Marxism 2018: The Opening Rally

An account of the Opening Rally at Marxism 2018, which took place on Thursday night.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest installment in my series about Marxism 2018. My previous post covered the second and third meetings of the first day, and this post takes up the story with coverage of the opening rally.

THE OPENING RALLY

This event took place in Friends Meeting House on Euston Road. We heard from a McStriker about their ongoing battle, a victim of the Windrush scandal, a muslim woman talking about islamaphobia, two women, Siomha and Mary,  giving a shared talk about the #Repealthe8th campaign in Ireland, one of the Wigan, Warrington and Leigh strikers about their determination to remain as NHS workers and not be contracted out (a battle that we now know has been successful), Moyra from Justice for Grenfell, and finally wrapping up the evening Weyman Bennett, co-convenor of Stand Up to Racism. Here are my pictures from the evening:

Arriving at The LightThe LightAfter Party AdGet ConnectedStarting to fill upOther sideThe PlatformSB

Team Member
One of the Team – the group who ensure the smooth running of the event and deal with any queries.

The forward viewAnkhThe Platform IIFilling up IIFilling up IIIAbout to startThe chair opens the rallyMcStriker speaksMcStriker IIOne of the Windrush generation tells her personal story

Siomha and Mary speak about #Repealthe8th
Siomha and Mary gave a very moving account of the campaign to #Repealthe8th

Siomha and Mary speakingSiomha at the mic

Ovation for Siomha and Mary
The next three images show how Siomha and Mary’s efforts were received by the audience.

Ovation for Siomha and Mary IIOvation for Siomha and Mary IIIA Muslim speakerA WWL worker speaks about their strike and their determination to keep working for the NHSClose up of the t-shirt

Moyra from the Justice for Grenfell campaign speaks powerfully
Moyra was savage about the official response to the Grenfell tragedy, particularly their increasingly desperate efforts to pin blame anywheren other than where it belongs – the latest dirty trick they have pulled out being to point fingers at the firefighters – the very people who went into the burning building to attempt to save lives.

Moyra close-up

Weyman brings the curtain down on the evening
Weyman’s fiery speech was a splendid finish to evening.

Platform shot

Marxism 2017 – Day 3: Outline

An outline of day 3 at Marxism 2017, setting the stage for two further posts.

INTRODUCTION

Wel come to this latest post in my series about Marxism 2017. The Saturday at Marxism is always the busiest day of the festival. For this reason I am doing three posts about the day, this one, one that covers the two disability themed meetings I attended and one which will also cover a meeting from Sunday devoted to Ian Angus’ two talks, “Facing the Anthropocene” and “A Redder Shade oif Green”. 

THE TIMETABLE

Here to show you the scale of the event is the timetable for thia day:

P1030214

IS A ROBOT AFTER YOUR JOB? MARTIN UPCHURCH – FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE

For the Saturday we were using venues at three locations, Student Central, The Institute of Education and Friends Meeting House. This meeting took place in the Hilda Clark room, which is on the first floor of Friends Meeting House. The answer to the question in the meeting title is “probably not”. As yet robots still require humans to watch them to ensure gthat they function as they are supposed to, and that is likely to remain the case for some time. Here are some photographs:

The Hilda Clark room (FMH)big screenFMH PRProductivity and microshipsPlatformProductivity did not grow with microchipBooksBar Chart 1Bar Chart 2Chair introduces meetingThe chairSpeakerIs a robot after your jobTechnology since 1900Robots, AI and singularitiesWorld Robot DensityChinese labour costs and robotsTuring;s two testsTentativbe conclusions2Clock

It was announced during this meeting that the main lift had failed in Student Central and gthat as yet the engineer had been unable to fix it. Therefore the panel meeting on disability was moved to a ground-floor location because the backup lifts only went up to the first and second floors (duh!). Barring a brief period at lunchtime this main lift did not work again during the rest of the event. 

DISABILITY AND RESISTANCE

I will be dealing with this meeting and the last one of the day in a separate post. For the moment here are a picture from the first and a couple of lunchtime pics:

Banner3
The woman in front of the banner is Paula Peters of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC).
Picnic
The Norwich & East Anglia picnic. A small donation buys you a meal – the guide prices are £3 waged and £1 unwaged, and as someone who is employed part-time I split the difference with £2.
Canary
The canary is the symbol of Norwich City FC, and this specimen can be seen at a fair distance.

HOW THE MEDIA LOST ON JUNE 8TH – IAN TAYLOR (STUDENT CENTRAL)

The mainstream media were virtually unanimous in predicting (and in most cases making it obvious that they wanted) a Tory landslide in the June 8th General Election. The fact that the Tories ended up without a majority at all, and that Labour increased their presence by 30MPs was one in the eye for MSM. Newspapers are losing readers at a vast rate, and readers are increasingly not taking their papers on trust.  Since this meeting happened we have seen Theresa May begging for policy ideas (“here is a copy of our manifesto!”), and a Prime Ministers Questions where both leaders were absent, and Emily Thornberry starred for Labour while Damien Green for the Tories managed the less than challenging feat of doing a better job than Theresa would have done. Here are some pictures:

Media MeetingThe chair introduces the meetingIan Taylor starts his talkIan Taylor

FACING THE ANTHROPOCENE – IAN ANGUS – INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION

I am covering this meeting and Ian Angus’ other meeting which took place a day later in a separate post. For the moment here are a few of the pictures from this one:

Geological timescale updated
The first seven pictures in this section provide the facts that show us tgo be in the Anthropocene.

Ice age to HoloceneIce age to Holocene 2Global Carbon Cycle800,000 years of CO2Earth ssystem trends 29 of 12 indicators beyond bounds of Holocene variability

Marx quote
150 years on this remains an excellent summary of our responsibilities tro our planet – and one that has been neglected shamefully.

HOW CAN DISABLED PEOPLE WIN LIBERATION? – RODDY SLORACH – SC

My final meeting of the day was back at Student Central, and as with the earlier panel meeting had been relocated due to the faulty lift and the fact that the backup only went as far up as the second floor. As I will be covering this meeting in more detail in another post, suffice to say that it was an inspirational end to the day. Here to end this post is the chair advertising Roddy’s book:

Chair plugging Roddy's book