The South African Wobblies: The Origins of Industrial Unions in South Africa - John Philips

John Philip’s pioneering, hard-to-get study of syndicalism in South Africa, stressing the influence of the IWW.

Syndicalism on the Shopfloor: the Denver Shop-Stewards Strike, Transvaal, November-December 1919 - EA Mantzaris

This paper by Evan Mantzaris provides a critical chronicle of a strike by radical white metalworkers at the Denver Engineering Works on the Witwatersrand, organised through a workers’ committee.

The Rise and Fall of the ICU: a Case of Self-Destruction? - Phil Bonner

This essay, which first appeared in the South African Labour Bulletin, sought to draw the lessons of the spectacular rise and fall of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union of Africa (ICU) in South Africa, which in the 1920s was the biggest black protest movement in the country.

Eyewitness account of the Peterloo massacre - Samuel Bamford

Poster entitled Manchester Heroes, published in 1819

A first person account of the Peterloo massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators by the British army in 1819, by Samuel Bamford, who was arrested and imprisoned for a year after the killings.

History of the Peterloo massacre, 1819

Print of the Peterloo Massacre published by Richard Carlile

A short history of the mass killing of workers protesting for democracy and better conditions by the British army in 1819. While brutal, the repression did not dampen working class unrest but in fact helped spawn the Chartist reform movement.

'Sifuna Zonke!’: Revolutionary Syndicalism, the Industrial Workers of Africa and the fight against racial capitalism, 1915-1921 - Bikisha Media Collective

Police disperse a strike meeting, Market Square, Johannesburg, 1913.

Pamphlet from the Bikisha Media Collective on the development of revolutionary syndicalist organisations in South Africa, including the Industrial Workers of Africa.

Syndicalists in South Africa, 1908-17 - Baruch Hirson

Mary 'Pickhandle' Fitzgerald addressing strikers in Market Square, 1913.

Baruch Hirson, South African Trotskyist, provides some insight into the South African syndicalists of the early twentieth century recovering the history of South African left traditions ignored or caricatured in the South African Communist Party and academic accounts. Although his interest was in the Communist Party and the Trotskyists that emerged subsequently, his work also touched on the anarchist and syndicalist tradition, as this interesting paper shows.

Letter on the IWW Domestic Workers Union, 1917 - Jane Street

Women members of the IWW lead a march in Manhattan

Fascinating letter from the secretary of the domestic workers' section of the Industrial Workers of the World union in Denver, 1917 about their activities and the sexism they faced from other union members. The letter was illegally seized by the government and only discovered nearly 60 years later.

Christmas day freedom fighters: hidden history of the Seminole anticolonial struggle - William Katz

On Christmas day in 1837, the Africans and Native Americans who formed Florida’s Seminole Nation defeated a vastly superior U.S. invading army bent on cracking this early rainbow coalition and returning the Africans to slavery.

British perfidy in Greece: a story worth remembering - Ed Vulliamy and Helena Smith

Unarmed protesters killed by police and British troops, Athens 1944

An account of the time in 1944 when the British Army, at war with Germany switched their allegiance, opening fire upon – and arming Greek collaborators with the Nazis to fire upon – a civilian crowd in Syntagma Square.