Stolen Paradise: the post-war squatting movement in Bristol

During the summer of 1946, thousands of British families took the law into their own hands to temporarily solve their housing problems by "requisitioning" empty military camps. This mass-squatting movement was rapid, spontaneous and entirely working-class in character. While it was often driven at ground level by women, the movement soon developed a formal leadership structure dominated by ex-servicemen who had served as NCOs and warrant officers. Bristol, with particularly acute housing […]

Hughesovka and the New Russia

From Wales To Ukraine

  Here is the history of one Ukraine town, a microcosm of Russia, before its independence in 1991. Hughesovka, (later Stalino and Donestk) was a mining and steel town founded in the 1870s by Welsh entrepreneur John Hughes and seventy Welsh workers. This three part TV documentary directed by Colin Thomas and presented by Gwyn Williams and first broadcast in 1991 as a series of 30 minute programmes on BBC2. This documentary won the Best Documentary BAFTA Cymru, 1991 award. Watch a trailer for […]

‘A Black life lived large’ – Pearl Prescod, 1920-1966, Caribbean/British actor, singer, activist

The arrival of the Empire Windrush, which docked in Tilbury in June 1948, bringing 492 migrants from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other islands was part of the large scale migration of British Commonwealth citizens from the Caribbean that lasted until the 1962 Commonwealth Immigration Act instituted racist controls on their entry to the UK. The Empire Windrush and the 'Windrush generation', as they have been labelled, particularly since the scandal exposed in 2018, are now becoming part of […]

The Spycops scandal from 1968 to present

the long road to hold those responsible to account

Our panel of speakers will address the scandal of the Spycops, the hitherto secret operations of undercover cops spying inside labour and social movements since 1968. Since the scandal became public knowledge in late 2010 with the exposure of Mark Kennedy, activists have traced and identified numerous #spycops along with their true and false identities. They have exposed some of their law-breaking activities; internal cover-ups; and coercion of numerous innocent, mainly women activists, into […]

Politics and Protest: Posters from the Women’s Liberation Movement 1970-2000

We are pleased to host this exhibition at the BRHFestival 2022 on 14th May at Mshed. You can view the exhibition from 10am to 4pm, at the Level 2 foyer, inside Mshed. Talk - 2pm at the Level 2 Foyer, Sue Tate, a trustee from the Feminist Archive South, will give a talk about the exhibition, and answer any questions. About the exhibition: Politics and Protest is a dynamic, colourful and inspiring exhibition of 70+ posters selected from Feminist Archive South's collection of over 1000. It was […]

Everyone’s Wally

Biographical documentary on Wally Hope of the tribe of Wallies who founded the Stonehenge Free Festivals in the 1970s. His is a tale of mystical visions, pharmaceutically induced nightmares, high court high jinx, pitch battles with the police and of possible conspiracy and intrigue. Narrated by Mark Savage and featuring Mark Stevenson, James Joel Dann, and Christopher Terry (62 mins). Followed by Q&A with Wally Dean. Watch the trailer below:  

‘Secret and delicate sources’: UK Black Power and undercover policing

Black Power in Britain started in 1967, reached its apogee in 1971 and was in terminal decline by the mid-1970s. It was an expression of frustration, anger and – most importantly – resistance to the individual, institutional and state racism experienced by the postwar generation of black immigrants to Britain. The British state took the threat of Black Power very seriously, both at home and across the Commonwealth. When an international conference on Black Power took place in British […]

Why didn’t the reforming Labour government of 1945-51 abolish the death penalty?

Individual Labour MPs such as Sidney Silverman were significant to campaigning for abolition of the death penalty in Britain and the Labour Party was more hospitable to the idea of abolition than the Conservatives. Nevertheless, despite passing the reformist Criminal Justice Act in 1948 the Labour Government was opposed to abolishing the death penalty, which did not happen in Britain until 1965. This talk will explore why the death penalty was not abolished in 1948. It will also examine how […]

Angela Carter and the Bristol counterculture

A radical history walk in Clifton and Hotwells

  Steve Hunt of Bristol Radical History Group will lead a stroll around some old haunts associated with Angela Carter and the 1960s and 1970s counterculture. Join Steve to reimagine the area around Hotwells and Clifton when it was a hotbed of what Angela Carter called "Provincial Bohemia." Angela Carter is widely appreciated as one of the most creative and engaging English writers of the late Twentieth Century, being author of such bestsellers as The Bloody Chamber, Nights at the Circus and […]

Blacklisting and corporate surveillance

Corporations and police working hand in hand

Blacklisted - the whole story (2016, 45minutes, Tom Wood/Reel News) This film is an account of the system of blacklisting operated by the UK construction industry. It includes interviews with blacklisted workers and members of the Blacklist Support Group, along with footage from protests & pickets, as the blacklisted workers fight for truth and justice. It describes how the industry operated a secret blacklist - via The Consulting Association - to prevent workers, who would make an issue of […]