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With Banners Held High is back on the streets of Wakefield in 2022
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Event details
Sat, 14 May 2022 - 10:45 to 20:00

The Past We Inherit - a Green Future We Build

For the first time since 2019, With Banners Held High is back on the streets, with brass bands and banners, celebrating our collected inherited trade union history, and looking forward with samba rhythms to the future we must now build. 
With Banners Held High is back on the streets of Wakefield on Saturday 14 May with banners coming from trade union branches from across the region and beyond. Make sure your branch is coming with your banner.
We have arranged with the NUM for some of their fabulous historic NUM banners to be on display on the day in Wakefield Town Hall. Do come and see these art works of hopes for the future and collective history. 
Leading up to the main event we have an online festival fringe of workshops looking at how we make a Just Transition into the green future we need to build.

  • Saturday 7 May at 10.30am, we have a panel of trade union speakers, with academic and author Simon Pirani discussing Generating Energy for a Green Future. Chaired by Leeds TUC, with Simon Coop from Unite, Dave Berry and Ellen Robottom, and opportunities to ask questions.
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  • Monday 9 May at 7pm the workshop will be looking at Recycling, Repairing and Reengineering: Industrial Processes for the Circular Economy, with Fliss Premru of TSSA, and Peter Davies, GMB.
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  • Wednesday 11 May at 7pm, Wakefield TUC are hosting a fabulous panel of speakers from the UK and the Global South in Union Solidarity with the Global Majority Stephen Smellie UNISON will speak about going forward from COP26, with African panellists joining us as they prepare for COP27 in Egypt.
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  • Thursday 12 May at 7pm we get down on the buses again. Matthew Topham from the Better Buses campaign, Gaz Jackson from the RMT and Sara Bull, Youth Transport Campaigner discuss How to put the Public in Public Transport
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You'll be able to access recordings of all fringe workshops soon, including the Eco Education: teaching for a Zero Carbon Future workshop, which took place on Tuesday 3 May and Tackling Fuel Poverty through Retrofitting; let’s kickstart the region from Thursday 5 May.
On Friday night (13 May) we kick off the in-person events with an event at the Red Shed, Wakefield. Speaker Alfie Norris will be remembering the International Brigade and many of the Yorkshire volunteers in No Paseran. Afterwards we have Politico-Folk Comedy Ukele Musician, Isaac Hughes Dennis, with his blend of humour and folk.
The main event gathers at 10.45 on Saturday 14 May at Smyth Street near Westgate Station, to march with the Unite and RMT brass bands, march starting at 11.30.
On arrival at Wood Street, the main stage will be compered by Ian Clayton, with Chris Kitchen, National Secretary of the NUM starting proceedings. We have a fabulous line-up of speakers: Sarah Woolley, General Secretary of the bakers union; Daz Proctor, National Shipping Secretary of the RMT; Vicky Blake, President of the UCU; Jim Mowatt, Director of Education, Unite the Union;  Asad Rehman, Director of War on Want; Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Education Union / Suzanne Jeffrey Chair of the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group and Keith Venables of Health Campaigns Together.  
After the main speeches there is a choice: we have award-winning poet Simon Windop with his dash of defiance and humour, the wonderful Mookie and the Bab with their blend of Acoustic Indie Folk, before our friend Folk Punk Blues Activist, Jo Solo.
Along Wood Street will be a marketplace of campaign stalls and inside the Town Hall you can visit the NUM banners and take part in two in-person workshops. The first is a youth question time event with questions to trade union leaders and youth climate strikers, in the Kingswood Suite. Then in the Old Court Room, the Orgreave Truth & Justice campaign has brought together a panel of speakers for a workshop on the policing bill, Resistence is our Duty: we will not be silenced. Chairing will be Chris Peace, with Joe Rollin, Kate Flannery, Kevin Horne, Matt Foot, and Martha Foulds.

It should be great a day! Dust off your banners, check you have comrades and poles to carry them and come and join us With Banners Held High.

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