Announcement: Spirit of Mother Jones Festival Dates for 2023.

The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival

The Cork Mother JonesCommittee is pleased to announce the dates for the 2023 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival.

Our 12th Annual festival will be held in and around Shandon in Cork City from Thursday 27th to Saturday 29th July 2023. All are welcome.

Thanks to our sponsors, the festival remains open to all free of charge. We are promising a very interesting selection of speakers and topics. Further announcements will appear regularly on this website and on the festival Facebook pages.

Hope to see you all and thanks toeveryone for yoursupport for this very uniquefestival.

Mother Jones in 1909 enjoying a chat with her friend, Terence B. Powderly, whose family was from Co. Meath, Ireland. (Illinois Labor History Society).

Terence V Powderly (1849-1924) started life as a 13 year old railroad worker where he worked as an apprentice in a machine shop. Born in Pennsylvania, Terence’s people were from Co…

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National Education Union South West Press Release

NEU Members Reject Government Pay Offer

The NEU consultative ballot on the Government’s pay offer has been rejected by an overwhelming 98% of NEU teacher members in England on a turnout of 66%.

191,319 serving teachers in state schools in England have voted to reject Gillian Keegan’s offer in less than six days. It is not surprising that the offer has been rejected. The offer was not fully funded, would have meant teachers in England would see their pay fall even further behind their counterparts in Wales and Scotland and it would represent another two years of real-terms pay cuts.

It would do nothing to reverse the problems of recruitment and retention in our schools. Commenting on the result, NEU South West Regional Secretary Hannah Packham, said:

“This resounding rejection of the Government’s offer should leave Gillian Keegan in no doubt that she will need to come back to the negotiating table with a much better proposal “The offer shows an astounding lack of judgement and understanding of the desperate situation in the education system.

“We have today written to the education secretary informing her of the next two days of strike action on 27 April and 2 May that NEU teacher members in England will now be taking.

“These strikes are more than three weeks away; Gillian Keegan can avoid them. “No teacher wants to be on strike. Nor can they accept this offer that does nothing to address the decades of below inflation pay increases making them the worst paid teachers in the UK. The offer will do nothing to stem the teacher recruitment and retention crisis which is so damaging to our children and young people’s education.

“The education secretary has united the profession in its outrage at this insulting pay offer. It is now for her to rectify that situation by starting to value education. The NEU is ready as we have stated all along to negotiate with ministers, but this time we hope a lesson has been learnt.  Gillian Keegan needs to start negotiations with respect for the profession she is supposedly representing in Government.

“To parents we say that we have no wish to disrupt education, indeed our action is aimed at getting the Government to invest in the education of this generation of children and the people who teach them.

“We are asking our school reps to plan with head teachers to ensure that year 11 and year 13 students have a full programme of education on the upcoming strike days.”

Editor’s Note
Total Eligible 295,560
Total Voted 195,564
Turnout = 66.17%
REJECT: 191,319 (97.83%)
ACCEPT: 4,245 (2.17%)
Note to editors:

We are currently in Harrogate for our Annual Conference (3-6 April), during which time you will receive a higher number of press releases than usual.

Anarchy in the Sticks, and the Smoke, take your pick.

Anarchy in the Sticks!

No sooner had we announced our Fourth Dorset Radical Bookfair 11:00 to 17:00 on 7th October 2023, than Anarchist Bookfair in London.declared for the same date.

This was both unintentional and unavoidable, it turns out for both groups this was the only date we could get this year. We in no way wish to be seen as rival events and we won’t be competing for stalls or punters. Instead we shall be collaborating as far as possible to offer you a choice.

Travel is expensive and we believe in decentralisation so we urge everyone to attend whichever is most convenient and interesting to them. We remain as we began, a small local get-together for workers and activists to discuss issues of importance to them, locally and globally.

This year we are back in Bournemouth, at the Bad Hand Coffee warehouse just off the Triangle, a stone’s throw from the…

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We’re back!

Anarchy in the Sticks!

After a four year hiatus the Collective are delighted to announce our Fourth Dorset Radical Bookfair 11:00 to 17:00 on the 7th October 2023 at Bad Hand Coffee warehouse just off the Bournemouth Triangle. Free entry to the public, with Vegan food for donations all day.

Setup from 10 a.m. More details to follow, we’re still working out the pricing, we have to hire tables and other kit. Invitations for stalls, talks and workshops will go out to the list soon. Space is limited so get your oar in early.

If you want to be involved, send us an e-mail with the subject line ‘Peregrin’ stating what you would or wouldn’t like to do. There are lots of possible roles ranging from physical graft to sitting in a chair minding something, or back room admin and online publicity. Or use the contact form above.

Afterparty with live music wil be…

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Stardust Tragedy … still waiting for justice…forty-two years on!

The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival

On Saturday 11th February 2023, the 42nd Anniversary of the Stardust fire was commemorated at the site of the 1981 tragedy in the presence of a huge attendance of family members and relatives of the children who died. 48 children from the immediate area in Dublin lost their lives when the Stardust Night Club caught fire. Their families are awaiting the truth about what happened that night and are still seeking justice for their loved ones.

The Stardust Memorial Wall, which was unveiled by Charlie Bird on Saturday 11th February 2023 at the site of the 1981 fire.

The Dublin Fire Brigade Band played at the unveiling of the Stardust Monument. Several members of the Fire Brigade, who tried to save the children, also attended the ceremony.
“The firefighters wept for they could not hide, their sorrow and anger for those left inside.”

Following an emotionalgathering in the marquee located…

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The fuse has been lit …

Anarchy in the Sticks!

We had our meeting in Boscombe on Saturday and it was very encouraging, potentially we’ve got an enthusiastic crew spanning many age groups, genders, interests, and levels of experience. We aim to pull something together for April 2023 and we’re still evaluating potential venues. We’ve had offers from some lovely small ones but we may have to put the stalls seperate from workshops and catering.

If you’ve got any ideas e-mail with the subject line ‘venue’.

If you want to be involved, send us an e-mail with the subject line ‘Peregrin’ stating what you would or wouldn’t like to do, and any dates next year you will not be available. There are lots of possible roles ranging from physical graft to sitting in a chair minding something, or back room admin and online publicity.

Or use the contact form above.

The DRB Collective.

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How Many More Times? Democrats Side with Bosses Over Rail Workers!

Enough 14

Statement of Vermont AFL-CIO President David Van Deusen:

  • Democratic Party Fucks Over Rail Workers!
  • Rail Workers To Receive ZERO Paid Sick Days!
  • Rail’s Right To Strike Outlawed For This Contract Cycle!


U.S. Rail Unions went into this bargaining season with not a single day of paid sick leave in their Contract. Achieving paid sick leave was the top priority of Union members. And today, because of an act of Congress and because of the latest Democratic Party betrayal (the latest in a long line of betrayals), they still have no sick leave.

Every Union member and working class man and woman and child in the United States of America should be livid right now. President Joe Biden (a Democrat), the Democratic Party leadership in the House and Senate, and the vast majority of Democratic (& Republican) Party politicians in the Capital just fucked over Rail workers and sided with the billionaire bosses again. The Rail corporations, after years of record profits, shall not be required to pay workers if they have to miss a day of work due to illness. This is bullshit.

No matter how the Democratic Party apologists try to spin it, Congress had the power to grant Unionized Rail workers paid sick leave, willfully chose to not do so, and then imposed a contract which was voted DOWN by the rank & file of four Unions representing a majority of Rail workers in this country. The Democrats in the House chose to send TWO bills to the Senate (instead of tying the sick leave to the TA), and it was the Democrats again in the Senate who REFUSED to abolish the filibuster (which takes a simple majority) and instead agreed to a 60 vote threshold to pass the sick leave bill. And even after the sick leave bill failed to get the 60 votes, the great majority Democrats still voted to impose the TA. And in so doing, Congress also effectively outlawed strike activity in the Rail sector for this contract cycle. Thus the betrayal of Labor falls on the Democrats.

This is a huge win for the billionaire railroad owners, CEOs, investors, and the capitalist ruling class of the USA. And given that the two major political parties on the national stage are both firmly supported by the elite (and side with the elite at every crucial juncture), this was also a predictable outcome from the start (as was the failure of the Democrats to pass the PRO Act last year). As sad and sickening as this may be, it is a truth we must reckon with.

The national Democratic Party is NOT the friend of Labor. They are a capitalist party organized to represent the interests of the bosses. And even while they lack degrees of evil exhibited by the increasingly fascist Republican Party, we must not be so confused as to think them allies. They, like the Republicans, are a force we must struggle against (not within). If our collective aspirations as a Labor Movement is to see an empowerment of working people, these are realities we must come to grips with.

So long as the two major national parties are the Democrats (big capitalists) and the Republicans (capitalists with a fascist trajectory), we would be wise to soberly understand that the true power of workers will never be realized through supporting the better of two bad candidates in an election or spending tens of millions of dollars of PAC money to prop up a party which does not support us.

No, my friends, our true power can only be found in our labor, through our solidarity, in the factories, on the job sites, in our shops, in our communities, and by way of those actions we collectively choose to take outside bounds of the preferred limits of engagement set forth by the rigged system created by our class enemies. President Joe Biden is NOT pro-Union (even if he displays less visceral hatred of us than did Donald Trump). Congress is not pro-Union. And neither party will do the right thing unless and until they fear us.

So, let us channel our anger and put our focus and attention towards the hard task of organizing, let us be unafraid to call out and name our enemies, and let us build our Labor Movement into a force which puts the Fear of God into the hearts of those who would side with billionaires and millionaires over the people. And should the Rail Unions and their members choose to withhold their labor (act of Congress be damned), let us stand side by side with them as Brothers and Sisters, come what may, until victory, unbowed!

David Van Deusen

President of The Vermont AFL-CIO

DRB 2023 Planning meeting 12th November 2022 at 4:30 p.m.

Anarchy in the Sticks!

Comrades, we are meeting together with our co-sponsors Dorset IWW on Saturday 12th November at Obsidian Cafe, 14 Sea Road, Boscombe, BH5 1DB which will be open to all interested parties.

We are looking into spreading next year’s event across three adjacent venues in Boscombe so we need at least ten volunteers.

Anyone who wants to be involved will need to either come to this meeting, or if they cannot, please send us an e-mail to say what tasks you would like to take on and any dates you will not be available.

There will not be a Dorset Radical Bookfair in 2023 unless we get enough people to commit to it now, so it’s up to you.

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 From Allihies to Leadville, Another ‘Trail of Tears’.

The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival

Leadville Miner Memorial, (J Goltz),

Today as one descends into the community from the high Castletownbere road, the beauty of Ballydonegan Bay and Allihies village on the Beara peninsula in West Cork remains stunning to the eye. Alive with tourists, music and life in the summertime, it slumbers gently during the wild winter months. The hills all around are dotted with the remains of mine sites, there is a busy Copper Mine Museum providing a focus point for information, study and relaxation in the linear village. One can walk the Allihies Copper Mine Trail, in the footsteps of the miners. The village’s past is bound up with the local mines and their impact, its future is to tell the miner’s story.

Mining began here in 1812 at Dooneen, established by John Puxley, the local landlord, followed in 1813 by the Mountain Mine and in…

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