Mike Baker – an Easton legend. By Roger

Bristol Radical History Group

Mike with the Eastville Workhouse plaque

It is with great sadness that we heard of the death of Mike Baker on 12th March 2020 at the BRI.

I first met Mike Baker around twenty years ago when he was leading a local history walk around Easton with fellow historian Jim McNeil. Mike and Jim were leading members of the excellent local history group Living Easton and they had been asked to host a group of young German trade unionists who were visiting the Easton Cowboys and Girls Sports Club. Afterwards in The Plough, the Cowboys HQ, Mike explained that one of Living Easton‘s projects was the Time Signs Trail, a series of colourful, contoured aluminium plaques that highlighted ‘famous’ people from Easton. Though, as Mike said, this was ‘history from below’, a history of local people “who were not born with a silver spoon in their mouths”. The Time Signs Trail plaques dotted around Easton, included John Wall the founder of the cooperative movement in Bristol, the Trade Union leader Ben Tillett and the opera singer Ruby Helder. Mike Baker was the researcher, designer and creator of all of these amazing plaques and many more, which in my and many other people’s opinions were far more eye-catching and interesting than the somewhat bland and limited ‘official’ blue plaques.

Full post

The battle of Adwa: an Ethiopian victory that ran against the current of colonialism

The Conversation

Ethiopians attend a parade to mark the 123rd anniversary of the battle of Adwa last year. Photo by Minasse Wondimu Hailu

On the first day of March 124 years ago, traditional warriors, farmers and pastoralists as well as women defeated a well-armed Italian army in the northern town of Adwa in Ethiopia. The outcome of this battle ensured Ethiopia’s independence, making it the only African country never to be colonised. Adwa turned Ethiopia into a symbol of freedom for black people globally. It also led to a change of government in Italy.

The town of Adwa is located in Northern Tigray, closer to the southern border of Eritrea. Yeha, the capital of Ethiopia’s ancient empire from 980-400 BC, and the monastery of Aba Garima, which was founded in the sixth century AD, are located near the town.

The battle between Ethiopia and Italy took place in the mountainous terrain of the area.

Adwa still stands as witness to what ordinary Africans can do when they come together as farmers, pastoralists, women and rural people, workers and artists. They are able to score a decisive victory against global colonialist forces.

Read Article

Bristol Radical History Festival Saturday 16th May, 2020

10.00 am to 4.30 pm

Bristol Radical History Group (BRHG) have organised a full programme of events for our 2020 Radical History Festival, in collaboration with our hosts at M Shed.

Themes

The 2020 Festival has two main Themes, where once again we will reveal hidden histories, debate and agitate for a future of better pasts:

State and private surveillance of labour and social movements (1792 to now)

Hidden histories of post-war mainland Britain (1945-51)

Programme of events

The 43 Group.

Bristol Fundraiser and pamphlet launch 14th December 2019

We are very pleased to announce a BAF fundraiser DJ night and a pamphlet launch of the Bristol Radical History Group’s “Facing the Fascists”, a history of the Anti Nazi League in Bristol.

Pamphlet launch and intro to Bristol Antifascists from 8pm and first DJ from 8.30pm. DJs playing a liberated mix of punk, ska, 80s/90s classics and jungle!

14th December at the Plough, 223 Easton Road, Easton, BS5 0EG.

facebook event

Bridport 1919: conflict and tensions in a small industrial town in West Dorset

Event from: Bristol Radical History Festival 2019 (Level 1, Studio 1)

At the start of World War One Bridport was essentially a one industry town: rope and net making. The war brought opportunities to the town but also challenged paternalist employers with a revival of trade unionism and state pressure to improve low wages. With the Armistice, the sense of a collective national interest on the home front began to ebb away revealing long-standing as well as new tensions in the town. This talk explores the origins of these tensions in the war years and the range of ways in which they were expressed in the town in 1919, including soldiers’ protests and industrial strikes as well as a range of new political organisations in the town. Bridport was hardly a ‘red’ town and even with the new electorate of 1918 continued to return a Tory to Parliament as it still does. Yet the winding down of the WW1 home front revealed fracture lines which would mark the community as it struggled to build the Peace in unpredictable and challenging times.

Witchcraft, Gender, & Marxism | Philosophy Tube

Federici ‘mansplained’ (very neatly)