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Online Lecture - The Betrayal of the Miners: 'Black Friday' 15 April 1921

Thursday, 15th April 2021 at 7pm

Join Professor Mary Davis for this anniversary lecture examining the conditions surrounding the Miners' Strike of 15 April 1921 and its relevance today.

Black Friday, in British labour history, refers to 15 April 1921, when the leaders of transport and rail unions announced a decision not to call for strike action in support of the miners.

The miners, faced with savage wage cuts, went on strike in the expectation that they would be supported by the unions that formed the ‘Triple Alliance’.

The Daily Herald said that the betrayal of the miners was ‘the heaviest defeat that has befallen the Labour movement within the memory of man’.

Online Lecture: The Formation of the National Unemployed Workers Committee Movement

Thursday, 22nd April 2021 at 7pm

100 years on from the formation of the NUWCM, Roger Seifert lectures on how unemployed workers in the 1920s and 1930s built a movement starting with hard evidence of the material world experiences and suffering of the unemployed, their families and communities.

This broadly based united front presented clear demands, a fluid approach to tactics, and strong sense of class struggle. Using painstaking advocacy of individual cases, local activists linked into local trade union branches, trades councils, and political organisations to thoroughly prepare rallies, demonstrations, and hunger marches that led to an unlikely success story.

Book Launch: In Conversation with Helen Jackson

Thursday, 29th April 2021 at 7pm

Helen Jackson, author of ‘People’s Republic of South Yorkshire: A Political Memoir 1970-1992’ is joined in conversation by key activists from the trade union and labour movement and international solidarity movements.

The book tells the story of how class solidarity translated into creative and radical local initiative, with fairness at its core, during the 1970s and 1980s. Helen Jackson was one of the contributors who took the experience into their later work, lives and careers.  She was first elected to Sheffield City Council in 1980, and subsequently to Parliament in 1992, where she served on the Environment Select Committee and helped win the argument for ‘quotas’ which led to the big increase in women Labour MPs.  

Helen merges historical and political narrative with her own reflections as a woman in politics, so that we see how political action delivers change and understanding at an individual as well as a societal level.

Published by Spokesman, the publishing imprint of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation

You can preorder a copy here: People’s Republic of South Yorkshire – Spokesman books