History

History biography: Helen Blackburn

Pauline Murphy writes on the pioneering Suffragette author who helped found the Women’s Employment Defence League.

Helen Blackburn was born into an Anglo-Irish family on May 25th 1842 at Knights Town on  Valentia island County Kerry. She was the only daughter of Isabelle Lamb from Durham and Bewicke Blackburn, she had one other sibling, a brother.

Helen’s father Bewicke was a noted civil engineer who patented early automobiles such… Continue reading

Anarchist Haringey: Brief radical history of a London borough

I guess Tottenham is most known for its riots in 1985 and 2011. These were in no way organised or led by anarchists, and we were a very small part of them. But, they definitely showed the anger sections of the local community had toward the killing of members of their community by the police. This anger was also evident on the streets of Haringey when Joy Gardner and Roger… Continue reading

Anarchism and the bookshop trade

Other than the London Anarchist Bookfair and a few smaller regional book fairs — Bristol, Manchester, Sheffield for example — there are few places where anarchist books are seen. Few general bookshops are interested in anarchism and there are few radical bookshops.

That has not always been the case. At one time there were 130 radical bookshops in the UK with a public magazine, The Radical Bookseller. Some seemed predestined… Continue reading

Democracy and the NHS

The mythology regarding the 1945-51 Labour governments dies hard on the left, particularly in the era of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour which often sees itself taking up the mantle of an older, less compromised, form of state socialism. The foundation of the welfare state and the National Health Service is a special touchstone, with both it and its founder, Nye Bevan (pictured above with nursing staff at Park Hospital, Davyhulme) seen… Continue reading

Double book analysis: Peter Davison on George Orwell

In this review and analysis piece, Raymond S. Solomon discusses works by George Orwell and annotations by Peter Davison in two of the Orwell expert’s books, exploring the turbulent 1930s including issues around Palestine, the Spanish revolution, and the beating of Oswald Mosely’s British Union of Fascists.

BOOKS REVIEWED

  • Davison, Peter (ed.) (2013) George Orwell: A Life In Letters, Selected and Annotated. New York, London. Liveright Publishing… Continue reading

Book interview: Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist

An annotated edition of Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist has just been published by AK Press. Jessica Moran and Barry Pateman who edited it are both part of the Kate Sharpley Library team, so KSL took the chance to ask them a few questions. This interview and many other articles appear in Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 89:

KSL: Prison Memoirs is a classic,… Continue reading

Crimethinc: A History of Anarchist Counter-Inaugural Protest

Thousands of protesters will stream into the streets of Washington, DC on January 20 to oppose the incoming presidency of Donald Trump. As they march, chant, unfurl their banners, and attempt to disrupt the inauguration, they step into a decades-long history of protests against the presidential spectacle.

 

 

What follows is a history of anarchist counter-inaugural activity from its first stirrings in 1969 to the high point of the… Continue reading

Sowing seeds of hope

In this article written for the new issue of Peace News, peace activist Andrea Needham reflects on her experiences on the road this year talking to peace activists about Seeds of Hope, the group she was part of which in 1996 broke onto a military base and destroyed a Hawk Jet to stop it from being exported to commit atrocities in East Timor. The story of the action and… Continue reading

Book Review: Roses and Revolutionists

ISBN: 978-1-910170-17-5 Price: £6.99 Pages: 106 Publisher: Five Leaves Books

Nominally a work of history, Nigel Todd’s book on the founding, growth and eventual collapse of the Clousden Hill anarchist co-operative feels as though it could be written now with only a few technological twists. For anyone with more than a passing interest in the libertarian co-op scene, largely organised through Radical Routes these days, the internal tensions… Continue reading

Arguments against Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party

We are in a period when the Labour Party is, again, pretending that it can protect people in Britain from the ravages of a crisis-ridden capitalist system. The best arguments against the Labour Party will arise when strikes, occupations and street protests take place and then the Labour Party denounces them. But until then, here are some arguments from history:

1. In 1914, The Labour Party actively supported the First… Continue reading