Dissent

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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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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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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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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13th June 1381 the Peasants’ Revolt

Wat Tyler leading the Peasant's Revolt

On this day in 1381, 20,000 peasants and townsmen from Kent and Essex stormed into London, led by John Ball an itinerant priest and Wat Tyler a craftsman. They had come to present the young King Richard II with a … 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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4th June 1989 the Tiananmen Square Massacre

Tank Man

In the early hours of the morning on June 4th 1989, the Chinese military began a brutal crackdown of the protest movement that had seen up to 100,000 people camped out in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square for more than a month. … Continue reading

Posted in Atrocities, Dissent | 7 Comments

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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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

Posted in Atrocities, Dissent, World Events | 6 Comments

10th May 1857 the Great Indian Rebellion

The Great Indian Rebellion of 1857

One hundred and fifty-seven years ago today in Meerut, India, three infantry regiments of Indian Sepoys turned their guns on their commanding British officers. Shouting ‘Maro phirangi ko’ (death to foreigners), they killed any European in sight, burnt the officers’ … Continue reading

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7th May 1763 Pontiac’s Rebellion

Chief Pontiac

On this day in 1763, one of the most significant Indian rebellions in the history of Colonial America began when a confederacy of tribes under the leadership of Chief Pontiac attacked British forces at Fort Detroit. Pontiac’s war would rage … Continue reading

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23rd April 1968 the Columbia University Student Protest

Students take Columbia's Hamilton Hall

It was the spring of 1968, the “year that rocked the world”. In America, the anti-Vietnam movement was intensifying, stirred by the Tet Offensive and My Lai Massacre. The women’s rights movement was mobilising. And Black Power and the Black … Continue reading

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25th March 1969  John & Yoko’s Bed-In for Peace

The newspeople said, "Say, what you're doing in bed?" I said, "We're only trying to get us some peace"

On 25th March 1969 Yoko Ono and John Lennon staged their first ‘bed-in’ for peace. Married five days earlier in Gibraltar, the Bed-In for Peace at the Amsterdam Hilton – inviting the world’s press to come and interview them about … Continue reading

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22nd February 1943 Beheading of the White Rose

Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl and Christoph Probst

Seventy-one years ago today, three German students were executed by guillotine in Munich’s Stadelheim Prison for their crimes of high treason against Hitler’s Third Reich. Just four days earlier, 24-year-old Hans Scholl and his 21-year-old sister Sophie were arrested after … Continue reading

Posted in Dissent, Heroes, Heroines | 7 Comments

3rd February 1787 Shays’ Rebellion

Engraving depicting Daniel Shays (left) and fellow rebel Job Shattuck

Today we consider Shays’ Rebellion – otherwise known as “the American Revolution’s Final Battle” – which very nearly led to America’s first civil war. This major grassroots uprising raged for six months and shared much in common with the ideologies that … Continue reading

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9th January 1996 The Third Battle of Newbury

The Battle for the Trees at Tot Hill, Newbury

On 9th January 1996 the bulldozers and chainsaws moved in to clear the route of the Newbury bypass. This nine-mile stretch of Berkshire countryside had been under threat since a public inquiry in 1988 approved the building of a four-lane … Continue reading

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20th December 1973  Operation Ogre

"One more pothole, one less asshole"

Forty years ago today, Spain moved a significant step closer to liberation from its protracted state of fascistic tyranny when General Francisco Franco’s named political successor – the recently appointed prime minister, Luis Carrero Blanco, otherwise known as “the Ogre” … Continue reading

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16th December 1773 The Boston Tea Party

Depiction of the Boston Tea Party

At nine o’clock on the night of 16th December 1773, a group of angry Bostonians disguised as Mohawk Indians and armed with tomahawks boarded three British ships anchored at Griffin’s Wharf in Boston harbour. Urged on by thousands of cheering … Continue reading

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12th December 1982 Greenham Common Peace Women ‘Embrace the Base’

Beautiful!

  The 12th December 1982 was cold. Not really the kind of day to be hanging about outside unless there is something you really have to do. But there was something that I and thousands of other women really, really … Continue reading

Posted in Dissent, Heroines | 6 Comments

10th December 1907 The Brown Dog Riots

The 1906 Memorial to the Brown Dog

It can be surprising to discover that the largest, most controversial and violent riot in Britain concerning the emotive issue of animal rights occurred not in recent years, but in 1907. And the most vociferous and heated protagonists were not … Continue reading

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9th December 1987 The First Intifada

Demonstration in front of the Dome of the Rock at the beginning of the First Intifada

Today we mark the beginning of the first Palestinian Intifada in 1987. Various end dates are cited, usually falling between the Madrid Peace Conference of 1991 and the Mehola Junction bombing of 1993, but arguably the conditions and enmities created … Continue reading

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3rd December 1854 The Eureka Stockade

Eureka Insurgents swear allegiance to the Southern Cross

The history of Australia shares many key similarities with America – colonialisation, multi-cultural settlement and genocidal atrocities meted out on its indigenous peoples. But colonial Australia, unlike America, was not distinguished by legendary rebellions and revolution. In fact, the event we … Continue reading

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6th November 1990  the Women “Drivers” of Saudi Arabia

"We the Women" declaration

Twenty-three years ago today, 47 women staged a remarkable protest against Saudi Arabia’s unwritten “law of convention” prohibiting women from driving – the only country in the world to violate this basic human right of freedom of movement. In a … Continue reading

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24th October 2005 the Death of Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks being fingerprinted in 1955

Today we pay tribute to the inspirational Rosa Parks – one of the most prominent African American women in history – who died eight years ago aged 92. Rosa’s extraordinary act of civil disobedience – when, on 1st December 1955, she … Continue reading

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8th October 1969  the Weathermen’s Days of Rage

Still under the guise of the SDS, the Weathermen hoped to "Bring the War Home!"

Forty-four years ago today, the Weathermen – the newly-formed militant faction of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) – attempted to “Bring the War Home” with a no-holds-barred direct action in Chicago,  surreptitiously billed “Days of Rage”. The intent was … Continue reading

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24th September 1969  the Chicago Conspiracy Trial

Bobby Seale: bound, gagged and shackled

Forty-four years ago today marked the beginning of the infamous and so-called Chicago Conspiracy Trial – the most highly publicised showcase for the opposing political, cultural and generational ideologies that divided America during its explosive Vietnam years. Accused of conspiring to … Continue reading

Posted in Dissent, World Events | 3 Comments

17th September 2011 The Birth of the Occupy Movement

Adbusters' Occupy Wall Street Poster

On this day in 2011, some 1000 gathered in New York City’s financial district to protest corporate power over democracy, the growing disparity of wealth distribution, and the absence of criminal accountability of the greedy rotters responsible for the 2008 … Continue reading

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16th September 1920  the First Wall Street Bombing

The 1920 Wall Street Bombing

Ninety-three years ago today, a bedraggled horse-drawn wagon made its way along Wall Street in Lower Manhattan – which had recently eclipsed London as the financial centre of the world – and stopped directly in front of its then-most powerful totem, … Continue reading

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9th September 1971 the Attica State Prison Riot

Attica State Prison Inmates

Forty-two years ago today, the white authorities of Attica State prison in the so-called liberal state of New York – desperate to restore some semblance of order amongst the concentration camp-like conditions they’d imposed upon their primarily Afro-American inmates – … Continue reading

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4th September 1949  the Peekskill Riots

Rioters overturn a car at Peekskill

When I was twelve years old, I discovered that my best friend Liz’s grandmother had, throughout her adult life, enjoyed a decades-long love affair with Paul Robeson. Singer, scholar, Hollywood actor, Broadway star, even political activist – Paul Robeson was … Continue reading

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21st August 1831 Nat Turner’s Rebellion

"I was intended for some great purpose" - Nat Turner

One hundred and eighty-two years ago today, Nat Turner – a slave and lay preacher from Virginia – calmly explained to six of his fellow slaves that the moment had come for him not only to lead his people out … Continue reading

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17th August 1963 the Execution of Delgado & Granados

Granados and Delgado

On this day in 1963, two young Spanish anarchists were executed by General Franco’s obscene regime for a Passport Office bombing of which they had no knowledge, while the real perpetrators slipped quietly away. Despite the absence of any evidence … Continue reading

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16th August 1819 The Peterloo Massacre

Below the Red Plaque, the Black Sheep busk on the site of the Peterloo Massacre

On this day in 1819, during a pro-democracy rally in Manchester’s St. Peter’s Field, utter bloody carnage fell upon the peaceful protestors when the local yeomanry set about the crowd of 60,000 with sabres drawn, trampling and hacking down fifteen … Continue reading

Posted in Atrocities, Dissent, World Events | 6 Comments

11th August 1958 the Dockum Sit-In

Dockum Sit-In Memorial

On this day in 1958, the owner of Kansas’s state-wide Rexall drugstores walked into Dockum’s, his flagship store in downtown Wichita. Observing a group of young black students sitting peacefully at the lunch counter, after several minutes of consideration, he … Continue reading

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2nd August 1943 The Treblinka Revolt

The Treblinka Monument

When people wonder how millions of Holocaust victims went to their deaths without resisting, they display a total ignorance of the impeccable organisation, military might and web of deception behind the Nazi’s Final Solution. While there were multiple ghetto uprisings … Continue reading

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