The Radical History Network of North East London, hereafter RaHN, was formed in February 2006 and has generally met monthly ever since. It has participated in events like the Anarchist Bookfair every year and is related to others groups like that of South London . Essentially the group covers subjects that are “ local, topical or of special interest “. It is broadly libertarian socialist in outlook. Its slogan is “celebrate our hisory, avoid repeating our mistakes”, with an obvious meaning.
Those who formed the group or have been regular attenders ever since were members, ex members or fellow travellers of a miscellany of political organisations such as the Solidarity for workers power [Solid fwp], Haringey Trade Union Council, [HTUC], Haringey Solidarity Network [HSG], Socialist Workers Party [SWP ], Revolutionary Communist Group [RCG], Marxist Humanists [MH] and so on.
RaHN has always met at the Wood Green Labour Club, Stuart Crescent, , N 22., then after name change this became Wood Green Social Club. The RaHN room contains the RaHN wooden trunk and several tables on which we place the Book Exchange, notes of previous meetings, free leaflets, and books, booklets, badges and stickers,m and other publications for sale. We tried meeting in Tottenham for a period, but this proved unpopular.
It sees itself as a study type group. For each meeting notes are prepared and circulated and the meeting is usually set out in a circle of chairs round the tables etc, whether it is a speaker, video or what.. Politically it could be based on Antonio Gramsci’s Club of Moral Life, as a discussion group, rather than a substitute for a mass movement.
The question of funding came up early. Getting a lottery grant was discussed , but rejected for two reasons . Organisations dependent on external funds are venerable when the institution cuts , or threatens to cut, the money as many project found in the 1990s and we did not want this. Secondly the complexity of filing an application was anyway somewhat daunting . We have therefore depended on donations from organizations and individuals.
At the Anarchist Book Fair we have held meetings on Solidarity for workers power , The Subversive History of the NHS on its 60th Birthday, and Workers Councils. We put on a stall every year.
The heading of this history is taken mainly from the title of the comprehensive two volume book by Daniel Guerin [Guerin] It encompasses the need for a world without religion and churches, is anti capitalist using the terminology suggested by Noam Chomsky [Chomsky] , and encourages the powerful anti militarism that is growing so much in recent years. It is an expansion of libertarian philosophy that RaHN supports.