History

Pages from (or about) the past, including:

Women in history

 

1919: Strikes, Struggles and Soviets

1919 pamphlet cover

A new short book (40 pages + cover), written by Janine Booth and published by Workers' Liberty.

In 1919, inspired by the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, British workers took more strike action than ever before. But communists in Britain had still not formed a united party. Labour's representation in Parliament was weak.

Rosa and the Water Buffalo

Rosa Luxemburg and water buffalo

When Rosa gazed through prison bars to street
She saw the water buffalo which drove
The heavy coated cart on cloven feet
And when they could not pull their weighty load
Their master turned his whip and beat and strapped
Until they bled and flinched and hauled and strained
The final yards, their last resources sapped
And stood, defeated, bloodied, sad and pained

DMWs Driving History

When history tells of mighty kings
Who's working wonders in the wings?
Fighting battles, changing things?
Disaffected Middle-Aged Women!

In 1848 they came
To Seneca Falls to stake their claim
Mature and bolshy, never tame -
Disaffected Middle-aged Women!

21 October 1966

villanelle about the Aberfan coal mining disaster, in which 144 people, including 116 school children, died when a coal mining waste tip collapsed. There was a lot of anger at the National Coal Board for its neglect of safety, and at the inquest, one father insisted, "I want it recorded – "Buried alive by the National Coal Board." That is what I want to see on the record. That is the feeling of those present. Those are the words we want to go on the certificate."

The miner insisted the coroner record
The Pantglas School building a homicide scene
They were buried alive by the National Coal Board

We Are Not Heroes

We are not heroes, not the valiant sort
We let them take us, fell in to survive
The heroes are the ones who stood and fought

Our bodies packed together frail support
The nudging of her foot kept me alive
But we're not heroes, not the valiant sort

Our best fought underground, our martyrs caught
Resistance from the shadows, fire and strive
The heroes are the ones who stayed and fought

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