These ten moving and often funny short films document a proud 50 year history of campaigning, strikes, occupations, work ins and solidarity in the name of fair pay, decent jobs, and economic justice. The films are made up of interviews with key organisers, speaking about the tactics they used, what was successful, what wasn’t, and where they see the struggle for economic justice going today.
St Pancras Rent Strike 1960: Ken talks about his role in the St Pancras rent strike, tenants associations resisted rent increases by withholding their rents, and when some were threatened with eviction they barricades themselves inside their flats
Dagenham Equal Pay Strikes 1968 & 1984: Vera and Gwen joined their fellow machinists on 2 strikes at their Dagenham factory, demanding equal pay to their male colleagues. Their first strike garnered support for the equal pay act, but it wasn’t until 1984 that the women final won their own battle for equality.
The Miner’s Strike 1984 – 1985: Ann Scargill and Betty Cook were part of Women Against Pit Closures and played a pivotal role in supporting the miners strike. They talk about the role of women in the strike, and how they escalated their activities from support through organising community kitchens, to joining the picket lines.
The Poll Tax Rebellion 1989 – 1993: Tony helped create Tottenham Against the Poll Tax, he describes how his local community refused to pay the charge, battled the authorities and by 1993 had defeated this hated policy.
Liverpool Dockers Strike 1995 – 1998: Pauline helped build a Docker’s support group, and brought the tactics of the radical environmental group, Reclaim the Streets, to the solidarity group supporting the strike.
The Living Wage 2002 – 2007 (and ongoing): Clara talks about her role as an RMT organiser calling for the London Living Wage for Underground Cleaners. She talks about organising with a broad range of migrant workers from different backgrounds, countries and cultures. This uplifting interview tells of a successful union campaign that was built from the grassroots and led to a strike with 99.5% support from union members.
Occupy (London) 2011 – now: On 15 October 2011, 800 protests took place all around the world under the banner of ‘Occupy’ taking over public spaces, and protesting against an undemocratic political system that puts profit before people. In London, Josh and Venus lived at Occupy the London Stock Exchange at the foot of St Paul’s Cathedral. They talk about their experience, what Occupy achieved, and its situation in the wider historical movement for social justice.
Disabled People Against the Cuts & UK Uncut NOW: Andy green is in integral part of Disabled People Against the Cuts, who have been leading the fightback against cuts using creative civil disobedience such as blocking busy city junctions with their wheelchairs. The film also includes footage from Anna Walker of UK Uncut.