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An opportunity to catch up on what we've been up to

29 September 2020
15 January 2020

Billy Strachan 1921-1998 was a World War 2 R.A.F. hero, a Civil Rights pioneer and leader, a lifelong Communist, a prominent law officer, and a gifted writer. He was leader of Caribbean Labour Congress (London branch), an anti-racist and anti -fascist fighter, an indomitable campaigner against colonialism and a mentor to many who met him.
 


Speakers included Winston Pinder, veteran Caribbean activist and close comrade of Billy Strachan, Chris Strachan, his eldest son, and David Horsley author of 'Billy Strachan Above All Caribbean Man' explore the extraordinary life of Billy Strachan. Through these personal and professional accounts we got to learn more about the man behind the name.

 

6 December 2019

On Friday 6 December - with Islington Councillors, our affiliate unions, representatives from museums and libraries, volunteers and trustees - we said a huge 'thank you' our friends and supporters who came to our assistance in the aftermath of our 24 September flood, and launched our #Lenin150 fundraising appeal.

We need £50,000 to carry out urgent remedial work on our building, to protect our unique collections in the long term and to create a new restricted fund dedicated to facilitating access to Marx House.

Help us raise these funds by Lenin's 150th birthday on 22 April 2020.

Photo credit Karl Weiss

Donate here https://www.marx-memorial-library.org.uk/support

 

Check out our appeal film here

MML Flood Appeal #Lenin150 from Marx Memorial Library on Vimeo.

14 November 2019

On 14 November the Marx Memorial Library looked back at the Peterloo Massacre. Meirian Jump, Library Manager, opened the meeting by highlighting treasures in the library’s collection including a set of four commemorative ceramics from the James Klugmann Collection. Thanks to support from the Indian Workers Association and Unite the Union, these historic artefacts had been cleaned, photographed and catalogued in recent months, along with the rest of the MML’s ceramic collection.

Professor Mary Davis painted a rich picture of British radicalism in the run up to the 1819 massacre. Her paper underlined the economic hardship fell by many during this period of industrialisation, upheaval and unrest.

Dr Joe Cozens reflected on how Peterloo had been remembered by the left 1819-1919, focusing on themes of state violence, martyrdom, feminist politics and the conflict between democracy and capitalism. We learnt how the Chartists, suffragettes and the post WW1 trade union movement all drew on the memory of Peterloo at different moments during this period.

 

30 October 2019

On 30 October we launched a new online catalogue of our Bernal Peace Collection archives now searchable here https://marx.soutron.net/…/Def…/en-GB/RecordView/Index/76847

The cataloguing project was funded by Beryl Huffingly and completed by Project Archivist Joseph Dance. This is a first - and important - step in opening up these unique archives on the world peace movement in the post war period to new audiences.

Last night we heard from Jane Bernal who described her father as a gentle man, a brilliant - endlessly curious - scientist, a polymath and a tireless, committed campaigner for peace.

Liz Payne brought greetings from the World Peace Council, quoting Bernal's own words which still ring true today 'the use of the bomb not only destroys civilisation, but disgraces it'.

Chair Claudia Webbe summed up by paying tribute to a JD Bernal, a dedicated socialist, and looking ahead to further online and education work MML can now undertake mobilising these newly catalogued archives.

19 October 2019

On 19 October we held a special commemorative event exploring the life of Charlie Hutchison, the only black Birtish veteran of the Spanish Civil War.

Life-long anti-fascist he was at Cable street, fought in Spain in the International Brigades and in numerous campaigns in WW2. Chair of his Young Communist League branch in Fulham in his teens, he was a passionate peace activist, trade unionist and socialist.

We heard from students of Newham Sixth Form college examining his motivations volunteering to go to Spain, and reflecting on his life through art and poetry.

It was an honour to welcome 16 members of the Hutchison family to MML. They shared moving tributes to Charlie, a quiet, brave, honest man who loved jazz, boxing and books.

#blackhistorymonth

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