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Tuesday Meeting: Disruption and control: Contesting mobility regimes through the picket line in 1970s Britain with Diarmaid Kelliher by Zoom on 18 July at 7.00pm
18 July 2023 @ 19:00 - 20:30
Through an account of the relationship between picket lines and drivers in Britain, this talk thinks about questions of mobility in labour history.
It focuses on three moments in this period. First, the 1972 miners’ strike, when interactions between pickets and hauliers produced moments of powerful solidarity but also violent conflict.
Second, debates around a legislative proposal to require drivers to stop and listen to pickets, in which contrasting conceptions of mobility ‘rights’ were employed.
Third, the 1979 road haulage strike, which demonstrated drivers’ own ability to disrupt the economy through picketing. At stake in all three was a question of power over movement. Such a focus draws attention to complex methods of control, which can be missing in labour histories that emphasise the purely disruptive nature of industrial action and picketing.
Diarmaid is a Lecturer in Human Geography in the School of Geographical & Earth Sciences at the University of Galsgow.