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Speaking about Minnie Lansbury at HMP Holloway

Janine will tell the story of one of Holloway prison’s former residents at this event to mark the seventh anniversary of the prison’s closure and promote proposals for a progressive Women’s Building in its place. Venue: entrance to HMP Holloway, … Read more

Poplar: the Borough that Fought Back and Won

RMT News Poplar

… and why it matters today By Janine Booth, published in RMT News. The two biggest employers in the east London borough of Poplar one hundred years were the railways and the docks. Our forerunner unions had plenty of members … Read more

Fallen Idol


after Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley   I met a bruised and smiling activist, elated, vindicated in their deed, who’d tossed into the harbour’s swell at Bristol the form of Portland stone to fishes feed Of one whose eight-foot statue’d … Read more

Us and Them

Peterloo monument, Manchester

A golden shovel based on the final stanza of The Mask of Anarchy by Percy Bysshe Shelley. They hold us down but still we rise, deference dies, we bite them down to size. Like Jayaben roars, we are the lions, … Read more

Info Panel: Remembering the Poplar Rates Rebellion

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This information panel (picture), written by Janine, has been posted by Tower Hamlets Council to accompany the newly-renovated Hale Street mural, which pays tribute to the Poplar councillors. The text is below. After the ‘Great War’, London’s East Enders lived … Read more

I, Minnie Lansbury

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At 3pm, Janine speaks on a panel about Minnie Lansbury and the Poplar rates rebellion in a seminar taking place immediately before the premiere of a new play on this subject at 5pm. Venue: RADA Studios, 16 Chenies Street, London … Read more

Poplar arrests centenary: lessons for today


Today (1 September 2021) is the centenary of the first arrests of Poplar’s rebel councillors.   More about this auspicious occasion and its relevance today in my article on Labour Hub.

Praise Without Pay’s …


A century ago, in August 1921, Labour Councillor Jack Wooster told crowds demonstrating in support of Poplar’s rebel councillors that “Sympathy without relief [the name back then for welfare benefits] is like mustard without beef”. —- Sympathy without relief is … Read more

Poeting for Locomotion no.1

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Watch this online event on Facebook here. Locomotion No. 1 Fundraiser – Bring it home… for good! Performing at the event: 6.00pm (BST) -6.05 – Tony Stowers (introduction about the benefit) 6.05-6.20 – Nazim Khan 6.20-6.40 – Singer of the … Read more

Poplar’s rates victory: Ten key points

Poplar march

One hundred years ago, a big movement grew in the east London borough of Poplar, headed by thirty councillors who went to prison rather than levy extortionate rates or cut services to the working-class population that elected them. ‘Poplarism’ won. … Read more

Equalising the Rates, Resisting the Cuts

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– a discussion and comparison of and commentary on tactics then and now – 1921 and 2021 One hundred years ago, the Labour council of the east London Borough of Poplar went to prison rather than inflict cuts or rate … Read more

Women of the Poplar rebellion

Poplar march

Published by Women’s Fightback 25, Winter/Spring 2021 Our story is set just after the first world war in Poplar, an east London borough with a population of 160,000 people crammed into the docklands in the bend of the River Thames … Read more

History Lessons


after Eventide by the Faith Brothers At the first opportunity, I dropped history – lists of dates of kings, queens and gilded greats, handed out from books by teachers who looked just as down about it as we felt. It … Read more

Throwing Stones in 2020

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After A Stone’s Throw Away by Paul Weller   News just in of last year’s protests starting again in Chile And hundreds of thousands massing in the city streets for women’s rights in Poland Burned-out squatters turning out in Johannesburg … Read more