About RaHN

No gods , no masters , no wars
- an interim history of the Radical History Network of North East London

The Radical History Network of North East London, hereafter RaHN, was formed in February 2006 and has generally met monthly ever since. It has participated in events like the Anarchist Bookfair every year and is related to others groups like that of South London . Essentially the group covers subjects that are “ local, topical or of special interest “. It is broadly libertarian socialist in outlook. Its slogan is “celebrate our hisory, avoid repeating our mistakes”, with an obvious meaning.

Those who formed the group or have been regular attenders ever since were members, ex members or fellow travellers of a miscellany of political organisations such as the Solidarity for workers power [Solid fwp], Haringey Trade Union Council, [HTUC], Haringey Solidarity Network [HSG], Socialist Workers Party [SWP ], Revolutionary Communist Group [RCG], Marxist Humanists [MH] and so on.
RaHN has always met at the Wood Green Labour Club, Stuart Crescent, , N 22., then after name change this became Wood Green Social Club. The RaHN room contains the RaHN wooden trunk and several tables on which we place the Book Exchange, notes of previous meetings, free leaflets, and books, booklets, badges and stickers,m and other publications for sale. We tried meeting in Tottenham for a period, but this proved unpopular.

It sees itself as a study type group. For each meeting notes are prepared and circulated and the meeting is usually set out in a circle of chairs round the tables etc, whether it is a speaker, video or what.. Politically it could be based on Antonio Gramsci's Club of Moral Life, as a discussion group, rather than a substitute for a mass movement.

The question of funding came up early. Getting a lottery grant was discussed , but rejected for two reasons . Organisations dependent on external funds are venerable when the institution cuts , or threatens to cut, the money as many project found in the 1990s and we did not want this. Secondly the complexity of filing an application was anyway somewhat daunting . We have therefore depended on donations from organizations and individuals.

At the Anarchist Book Fair we have held meetings on Solidarity for workers power , The Subversive History of the NHS on its 60th Birthday, and Workers Councils. We put on a stall every year.

The heading of this history is taken mainly from the title of the comprehensive two volume book by Daniel Guerin [Guerin] It encompasses the need for a world without religion and churches, is anti capitalist using the terminology suggested by Noam Chomsky [Chomsky] , and encourages the powerful anti militarism that is growing so much in recent years. It is an expansion of libertarian philosophy that RaHN supports.


  1. I would like to draw your attention to a project in Glasgow, www,spiritofrevolt.info This is run by volunteers and the aim is to collect and catalogue and make accessible anarchist/libertarian socialist/grassroots/ non-party political history from around the Glasgow Clydeside area, We are also in the process of digitalising the material in an attempt to make it more easily accessible to the general public. Our catalogue will also eventually appear in the Glasgow Mitchell Library catalogue, where the material will be available to the public, but will remain the property of The Spirit of revolt Archive.
    Perhaps you could put us on your list of links. John.

  2. Interested in radical Jewish history during the two World Wars in North London?
    Then come along to Bruce Castle Museum in Tottenham next Wednesday 27th January to hear Esther Leslie's free talk:
    "Charlie Lahr and Family: Routes and locations of an Émigré North London Bookseller and Anarchist"
    Details: Wednesday 27 January 2016, 7.30pm Doors open from 7pm. Refreshments available.
    Charlie Lahr came to London from Germany in 1905 and settled - or better unsettled - in Muswell Hill, including for a time at Alexandra Palace, where he was interned during the Great War. An anarchist and a book publisher, he was involved in various bohemian circles, and appears as a idiosyncratic character in many memoirs and histories of the period. His wife, Esther, a Jewish radical/ anarchist, moved from the East End cigarette factories to running the bookshop, as well as working in the large asylum Colney Hatch and giving soap box speeches.
    This illustrated talk by Esther Leslie explores the lives of the Lahrs and their relations through two World Wars. It draws on the recently published memoir Yealm by Sheila Lahr (Unkant, 2015).
    Supported by the Friends of Bruce Castle.
    Venue: Bruce Castle Museum, Lordship Lane, Tottenham, London N17 8NU 020 8808 8772

  3. Hi! I just stumbled across your website and think its fab! I was wondering if you'd be up for including a link to Freedom Press's website in your links section? We publish a lot of radical authors/histories of East London! https://freedompress.org.uk/

  4. Thanks for comment and link. Freedom Press has now been added to the 'Kindred Spirits' list.