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’ […]

Black History Month 2020

Brecon slave trader plaque was removed, and a poem was penned!

During 2010, and during Black History Month no less, a plaque was quietly erected in the rural town of Brecon, Wales to commemorate the life of a slave trader and commander of the slave ship Hannibal without public consultation. African people were purchased by agents of The Royal African Company to undertake forced labour and childbearing as slaves for the accumulation of profit. In 1693 700 enslaved African women, men and children were forced below the decks of the Hannibal under the command […]

The Rise and Resistible fall of the NHS [postponed until further notice]

or NHS: Going, going, gone! or There is no God, bless the NHS

Since 2014 the Cartoon Action Theatre (CAT) have been performing short plays on the street and at events using a modern rhyming mummers' style, covering a diverse range of subjects including austerity, media bias, the arms trade, benefit sanctions, fracking, 'free trade' deals, the banksters, refugees, bus cuts and climate change. At this year's radical history festival they will be launching their new play on the creation of the National Health Service. CAT have also recently published a DIY […]

Angela Carter’s ‘Provincial Bohemia’

The counterculture in 1960s and 1970s Bristol and Bath

Front cover with a portrait of Angela Carter
Socialist and feminist novelist Angela Carter is one of the most acclaimed late-twentieth-century English writers, famous for short-story collections such as The Bloody Chamber and novels including Nights at the Circus and Wise Children. Angela Carter’s ‘Provincial Bohemia’ takes Carter’s life and work in Bristol (1961-1969) and Bath (1973-1976) as a starting point to explore the artistic, radical and experimental communities that flourished at that time. Newly recorded interviews and other […]

‘Secret and delicate sources’: UK Black Power and undercover policing [Postponed until further notice]

Black Power in Britain started in 1967, reached its apogee in 1971 and was in terminal decline by the mid-1970s. It was an expression of frustration, anger and – most importantly – resistance to the individual, institutional and state racism experienced by the postwar generation of black immigrants to Britain. The British state took the threat of Black Power very seriously, both at home and across the Commonwealth. When an international conference on Black Power took place in British […]

Antifa Benefit and BRHG Pamphlet Launch: Facing up to the Fascists

miscellaneous events 2019
This Saturday there’ll be post-election fun and games with a serious edge at this event – a fundraiser for Bristol Antifascists and the launch of a new BRHG pamphlet plus a seasonal knees-up – all in one night. It’s on Saturday 14th December, from 7.30pm, £3 suggested donation on the door, at The Plough, 223 Easton Road, Bristol, BS5 0EG – see Bristol Antifascists website and the FB event. The Bristol Radical History Group are asking their followers/supporters to come along at 7.30pm for the […]

This is Not a Drill

An Extinction Rebellion Handbook

By Clare Farrell, Alison Green, Sam Knights and William Skeaping (eds)
  Book review and discussion of Extinction Rebellion: This is Not a Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook, ed. by Clare Farrell et al. (London: Penguin, 2019). Question: Who was described as a ‘true feminist green revolutionary’ in October 2019? (answer at the end; no scrolling now…) ‘Run comrade, the old world is behind you!’ went one of the slogans in Paris 1968. This is still true, comrade, and, catastrophically, the old world of predatory capitalism is rearing up in front of us too. […]

Film screening: Reclaim The Streets: The Film

Screening time is approximate. Reclaim The Streets: The Film (various, c1998, 50 minutes) Reclaim The Streets was a prominent 1990’s network of collectives that organised mass street parties to transform the urban environment. RTS initially emerged from the road protest movement and sought to liberate spaces from car culture. Large anti-capitalist mobilisations included the takeover of London’s M41 Motorway in 1994, the J18 Carnival Against Capitalism of 1999 and May Day 2000, which saw maypole […]

Film screening: Who Bombed Judi Bari?

Screening time is approximate. Who Bombed Judi Bari? (2012, Mary Liz Thomson, 95 minutes) "This feature documentary filled with music, humor, and inspiration is a blueprint for activism in these more than urgent times. The Martin Luther King of the Redwoods, Judi Bari was an Earth First!er, AFL-CIO [American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations] and IWW labor organizer, radical feminist, world class orator, author of Timber Wars, fiddler and songwriter, fundraiser, mother […]

Film screenings on 1919

Screening time is approximate. On Level 2 of M Shed, we will be screening three films relating to the events of 1919: Tiger Bay Is My Home (early 1980s, Colin Prescod, 39 minutes) One of four films in Colin Prescod's 'Struggles for Black Community' series, Tiger Bay is my Home shows that in 19th century Cardiff as in other ports Black communities began with Black colonial seamen. The Tiger Bay community faced official, as well as everyday physical harassment, which culminated in race riots in […]