State Surveillance after the French Revolution [Postponed until further notice]

Government Surveillance in Peacetime: Home Office Spies, c.1800 (David Worrall) Government surveillance, using networks of spies and informers, were active both before and after the Napoleonic War (1793-1815). In the case of the Anabaptist, William Winterbotham, although in 1792 the country was still at peace, a spy was in place to intercept him on a West Country highway and lure him into seditious conversation. In the late 1810s and 1820s, when Britain was engaged in no major conflict, spies […]

Book Launch: Regicide or Revolution?

What Petitioners Wanted, September 1648 - February 1649

Miscellaneous Events 2020
The trial and execution of Charles I in 1649 has in the past been portrayed as the outcome of a crazed 'bloodlust' for revenge by supporters of parliament. This simplistic and dubious narrative obscures more than it reveals, and what is hidden by it is quite remarkable. Norah Carlin's new book Regicide or Revolution? What Petitioners Wanted, September 1648 - February 1649 is a collection and examination of the petitions from numerous units of the New Model Army and commoners around England in […]

Radical Culture

Discourse, Resistance and Surveillance, 1790-1820

By David Worrall
Worral's book concentrates on the period of the French revolution and the Napoleonic wars. The narrative is based mainly in London, and looks at those who wanted to replicate the French Revolution in Britain. The main thread looks at those who believed in the work of Thomas Spence, who has largely been ignored in the mainstream history books. Spence was an ultra-radical, who saw the main problems with British society in land ownership. He wanted common land ownership, on a corporate basis, but […]

Film showing – ‘The Last Clarion House’

A film about the Nelson Independent Labour Party Clarion House and its role in the struggles of suffragettes and conscientious objectors. The Clarion Cycling Club was formed in 1895 after a group of like-minded individuals got together in Birmingham in 1894. It took the Clarion name from Robert Blatchford’s socialist newspaper (20 minutes).

Film Showing: Make More Noise

The suffragettes in struggle

miscellaneous 2018 poster
This fascinating British Film Institute compilation of original footage highlights the passion and media savvy of the suffragettes in struggle, offering a fascinating portrait of British women during this time. “You have to make more noise than anybody else” said Emmeline Pankhurst. A special Bristol Radical History screening to mark the centenary of some women in Britain getting the vote, it will be introduced by Dawn Dyer, librarian at Bristol Central Library, who will provide a Bristol […]

Two rebel women

Florence Exten- Hann and Lilian Gertrude Wolfe. Interviewed by Sheila Rowbotham

I interviewed Florence Exten-Hann in March 1973 and this article appeared in the socialist feminist magazine Red Rag (no.3 1973). It draws also on notes she wrote about her life for a Workers’ Educational Association class in 1968. The original article was subsequently reproduced in a collection of my writings, Dreams and Dilemmas, Virago, 1983. I have modified it somewhat for clarity and added some new comments at the end. My article, ‘She Lived Her Politics’ first appeared in the anarchist […]

Hidden Voices: Black and Asian Women and the Suffrage Movements in Britain and America

Part of Bristol Women’s Voice, International Women’s Day Celebrations in Room 1P04, City Hall, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TR. Note: A crèche with two hour slots is available at the venue. Black and Asian women's involvement in the British Suffrage Movement is largely unknown. Similarly, in America, the story of black women's struggles for the vote was omitted from the triumphalist histories written at the time of enfranchisement in 1920. The talk explores my efforts to uncover these stories so […]

Talk and film night on the revolution in Rojava

Plan C report from the Democratic Confederation of Northern Syria

Members of Plan C, who have just returned from volunteering on civil projects in Rojava (the Democratic Confederation of Northern Syria) will be reporting back on Rojava and the wider Kurdish movement. The revolution is based on direct democracy, gender equality and ecology, and seeks to create a solidarity economy. How can we in the West learn from what is happening and offer our solidarity? Followed by question and answer session. We will also be screening some short films in tribute to Mehmet […]

History Walk 2: Riots, Massacres and Reform 1700s-1832

This 1.5 hour walk in the centre of Bristol takes us through a century of working class history, charting the path of the 'crowd' from the 'moral economy' of the 1700s, through the effects of the French Revolution to the 'Reform Riots' of 1831/2. So come and find out: Why Bristol merchants trembled if the Kingswood Colliers were in town How best to do 'collective bargaining by riot' What happened during the infamous Bristol Bridge massacre What a silver coin, some stolen hammers and a tricolour […]

Sylvia Pankhurst, ‘The Dreadnought’ and the ‘Great War’

During the First World War Sylvia Pankhurst’s newspaper, The Dreadnought was the most consistently anti-war publication. It not only opposed the global conflict but condemned the crushing of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland, supported the 1917 Russian Revolution and campaigned for a revolution in Britain. Professor Newsinger is the author of numerous books including The Blood Never Dried: A People’s History of the British Empire (2006), Fighting Back: The American Working Class in the 1930s […]