As the ultra-right tries to spread its message of hate, Colin Thomas reminds us that we have been here before. This is how the Anti-Nazi League and Rock Against Racism resisted the National Front in Bristol in the 1970s and 80s – and won.
Peter Harper coined the term ‘Alternative Technology’ in 1972 and became Head of Innovation at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT). During the mid-1970s, he co-edited Radical Technology, a compendium of ideas for sustainable living. Many of these ideas were showcased at local Comtek (Community Technology) events in Bath, a pioneering national celebration of innovation rolled into lively 1970's pop festivals. "Technology and innovation bring many benefits. They also bring harms, risks and […]
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 […]
Sad news that Graham Caine of Street Farm and the Bristol Gnomes died on 19th September. As well as being the Street Farmer who designed and lived in the first ecological house, Graham was responsible for distinctive Bristolian 'Gnomework' such as St Werburghs City Farm Café and the 'Gnome House’ in Boiling Wells. Graham was a great representative of the 1968 generation and spoke passionately of how the events in Paris 1968 inspired him in England. Meeting fellow Street Farmers Peter Crump and […]
In April we hosted Black Star: Britain’s Asian Youth Movement, a talk by Anandi Ramamurthy on the her book of the same name. Recently a film has been release on the same subject: A documentary film made by local young people looking at the history of their community from the 1960s to the 1980s with particular interest in the murder of Gurdeep Chaggar in 1976, the 1979 anti-fascist demonstrations and the death of Blair Peach and the 1981 burning down of the Hambrough Tavern. The film uses the […]
The history of radical 'White' activism in the 1960s and 70s in the USA is dominated by the the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), a large organisation which was very influential in the creation of what is known as the 'New Left'. Much has been written about their activities in the Universities particularly around resistance to the Vietnam War and their eventual split which led to urban armed groups such as the Weather Underground. However, this interesting book uncovers the hidden history […]
The programme of events for Bristol Radical History Group's The 1970s - Life Before Thatcher has been released. From Dagenham to Grunwick, Glam to Punk and Wilson to Thatcher. Talks, films and music, 13 free events between Sunday 14th November and Tuesday 7th December 2010. "Make Them Grovel": The 1976 West Indies Cricket Tour From The Ford Workers’ Group to Made In Dagenham The Asian Youth Movement Grunwick: The End Of An Era? Spies, Lies And The Coup: State Repression In The 70s Cry Freedom […]