The London transport women workers' strike, 1918 - Ken Weller

A short history of the partially successful wildcat strike of women workers in London's public transport network during World War I for a war bonus payment and equal pay with men.

As World War I progressed, thousands of jobs normally done by men were taken over by women, and nowhere was this process more marked than in public transport.

Class justice in 1920

A short account of the attack on the anarchist speaker Sydney Hanson

The bus conductor and anarchist Sydney Albert Hanson had just delivered a fiery speech in Hammersmith Grove in April 1920 and started walking home with his wife and child. Hammersmith Grove had long been a site for anarchist meetings. James Tochatti had his shop around the corner and had influenced many local workers towards anarchist-communism.

The unemployed struggle in West Ham in the 1900s

Cunningham, front left

A short history of the unemployed agitation in West Ham and the Triangle Camp events

The first decade of the 20th century was devastating for the British working class with rising unemployment. In 1902 with the demobilisation of soldiers after the Boer War there was a surge in the number of unemployed.

'Don't be a soldier!' The radical anti-war movement in north London 1914-1918 - Ken Weller

Antiwar demonstration in Trafalgar Square, 1914

Ken Weller of Solidarity's excellent and detailed historical account of working class opposition to World War I in North London, which offers a snapshot of the anti-war movement nationally.

Digitised by, December 2012.

Editorial - Looting, arson and organisation

Originally published in September 2011.

As a magazine we have always tried to published commentary on current affairs in movement politics, as well as allowing for undogmatic, critical reflection and debate. Recently this has been particularly challenging; a pattern has emerged for the Shift team over the last year. It goes like this.

Insurrection and a conservative revolution: some thoughts on the recent riots - Raphael Schlembach

Raph Schlembach looks at the London riots and the absence of any Left presence. Originally published in September 2011.

1. What if there was a riot and we weren’t invited?

The question sums up the dilemma that an undogmatic and autonomous left has battled with since the riots and looting that started in Tottenham early last August.

Housing speculation, student debt, fees and dispossession; a 21st century love story - Communique concerning UCL Stratford

An article from the website of The Imaginary Party exposing the relationships between tuition fees, rents, student debt, university funding, and private equity funds, in the context of UCL's £1bn plans to dispossess the 300 residents of the Carpenters Estate in Stratford in order to build "profitable" student housing units.

There are several questions we have all been asking over these last few years. Where will we live? How will we be able to afford such expensive rent in London? How will we find jobs that pay enough to enjoy ourselves and live in comfort? When will we pay back our student debt? How?

IWW John Lewis cleaners win pay rise

Cleaners at contractor ICM working in John Lewis stores in London, who are members of the Industrial Workers of the World revolutionary union, have won a 9% backdated pay rise following them balloting for strike action.

Outsourced John Lewis cleaners have won an immediate and backdated 9% pay rise following their pledge of industrial action. The increase, backdated 5 months, takes their pay to £6.72 per hour at three central London sites, and £6.50 at one outer London site. Supervisors will now get £8.00 per hour and £7.84 respectively.

Once upon a time there was a place called Nothing Hill Gate…

A personal account covering 20 years of working class history in Notting Hill, including the Carnival, the 1987 riot and the conflicts on All Saints Road. Published by BM Blob in the spring of 1988.


The following is a personal account covering a more or less twenty-year period in Notting Hill Gate (also called North Kensington and colloquially known as "The Gate".) It is sketchy here but detailed there focusing, on the main event: the Notting Hill Carnival, particularly the 1987 riot and the years of conflict on All Saints Road.

Diary of Margaret Woods during the 1926 General Strike

Diary account from a schoolgirl during the 1926 General Strike which is largely critical but reproduced for reference.

Tuesday 4th May.