Angry Brigade logo.jpg

Two-part interview about the Angry Brigade, Britain’s first urban guerrilla group, with John Barker, author who in 1972 was convicted for being part of the organisation.

  • Part 1
  • Part 2

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futures-John-Barker

Get John Barker’s latest novel, Futures, here in our online store. Proceeds help fund our work.

Check out John’s website and buy his other books here: https://www.theharrier.net/

And check out John Barker’s radical London playlist, a collection of tracks which Brigaders were listening to at the time here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL71HxBMvC6byAUIVUB3Hm_h4HLy26FIKr

This is a detailed history of the Angry Brigade: https://libcom.org/library/angry-brigade-history-britains-first-urban-guerilla-group

And this is a comprehensive chronology of Angry Brigade activities and collection of all their documentation: https://libcom.org/history/angry-brigade-documents-chronology

John Barker today.jpg
John Barker, today. Photo courtesy PM Press

FOOTNOTES
Part 1

1. Society of the Spectacle – Guy Debord – you can read it online here: libcom.org/library/society-of-the-spectacle-debord
2. King Mob – here is a short introduction to the group: libcom.org/history/mob-who-sho…be-here-hari-kunzru

Part 2
1. Tyranny of structuralessness – Jo Freeman – read it online here: libcom.org/library/tyranny-str…lessness-jo-freeman
2. Stoke Newington police station – one particular notorious incident was the death of Colin Roach in this police station. Info on that here: libcom.org/library/workers’-playtime-death-colin-roach-“community-policing”-1983
3. Bending the Bars – John Barker – buy it online here: www.theharrier.net/product/bending…n-barker-ebook/
4. Hull prison riot – read Angry Brigade prisoner Jake Prescott’s account of the riot here: libcom.org/library/account-hul…-1976-jake-prescott
5. IRA – the Irish Republican Army – the main pro-Irish independence armed group
6. Portuguese revolution – this is a short history of the revolution: libcom.org/history/1974-1975-t…rtuguese-revolution
And this is a detailed account and analysis of it: libcom.org/library/portugal-im…olution-phil-mailer
7. Leninist – following the ideology of Russian Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin, particularly with regard to the importance he placed upon a “vanguard” political party
8. Winter of discontent – this is a short history of the Winter of discontent strike wave: libcom.org/history/1978-1979-winter-of-discontent
9. Libertarian communism – this refers to communism being implemented not through the state but by the mass of workers ourselves. This is a short introduction to libertarian communism: libcom.org/library/libertarian…munism-introduction
10. London cleaners strikes – in recent years mostly migrant cleaners have self-organised numerous successful disputes, mostly through the rank-and-file United Voices of the World (www.uvwunion.org.uk) and Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (iwgb.org.uk)
11. Big Flame – this is a partial archive of texts by or about Big Flame: libcom.org/tags/big-flame
12. Acorn – a tenants’ union and antipoverty organising group. This is their website: acorntheunion.org.uk/
13. Broadway market occupation – this occupation of a cafe in Hackney, London to prevent its conversion to luxury flats took place in 2006. More info here: libcom.org/news/article.php/br…e-occupation-2005-6
14. Criminal Justice Acts – John Barker – buy it online here: www.theharrier.net/product/criminal-justice-acts/

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Edited by Tyler Hill of the Gods & Ghosts podcast: tylerkenthill.podbean.com/
Our theme tune is Bella Ciao, thanks for permission to use it from Dischi del Sole. You can purchase it here: www.alabianca.it/store/bravo-reco…ella-ciao-aa-vv/ Or stream it here: open.spotify.com/album/6yXBmaTSWD…nXQrWJWUUEzgNEAQ

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3 thoughts on “E2-3: The Angry Brigade

  1. Fascinating. I was in Grosvenor Square in 68 and Paris. I met one of the pople in this group at uni. It reminds me of the idealistic confusion of youth and our failure to bring about significant change. The people at the back shouting ‘forward’ made me smile. It led to a circulatary movement in any demo. When those from the back came up against the police truncheons, they circled back, with sore heads. I wore a crash helmit and was enveloped by the police lines and roughed up. For reasons I never fully understood, I was thrown back, ‘This one’s had enough.’ If I had been arrested, I could have been set on a downward spiral. The confusion of different motives and splinters on the left was clear from the interview. The working class credentials of the likes of prominent speakers like David Triesman and Tariq Ali, both of whom made interesting subsequent careers, are questionable. Student activists are rarely working class. La lutte continue! My novel, Revolution, written as aaron aalborg, was partly inspired by memories of these days.

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