State Snooping: Spooks, Cops and Double Agents

State Snooping front Covers. I man's face split in two, ha;f copper, half crusty activist.
Elizabeth I claimed that she had “no desire to open windows into men’s souls” while seeking to do just that. This pamphlet traces the way British governments have been snooping into the lives of its citizens ever since, culminating in the recent insidious Spy Cops Bill. State Snooping: Spooks, Cops and Double Agents, is the 51st in our series of BRHG pamphlets. It's the latest by one of our regular authors Colin Thomas. You can buy the pamphlet here for £3.00 inc p&p. State Snooping provides […]

Countering Colston comment on the first hearing of the Colston 4

Today, the 25 January 2021 four people, Rhian Graham, 29, Milo Ponsford, 25, Jake Skuse, 32, and Sage Willoughby, 21, will appear at Bristol Magistrates Court charged with causing criminal damage to the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol City Centre during a Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest on 7 June 2020. The BLM demonstration attracted thousands of protestors. These four young people were selected out of a crowd of hundreds who cheered as the statue of Edward Colston, a leading organiser and […]

Eastville Workhouse Memorial Group – Final Accounts

Eastville Workhouse map 1880
Eastville Workhouse Memorial Group (EWMG) was formed in 2014 after a public meeting with residents of Eastville and Greenbank in East Bristol. The primary aim of the group was to research and publish the names and details of the inmates from Eastville Workhouse who were buried in unmarked pauper graves at Rosemary Green. Information on the more than 4,000 burials was published in 2015 and is available on this website. In the two days after its release more than 3,000 people down loaded the data. […]

The Forest of Dean Miners’ Riot of 1831

Forest Of Dean Miners' Strike 1831 Front Cover
  The Forest of Dean uprising of 1831 received scant attention from historians before 1975 when Chris Fisher started researching the subject as part of his MA in history studies at the University of Warwick. His MA dissertation was the first thorough study of the riot and is up to now unpublished. BRHG decided to publish it in its original form as we believe that it provides an alternative and critical insight into the events surrounding 1831. Fisher argues that the Forest of Dean Riot of […]

Bristol – Hot spot of resistance to World War One

An excellent new book Communities of Resistance has just been published which takes a systematic look at the networks of war resisters connected to conscientious objectors in World War One. Based upon a nationwide survey of COs it appears Bristol was a hot spot of war resistance as the author, Cyril Pearce, explains: The work which has resulted in this new book, Communities of Resistance, began almost twenty years ago in a study of the 1914-1918 anti-war movement in Cyril Pearce's home town of […]

Book Bloc

In November 2010 Italian students demonstrating against Berlusconi’s education reforms introduced the concept of the Book Bloc for the first time. There was no irony intended, rather a statement of intent made concrete. It was saying to Berlusconi that if you make cuts that take away our books we will make our own books and turn them into weapons against your police enforcers who will be faced on the streets of Rome with Plato’s Republic, A Thousand Plateaus, Moby Dick, Don Quixote, Petronius’ […]

Benign Force? – The Society of Merchant Venturers

Shielded by their Royal Charter of 1552, the Society of Merchant Venturers (SMV) helped shape Bristol’s past and present, but will they shape the city’s future? Regarded today as the doyen of Bristol’s charities, this undemocratic, unelected club for wealthy business(men), is guardian to a goodly proportion of Bristol’s schools and university, presenting itself as an innocuous force for good. Others are convinced that the SMV are outdated and outmoded. The Charter was granted at the time of a […]

Bristol History Commission – questions still not answered….

On 4th August Bristol Radical History Group sent a letter supported by the Remembering the Real World War One history group and Countering-Colston to the Mayor’s office concerning the Bristol History Commission (HC) which was set up by the elected Mayor Marvin Rees in response to the statue of Edward Colston being pulled down on 7th June. In the interests of transparency in the public domain and in the light of other recently failed projects the letter asked the Mayor for systematic answers to […]

Thug

In the cabinet in M-Shed dedicated to the Reform Act uprising of 1831 are displayed two objects roughly tubular and of similar length that represent the extent of the uprising and the brutality with which it was put down. One is an arm bone that belonged to one of those who died when the Customs House in Queens Square was liberated and then torched. Peter MacDonald in his book ‘Hotheads and Heroes’ described the scene thus: just as the roof fell in a man toppled out of the end window and crashed […]

Bristol History Commission – some questions….

In the aftermath of the pulling down of the statue of slave-trader Edward Colston on 7th June, elected Mayor Marvin Rees announced the formation of a 'History Commission' to "help us tell our full city history" and to "shape the future of Bristol". Since the announcement we have waited for some clarity about the Commission, its members, processes, timescales and remit but none have appeared. Several people have asked questions of the Mayor's Office but received no answers (as yet). As Bristol […]