Spirit of 1868

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Commissioned by the Mechanics Centre Trust to celebrate the founding of the TUC and 150 years of union struggle.

In 1868 workers were fighting for union recognition, the end of casual labour, and improvements in working conditions.

Sounds familiar?

In the 150 years since, the trade union movement has led the fight for workers’ rights. The 8-hour day, health and safety at work, equality in the workplace… Spirit of 1868 celebrates them all!

Exhilarating folk, blues, punk and reggae rhythms drive the stories of workers from all walks of life, standing together in solidarity across a century and a half of picket lines and protests.

No other cultural workers that I can think of in Britain have for so long and so consistently and with such moving artistry expressed the humour, culture, aspirations and politics of the working class.”  Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, GFTU

A brilliant mix of music, film, humour and politics. It’s a terrific way of reminding us why we need to keep angry, keep organising and keep fighting”. Jon Berry, Secretary, St Albans TUC

“Incredible! Taught me so much about the history of trade unions, opened my eyes to the importance of solidarity internationally too. Humbled by those before us”. NEU Student Member

“Absolutely fantastic! Really, really enjoyed it! Music was amazing. Showed the power of trade unions over the years.” Ellie Clarke, NEU Student Member

“Strengthened my views and made the fire in my belly stronger to fight the fight for all”. Martin Shaw, Care Assistant, Bolton

“Absolutely loved it. Reinforced my belief we stand on the shoulders of giants.” Jo Pitchford, GMB

 Spirit of 1868 – A stirring dramatisation of some of the struggles, protests and moments of resistance that shaped our past and our present!

Touring from 2 June 2018

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