The first is Struggle or Starve by Seán Mitchell who is People Before Profit North-South Coordinator . It tells the story of working class unity in Belfast’s 1932 Outdoor Relief Riots.
In October 1932 the streets of Belfast were gripped by rioting. Railing at the indignity of the state’s ‘relief’ programmes of poverty pay and hard out door labour, thousands of unarmed demonstrators fought pitched battles against heavily armed police. The event became know as the Outdoor Relif Riot – one of the very few instances in which class sympathy trumped sectarian loyalties in a city known for its division.
Through archival research and first hand accounts Seán Mitchell recovers this inspiring episode in working class history. As renowned socialist film maker, Ken Loach, has said ‘This is an important story to tell…An inspiration to unite again in today’s struggles’.
The second is Lenin for Today by Socialist Worker editor, John Molyneux. A hundred years after the Russian Revolution Lenin remains a world figure of immense stature. But in Lenin For Today Molyneux goes beyond that.
He rejects the conventional view that Lenin had a manipulative attitude to working people and thus paved the way for Stalinism. Instead, as capitalism staggers from crisis to crisis and careers towards climate catastrophe, he presents a sustained argument that Lenin’s main ideas – on workers’ revolution, opposing imperialism and war, overthrowing the state, the need for party organisation and the fight against all forms of oppression – remain relevant today.
He calls for a renewal and development of Leninism, through interaction with popular struggle, as essential for preventing capitalism’s descent into barbarism.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD calls it ‘A vital book for socialists today. It explains the crucial lessons from Lenin and the Russian Revolution and applies them to the 21st century’.