Historic events

27 February 2013

45 years since the Ford Dagenham strike: women workers still fighting for decent pay

The marvellous victory of the women factory workers in the machine shop at Ford Dagenham rings as loudly today as it did 45 years ago, writes Linda Taaffe, National Shop Stewards Network.

14 November 2012

Che Guevara - Symbol of fashion or symbol of struggle?

Che Guevara, photo Alberto Korda

Ernesto 'Che' Guevara is perhaps the most recognisable revolutionary icon, his image having graced countless posters and t-shirts, writes Tom Baldwin, South West Socialist Party.

7 November 2012

October 1992 battle against pit closures

Mary Jackson, formerly of Women Against Pit Closures, photo by Alison Hill

Hundreds of thousands march against vicious Tory government: On 13 October 1992, the then Tory trade secretary, Michael Heseltine, announced the closure of 31 of the 50 deep coal mines that remained in the UK after Thatcher's closures in the 1980s, writes Mike Forster.

24 October 2012

Orgreave 1984

Miners strike 1984-85 Police arrest Sheffield miner 19 April 1984 , photo Jacob Sutton

Members and supporters of the National Union of Mineworkers have drawn encouragement from the recent findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel

17 October 2012

Who was Malcolm X?

Malcolm X, 12 March 1964, Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection, Ed Ford, World Telegram staff photographer

"By any means necessary" - Malcolm X's expression of militant civil rights - is known worldwide by young people fighting against racism, writes Hugo Pierre, Tower Hamlets Socialist Party.

17 October 2012

Poll tax: When organised mass action defeated the Tories

Militant: Scrap the Poll Tax, photo Dave Sinclair

18 million refused to pay: The campaign against Thatcher's poll tax is an example of how a mass movement can defeat a government, writes Steve Score, former secretary, Leicestershire Anti-Poll Tax Federation.

17 October 2012

Liverpool 1983-87

Tony Mulhearn in front of one of the house built by Liverpool City Council in the 1980s, photo Harry Smith

Better to break the law than break the poor: As a lifelong Liverpool football supporter, I was delighted to read recently that Liverpool were top of the league, writes Tony Mulhearn, former Liverpool councillor and the then District Labour Party president.

15 October 2012

Upper Clyde Shipbuilders' dispute 1971-72

A prolonged battle to save Clydeside shipbuilding jobs began in 1971 and went on until October 1972. This 40th anniversary serves to remind us of a team of shop stewards who worked tirelessly, backed by the workforce and community, to save the shipyards on Clydeside.

26 September 2012

Belfast Outdoor Relief Strike 1932

Unemployment in the UK in the 1930s, photo Wikimedia Commons.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the heroic Outdoor Relief Strike in Belfast. This battle is an important example of workers' unity that has vital lessons on how sectarianism can be overcome

25 July 2012

1972: dockers face down the Tory government

"Britain came within inches of a general strike": "Arise Ye Workers" read the banner as five London dockers were carried shoulder high from Pentonville Prison in London, writes Roger Thomas.

18 April 2012

1932 - mass trespass won the right to roam

Mass Trespass won the right the roam

Battling for change: The latest crisis in capitalism has given rise to the 'Occupy' movement, a visible and youthful protest at the unequal ownership and distribution of wealth...

4 April 2012

100 years since Titanic tragedy

100 years since Titanic tragedy, cartoon by Suzanne Muna

Prestige and profits still put before safety: The sinking of the Titanic on 15 April 1912 during its maiden voyage, with the loss of over 1,500 lives, remains one of the worst peacetime maritime disasters...

21 March 2012

Fight or privatise: A tale of two councils

Liverpool's fighting 47: Councils across the country are currently setting their budgets. Whether Tory, Lib Dem or Labour, they all dutifully carry out the government's cuts...

10 February 2012

The battle of Saltley Gates

Forty years ago today, a miners' strike for a fairer pay system saw some of the biggest demonstrations of workers' power since World War Two. Heath's government was trying to enforce a pay restraint policy in the teeth of rising inflation, writes Bill Mullins

18 January 2012

1972 Derry - "this was murder"

Forty years ago, on Sunday 30 January 1972, members of the Parachute Regiment (the Paras) shot 27 unarmed civilians, (14 of whom died) on a protest through the barricaded Bogside area of Derry in Northern Ireland...

16 November 2011

The first shop stewards movement

Rent strike on Clydeside

The outbreak of World War One in August 1914 cut across the great industrial unrest which had been gathering pace since 1911...

9 November 2011

1935 - when angry Welsh protests forced a government u-turn

On 4 February 1935, Ceridwen Brown of Aberdare led an army of women, some carrying babies, to Merthyr Tydfil Unemployed Assistance Board (UAB) offices, writes Geoff Jones.

9 November 2011

1915 - How strikes and rent strikes won gains for Scottish tenants

In this article Sinead Daly from Socialist Party Scotland shows how working class families resisted rent rises and appalling housing conditions in Glasgow nearly 100 years ago...

19 October 2011

Hunger marches - When the unemployed fought back

"Why all this unrest? It seems in the rebound from the anxieties from the war, we are all trying to get something for nothing. We must not ask for the impossible" - Mayoress of Southport, 1922

12 October 2011

Battle of Cable Street 1936 - When workers stopped the fascists

Cable Street 1936: Anti-fascists defied repeated baton charges by police to stop the fascists marching through London's East End

This month marks the 75th anniversary of what has gone down in history as the Battle of Cable Street, writes Tony Aitman.


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

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