Down With The Fences! The Struggle For The Golbal Commons

    Ten days dedicated to places, spaces and environments that are owned by no one but are shared by all. As the world faces a wave of new enclosures, we examine the history of the commons, their enclosure and the resistance to private ownership, then and now. Speakers Include: Peter Linebaugh, George Caffentzis, Massimo De Angiles, Steve Poole and David Goldblatt. Click here to see the full programme of events.

Abolition Ale

To celebrate the Seven Stars' connections with Thomas Clarkson they have started selling Sharp's Abolition Ale. So why not drop in and try a pint? Bristol Radical History Group are helping to raise money for a new cast aluminum plaque for the front of The seven Stars. The pub has a unique place in world history because it was there that Clarkson began his research that would eventually lead to the abolition of the British slave trade, and late slavery itself. Look out for plaque fundraisers at […]

Stop the Gentrification of Central Bristol

Saturday 12th April: Protest Against Gentrification of Central Bristol 11.00am Albany Green, St. Pauls and 2.00pm Broadmead (Centre) Bristol is undergoing massive attacks on our free spaces and culture by property developers and their friends in the City Council. Across the city green spaces, pubs, clubs and amenities are being closed and sold off with little consultation with the communities affected. So if you oppose the... * Threat of closure of the clubs and pubs on Stokes Croft (Clockwork, […]

The history of Central France ~ making a start

Hi all So I left Bristol a few weeks ago to start a new life in France. I'm currently staying with friends who live in a large farmhouse close to the beautiful village of Montrésor, near the market town of Loches in Central France. Eventually I, and my partner, Sandra, will be buying a property in the department (37) - hopefully it will have enough land on which visitors will be able to camp when visiting ~ ideally we want to set up a few yurts and hold a number of small annual events. These […]

Stokes Croft Gentrification Alert!

Save Stokes Croft The clubs, pubs, cafés, squatted centres and artists’ studios of Stokes Croft have been the core of Bristol’s underground music and art scene for decades. This is the area that brought us Banksy, Roni Size, The Wild Bunch, Massive Attack, the famous Bristol club, free party and punk scene and all the other things that have made Bristol an exciting place to live since the 1960s. Now all this is under threat as Bristol City Council and property developers such as ‘Urban Creation’ […]

The Wicker Pirate

To publicize the 125th anniversary of the publication of Treasure Island the Long John Silver Trust have commissioned a wicker statue of Long John. This statue had its unveiling at Waterstones book shop in Bristol’s Galleries on Thursday 6th March (which happened to be World Book Day). The sculpture, by Stephen Froom of Wicked Willow, was unveiled by the Mayor of Bristol, some Waterstones’ pirates, Dumpling The Parrot (from JungleTalk) and yours truly. Helping us were pupils from Hanah More […]

Greetings from across the Atlantic

Dear Bristol Friends, The evening that I shared a platform with Richard Hart and spoke at one of your meetings last year was a high point of several weeks I spent in Britain. To see so many people interested in--and knowledgeable about--radical history was a thrill. I know of no equivalent to the BRHG in any city in the United States--not even in San Francisco, where I live, which has long had the reputation of being one of the strongest labor union towns in the country. Good luck in your many […]

English Abolition: The Movie

Amazing Grace a film directed by Michael Apted First Published In The New York Review Of Books Volume 52, Number 10, June 14, 2007. Reproduced by kind permission of the author. Two hundred years ago this spring, Britain ended its Atlantic slave trade, an event of immense importance, because the country then dominated the traffic in human beings. From the mid-1700s on, roughly half the captive Africans taken to the Americas had been transported in British ships. Ever since, Parliament's vote to […]

Seven Stars, Slavery and Freedom!

The frontispiece from Clarksons essay.
The Seven Stars pub in St Thomas Lane (next to the Fleece and Firkin) is without doubt a remarkable pub. It has survived the Blitz, post and pre war planners, new roads (such as Victoria Street) and all of the brewery ‘re-organisations’ and changes in fashion. It even lost the community that surrounded it, but it’s still there, a beacon on our past. The reason its survival is so important is due to one man, Thomas Clarkson, and if it wasn’t for Bristol Civic Society nobody would have been aware […]

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