Next Saturday, 30th September, on the eve of the Tory Party Conference in Manchester, the Mary Quaile Club - named in memory of Manchester trade unionist Mary Quaile - is hosting a public meeting on Fighting Unemployment, Poverty and Austerity.
It's part of the huge Take Back Manchester Festival, which has loads of events and protests underlining the fact that the Tories aren't welcome here.*
This meeting, being held in The Annexe of Salford's Working Class Movement Library, has two speakers, Sean Mitchell and Charlotte Hughes...
Sean Mitchell is a founder member of People Before Profit, an all-Ireland socialist party, and author of a new book, Struggle or Starve, Working Class Unity in Belfast's 1932 Outdoor Relief Riots (Haymarket Books).
Based on archive research and first-hand accounts, the book deals with the little known (in England!) events of October 1932, where the streets of Belfast were gripped by vicious and widespread rioting that lasted the best part of a week.
Thousands of unarmed demonstrators fought extended pitched battles against heavily-armed police. Unemployed workers and, indeed, whole working-class communities, dug trenches and built barricades to hold off the police assault. The event became known as the Outdoor Relief Riot – one of very few instances in which class sympathy managed to trump the religious divide.
The second speaker is Charlotte Hughes, an activist in Tameside Against The Cuts which, for four years, has held a weekly picket outside the Job Centre in Ashton under Lyne, offering solidarity, advice and support to claimants. She writes a weekly blog about the picket, The Poor Side of Life, and is also a regular contributor to the Morning Star. In her talk she will speak from first hand experience of the war on the poor being waged by the Tory Government.
"Poverty and unemployment have not gone away" says Bernadette Hyland from the Mary Quaile Club "At this meeting our speakers will remind us how people in the 1930s fought against oppressive poor laws, and in 2017 groups such as Tameside Against the Cuts is using traditional means of protest but also developing new strategies through social media.
"We are holding the meeting in the Working Class Movement Library, founded by communist Eddie Frow whose politics was shaped by the mass unemployment of the 1930s and the National Union of Unemployed Workers" she adds.
Fighting Unemployment, Poverty and Austerity
Saturday 30th September 1pm-3pm free
Working Class Movement Library
51 Crescent, M5 4WX
Advance booking is strongly recommended, just email; firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place.
* For full details of the People's Assembly Take Back Manchester Festival see previous Salford Star article – click here
Main photo shows Tameside Against The Cuts activists outside Ashton job centre