Wednesday, April 6, 2011

May Day 2011 & 30th Anniversary of Brighton Unemployed Workers Centre

In 1981, at the height of Thatcher’s monetarist experiment, a group of unemployed activists, the Trades Council and WEA formed Brighton Unemployed Centre.  We were then located in a small building in Coalbrook Road, a small street on the Freshfield Industrial Estate, which has now been demolished to make way for a bingo hall!  Since then the Centre has been involved in many campaigns, struggles and strikes, especially the Miners Strike of 1984-5 and on one notable occasion the National Front attacked the building with bricks and stones but were nonetheless repulsed.
In 1985 we moved to Tilbury Place near the town centre and in 1999 the Centre moved into its present premises in Hollingdean. 
To celebrate our 30th anniversary we are holding a number of events.
Ø   On May 2nd we are jointly organising May Day celebrations with the Trades Council from 1.00-5.00 at Hollingdean Community Centre, Thompson Road.  There will be speakers from unions and campaigns. There will also be face painting, stalls, food and music from Mike Terry.
Ø   On Saturday June 11th @ 7.30 p.m. there will be a folk gig starring Will Kaufman, an academic who interprets Woody Guthrie songs, who has produced a documentary Hard Times and Hard Travelling.
Ø   On Wednesday June 15th @ 7.00 p.m. we are holding a celebration 3 course dinner at the Red Cottage Restaurant, 6B Queens Road, Brighton BN1 3WA (near the Clock Tower). 
Tickets for the Kaufman gig are £4 concessions, £7 waged and £10 solidarity price.  Tickets for the dinner are £20 each or £35 for a couple, children half price.  On sale at BUC or (  01273 540717.
30 years after we were founded we are still faced with mass unemployment and now a wholesale attempt to destroy the welfare state.  We have survived despite attempts by the then New Labour Council to prevent the Centre opening in Hollngdean by denying us planning permission.
We would also like to appeal to you for financial contributions towards the cost of May Day.  Cheques should be made payable to ‘Brighton Unemployed Workers Centre’.   
Tony Greenstein
Secretary  -  Brighton Unemployed Centre

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