Laura Miles

When race riots marred the streets of Britain

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A combination of racism, unemployment, housing shortages and post-war disillusion led to a series of terrible attacks on black communities following the end of the First World War. Laura Miles describes the events, and how the authorities either stood aside or blamed the victims.

A century ago, after four long years of war, Britain was on the brink of revolution. Strikes raged across the industrial heartlands such as Glasgow, Liverpool and Belfast. Martial law was declared to quell a revolt in Luton. But vicious race riots also erupted in several British ports, resulting in four people being killed and hundreds badly injured.

The war on trans

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Proposals aimed at enabling trans people to more easily transition have met with attacks from the right, and sadly parts of the left. Laura Miles argues that socialists must support the fightback.

Transgender Day of Remembrance on 20 November 2018 commemorated 369 trans people murdered globally that year. The 2017 figure was 325, itself an increase on 2016. These figures don’t cover the much higher numbers who took their own lives.

Revolt and Revolutions

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This year marks 50 years since the great French general strike when 800,000 students, teachers and workers marched through Paris; the explosion of the peace movement; the rise of an international student movement of revolt; anti-racist riots in US cities; and the Prague Spring.

This exhibition, mostly drawn from the Arts Council Collection, is of work by artists who have wanted to make a difference. It aims to capture aspects of counter-culture and resistance and to stimulate a sense of solidarity with past and present struggles.

The fight for transgender liberation

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Advances in sexual awareness are welcome, but transgender people still face terrible discrimination - and condemnation by some feminists. Laura Miles argues that unity against all forms of oppression is integral to the fight for sexual liberation.

Despite advances such as same sex marriage in a number of countries, hatred, bigotry and hostility to LGBT+ people continue to motivate some people. The US establishment may have expressed outrage at the Orlando massacre in a gay club in June, but over 30 US states still have no anti-discrimination protection for LGBT+ people.

Caitlyn Jenner: muddle on the left

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Just possibly readers of Socialist Review may not be acquainted with the Kardashians and so may also be unaware that one of the show’s participants, 1976 Olympic gold decathlete Bruce Jenner, now Caitlyn, has recently come out as transgender.

Millions have watched interviews and read articles about her transition and social media has been buzzing. Much reaction has been supportive, but some has been hostile.

Leslie Feinberg, 1949-2014

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A rich and passionate life dedicated to struggle and the fight for transgender liberation

Next to me on a bookshelf is a book which has had a profound influence on my life and thousands of others. Leslie Feinberg’s Transgender Warriors, published in 1996, is a unique piece of work — an examination of gender variant expression by people from the dawn of history to the present, written by a Marxist and setting out a materialist explanation for transphobia and homophobia.

Suffragette who opposed World War One

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Pankhurst under arrest

When the First World War broke out leaders of the suffragette movement, Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, supported the slaughter. But as Laura Miles and Sheila Hemingway show, Sylvia Pankhurst not only opposed the war but supported strikes and became a revolutionary socialist.

The experience of the wave of workers’ militancy before the First World War (known as the Great Unrest) and then the war itself transformed women’s rights campaigner Sylvia Pankhurst from radical suffragette to revolutionary socialist. It was a journey that would transform her politics, and relationships with her mother and sisters.

Not just toleration, liberation

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LGBT history month was launched after the scrapping of the Tories' Section 28 legislation. But, six years on, Tory cuts will hit LGBT people hard.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month was launched in 2005 in Britain to coincide with the abolition of the Tories' infamous Section 28 legislation.

No one was ever prosecuted under this very nasty piece of opportunistic homophobic legislation. However, the fact that Section 28 of the Tories' Local Government Act of 1988 made it illegal for local authorities to "promote" homosexuality (ie to treat it as acceptable) was sufficient to intimidate local authorities and force teachers to shy away from openly discussing LGBT issues with students or each other.

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