Marxist. Trade Unionist. Socialist-feminist. Author. Poet. Speaker. Tutor. RMT ex-Exec. Workers' Liberty. Autie. Bi. PUFC fan.

Poplar's Rates Rebellion

The 1921 rebellion in Poplar, east London, when thirty Labour councillors went to prison rather than cut services or increase rates.
 

Poplar: the Borough that Fought Back and Won

Submitted by Janine on 3 March 2022 at 13:15

… 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 there. Their jobs involved long hours and low pay, but they were unionised, so they were fighting for, and winning, improvements.

Praise Without Pay's ...

Submitted by Janine on 8 August 2021 at 14:29

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".

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Sympathy without relief
is like mustard without beef
or lettuce without leaf

Poplar's rates victory: Ten key points

Submitted by Janine on 5 May 2021 at 09:21

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.

Why did Poplar win? Here are ten key points, which contain lessons for today.

'A Terrible Betrayal': the centenary of 'Black Friday'

Submitted by Janine on 4 April 2021 at 10:52

Published in Solidarity 588, 14 April 2021

Long before ‘Black Friday’ became the name for the first day of the Christmas shopping season, it was the name that the labour movement gave to the day on which trade union leaders inflicted a defeat on their own movement. It happened exactly one hundred years ago, on 15 April 1921.