Author and activist Seán Mitchell will be launching his latest book, "Struggle or Starve: Working-Class Unity in Belfast's 1932 Outdoor Relief Riots".
In October 1932, the streets of Belfast were gripped by vicious and widespread rioting that lasted the best part of a week. Thousands of unarmed demonstrators fought extended pitched battles against heavily-armed police. Unemployed workers and, indeed, whole working-class communities, dug trenches and built barricades to hold off the police assault. The event became known as the Outdoor Relief Riot - one of very few instances in which class sympathy managed to trump sectarian loyalties in a city famous for its divisions.
Struggle or Starve is the first book-length study of these events. Based on archive research and first-hand accounts, it tells a tale that has been forgotten and sidelined by both Irish Nationalist and Unionist historiography, but which provides essential lessons if unified working-class politics are to displace sectarianism today.