Back to index of Nerve 13 - Winter 2008


As Liverpool's Capital of Culture year draws to a close, our civic leaders have suddenly realised that all their '08' material will very soon be out of date. They want a new logo and a few ideas as well.
We've been through our Resistance Calendar to see what our city could celebrate next year. Here are a few of the anniversaries that you probably won't be hearing about:

1749 - The Liverpool slave ship Scipio is blown up off the West African coast. Some insurgents clearly believed that when it came to slavery, prevention was better than cure.

1819 - Liverpool's first Orange march is held on 12 July. It is chased off the streets by an Irish community who are having none of it. This is before the mass influx of Irish come to Liverpool to escape the Great Famine thirty years later.

PCB protest in Bootle1879 - Over 10,000 dockers and seamen strike for three weeks over a 10% reduction in wages. In the absence of an effective union, mass meetings take place daily at the Pier Head.

1889 - Major strike by now-unionised seamen and dockers leads a national dispute.

1909 - The Anarchist-Communist Sunday School distributes leaflets denouncing Empire Day as...well...imperialist. The struggle of the suffragettes is in full swing and women protesters are force-fed in Walton jail when they go on hunger strike.

1919 - Massive upheavals as those returning from World War I realise that their land is not 'fit for heroes' after all. A magistrate reads the Riot Act from on top of a tank on Scotland Road as Liverpool police go on strike and 955 officers lose their jobs. The mood is not all for revolution: Charles Wootton, a black ships fireman from Bermuda, is chased by a white mob and drowns in Queens Dock.

1939 - A young Brendan Behan is caught trying to blow up a battleship in Liverpool harbour. He becomes a 'borstal boy' and the rest is literary history.

Paul Robeson in Lord Street1949 - Paul Robeson visits Liverpool. No less than 10,000 people turn out on war-damaged Lord Street to hear him sing.

1969 - The first national Fords strike shuts down Halewood. John Lennon returns his MBE to Buckingham Palace in protest at Britain's support for America in the Vietnam war.

1979 - Widespread national strike action brings down the Labour government. One Liverpool highlight is a week-long grave-diggers strike. The city has its first women’s 'Reclaim the Night' march and its first Gay Pride festival.

1989 - Liverpool inmates lead a three-day protest against atrocious conditions at Risley prison. The Gifford inquiry reports on 'uniquely horrific' racism in the city. After the Hillsborough stadium disaster the Sun newspaper is boycotted to this day. The Bootle community supports dockers who refuse to handle a toxic PCB (Polychlorinated biphenyl) cargo from Canada. Building brigade workers go out to help the Nicaraguan revolution.

1999 - Protests mount against luxury flats in Princes Park and the Garden Festival site. Black community leaders denounce the City Council's half-baked apology for the slave trade.

Here's hoping we can in years to come say a few good things about 2009….

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