The Funeral, Wake and a celebration of the life of Albert Meltzer (24 May 1996)

Albert Meltzer - Anarcho-syndicalist (1920-1996)

Albert Meltzer (1920-1996) was one of the most enduring and respected torchbearers of the international anarchist movement in the second half of the twentieth century. His sixty-year commitment to the vision and practice of anarchism survived both the collapse of the Revolution and Civil War in Spain and the Second World War; he helped fuel the libertarian impetus of the 1960s and 1970s and steer it through the reactionary challenges of the Thatcherite 1980s and post-Cold War 1990s

Il conformista – The Conformist (1970 – Bernardo Bertolucci)

The Conformist (1970 - Bernardo Bertolucci)

A weak-willed Italian man becomes a fascist flunky who goes abroad to arrange the assassination of his old teacher, now an anti-fascist.

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The Toxteth Rebellion of 1981

The Toxteth (Liverpool) Rebellion of 1981

The summer of 1981 saw the most violent and extensive disturbances on Britain’s streets since the war. That was the press’s verdict on the week of July 3rd-11th. And for once the press was right. The barricade, the overturned police van, the milk floats driven at police lines, the burnt out cars and pubs and the looted hi-fi shops – all were something new on the streets of Britain. Above all, the novelty was symbolised in the cascades of petrol bombs. The weapon of Budapest ’56 and Watts ’65, of Paris ’68 and Derry ’69 was now the weapon of Brixton and Southall, of Toxteth and Moss Side. The sequence of riots began before 3 July – 14 months earlier, to be precise, in the St Paul area of Bristol. Police raided a black cafe and attempted to make an arrest. A crowd gathered and soon the police were retreating from the area under a hail of broken bricks. For several hours they did not dare return: shops were looted at will and buildings were burnt down. The biggest confrontation took place in Toxteth, Liverpool. It began with a relatively small disturbance the same night as Southall (3 July): the police tried to arrest a black youth who, they claimed (wrongly) had stolen the motor bike he was riding; a crowd rescued him, but another black, whose family had been subject to a campaign of police harassment, was seized. The next evening rioting erupted on a huge scale. Barricades were built with overturned cars and a builders’ compressor; scores of petrol bombs were thrown at the police; rioters donned Ulster-style masks to avoid identification. The police could not cope. The press reported, ‘the police produced a show of force sufficient to enrage the black population, but not enough to quell the riots’. The streets were barricaded again the next night. ‘By then as many whites as blacks had joined the rioting’.

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The Miners’ Strike (1984 — German documentary)

A German-made documentary on the Miners’ Strike of 1984

Miners' Strike, Yorkshire, 1984

Stop The City (1984 – Mick Duffield and Andy Palmer)

Stop The City (29 July 1984)

The Stop the City demonstrations of 1983 and 1984 were described as a ‘Carnival Against War, Oppression and Destruction’, in other words protests against the military-financial complex. Activities that formed part of these events were separate day-long street blockades of the financial district (‘The City’) of London — which supporters of the protest argued are a major centre for profiteering and consequently a root cause of many of the world’s worst problems. One blockade involved 3,000 people, which succeeded in causing a $100m shortfall on the day according to The Times. Around 1,000 arrests were subsequently made by the police over 18 months. The first demo took place on the 29 September 1983 and involved hundreds of protestors, but six months later on 29 June 1984, thousands brought the City to a standstill. This rare documentary by Mick Duffield and Andy Palmer of Crass offers unique footage of the day’s events. Stop the City is widely regarded as being the precursor of modern protest such as the J18 Carnival Against Capitalism in 1999 and the birth of the Anti-Globalisation movement in the 21st century.

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