History

Occupational hazards

The South London Women's Hospital occupation

A compilation of writings put together by Past Tense on hospital occupations and work-ins in the UK from the 1970s to the 1990s.

The brief summer of anarchy: the life and death of Durruti - Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Hans Magnus Enzensberger’s non-fiction “adventure novel” about Buenaventura Durruti and the Spanish anarchist movement (ca. 1917-1937), first published in Germany in 1972, consisting of a more or less chronological “collage” of “translated, abridged and rearranged” excerpts from “reports and speeches, interviews and proclamations … letters, travel narratives, anecdotes, pamphlets, polemics, newspaper articles, autobiographical texts, flyers and propaganda leaflets” (including extensive selections from the eyewitness accounts of Simone Weil, Ilya Ehrenburg, H. E. Kaminski, Mikhail Koltsov, Ricardo Sanz and Jesús Arnal Pena), punctuated by the author’s “Commentaries”.

1987-88: Lunafil Strike in Guatemala City

Detailed account of a lengthy strike by textile workers in Guatemala who risked lockouts and death to maintain their working conditions.

2008: Sit Down Strike at Republic Windows and Doors

A history of the sit down strike at Republic Windows and Doors at the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis.

Orobón Fernández and the Workers Alliance – Ramón Álvarez Palomo

A short biography of Valeriano Orobón Fernández, widely regarded as one of the great figures of Spanish anarchosyndicalism, emphasizing his role as an advocate of the Workers Alliance in the early 1930s, written by a former leader of the Asturian CNT.

The mysterious trial of the POUM—Juan Peiró

A brief polemical article intended for publication in Solidaridad Obrera in November 1938, but suppressed by the government censors of Loyalist Spain, in which one of the leaders of the CNT expresses his outrage at the vindictive kangaroo trial of the leaders of the POUM, and issues a resounding appeal to bring the kidnappers and presumed murderers of Andrés Nin to justice in a real court, and to subject them to real laws and proceedings rather than the extraordinary practices of the secret judicial proceedings of the politically privileged Communist Party, to whom he only refers indirectly and with prudent circumlocutions.

The Mental Patients Union, 1973

Press coverage of the Mental Patients Union

Historical information about the Mental Patients Union, formed in London in 1973 to oppose psychiatric oppression, written by Past Tense.

Bordiga: Early political views

Amadeo Bordiga

Three part series on the pre-1917 political views of this Italian thinker who later became the first leader of the Italian Communist Party and then a Left Communist critic of the state capitalist regime in Russia (from Socialist Standard, January, March and February 2017)

Captain Swing was here!

An example of a Captain Swing letter

A short history of the 1830 Swing riots by Stuart Booth. Farm bosses would receive threatening letters from a fictional “Captain Swing”, and if they didn’t submit to the demands their premises would be attacked.

The Tolpuddle martyrs, 1834

The Tolpuddle martyrs

The history of the Tolpuddle martyrs: a group of six agricultural workers from Dorset, England who were sentenced to transportation to Australia for attempting to form a union.