1980s

Battle of the Beanfield (Documentary)

On June 1st 1985, a convoy of new travellers, peace protestors, green activists and festival-goers set off from Savernake Forest in Wiltshire to establish the 12th annual free festival at Stonehenge. There were around 450 people in total, and they included a number of women and children. They never reached their destination. Eight miles from the Stones they were ambushed, assaulted and arrested with unprecedented brutality by a quasi-military police force.

Stop the City 1984

The current Occupy Stock Exchange London protest camped out by St Paul's is the latest in a long line of actions targeting the financial centre of London. In 1983-84 the area was the focus for a series of one day Stop the City protests. The first of these took place in September 1983 and was followed by a bigger one in March 1984. The protest in September 1984 was also substantial, but by then the police had got wise to the tactic and were more successful at imposing control through mass arrests. History is Made at Night took part in both of the 1984 events...

The 1981 riots in South London

Transpontine investigates some previously confidential Government papers, released to the National Archives at the end of December 2011, which provide some insights into the riots that swept across England in July 1981. Included in the papers is some information on events in South London, which combined with contemporary press reports gives an idea of what happened in the area at that time.

Short hot summer 1981

A series of articles by History is Made at Night on the 1981 July uprisings/ riots, which occurred in Brixton, Southall, Toxteth, Moss Side, Wood Green, London, Leicester and Bradford.

St Pauls uprising, Bristol 1980

An article on the 1980 uprising in St. Pauls, Bristol and the music scene which flourished there after with excerpts from contemporary literature.

A short history of the London Workers Group, 1977-1985

A short history of the London Workers Group, which existed from 1977 to 1985, written by Dave Morris, a former member, in 2006.

Running riot: Britain's urban violence - Socialist Party of Great Britain

I read this article recently in "Socialism or your money back" which is a collection of historical articles from the 'Socialist Standard', the party paper of the SPGB. I was struck by the similarities to today's riots and but for a couple of alterations to the names could have been written this week.

Hope you find it as interesting as I did.

On the line - Libertarian Workers Group/Workers Solidarity Alliance

'On the Line' was a agitational newsletter put out by the New York based Libertarian Workers Group, which was affliated with the Anarchist Communist Federation of North American and one of the founders of Workers Solidarity Alliance (WSA). It then became an occasional newsletter of WSA in New York/New Jersey.

St. Pauls, Bristol 1980

getting burnt? burn them back!

An unfinished text, written in 2006 (originally entitled "1981 & All That"), intended to be about the riots of 1981, but only the bit about the uprising in the St.Paul's district of Bristol was completed. For obvious reasons, I've decided to put this now in the library.
The introduction gives a flavour of the pessimistic feel of 5 years ago. The last 5 or 6 months since Millbank has changed that, but there's still a long way to go (and a fairly short time to do it) for the new social movements to re-learn the strengths and weaknesses of past movements in order to go beyond them - and this time without a significantly "definitive" defeat and retreat.

On austerity in the 1980s - Modern Times

Cover of Modern Times 1988

The concluding article from a one-off magazine produced in 1988, dealing with the Thatcherite austerities of the time and their consequences for radical movements in the UK.