The Kaiser’s Black Guards

The 1915 South Wales Miners’ Strike

One hundred years ago, on July 15, 1915, two hundred thousand Welsh miners launched a strike for higher pay. Their coal was powering the Royal Navy in the midst of a world war. The miners defied the coalowners, the government, the law, the king and their own leaders. Why? And what lessons, if any, can be learnt for today? Robert Griffiths is a labour historian and currently General Secretary of the Communist Party.

Cultures of solidarity and the 1984-85 miners’ strike

Radical History Zone 2015 Poster
All Out! Dancing in Dulais! tells the story of London Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, a group which twinned with a mining community in South Wales. The inspiration for the recent film Pride, it is one of many examples of grassroots film-making during the 1984-5 British miners' strike. After watching the documentary, we will discuss the broad range of solidarity activism during one of the most significant strikes in British labour history: trade unionists, feminists, black activists and […]

Strikers, Hobblers, Conchies & Reds

A Radical History of Bristol, 1880-1939

Strikers, Hobblers, Conchies & Reds front cover
This book can be bought from breviarystuff.org.uk. In the 1970s and 80s a revival of interest emerged in researching Bristol’s vigorous radical past, reflected in the publications of the Bristol branch of the Historical Association and Bristol Broadsides. This revival has continued, echoed in the more recent historical studies that have advanced the work of filling in Bristol’s remarkable past — especially the involvement of the Bristol women’s movement in the nineteenth century in anti-slavery […]

Central Labour College

A Chapter in the History of Adult Working-class

By W.W.Craik
Written by William Craik a railway guard who got kicked out of Ruskin College, Oxford and was then the principal of the CLC in the early 1920s The Central Labour College schooled a whole generation of the brightest workers mainly from the mines and railways of Britain between 1909 and 1929. It was formed by the dissident students who had been thrown out of Ruskin college following a strike (see Colin Waugh ‘Plebs’ ISSN 0459-2026). The CLC was housed initially in Oxford until the University […]

Going Through The Change!

The 1984/5 Miners’ strike changed their lives and for the feisty Women Against Pit Closures there was “No Going Back!” Anne-Marie Sweeney’s film Going Through the Change!, made for National Women Against Pit Closures (NWAPC), shows a fearless, feisty movement that has reverberated throughout the struggles of working-class women over the past 30 years. Not confined to the miners’ strike of 1984-85, the film reveals how members of WAPC have never stopped supporting other women in solidarity. The […]

United We Stand Coming To Bristol

United We Stand Flyer Font
Townsend Productions are bringing their play United We Stand to Bristol's Bierkeller Theater on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th February 2015. The story follows Ricky Tomlinson and Des Warren from the 1971 builders' strike through to their subsequent convictions. Both humerous and moving the play examines the reasons behind the strike and considers why the Conservative government and building companies wanted revenge on the successful strikers. With a very creative use of only two actors and […]

United We Stand

The South Gloucestershire Division of the NUT is promoting performances of United We Stand ( ), a play about the case of the Shrewsbury 24, in Bristol. In 1972 tens of thousands of building workers won the first national strike in the industry for better pay and conditions. 'Flying pickets left the contractors reeling. The Tory government and the large building companies wanted revenge, and the 'Shrewsbury 24' were put on trial in the following year. 'Townsend Productions' new play, UNITED WE […]

Finally Got The News

Documentary about the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, a radical black workers' group based in the car factories of Detroit. Through interviews with members, supporters and opponents as well as footage of leafleting and picket lines, the film documents their attempts to build a radical black workers' organisation to take on both management and the union and fight to improve conditions for all workers, black and white. Libcom.org

Bristol Independent Labour Party

Men, Women and the Opposition to War

#31 Bristol ILP Front Cover
During World War One a significant minority of women and men throughout the country took part in a peace movement. They demanded the democratic control of foreign policy, a negotiated peace and a just, non-punitive settlement at the end of the conflict. They also joined with the wider labour movement to oppose conscription. The nature of the anti-war movement, its leadership and the alliances made varied from city to city. In Bristol it was socialists of the Independent Labour Party who provided […]