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Category Archives: History

The Bonnot Gang

(taken from Freedom, October 2012) It’s the 100th year anniversary of the Bonnot Gang, a group of anarchist bandits who operated in the Paris of the Belle Époque The Bonnot Gang are famous for being the first to use automobiles as getaway cars and were well known in their day for high profile robbing sprees and […]

Hacking in the seventies

Hacking, phone taps and the anarchists ‘A Company of Bastards’ and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (this brief history of militant trade union phone hacking in the 70s was published in Freedom, 13th August 2011) Recent comment on the ethics of phone hacking and the media reminded me of our practices in the 1970s, during the […]

Capitalism by design

Modern city planning serves the interests of the rich and powerful, not us, says Richard Griffin in this article from Freedom, 6th December 2003 Capitalism touches almost every aspect of our lives. Very little is unscathed even the space we live in. Architecture, design, building techniques, property use and access are all mediated by the […]


Historically one of the most prominent forms of social anarchism, anarcho-syndicalism is a school of thought that views labour unions as a potential force for revolutionary social change, capable of replacing capitalism and the State with a new society democratically self-managed by the workers.

The Battle of Saltley Gate

On one cold February morning in 1972, as planned, they marched down to the big iron gates of the Saltley Coke Depot in the centre of Birmingham. They began arriving early that morning thousands upon thousands of them, stretched down the main road as far as the eye could see, and they didn’t stop coming, […]

“Listen to the sound of marching feet”

Celebrating the 75th anniversary of Cable Street For the left, The Battle of Cable Street is a unifying feature. This was a battle that we won. We saw off the fascists. Among the Jewish community or those whose families included London dockers, you can still hear people claiming their father or mother, or a grandparent […]

Academics & anarchists: on doing hacking & phone taps

‘A Company of Bastards’ & the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act Recent comment on the ethics of phone-hacking and the media reminded me of our practices in the 1970s, during the time of the alternative press and counter-cultural journalism in the North of England; not to mention what we got up to in the name […]

Death in Genoa

I tried to help Carlo Giuliani but he was already dead. Here is my account. It was a human form but it was not a human. Life had left his body, the soul departed, the brain expired:- whatever conceptual or narrative terms you choose to couch it in, for me it seemed and remains an […]

Murray Bookchin in London

Written some twenty years ago and just republished by the Anarchist Library, ex-Freedom editor Charlie Crute gives us his impressions of one of the giants of modern anarchism. Murray Bookchin, now in his early seventies, was born into a tradition of iconoclasm. His parents h ad emigrated to New York after the 1905 revolution in […]

The General Strike 1926: The Great Betrayal?

Was the General Strike an expression of working class self-determination? Or was it a revolutionary strike aimed at overthrowing the ruling class? The way that the General Strike, or should that be The General Strike as it is the only one to have taken place in Britain, is remembered is often with a strong romanticism […]