2014 is the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.
In line with Bristol’s long radical traditions we want to ensure that there are events locally remembering the reality of this war. The British government plans to spend £55 million on it’s own commemoration plans. Comments from David Cameron calling for a ‘truly national commemoration’ stressing our ‘national spirit’ suggest what he has in mind. He has even compared the government’s plans with last year’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
For the majority of people in Europe, whether directly involved or not, the war was one of the greatest disasters of the twentieth century. A war fought for the interests of the European ruling elites whose price was paid by ordinary people. Already historians like Max Hastings have begun to argue that this was a war that had to be fought against German militarism and the costs in human life and destruction were worth paying. In contrast, radical historians have begun to uncover a multitude of both individual and mass forms of resistance to the war on all sides of the national divides.
We cannot allow this centenary to become an opportunity for our government to re-habilitate this war in particular or war in general. In many other places across the country there are plans to ensure that attention is given to the real causes and effects of the war, We plan to help facilitate the same in Bristol. We want to encourage the widest possible range and number of events – meetings, music, theatre, film, exhibitions etc. The involvement of a wide spectrum of people and groups will ensure a greater cross-fertilisation of ideas. We hope to reach the widest audience possible.
This website will be regularly updated with local events and stories. Also links to other websites with information about the real World War 1.