Refugees welcome here rally – Leeds Saturday 17 September — Leeds Stand Up To Racism

In solidarity with the national Refugees Welcome Here 2016 march in London, in Leeds Stand Up to Racism are also organising a local solidarity rally to say #WeStandWithYou Saturday 17 September – meet 12noon, Briggate, Leeds to say #RefugeesWelcome For more info email From the Refugee Council’s call for the demonstration on 17 […]

via Refugees welcome here rally – Leeds Saturday 17 September — Leeds Stand Up To Racism

Upcoming meetings – all welcome

Thursday 25th August, “The Chilcot Inquiry -Blood on Blair’s hands: What really happened in Iraq” Leeds SWP meeting – 7pm, The Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7 Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD

Thursday 1st September, “Spain 1936 and the fight against fascism” Leeds SWP meeting – 7pm, The Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7 Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD

Thursday 8th September, “Can Corbyn beat the establishment?” Leeds SWP meeting – 7pm, The Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7 Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD

Thursday 15th September, “A rebel’s guide to Leon Trotsky” Leeds SWP meeting – 7pm, The Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7 Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD

Moazzam Begg / Muhammad Ali


Two fighters against racism and war…

Tuesday 16 August – Moazzam Begg’s film The Confession – Hyde Park Cinema, 6pm with Q&A afterwards

Thursday 18th August, “Muhammad Ali : A Fighter against Racism & War” Leeds SWP meeting – 7pm, The Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7 Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD

Pride and the struggle for LGBT+ liberation

Meeting – Pride and the struggle for LGBT+ liberation – 7pm, Thursday 11th August, Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7 Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD    

Fight for LGBT+ liberation – No to austerity! No to Islamophobia and racism!

After Orlando, despite same sex marriage and other advances, no-one can be under any illusions that homophobia and transphobia are not endemic in society.

It’s great that we can hold Prides and other LGBT+ events but we can’t ignore the appalling impact Tory cuts and austerity are having and that bigots and racists are trying to turn oppressed groups like Muslims and LGBT+ people against one another.

Nor should we forget that Prides are about protest, resistance and solidarity not just parades headed up by commercial organisations, the police, and multinational tax-dodger companies, while we often get charged for entry!

We’re living in turbulent times. Theresa May, the unelected Tory prime minister, has appointed an even more right wing cabinet than Cameron’s who intend to continue their vicious austerity. That means more cuts to support groups, worse access to health care and services, more job cuts, less access to decent housing.

Enough is enough. The EU Leave vote was a symptom of how millions feel abandoned by establishment parties. The weak-kneed responses to cuts and privatisation from Labour and the trade union leaders have led to anger and disappointment.  Thankfully there’s a new mood of resistance building up after Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader. We can all help develop that fightback right across the labour movement and in our communities.

Above all, we need to remember that those who first marched for Pride and formed the Gay Liberation Front were fighting for liberation, not just equal rights in capitalist society. They wanted a different sort of society, not accommodation to a heteronormal, gender-binary capitalist world.  Come along to the meeting and discuss how we win genuine LGBT+ liberation.

What would a socialist society look like?

Classic Phil Evans cartoon ‘Under socialism they’d make us all the same…’ from Socialist Worker (1975).  

‘What would a socialist society look like?’ Thursday 4th August 7pm, The Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD

Hosted by Leeds SWP – all welcome

Upcoming meetings:

Thursday 11 August, – “After Pride – the struggle for LGBT Liberation today”
7pm,  The Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD

Thursday 18th August, “ Muhammad Ali : A Fighter against Racism & War”
7pm, The Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7 Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD

Jeremy Corbyn rally in Leeds

Corbyn on picket lines supporting the Great Miners’ Strike in 1984


Saturday 30th July, 7pm

New Dock, Royal Armouries

You now need to register in advance for tickets – see here:

Background reading – As MPs organise against Jeremy Corbyn – the Labour right can be beaten

#BlackLivesMatter rally in Leeds – Saturday 30 July – It Starts Today

Leeds Stand Up To Racism

After the tremendous mass #Black Lives Matter protest in Leeds earlier this month, there is another this Saturday 30 July, from 12 noon outside Leeds City Art Gallery – see the facebook page here – please spread the word and bring trade union banners etc if possible

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Defend the Rotherham 12 – Leeds SUTR meeting 9 August — Leeds Stand Up To Racism

#StandUptoRacism #NoToHate #Rotherham12DefenceCampaign #SelfDefenceIsNOOFFENCE Leeds Stand Up to Racism Meeting – with special guest Abrar Javid, Rotherham 12. Tuesday 9 August, 6.30pm, Leeds UNISON, 160A Woodhouse Ln, Leeds LS2 9EN (opposite Fenton) All welcome – email for more info Come and hear about the campaign to defend the Rotherham 12 On Saturday 5th […]

via Defend the Rotherham 12 – Leeds SUTR meeting 9 August — Leeds Stand Up To Racism

Update: press your councillors to oppose the Housing and Planning Act

Hands Off Our Homes - Leeds

Hands Off Our Homes is busy pressing our Council to join the campaign against the Housing and Planning Act. To do this we need all Leeds councillors to hear from as many concerned tenants and residents as possible. To help with this we have created a letter for people to send to their councillors or to use as a basis for lobbying them in person at their surgeries. We hope you will take part in this action and share it as widely as possible.

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All out Leeds bus strike Tuesday 26 July, as bus bosses dismiss workers

A thousand bus workers in Leeds will strike continuously from next Tuesday (26 July), as the management refuses to talk in the long-running pay dispute and starts dismissing workers for union activities – solidarity with the Leeds bus workers strike!

Edited to add – the threat of an all-out strike on Tuesday has led to a paltry but very marginally improved pay offer and a new ballot is to talk place so Tuesday’s strike is now off

Leeds Coalition Against the War meeting on Chilcot Inquiry

From Leeds Coalition Against the War:

Public Meeting – The Chilcot Report: What now?

Friday 22 July 6pm

University of Leeds Business School Lecture Theatre G02, Maurice Keyworth Building,Moorland Road (west side of Clarendon Road), University of Leeds, LS6 1AN

Speakers: Peter Brierley (father of Lance Corporal Shaun Brierley, one of the first to die in Iraq)

and Professor Paul Rogers (Peace Studies, University of Bradford).

Organised by:  Leeds Coalition Against the War- all welcome

There is a growing demand that Tony Blair should face a motion of contempt in the House of Commons over the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has said he would probably support.

What does the Chilcot Report mean for the Stop the War movement? How can we build a movement capable of stopping current and future interventions abroad?

Background reading: Chilcot report – Tony Blair should be put in the dock over Iraq war

No to Fracking in Yorkshire – Demonstrate – Saturday 30 July in York


Leeds SWP meetings – summer 2016

Unlike some political parties we could mention, the Socialist Workers Party in Leeds are holding meetings over the summer – all welcome…

Thursday 21 July – ‘A History of School Student Strikes’ – 7pm, The Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD

Thursday 28. July ‘Anti-Semitism, Zionism, Labour and the Left’ 7pm, The Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD

Thursday 4th August ‘What would a socialist society look like?’ 7pm, The Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD

Thursday 11 August, – “After Pride – the struggle for LGBT Liberation today”
7pm,  The Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD

Thursday 18th August, “ Muhammad Ali : A Fighter against Racism & War”
7pm, The Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7 Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD

[This meeting has been rescheduled as the earlier advertised talk was cancelled due to the amazing 1,000 strong Black Lives Matter March in Leeds]

Meetings hosted by Leeds Socialist Workers Party – all welcome

Emergency Trident Protest – 18th July 6pm Leeds — Yorkshire Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

The Tory government have moved the Trident vote forward to this Monday, in the hope of exploiting the Labour Party’s division on the issue. Whatever MPs vote, Trident is illegal and immoral and we must resist it in every way we can. Spending £205 billion of public money on new weapons of mass destruction while…

via Emergency Trident Protest – 18th July 6pm Leeds — Yorkshire Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

No to Austerity and Racism – Tories out! Leeds coach for 16 July

Joint PA and SUtR demo for summer

Please try and attend this important demonstration in London this Saturday 16 July – for tickets for the Leeds Stand Up to Racism coach down – please see the Leeds Stand Up to Racism facebook page here

Muhammad Ali – A fighter against racism and war

Leeds Socialist Workers’ Party public meeting – all welcome

Thursday 14 July – Muhammad Ali – A fighter against racism and war – 7pm, Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7 Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD

Background reading – Brian Richardson on Muhammad Ali – people’s champion

PS – A Leeds Black Lives Matter protest has now been called for Thursday 14 July at 6pm Leeds City Art Gallery – we will still have the Muhammad Ali meeting but encourage people to attend this first:

Future meeting:

Thursday 21 July – School’s Out! A History of School Student Strikes – speaker Dave Gibson (leading member of the Leeds Student Federation in the 1970s) 7pm, Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7 Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD (note change of title).


Two films – Land and Freedom / We Are Many

Sunday 10 July, 3pm – Land and Freedom (35mm screening), Ken Loach, 1995 – Hyde Park Cinema Leeds

In 1936, after attending a workers’ meeting, a young Liverpudlian communist Dave Carr decides to go to Spain to fight fascism. On a train bound for Barcelona he is recruited into the Republican militia. By May 1937 the Republicans in Barcelona, whilst ostensibly fighting Franco, find themselves a divided force – the militia and the anarchists on one side and the communists on the other. Featuring superb performances and memorable cinematography, Jim Allen’s script bears more than passing resemblance to George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia.

In conjunction with The Ford-Maguire Society Leeds and with support from Film Fringe we’re presenting LAND AND FREEDOM and AN ANARCHIST’S  STORY (Tuesday July 26th) at 7.30PM they will show a documentary about a Glaswegian anarchist who joined the fight in Spain, An Anarchist’s Story: Ethel MacDonald made by Mark Littlewood – this July to mark the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War.

Ford-Maguire Meeting – Tuesday  July 19, 7PM in the Victoria Hotel, Great George Street (behind the Town Hall) Danny Evans to speak on ‘Remembering 19th July 1936: Anarchism and the Spanish Revolution’

80 years ago, an attempted coup by right-wing military officers in the Spanish army against the democratic Second Republic was stopped in its tracks in most of the country’s major cities. The uncertain outcome of the coup attempt led to the Spanish Civil War, a bloody conflict of two and a half years’ duration that left half a million people dead and resulted in one of the most severe and long-lasting dictatorships in modern European history. Yet amidst the carnage flourished one of the most remarkable social experiments ever witnessed: the Spanish revolution. Inspired to a great extent by a massive anarcho-syndicalist organisation, the CNT, millions of people participated in industrial and agricultural collectives or fought the mutinous army in democratically organised workers’ militia. The lives of thousands of women were transformed by their active participation in these projects and the many others that flourished as a result of the challenge to gender norms presented by the revolutionary upheaval. In many villages and towns, money was abolished and a genuine attempt was made to live according to the socialist motto: From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs. But just how significant was the Spanish revolution, and what was the character of the ideas and the movement that inspired it? These are the questions that will be addressed in this talk.

Danny Evans is a PhD student and a supporter of Leeds No Borders about to hand in his thesis on anarchism and the Spanish civil war at the University of Leeds. He lived in Granada, Spain, from 2008 to 2012, where he supported the campaigns of the local CNT and participated in the ‘indignados‘ and anti-evictions movement.


We Are Many for Chilcot
July 20th | 6pm
Everyman Cinema
4 Albion St

With the publication of the Chilcot Report due on July 6, there is no better time to screen We Are Many again, which is about the history of the Stop the War Coalition – however – we still need people to book tickets – you can do this here:



No to austerity and racism – Tories out – #July16 demo

SATURDAY 16th JULY – National Demonstration called by Peoples Assembly and Stand Up to Racism – to book your tickets see Leeds Stand Up to Racism facebook page here – coach leaves 6.30 am WY Playhouse – tickets £20/£10

After the referendum unite to demand…
No More Austerity – No To Racism – Tories Must Go
Demonstrate: Saturday 16 July 2016
Assemble 12pm, BBC HQ, Portland Place, London W1
The Tories have been plunged into crisis by the result of the EU referendum. David Cameron will soon be gone. The Tories will use Brexit to whip up anti-immigrant racism and accelerate their austerity policies and attacks on living standards. George Osborne has already threatened an emergency budget which will hit ordinary people hard.
But it does not have to be this way. The Tories are weaker and more divided than they have ever been. It looks likely that an early General Election will have to be called when Cameron steps down. However people voted in the referendum, we now need to unite and take to the streets to demand an end to austerity policies, to stand up to anti-immigrant racism and show our solidarity with refugees and migrants.
This demonstration, called by the People’s Assembly and Stand Up to Racism, is the positive and united response to the political earthquake on 23 June.
We are not spectators while the Tories fall out. We must make ourselves participants in shaping the future.
We will not let racism grow; we demand an end to austerity

Matthew Caygill

Matthew Caygill talking about his research on The Dialectics of Liberation Congress of 1967 and the 1960s counter-culture earlier this year at the University of East Anglia

Obituary from Leeds SWP in Socialist Worker:

Last week, like many others on the Left, we were shocked and saddened to hear that the longstanding socialist activist and historian Matthew Caygill had unexpectedly passed away.

Matthew was committed to helping students and young workers think through ideas—particularly the ideas of socialism—and was a much-loved, inspiring, generous and dedicated lecturer in history and politics at what is now Leeds Beckett University, where he was vice chair of the UCU union branch and regularly organised annual student trips to Berlin.

Born in Barton upon Humber in Lincolnshire, Matthew joined the Socialist Workers Party in Leeds in 1977 as a postgraduate student after getting involved in the Southern Africa Solidarity Campaign. This had been initiated by the SWP in response to the Soweto uprising to help build the wider anti-apartheid movement.

During the 1980s, while working as a lecturer, Matthew played a leading role in Leeds SWP and was notable as an engaging public speaker. He was renowned for the time he took with young people, particularly students, in their political development. He would spend hours talking, listening, suggesting material to read and of course challenging their ideas. Throughout the 1980s, and especially after the miners’ strike, Matthew was instrumental in helping turn a generation of Leeds students into revolutionary Marxists.


During the 1990s Matthew drifted out of party activism and—after disagreement with the party’s analysis of globalisation—also membership of the organisation. But he always remained something of a critical “fellow traveller”, ever passionate about arguing and debating socialist politics as well as supporting the anti-racist, anti-capitalist and anti-war movements of recent years.

As a very cultured and extremely well-read Marxist thinker, Matthew helped edit Historical Materialism journal for a period, and played a leading role in shaping local political, cultural and historical groups in Leeds like Taking Soundings and the Ford-Maguire Society.

Matthew certainly took Marx’s motto “Doubt everything” to heart, but despite his general readiness to gently question what he saw as Leninist orthodoxies, he remained a friendly and jovial presence on the Left in Leeds.

He understood the importance of political organisation in the struggle for socialism, and commanded respect from a wide layer of people for the seriousness with which he took the project of building a socialist alternative to New Labour in initiatives like the Socialist Alliance and lately Left Unity.

A great lover of cinema, opera and the theatre, in recent years, Matthew had begun research on the 1960s counter-culture and New Left, and it is to be hoped that at least some of this might be published posthumously in some form.

His death is a very sad loss, particularly as his commitment to always trying to build unity on the left against racism and austerity will be so important in the coming period ahead.

Despite occasional differences, Matthew remained a dear comrade, mentor and great friend to many of us in the SWP.

He will long be fondly remembered for his dedication to education, his personal kindness and generosity, and for making a tremendous contribution to the local socialist movement in Leeds in many forms over very many years. Leeds SWP send our condolences to Matthew’s partner Juliet, and his family, friends and comrades.

Edited to add: Matthew’s funeral is on Friday 5 August at 11.40am, Lawnswood cemetery and crematorium, Otley Rd, Adel, LS16 6AH. 

Edited to also add:  Personal tribute from Liz Kitching, [Leeds Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate who stood against Hilary Benn in Leeds Central during the 2015 election]:

I met Matthew in 1987 when I became a student of Social Policy at the then Poly.  We quickly became friends – I met him really thru SWSS.  He read my first undergraduate essay and found it to be very “undergraduate” – what did he expect – I had only just arrived at uni!  But I was a mature student – already aged 30 so perhaps he expected more.  He was kind and always had time for me and my two little girls – Lisa and Lucy.  After marching on a demo around either student loans or Apartheid or the Poll Tax – he would take my girls off to Waterstones and treat them to a new book each and an ice cream.  He could put on a great party too – and I enjoyed many with him.  I am so very sad at Matthew’s passing, can’t really believe it.  R.I.P. dear comrade – you will be very missed and won’t be forgotten.  Liz Kitching xx

Where next after the EU Referendum?

Defy Tory rule - marching against austerity in June last year

Social change never comes without turmoil – we have to seize the time

Tuesday 5 July – support the NUT teachers strike – join the picket lines!

On Thursday 7 July, Leeds SWP are hosting a public meeting –

After the EU Referendum – where next for the fight against the Tories?

7pm, Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7 Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD – all welcome – come and join the discussion.

Thursday 14 July – Muhammad Ali – A fighter against racism and war – 7pm, Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7 Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD

Saturday 16 July – national demo called by Peoples Assembly and Stand Up to Racism – Tories out – migrants in! General Election now! London

Thursday 21 July – After Chilcot – what really happened in Iraq? 7pm, Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7 Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD


This weekend most of us are at Marxism 2016 – the final timetable is here to download: