A History of Free Festivals: From the Wallies to the Battle of the Beanfield

Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Radical History Zone 2011 Poster
If you can remember them you just weren’t there. Now Wally Dean will help to fill in the gaps. Firm fixtures on the counter-cultural calendar since the 1960s, free festivals had their heyday between the first Glastonbury Festival in 1970 and the police ambush of the Stonehenge Festival convoy at the Battle of the Beanfield in 1985. However the spirit continued and was much revitalised by the early rave scene. Free festivals functioned as autonomous spaces in which to celebrate, resist and […]

Street Farming

Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Radical History Zone 2011 Poster
Peter Crump was a member of Street Farm, a London-based collective of anarchist architects and designers working in the early 1970s. They published Street Farmer, an underground paper that, alongside mutating tower blocks, cosmic tractors and sprouting one-way signs, put forward manifestos for the radical transformation of urban living. They offered a powerful vision of green cities in the control of ordinary people (and ordinary sheep), not capitalist, statist, socialist or any other kind of […]

The Anti-Vietnam War Movement

Life Before Thatcher
The student rebellion in America in 1968 was fuelled by revulsion against the Vietnam War. It gave momentum to previously existing anti-nuclear and anti-racist movements on the campuses. The difference between the anti-war movement then and now is that the students were being drafted to serve as junior officers in Vietnam. Mike Levine provides an eyewitness account of the student revolt illustrated by contemporary newspaper pictures. Roger surveys the hidden history of resistance to the war […]

US NOW – Popular Democracy And The Internet

To launch a month of events on the history of the struggle for democracy in Britain, Bristol Radical History Group and Bristol Indymedia bring together key writers, activists and controversial bloggers in a public debate about the impact the internet has had on the struggle for popular democracy. US NOW The evening includes the screening of the film US NOW which tells the stories of the online networks whose radical self-organising structures threaten to change the fabric of government forever. […]

The Enemy Without: Coal, Class & Climate

As a follow up to the history of the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike we consider the legacy of this momentous event and the environmental and social contradictions it has thrown up since. A panel of experts will talk about little known past struggles which transcended the current narrative of 'jobs versus environment' and debate contemporary struggles over energy and labour. As the eco-systemic crisis increases what is the future of coal? If there needs to be a move to a low carbon economy how do we work […]

John Gregory, Radical Poet

Bideford-born shoemaker, John Gregory (1831-1922) wrote poetry, was a pioneer trade unionist, socialist, peace activist and poet. Through his life and work it is possible to trace working-class political thought from Chartism through Radicalism to Socialism. Admired for his trade union work by Ernest Bevin and Ben Tillet and for his poetry by both Tennyson and H G Wells, the time has come for him to be rediscovered. Biographer Gerrard Sables talks about Gregory’s life, his works and his […]


Nowtopia: How pirate programmers, outlaw bicyclists, and guerilla gardeners are inventing the future today. Chris Carlsson, acclaimed author, activist and founder of the Critical Mass bicycling movement in San Francisco explains how, as capitalism continues its inexorable process of global enclosure, new practices are emerging that are redefining politics. People are taking back their time and technological know-how from the market in small under-the-radar ways, and in doing so are establishing […]

Gentrification In New York

Justice In The Barrio

Speaker - Juan The Movement for Justice in El Barrio (MJB) was founded in New York by immigrants and low-income people of color fighting back against the effects of neo-liberalism and discrimination in all of its forms. The organisation operates on a commitment to the ideals of self-determination, autonomy and participatory democracy emphasizing their connection to the Zapatista’s ‘Other Campaign’. Driven by multi-national corporations and profit-seeking landlords and facilitated by city […]

The Real England

Economic globalisation, an increasingly intrusive State and the power of consumerism are conspiring to scour the colour, character, independence and eccentricity from all corners of the English landscape and replace them with shopping malls, second homes, clone towns and executive apartments. Join author Paul Kingsnorth for a tour around a nation, which is beginning to fight back against this erasure of its history and character. Listen to this talk: Download Paul Kindsnorth's talk (1hr 20mins, […]

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