fidel_birthday"On Saturday 14th August 2010, RATB (Manchester Branch), held a stall to celebrate


Fidel's 84th Birthday. With this in mind we put a framed photo of Fidel in his prime on our stall along with a large poster-size birthday card on display and invited members of the public to add their signatures to it. It was amazing how many people came up to the stall wanting to sign his card and send greetings to this great warrior including many young people. Red, blue and white balloons in the colours of the Cuban flag along with special revolutionary music and recorded speeches by Fidel added to the occasion.  Educational and enlightening speeches on the megaphone from another comrade were excellent and many people just sat nearby in the sun listening to what he had to say.

Viva Fidel"

26jul2009man2Manchester RATB celebrated the weekend of 26 de Julio (26th July Movement 1953) by holding a couple of events on both the Saturday and the Sunday. This important event marks the key date when Fidel Castro and his comrades attacked Moncado Barracks in Santiago and the Bayamo Barracks in Oriente, Cuba. Although the attack failed at the time, it was instrumental in the birth of the Cuban Revolution in 1959.

On the afternoon of Saturday 25th July, there was a film showing about Fidel Castro, entitled ‘Moments with Fidel’. Fidel Castro played a pivotal role in the 26 de Julio Movement which was to launch the Cuban Revolution six years later. Before the film was shown, one of RATB comrades, Keith, gave a very informative introduction to the film tracing the political history of Cuba and demonstrating that Cuba has always been involved in struggles against various forms of imperialism and colonisation. From 1492, when Christopher Columbus first arrived on the island, up until the Batista regime and the changes in Cuban society pre-and post 1959 Revolution. The film itself displayed the enormous support for the Cuban Revolution by the Cuban people which was accompanied with dynamic speeches from Fidel through the years. It highlighted the key issues as to why Cuba is still hated today by the US and other imperialist interests. The fact that Cuba has become an ideological threat rather than a military threat. Approximately 13 people attended the afternoon event.

man_cuban_5_2On Saturday 11 October 2008 supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and Rock Around the Blockade in Manchester held an event in Piccadilly Gardens in the city centre of Manchester to celebrate the life of Che Guevara. Speakers pointed out that forty one years after his death his ideas of socialism are more relevant than ever as the crisis of capitalism lurches forward and banks are collapsing in most of the major imperialist countries. We also collected signatures on petitions calling for the release of the Cuban 5 who have now spent more than 10 years incarcerated in the US prison system purly for attempting to stop terrorist attacks sponsored by the US on Cuba.

brigade_report_2-2009On Saturday the 9 May Rock Around the Blockade in Manchester held a dayschool to celebrate 50 years of the Cuban revolution.

The event was attended by around 40 people who stayed the whole day.

The dayschool started with 3 comrades just back from RATB's brigade to Cuba, talking about their impressions and experiences of two weeks intensive activity in Revolutionary Cuba. A common theme was how people are involved at all levels of society.

The next speaker was Helen Yaffe who talked about how she researched the material for her newly published book, Che Guevara - The Economics of Revolution.

glas3On Sunday 1 April, Rock Around the Blockade activists from Scotland held a fundraising comedy night to raise material aid for a ‘Workshop of Transformation’ street art project in Havana, Cuba.

‘Stand up for Cuba!’ saw several top local comedians perform to the 50 or so people who had forgone Scotland’s World Cup qualifier to come to Maggie May’s and help support the Cuban Revolution.

Compere Sian Bevan got the gig underway, followed by Niall Browne, Hamilton funny-man John Gavin and Elaine Malcolmson. Against a backdrop of a giant Che banner, Cuba and Venezuela flags, headliner Billy Kirkwood tore up the stage with a great set to end the evening.

frfispeakingtouThe London meeting of the Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! Speaking Tour event organised by the Revolutionary Communist Group took place on Saturday 18 October 2009 at Bolivar Hall, London. The day school consisted of two discussions: one on Socialist Cuba and ALBA; the other on the capitalist crisis and imperialism.

The speaker on Cuba provided an in-depth analysis of how Cuba survived periods of economic crisis, without betraying its socialist principles and welfare-based development model. Measures taken during Cuba's Special Period and in the current crisis demonstrate how in practice the socialist alternative to the destruction and brutality unleashed during crises under capitalism. The discussion also assessed the building of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) as a barrier to imperialist domination and capital penetration from the US and Europe and highlighted the importance of the Bank of ALBA, and the new virtual currency, the SUCRE, which will be launched early next year for ALBA trade.


On Sunday July 26, celebrating the 56th year since the attack on Moncada Barracks that sparked Cuba ’s revolutionary movement and the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, Rebel Music (Rock Around the Blockade) in collaboration with the Ecuadorian Movement in the UK (MERU) and the Tawantinsuyu Movement hosted a party in the best Latin American tradition. 'Cuba Fiesta' was attended by over 60 guests with music from DJ Dave, the Cultural Movement Amigo Artista and from Bolivia the artist Paxtzy Coca and adorned with an art display, called ‘public opinion’, by Bolivian artist Marcelo Duchen Rodriguez.
Altogether, it was a fantastic celebration where people danced to Cuban rhythms, like Guantanamera, danced the conga and sang the most emotive song that reminds us of the power of the revolution: Che Guevara - Hasta Siempre Comandante. We look forward to many celebrations together in the future.

brigadereportmar2009On Wednesday 20th May 2009, 60 people crowded into a room at LSE to hear six Londoners talk about their participation in the recent Rock around the Blockade solidarity brigade to Cuba. It was named La Brigada del Cinquenta Anniversario, in recognition of the fact that it was lucky enough to be visit Cuba during the 50th anniversary of the revolution. For all but one of the brigadistas, it had been their first trip to Cuba and at Wednesday’s meeting they formed a young, dynamic panel of speakers who each had something different to report on. Areas discussed included democracy in Cuba, education, agriculture, and a report of the international conference for the Cuban 5, which welcomed delegates from around the globe, and at which RATB gave a short speech. There were also video clips - an interesting testimony to the experiences described -including a moving clip of the Mayday parade in Havana, an important and massive day of celebration in Cuba. 


On 26 July 2008 RATB held a successful live music event in Brixton, south London, to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the Moncada attack, the spark of the Cuban Revolution.

Cuban Jamm at Brixton a great success

The skies were clear and the Sun shone like the great star that it is. The venue was the Jamm, 261 Brixton Road, London. The event was a Cuban fiesta organized by Rock Around the Blockade in solidarity with Cuba and celebrating 55 years since Fidel Castro and his revolutionary rebels attacked the Moncada Barracks, sparking the Cuban Revolution. Supporters of the event were the Revolutionary Communist Group, the RMT trade union, Movement of Ecuadorians in the UK and the Marti-Maceo Cultural Organisation of Cubans in Great Britain.