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The Politics of Protest: Social Movements in Western Europe since the 1960's (HI157)

These resources were created for a first year module which is currently unavailable. They cover similar, but not exactly the same ground to the current third year module Politics of Protest in Europe, 1968-1989.

The Modern Records Centre holds many documents which relate to protest movements, particularly from the 1960s onwards. Just a small selection of these are shown below, organised into 8 sections - 'International solidarity with the Algerian revolution', 'Peace movements', 'Civil rights and Black Power', '1968: Paris and Prague', 'Far-left movements and student radicalism', 'Terrorism and counter-terrorism', 'Feminism' and 'Green parties and environmentalism'.

How to find out more about the documents:

Click on the reference codes of the documents to go to their descriptions in our on-line catalogues. This can help you to put the documents in context and find similar items. 

Where to find more sources:

Documents relating to the US civil rights movement are included in the online exhibition: 'Fighting for Votes: The US Presidential Elections and the Civil Rights Movement'. Some additional material relating to peace movements is included in the online exhibition 'Protest and Survive'.

'Ready-made' searches of the archive catalogue are available for many of the themes covered here.

Interested in using primary sources in your work? - find out more about using archives

 

International solidarity with the Algerian revolution

'The Algerian Revolution' by Messali Hadj, 1955

'The Algerian Revolution' by Messali Hadj, 1955

Pamphlet by the President of the Algerian National Movement. The foreword suggests that the Algerian revolution "in some respects... is of even greater significance than the Indo-Chinese struggle [Vietnam], especially in the field of international politics".

[Included in the papers of Bob Purdie, Trotskyist; document reference: MSS.149/2/15/1]

'Moslem Committee for Algeria: News Bulletin', April 1958

'Moslem Committee for Algeria: News Bulletin', April 1958

Report on 'Algeria Day in London', including an account of a meeting attended by 1,000 people at Caxton Hall. Speakers included the Labour politicians Fenner Brockway and Tony Benn, and Hussein Hallak of the Arab Students Union.

[From a file on North Africa, from the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/964.1/2]

Oxford Committee for Famine Relief: circular appealing for aid for Algerian refugees, 1959

Oxford Committee for Famine Relief: circular appealing for aid for Algerian refugees, 1959

The back of the circular includes information about aid already sent by the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief (now better known as Oxfam).

[From a file on North Africa, from the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/964.1/2]

'Aid the Algerian prisoners in France', undated (1950s?)

'Aid the Algerian prisoners in France', undated (1950s?)

Appeal by the International Secretariat of the Fourth International "to the working class and their organisations". It asks "working class brothers of the Algerian working class in France, in Europe, in the entire world" to "come swiftly to the aid of the hunger strikers of Algeria, martyred in the gaols of the Gaullist dictatorship".

[Included in the papers of Jimmy Deane, Trotskyist; document reference: MSS.325/44/N Misc(7)]

'Socialism in Algeria', 1963

'Socialism in Algeria', 1963

Report by Richard Fletcher following a visit to Algeria. It praises the measures taken by the new government of Ahmed Ben Bella.

[Included in the papers of Jimmy Deane, Trotskyist; document reference: MSS.325/44/N63(8)]

More documents relating to Algeria are included in the resources for the module 'History of France, 1848-1998' 

 

Peace movements

'The Politics of Peace', c1960

'The Politics of Peace', c1960

Unsigned statement arguing that "the struggle for peace is quite inseparable for the struggle for socialism" and that political change is necessary for nuclear disarmament. It criticises the methods of existing organisations such as CND and the Direct Action Committee.

[Included in the papers of Jimmy Deane, Trotskyist; document reference: MSS.325/44/N60(1)]

'Seven days that shook the world', undated (c1962)

'Seven days that shook the world', undated (c1962)

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) leaflet issued following the Cuban missile crisis - "if nuclear war had broken out, Britain would have been obliterated... for Britain is to America what Cuba was to Russia: an advance missile base, near enough to hit Russian cities with intermediate-range missiles".

[Included in the 'Miscellaneous series' of records; document reference: MSS.21/3369/20]

The Vietnam March of Shame, London, 30 April 1967

The Vietnam March of Shame, London, 30 April 1967

Leaflet issued by the London Committee of 100. It sets out the reasons for the march - "a unique demonstration of abhorrence and rejection of the British Government's shameful acquiescence in genocide".

[Included in the 'Miscellaneous series' of records; document reference: MSS.21/1451/11]

Page from cartoon strip 'Vietnam', late 1960s

Page from cartoon strip 'Vietnam', late 1960s

The strip was published in Britain by the Manchester Vietnam Solidarity Campaign, and derived from a US publication. It runs through the historical background to the conflict and gives reasons why the war should be opposed and support should be given to the Vietnamese.

[Included in a series of publications relating to Vietnam, from the papers of Bob Purdie, Trotskyist; document reference: MSS.149/2/14/3/5]

'Defend Molesworth against Cruise NOW', undated (c1985)

'Defend Molesworth against Cruise NOW', undated (c1985)

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) leaflet "calling for non-violent resistance to the construction work at Molesworth". RAF Molesworth was one of the two intended sites for Cruise missiles in Britain (the other was Greenham Common).

[Included in the archive of CND; document reference: MSS.181X/4/10/20]

 

Civil rights and Black Power

US poster regarding the recruitment of black soldiers to fight in Vietnam, 1967

US poster regarding the recruitment of black soldiers to fight in Vietnam, 1967

Originally published by the US group Students for a Democratic Society, and reproduced in the bulletin of the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign, a British anti-war group.

[Included in the Anti-Vietnam War Movement papers of Jack Askins; document reference: MSS.189/V/1/10/1]

Letter from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), 29 May 1968

Letter from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), 29 May 1968

The letter pays tribute to the work of Martin Luther King following his murder, and expresses fears that his death will lead to more young people turning away from methods of non-violent protest.

[From a file on the United States, included in the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292B/973/4]

'What we want in the Black Panther Movement', 1968

'What we want in the Black Panther Movement', 1968

List of objectives included in a Black Panther pamphlet containing a 'Message to the Black People of Britain by President Kwame Nkrumah'.

[Included in a file of publications relating to Black Power, from the papers of Bob Purdie, Trotskyist; document reference: MSS.149/2/2/5]

'Black Power Newsletter: Voice of the Universal Coloured Peoples' Association', February 1969

'Black Power Newsletter: Voice of the Universal Coloured Peoples' Association', February 1969

British Black Power newsletter. Front page editorial: "We have had enough!" of "fascist dehumanisation, police brutality and hypocrisy" from "white Anglo-Saxon swines".

[Included in a file of publications relating to Black Power, from the papers of Bob Purdie, Trotskyist; document reference: MSS.149/2/2/9]

Rules of the Black Panther Party, National Headquarters, Berkeley, California, 1970

Rules of the Black Panther Party, National Headquarters, Berkeley, California, 1970

Included in an edition of 'The Black Panther: Black Community News Service', weekly newspaper of the Black Panther Party.

[Included in a file of publications relating to Black Power, from the papers of Bob Purdie, Trotskyist; document reference: MSS.149/2/2/4]

 

1968: Paris and Prague

'Paris: May 1968''Paris: May 1968'

'Paris: May 1968'

Pamphlet containing an eyewitness account of the events in Paris during May 1968. It was published by 'Solidarity', "a paper for rank and file militants".

[Included in the papers of Bob Purdie, Trotskyist; document reference: MSS.149/2/12/14/4]

Paris: 'The May upheaval 1968', 7 August 1968

Paris: 'The May upheaval 1968', 7 August 1968

Confidential British government report on the events in Paris.

[Included in the papers of Richard Crossman MP; document reference: MSS.154/3/LPO/20/27-36]

'The Soviet war of nerves against Czechoslovakia', 12 August 1968

'The Soviet war of nerves against Czechoslovakia', 12 August 1968

Confidential British government report on the situation in Czechoslovakia, written prior to the Russian invasion.

[Included in the papers of Richard Crossman MP; document reference: MSS.154/3/LPO/20/37-38b]

'Soviet News': 'Czechoslovak request for help', 22 August 1968

'Soviet News': 'Czechoslovak request for help', 22 August 1968

Statements published by the Press Department of the Soviet Embassy in London, outlining the Soviet Union's reasons for invading Czechoslovakia (or "render[ing] the fraternal Czechoslovak people urgent assistance, including assistance with armed forces").

[From a file on the Soviet invasion, included in the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292B/943.7/3]

 

 

Far-left movements and student radicalism

International Marxist Group statement on "unity of the fragmented forces on the left", c1968

International Marxist Group statement on "unity of the fragmented forces on the left", c1968

The statement comments on recent initiatives to unify the left, which the IMG argues is due to "an increasing frustration because of the impotence and paralysis of the traditional left in face of the continued evolution to the right by the Labour Government".

[Included in the papers of Bob Purdie, Trotskyist; document reference: MSS.149/2/12/4/15]

'LSE. What it is and how we fought it', 1967

'LSE. What it is and how we fought it', 1967

'Agitator' pamphlet on the student sit-in at the London School of Economics, "written by some of those who participated in the struggle".

[Included in the papers of Bob Purdie, Trotskyist; document reference: MSS.149/2/15/10]

'Student Anarchy', August 1968

'Student Anarchy', August 1968

Cover of a special issue of 'Anarchy'. The anarchist journal contains 'a survey of the student revolt', described as "a microcosm of anarchism in action". It focuses particularly on the events in Britain, but includes additional comment on the situation in the USA, France and West Germany.

[Included in a collection of anarchist publications; document reference: 758/1/3/5/41]

Warwick University Students' Union 'Occupation News', 12 May 1975

Warwick University Students' Union 'Occupation News', 12 May 1975

News sheet from a collection of ephemera relating to the 1975 student rent strike and occupation of Senate House and the telephone exchange by members of the Students' Union.

[Included in the 'Miscellaneous series' of records; document reference: MSS.21/3429/10]

Student life, c1972

This film focusses on speeches and noisy demonstrations against the government’s proposed restrictions on the autonomy of student unions.

References to Northern Ireland and the events in France in 1968 are also used to support the idea of an identity of interest between students and workers against reactionary forces.

[Included in the archive of the National Union of Students; document reference: MSS.280/157/5]

'Join the Socialist Workers Party... Join the fight for socialism', 1978

'Join the Socialist Workers Party... Join the fight for socialism', 1978

The main topic of the leaflet is the need to fight resurgent fascism and to oppose politicians' immigration policies which help "to make the Nazis' ideas respectable". "The support the Anti-Nazi League has won shows that if we are united and determined, the Nazis can be stopped".

[Included in the 'Miscellaneous series' of records; document reference: MSS.21/1212]

'The first national Bash the Rich March', 1985'The first national Bash the Rich March', 1985

'The first national Bash the Rich March', 1985

Leaflet promoting class war - "A huge explosion of class hatred and anger is building up and when it errupts it will make the '81 riots look like a tea party" - "We have no demands to make of you, there's no reforms you can make to get rid of us, our banners read only "Behold your future executioners"".

[Included in the 'Miscellaneous series' of records; document reference: MSS.21/1538/396]

 

Terrorism and counter-terrorism

'A statement on the London bombings', 1973

'A statement on the London bombings', 1973

Summary of a statement by the International Marxist Group, denying responsibility for the bombings but supporting "the right of the Irish Republican movement to carry out armed actions against British imperialism". Included in an edition of 'Irish Trotskyist'.

[Included in the papers of Bob Purdie, Trotskyist; document reference: MSS.149/2/8/21/9]

'The Athens Airport Attack': Trades Union Congress internal memo, August 1973

'The Athens Airport Attack': Trades Union Congress internal memo, August 1973

Members of Black September opened fire in a passenger lounge in Athens airport, killing 3 and wounding more than 50. The attackers were captured by the Greek authorities. In December 1973, 30 people were killed and an aircraft was hijacked at Rome airport by terrorists demanding the release of the gunmen from Greek custody.

[Included in a file on 'Aircraft - Attacks and Hi-jacking', from the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292D/658.96/2]

Edition of 'Zero', an "Anarchist/Anarca-Feminist Monthly", December 1977

Edition of 'Zero', an "Anarchist/Anarca-Feminist Monthly", December 1977

The cover story relates to the Red Army Faction (also known as the Baader - Meinhof Group). The article supports the RAF and criticises what it claims to be the state sponsored murders of its members.

[Included in the 'Miscellaneous series' of records; document reference: MSS.21/1538/146]

'No extradiction for Astrid Proll', 1978

'No extradiction for Astrid Proll', 1978

Leaflet issued by "Friends of Astrid Proll", London. Proll had been a member of the Red Army Faction in West Germany and was arrested in Britain in 1978. The "Friends of Astrid Proll" oppose her extradiction due to the deaths in prison of other members of the RAF.

[Included in the 'Miscellaneous series' of records; document reference: MSS.21/1388]

'Smash the Prevention of Terrorism Act Campaign', 1981

'Smash the Prevention of Terrorism Act Campaign', 1981

Leaflet for a rally in Coventry opposing the Prevention of Terrorism Act. The campaign appears to be linked to Provisional Sinn Fein.

[Included in the 'Miscellaneous series' of records; document reference: MSS.21/1613]

 

Feminism

Edition of 'Banshee' [1976]Charter of Irish Women United [1976]

Edition of 'Banshee', with charter of Irish Women United [1976]

'Banshee' was the journal of 'Irish Women United', published in Dublin. The charter, printed on the back cover, contains demands relating to legal, educational and financial equality, together with the need for free legal contraception and the recognition of motherhood and parenthood as a social function.

[Included in the papers of Bob Purdie, Trotskyist; document reference: MSS.149/2/8/4/2]

'NAC against Corrie', 1979'NAC against Corrie', 1979

'NAC against Corrie', 1979

Leaflet issued by the National Abortion Campaign in opposition to the Private Members' Bill limiting abortion, presented to parliament by John Corrie.

[Included in the 'Miscellaneous series' of records; document reference: MSS.21/1538/AB/4]

Leaflet advertising a 'Reclaim the Night' march in Coventry, 1979

Leaflet advertising a 'Reclaim the Night' march in Coventry, 1979

It states that "as women, we demand the right to be able to walk along at night, unhassled, unmolested and free from the threat of rape".

[Included in the 'Miscellaneous series' of records; document reference: MSS.21/1452]

'Women and work', 1980

'Women and work', 1980

Poster for a meeting of the Women's Organisation for Equality (WOE) in Brussels, used as a cover for the WOE newsletter for October 1980.

[Included in the papers of Professor Catherine Hoskyns (Academic and Research Papers on Women and the European Commission); document reference: 543/1/21]

'Why be a wife? Marriage - what's in it for you?', 1981

'Why be a wife? Marriage - what's in it for you?', 1981

Leaflet from the 'Why Be A Wife Campaign' - "take away the orange blossom and confetti and the marriage vows are not so different from a job contract. The woman takes on the job of unpaid servant, and in exchange the man agrees to 'support' her and any children".

[Included in the 'Miscellaneous series' of records; document reference: MSS.21/1557]

 

Green parties and environmentalism

'The Ecology Party: Sixteen fundamental statements' (draft), 1977

'The Ecology Party: Sixteen fundamental statements' (draft), 1977

The Ecology Party was founded in Coventry in 1973 as 'People', to act as an alternative political party concerned with environmental issues as opposed to economic growth. 'People' merged in February 1974 with 'Movement for Survival' and changed its name to the Ecology Party in June 1975. It was renamed the Green Party in 1985.

[Included in the records of the Ecology Party; document reference: MSS.50/1/2]

'Ecology and Anarchism' group: leaflet about proposed 'Torness Occupation', 1980

'Ecology and Anarchism' group: leaflet about proposed 'Torness Occupation', 1980

The leaflet outlines plans for the occupation of the site of a proposed nuclear reactor at Torness, South East Scotland, over the May bank holiday weekend. They suggest "creative destruction, site reclamation, radical reconstruction, destructive recreation", etc.

[Included in the 'Miscellaneous series' of records; document reference: MSS.21/1538/339]

'Econews', newsletter of the Ecology Party, March 1980

'Econews', newsletter of the Ecology Party, March 1980

The newsletter includes a policy paper outlining the Party's political philosophy and policies - 'The politics of ecology - an alternative vision for the Eighties'.

[Included in the records of the Ecology Party; document reference: MSS.50X/3/3/4/4]

'The Greenhouse Effect', 1988

'The Greenhouse Effect', 1988

Friends of the Earth leaflet explaining the idea of the 'Greenhouse effect' or global warming, and its possible environmental effects.

[Included in the 'Miscellaneous series' of records; document reference: MSS.21/2062]

'Clean air alert', undated (c1989)

'Clean air alert', undated (c1989)

Friends of the Earth leaflet on air pollution, with a "cleaner motoring guide".

[Included in the 'Miscellaneous series' of records; document reference: MSS.21/2135/2]