Opposing terror – article and slides

Following the presentation and lively discussion at the Taking Soundings event on 3.12.15, here are the slides that Max Farrar showed (with a couple extra ones added in at the end)

Islamist terror-dilemmas PDF

The article on which the talk was based was published by openDemocracy on 3.12.15 and is available here

Islamist terror: some dilemmas for the left in countering Islamism AND Islamophobia (3 Dec)

We’ve had to postpone the advertised talk on 3rd December with Dr Katy Shaw. Please accept our apologies.  Instead we offer this talk:

Islamist terror: some dilemmas for the left in countering Islamism AND Islamophobia

With Max Farrar, Emeritus Professor at Leeds Beckett University

6pm Thursday 3rd December in Leeds Beckett University’s Broadcasting Place BPAG10 (on Woodhouse Lane, opposite the Fenton, Leeds LS2 3ED, UK)

After 13th November’s atrocities in Paris, with global elites increasingly turning their dreams to a military solution to the ‘existential threat’ posed by terrorism that claims an Islamic Caliphate as its goal, leftists find themselves in a quandary. How to oppose this simplistic militarism — explaining that alienation, caused by the depredations of capitalism combined with the West’s effort to bomb an ideology out of existence, is the real problem to be addressed — while agreeing with those elites that the violent jihadi strain of Islam is utterly inimical to everything we stand for? Max Farrar will make suggestions on how the left can oppose violent Islamism without contributing to Islamophobia.  This talk is based on this article in openDemocracy by Max Farrar and Rumana Hashem and will refer to the threats made on Rumana’s life by Bangladeshi Islamists.

Max Farrar is a sociologist and Emeritus Professor at Leeds Beckett University. He is a committee member of Taking Soundings, secretary to the charity RememberOluwale and a Board member of Together for Peace and UK Friends of Abraham’s Path. His PhD thesis about black-led and multi-ethnic social movements in Chapeltown, Leeds, was published at The Struggle for ‘Community’ (Edwin Mellen, 2002). His more recent work on multiculturalism and Islamism appeared in Farrar, Robinson, Valli and Wetherly (ends) Islam in the West (Palgrave 2012). More here

ALL WELCOME.  FREE, but a collection will be taken.

Katy Shaw speaks about the Culture Crunch

Apologies: this event has been postponed. Check Our Events for the meeting that will replace this one.

Thursday, December 3rd, 6PM in Broadcasting Place BPAG10 (Woodhouse Lane, opposite the Fenton)

In the wake of the financial crisis, cultural critics were quick to ask ‘what […] is the best “narrative of the meltdown”?’

In the weeks and months following the crash, literary representations entered into a competitive exchange to tackle the subject of the credit crunch across musical theatre, stand-up comedy, television and film.

This talk will examine how writings for stage and screen have forged new understandings of the credit crunch in performance. Critiquing the impact of risk and crisis on twenty-first-century life, it will argue that new writings representing the events of 2007–2008 offer a significant critical space for consideration of the various pathways to, and the lived reality of, financialisation in the neoliberal contemporary period.

Katy Shaw is Principal Lecturer in Contemporary Literature and Subject Lead for English Literature at Leeds Beckett University. Her publications include: David Peace: Texts and Contexts (Sussex Academic Press, 2010); Mining the Meaning: Cultural Representations of the 1984-5 UK Miners’ Strike (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012); and Crunch Lit (Bloomsbury, 2015).

katy shaw

Readers’ meeting on Paul Mason’s ‘Postcapitalism’ 16 Nov

Leeds Taking Soundings Readers’ Meetings

Monday, November 16th (2015)

6PM in Broadcasting Place AG10 (opposite the Fenton pub).

Paul Mason’s new book, Postcapitalism, has attracted a lot of attention, and deservedly so.

From the publishers blurb: “In this groundbreaking book Mason shows how, from the ashes of the recent financial crisis, we have the chance to create a more socially just and sustainable global economy. Moving beyond capitalism, he shows, is no longer a utopian dream. This is the first time in human history in which, equipped with an understanding of what is happening around us, we can predict and shape, rather than simply react to, seismic change.”

The Leeds Taking Soundings group wants to provide an opportunity to discuss what the book is about and how relevant it is.

Postcapitalism has already attracted a lot of discussion. For this discussion we want participants to have read the lengthy piece by Paul entitled ‘The End of Capitalism Has Begun’ in The Guardian from July: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/17/postcapitalism-end-of-capitalism-begun

Paul is also speaking at Leeds Beckett University on Saturday, November 6th in a day event put on by the Centre for Culture and the Arts: 10:00 – 17:00 and 18:00 – 21:00 at the Rose Bowl. With Alex Nunn, Peter Knight and Nicky Marsh also speaking.

 

Generation Rent and the Housing Crisis

Following a great event with Quintin Bradley, Senior Lecturer in Housing Studies at Leeds Beckett University, last Thursday (October)

Quintin has agreed to share his slides from the talk, which can now be found here Generation Rent. & the Housing Crisis

A chronic under-supply of housing, and grossly inflated house prices, have condemned ‘generation rent’ to the endless insecurity of the private rented sector. A new assault on the provision of social housing coupled with the imposition of further benefit caps has created a swaggeringly unequal landscape with central areas of our cities rendered entirely unaffordable. But there are growing signs of popular protest in this country against the injustices of the broken housing market. A new wave of direct action from tenants in the private rented sector signals the resurgence of a movement for housing rights with rent control and new council housing among its demands. This talk will identify the key sites of conflict in government housing policy and discuss the possibilities and opportunities for this new resistance movement.

Blacklisted: The Secret War between Big Business and Union Activists

6pm Tuesday 6th October, Leeds Beckett University, Broadcasting Place, Woodhouse Lane, BPAG10

AND / OR…

12noon – 2pm Tuesday 6th October, University of Leeds Fairbairn House, Suite A Room 1 (G.01) Clarendon Road –

Blacklisted tells the controversial story of the illegal strategies that transnational construction companies used to keep union activists away from work. Drawing on first-hand accounts of the workers, Blacklisted reveals how, when major construction projects were unionized, those involved were unlawfully victimized. From the building sites to the High Court, this is a story of ordinary working people taking on some of the most powerful transnational companies in the world. Hear direct from the authors of this important book – Phil Chamberlain and Dave Smith – about their experiences of blacklisting, their search for answers and the fight for justice.

“I recommend people read this book. Just by picking up this book, just by reading it, you challenge what I believe to be a state and corporate spying culture that is out of control.” Mark Thomas, comedian.

As part of their book launch tour, the authors will present two meetings in Leeds on Tuesday 6th October, one lunchtime, one evening.

Venues and times:

Lunchtime

University of Leeds Fairbairn House, Suite A Room 1 (G.01) Clarendon Road 12pm-2pm

Refreshments served from 12 noon. Talk 12:30-13:30. Book sales and signings and networking 13:30-14:00.  Sponsored by University of Leeds Unison and Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change.

(Directions from Parkinson Steps: Follow the path to your right then turn right underneath the link building, go all the way through campus until you reach Clarendon Road, turn left, Fairbairn House is about two mins walk on the right – opposite the entrance to Hyde Terrace).

Evening

Leeds Beckett University, Broadcasting Place, Woodhouse Lane, BPAG10 6pm onwards.

Presented by Leeds Taking Soundings

(This is the ‘rusty tower’ building opposite the Fenton Pub. The room is on the groundfloor)

Read more about Blacklisted here:

http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/

Politics of Hope on 19th Sept 2015

Compass and the ILP have organised this event and Taking Soundings is pleased to be supporting it. There’s an introductory talk from Compass’s Neal Lawson, followed by a panel discussion with Barry Winter (ILP & Taking Soundings) and Sarah Perrigo (Labour Party, left). In the afternoon Sue Goss (who wrote Open Tribe) will lead a discussion on ‘Building a progressive coalition for change’.

Venue: The Rose Bowl, Leeds Beckett University. 10.30 till 4pm. Saturday 19th September 2015.

It’s free, but you must REGISTER by 12th September.

More information here  Or on a PDF here 2015.09.19 Radical-hope-ILP-flyer

John Holloway on the challenges in Greece (7 Sept)

Leeds Taking Soundings is very pleased to be working with the School of Geography at the University of Leeds to present a talk by the distinguished radical scholar John Holloway. The public lecture is at 7pm. This poster advertises other events John is taking part in at the School of Geography.

holloway crisis and hope9.ai

 

This talk will be in Broadcasting Place (Leeds Beckett University, located opposite the Fenton  pub on Woodhouse Lane), room BPAG02 at 7 PM on Monday, September 7th 2015.

John Holloway: “Greece: Hope drowns in the Reality of a Dying World. Or does it”?

Here’s what the School of Geography have to say:

The MA in ‘Global Urban Justice’ and the ‘Cities and Social Justice’ research cluster at the School of Geography, University of Leeds are organising a workshop with John Holloway, titled “Greece: Hope drowns in the Reality of a Dying World. Or does it?”. Holloway is a Professor of Sociology at the Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y humanidades in the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Mexico. He has published widely on Marxist theory, on the Zapatista movement and on the new forms of anti-capitalist struggle. His book ‘Change the World Without Taking Power’ (Pluto, London, 2002, new edition 2010) has been translated into eleven languages and has stirred an international debate. His more recent book, ‘Crack Capitalism’ (Pluto, 2010), takes the argument further by suggesting that the only way in which we can think of revolution today is as the creation, expansion, multiplication and confluence of cracks in capitalist domination. John visited the School of Geography at Leeds previously in 2011 and delivered a set of public lectures that can be watched here: https://johnhollowayinleeds.wordpress.com/ .

Read an interview of John Holloway at Roar magazine, published online in September 2014:http://roarmag.org/2014/09/john-holloway-cracking-capitalism-vs-the-state-option/

Leeds Taking Soundings strongly recommends this talk, coming as it does at such a huge moment of crisis in Greece. We’ve booked the biggest room  in the building, we expect a lot of people will want to come.

For more details from Soundings contact Matthew Caygill at m.caygill@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.

See our blog http://www.takingsoundings.org.uk/

Please follow the Leeds Taking Soundings Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Leeds-Taking-Soundings

Michael Rustin on Labour’s failure

Taking Soundings is pleased to have Michael Rustin speaking at our event in Leeds on 16th July 2015. He’s one of the founders of Soundings journal (with Dorren Massey and the late Stuart Hall) and one of the authors of the Kilburn Manifesto which we’ve featured here before.

Rustin and Massey have recently summarised their views on why Labour failed in this article for Il Manifesto, published here in English, as Post Election Blues in Britain 

 

Please join us at the meeting with Michael Rustin on Thursday July 16th, at 6PM. Sometimes we meet at The Tetley, but this meeting will be back at our old venue in Broadcasting Place (opposite the Fenton on Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9EN).

For more details contact Matthew Caygill at m.caygill@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.

 

We Are Many

This is a brilliant new documentary about the massive global protests in 2003 that tried to stop the war on Iraq (the disastrous repercussions of which are still with us). The Hyde Park Picture House is showing it at 8PM on Wednesday June 3rd. Leeds Taking Soundings is sponsoring this and as well as the director Amir Amirani coming for some Q & A, there is going to be a panel discussion with the co-chairs of Leeds Coalition Against the War in 2003: Frances Jones and Sally Kincaid. We recommend this everyone interested in Soundings.

See The Guardian review.

Link to the Hyde Park here.