The inaugural event of the MeCCSA Social Movements Network Generations of Protest: Marxism Matters? took place on the 20th and 21st of November 2013 at De Montfort University. It was supported by the Social Movements Network and the Media Discourse Group.
The conference represents an attempt to move beyond descriptive analysis to explore concepts and practices, and asks what social movement and media scholarship can offer to activism and protest.
Keynote speakers included Dr Pollyanna Ruiz (LSE), Dr Kaitlynn Mendes (De Montfort), Professor Des Freedman (Goldsmiths), Professor John Downey (Loughborough), and Professor Peter Golding (Northumbria).
Papers covered a wide range of topics, including papers on Occupy and the ‘Anarchist Turn’, the Stokes Crofts ‘Riots’, theories of Citizen Journalism and Active Citizenship, Activism and Democracy in Spain, the Mediation of Protest, the Slutwalk phenomenon, and many other topics.
On the second day of the Conference, we organised a set of presentations on Memory and Ideology in the Spanish Civil War, including contributions by Professor David Deacon (Loughborough), Professor Stuart Price (DMU), Dr Ruth Sanz-Sabido (CCCU), and by Lee Solomon, who recounted his memories of the life and work of the trade unionist and International Brigader Jack Jones.
The event also featured two roundtable discussions with activists, covering debates on contemporary political activism and post-abundance politics and industrial collapse.