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Launching tomorrow: Film stories from 50 years of campaigning and fightback

On Tuesday night, the Jubilee Debt Campaign and the Economic Justice Project launch ten short films which document a proud 50 year history of campaigning, strikes, occupations, work ins and solidarity in the name of fair pay, decent jobs, and economic justice. They include discussions with people from Disabled People Against Cuts, UK Uncut and Occupy. You can see the trailer below

The films are made up of interviews with key organisers, speaking about the tactics they used, what was successful, what wasn’t, and where they see the struggle for economic justice going today.

The film night will also feature a discussion with the film maker, and organisers from key current economic justice movements in London for a chance to talk about how social justice activists today can learn from the lessons of other movements past and present.

Event details:

Tuesday 14 January 2014, 6.30pm
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA

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Watch the trailer:

The films cover:

St Pancras Rent Strike 1960

Ken talks about his role in the St Pancras rent strike. Tenants associations resisted rent increases by withholding their rents, and when some were threatened with eviction they barricades themselves inside their flats.

Dagenham Equal Pay Strikes 1968 & 1984

Vera and Gwen joined their fellow machinists on two strikes at their Dagenham factory, demanding equal pay to their male colleagues. Their first strike garnered support for the Equal Pay Act, but it wasn’t until 1984 that the women finally won their own battle for equality.

Upper Clyde Shipworkers work in 1971 – 1972

In 1970 when the government withdrew support from what they called ‘lame duck’ industries, 6,000 shipworkers in Upper Clyde faced losing their jobs. Jimmy joined with his fellow shipbuilders to take over the running of the ship yards, eventually forcing the government to back down.

Grunwick Strike 1976 – 1978

Laxmiben talks about her role in this massive strike, by a workforce mostly made up of Asian women. The strikers were eventually defeated, but the strike strengthened the workforce who went on to challenge racism throughout the industry.

The Miners’ Strike 1984 – 1985

Ann Scargill and Betty Cook were part of Women Against Pit Closures and played a pivotal role in supporting the miners’ strike. They talk about the role of women in the strike, and how they escalated their activities from support through organising community kitchens, to joining the picket lines.

The Poll Tax Rebellion 1989 – 1993

Tony helped create Tottenham Against the Poll Tax, he describes how his local community refused to pay the charge, battled the authorities and by 1993 had defeated this hated policy.

Liverpool Dockers Strike 1995 – 1998

Pauline helped build a Dockers support group, and brought the tactics of the radical environmental group, Reclaim the Streets, to the solidarity group supporting the strike.

The Living Wage 2002 – 2007 (and ongoing)

Clara talks about her role as an RMT organiser calling for the London Living Wage for Underground Cleaners. She talks about organising with a broad range of migrant workers from different backgrounds, countries and cultures. This uplifting interview tells of a successful union campaign that was built from the grassroots and led to a strike with 99.5% support from union members.

Occupy (London) 2011 – now

On 15 October 2011, 800 protests took place all around the world under the banner of ‘Occupy’, taking over public spaces and protesting against an undemocratic political system that puts profit before people. In London, Josh and Venus lived at Occupy the London Stock Exchange at the foot of St Paul’s Cathedral. They talk about their experience, what Occupy achieved, and its situation in the wider historical movement for social justice.

Disabled People Against Cuts & UK Uncut – now

In 2010 the newly elected Conservative/Liberal Democrat government announced a huge wave of public sector cuts. Some of the hardest hit by these cuts were disabled people. Andy Greene is an integral part of Disabled People Against Cuts, who have been leading the fightback using creative civil disobedience such as blocking busy city junctions with their wheelchairs. Andy encourages us to think beyond A to B marches. The film also includes forage from Anna Walker of UK Uncut, a group which has popularised civil disobedience with its high street actions targeting tax dodging companies.

Films produced by Jubilee Debt Campaign for the Economic Justice Project.


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