feminism, organisation and class struggle

a day of mutual learning and exchange hosted by The Commune, 20th February, London

We believe that most of the left has a pretty poor record on gender. Even if overt sexism is less common than in the past, informal hierarchies and alienated, gendered relations run rampant. But this practice can –  and must – change if we are ever going to revolutionise society.

As against swallowing the old left traditions, we believe it is important that the left critically reappraise our theory, practice and organisation in the light of socialist feminist politics, as well as the experience of working women’s struggles more broadly.

This is not a day for The Commune to lay down any ‘party line’, but rather to create a space for discussion of the insights of anti-capitalist feminism and the inter-relation between class and gender struggles. We hope to exchange ideas in a participatory, un-dogmatic and inclusive manner. We have planned three workshops.  Continue reading “feminism, organisation and class struggle”

trade unions – fit for purpose? edinburgh global commune, 29th january

In both the UK and Ireland today, the overwhelming majority of trade union leaders have signed up to social partnerships. These effectively reduce unions to a free personnel management service for the employers. However, the traditional Broad Left response of electing alternative leaders has shown itself unable to counter social partnerships. Indeed many current union leaders, who now accept social partnership, were themselves earlier Broad Left members.

The third Global Commune event, jointly sponsored by the Republican Communist Network and The Commune, asks the question – “Trade unions – Are they fit for purpose?” A number of different approaches to organising workers will be discussed in workshops over the day. All welcome: registration 10.30 for 11.00-16.30 meeting, at the Out of the Blue Centre, Dalmeny Street, Leith, Edinburgh. Continue reading “trade unions – fit for purpose? edinburgh global commune, 29th january”

revolutionary syndicalism in interwar europe, monday 29th

Following our successful series of talks on political organisation over the summer, where we looked at series of communist political organisations (Kamunist Kranti in India, Potere Operario in Italy and finally at Big Flame in England), The Commune is hosting a series of discussion forums on revolutionary syndicalism.

The second meeting of this series is: Monday, November 29, 7pm: Revolutionary Syndicalism and Anarcho-Syndicalism, the Interwar European Experience. Like the other meetings in the syndicalism series, Monday’s will be held in The Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8ND. Continue reading “revolutionary syndicalism in interwar europe, monday 29th”

monday 15th london forum: revolutionary syndicalism in britain 1910-30

Following our successful series of talks on political organisation over the summer, where we looked at series of communist political organisations (Kamunist Kranti in India, Potere Operaio in Italy and finally at Big Flame in England), The Commune is hosting a series of discussion forums on revolutionary syndicalism.

The first meeting in this series is Monday, November 15th, 7pm: Revolutionary Syndicalism in Britain and the Industrial Syndicalist Education League: 1910-1930. At the Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, near Old St. Continue reading “monday 15th london forum: revolutionary syndicalism in britain 1910-30”

public meeting: social and class struggle in chile

Tuesday 5th October, 6pm, Room G37, Senate House, University of London, Malet St, London WC1E 7HU

Chile has benefited in the last period from high world demand for its minerals – especially copper. But fast growth has come at a cost, as the 33 miners currently trapped underground at the San Jose copper mine know. Continue reading “public meeting: social and class struggle in chile”

manchester class struggle forum on the miners’ strike, 22nd september

The next meeting of the Manchester Class Struggle Forum will take place on the subject of The Great Miners’ Strike of 1984-85, a member of the Wildcat and Subversion Council Communist groups shall be providing a short lead-off and there will be plenty of time for discussion. From 7pm on Wednesday 22nd September at Friends Meeting House on Mount Street.


The miners’ strike of 84-85 was the last great example of open class warfare in the United Kingdom, some parts of Yorkshire were turned into a police state, solidarity was sent to the miners from across the world, yet the experience was still a bitter defeat for the working class. Continue reading “manchester class struggle forum on the miners’ strike, 22nd september”

from meltdown to upheaval: 11th september assembly

The Commune are hosting an assembly on Saturday 11th September, debating the effects of the crisis, the existing resistance and the questions it raises regarding how we organise. We have now filled in more of the timetable and blurbs for workshops, see below.

All welcome. We will be soliciting and publishing local and industry-specific reports in the lead-up to the event, see below for examples and see here for the questionnaire. Workshop details below, followed by timetable. The event is from 10am on Saturday 11th September at LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 (Aldgate East tube). Continue reading “from meltdown to upheaval: 11th september assembly”

london forum on big flame, monday 30th august

This August The Commune in London has staged a series of meetings on communist organisation, and we have already looked at the examples of Kamunist Kranti in India and 1960s-70s Italian group Potere Operaio.

The final meeting in the series is on Big Flame, a  British libertarian Marxist group in the 1970s. The discussion will be led off by a worker active in Merseyside car factories at that time. All welcome – the meeting is from 7pm on Monday 30th August at the Lucas Arms, Grays Inn Road, near King’s Cross. Continue reading “london forum on big flame, monday 30th august”

manchester class struggle forum on china, 19th august

The next meeting of the Manchester Class Struggle Forum will take place on the subject of class struggle in China.

Recent years have seen a rise in class conflict in China, as workers in “the sweatshop of the world” become increasingly confident in asserting their demands against an authoritarian state, multinational corporations, and servile trade unions. We will be discussing the implications of these developments, and what lessons we can draw from them for the future.

The meeting will be introduced by a presentation on the subject, before moving to open discussion. Continue reading “manchester class struggle forum on china, 19th august”

potere operaio: london commune forum 16th august

The next of our series of London meetings on communist organisation and class struggle will see discussion of the 1960s-70s Italian group Potere Operaio. From 7pm on Monday 16th August at the Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, near Old Street: all welcome.

The beginnings of Potere Operaio (Workers’ Power) are situated in the independent workers’ publications and workplace-groups in the late 1960s, mainly in the chemical industrial zone of Porto Marghera. Continue reading “potere operaio: london commune forum 16th august”

organisation and class struggle: august london commune forums

August will see a series of London public meetings on different historical experiences of communist organisation and class struggle. The meetings are open to all, and are all on Monday evenings from 7pm at the Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, near Old Street.

We have chosen three historical examples of organisations which – in our political view – represent a highly developed experience and practice, mainly due to the high points of the movement at the time. We invite you to debate the past and present of Faridabad Majdoor Samachar/Kamunist Kranti in India (2nd August); the history of   Potere Operaio in Italy (late 1960s – early 1970s; 16th August) and Big Flame in the UK (1970s; 30th August).

We will try to debate these experiences both in terms of their historic background and their current relevance for our search for an organisational practice within the proletarian terrain. Both Potere Operaio and Big Flame transformed and finally dissolved themselves at general social breaking-points of crisis, namely the 1973 and 1979 convulsions of global capital. What does that mean given that we now pose the organisational question while looking into the open void of recession (or even a double dip recession)?

More details on first meeting below.

Continue reading “organisation and class struggle: august london commune forums”

beyond resistance day school, saturday 19th june

We have finalised the timetable for tomorrow’s ‘Beyond Resistance’ summer school. Click here for full timetable. Late changes include the addition of speakers involved in higher education struggles and the campaign to defend Hackney nurseries. The opening session will feature Ansar Ahmed Ullah, a secular Bengali activist involved in fighting recent English Defence League provocations in Tower Hamlets.

Registration starts from 10am. The venue is the WEA at 96-100 Clifton St, London EC2. All welcome. Click here to buy advance ticket – pay £5 if waged or £3 for concessions, and click here for map of venue.  See below for a list of sessions, follow links for more information on each session. Continue reading “beyond resistance day school, saturday 19th june”

the commune’s june 19th summer school – one week away

Beyond Resistance, The Commune’s summer school, is now just one week away. All welcome – buy advance tickets at link below, or pay on the door.

The event takes place from 11am-6pm on Sat 19th June at 96-100 Clifton St, London EC2. All welcome. Download double-sided A5 leaflet or A3 poster. Click here to buy ticket – pay £5 if waged or £3 for concessions, and click here for map of venue. See below for a list of sessions, follow links for more information on each session. Continue reading “the commune’s june 19th summer school – one week away”