women

The Minerva Café

The junction of High Holborn and Kingsway, circa 1925

A short history of the Minerva Cafe, a radical feminist centre in Holborn, London, in the early 20th century, by Nick Heath.

The rebel girl: an autobiography, my first life 1906-26

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn addresses strikers in Paterson, 1913

An epic firsthand account of women and the working class in the early years of the 20th century by Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. The fiery socialist and Industrial Workers of the World union organiser writes vividly of her early life.

The Iceland women’s strike, 1975

Women on strike in Reykjavik, 1975

A short history of the strike, or day off, by 90% of women in Iceland for equality with men on 24 October, 1975, written by Steven Johns.

Pepper to throw at fascists: the forgotten women of Cable Street

A woman is arrested during the Battle of Cable Street

As we commemorate the Battle of Cable Street, it's important to recognise the role women played – and their legacy today.

Mississippi's first labour union - Ken Lawrence

Washerwomen at work in 1910

A short account of the first trade union in Mississippi, which was created in 1866 by African-American washerwomen.

Workers' control in Latin America, 1930-1979 - Jonathan C Brown

Peruvian miners on strike, 2008

A series of essays investigating the everyday acts through which Latin American workers attempted to assert more control over work processes and thereby add dignity to their lives, during the mass working class struggles in the mid-20th century. We do not agree with the leftist nationalist perspective of some of the essays but reproduce them all for the historical information therein.

Sisterly solidarity - Pepita Carpena

Members of Mujeres Libres

Account by Pepita Carpena of the Spanish anarchist Mujeres Libres (Free Women) on how comrades helped her flee Spain after the victory of Franco's forces in 1939.

Let’s not abolish sex work. Let’s abolish all work - Laurie Penny

Sex workers demonstrate in India, 2012

To describe sex work as “a job like any other job” is only a positive reframing if you consider a “job” to be a good thing by definition.

The Prince Edward County school strike, 1951

Some of the school strikers, photographed in 1953

A short history of a school children's strike against against racist and substandard at Robert Russa Moton High School in Prince Edward County.

Solidarity forever: an oral history of the IWW - Stewart Bird, Dan Georgakas and Deborah Shaffer

Supporters of the Industrial Workers of the World parade in Hibbing, Minn. 1916

A fantastic oral history of the revolutionary Industrial Workers of the World union, based on interviews done for the award-winning documentary, The Wobblies (1979). Compiled by filmmakers Stewart Bird and academy-award-winning director Deborah Shaffer, with historical introductions to each section of interviews by labor historian Dan Georgakas.