Exhibition: Refusing to Kill

Bristol's World War I Conscientious Objectors

The exhibition ‘Refusing To Kill – Bristol’s World War 1 Conscientious Objectors‘ which was in Bristol Cathedral and the Central Library from September 2017 until February 2018 is in Bristol Archives from June 5th until July 14th. The exhibition tells the story of the almost 400 men from Bristol and the surrounding area who, for moral, religious or political reasons, refused to fight in World War 1. Alongside most of the material displayed previously, there will be new exhibits. These include […]

Film Showing: Make More Noise

The suffragettes in struggle

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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 […]

Swords Into Ploughshares, Arms To Renewables

miscellaneous 2018 poster
“To inflame the imagination of others” – that is the way shop steward convenor Mike Cooley saw the Lucas Aerospace Alternative Plan. The Plan had arisen out of the threat of massive redundancies at Lucas Aerospace in 1976 where half of its output depended on military contracts. Why, asked its workers, can’t we use our skills in creating socially useful products instead of making killing machines? And wouldn’t it make more sense spending money on things that society needed rather than on […]

History Walk 3: Degrees of Dissent: Bristol’s radical educational history, and what we can do to take learning back…

Bristol Radical History Festival 2018 Poster Light
Join collective bread, print & roses on a tour through Bristol’s radical past, present and future. Together we will bring to life the city’s dissenting history, its rich tradition of self-help and mutual aid, from the intellectual and political ferment of radical taverns, to pamphleteering, popular education collectives, the neo-liberal assault on education today and the radicalising impact of the UCU strike and ask what kind of education we need for all our futures.

Studio 1 & 2: Pressure Drop? What did the protests of ’68 achieve?

Bristol Radical History Festival 2018 Poster Light
Professor Bush offers a critical reassessment of the events of 1968 and their aftermath. He will look at May '68 in Paris in a broader context of global protest and changing narratives of political analysis and authentic action. He will give a brief account of his own experiences of the summer of 1968 at the Democratic Convention in Chicago, in the wake of the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy and Malcolm X. Thirdly, Professor Bush will examine a late echo of the sixties in the […]

Studio 2: Strikes, equal pay and workers’ control: the workplace in ’68

Bristol Radical History Festival 2018 Poster Light
    The events of 1968 are often represented by university occupations, protests against the war in Vietnam and the rise of the counter-culture. This however is a partial picture which excludes the aspirations of workers and their organisations in the period. Although action by Trade Unions was improving wages and conditions particularly in large industrial enterprises, the strength of these sections of the working class in Britain was being reflected in new, more radical demands. […]

Studio 1: On the run – Remembering the men who went away

Bristol Radical History Festival 2018 Poster Light
From the introduction of conscription in 1916 to the end of the war each year at least 80,000 men were reported missing as deserters or absentees from the British home forces. Among them was an unquantifiable number of men who identified themselves as Conscientious Objectors. Their stories of temporary or permanent escape are a part of the history of 1914-18 war resisters which has been largely ignored.

Studio 2: What I remember…memories of 1968

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Di Parkin, Secretary of Bristol Radical History Group shares her memories of 1968 from the Vietnam anti-war demonstrations and the women’s equal pay strike at Ford's Dagenham to the 'Prague spring', the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia and Enoch Powell’s 'rivers of blood' speech.

Performance Space: May 1968: From a Mod to a Marxist

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Born in 1951, Radical Stroud’s Stuart Butler recounts how the events of May '68 turned him from a mod into a Marxist. Stuart shares his personal journey during the year that rocked the world through prose-poetry. Prologue: Sixteen years’ old in the spring of 1968: bored with school; bored with A levels; why on earth did I stay on? Skint. Just got the sack from a Saturday job. No fags, no new records, no new clothes, no job, no money. Swindon have just had another rubbish season and now there’s […]

Studio 2: The Granary: Music in Bristol ‘68

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The Granary opened its doors as a jazz club in Bristol in 1968, establishing itself as a rock venue in 1969 when the collective Plastic Dog moved in. This session explores the Bristolian music scene, in a pioneering venue from the 60s to the 80s. From the tail-end of 1968 and into the Eighties the Old Granary in Bristol’s historic city docks became home to rock music and outrageously liberal attitudes. It is still remembered fondly by its acolytes. Al Read and Ed Newsom were part of a foursome […]

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