The Red Dagger

Wat Tyler, John Ball, Joanna Ferrour, the 1381 Peasant's Revolt and the City of London's weapons of mass destruction

Radical History Zone 2016 Poster
Live performance of poem by Heathcote Williams The Red Dagger: the symbol of the City of London's treachery and oppression, paraded about in plain sight for 700 years; but who noticed? A live performance of Heathcote Williams' epic poem depicting the origin of the infamous blade and detailing the depredations of the City of London over the last 650 years. Watch this performance

Revolution in Rojava: Strengths and Challenges

Syria, The Kurds,ISIS and the West

With Since the descent into civil war in Syria, revolutionary forces have seized control of the Kurdish region of Rojava. This talk aims to assess the strengths,challenges and vulnerabilities of the revolutionary project under way there. In terms of strengths, I will focus principally on four: (1) revolutionary discipline and the power of ideology; (2) consciousness-raising, collective mobilization, and assembly democracy; (3) gender emancipation; and (4) attempts to accommodate ethnic and […]

Hesitant Comrades

Hesitant Comrades is the first book to explore the actions and attitudes of the British working class towards the Irish Revolution of 1916–21.With sources ranging from newly discovered writings to reports of police spies, Geoffrey Bell brings to light new evidence. He shows how the leaders of British trade unions were complicit in Belfast loyalist sectarianism and he explores the troubled nature of the Labour Party's relations with its Irish community, and how the Bolsheviks criticised British […]

Ready for Revolution

The CNT Defense Committees in Barcelona 1933-38

By Agustín Guillamón
Translated by Paul Sharkey Morpheus: ‘I didn’t say it would be easy, Neo, I just said it would be the truth’ I remember seeing Frederica Montseny speak in Barcelona in 1986 for the 50th anniversary of the Spanish Revolution. I was on holiday with Ian Bone and our girlfriends and as we looked up at Montseny I remember Ian slagging her off and being a bit embarrassed that this ‘brave’ woman who must have been through so much was not getting the respect she deserved. Of course at the time I was a […]

Ukrainian Nationalism – a historical perspective

"DONETSK - SPLINTERING CITY. Founded by the Welsh capitalist John Hughes, the city's frequent changes of name - Hughesovka, Trotskya, Stalino, Donetsk - give some indication of its troubled history. Colin Thomas filmed there when it was still part of the Soviet Union, again when it became part of Ukraine and he returned once more in 2008 when its unease with Ukrainian nationalism was beginning to emerge. His book/DVD on the subject -"Dreaming a City" - is published by Y Lolfa. To include […]

Film Screening of Epiphany

Radical History Zone 2014 poster
Epiphany : directed by Suzy Gillett : produced by Ian Bone : 2013 Epiphany is a hybrid documentary evoking the Mystics and Anarchists of the English Revolution. Highlighting two little-known religious and political movements of the 1600s' Republic, The Fifth Monarchists and the Muggletons come to life in London as told by contemporary leading anarchists: Ian Bone and Martin Wright star as John Thurloe (Cromwell's spymaster) and Thomas Vennner. Venner led the only uprising through the city […]

The guillotine, knitting and terror…

So you think you know about the French Revolution?

A demonstration of the ‘humane’ guillotine
Introduction The last few years I have been playing word association games; asking people at work and at the pub to say the first thing that comes into their head about a particular historical event or figure. So typically the English Civil War carries mental images of 'laughing cavaliers', 'miserable roundheads' and blood-thirsty executions of kings, World War I produces 'mud, blood and barbed wire' and recently, PC Blakelock elicits 'brutal mob violence'. Of course some people and events […]

Why was Charles I executed?

armageddon
Justice, liberties and popular petitioning in 1648-49 The regicide of 1649 has often been presented by books, articles and TV dons as the result of religious beliefs related to the King's role as a 'Man of Blood', whose own blood must be shed to deliver England from the taint of killing and the fear of God's vengeance. However the evidence suggests a far more sophisticated political response rooted in the concepts of 'Justice and Liberties' displayed in both public and military petitions. […]