The Good Old Cause: Moments of wonder and betrayal in the English Revolution (1640-49)

Brecht Forum, 451 West Street (between Bank & Bethune Streets, New York, NY 10014 Phone: (212) 242-4201 - Email: brechtforum at Despite the cheerleading you may have seen in the media about the Diamond Jubilee of the British Monarch, a wave of nausea and apathy, rather than nationalism has suffused 'Albion' of late. Echoes of the English Revolution of the 1640s still haunt the British Royals; an historic event which led to the first modern popular Republic and culminated in […]


Winstanley – Andrew Mollo & Kevin Brownlow, UK / 1975 / 95 mins / cert 1 Join us and the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Collective for this screening of a restored version of this important film from 1975. In the run up to the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair on 12 September, this film evokes some of the earliest examples of anarchist thought and practice. Indeed the occupations by the Diggers have been described by some as the first anarcho-communist revolution in history. The context of the film […]

Leon Rosselson And Robb Johnson The Liberty Tree

Tickets available in advance from: Bristol Ticket Shop 26 Union Street Broadmead, BS1 2DP Tel: 0117 929 9008 Legendary protest singer Leon Rosselson celebrates his fiftieth year in music with a special performance with songwriter/activist Robb Johnson. The Liberty Tree is an evening of contemporary songs reflecting the revolutionary ideas of Thomas Paine. These were influenced by the American War of Independence and were to have a huge effect on the French Revolution and the fight for modern […]

Who The Hell Is Thomas Paine?

On the 200th anniversary of Paine’s death, Peter Clark explains the contemporary importance of his writings that were so influential in the revolutionary ferment of the late 18th Century. Paine redefined the nature of political discourse with his ground-breaking views on human rights, democracy, the open society, racial equality, women's rights and the welfare state. Clark questions why this great British thinker is fêted in France and the United States yet remains a prophet without fortune in […]

Welcome To A World Of Paine

Come and celebrate the life of one of Britain’s greatest yet least known radical thinkers, Thomas Paine. Under the light of the full moon, join us in toasting the memory of this hero of the French and American revolutions with stories round the bonfire, cider, pikes and guillotines. Dress: Fancy and French, Attitude: Seditious. Download an A4 poster for this event (1.2 MB jpeg file).

English Republicanism

Radicalism, Monarchy And The Lost Liberties Of Anglo-Saxon Egland 1790-1820 - Steve Poole Although the English Jacobins of the 1790s were frequently characterised by their enemies as Republican followers of Tom Paine, in reality many of them could only commit to following Paine so far. The Rights of Man were all very well as long as they could be advocated without dumping long standing and cherished beliefs in an anglo-saxon golden age of elected chieftans and voluntary association - historical […]

Spectres Of Violence

Thomas Paine, George Cruikshank And The Age Of Reason

The aim of this talk is to take a fresh look at the image of Britain’s first Public Enemy Number One: Thomas Paine. From the 1790s onwards, Paine’s political and religious writings symbolized everything that the British establishment feared about radical ideas and the rise of the ‘common’ reader. Paine ensured his terrorist credentials with the publication of the Rights of Man (1791-2), but this talk will focus on his other massively subversive book, Age of Reason (1795), a study in ‘infidel’ […]

Regicide And The English Revolution

The Tyrannicide Brief - Geoffrey Robertson Renowned human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC examines the first trial of a head of state - Charles I, and how this groundbreaking moment in history opened the way for the trials of Augusto Pinochet, Slobodan Milosevic, and Saddam Hussein. Robertson became a barrister in 1973 and a QC in 1988. His became well known acting for the defence in the celebrated English criminal trials of Oz, Gay News, the 'ABC Trial', The Romans in Britain (the […]


Based on the 1962 David Caute novel Comrade Jacob. This film deals with some of the life story of the 17th Century revolutionary and writer Gerard Winstanley, who, along with a small band of followers known as The Diggers tried to establish a self-sufficient farming community on common land at St. George's Hill near Cobham in Surrey (wikipedia). Directed by Andrew Mollo and Kevin Brownlow, this is a true masterpiece of British Independent Cinema. The talent of these two film makers […]

Author’s Choice: Mike Jay

Britain is in the grip of a divisive war on terror. The government is forcing through new emergency powers to imprison suspected terrorists without trial. Dissent is spilling on to the streets, where popular opposition to the war is suppressed with violence. Secret intelligence sources whisper of a vast international terror conspiracy. The year is 1798, and Colonel Edward Marcus Despard is shortly to become the last man sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered for high treason. Despard's […]