building from below in our communities

3 07 2010

Steve Ryan reports on the ‘Community organising and tenants’ struggles’ session at our recent summer school.

This workshop was introduced with descriptions from Isabel Parrott (London Coalition against Poverty) and Camille Barbagallo (Friends of Hackney Nurseries ) and a member of the unemployed workers union.

Each illustrated their experiences of community and tenant organising, outlining both the positive and negative sides. It was interesting to hear their views on how they saw the campaigns as political and the experience of interacting with interested parties , especially where sometimes their demands were counterpoised to those parties (Unemployed Workers’ Unions and PCS members working in the Department for Work and Pensions, for example). Read the rest of this entry »





reports on the commune’s summer school

23 06 2010

On 19th June The Commune held the ‘Beyond Resistance’ summer school in London. 67 people registered. We are planning to publish reports on all sessions as well as some video footage, and welcome contributions by those who attended. The first such contribution is this reflection on the day by Sharon Borthwick.

Bengali secular activist Ansar Ahmed Ullah spoke about EDL and Islamist provocations in east London

Very much enjoyed the summer school. I went to Sean Bonney and Danny Ryan-Smith’s Alienation and Critique of Everyday Life in the morning. Interesting points were raised by speakers about the bourgeois control of every aspect of our lives and people’s general acceptance of strained, alienated living.

We discussed the misery of people living without control over their lives; religion on the rise for solace instead of people attacking the real powers that be; the rise of mental illness under circumstances of such unnatural existence. And the new favoured remedy – cognitive therapy which tells you to change your own thought patterns (and is very cheap to run – rapidly trained therapists and large group sessions) over R D Laing’s theory that it is rather mad not to be mad under capitalism. Many participants suggested ideas for further reading including Marx, Adorno, Lafargue, Meszaros. There was lively talk about estranged work and leisure. Read the rest of this entry »





beyond resistance day school, saturday 19th june

18 06 2010

We have finalised the timetable for tomorrow’s ‘Beyond Resistance’ summer school. Click here for full timetable. Late changes include the addition of speakers involved in higher education struggles and the campaign to defend Hackney nurseries. The opening session will feature Ansar Ahmed Ullah, a secular Bengali activist involved in fighting recent English Defence League provocations in Tower Hamlets.

Registration starts from 10am. The venue is the WEA at 96-100 Clifton St, London EC2. All welcome. Click here to buy advance ticket – pay £5 if waged or £3 for concessions, and click here for map of venue.  See below for a list of sessions, follow links for more information on each session. Read the rest of this entry »





the commune’s june 19th summer school – one week away

12 06 2010

Beyond Resistance, The Commune’s summer school, is now just one week away. All welcome – buy advance tickets at link below, or pay on the door.

The event takes place from 11am-6pm on Sat 19th June at 96-100 Clifton St, London EC2. All welcome. Download double-sided A5 leaflet or A3 poster. Click here to buy ticket – pay £5 if waged or £3 for concessions, and click here for map of venue. See below for a list of sessions, follow links for more information on each session. Read the rest of this entry »





beyond resistance 19th june: ‘capitalist crisis’ and other session details

5 06 2010

Our ‘Beyond Resistance’ summer school is now just two weeks away. The event takes place from 11am-6pm on Saturday 19th June at 96-100 Clifton St, London EC2. All welcome. Click here for a new page listing session and ticketing information.

We have confirmed more details of the session on the capitalist crisis, which will feature speakers David Harvie (Turbulence; The Free Association; Lecturer in Finance and Political Economy, University of Leicester) and Alan Freeman (International Working Group on Value Theory; Co-editor, Critique of Political Economy).

The current crisis has been the worst since the Great Depression. And just as with the great depression it caught the left largely unprepared. The need to understand the current crisis and the nature of crisis under capitalism has never been greater. Read the rest of this entry »





feminism, socialism and political organisation: questions for the contemporary left

3 06 2010

a session at The Commune’s summer school ‘Beyond Resistance’: this session is from 2pm on Saturday 19th June

It is now thirty years ago since the publication of Beyond the Fragments: essays by three women active in feminist and socialist groups, both Leninist and libertarian, on the need for the left to consider anew the question of organisation in light of insights gained from the women’s movement.

As feminists drew attention to the underdevelopment of socialist theory on the relationship between the sexes, they connected this to the gendered nature of power relationships within the male-dominated left. Politics was not just about what you said and did, but how you said and did things. Their experiences of organising autonomously as women fed into a critical consideration of forms of political organisation. Read the rest of this entry »





updates on 19th june ‘beyond resistance’ summer school

28 05 2010

The Commune’s June 19th summer school ‘Beyond Resistance’ is now just three weeks away, and we are finalising details for the day’s workshops. Below appear the blurbs for three of the planned sessions, as well as a timetable for the whole event.

The event takes place from 11am-6pm on Sat 19th June at 96-100 Clifton St, London EC2. All welcome. Download double-sided A5 leaflet or A3 posterClick here to buy ticket – pay £5 if waged or £3 for concessions, and click here for map of venue. More details shortly. Read the rest of this entry »





updated draft agenda for 19th june ‘beyond resistance’ summer school

12 05 2010

A day of communist discussion and debate. From 11am-6pm on Sat 19th June at 96-100 Clifton St, London EC2. All welcome. Download double-sided A5 leaflet or A3 poster.

The latest draft agenda appears below. Click here to buy ticket – pay £5 if waged or £3 for concessions, and click here for map of venue Read the rest of this entry »





beyond resistance: the commune’s 19th june summer school

26 04 2010

A day of communist discussion and debate. From 11am-6pm on Sat 19th June at 96-100 Clifton St, London EC2. Details and ticket purchase information below. Download double-sided A5 leaflet or A3 poster.

The last few years have seen a series of crises for our rulers. Millions of us are angry at the ongoing economic crisis, the scandalous behaviour of ‘our’ MPs and the endless wars in the Middle East.

All of these crises are part and parcel of capitalist rule, but rarely is this system itself challenged. We are constantly told there is no alternative to capitalism. Every day at work and in our communities we live out the same capitalist order, the same hierarchies, the same alienation.

Read the rest of this entry »








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