Practical History

... being a miscellany of antiquarian documents intended to be of some use to levellers, ranters, road diggers, ne'erdowells and others who would turn the world upside down

"A bon fire for the poor, or the shame of Albion exposed"; showing Albion Mills from the River Thames on fire 2nd March 1791. The notorious working conditions here made its destruction, apparently by arson, a cause for popular celebration. William Blake, who lived nearby, may have had it in mind when writing of England's 'Dark Satanic Mills'.

CONTENTS

The Battle for Hyde Park: ruffians, radical and ravers, 1850s-1990s

A history of sex, drugs and rioting in London's Hyde Park with protagonists including Karl Marx, Sylvia Pankhurst, Mick Jagger, Alan Ginsberg, the unemployed and anarchist punks (new expanded version).

William Blake takes on GlaxoSmithKline

Action at the Tate Britain Gallery in London to denounce the corporate sponsors of the William Blake exhibition, GlaxoSmithKline, focusing on the denial by market forces of HIV treatments to people in Africa (Feb.2001).

South London Radical History Group

Forthcoming events for this group meeting in Deptford, South East London

May Day in London, 1950

Account of banned demonstration

The Angry Brigade

A review by John Barker of a book on The Angry Brigade

Flowers for Homestead at Dulwich Picture Gallery

In July 2000, flowers and a poster were left outside this gallery in South London asking why Henry Clay Frick is remembered for his art collection, while the steel workers of Homestead are forgotten. The dubious origins of other art collections including Dulwich Picture Gallery are also considered.

The Homestead Strike 1892

Louis Adamic, Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman describe the strike and the circumstances of Berkman’s shooting of Henry Clay Frick, the head of the Carnegie Steel Company’s strike-breaking operation.

Straight Outta Luton

Luton's hidden history of henge builders, heretics, rebels, rioters, strikers, war resisters, animal liberationists, punks and party people. Produced for the Exodus Free the Spirit Festival in Bedfordshire, September 2000.

 

A good day out in London?

Reflections on the May Day 2000 actions in London and the development of the anti-capitalist movement

Churchill, the Cenotaph and May Day 2000

A response to the graffiting of official monuments in London on May Day 2000 looking at the origins of war memorials in the social conflicts at the end of World War One and at the myth of the Second World War as an anti-fascist crusade.

South London Stress

A leaflet produced for the South London Reclaim the Streets party in June 1998, including a brief summary of key events in the radical history of South London and a list of local contacts.

Reclaim the Streets for Children

Another leaflet produced for the South London Reclaim the Streets party in June 1998 focusing on the removal of children from the streets by cars and repression.

A short history of radical puppetry

An article by Kerry Mogg reproduced from Fifth Estate, Spring 2000.

 

Iraq: a century of war and rebellion

A chronology of key events from the founding of the state of Iraq to the 1999 US and British attacks, with strikes, mutinies and massacres along the way.

The Class Struggle in Iraq: an interview with a veteran

A participant describes the class struggle in Iraq from the 1940s to the present, and the development of an anti-leninist communist movement (first published in 'Workers Scud - no patriot can stop us', 1991)

Ten Days that Shook Iraq

Account of the 1991 uprisings in Kurdistan and Southern Iraq at the end of the Gulf War.

Eyewitness in Halabja

Events leading up to the massacre in 1988

Do you remember the first time?

International resistance to the Gulf Massacre 1991.

War damages health - and the health service

A detailed account of the impact of the 1991 Gulf War on the health service in Britain, including opposition amongst health workers. Includes examples of anti-war leaflets produced by health workers (written by a worker at a north London hospital at the time).

Surrealism in the Arab World

Manifesto of Arab Surrealists from 1975, with introduction (New!)

No War but the Class War Archive

Revolutionary opposition in Britain to the Gulf War 1990/91 - a collection of leaflets and other texts

Zapping the Zanj: towards a history of the Zanj slaves' rebellion

Article from Melancholic Troglodytes about this great slave revolt against the Islamic empire, 869 - 883 AD

Capitalism and other disasters

An introduction to Amadeo Bordiga's writings on disasters.

From Bloody Sunday to Trafalgar Square

An account of mass insurgency in Ireland leading up to the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre, and how the British state has applied the lessons from Ireland in Britain, such as against the anti-poll tax movement, 1989/91.

Beasts of Burden: capitalism - animals - communism

Looks at the role of animal exploitation in the development of capitalism, and the relationship between communism and the animal liberation movement.

The Communist Tendency in History

Discusses the meaning of communism with examples from Pierre Clastres, Gerrard Winstanley and Moses Hess. Written by a member of the group L'Insecurite Sociale in France in the 1980s.

The Red Menace Archive

A communist newsletter published in London, 1989-90, with articles on prison revolts, Guy Debord, the Rushdie affair, acid house, the poll tax and the class struggle internationally.

European Counter Network (London) Archive

New of struggles in Britain and Ireland, 1992-93 (New!)

View the Practical History Guestbook

Red Giant (sister space and sci-fi site)

Last updated January 2006

 

1