Historic events

21 September 2011

Poplar 1921: 'Better to break the law than break the poor'

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the struggle of councillors in Poplar, east London, against government cuts, writes Pete Dickenson.

17 August 2011

Liverpool 1911 - Jack's story

In 1911 a rail strike spread across the country. A mass demonstration in Liverpool was called to show support for the strikers and to determine a course of action locally.

17 August 2011

The Great Unrest 1911

Strikers gather in Liverpool's Lime Street surrounding trams during ‘Red Sunday’ on 13th August 1911, photo Liverpool Record Office, Liverpool Libraries

When the press raged about 'mob rule': "Mobs" control British cities. "We are facing an absolute disintegration of society." "Yesterday mob law reigned in London."

16 August 2011

1819 Peterloo Massacre - fitting memorial demanded

On 16th August 1819 in St Peter's Fields, Manchester, armed cavalry charged a peaceful crowd of around 60,000 people gathered to listen to anti-poverty and pro-democracy speakers...

3 August 2011

Llanelli railway riots 1911

"Workers of the world unite": This month commemorates the centenary of the Llanelli Railway Riots in Wales when railway workers participating in a national rail strike, along with the local community, faced the guns and bayonets of Churchill's troops...

1 June 2011

18 years since Stephen Lawrence murder

Youth against Racism in Europe protest against the BNP in 1993, photo by The Socialist

We still need to fight racism... and cuts: Two men are now to stand trial for the murder of Stephen Lawrence, the black teenager who had ambitions to become an architect but was killed in a vicious racist attack in 1993, writes Onay Kasab.

4 May 2011

Paris commune 1871: When workers "stormed heaven".

Karl Marx

The mass struggles against dictatorships and poverty sweeping North Africa and the Middle East encourage workers and young people in the region and internationally to seek to learn from previous revolutionary movements, writes Niall Mulholland

27 April 2011

Manningham Mills 1890-1891: A strike that changed Britain's unions

Manningham Mills

On 27 April 1891, 120 years ago, the great Manningham Mills strike of Bradford textile workers ended after nearly 19 weeks...

20 April 2011

Anniversary: Black Friday 15 April 1921

A warning for the workers' movement: Following the magnificent 26 March TUC demonstration workers and anti-cuts campaigners want to know how to build the movement to defeat the cuts...

6 April 2011

1981 Brixton riots

Building support for a socialist response to the repression after the Brixton riots, photo Socialist Party

April 2011 marks the 30th anniversary of the riots in Brixton, south London, against police racism, unemployment and poverty...

23 March 2011

Liverpool city council's historic victory over the Thatcher government

Liverpool city council's struggle in 1983-87 for more funding from the Thatcher government was an inspriation to workers, photo Dave Sinclair

When organised mass action defeated the Tories: "Two unlovely black eyes" declared the Daily Mail. It was condemning Thatcher's environment secretary Patrick Jenkin for his retreat over extra funding for Liverpool. It wrote: "The Trotskyites and...

23 March 2011

Mass non-payment - how the poll tax was beaten

The campaign against Thatcher's hated poll tax is an example of how a mass movement can defeat a government, writes Steve Score, Former secretary of the Leicestershire Anti-Poll Tax Federation.

3 March 2011

Liverpool 1983-87: the council that fought Thatcher

THE LABOUR council leaders proposing the cuts budget in Liverpool council can feel a spectre haunting them...

16 February 2011

Britain 1911-1914: The great unrest - lessons for today

Knocking off at harland and Wolf shipyard

100 years ago the working class responded to the terrible conditions imposed on them by taking mass industrial action in what became known as the 'great unrest', writes Jim Horton.

2 February 2011

'Struggle or starve!' 1932 - when Birkenhead workers beat the means test

The campaign built by Liverpool city council in 1983-87 to win extra funding inspired thousands of workers, photo Militant

To the present generation of workers and young people, the phrase 'means test' probably means little, writes Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary.

5 January 2011

Grunwick: leader of historic strike dies

Jayaben Desai, the leader of the famous Grunwick strike died just before Christmas aged 77. She inspired many who saw her, especially when she stood up to the bullying brutes of the Grunwick management, writes Bill Mullins, Socialist Party Industrial Organiser

4 August 2010

We need 'biggest movement since poll tax'

PCS members striking against Labour's cuts, photo Paul Mattsson

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), meeting this year in Manchester, needs to hear clearly from ordinary trade unionists and activists that the time has come to get off its knees and organise a fightback against the government's programme of cuts, writes Bill Mullins.

23 June 2010

Bloody Sunday: Innocent protesters murdered by the British army in 1972

Bloody Sunday Mural in Derry, Northern Ireland, photo by Jérôme Sautret

THE PUBLICATION of the Bloody Sunday inquiry report, known as the Saville inquiry, has brought to light, once again, the brutal lengths the British capitalist state is prepared to go in defence of its interests, writes Gary Mulcahy, Socialist Party, Belfast.

7 April 2010

The real lessons of the poll tax

Readers' comment: The centre page article about the massive anti-poll tax demonstration of 1990 by Steve Glennon (issue 617) was excellent, mainly because as chief steward, Steve had a very good overview of events, writes Rob Windsor, Socialist Party councillor, Coventry.

31 March 2010

When We Were Miners

When We Were Miners marks the 25th anniversary of the ending of the 1984/85 miners' strike, the greatest movement of workers in Britain since the 1926 general strike...


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Defeating Margaret Thatcher's hated Poll Tax in 1989-1991

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