Saturday, 24 May 2014

Dangerous Times festival - a weekend of subversive ideas

I will be at the Dangerous Times festival in London next weekend. Speakers at the political festival, organised primarily by Counterfire and now in its third year, will include Carole Duggan (justice campaigner and aunt of Mark Duggan), Jeremy Corbyn MP, Lindsey German, Red Pepper editor Hilary Wainwright and Tariq Ali.

Also speaking will be Tansy Hoskins (author of 'Stitched Up: the anti-capitalist book of fashion'), playwright David Edgar, radical historian Louise Raw, Left Unity national secretary Kate Hudson and feminist blogger Jess McCabe.

Dangerous Times takes place at an excellent venue, the Rich Mix centre in east London, over two days. The timetable ranges from a political undressing of the fashion industry to the resistible rise of Ukip. Danielle Obono is coming from France and Boris Kagarlitsky is visiting from Russia; Kagarlitsky should be fascinating on what's happening in Ukraine. 

Panel discussions include 'Feminism yesterday and today', 'iRevolt: social movements and social media' and 'Brazil 2014: the end of the beautiful game?' A session on trade unions and the anti-cuts movement will discuss how the forthcoming No More Austerity demonstration can become a launchpad for sustained resistance to cuts.

There are talks by James Meadway, senior economist at new economics foundations, on prospects for the British economy, Sylvia Pankhurst biographer Kate Connelly on the women who campaigned against World War One, and Dave Randall providing a brief people's history of music. Meadway will also be joined by fellow nef researcher Faiza Shaheen to discuss the topic 'London v the rest: regions, inequality and resistance'.

There will be a number of special sessions linked to newly-published books, including Chris Bambery's 'The Second World War: a Marxist history', John Rees introducing his reissued 'The ABC of Socialism', Owen Jones previewing his forthcoming book on the British establishment, and a discussion of Selina Todd's acclaimed 'The People: the rise and fall of the working class' for which I will be joining the author on the platform.

There will be discussion forums on the future of the left, women and austerity, organising in precarious Britain, and the police, power and racism. There is also some comedy, spoken word and film alongside the talks, debates and discussions, including Jeremy Hardy performing on Saturday night.

Check out the Dangerous Times website, have a look at the full timetable, and register your place at the event.


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