Hear Nigel Whiskin, George Lansbury's grandson talk about his grandfather...
In 1921 thirty Poplar councillors took their fight for fairer taxes and social justice for the impoverished people of their borough in London's East End to the point of being imprisoned for their stand. Using their words and some of the contemporary songs that local supporters went to sing to them outside the walls of Brixton Prison, this reading reflects on why they were gaoled, their experiences and the consequences of their actions. 'Prisons are hells' the councillors rapidly concluded. Nonetheless, as this video points out, the situation is in most respects much worse in 2021 at a time when the prison population is ten times that of a century earlier. Moreover, sentences are getting longer. In contrast, ingenious legal stratagems enabled the release of all the councillors, starting with the heavily pregnant Nellie Cressall, after some six weeks of incarceration. The victory of the Poplar councillors, whose courageous stand drew attention to the justice of their cause, was a key staging post in the emergence of Britain's welfare state.
The six new local history Art panels at Poplar DLR Station Arts Corner
commemorating local history. (Opened 30 November 2021)
Photographs courtesy of Aristedes Georgiou
See the six new Art panels at Poplar DLR Station commemorating local history. George Lansbury is seen here on the panel commemorating the
Poplar Rates Rebellion
The panels were 'opened' on Tuesday 30 November 2021 by the Artist David Bratby (of Hale Street Mural fame) and Sister Christine Frost from SPLASH (South Poplar & Limehouse Action For Secure Housing). The opening ribbon was cut by Tower Hamlets Mayor, John Biggs.
02 August 2021 - The Rates Rebellion in the Poplar LDN.
This local online publication carries the story. "The reason why we need to remember the Poplar Rates Rebellion." The item can be seen on their Website.
01 August 2021 - Article from The Observer... On the Sunday closest to the March to The High Court, some national press esposure for the Rebellion. See the Guardian Website.
24 July 2021 - The Rebellion in The Daily Mirror... A centrepage spread with quotes from Chris Sumner whose grandfather can be seen above in centre with the Mayor's chain of office.
It can be read on their website.