Announcing the DemO 2012 schedule – an odyssey of working class self-organising, temporary autonomous and unautonomous zones, oppression, liberation and revolution…
The wait is over, and we have five confirmed dates for the Democracy Outside tour, and each of them is, in one way or another, a landmark date in the history of government, democracy, and power-holding and decision-making.
16 June: Bristol
Join us in Bristol on the anniversary of the 1836 founding of the London Working Men’s Association. Out of the LWA came the Chartist movement, a working class campaign for democracy and political reform that had 6 main demands:
- universal male suffrage;
- a secret ballot;
- no property qualification for members of Parliament;
- pay members of Parliament (so poor men could serve);
- constituencies of equal size;
- annual elections for Parliament.
They don’t sound so radical now, but despite a petition that attracted ‘millions’ of signatures the Chartist’s demands were not met outright, though many of them were incorporated in later parliamentary reform acts. So that’s alright then! This is also the day that, in 1958, the leaders of the 1956 Hungarian popular uprising against the Communist Party government were executed.
30 June: Brighton
The Brighton performance falls on the day that, in 1997, the Hong Kong turned from a colony into a Special Administrative Region (a semi-autonomous zone which after 50 years will become part of China proper) when sovereignty of the territory was transferred from Great Britain to China. The Democratic Party of Hong Kong refused to join the Provisional Legislative Council as they would not take part in what they felt was a sham democracy, and so were excluded from the first post-handover legislative council. Ironically June 30 is also the anniversary of Congo becoming independent from Belgium in 1960, under its first Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba.
12 July: Leeds
Celebrate with the disabled rights activists of Change in Leeds on the anniversary of the first flying of the Aboriginal Australian flag in Adelaide in 1971. This is also the day that, in 1789, French revolutionary journalist Camille Desmoulins made a speech that started the ferment that led to the storming of the Bastille on 14 July – the event that really kicked off the French Revolution…
14 July: Hebden Bridge
Sisters and brothers – join us in storming Hebden Bridge on the anniversary of the 1789 Storming of The Bastille! Sadly this day is also the anniversary of the Nazi government in 1933 in Germany passing a law banning the establishment of new political parties, effectively making the Nazi Party the only legal party in Germany.
21 July: Manchester
And finally, help us wrap up Democracy Outside’s 2012 tour 76 years to the day after the birth of Revolutionary Catalonia, the autonomous region of Spain held by anarchists and socialists at the start of the Spanish Civil War, which lasted through two and half years of terrible struggle, and constant battle against right-wing and government forces. The story of Anarchist Catalonia has inspired many who believe that it’s possible for women and men to work to bring about an equal, fair and just society free of dictatorship.
The problem with historic dates is that we always interpret history through the biases, lenses, and hopes and fears of the present. But we can still be inspired and enraged, and ultimately learn from the things that have gone before.
So join in with Democracy Outside when it comes to a town near you, and let’s explore a new way of doing politics together!
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