May Day 1894: Peckham anarchists in Hyde Park

'The May Day demonstrations - The London anarchists - Violent scenes''A demonstration arranged by the Social Democratic Federation was held today in Hyde Park. The processionists, who did not exceed 3000 in number,  were for the most part orderly, and included contingents from Camberwell, Hammersmith, Bow, Bromley, Deptford, Greenwich, etc. Among the speakers were Dr ...

Death of an Italian Deptford Anarchist (1907)

'ANARCHIST DISCIPLE’S DEATHThe body man of a man found shot through the head, at Lambeth Meadow, Plumstead on Wednesday morning, was on Thursday identified as that of Leone Povinelli, Italian ice-cream vendor, residing at 25, Brookmill Road, Deptford. Emilio Nella, a companion of the deceased, who lives at the same address, saw the body during ...

The Anarchist Festival in Lewisham Odeon that never was – 1986

Lewisham Odeon opened as the Gaumont  Palace cinema in 1932, and was renamed the Odeon in 1962. As mentioned here before it was the scene of many iconic gigs before it closed in 1981, being finally demolished in 1991 to make way for a road widening scheme in the town centre.In 1986, the Odeon was ...

Radical New Cross: Protest and dissent 1875 – 2015

As part of the 2015 Being Human Festival of Humanities, Goldsmiths is hosting a series of events this month on the them 'Radical New Cross: Protest and dissent 1875 – 2015':'From radical parish priests to anti-fascist resistance, New Cross has a long history of radicalism, as will be demonstrated through a series of events, all ...

Hilly Fields 1907: ‘Socialists in hot water: eight arrests follow a riot’

Once upon a time Hilly Fields in Ladywell was the scene of intense political dispute, with thousands arguing and sometimes fighting at public meetings in the park:'An enormous crowd charged a Socialist procession as it was leaving Hilly Fields, Brockley, yesterday afternoon, and, in the free fight that ensued the S.D.F. [Social Democratic Federation] red ...

Louise Michel: a Paris Communard in South London

The International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam is probably the most significant archive of radical movements in Europe. Recently it has made accessible large parts of its archives in digital form, including the papers of Louise Michel.  This has enabled me to solve something that has been bugging me for a long time - ...

White Panther Party 1972 – ‘hassled by the pigs’ in Abbey Wood and beyond

The White Panther Party was a radical and anti-racist organisation originally established in the Detroit area in 1968 with the aim of bringing together white radicals to act alongside the Black Panther Party. It had its roots in the counter-culture, with one of its founders being John Sinclair - manager of the proto-punk band the ...

Commonweal: late 19th century socialism in South London

The Socialist League was a significant force in radical politics in the late 19th century (it existed from 1885 to 1901), most famously associated with William Morris. Its newspaper Commonweal is now largely online and is a fascinating source for London politics in that period, with its listings of meetings and branches. For instance in ...

History Corner: Peckham Anarchists in the 1890s

Interesting account by Nick Heath at Libcom on 'state repression against the Peckham Anarchist Communist Group in 1894':'In the 1890s several groups of, in the main, young activists broke away from Hyndman’s Social Democratic Federation and coalesced as anarchist groups in Canning Town, Deptford and Peckham. The Peckham Anarchist-Communist Group was one of these groups ...

Socialist artists and Third World Books in 1979 South London

Looking through an old copy of Photography/Politics: One, published by the Photographers Workshop in September 1979, I noticed a couple of interesting South London small ads.Sabarr Books was at 121 Railton Road SE24 'Specialising in books on Third World politics and literature'. I believe that Olive Morris (among other things a Brixton Black Panther) was ...