Matthew Caygill – an appreciation

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MATTHEW CAYGILL – AN APPRECIATION

It is with great sadness that we have to announce that Matthew Caygill has died. He was 60 years old. It happened suddenly and has taken many of us some time to digest.

Matthew was a founder member of Leeds Taking Soundings in 2007. He played a leading role in our events and activities: from chairing meetings to booking rooms; from his lively contributions to discussions to collecting donations; and from organising film shows to writing our leaflets and applications for funding… and much, much more. He was also deeply involved in the Leeds-based Ford Maguire Society which holds discussions on political history.

Matthew was an active trade unionist at Leeds Beckett University where he taught history and cultural studies with great imagination and energy. His lectures (for example, on the Vietnam and its effects on the counter-culture in the West) were particularly popular with students.

Matthew was also a fully committed socialist. In recent years he was involved in Left Unity. He was politically passionate but reflective, eager to learn and ready to argue, and warm and witty. He had a wonderful sense of humour, a twinkle in his eye and a ready smile.

Matthew was incredibly active, attending numerous academic conferences and often presenting papers.

He was working on a PhD on the cultural politics of the 1960s and had a wealth of knowledge about the subject. Over the years, he had amassed a vast library stored both at work and in his cluttered home. There were books everywhere.

He was also a ‘culture vulture’, a lover of opera, the cinema and the theatre and very knowledgeable about them. He travelled the length and breadth of Britain, from large cities to seaside resorts, from visiting art galleries to tucking in at chip shops.

We have lost a good friend but we did have the good fortune of knowing him.

Barry, Dave, Franco, James, Max and Zoe

Leeds Taking Soundings steering committee

Matthew’s funeral is on Friday 5 August , 2016, at 11.40am, Lawnswood cemetery, Otley Rd, Leeds, LS16 6AH. 

Matthew Caygill can be seen on film here, talking about his research on the Dialectics of Liberation conference of 1967. This link also includes a fine obituary to Matthew published in Socialist Worker.

Telling the Truth about Asylum, 15 June 2016, 6pm

The next meeting of Taking Soundings in Leeds:

Lorna Gledhill on the Refugee Crisis: ‘Telling the Truth about Asylum: Changing the Narrative’ 

Faced with the biggest refugee crisis since World War Two, how we talk about people seeking safety is incredibly important. However, certain messages have dominated public and political conversations about migration; some voices have been louder than others. This narrative has shaped the European response to the refugee crisis, with many countries shoring up their border rather than providing protection. Swarms, floods, and marauding migrants: we’ve all read the headlines.

We’ll be looking at how the language surrounding the refugee crisis has informed and influenced the way in which refugees have been welcomed and unwelcomed in Europe, whose stories have been heard and whose have been silenced, and think about what we can do to tell a different story. We will also discuss practical actions the Regional Asylum Activism Project and others engage in.

Lorna Gledhill is the Yorkshire and Humberside Activism Coordinator for the Regional Asylum Activism Project. She works with colleagues in the West Midlands and the North West to campaign for the rights of people seeking refugee protection in the UK. She is also a member of the David Oluwale Memorial Association’s Advisory Group.

Meeting information

At 6PM on Wednesday, June 15th at Leeds Beckett University, City Site

Calverley Building (CL) Room 211

Please note, this is not our normal venue. The Calverley building is best accessed through the huge glass doors opposite  opposite the Dry Dock pub, on grass Woodhouse Lane, opposite the multi-storey car park (which is probably the best place to park if you are driving).  Thought the glass doors, past the library on your left, past the Grumpy Mule café, then down the stairs until you reach the foyer. Use the lifts on the left of the foyer reception desk to get to the second floor, where you’ll find Room 211. Give yourself some extra time to find this if you haven’t been there before. Apologies for the inconvenience.

European Union: Should leftists vote Brexit or Remain?

Leeds Taking Soundings’ next meeting is a debate about the referendum on the European Union.

On Tuesday, May 17th at 6PM in Leeds Beckett University, Calverley (CL)211.

 Please note change of location: instead of Broadcasting Place, we are meeting on the other side of the road in the main complex of Leeds Beckett University City Site. Enter through the main Woodhouse Lane entry in front of the Sheila Silver Library, past the library towards the Grumpy Mule cafe. There will be signposts towards the Calverley Building. The meeting is on the second floor.

Arguing to leave the EU will be Neil Davidson.

image001Neil  lectures in sociology at the University of Glasgow and is a member of rs21, RISE: Scotland’s Left Alliance, and the Radical Independence Campaign. He is the author of several books, including the Deutscher Prize-winning Discovering the Scottish Revolution (2003) and How Revolutionary were the Bourgeois Revolutions? (2012) His most recent book is Nation-States: Consciousness and Competition (2016).

Arguing for ‘Remain’ will be Pete Green.

image002Pete is a member of Left Unity and was formerly a Left Unity national speaker, a retired FE lecturer and union branch secretary, now writing a book on ‘Marx, Keynes and the Austrians’.

As always we will be aiming at delivering a friendly and educational discussion about a vital issue. Please contact Matthew Caygill at m.caygill@leedsbeckett.ac.uk for further information.

 

Tuesday, May 17th at 6PM in Leeds Beckett University, Calverley (CL)211. (See above for directions on the venue.)

 

 

EU: In or Out? on Sunday 22nd May

The EU referendum is almost upon us. So: EU in or out?

If you’re turned off by all the talk and fed up with the facts and figures, join Unlock Democracy and Talk Shop on Sunday 22nd May. Come and meet with others trying to make up their mind, get the key info and talk through the issues.

Our event on 22nd will be practical politics in action: the chance to meet one another, debate the big questions and decide which way you’ll vote.

We’ll be joined by some speakers, but this is more about the participation than panel. After all, it’s your vote.

We are neutral on the referendum and we welcome all views.

The day is free and open to all, so sign up below to book your slot.

More about unlock democracy and event sign-up details are here 

More about Talk Shop here

Join the Leeds Summat 2016 on 23 April

Taking Soundings has supported all the previous Summats and this one (organised by Leeds for Change in collaboration with SenjaNet and the Economic Justice Project) looks as good as ever.

Speaker panels with Dan Glass from ACT UP London and Beautiful Trouble, Jess Bradley from Action for Trans Health and Andy Greene from Disabled People Against The Cuts
Workshops from Leeds Older People’s Forum, Frack Free Leeds, OPEN Economics and lots more
The brilliant choir workshop with Issi is back, and they’ve also got the children’s space open from 10am – 4.30pm.

More information here

Simon Hall speaks about ‘1956: The World in Revolt’

Thursday, March 17th, 6PM in Broadcasting Place BPAG02 (Woodhouse Lane, opposite the Fenton)
1956 was one of the most remarkable years of the twentieth century – all across the globe, ordinary people spoke out, filled the streets and city squares, and took up arms in an attempt to win their freedom.
Popular uprisings in Poland and Hungary shook Moscow’s hold on its eastern European empire. Across the American South, and in South Africa, black people risked their livelihoods, and their lives, in the struggle to dismantle institutionalised white supremacy. France and Britain, already battling anti-colonial insurgencies in Algeria and Cyprus, faced the humiliation of Suez. Meanwhile, in Cuba, Fidel Castro and his band of rebels launched their audacious bid to overthrow a dictator. Faced with unprecedented challenges to their authority, those in power fought back, often ruthlessly, in a desperate bid to shore up their position. It was an epic contest, and one that transformed the post-war world.
Dr Simon Hall, is Head of School and Senior Lecturer in American History in the School of History at the University of Leeds. He is also the author of Peace and Freedom: The Civil Rights and Antiwar Movements in the 1960s (2005), American Patriotism, American Protest: Social Movements Since the Sixties (2010), and Rethinking the American Anti-War Movement (2012).

Join the CND demo on Saturday 27th Feb

CND’s national demonstration to protest against Trident is just days away – on 27th February – and there’s still lots to do!

Stop Trident Rally in London – this Friday
Help make this the biggest mobilisation of people against Trident for a generation. If you’re in London, come to the rally at Friends House at Euston, this Friday, 19th February.

Join us and speakers: Tariq Ali • Kate Hudson CND general secretary • Richard Norton Taylor The Guardian • Lindsey German Stop the War • Brian Eno • Bruce Kent CND vice president • Amelia Womack Green Party deputy leader • Shelly Asquith NUS

Want to help with the demo? Following the rally we will discuss logistics: leafleting, placards, stewarding… We’ll decide and assign tasks after the rally – join us!

If you’re not in London, take a look at the CND website to find one of the many local events happening in the run up to (and after!) the demonstration.
                                                                                                                                               
#StopTrident Demonstration: Saturday 27th February
Assemble 12 noon 
Marble Arch, London

Join us to say No to government plans to buy a new system at a cost of over £100 billion. Let’s get the message out loud and clear: we don’t want Trident! We’ll be marching from Marble Arch to a rally in Trafalgar Square – join us!

Need transport to the demo? Book your place on one of the many coaches coming from around the UK. Find your local transport on the CND website here.

Sign up to the event on Facebook if you haven’t already!

Gary Younge, Caryl Phillips & others (26 Feb)

Oluwale Now poster -EDIT-TXT-01

Guardian journalist Gary Younge, internationally renowned writer Caryl Phillips, acclaimed poet Zena Edwards and others are taking part in a series of events in Leeds on Friday 26th February organised by the Leeds University School of English in collaboration with the Remember Oluwale charity.

The events include sessions on radical gardening (work on the Oluwale Memorial Garden in Leeds starts in April);  the issues raised by #blacklivesmatter in the USA and the UK; Corinne Silva’s haunting film meditating on David Oluwale; poetry and music; culminating in an interview with Caryl Phillips on his account of Oluwale’s life and death in his book Foreigners: Three English Lives. 

More information here 

Tickets are free but need to be booked on Eventbrite, which also gives all the times and venues for the events. Click  here to book

 

Amazing film from Palestine (24 Feb)

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTrqnRZAMY6KXmnl8q2N8su2RdZvT_XYTb3gl1X0o5-xZywwl5J

“An extraordinary work of both cinematic and political activism, 5 Broken Cameras is a deeply personal, first-hand account of non-violent resistance in the West Bank. We are shown the resilient spirit of one village recorded by a single observer.”

 

Wed 24 February: 6.00 – 8.00 pm
Refreshments served between 6.00 – 6.15

Film begins at 6.15 prompt

 Hosted by: Friends of Sabeel – Yorkshire

“Working For Peace for the People of Palestine and Israel”

Mill Hill Unitarian Chapel, City Square, Leeds LS1 5EB

Dave Webb speaks about Trident

6pm, Wednesday 17th February, Broadcasting Place BPAG10 (Woodhouse Lane, opposite the Fenton)
Dave is a Professor Emeritus of Leeds Beckett University, a member of the Green Party and Chair of CND – the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
Trident has emerged as a key political issue in British politics – a major fault line in the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.
The United Kingdom has been committed to nuclear submarines carrying nuclear weapons as a supposed contribution to keeping global peace via the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) since 1969. Since the 1990s the nuclear missiles have been American Trident missiles. The British state is about to decide on a renewal programme with replacements designed to come into action in the 2020s. This has had the support of both Conservative and Labour parties, but with the leadership of the Labour Party now in the hands convinced of the Unilateralist case the issue has become very real. The cost will be huge.
Leeds Taking Soundings wants to discuss the political issues involved – Dave will present the case against Trident with expert knowledge, but we also want to consider what the alternatives are – for world peace and the economy of the UK. Leading unions have taken up positions in support of Trident arguing that their members’ jobs are at risk, so what is the alternative?
Timing of the meeting is strongly affected by the campaign against Trident: there is going to be a big and important national demonstration against Trident on Saturday February 27th and we would ask you to consider supporting this demonstration.
For more details of Soundings meeting contact Matthew Caygill at m.caygill@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.CND
Leeds Taking Soundings hold regular discussion meetings on matters of interest to left-wingers and progressives. Email Matthew at the above address if you want to be on our distribution list.
See the CND web-site: http://www.cnduk.org/campaigns/no-to-trident