Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Gerrard Winstanley 400th Anniversary Meeting

A celebration of the work and ideas of

7pm, Thursday 19th November 2009,

Speakers: Thomas Corns, University of Bangor, co-author of a biography of John Milton, and Ann Hughes, University of Keele, author of “The Causes of the English Civil War” (1998)

Venue: Russell Room, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1 (Tube: Holborn).

“Fortunately for posterity, there was among the Diggers a man of rare talent and originality, Gerrard Winstanley, who has left behind him in his voluminous writings a record of the faith and beliefs with which he inspired this movement … Suddenly, in this year [1648], his interest turned to politics and he wrote the most characteristic of his books, The New Law of Righteousness, which is in reality a Communist Manifesto written in the dialect of its day. Throughout the next year, 1649-50, he was the life and pen of the Diggers' adventure. When that failed, after writing Fire in the Bush, a defence of his ideas addressed to the churches, he published in 1652 the most mature of his books, The Law of Freedom in a Platform. It was dedicated, in an eloquent and plain-spoken address, to Cromwell, whom it summoned to lay the foundations of a communist commonwealth. The sketch of a classless society that follows is a deeply interesting blend of the radical demo­cracy professed by the main body of the Levellers with the communism of More's Utopia and a secularism that was Winstanley's own.”

Source: The Levellers and the English Revolution by H. N. Brailsford (Spokesman, £18)

Tom Corns and Ann Hughes, two of the editors of a comprehensive new collection of Winstanley’s writings, will speak about Winstanley’s ideas and their relevance today.

The event is entirely free. Refreshments will be provided.

For further information see:

Visit our Levellers page for more of our titles on the English Revolution

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Comedians at the Lyric, London

"Set in a Manchester working-class evening centre in the mid-1970s, the date of its writing, Comedians eschews political theory, professional ideologues and historically sourced discourse on political revolution – all the perceived hallmarks of my earlier pieces – in favour of a more or less unmediated address on a range of particular contemporary issues including class, gender, race and society in modern Britain."
Trevor Griffiths writing in Theatre Plays (published in two volumes by Spokesman Books, price £15 each)

An acclaimed new production of Comedians , directed by Sean Holmes, continues at the Lyric Hammersmith until 14th November 2009. Some reviews can be read via our Trevor Griffiths page.

Theatre Plays One includes Comedians, The Wages of Thin, Occupations, Sam Sam, Apricots, Thermidor, The Party, The Cherrry Orchard

Theatre Plays Two includes Oi for England, Real Dreams, Piano, The Gulf between Us, Thatcher’s Children, Who Shall Be Happy?, Camel Station

Also available:
These Are The Times: A Life of Thomas Paine (price £15). This screenplay gave rise to the theatre play A New World, which recently finished its highly successful run at Shakespeare's Globe.

Sons and Lovers: Screenplay of the novel by D.H.Lawrence (Price £7.95)

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Responsibility to Protest

After Lockerbie - The Spokesman 106
Edited by Ken Coates

"There has seldom been such unanimity in the British political class as has come about in the last half of August 2009 with the release of the Libyan prisoner, Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi, on compassionate grounds. This was announced by the Scottish Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill, after medical reports forecast that the Libyan was at death’s door, having advanced prostate cancer which probably gave him a maximum life expectancy of three months.

Megrahi had been sentenced by three Scottish Judges to life imprisonment, following a highly contentious trial in which the Scottish Courts sat in an American airbase in The Netherlands to hear the case of the Lockerbie bomb. A Pan American passenger jet had been blown up on the 21st December 1988, while flying over the small Scottish town of Lockerbie en route for the United States. The evidence showed that a bomb had been secreted in passenger luggage. It had exploded in mid-air, killing all 259 passengers. A giant fireball fell across the town, killing eleven more people on its way. This was a huge disaster, the largest in British aviation history. Who could have conceived such an atrocity? The intelligence agencies of the world were not at a loss for an explanation. But they were flummoxed by the problem of how to present what they knew, or indeed, whether to present it."

Ken Coates
From his Editorial

‘If there is any chance of the truth coming out, it will be through the persistent efforts of civil society. The Russell Foundation is doing a great service to all those who do not accept the establishment's "manufacture of consent".’
Hans Köchler

Lockerbie and the Law - Robert Black

Unfair Trial - Hans Köchler

Lockerbie – the Cover-up - Marcello Mega

The Crime of Lockerbie - Tam Dalyell


The Party of Criminal War - John Pilger

Responsibility to Protest - Noam Chomsky

Pirate’s Charter - Tony Blair

Benign Whitewash - Ken Coates


Kidnapped on Diego Garcia - Reprieve

A New World at The Globe - Ann Talbot, Trevor Griffiths


Bruce Kent, Michael Barratt Brown, Christopher Gifford,
Graham Hallett, Tony Simpson, Henry McCubbin


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