Working Class History podcast

Archive of the Working Class History podcast. History isn't made by kings and politicians, it's made by all of us. This podcast is about how we, together, have fought for a better world.

For more info about WCH see our website: workingclasshistory.com

Get exclusive early access to episodes, as well as other benefits by supporting WCH on patreon: https://patreon.com/workingclasshistory

You can also listen to the podcast on soundcloud here, or you can find it on most podcast apps like iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podbean etc. The RSS feed is here.

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WCH E0: Introduction to the Working Class History podcast

A short introduction to the WCH podcast and what we're about.

A short introduction to the WCH podcast and what we're about.
Support the WCH podcast on patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/workingclasshistory
More information about WCH on our website: https://workingclasshistory.com

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Edited by Tyler Hill of the Gods & Ghosts podcast: https://tylerkenthill.podbean.com/
Our theme tune is Bella Ciao, thanks for permission to use it from Dischi del Sole. You can purchase it here: http://www.alabianca.it/store/bravo-records/le-canzoni-di-bella-ciao-aa-vv/ Or stream it here: https://open.spotify.com/album/6yXBmaTSWDKWz45JuE78xi?si=imm7zdnXQrWJWUUEzgNEAQ

WCH E1: The Grunwick strike, 1976

Interview with Amrit Wilson and Grunwick 40 about the iconic strike of East African Asian women in London in the 1970s.

Apologies for the audio quality which isn't great on headphones at least. All our later episodes are much better quality, so if you don't enjoy this one please check out one of our later episodes instead.

Support the WCH podcast on patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/workingclasshistory

FOOTNOTES

For a short video history of the Grunwick strike see here on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWuB7JYo818
This is an interesting article with more information about the strike which was written while it was ongoing: https://libcom.org/library/the-grunwick-strike-a-sivanandan
Check out their website of Grunwick 40 here: https://grunwick40.wordpress.com/
The website of the South Asia Solidarity Group is here: http://www.southasiasolidarity.org/
Before Grunwick, there were other strikes by black and Asian workers in the UK, where the unions basically adopted a racist approach and supported preferential treatment of white workers. Notably these included the 1974 Imperial Typewriters strike (https://libcom.org/history/imperial-typewriters-strike-1974-ron-ramdin), the 1973 Standard Telephones and Cables strike (https://libcom.org/library/standard-telephones-cables-strike-1973) and the 1972 Mansfield Hosiery strike (https://libcom.org/library/women-struggle-mansfield-hosiery-strike).
Also mentioned during the podcast was the “colour bar” on public transport in Bristol enforced by the TGWU union which was eventually broken by a boycott in 1963 (https://libcom.org/history/black-white-buses-1963-colour-bar-dispute-bristol).
In addition to struggles in workplaces, Asians in Britain fought racism in the streets, forming militant Asian Youth Movements around the country. This is a good account of these organisations: https://libcom.org/history/here-stay-here-fight-kenan-malik

GLOSSARY

Arthur Scargill – left-wing leader of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), at the time the most powerful trade union in the UK
Ian Tomlinson – a newspaper seller on his way home in London who was attacked and killed by a police officer during the 2009 protests against the G-20 summit in London. The press originally falsely claimed that police trying to “help” a “dying man” were “pelted with bricks” by demonstrators.
IWGB union – the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, a rank-and-file-controlled union in London: https://iwgb.org.uk/
Kettling – the police practice of penning in demonstrators for prolonged periods of time
Orientalism – the subtle and persistent patronising Western representations of “the Orient” – meaning individuals and cultures from Asia, North Africa and the Middle East
Trades Council – an umbrella body for delegates from different trade unions in a geographical area
United Voices of the World union – another rank-and-file union of mostly migrant workers: https://www.uvwunion.org.uk/
More information about WCH on our website: https://workingclasshistory.com

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Edited by Tyler Hill of the Gods & Ghosts podcast: https://tylerkenthill.podbean.com/
Our theme tune is Bella Ciao, thanks for permission to use it from Dischi del Sole. You can purchase it here: http://www.alabianca.it/store/bravo-records/le-canzoni-di-bella-ciao-aa-vv/ Or stream it here: https://open.spotify.com/album/6yXBmaTSWDKWz45JuE78xi?si=imm7zdnXQrWJWUUEzgNEAQ

WCH E2: The Angry Brigade, part 1

The first of a two-part interview about the Angry Brigade, Britain’s first urban guerrilla group, with John Barker, author, who in 1972 was convicted for being part of the organisation.

Check out John’s website and buy his books here: https://www.theharrier.net/
And check out John Barker’s radical London playlist, a collection of tracks which Brigaders were listening to at the time here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL71HxBMvC6byAUIVUB3Hm_h4HLy26FIKr
This is a detailed history of the Angry Brigade: https://libcom.org/library/angry-brigade-history-britains-first-urban-guerilla-group
And this is a comprehensive chronology of Angry Brigade activities and collection of all their documentation: https://libcom.org/history/angry-brigade-documents-chronology

FOOTNOTES

1. Society of the Spectacle – Guy Debord – you can read it online here: https://libcom.org/library/society-of-the-spectacle-debord
2. King Mob – here is a short introduction to the group: https://libcom.org/history/mob-who-shouldnt-really-be-here-hari-kunzru

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Edited by Tyler Hill of the Gods & Ghosts podcast: https://tylerkenthill.podbean.com/
Our theme tune is Bella Ciao, thanks for permission to use it from Dischi del Sole. You can purchase it here: http://www.alabianca.it/store/bravo-records/le-canzoni-di-bella-ciao-aa-vv/ Or stream it here: https://open.spotify.com/album/6yXBmaTSWDKWz45JuE78xi?si=imm7zdnXQrWJWUUEzgNEAQ

WCH E3: The Angry Brigade, part 2

Second of our two-part interview with John Barker, Angry Brigade prisoner, covering the arrests, the sensational trial, his time in prison and the political situation upon his release in the late 1970s.

Check out John’s website and buy his books here: https://www.theharrier.net/
And check out John Barker’s radical London playlist, a collection of tracks which Brigaders were listening to at the time here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL71HxBMvC6byAUIVUB3Hm_h4HLy26FIKr

This is a detailed history of the Angry Brigade: https://libcom.org/library/angry-brigade-history-britains-first-urban-guerilla-group

And this is a comprehensive chronology of Angry Brigade activities and collection of all their documentation: https://libcom.org/history/angry-brigade-documents-chronology

FOOTNOTES

1. Tyranny of structuralessness – Jo Freeman – read it online here: https://libcom.org/library/tyranny-structurelessness-jo-freeman
2. Stoke Newington police station – one particular notorious incident was the death of Colin Roach in this police station. Info on that here: https://libcom.org/library/workers’-playtime-death-colin-roach-“community-policing”-1983
3. Bending the Bars – John Barker – buy it online here: https://www.theharrier.net/product/bending-the-bars-by-john-barker-ebook/
4. Hull prison riot – read Angry Brigade prisoner Jake Prescott's account of the riot here: https://libcom.org/library/account-hull-prison-riot-1976-jake-prescott
5. IRA – the Irish Republican Army – the main pro-Irish independence armed group
6. Portuguese revolution – this is a short history of the revolution: https://libcom.org/history/1974-1975-the-portuguese-revolution
And this is a detailed account and analysis of it: https://libcom.org/library/portugal-impossible-revolution-phil-mailer
7. Leninist – following the ideology of Russian Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin, particularly with regard to the importance he placed upon a "vanguard" political party
8. Winter of discontent – this is a short history of the Winter of discontent strike wave: https://libcom.org/history/1978-1979-winter-of-discontent
9. Libertarian communism – this refers to communism being implemented not through the state but by the mass of workers ourselves. This is a short introduction to libertarian communism: https://libcom.org/library/libertarian-communism-introduction
10. London cleaners strikes – in recent years mostly migrant cleaners have self-organised numerous successful disputes, mostly through the rank-and-file United Voices of the World (https://www.uvwunion.org.uk) and Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (https://iwgb.org.uk)
11. Big Flame – this is a partial archive of texts by or about Big Flame: https://libcom.org/tags/big-flame
12. Acorn – a tenants' union and antipoverty organising group. This is their website: https://acorntheunion.org.uk/
13. Broadway market occupation – this occupation of a cafe in Hackney, London to prevent its conversion to luxury flats took place in 2006. More info here: https://libcom.org/news/article.php/broadway-market-cafe-occupation-2005-6
14. Criminal Justice Acts – John Barker – buy it online here: https://www.theharrier.net/product/criminal-justice-acts/

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Edited by Tyler Hill of the Gods & Ghosts podcast: https://tylerkenthill.podbean.com/
Our theme tune is Bella Ciao, thanks for permission to use it from Dischi del Sole. You can purchase it here: http://www.alabianca.it/store/bravo-records/le-canzoni-di-bella-ciao-aa-vv/ Or stream it here: https://open.spotify.com/album/6yXBmaTSWDKWz45JuE78xi?si=imm7zdnXQrWJWUUEzgNEAQ

WCH E4: Anti-Nazi youth movements in World War II

An interview with historian Nick Heath about anti-Nazi youth cultural movements in fascist Europe before and during World War II. In particular we look at the German Edelweiss Pirates and Swing Kids, the French Zazous and the Austrian Schlurfs.

This is a playlist of tracks curated by Nick which these groups listened to at the time: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL71HxBMvC6bw3bxogFZxZQ1P8xMJ_zOBa
Support this podcast on patreon here: https://patreon.com/workingclasshistory

MORE INFORMATION

This is a history of the Edelweiss Pirates: https://libcom.org/history/1939-1945-the-edelweiss-pirates
This is a history of the Zazous: https://libcom.org/history/1940-1945-the-zazous
This is a history of the Schlurfs: https://libcom.org/history/schlurfs-%E2%80%93-youth-against-nazism

FOOTNOTES

1. The Ehrenfeld resistance group – more info about them here: http://www.executedtoday.com/2015/11/10/1944-thirteen-from-the-ehrenfeld-roup-and-the-edelweiss-pirates/
2. The Edelweiss Pirates film from 2004 you can watch online here: https://vimeo.com/99341412
3. The mods – this is an interesting study of "moral panics" by the media, looking in particular at the mods and rockers youth culture in the 1960s UK: https://libcom.org/history/folk-devils-moral-panics
4. The White Rose Group – this is an archive of documents about the group: https://libcom.org/library/white-rose-documents
5. Zoot suits: this is a history of the US zoot suit phenomenon: https://libcom.org/history/zoot-suit-rebellion
6. Anarchist Communist Group – this is the website of the ACG: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org/
7. Also on a musical note we recommend checking out the Pet Shop Boys song, In the Night, which is about the Zazous: https://youtu.be/OB2y40HID44

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thanks to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (https://www.ushmm.org/) for permission to use excerpts of their interview with Walter Meyer, which is in four parts and begins here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlC1uahOuf4
Edited by Tyler Hill of the Gods & Ghosts podcast: https://tylerkenthill.podbean.com/
Our theme tune is Bella Ciao, an Italian partisan folksong, thanks for permission to use it from Dischi del Sole. You can purchase it here: http://www.alabianca.it/store/bravo-records/le-canzoni-di-bella-ciao-aa-vv/ Or stream it here: https://open.spotify.com/album/6yXBmaTSWDKWz45JuE78xi?si=imm7zdnXQrWJWUUEzgNEAQ
The first song we play is Johnny Hess – Ils Sont Zazous. Buy it here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/78-rpm-swing/391646365
The second is Erhard Bauschke und sein Orchester – Nachtexpress Nach Warschau. Buy it here: https://itunes.apple.com/at/album/erhard-bauschke-und-sein-orchester/301892537
The final track is Tanzorchester Oscar Joost – Am Montag Fangt Die Woche An. Buy it here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/tanzorchester-oscar-joost/309983323