Yesterday, returning from Cannock, we found a copy of the Welsh Surrealists newsletter Un Tro Yfory on our door-mat, wherein Jean’s poetic obituary for 2022 reminded us…
Early in January we had spent a couple of days in the village of Tintwistle near Glossop.
On our first night there we went for a meal at the local pub. As we were admiring the various quaint wall ornaments (woollen loom shuttles and wooden paddles of uncertain use) whilst waiting for our food, the landlord casually mentioned that earlier the same day the pub had been heaving with ‘designers’ scrutinising the same adornments, as they had hosted Vivienne Westwood’s wake.
In Glossop the following day we saw a nice mural of VW.
BTW Glossop is very good for vegan food. Pepino Deli cafe for lunch, Globe Inn for very cheap evening meal and real ales at £2.50 – £3 a pint.
The George Street Community Bookshop also good- picked up a couple of Trotskyist classics at a decent price.
It was cold yesterday.
We went to Cannock to take a stand against a far-right, racist anti-asylum seeker rally. Because sometimes you have to.
And there they were. A foaming hate-filled mob of the most vile racists, homophobes, misogynists. And a few clearly organised fascists from one or other of the far-right groups, orchestrating it from a distance.
The most lumpen of proles, the most patheti-bourgeois. Human dust.
Yes, but rather a lot of dust and they greatly out-numbered us. I won’t sugar coat it- it was depressing to see so many of these aggressive, early-morning drink-fueled thugs. Good thing there was a large police presence too
There were moments of mirth. Like when we spotted that one of the fash had dragged his knuckles across a large England flag and misspelt the first word of his own slogan. And then his SharpieTM had run out before he could complete it.
You had one job…
So what do we do? In Tamworth about 8 years ago we faced a similar situation over the issues of Syrian refugees but managed to turn it around. Acting swiftly, as soon as the scum started to bubble to the surface we built a broad alliance against them. Vicars and liberals. Even Tory councilors, as well as far more progressive forces, young people etc.
And we made a difference. We did not cut out the cancer but we slowed its growth. We countered some of the rubbish on local social media sites. And we kept elements of a very diffuse network of friends and contacts in touch- coming together later in different ways through Black Lives Matter, the womens vigils, Tamworth Pride, XR and climate action, Enough is Enough etc.
We have to be vigilant. We have to be active, or at least observant, on local social media to try to counter arguments. Even if it feels like swimming up a sewer pipe alone. The audience is not the hardened racists but the more passive, unsure or unconfident onlookers.
And we have to take a stand sometimes.
Stand in the cold. Stand against the winds and blizzards, in the rain, in the snow, in the sunshine.
Stand in love and solidarity.
Stand for the future.
We have no reach.
If you even exist and you see this message at all it will be too late.
This is tonight:
ANTI CAPITALIST RESISTANCE presents DODO MODERN POETS
POEMS OF RESISTANCE
Wednesday 30 November, 7.30pm. Free entry by Zoom
An evening of poetry and discussion – all welcome.
Featuring Dodo regulars and organisers.
PATRIC CUNNANE – passionate, political, personal
SUE JOHNS – post-punk, post-feminist, post early for Christmas
PR MURRY – radical wordsmith, painter and sculptor
The event will last up to 90 minutes. Zoom link:
Seventeen archive file-boxes.
I unloaded them from the car and took them indoors to sort.
All of them contained journals and newspapers of the British and American Trotskyist groups of the 1930s and 1940s.
Yet, in the bottom of the first box I checked was something unexpected.
Something out of place.
Something quite wonderful.
Would you like to see it?
Note the signature on the back page- A Acheson. An obituary for Alec Acheson can be found here.
A second mysterious photo.