmeister (Ger), AW (DK), Curatorial Action (DK), Madeleine Bernstoff (Ger) and more to be confirmed.

Organised by associate professor Mikkel Bolt (art historian), University of Copenhagen, Professor Nils Norman (visual artist), The Royal Academy of Copenhagen, and professor Jakob Jakobsen (visual artist), Funen Art Academy in collaboration with a group of students.


Folkets Hus
Stengade 50,
Nørrebro, Copenhagen

Saturday April 10 at 10am to 6pm – food/social in the evening
Sunday April 11 at 11am to 6 pm.

Info and schedule:

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Dave Hill


Statement and Education Policy Manifesto by Dave Hill

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Kemptown

Details at:

I have spent my lifetime as a teacher in ‘challenging’ primary and secondary schools, in teacher ‘training’ and in universities trying to tackle inequalities in schooling: inequalities that result in millions of working class children having far less educational opportunities – and subsequently, usually lower paid jobs – than the children of richer parents; especially the 7% who go to private schools – and snap up most of the highest paid, elite, jobs.

The very choice of what and how it should be taught, how and what schooling should be organised, how it should be funded, and where and how the funding should be targeted, and a consideration of ‘who wins and who loses’ through all of the above, are all intensely political. And we want that politics to be in the interests of the millions not the millionaires!

I come from a working class family brought up in some poverty: for example on free School Meals (like a million others!) in St. Martins’ St., off the Lewes Rd., Brighton. I went to Westlain Grammar School, my brothers to under-funded secondary modern schools, such as Queens Park and Moulscoomb. Three times as much was spent on the education of grammar school students than on Secondary Modern students! My children went to local state schools. The inequalities I have witnessed – and lived – as a child, as a teacher and socialist political activist, have led me to spending my life fighting for greater equality in education and society, and against racism, sexism and against homophobia.

What an indictment of our divisive education system that students from private schools are 25 times more likely to get to one of the top British universities than those who come from a lower social class or live in a poor area! And that (in 2008) only 35% of pupils eligible for free school meals obtained five or more A* to C GCSE grades; compared with 63% of pupils from wealthier backgrounds.  This stark education inequality mirrors that in our grossly unequal society.

It is incredible, actually it is only too believable, in Britain today, that the richest section of society has 17 years of healthy life more than the least well-off in society. The minimum wage should be raised by 50%. How can people – decent hard working people like some in my own family, live on take-home pay of less than £200 a week! And there should be a maximum wage, too! Nobody, banker, boss, or buy-out bully, should be on more than £250,000 a year. This figure should reduce progressively so that within 10 years no-one is taking more than four times the average wage, nobody should be creaming off £27 million or £67 million a year for example! Certainly not when there are 4 million children living in poverty! I was once one of them. I was helped by the welfare state. We need our public services.  We need to improve them, not cut them; not attack them.

All three parties, New Labour, Lib Dem, and Tory, dance to the music of big business. All are promising cuts. Whatever they say, those cuts will hit schools, children, and the quality of education in our state schools. Already we are seeing staff cuts and course closures in universities up and down the country. In Brighton, for example, both Brighton and Sussex Universities are promising to cut out the nurseries, and Sussex to chop over 100 jobs. Brighton University is proposing to cut its Adult Ed art courses. Vandalism! Cutting popular and widely used public services!

And don’t believe cuts are necessary. They’re not! Cutting the Trident nuclear submarine replacement programme, bringing troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq, stopping the Identity Card programme, and collecting even some even of the £120 billion in taxes unpaid by the rich… yes, £120 billion!…would mean cuts are not necessary at all!

But you won’t hear that from the other parties, just from Socialists, like the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, and from Respect.

A Socialist Manifesto for Education is:

[1] Cut class sizes (they are currently some of the largest in the rich world- much larger than in private schools for example). According to OECD research Britain is 23rd out of 30 developed countries in terms of large class size. Other countries such as Finland have a maximum class size of 20. Finland is widely seen as providing an extremely high quality of education. For a maximum class size of 20 by 2020 in both primary and secondary schools!

[2] Abolish league tables and abolish SATS (some external testing is necessary, but SATS so very often restricts teaching to ‘teaching to the test’, and results in undue stress (and an increase in bedwetting, compared to the pre-SATS era, for example).

[3] Restore local democratic control of ‘Academies’. They should be run by the democratically elected local councils, and keep to national pay and conditions agreements. Why should rich businessmen and women take control of any of our schools? Let’s keep the added investment- but it’s the government that pays for that added investment anyhow! Let’s keep and enhance the added investment, but distribute it fairly between all schools. Our schools and the children in them are not for sale! Nor, through uneven funding for different types of school (e.g. Academies) should some schools be set up for success at the expense of others being set up (and under-funded) for relative failure.

[4] Private profiteering out of our schools! Bring the education services hived off to private profiteers back into either national or local private ownership! These include Ofsted, Student grants, school meals, cleaning and caretaking.

[5] Free, nutritious, balanced school meals for every child to combat poor diets, obesity, and… yes… for some children… hunger!

[6] Restore free adult education classes in pastime and leisure studies as well as in vocational training/ studies

[7] Restore free, state-funded residential centres and Youth Centres/Youth clubs for our children so they can widen their experiences of life in safe circumstances and enhance their education beyond the confines of the home or city.

[8] For a fully Comprehensive Secondary School system; so that each school has a broad social class mix and mix of ability and attainment levels. 

[9] For the integration of Private schools into the state education system – so that the goodies of the private school system are shared amongst all pupils/ students. All schools to be under democratic locally elected local council control. No to Private Schools. No to religious groups running schools. No to big business / private capital running our schools and children! 

[10] Free up the curriculum so there can be more creativity and cross-subject/ disciplinary work.

[11] Get Ofsted and their flawed tick-box system off the back of teachers. The results of Ofsted are to penalise even the best schools (outstanding in every aspect- other than in SATS attainments) in the poorest areas.

[12] Encourage Critical Thinking across the curriculum. Teach children not ‘what to think’, but ‘how to think’: including how to think critically about the media and politicians.

[13] Teach in schools for ecological literacy and a readiness to act for environmental justice as well as economic and social justice. Encourage children to ‘reach for the stars’ – and to work for a society that lets that happen – a fairer society with much more equal chances, pay packets and power, and about environmental and sustainability issues.  

[14] Proper recognition of all school workers, and no compulsory redundancies. For teachers, secretarial and support staff, teaching assistants, school meals supervisory assistants, caretaking staff, there should be workplace democratic regular school forums in every school. Regarding jobs (for example the threatened job cuts at Sussex University – and the ‘inevitable’ job cuts in every? school after the election – and no compulsory redundancies – any restructuring to be conditional on agreement with the trade unions.

[15] Setting up of school councils – to encourage democratic understanding, citizenship, social responsibility, and a welcoming and valuing of ‘student/pupil voice’.

[16] Ensuring that schools are anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-homophobic – making sure schools encourage equality, welcoming different home and group cultures. As part of this, anti-bullying practices in every school must be fully implemented, to combat bullying of all sorts, including racism, sexism, homophobia, and bullying based on disabilities. And this should be not just in anti-bullying policies, but also be part of the curriculum too!

[17] An honest sex education curriculum in schools that teaches children not just ‘when to say no’, but also when to say ‘yes’; a programme that is focused on positives and pleasure and personal worth, not on stigmatising sex and sexualities.

[18] No to ‘Faith Schools’ and get organised religion out of schools. If Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Zoroastrians, or whichever religion wishes to teach religion, let them do it in their own time, places of worship (Saturday/Sunday schools) or in their supplementary or complementary schools. Teach ethics and spirituality by all means, and teach about religions. But no brainwashing. Teach a critical approach to religions.

[19] Broaden teacher education and training so that the negative effects of the ‘technicisation and de-theorising’ of teacher training (that were the result of the 1992/1993 Conservative re-organisation of what was then called teacher education- subsequently retitled teacher training). Bring back the study and awareness of the social and political and psychological contexts of teaching, including an understanding of and commitment to challenge and overturn racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of underexpectation and discrimination – such as discrimination against working class pupils.

[20] A good, local school for every child. No school closures! “Surplus places” should actually mean lower class sizes! And increased community use of school facilities.

[21] A completely fully funded, publicly owned and democratic education system from pre-school right through to university. Education is a right not a commodity to be bought and sold. So: no fees, like in Scandinavia, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, where education up to PhD level is free. No to university or further education/vocational training fees! And bring in a living grant for students from less well-off backgrounds/ income.

In my jobs, firstly as a teacher, and now as a Professor of Education (and writer/editor of 17 books on education and equality) I have been round hundreds of schools. Many of them are brilliant. Schools in the poorest areas, schools in better off areas! Brilliant. But, with better funding, smaller class sizes, an end to the destructive competition between schools (if every school is a good local school) and with more professional judgement being allowed for teachers- then I look forward to a time when all state schools match the class sizes and results of the currently more lavishly funded private schools’. And working class kids – black, brown, white – get the fair deal currently trumpeted – but in actuality denied – by all three major parties.  

Professor Dave Hill, The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) parliamentary candidate for Brighton Kemptown

Professor Dave Hill teaches at Middlesex University and is Visiting Professor of Critical Education Policy and Equality Studies at the University of Limerick, Ireland.

The Brighton Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition blogspot is at:

Dave’s Wiki and Publications are at:

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On the day Colin Powell appeared before the UN in January 2003 to present the case for war against Iraq, the tapestry of Picasso’s Guernica hanging outside the Security Council chamber was draped with a baby blue shroud. The UN media liaison, Abdellatif Kabbaj, explained: “We had a problem with, you know, the horse”.

For the past year the Guernica tapestry has been in London, on loan during renovations at the UN. It is hanging in the old public library, now part of the Whitechapel Gallery, and forms the centrepiece of Goshka Macuga’s installation, “The Nature of the Beast”.

Retort will host an event on the closing day of the installation. On Sunday, April 4th between 2 and 5 o’clock, at the round table in front of the tapestry copy of Guernica (referencing Calder’s Mercury Fountain in the 1937 Spanish Pavilion),  there will be a recorded discussion on the topic of terror against civilians as an instrument of modern statecraft and the failed efforts of popular movements to halt it. The conversation – between an invited panel and then opening to all in attendance – will be primed by a brief presentation, in front of the tapestry, of Retort’s case in Afflicted Powers that terror from the air is constitutive of modernity, and T.J. Clark’s argument in Picasso and Truth that Guernica registers a double mourning, for the Spanish republic in its death throes but also for an end to modern humanity’s hopes of a true space of belonging. In the light of this history – from Guernica to Gaza – what are the possibilities of renewal for an anti-war movement? If it was hard in 1937, how might “art against war” be conceived under contemporary conditions of spectacle and the new arsenal of image machines? 

The muse of remembrance in the Basque tradition will be invoked in performance by MacGillivray and Gwalia. 

Address and info/directions:

The Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, Whitechapel, London, E1 7QX, 020 7334 3922

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Social Movements


Interface – A Journal For and About Social Movements


Interface is a new journal produced twice yearly by activists and academics around the world in response to the development and increased visibility of social movements in the last few years – and the immense amount of knowledge generated in this process. This knowledge is created across the globe, and in many contexts and a variety of ways, and it constitutes an incredibly valuable resource for the further development of social movements. Interface responds to this need, as a tool to help our movements learn from each other’s struggles, by developing analyses and knowledge that allow lessons to be learned from specific movement processes and experiences and translated into a form useful for other movements.

We welcome contributions by movement participants and academics who are developing movement-relevant theory and research. Our goal is to include material that can be used in a range of ways by movements – in terms of its content, its language, its purpose and its form. We are seeking work in a range of different formats, such as conventional articles, review essays, facilitated discussions and interviews, action notes, teaching notes, key documents and analysis, book reviews – and beyond. Both activist and academic peers review research contributions, and other material is sympathetically edited by peers. The editorial process generally will be geared towards assisting authors to find ways of expressing their understanding, so that we all can be heard across geographical, social and political distances.

Our third issue, to be published in May 2010, will have space for general articles on all aspects of understanding social movements, as well as a special themed section on crises, social movements and revolutionary transformations.


“In every country the process is different, although the content is the same. And the content is the crisis of the ruling class’s hegemony, which occurs either because the ruling class has failed in some major political undertaking, for which it has requested, or forcibly extracted, the consent of broad masses … or because huge masses … have passed suddenly from a state of political passivity to a certain activity, and put forward demands which taken together, albeit not organically formulated, add up to a revolution. A “crisis of authority” is spoken of: this is precisely the crisis of hegemony, or general crisis of the state”

So wrote the Italian revolutionary Antonio Gramsci from behind the walls of Mussolini’s prison, in his famous notes on “State and Civil Society”. His words aptly describe the trajectory of crises in modern history – these are periods when the wheels of economic growth and expansion grind to a halt, when traditional political loyalties melt away, and, crucially, when ruling classes find themselves confronted with popular movements that no longer accept the terms of their rule, and that seek to create alternative social orders.

The clashes between elite projects and popular movements that are at the heart of any “crisis of hegemony” generate thoroughgoing processes of economic, social and political change – these may be reforms that bear the imprint of popular demands, and they may also be changes that reflect the implementation of elite designs. Most importantly, however, crises are typically also those moments when social movements and subaltern groups are able to push the limits of what they previously thought it was possible to achieve in terms of effecting progressive change – it is this dynamic which lies at the heart of revolutionary transformations.

Gramsci himself witnessed, organised within and wrote during the breakdown of liberal capitalism and bourgeois democracy in the 1910s through to the 1930s. This was a conjuncture when tendencies towards stagnation in capitalist accumulation generated the horrors of the First World War and the Great Depression. Movements of workers and colonized peoples threatened the rule of capital and empires, old and new, and elites turned to repressive strategies like fascism in an attempt to secure the continuation of their dominance.

Today social movements are once again having to do their organizing and mobilizing work in the context of economic crisis, one that is arguably of similar proportions to that witnessed by Gramsci, and a political crisis that runs just as deep. The current crisis emerged from the collapse of the US housing market, revealing an intricate web of unsustainable debt and “toxic assets” whose tentacles reached every corner of the global economy. More than just a destruction of “fictitious capital”, the crisis has propelled a breakdown of world industrial production and trade, driving millions of working families to the brink and beyond. And, far from being a one-off, this crisis is the latest and worst in a series of collapses starting with the stock market crash of 1987, the chronic stagnation of the once all-powerful Japanese economy, the Asian financial meltdown of 1997 and the bursting of the bubble.

The current conjuncture throws into question the fundamentals of the neoliberal project that has been pursued by global elites and transnational institutions over the past three decades. Taking aim at reversing the victories won by popular movements in the aftermath of the Second World War, neoliberalism transferred wealth from popular classes to global elites on a grand scale. The neoliberal project of privatizing the public sector and commodifying public goods, rolling back the welfare states, promoting tax cuts for the rich, manipulating economic crises in the global South and deregulating the world’s financial markets continued unabated through the 1980s and 1990s.

As presaged by Gramsci, neoliberal policies have whittled away the material concessions that underpinned social consensus. Ours is a conjuncture in which global political elites have failed in an undertaking for which they sought popular consent, and as a consequence, popular masses have passed from political passivity to a certain activity.

Since the middle of the 1990s, we have seen the development of large-scale popular movements in several parts of the globe, along with a series of revolutionary situations or transformations in various countries, as well as unprecedented levels of international coordination and alliance-building between movements and direct challenges not only to national but to global power structures. The first stirrings of this activity were in the rise of the Zapatistas in Mexico, the water wars in Bolivia, and the protests on the streets of Seattle. On a global scale we saw dissent explode in the form of opposition to the wars waged by the US on Afghanistan and Iraq. In terms of sheer numbers, the mobilisation of against the latter invasion was the largest political protest ever undertaken, leading the New York Times to call the anti-war movement the world’s “second superpower”.

Each country has had its own movements, and a particular character to how they have moved against the neoliberal project. And for some time many have observed that these campaigns, initiatives and movements are not isolated occurrences, but part of a wider global movement for justice in the face of the neoliberal project. An explosion of analysis looking at these events and movements has occurred in the academic world, matched only by extensive argument and debate within the movements themselves.

In this issue of Interface, we encourage submissions that explore the relationship between crises, social movements and revolutionary transformations in general and the character of the current crisis and how social movements across different regions have related and responded to it in particular. Some of the questions we want to explore are as follows:

– What are the characteristics of the current economic and political crisis, what roles do social movements – from above and below – play in its dynamics, and how does it compare to the political economy of previous cycles of crises and struggle?

– What has been the role played by social movements in moments of crisis in modern history, and what lessons can contemporary popular movements learn from these experiences?

– What kinds of qualitative/quantitative shift in popular mobilisation we might expect to see in a “revolutionary wave”?

– Are crises – and in particular our current crisis – characterized by substantial competitions between different kinds of movements from below? How does such a dynamic affect the capacity to effect radical change?

– What goals do social movements set themselves in context of crisis and what kinds of movement are theoretically or historically capable of bringing about a transformed society?

– What are the criteria of success that activists operate with in terms of the forms of change social movements can achieve in the current conjuncture?

– Is revolutionary transformation a feasible option at present? Is revolution a goal among contemporary social movements?

– What are the characteristic features of elite deployment of coercive strategies when their hegemony is unravelling?

– How have global elites responded to the current crisis in terms of resort to coercion and consent? Have neoliberal elites been successful in trying to reestablish their legitimacy and delegitimizing opponents?

– Are we witnessing any bids for hegemony from elite groups outside the domain of Atlantic neoliberalism?

– How is coercion in its various forms impacting on contemporary social movements and the politics of global justice?

The deadline for contributions for the third issue is January 1, 2010.

Please contact the appropriate editor if you are thinking of submitting an article. You can access the journal and get further details at:

Interface is programmatically multilingual: at present we can accept and review submissions in Afrikaans, Catalan, Croatian, Danish, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Maltese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Zulu. We are also willing to try and find suitable referees for submissions in other languages, but cannot guarantee that at this point.

We are also very much looking for activists or academics interested in becoming part of Interface, particularly with the African, South Asian, Spanish-speaking Latin American, East and Central European, Mediterranean, Oceanian and North American groups.

Editorial contacts

Interface is not a traditional, centralised journal with a single key editor! Because we are a global journal, and movements (and their relationships to academia) are organised so differently in different parts of the world, the basic structure of the journal is as a network of regional or linguistically-defined groups, each of which organises its own editorial processes and tries to find an appropriate way of working with its own local realities. Articles and queries should go to the contact person listed below for the relevant region:

Movements in Africa: Please submit papers in Zulu, Afrikaans or English to Richard Pithouse; in English to Mammo Muchie; and in Portuguese to Ana Margarida Esteves

Movements in the Arab world: Please submit papers in Arabic or English to Rana Barakat or Abdul-Rahim al-Shaikh; or in Arabic, English, German or Hebrew to Magid Shihade

Movements in Central and South America: Please submit papers in Spanish to Sara Motta or Adriana Causa and in Portuguese to Ana Margarida Esteves

Movements in Eastern Europe: Please submit papers in Croatian, English, German, Hungarian, Latvian, Romanian, Russian, Serbian or Turkish to Steffen Böhm or Andrejs Berdnikovs

Movements in North America: Please submit papers in English to Ray Sin or Lesley Wood

Movements in South Asia: Please submit papers in English to Alf Nilsen . We are currently looking for another regional editor to work with Alf.

Movements in Southeast Asia and Oceania: Please submit papers in English to Elizabeth Humphrys, in Spanish to Cristina Flesher Fominaya and in Portuguese to Ana Margarida Esteves

Movements in Western Europe:
Please submit papers:
* in English to Cristina Flesher Fominaya or Laurence Cox or
* in French or Italian to Laurence Cox or
* in German to Steffen Böhm or Laurence Cox
* in Portuguese to Ana Margarida Esteves
* in Spanish to Cristina Flesher Fominaya
* We can also accept papers in Catalan, Maltese and Norwegian: please contact Laurence Cox in relation to these.

Transnational Movements:
Please submit papers in English, Dutch, French and Spanish or with special reference to labour or social forums, to Peter Waterman; in English, with special reference to dialogue-based movements, to Richard Moore; in Arabic, English, German or Hebrew to Magid Shihade; or in English, French, Italian or German to Laurence Cox

Book reviews: In English: please contact Aileen O’Carroll

Movements in Central Asia and East Asia: We are hoping to expand our intellectual and linguistic capacity to include these areas, but at present do not have sufficient editorial expertise to review papers on movements in these regions. Expressions of interest from potential regional editors, willing to help assemble a regional subgroup of academics and activists to review papers on movements in any of these regions, are very welcome.

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Higher Education

Higher Education



Government puts education into the hands of big business

No university fees! Demonstrate 28 November!

We won’t pay for the bosses’ crisis!

New Labour and the Conservatives are determined to make young people and workers pay for this crisis. On the one hand, they say there are jobs available for all, all you need is ‘determination’. At the same time, they slash funding for youth training and put corrupt fat cats in charge of setting university fees.

Lord Mandelson refused the National Union of Students a voice in the review of university fees because that would harm the ‘objectivity’ of the review. Instead, we have an ‘objective’ board of some of the biggest capitalists and privateers in Britain, chaired by Lord Browne. Lord Browne was Chief Executive of BP until 2007, making billions of pounds out of war in Iraq and environmental destruction. Browne left BP, amidst allegations of corruption, with a £5 million payoff and a £21 million pension pot. Is this man seriously going to say that society cannot afford our education?

David Eastwood, Vice Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, also sits on the review. As part of the Russell Group, he has been demanding students pay more for education for years. The university is currently trying to close its entire sociology department, without consultation with staff, because it is not bringing in enough money. Aston University’s vice chancellor is also ‘objectively’ reviewing university funding, fresh from slashing 18 jobs over the summer.

The rest of the board is made up of a former advisor to Tony Blair (the Prime Minister who abolished free university education), two NGO bigwigs and, unbelievably, Peter Sands, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank. Is he going to demand the same level of investment in education, in our future, that him and his peers have received over the last eighteen months? Of course not. The bosses organisation, the CBI, call for fees of £7,000 a year. Labour and the Tories say similar. Before the review board has met, the outcome is clear. Peter Sands, Lord Browne, Lord Mandelson and all the others want to make us pay for the crisis of their system.

£350 million cuts are being made in vocational education. Out of around 600,000 school leavers, 8,000 will get real apprenticeships, ones which lead to a job and a qualification.

Never mind that young people want to learn, want to work! Never mind that 55% think university education should be free! Since when did the politicians care what we think? Since when did big business and university bosses do favours for us?

Since we organised and fought them. Youth Fight for Jobs says no to university fees, no to writing off our generation, no to mass youth unemployment. We are demonstrating on 28 November – for real jobs, for free education. Join us in the fightback!

Join the demonstration in central London, Malet Street, WC1E, nearest tube Euston / Russell Square. For details of transport from outside London, see:

Youth Fight for Jobs:

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