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Ideas for Freedom 2019

Submitted by AWL on 2 April, 2018 - 8:36

Ideas for Freedom: 20-23 June 2019

"Reason in revolt: Third Camp socialism in the age of Brexit"

We recorded audio for some of the sessions this year - check it out here
Tickets can be bought on the door at Camden School for Girls on Saturday and Sunday at the rate of £50 waged//£30 low-waged/student//£8 unwaged. Day tickets are 50% of this rate, half-day 25%.

Ruth Cashman debates Paul Embery on Brexit

• Paul Vernadsky debates Steve Smith on the Bolshevik legacy

• Judy Singer, Janine Booth and Fergus Murray on autistic rights

• Danny Dorling and Cath Fletcher on Brexit and imperial nostalgia

• Eric Lee, Maya Ilany, and Tom Harris on the left in Israel

• Richard Wilkinson on why social inequality breeds mental ill-health

and dozens of other debates, workshops, and discussions

• Background reading here

• Advance tickets can be purchased at the bottom of this page.

Facebook event

*** Advance half-day tickets now available (£13, £7 & £3); tickets are valid for 2 consecutive workshop sessions and any plenary in the same time-slot. ***

A festival of socialist ideas and leftwing discussion, hosted by Workers' Liberty, Ideas for Freedom is an opportunity to explore, through talks, film showings, workshops and debates, ideas about how our world works, and how we can fight for a better one.

Themes include: The collapse of Stalinism; 1919: the year of strikes and struggles; the Age of Brexit; Fighting Antisemitism


Thursday 20 June: Queer walking tour of Brixton

From 6.30pm. Join a guided walking tour with Ian Townson on the radical gay community and squats in and around Brixton Road from the mid-1970s to 1981, the year of the Brixton riots. Meet at Herne Hill rail station, Railton Rd, London SE24. Facebook event.

Friday evening debate

Socialists and Brexit: Ruth Cashman vs Paul Embery - from 7pm, Student Central, Malet St, London WC1E 7HY. Facebook event

Saturday morning: Camden School for Girls, Sandall Road, London, NW5 2DB.

Registration from 11am.

11.45-12.25 Opening plenary Hamid Khalafallah (Sudanese democracy activist) Alessa Alegre (Workers' Liberty and Labour Campaign for Free Movement), Tracy McGuire (school worker, NEU activist, Workers' Liberty)


• Brexit and imperialist nostalgia: Danny Dorling and Cath Fletcher

• Was workers' revolution possible in 1919? Was it desirable?: Simon Webb and Janine Booth

• The Tiananmen Square uprising: when Chinese workers and students fought for freedom: Camila Bassi

• The future of the left in Israel: Eric Lee (Labour Start, p.c.), Maya Ilany (Yachad, p.c.), Tom Harris (Workers' Liberty)

2-3pm: Lunch


• Discussing Diane Reay’s 'Miseducation: Inequality, Education and the Working Classes', with Liam Conway

• The Inner Level: Richard Wilkinson, co-author of 'The Inner Level: How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone's Well-being'

• Labour and antisemitism: Sean Matgamna. (This is the debate to which Ken Livingstone committed himself, but then withdrew from).

• What kind of left does Labour need? with Seema Syeda and Edward Maltby

4.35-4.50pm: Break


• 1917 and the legacy of the Bolsheviks: Paul Vernadsky and Steve Smith.

• Workers’ struggle and political prisoners in Iran, with Morad Shirin (Iranian Revolutionary Marxists’ Tendency) and Azar Majedi (Worker-Communist Party of Iran - Hekmatist)

• Arguing for Autistic Rights: the backlash against neurodiversity and how to overcome it: Judy Singer, author of 'Neurodiversity: the birth of an idea'; Janine Booth, author of 'Autism Equality in the Workplace'; and Fergus Murray, co-founder of Autistic Mutual Aid Society, Edinburgh.

• LGBT+ education in schools: Khakan Qureshi, Birmingham South Asians LGBT, and NEU activists.

6.25-6.40pm: Break


• US teacher struggles and reviving the labour movement: Teacher trade unionist and socialist activist Lois Weiner

• Zetkin, Luxemburg and the German Social Democratic Women's Movement: Kelly Rogers and Kieran Miles

• The bourgeois Marx: a critical appraisal of Max Weber: Dan Davison

• Hungary 1956: John Cunningham

• The uprising in Sudan: Namaa al-Mahdi

Sunday 23 June


• György Lukács: a Marxist of 1919: John Cunningham

• The Roots of Lexit: Paul Vernadsky

• What kind of "Green New Deal": Luke Neal

• The breakup of Yugoslavia: Sarah Correia

12-1pm: Lunch


• Luxemburg and Luxemburgism: Justine Canady and Martin Thomas

• 40 years of Southall Black Sisters: Pragna Patel, SBS

• The Uyghur people's fight for freedom: Aziz Isa Elkun, Uyghur activist

• The Deliveroo strikes: workers fighting back in the gig economy: Zack Murrell-Dowson and Tyrone Falls, couriers and IWGB activists

2.25-2.35: Break


• Solidarnosc: workers against Stalinism: Chris Marks

• Identity politics and class struggle: Ralph Leonard and Christie Neary

• Independent working-class education and the legacy of the Plebs League: Colin Waugh

•An Introduction to Andreas Malm's 'Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming': Mike Zubrowski

4-4.30pm: Closing rally Kelly Rogers (Workers' Liberty)

Free accommodation is provided with comrades who live in London. Please help us organise this by sending an email to with the title "IFF accommodation" and telling us what nights you will need, how many people, and whether you have any specific requirements (i.e. no stairs, need a bed, fine with floor/sofa, no late nights etc.).

A free professionally-staffed creche is provided during the weekend, and additional childcare can be arranged on Thursday and Friday nights if needed. Please book a place by emailing

Accessibility details are at the foot of this page.

Book full-weekend, one-day, half-day or walking-tour-only tickets below. (Half-day tickets are valid for two consecutive workshop sessions.)

Accessibility information

The venue for the weekend (Camden School for Girls) is mostly accessible. The event takes place almost entirely on the ground floor of the Sixth Form building, which is level throughout. One classroom and the creche are unfortunately up a short flight of stairs. There is an accessible toilet on the ground floor as well as a gender-neutral toilet. There are additional toilets on the first floor which can only be accessed by a staircase. The doors inside the building are not automatic doors: however, we will have plenty of volunteers to hold doors and assist you as required.

Sessions will be held in the main hall within the building and in a number of classrooms. In most cases, the seating arrangement will be theatre style but depending on sessions, this may be set up cabaret style to allow for some group activity. You can see photos of the hall in the Sixth Form building and some of the classrooms here

During the event we will have access to the grounds around the Sixth Form building which includes outside areas and seating which you are welcome to use.

A floor plan for the event will be available shortly. During the course of the weekend you will be able to ask a steward for any assistance as well as finding details of each session and the room it is in, both at the registration desk and on the wall outside each room.

There is very limited parking at the venue but if you require this, please email us at as soon as possible to let us know so we aim to reserve a space.

All the food served at Ideas for Freedom will be vegan. Tea and coffee will also be available with both dairy and non dairy milk available. If you require any other dietary requirements please email

If you require any other assistance with access eg. documents in large print, or if you have questions that are not covered here, please email us at

Background reading

• Brexit and Imperial Nostalgia (Cath Fletcher and Danny Dorling)
- Andrew Gamble, here
• Was a revolution possible in 1919? Was it desirable? (Janine Booth and Simon Webb)
- Many items here
• Tiananmen Square (Camila Bassi)
- here
• The left in Israel (Eric Lee, Maya Ilany, Tom Harris)
- Maya and Eric here
• Labour and antisemitism (Sean Matgamna)
- here
• What kind of left does Labour need? (Seema Syeda, Ed Maltby)
- here
• The Inner Level (Richard Wilkinson)
- Review by Todd Hamer here
• Education and the Working Classes (Liam Conway)
- Review of Diane Reay's book here
• 1917 and the legacy of Bolsheviks (Steve Smith and Paul Vernadsky)
- Debate between Alan Johnson and Sean Matgamna, and here and here
• Autistic rights (Judy Singer, Janine Booth, Fergus Murray)
Judy here; Janine here
• LGBT+ education in schools (Khakan Qureshi and NEU activists)
- Khakan here
• Iran (Morad Shirin, Azar Majedi)
- Morad here
• School workers in USA (Lois Weiner)
- Lois here
• Zetkin, Luxemburg, German socialist women’s movement (AWL Lambeth socialist-feminist reading group)
- Chapter by Janine Booth here
• Max Weber: a bourgeois Marx? (Dan Davison-Vecchione) (Dave Kirk) - S16 - C S
- Michel Löwy here
• 1956: Hungary’s workers rise up (John Cunningham) (Jill) - S7 C S
- An article from 1966 here
• The legacy of György Lukács (John Cunningham)
- John here
• What kind of “Green New Deal”? (Luke Neal, Abel Harvie-Clark)
- Mike Zubrowski here
• The breakup of Yugoslavia (Sarah Correia)
- Sarah here
• The roots of “Lexit” (Paul Hampton)
- here
• Luxemburg and “Luxemburgism” (Justine Canady and Martin Thomas)
- Martin here
• 40 Year of Southall Black Sisters (Pragna Patel)
- SBS timeline here
• The Uyghur people’s fight for freedom (Aziz Isa Elkun)
- here
• The Deliveroo strikes (Zack Murrell-Dowson and Tyrone Falls)
- Several articles by Zackhere
• Solidarnosc (Chris Marks)
- here
• Identity politics and class struggle (Ralph Leonard and Christie Neary)
- Lynn Ferguson here
• Plebs League (Colin Waugh)
- Colin here
• Andreas Malm’s "Fossil Capital" (Zack Murrell-Dowson)
- here

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