Stoke Newington Eight Trial (No. 1 Court, Old Bailey 30 May – 7 Dec 1972)
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Produced by Peter Kavanagh (Broadcast August 9, 2002). The Angry Brigade. Britain’s own urban guerillas. Libertarian socialists. Genteel by comparison with Italy’s Red Brigades and West Germany’s Red Army Faction (Baader-Meinhof Group). Active in the late 60s/early 70s. Made symbolic attacks on property (not people) – embassies of repressive regimes, boutiques (including Biba), police stations, army barracks, government departments, and the homes of Cabinet ministers, the Attorney General & the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. It’s not publicly known how many attacks they made – for a while their activities were concealed. Research implies that there were about 200. They took direct action because – in their view – the old left had failed to bring change. But this view was transformed when the 1974 strikes brought down Heath’s government. In light of what happened under Thatcher, they were mistaken. But one thing’s for certain though, their analysis of the growing damage consumerism was doing – would continue to do – to society and the planet was spot on. Eight people were selected for trial from two branches of a much larger ‘community’. Four were acquitted. The others each got ten years. Their trial was the longest in British criminal history. And it still looked like a fit-up. This is a reconstruction of the trial combined with other background information. Cast Includes Kenneth Cranham, Juliette Stevenson Mark Strong
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
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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