Saturday, June 22, 2013

McLibel police spies revelations: defendant speaks out

McLibel leaflet was co-written by undercover police officer Bob Lambert - McDonald's sued green activists in long-running David v Goliath legal battle, but police role only now exposed:

The educational campaign against McDonald's 'and all they stand for', was initiated in the 1980s by London Greenpeace - an independent libertarian environmental collective of around 25 activists. The campaign developed into a global defiance movement in the 1990s when the transnational corporation tried to suppress their critics. Leaflets being given out in thousands in the '80s ended up being distributed in millions in over two dozen languages - a fantastic demonstration of people power which has helped ensure the public are aware that there are alternatives to a society based on profiteering, consumerism and the corporate exploitation of people, animals and the environment.

The libel case brought against two of us from London Greenpeace led to the longest running trial of any kind in English history. Denied legal aid we represented ourselves, cross-examining dozens of McDonalds executives and representatives, and bringing forward scores of our own witnesses and experts to testify. The corporation's business practices were put on trial before the world and some damning judgements were made against them after the 313-day trial and 23-day appeal.

This was achieved despite the odds overwhelmingly stacked against us in the legal system and up against McDonald's massive and relentless advertising and propaganda machine.

We now know that other shadowy forces were also trying to undermine our efforts in the most disgusting, but ultimately futile ways. The Metropolitan Police and McDonald's both sent infiltrators into our open group, and 3 of them scandalously conducted long-term sexual 'relationships' with activists in order to get information on the group's campaigns. This failed to disrupt the ever-growing campaigning, but caused massive personal damage to those abused in this way.

All over the world police and secret agents infiltrate opposition movements in order to protect the rich and powerful, but as we have seen in so many countries recently people power and the pursuit of truth and justice is unstoppable, even faced with the most repressive and unacceptable stasi-like tactics.

Dave Morris, McLibel defendant and campaigner

The book by Paul Lewis and Rob Evans about the undercover policing of protest is to be published on Monday.

See also earlier post here, 13/9/09: McDonald's and McLibel - the successful humiliation…...

Undercover police officer handing out leaflets against McDonalds, October 1986:
From Undercover by Rob Evans and Paul Lewis (2013)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Conscientious Objectors in WW2: first-hand accounts

Newly posted online:
The Conscientious Objectors

Restored Chapter 12 of YOU, YOU & YOU!  The People Out of Step with World War II (Pluto Press, 1981)  at
Includes material from Joe Jacobs and Philip Sansom.

It was three and a half years of the war before I worked around from wishy-washy, simple personal opposition to the war to sewing all these things together, in terms of what I now see as the pointlessness of objecting to war without objecting to the state which depends upon war.”

“I wrote ‘As a socialist I have pledged myself to oppose to the utmost of my ability any war started by the capitalist class in the interest of the capitalist class’.”

 and more…

{ Among suggestions put forward as possible subjects for future RaHN meetings we have : “Conscientious objectors and war resisters, and the role of people drawn into war in modern times”.}


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

And in York: Alternative History, 19 June

"The next open meeting of York’s Alternative History will be on
Wednesday, 19 June at 7 pm at The Corner Pin, bottom end of Tanner Row,
York. Please note the change of venue!!

There is lots to talk about – the latest developments in planning to
counter-act the State’s ‘Great War Fest’ in 2014, ideas for the next pub
discussion meeting following the successful one on the Suffragettes,
what to do about the way Guy Fawkes is commemorated, how what we do
links to present day activism, and some other great ways of challenging
‘Heritage York’ on behalf of the living! Everyone welcome. See you there."

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Housmans: Talks, 12 and 19 June

Book Launch and Talk: Clara Zetkin
12 June 2013, 7.00pm
Speakers John Partington and Marilyn Boxer, who contributed to Socialist History Society Occasional Publication 31 on Clara Zetkin, will discuss her life and legacy.

Venue Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 - near King’s Cross Station
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase 
Poor Man's Heaven:
the Land of Cokaygne and other utopian visions’

A talk by Omasius Gorgut

Wednesday 19th June, 7pm

Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, London, N1

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

“We’ll eat all we please from ham and egg trees
that grow by a lake full of beer…
The landlord well take and tie to a stake
and we won’t have to work like a slave..."

In the face of a life defined by exploitation, endless work, and
suffering, the poor of the Middle Ages dreamed up a fantastical land where
their sufferings were reversed; where people lived in idleness and plenty
- and the rich were barred.

This myth of a free earthly paradise was expressed in a popular song, The
Land of Cokaygne, in whch rivers ran with wine and milk, the houses were
made of pasties and tarts, and animals ran around cooked and ready to eat.

From 14th-century Europe to 20th-century USA, this dream emerges in songs,
poems, folk tales. But it wasn’t just a popular fantasy – the dream was
linked to the culture and tensions of the times, and time and again rebels
and heretics tried to turn dream into reality…

Omasius Gorgut will relate some of the elements of Cokaygne, why the dream
was continually being restated, and play some popular songs that emerged
from this fantastical land.

Omasius Gorgut's book, Poor Man's Heaven, is now available from past tense.

Friday, June 7, 2013

"Despite the Sun" documentary: Monday 10th June, 7 p.m.

The Solidarity Federation invite you to a free screening of "Despite the
Sun", an independent documentary about a year long strike at News
International printing plant in Wapping, 1986.

When: Monday 10th June, 7pm

Where: Pogo Cafe, 76 Clarence Road, London, E5.

All welcome, there will be a short discussion afterwards and comrades who were involved in the dispute are especially invited to come and share their experiences.

More info on the film at:

See also (trackback) post on this blog October 29, 2009:

Memories of the Wapping print dispute - some Haringey support experiences…



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Further to comment and reply on Spies for Peace

This is a scan of the covers of the pamphlet mentioned, complete with authentic (unidentified) stain.

The full text of the pamphlet and link to a pdf of the original can now be found at

For background on direct action in the anti-bomb movement, see also:
The Bomb, Direct Action and the State. Direct Action Pamphlets No. 7, 18pp. London,  SWF. Now available as a pdf, file size 11.6 MB, at (Solidarity Federation archive) Ref. SFA0006.

Monday, June 3, 2013

What’s On for radical historians in June: Nottingham


Celebrating 150 Years of Co-operation in Nottingham

The 30th May 1863 saw the opening of the first co-operative society in Nottingham set up on the principles of the Rochdale Pioneers.

We will be celebrating the past, present and future of co-operatives and their members’ work, ideas and ideals with a series of events in June and July 2013.

These include a film screening, a historical walk and the publication of an exciting new book, adding new and fascinating facets to the rich and turbulent history of the people of Nottingham.

For more DETAILS ON THE BOOK, please see:

EVENTS ARRANGED for Co-operatives Fortnight:
Exhibitions (free):
Nottinghamshire Archives, Castle Meadow Road,
Nottingham Local Studies Library, Angel Row.

Book Launch (free):
A City of Light: Socialism, Chartism and Co-operation – Nottingham 1844
(with People’s Histreh, Nottingham Radical History Group).
Saturday 22nd June, 2-4pm at the Sparrows Nest, St. Anns. Limited spaces only, please book online at
See also

Historic Walk (free):
Secular Origins of Co-operation (with Nottingham Secular Society and Nottingham Women's History Group). Estimated duration 2 hours.
Sunday 23rd June, meet at 2pm outside Boots, Upper Parliament Street.
See also

Book Signing:
A City of Light… at the Ex-Libris stall.
Saturday 29th June, Lowdham Book Festival, Lowdham Village.

Book and Together information stall:
At the Co-operative store re-opening, Lowdham.
Thursday 4th July. See in store for details.

Film and Discussion:
European Confederation of Worker Co-operatives' film Together, plus talk and discussions with Andy Woodcock, co-operative business adviser.
Saturday 6th July, 11am-1pm at Broadway Cinema, Broad Street. Followed by Atmosphere Glee Choir on the Broadway terrace 1-2pm. Tickets £3 from Broadway Box Office.
See also

Author Talk (free):
A City of Light… with Christopher Richardson.
Saturday 13th July, 2-3.30pm, Local Studies Library, Angel Row.
All events wheelchair accessible.
See also

For more information please see the flyer promoting all events:

See also