Refusing to Kill

Bristol's World War I conscientious objectors

Refusing to Kill front cover
Over 580 men from the Bristol area refused to fight in World War 1. They claimed the status of conscientious objector (CO) for moral, religious or political reasons. Some agreed to take non-military roles while others spent much of the war in prison, often under harsh conditions. This booklet and the exhibition on which it is based tell the story of these COs and the men and women who supported them. It also briefly considers COs in World War 2 as well as the position for present day members of […]

History Walk: Riots, Massacres and Reform 1700s-1832

miscellaneous events 2019
This 1.5 hour walk in the centre of Bristol takes us through a century of working class history, charting the path of the ‘crowd’ from the ‘moral economy’ of the 1700s, through the effects of the French Revolution to the Reform riots of 1831/2. So come and find out: Why Bristol merchants trembled if the Kingswood Colliers were in town How best to do ‘collective bargaining by riot’ What happened during the infamous Bristol Bridge massacre What a silver coin, some stolen hammers and a tricolour […]

Massive Attack: Out of the Comfort Zone

By Melissa Chemam
Just finished Massive Attack: Out of the Comfort Zone, courtesy of Tangent Books and Richard Jones. It's a detailed history of the band from the early eighties through to 2018 by French journalist, Melissa Chemam. The first half of the book, especially, really flies. The formation of the band in the eighties as the hard partying Wild Bunch sound system, cooking-up hip-hop, dub and soul in the punk-noir atmosphere of an eerily dark and violent inner city Bristol, the subsequent drift and collapse […]

The National Museum of Antigua and Barbuda

A Small Island Museum with a Big Story

  If you walk down Market Street in St. John’s, the capital of Antigua and Barbuda, you will come across a grand stone building that was once the court house and now known as the Old Court House. It was built in 1747 on the site of the first city market, and to its pride is the oldest building still in use in the city. The Old Court House was designed by prominent English-born architect, Peter Harrison and financed by a tax levied on Antigua’s slave owners. It has become the perfect home […]

Steps Against War

A history walk with puppets discovering untold stories of Bedminster people in the First World War

Otherstory puppetry will be leading a history walk with a difference on April 7th in Bedminster. The walk will use the medium of puppetry to tell the untold stories of Bedminster people who resisted the First World War, and who refused to kill. Otherstory have devised and organised the walk with local people and in collaboration with Remembering the Real World War 1 history group. The walk will start at the Tobacco Factory Cafe Bar and wind its way through Southville, along North Street and part […]

This Evil Thing

You can't force a man to murder against his will

Anyone who saw Michael Mears’ one-man show ‘This Evil Thing’ in Bristol Cathedral in October 2017 will know what a powerful piece of theatre it is. We are now pleased to present two new performances, linked to the Commemoration, Conflict & Conscience festival at the end of April. The two performances (3.30pm and 7.30pm) take place on Sunday April 21st – Easter Sunday in the atmospheric surroundings of the crypt of St John the Baptist Church, one of Bristol’s oldest medieval buildings. […]

Make Rojava Green Again

Building an Ecological Society

By Internationalist Commune of Rojava
The ‘Make Rojava Green Again’ campaign of the Internationalist Commune of Rojava began in early 2018. I am pleased and impressed that they have now published this inspirational book. That such a text is being produced is in itself an expression of hope. It is a most promising development in some of the least promising circumstances. The Internationalist Commune of Rojava rightly states that ‘the ecological crisis has become the most urgent challenge of our time because it touches and impacts all […]

The Edward Colston ‘corrective’ plaque

Sanitising an uncomfortable history

Introduction Just over a year ago a project was launched to research, design and install a ‘corrective’ plaque on the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol City Centre. It was claimed by the originator of the idea, Bristol City Council’s Principal Historic Environment Officer, that the new version was needed to stop the statue being damaged by unauthorised ‘protest plaques’. Several of these have been fixed to the statue over the last couple of years and removed by Bristol City Council. It […]

Mabel Tothill

Feminist, socialist, pacifist

Mabel Tothill Front Cover
June Hannam’s pamphlet examines the life and work of Mabel Tothill (1869 – 1964), Quaker peace campaigner, socialist and Bristol’s first woman councillor. It reveals how this committed social activist was part of a complex network of individuals and organisations working to improve the lives of Bristol women and men. As a campaigner for women’s suffrage and a stalwart of the Independent Labour Party, Mabel saw the causes of women and labour as intertwined. Her interest in education and desire to […]

These Dangerous Women

Two films on women who stood up for peace during and after the First World War

miscellaneous events 2019
Thursday's Child Best remembered as a suffragette, Sylvia Pankhurst was also a passionate supporter of the Russian revolution, a founder of the British Communist Party and a talented visual artist. Fighting for women to have the vote at the beginning of the century, she became a campaigner against colonialism in Africa after the Second World War. She dedicated her life to fighting oppression and injustice. Sylvia Pankhurst is played by Sharon Morgan and this programme, made for Channel Four, is […]

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