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out of date.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.
- 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 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
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….