Hello and welcome to the first in a series of posts, interspersed with my more regular posts that I will be producing about this year’s Marxism Festival.
Travelling down on the 11:56 train (one hour later than usual, as the start of the event was postponed to enable people to take part in Public Sector strikes) I arrived in very good time to deposit my heavier luggage and take my place at the first meeting, which in my case was on What is fascism?, with Jo Cardwell from Waltham Forest. I then took in Brian Richardson on Malcolm X, before attending the opening rally, in a jam packed Logan Hall. There were some wonderful contributions throughout. While the most enthusiastic reception was accorded to South African miner Makhanya Siphamandla that for Afghan asylum seeker Manjeet Kaur was barely any less enthusiastic.
Following the final rally it was time to hook up with the person I was going to be staying with (yes, this time I had actually had details of my accommodation in advance) to make arrangements. This was achieved with the aid of a borrowed mobile and without too much difficulty. Having established that we would have to travel back together each evening as there was only one key and no possibility of cutting a replacement due to the nature of the lock we headed straight back (I was not keen on hanging around with all my bags in tow.
The route we took that night involved the Piccadilly and Jubilee lines (the latter inescapable because the local station at the other end was Canning Town), although we did not use the Piccadilly again. Never mind the hideous eyesore of a development that bankrupted its developers, the true icon of that area is a building designed by Erno Goldfinger where the lift shafts are separate from the main building, and linked to each floor by passageways.
As usual I have plenty of photos…