Welsh actor Michael Sheen and Chartism history

This video from Wales says about itself:

From coal to gold, the Chartists

26 January 2013

In the year 1839, South Wales, United Kingdom, 5000 coal miners, under the Chartist movement, marched on Newport Gwent. Demanding democratic rights for the working class. 22 miners were shot dead in cold blood and many were injured. Today same thing is happening across the world, as the working class African gold miners are expected to support the capitalist infrastructure, working in atrocious conditions, yet they are shot dead with no respect for human life. Did the Chartists achieve anything?

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Sheen calls for radical revival as he retells Chartists‘ story

Tuesday 24th February 2015

WELSH film star Michael Sheen’s homage to the Chartists who staged an armed uprising in 1839 will hit the small screen tonight.

In his Valleys Rebellion documentary he follows the footsteps of the workers who marched on Newport in 1839 to demand the right to vote.

Mr Sheen cleared his Hollywood schedule to make the documentary after being infuriated by the destruction of the Newport mural celebrating their sacrifice.

He finds though, through conversations with the likes of Manic Street Preachers frontman James Dean Bradfield and Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood, that the Chartists’ spirit of radicalism lives on in politics and culture.

And he issues an impassioned plea for working people to find their voice again ahead of the general election.

“The best testament would be a living testament,” he says.

“That people look around at the issues facing Wales and think about what the Chartists did when they had no voice.

“They came together, acted together to force change if they weren’t going to be given change.”

Dorothy Thompson (1923-2011) was the foremost historian of Chartism. Over more than half a century of research, reflection and writing, she entirely transformed the way in which the movement was seen. Exploring for the first time the front-line participation of women and emphasising the importance of class consciousness in uniting working people, her book The Chartists was published in 1984. Yet Dorothy also wrote many essays and reviews about Chartism which are now difficult to find, or in the case of one major piece, never published. These writings have now been gathered together in a single volume The Dignity of Chartism, to be published by Verso Books: here.

6 thoughts on “Welsh actor Michael Sheen and Chartism history

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