Dorian

24th March 1976 Argentina’s Dirty War

VIctims of the Dirty War – “Los desaparecidos” or “the disappeared.

38 years ago today, power was seized in a coup d’etat by a military junta that would rule Argentina between 1976 and 1983. Throughout those seven grueling years, Argentines endured a repressive regime of indiscriminate violence, persecution, torture, kidnappings, theft … Continue reading

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31st October 1517 Martin Luther Posts the Ninety-Five Theses on the Church Door in Winnberg

Nailing the Ninety-Five

Despite the best efforts of fundamentalists of all kinds to have it otherwise, most of us are products of a generally secular society. This makes it almost impossible for us to conceive of a time when every expression of thought, … Continue reading

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1st October 1949  Mao Zedong Declares the People’s Republic of China

Communism is not love. "Communism is a hammer which we use to crush the enemy." - Chairman Mao

On this day in 1949, following twenty years of bitter and bloody civil war, Mao Zedong stood victorious at Beijing’s Gate of Heavenly Peace and solemnly proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China.  At last, 500 million poor … Continue reading

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2nd July 1937 Amelia Earhart Disappears

"Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done.' - Amelia Earhart

“…first lady of the skies,  she had no guy holding her down, no one could clip her wings, she was no bird in the hand, she is no living thing now…” from the poem ‘Amelia Earhart’ by Patti Smith When 10-year-old … Continue reading

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17th May 1978 the Death of Armin T Wegner

Armin T. Wegner

This date is reserved for German humanitarian hero Armin T. Wegner, whose courageous actions on penalty of death bore undeniable photographic evidence of the systematic genocide of over one million Armenians committed by the Ottoman Empire during World War I. … Continue reading

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22nd March 1638 Anne Hutchinson Banished

"A woman of haughty and fierce carriage, a nimble wit and active spirit, a very voluble tongue, more bold than a man." Governor J Winthrop condemns Anne Hutchinson

On this day in 1638, Anne Hutchinson – religious radical and “first feminist of the New World” – was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. A recollection of this momentous event will appear here shortly.

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21st February 1934 the Death of Augusto César Sandino

"We will go to the sun of freedom or to the death; if we die, our cause will continue living." - Augusto Sandino

A tribute to the Nicaraguan freedom fighter and anti-imperialist hero Augusto César Sandino –  murdered on this day – will appear here soon.

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29th January 1912 the Death of Anna LoPizzo

"Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes; Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!"

On this day in 1912, 34-year-old immigrant mill-worker Anna LoPizzo was shot and killed by police whilst peacefully picketing in the Lawrence Textile Strike. Unlike the majority of heroines recalled here at On This Deity, Anna LoPizzo was in no … Continue reading

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25th November 1968 the Death of Upton Sinclair

"I don't know whether anyone will care to examine my heart, but if they do they will find two words there: 'Social Justice.' For that is what I have believed in and fought for." - Upton Sinclair

A tribute to Upton Sinclair – radical writer, lifelong crusader for social justice, and victim of the first ever American political smear campaign – will appear here shortly.

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12th November 1924 the Death of E.D. Morel

E.D. Morel

A man who helped to bring about the end of a brutal empire, whose tireless campaigning laid the groundwork for groups like Amnesty International, and who defeated Winston Churchill in an election – but who nobody has heard of – … Continue reading

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16th October 1902  the Revolutionary Suicide of Ida Craddock

"I maintain my right to die as I have lived, a free woman, not cowed into silence by any other human being."

A tribute to Ida Craddock – mystic visionary, free speech and women’s rights revolutionary – will appear here shortly.

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20th August 1968 The End of the Prague Spring

Russian tanks roll into Prague

An entry on the brutal suppression of the Prague Spring will appear here shortly.

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11th July 1960  Harper Lee Publishes To Kill A Mockingbird

“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.” Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird

“…Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked … Continue reading

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5th July 1833 the Death of Joseph Nicéphore Niépce

images

Look at the camera and say ‘cheese’ and ‘thank you’ to Joseph Nicéphore Niépce who died on this day in 1833, for it was Niépce who changed the way we view the world. Born in France 1765 into a middle-class family Niépce … Continue reading

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24th June 1932 the Siamese Revolution

The revolutionary People's Party addressing the crowd at the Royal Palace, Bangkok

At dawn on June 24, 1932, a small group of Bangkok intellectuals launched a revolution – seizing control of the army and imprisoning royal officials. By noon, they’d persuaded King Prajadhipok to surrender his autocratic power – thus ending almost … Continue reading

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18th June 1815 Waterloo

Battle of Waterloo by William Holmes Sullivan

Today in 1815 near a small town in Belgium, an Anglo-Allied army defeated Napoleon’s imperial army in a twelve-hour battle that even the victorious Duke of Wellington described as a ‘damn near run thing’ with victory only coming in the … Continue reading

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16th May 1918 The Sedition Act

SeditionAct-Snake

“Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech,” states the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Except when it suits Congress. And ninety-five years ago today, President Woodrow Wilson pushed through the Sedition Act of 1918 – a blatant … Continue reading

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9th May 1960  The Pill is Approved

"Birth control is the first important step woman must take toward the goal of her freedom. It is the first step she must take to be man’s equal. It is the first step they must both take toward human emancipation." - Margaret Sanger

“No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother” - Margaret Sanger The most revolutionary and liberating act for women is surely the availability of The Contraceptive Pill. Before The Pill … Continue reading

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3rd May 1915 “In Flanders Fields”

flanders_field

Days ahead of his departure for the Great War, Doctor John McCrae wrote to his mother a sentiment likely shared by every soldier going his way: “I am really rather afraid, but more afraid to stay at home with my … Continue reading

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19th April 1943 The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Memorial to the heroic Jewish resistance fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Of the many tales of sacrifice and struggle commemorated here at On This Deity, few can be more poignant or inspirational than today’s – the anniversary of the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. On this day in 1943, Nazi … Continue reading

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7th April 1836 the Death of William Godwin

William Godwin

A tribute to William Godwin – the father of philosophical anarchism – will appear here shortly.

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5th April 1722 Europeans Discover Easter Island

The restored moai at Tongariki, Easter Island. Photo: Moth Clark

The rise and fall of Easter Island is a parable for our times; a warning from history of what happens when our selfish species doesn’t pay close attention to every detail of Planet Three’s precious natural resources. On Easter Sunday 1722 Dutch … Continue reading

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29th March 1912 the Death of Captain Robert Falcon Scott

Captain Robert Falcon Scott 100th Anniversary of his Death

In the 1960s space was the final frontier. But just half a century earlier, the final frontier was the South Pole. And one hundred years ago today – his two companions lying frozen to death next to him – 43-year-old … Continue reading

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2nd March 1997  the Death of Judi Bari

Judi Bari: "Mother Earth, Earth First!"

A tribute to the eco-revolutionary Judi Bari – who died on this day in 1997 – will appear here shortly.

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29th February A Century of American Imperialist Interventions

american_interventions_since_ww2map31may2011_1

As no world-changing event has occurred on February 29th, let’s instead take this opportunity to reflect on one country’s determination to dominate the world in the last one hundred years by jackbooting its self-anointed authority across the globe in a … Continue reading

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14th February 1779 The Death of Captain James Cook

Captain Cook

“Do just once what others say you can’t do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again.” Whatever you may think about British colonial expansion, its impact and subsequent noxious effects, you have to admire the bravery, spirit … Continue reading

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11th February 1650 the Death of René Descartes

René Descartes

Today, on the anniversary of his death in 1650, we remember the life and work of French philosopher and mathematician, René Descartes. Although not overtly political, the work of Descartes succeeded in redefining much of philosophical thought, to the extent … Continue reading

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10th February 1778 the death of Carl Linnaeus

Carl Linnaeus

The Bible, Genesis 2:20, states: “And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field”. But actually it wasn’t Adam. It was a Swedish botanist: Carl Linnaeus. My dad … Continue reading

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3rd February 1468 Johannes Gutenberg and the Printing Revolution

800px-Featherbed_Alley_Printshop_Bermuda

As befits such a momentous world-shifting event, On This Deity proudly presents two overviews to mark the occasion of the death of Johannes Gutenberg and the Printing Revolution he begat.  These days we are constantly told that the Internet is the … Continue reading

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1st January 1804 The Black Jacobins and the Haitian Revolution

Toussaint L’Ouverture:  Leader of the Haitian Revolution

On New Year’s Day in 1804, Haiti proclaimed its independence: After ten years of struggle, an army of former slaves led by their charismatic leader Toussaint L’Ouverture had fought the French and British to a standstill. After the British colonies … Continue reading

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29th December 1916  the Death of Grigori Rasputin

Rasputin: Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know

The death on this day in 1916 of Gregory Rasputin left a legacy as full of myth and misinformation – along with some bizarre truths – as his life had been. Poisoned with five times the usual lethal dose of … Continue reading

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17th December 2010  The Self-Immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi

Mohamed Bouazizi

What a magic carpet ride it’s been in recent years for our brothers and sisters in North Africa and the Middle East. Egypt’s Mubarak-led police state deposed, Libya’s mad dog Gaddafi fittingly gunned down in a sewer. And the struggle … Continue reading

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9th December 1996 the Death of Mary Leakey

Mary Leakey

No matter who we are and what we think, the beautiful truth is that we are all children of Africa. It was in no small part the painstaking work of Mary Leakey that revealed this. For more than 50 years … Continue reading

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2nd December 1547 the Death of Hernán Cortés

Hernán "What a Killer" Cortés

“He came dancing across the water with his galleons and guns, Looking for the new world in that palace in the sun”- from Cortez the Killer by Neil Young Hernán (Hernando) Cortés was a glory-seeking, ruthless murderer capable of barbaric cruelty, who … Continue reading

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30th November 1994 The Revolutionary Suicide of Guy Debord

Guy Debord

On the evening of November 30th 1994, in the remote French village of Champot, revolutionary and avant-gardist Guy Debord enacted his final spectacle of deconstruction when he shot himself through the heart. He was 62. For the prime mover of … Continue reading

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13th November 1949 The Birth of the AK-47

mk03

Sixty-four years ago today, Mikhail Kalashnikov completed his development of the AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle – an invention so reliable, so easy and inexpensive to manufacture and so serviceable that the way was opened up for post-war freedom fighters finally … Continue reading

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3rd November 1918  The Kiel Mutiny

Mutinous German sailors of SMS  Prinzregent Luitpold

Following the stalemate that resulted from the Battle of Jutland in 1916, the German surface fleet was trapped in its home bases whilst only the U-boats continued a losing battle against allied shipping. By the autumn of 1918 the Imperial German … Continue reading

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23rd October 2006 The Death of Dr Jane Elizabeth Hodgson

Jane Elizabeth Hodgson

There are many reasons why a pregnancy may be unwanted. A woman may have no access to contraception or already have too many mouths to feed. It may endanger her health, even her life. She may have been raped. The … Continue reading

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22nd October 1941 The Execution of Guy Môquet

Guy Môquet

It happened in a quarry behind a prison camp on the outskirts of Châteaubriand. In three groups of nine, twenty-seven men were lined up. Behind them a pit to fall into. Before them a row of German guns. It was … Continue reading

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14th October 1066 The Battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest

Harold

The British Isles has a long history of invaders: Angles, Danes, Saxons, Vikings. But on 28th September 1066, when William, Duke of Normandy, landed at Pevensey in Sussex, an invasion force on this scale had not occurred since the Romans … Continue reading

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2nd October 1958 the Death of Marie Stopes

Marie Stopes

“I have some things to say about sex, which, so far as I am aware, have not yet been said … things which seem to me to be of profound importance to men and women who hope to make their … Continue reading

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28th September 1928 Alexander Fleming Discovers Penicillin

Fleming's original Petri dish containing the lowly mould that would save millions of lives

“One sometimes finds what one is not looking for. When I woke up just after dawn on Sept. 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionise all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I guess … Continue reading

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13th September 1922 The Destruction of Smyrna

The Great Fire of Smyrna

At the beginning of the 20th century, the great city of Smyrna on the Anatolian coast was one of the world’s richest, most cosmopolitan and ethnically diverse metropolises – containing large Armenian and Jewish communities, as well as twice as many … Continue reading

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8th September 1969 The Death of Alexandra David-Neel

Young Alexandra

A tribute to the extraordinary self-determining inner- and outer-world explorer Alexandra David-Néel will appear here soon.

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11th August 1881 the Death of Jane Digby

Jane Digby

On This Deity today proudly presents a love story of lust and adventure; the story of Jane Elizabeth Digby, who died 132 years ago today, a woman who did her own thing, when doing one’s own thing was very much … Continue reading

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7th August 1933  the Simele Massacre

martyrday

“Who, after all, speaks, today, of the extermination of Armenians,” asked Adolf Hitler in 1939. But, then as now, even less speak of the genocide of the Assyrians – the torchbearers of the earliest civilisation – who fell victim to the same … Continue reading

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6th August 1945 the Bombing of Hiroshima

The atomic mushroom cloud over Hiroshima. Fucking hell.

On 6th August 1945, the United States government unleashed upon the world the first weapon of mass destruction when the nuclear bomb “Little Boy” was detonated over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Exploding with a yield equivalent to 12,500 tonnes of … Continue reading

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5th August 1895 the Death of Friedrich Engels

Friedrich Engels: "Marx's General"

Today we recall the social theorist and world-changer – Friedrich Engels – chiefly known as the lifelong friend, literary executor and “junior partner” of Karl Marx. One of the most remarkable collaborative relationships in history, together Engels and Marx wrote The … Continue reading

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3rd August 2006 the Death of Arthur Lee

Arthur

Today we honour Arthur Lee – the African American protest singer, metaphysical poet and leader of LA’s pioneering psychedelic refuseniks Love – who quit this planet eight years ago after an arduous battle with cancer. Like Lou Reed, Arthur’s work … Continue reading

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31st July

Nought to report on this day. Instead, here’s something for you to chew on: “Modern industrial civilization has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is … Continue reading

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30th July 2006 the Death of Murray Bookchin

Murray Bookchin

Today we pay tribute to one of the great thinkers of the twentieth century – social critic, anarchist, utopian and eco-pioneer, Murray Bookchin – who died eight years ago aged 85. For twenty-five years, he was the most prominent American proponent of … Continue reading

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28th July 1968 the Founding of the American Indian Movement

The flag of the American Indian Movement

From the first contact with their invaders, American Indians have striven to be treated with the respect deserving of an indigenous, sovereign and culturally distinct nation. In turn, they’ve faced overt attempts by their conquerors at removal, forced assimilation and … Continue reading

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26th July 1953 the Birth of the 26th of July Movement

300px-Moncada_barracks

Today we recall the most revered date in Cuba’s history. For it was on this day, 26th July 1953, that Fidel Castro led the failed attack against the corrupt Fulgencio Batista dictatorship that would serve as the namesake and inspiration … Continue reading

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25th July 2001  the Death of Phoolan Devi

Phoolan Devi

She was born a low-caste “untouchable”. By the time she was twenty, she’d been raped so many times she’d lost count. But she would rise from abuse, poverty and degradation to avenge her honour and become a champion of women’s … Continue reading

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24th July

Nought to write about on this day. I’ll leave you instead with something to ponder from proto-feminist and beloved ancestor, John Stuart Mill: “In this age, the mere example of non-conformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, … Continue reading

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23 July 1967  the Detroit Riot

Motor City is Burning

On this day in 1967, the Detroit police raided an after-hours bar in the city’s poor black ghetto where nearly 100 locals had gathered to celebrate the return of two African American soldiers from Vietnam. Typically in such raids, the … Continue reading

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22nd July 2005 the Murder of Jean Charles de Menezes

Jean Charles de Menezes

Today we remember one of the great miscarriages of British justice of the present time, in which the British police – indeed the Metropolitan police, those paragons of English authority whose collective beats are more international and mutli-cultural than probably … Continue reading

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21st July 1969 “One Giant Leap For Mankind”

Apollo_11_Buzz_Aldrin_Salutes_US_Flag

Forty-five years ago today – and just sixty-seven years after the very first piloted aircraft flight – Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first humans to walk on the moon. Or so it is claimed.

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19th July 1850  the Death of Margaret Fuller

Margaret Fuller

On this day in 1850, pioneering feminist, Transcendentalist leader, freethinker and intellectual giant Margaret Fuller drowned tragically when an Italian cargo ship carrying her and her family struck a sandbar just fifty yards off the coast of New York’s Fire … Continue reading

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18th July 1988  the Death of Nico

Nico

“I’m flying to Ibiza. It’s my favourite place, and I think I’ll die there.” And twenty-six years ago today, Nico fulfilled her own prophecy after a fatal bicycle fall on the Spanish island she loved so much. She was 49. … Continue reading

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15th July 1907 the Martyrdom of Qiu Jin

秋瑾

Today we pay tribute to the extraordinary Chinese poetess, radical women’s rights leader and revolutionary, Qiu Jin – executed one hundred and seven years ago on this day at the age of 31. At the turn of the twentieth century, while Qiu’s … Continue reading

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12th July 1936  the Murder of Jose Castillo

José Castillo (left), and José Calvo Sotelo

At 9.30pm on 12th July 1936, José Castillo – a Spanish lieutenant in the governing Republic’s special police Guardia de Asalto and a high-profile anti-fascist – left his house in Madrid to walk to work. When he reached the corner, a … Continue reading

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11th July 1954 “In God We Trust”

S5300087-2

On 11th July 1954, the U.S. Congress enacted Public Law 84-140, which decreed that “In God We Trust” would henceforth appear on all American currency. This pious new motto was a direct violation of the First Amendment. The separation of … Continue reading

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10th July 1985 the Bombing of the Rainbow Warrior

The stricken Rainbow Warrior

On July 10th 1985, French intelligence agents acting under direct orders of President François Miterrand bombed the Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbour to prevent its protest voyage to the nuclear testing site of Moruroa in French Polynesia. The French … Continue reading

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9th July 1977  the Death of Alice Paul

The remarkable Alice Paul

At the onset of the second decade of the twentieth century, the American women’s suffrage movement was floundering. Despite non-stop crusading since 1848 and the monumental efforts of pioneers such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, by 1910 … Continue reading

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8th July 1822 the Death of Percy Bysshe Shelley

Shelley

Today we lament the tragically early death of Percy Bysshe Shelley, drowned when his schooner sank in a sudden violent storm in the Gulf of La Spezia. He was twenty-nine years old. Ten days later, his body washed ashore and, … Continue reading

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7th July 2006 the Death of Syd Barrett

The beautiful Syd Barrett

Today we pay tribute to the legendary Syd Barrett, erstwhile leader of the Pink Floyd and Psychedelic Frontiersman # 1, who quit this planet eight years ago after decades of reclusive living and battles with mental illness. WebRep currentVote noRating … Continue reading

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6th July 1934 the Death of Nestor Makhno

Nestor Makhno

Today we recall the Ukrainian revolutionary leader, Nestor Makhno, who died 80 years ago on this day in poverty, illness and oblivion. Fellow exiles who’d watched Makhno drink and cough himself to death in the slums of Paris could scarcely … Continue reading

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1st July 1876 the Death of Mikhail Bakunin

“No theory, no ready-made system, no book that has ever been written will save the world. I cleave to no system. I am a true seeker.”

Today we contemplate the extraordinary life and legacy of Mikhail Bakunin, the revolutionary colossus and leading spirit of 19th-century anarchism who – one hundred and thirty-eight years ago today – died in poverty and defeat at the age of sixty-two. Out-manoeuvred and … Continue reading

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30th June

commute

No great act has as yet occurred on this date. Instead, something to think about: “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the … Continue reading

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28th June 1936  the Death of Alexander Berkman

Alexander Berkman

On this day in 1936, Alexander Berkman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. Suffering from poor health and broken dreams, it was a sad and discomfiting end to the noble life of this seemingly inexorable revolutionary who, … Continue reading

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26th June 1541 the Death of Francisco Pizarro

Francisco Pizarro

On 26th June 1541, Francisco Pizarro – Spanish conquistador and murderous subjugator of the Inca Empire – got his just desserts when he was assassinated by his own people. The old ruffian, near 70, was seated at dinner with several close … Continue reading

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22nd June 1939 the Death of Benjamin Tucker

"I have never claimed that liberty will bring perfection, only that its results are vastly more preferable to those that follow authority." - Benjamin Tucker

Not with any spectacular knock-out blow did today’s subject achieve his legacy in the pantheon of American anarchist luminaries. He wasn’t a “propaganda-by-the-deed” anti-hero like Alexander Berkman; nor was he an inspiring, fiery, superstar orator like Emma Goldman. Despite being … Continue reading

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21st June 1877  the Molly Maguires’ Day of the Rope

The Molly Maguires march to their death

On 21st June 1877, in the anthracite-mining county of Schuylkill, Pennsylvania, ten Irish immigrant men alleged to have been members of an oath-bound secret sect of vigilantes called the Molly Maguires were hanged in what came to be known as … Continue reading

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20th June 1912 the Death of Voltairine de Cleyre

Voltairine de Cleyre, 1866-1912

Today we pay tribute to an extraordinary frontierswoman and freethinker, Voltairine de Cleyre, who died 102 years ago as she had lived: “a free spirit, an Anarchist, owing no allegiance to rulers, heavenly or earthly.” A leading luminary in the … Continue reading

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19th June 1953  the Execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

Ethel and Julius Rosenberg

Today marks the anniversary of the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in the electric chair at New York’s Sing Sing prison. Convicted of conspiring to pass atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, the Rosenbergs – who maintained their innocence … Continue reading

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18th June 1858  the Death of the Rani of Jhansi

Lakshmi Bai – the Queen of Jhansi

Today we pay tribute to Lakshmi Bai – the Rani (queen) of Jhansi – killed in battle on this day in 1858 by British Imperialists during India’s First War of Independence. She was twenty-two years old. The story of this freedom-fighting warrior … Continue reading

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16th June 1836 the Birth of Chartism

454px-WilliamLovettYoung-1

Today we celebrate the founding of the London Working Men’s Association – the radical organisation that would be responsible for the key demands that were incorporated into the People’s Charter, thus heralding the birth of Chartism – the first mass working-class … Continue reading

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15th June 1962 the Port Huron Statement

The defining document of the New Left

Fifty-two years ago today, a small group of American students authored a mission statement that would serve as the defining document of the revolutionary 1960s. “We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed in universities, … Continue reading

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12th June 1963 the Assassination of Medgar Evers

Medgar Evers

On this day in 1963, civil rights leader Medgar Evers was assassinated in the driveway of his home while his wife and young children watched in horror as he bled to death on the doorstep. Lynchings were still an ugly … Continue reading

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11th June 1963 the Revolutionary Suicide of Thich Quang Duc

The self-immolation of Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức

On 11th June 1963, 67-year-old Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức sat down in the lotus position at a busy crossroads in Saigon, doused himself in petrol, lit a match and burned to death. This spectacular public act of self-immolation in … Continue reading

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10th June 1988  the Singing Revolution

The Estonian Singing Revolution

Twenty-six years ago on this day, a crowd of 15,000 Estonians gathered at the Old Town Festival in Tartu spontaneously began singing their unofficial national anthem – a song which, under the Soviet yoke, they were forbidden to sing. The … Continue reading

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9th June 1938  the Yellow River Flood

Chinese soldiers wade through the flooded Yellow River

Seventy-six years ago today, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, Chinese Nationalist troops under the orders of Chiang Kai-Shek blew up the dikes holding back the Yellow River in an attempt to stop the invading Japanese. The mighty river was known … Continue reading

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8th June 1809 the Death of Thomas Paine

Erased from official history, the man named "The United States of America"

Today we celebrate and give thanks to Thomas Paine who, in his lifetime, contributed profoundly and fundamentally to the American and French Revolutions. His words crystallised and brought to the forefront the struggles of Britain’s Industrial Revolution working class. His … Continue reading

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7th June 1893  Gandhi’s First Act of Civil Disobedience

Young Gandhi in South Africa circa 1893

On this day in 1893, the twentieth century’s most famous non-violent revolutionary, Mohandas Gandhi, committed his first act of civil disobedience when the then 24-year-old Indian lawyer was forcibly ejected from a train at South Africa’s Pietermaritzburg Railway Station. Refusing … Continue reading

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3rd June 1943 the Zoot Suit Riots

Zoot Suit victims: stripped, beaten and humiliated

On the night of 3rd June 1943, as American men of all ethnicities shipped off to service in World War II, the city of Los Angeles witnessed a violent racist outbreak when a group of fifty sailors ran amok viciously … Continue reading

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2nd June 1780 the Gordon Riots

The Gordon Riots depicted by John Seymour Lucas

On this day in 1780, London was rocked by the biggest and most dramatic riots in British history. There was more damage to property than Paris suffered during the French Revolution, leaving hundreds dead, hundreds more wounded, and dozens of … Continue reading

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1st June 1968 the Death of Helen Keller

Helen Keller: A woman of extraordinary vision

Today we pay tribute to one of the twentieth century’s most potent symbols of courage and fortitude, the legendary Helen Keller. Rendered deaf and blind at nineteen months as a result of what was probably scarlet fever, the extraordinary story … Continue reading

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29th May 1851 ‘Ain’t I a Woman?’

The impeccably (self-) named Sojourner Truth

Today we recall that extraordinary, incendiary moment when former slave, itinerant preacher, abolitionist and firebrand Sojourner Truth took to the podium at the 1851 Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio, raised herself to her full height of over six feet, … Continue reading

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28th May 1871  Defeat of the Paris Commune

Paris ablaze during La Semaine Sanglante (The Bloody Week), the final days of the Paris Commune, 21–28 May 1871

Today we lament the unfathomably brutal suppression of the first proletarian revolution in history, the Paris Commune. Just three months earlier, on 18th March 1871, the workers of Paris rose up, seized power from the new provisional French government, declared … Continue reading

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27th May 1980 the Kwangju Massacre

The rounding-up of Kwangju dissidents

Today we lament the brutal suppression of the Kwangju Democratisation Movement. Ten days earlier, the citizens of the liberal South Korean city of Kwangju joined a student-led uprising in opposition to the illegitimate authoritarian rule of General Chun Doo-hwan. In response, … Continue reading

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26th May 1830 the Indian Removal Act

1830 Indian Removal Map

Today we lament the passage of President Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act – paving the way for White America’s long-wished for heave-ho of all Indians to lands west of the Mississippi river. “What good man would prefer a country covered … Continue reading

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24th May 1856  the Commencement of John Brown’s Holy War

John Brown and the clash of forces at Pottawatomie: the first battle of his Holy War

On this night one hundred and fifty-eight years ago in Kansas, a gang of seven abolitionists paid an unexpected visit to the home of militant pro-slavery advocate James Doyle. Doyle and two of his sons were ordered outside, whereupon the … Continue reading

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23rd May 2008 the Death of Utah Phillips

Utah Phillips

Today we raise a fist in tribute to folk singer, anarchist, activist, historian and storyteller extraordinaire, Utah Phillips, who died six years ago on this day aged seventy-three. A Mark Twain-meets-Howard Zinn with a guitar, Phillips dedicated himself to unearthing … Continue reading

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22nd May 1885 the Death of Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo

Today we pay our respects to that towering giant of French letters, visionary poet, epic novelist, revolutionary playwright, Romantic, mystic and political activist – Victor Hugo. An unqualified hero to his countrymen, when he died on this day in 1885 … Continue reading

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20th May

Another available date for future revolutionaries to take note of. If you reason instead of repeating what is taught you; if you analyze the law and strip off those cloudy fictions with which it has been draped in order to … Continue reading

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18th May 1955 the Death of Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary McLeod Bethune

In that grim 100-year period between the end of the American Civil War and the onset of the Civil Rights movement, the only thing more challenging than being an African American was the double whammy of being both black and … Continue reading

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14th May 1940 the Death of Emma Goldman

The one and only Emma Goldman

Today we celebrate the extraordinary life of an extraordinary woman – orator, writer, agitator, firebrand and revolutionary anarchist – Emma Goldman. Known as “Red Emma,” “the mother of anarchy in America” and “the most dangerous woman in the world,” she … Continue reading

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13th May 1968 Paris Revolts

One million march against French authoritarianism: Paris, May 1968

No other city is more synonymous with revolution than Paris. Its citizens turned the world upside down in 1789, 1830, 1848 and 1871. And on this day in May 1968, one million Parisians once again took to the streets in … Continue reading

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11th May 1846 the Commencement of Manifest Destiny

John Gast's interpretation of Manifest Destiny, with Columbia – the personification of the United States – guiding and protecting western settlers whist driving Native Americans and bison into obscurity

  On 11th May 1846, the 11th president of the United States, James Polk, asked Congress to recognise the existence of a war with Mexico triggered by America’s annexation of Texas. Two days later, war was officially declared and thus … Continue reading

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