Strikes and riots

British servicemen in 1919

“We want out” - Bristol and the British armed forces strikes of January 1919 Roger Ball The massive wave of discontent which swept through the British armed forces at the end of World War One remains a hidden history, hardly mentioned by establishment historians or regimental records. Beginning first in France and Belgium in December 1918 and then crossing to mainland Britain the following month, strikes and protests spread rapidly through the Army, Navy and even into the Flying Corps. The […]

[Cancelled] History walk 2: Romantic, Radical and…Reactionary

Bristol Green Capital or Green Capitol?

Update 11/10/2019 Unfortunately, Molly is currently unwell so it is unlikely that this walk will go ahead tomorrow.   This walk explores how ideas of the environment have evolved in the modern imagination. Once described by Marx as the ‘third worst city in England’, Bristol has evolved to be a magnet for environmental activists and contemporary good-lifers. What can the city’s history tell us about environmental struggles, including the right to public green space, the waxing and waning of […]

Back to the land

Personal reflections on green and community politics in the 1970s

In 1973 Kath Holden helped found a small commune based on a 135-acre dairy farm in West Wales. She went on to become a smallholder in the same area and disputed her entitlement to common grazing with local farmers, recalling earlier struggles for common-land rights. Later in the decade she volunteered on a farm in the USA, which offered sanctuary for people with mental health difficulties recovering from being in hospital. Inspired by these experiences, she went on to work on one of the earliest […]

Red Notes Choir performance

Catch the Red Notes Choir, who will support the Bristol Radical History Festival by performing on the Ground Floor by the M Shed main entrance. The Red Notes Choir is a Bristol-based socialist choir. They have a repertoire of songs from around the world on historical, union, peace, green and human rights themes.

Bridport 1919

Conflict and tensions in a small industrial town in West Dorset

At the start of World War One Bridport was essentially a one industry town: rope and net making. The war brought opportunities to the town but also challenged paternalist employers with a revival of trade unionism and state pressure to improve low wages. With the Armistice, the sense of a collective national interest on the home front began to ebb away revealing long-standing as well as new tensions in the town. This talk explores the origins of these tensions in the war years and the range of […]

Film screening: Reclaim The Streets: The Film

Screening time is approximate. Reclaim The Streets: The Film (various, c1998, 50 minutes) Reclaim The Streets was a prominent 1990’s network of collectives that organised mass street parties to transform the urban environment. RTS initially emerged from the road protest movement and sought to liberate spaces from car culture. Large anti-capitalist mobilisations included the takeover of London’s M41 Motorway in 1994, the J18 Carnival Against Capitalism of 1999 and May Day 2000, which saw maypole […]

(Repeat) Talk on Regional Radical Press in Britain 1968-88 exhibition

Repeat of talk first given at 12 noon

Prof. Steve Poole (UWE Bristol) will give an overview of the Recovering the Regional Radical Press in Britain 1968-88 project, highlighting the publications in the exhibition on Level 2. "From the late sixties to the mid-eighties, small, co-operatively produced local and neighbourhood papers played an important role in grassroots radical politics across the British Isles. Some achieved passing prominence with occasional news scoops, but most are unremembered now and their history is overlooked. […]

Environmental activism in the 1980s and 1990s

Panel discussion

The present-day ecology movement emerged among the new social movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Its immediate influences were varied. They included the Aldermaston marches of the late 1950s and the impact of the ‘Earth Rise’ photograph taken during the Apollo 11 Moon landing of 1969. The ideas of writers such as Rachel Carson (Silent Spring,1962), E. F. Schumacher, Murray Bookchin and others were also inspirational. In 1972 the ecology movement found early political expression in the PEOPLE […]

A people’s history of poetry

Highlights from Stage Invasion: Poetry & the Spoken Word Renaissance

Hot-foot from Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Bristol’s Pete Bearder will be sharing perspectives on the radical history of performance poetry, based on his recent performance work. His ground-breaking new book Stage Invasion: Poetry & the Spoken Word Renaissance: ‘Explores the unwritten history, science and skill of spoken word and answers some strangely under-explored questions: What is the history of performance poetry in the UK? How does emotional contagion happen in live literature? What has […]

Film screening: Who Bombed Judi Bari?

Screening time is approximate. Who Bombed Judi Bari? (2012, Mary Liz Thomson, 95 minutes) "This feature documentary filled with music, humor, and inspiration is a blueprint for activism in these more than urgent times. The Martin Luther King of the Redwoods, Judi Bari was an Earth First!er, AFL-CIO [American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations] and IWW labor organizer, radical feminist, world class orator, author of Timber Wars, fiddler and songwriter, fundraiser, mother […]

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