The Independent Working Class Education Project aims to learn the lessons of history to inform current class struggle. Inspired by the Ruskin Students strike of 1909, we organise open informed discussions and look at how interesting presentations can be used in a variety of circumstances.First of all, though, a word or two about the location:
However, because there is indeed a world to win, we weren't idle - we worked hard. And I had exactly a hundred million ideas, which of course I cannot now fully recall, but I did learn about (and will revisit) the beautifully named Plebs' League, which I hadn't encountered, but which is inspirational and at the heart of the IWCE. Read about it - in disappointingly little detail - here (the Plebs' League wikipedia page needs expanding!), and there's more on the IWCE website, talking about educational initiatives for working people:
Educational initiatives by and for workers themselves probably reached their high point in the early 1900s, with the setting-up of the Plebs' League (1908), the 'strike' by students at Ruskin College (1909), and the founding of the Scottish Labour College. (1916). By the General Strike, more than 30,000 workers were studying regularly in classes run by the National Council for Labour Colleges, which took over from the Plebs League in 1921. But from 1926 onwards decline set in.Most exciting for me, for both my thesis and for the fight for free alternative education is that a whole hidden history (to me anyway) of alternative education was revealed - and the IWCE is a very live project that fits in neatly with my own, my very own... engaged and engaging people fighting for positive change - it's really heartening!
|Mrs Desai led a walkout and long-running strike at Grunwick|
Thanks to organisers Keith, Dave, Ruth, Colin and Pete - and greetings to all my new friends from an inspirational weekend :-)
See also: Fabian Tompsett’s Blog and Edd Mustill's Blog concerning the same weekend.