Find out about Armed forces strikes in World War 1, The Greenham Common Women’s Movement, Hillbilly Nationalists, The Land of Cokaygne, Spanish Civil war songs and Anarcho Syndicalists in the 1960s, in these talks filmed at 2013 Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Radical History Zone hosted by Bristol Radical History Group.
British armed forces’ strikes and mutinies in 1918-19: a radical history project for the anniversary of World War I
BRHG’s very own Roger Ball will kick off the afternoon with the conveniently forgotten history of British armed forces’ post WWI strikes and mutinies. Roger reveals how the mass refusal of troops across Europe included expressions of militant dissent in Britain. Such widespread revolt led to the collapse of the Allied invasion of Soviet Russia. The second part of the meeting will discuss what we can do to disrupt attempts by Cameron’s Tories to spin the 100th anniversary of the War’s outbreak next year. Never mind their flagging credentials; radical historians can start the resistance right here!
Running down Whitehall with a black flag: memories of anarchism in the 1960′s
Di Parkin was a revolutionary activist from the early 1960′s to the 1980′s. This talk focusses on her personal memories as an anarcho-syndicalist in the 1960′s and on records and interviews with other members of the Syndicalist Workers’ Federation (British section of the IWA) and its links to the Spanish CNT in exile in London.
Di recalls first-hand her journey towards the International Socialists and then anarchism, ‘disorderly demonstrations’, and attending meetings where she might encounter the likes of a Wobblie, a veteran of the Durutti column… or a police spy. “Viva La Revolucion, Viva El CNT!”
Film: Three minutes to midnight: the women’s anti-nuclear protest at Greenham Common
In 1984 the doomsday clock reached three minutes to midnight. This was the closest recorded time to global destruction, defined as imminence to nuclear war, since 1953. In 1981, 36 women calling themselves, ‘Women for Life on Earth,’ marched from South Wales to the military base at Greenham Common to protest against the positioning there of American controlled nuclear Cruise missiles. With reference to events staged in various locations, including Bristol and Bath, Elaine Titcombe will show the innovative ways women embraced their call for support, leading to the celebrated mass campaign that followed. 30 years since the protest was at its height, this is an opportunity to consider its legacy upon radical movements, particularly feminism.
Poor Man’s Heaven: the Land of Cokaygne and other utopian visions
In the face of a life defined by exploitation and suffering, the poor of the Middle Ages dreamed up a fantastical land where their sufferings were reversed; where people lived in idleness and plenty and the rich were barred.
In a popular song, The Land of Cokaygne, rivers ran with wine and milk, the houses were made of pasties and tarts, and animals ran around cooked and ready to eat.
From 14th-century Europe to 20th-century USA, this dream emerges in songs, poems, folk tales. But it wasn’t just a popular fantasy – the dream was linked to the culture and tensions of the times, and time and again rebels and heretics tried to turn dream into reality… Find out more in this great talk from Omasius Gorgut of Past Tense Publications.
Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power: Race, Class and Gender in the 60′s U.S.
This talk by Roger Ball is based upon a series of books that have recently appeared covering the hidden history of the white working class radical community groups who formed the ‘Rainbow Coalition’ with the Black Panthers, Young Lords, Native American and Japanese American revolutionary groups in 1969.
The white radical organisations comprised displaced ‘Southern’ white working class people who were challenging racism, sexism and capitalism from a class perspective in the deeply segregated cities of the North and East such as Chicago, Philadelphia and New York. The FBI operation to smash this alliance was launched three days after the first meeting in Chicago in 1969.
‘Libres’: Songs of the Spanish Revolution (Pilar Lopez)
Pilar Lopez’s performance about the Spanish Social Revolution of 1936 aims to draw inspiration from these amazing times, sharing the beauty and relevance of those events and making links with the rise of the Indignad@s movement and what’s currently happening in Spain.
“Libres” is a historical presentation which includes a concert and a lecture, story-telling and beautiful folk songs written and sung in those days as well as some of Pilar’s own. It brings alive the struggle of the 1930’s freedom fighters with music, images and poetry.