Revolution

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

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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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14th July 1789 the Storming of the Bastille

The Storming of the Bastille, by Jean-Pierre Houël

Today we celebrate, though not without a small note of reservation, the Storming of the Bastille in Paris on this day in 1789. Commemorated with a public holiday in France, Bastille Day has come to mark the beginning of The … Continue reading

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16th June 1836 the Birth of Chartism

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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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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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10th June 1988  the Singing Revolution

The Estonian Singing Revolution

Twenty-five 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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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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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

One hundred and fifty-seven years ago in Kansas, on the night of 24th May 1856, 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 … 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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10th May 1857 the Great Indian Rebellion

The Great Indian Rebellion of 1857

One hundred and fifty-six years ago today in Meerut, 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’ quarters, … Continue reading

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9th May 1976 the Revolutionary Suicide of Ulrike Meinhof

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“How can stupidity invade intelligence?” asked Ulrike Meinhof of post-war West Germany’s increasingly capitalistic policies of betrayal. Since her death in 1976 on this day at the age of forty-one, we’ve been asking that very question of her own dilemmatic … Continue reading

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29th April 1916 the Easter Rising

Pádraig Pearse, President of the Provisional Government, surrenders to General Lowe

On the 29th April 1916 poet, teacher and revolutionary, Pádraig Pearse, issued the following statement from a beseiged building on Dublin’s Moore Street, In order to prevent the further slaughter of Dublin citizens, and in the hope of saving the … Continue reading

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25th April 1974 the Carnation Revolution

Guns n' Carnations

At twenty minutes past midnight on 25th April 1974, Lisbon night owls heard the unthinkable coming through their radios. “Sines, Vila Morena” – a folk anthem well-known to young people and intellectuals, with lyrics extolling the virtues of brotherhood and … 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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12th April 1989 the Revolutionary Suicide of Abbie Hoffman

“You measure a democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.” - Abbie Hoffman

Today we commemorate everyone’s favourite Groucho Marxist – the radical activist, Abbie Hoffman. Co-founder of the Yippies and author of Steal This Book and Revolution for the Hell of It, Hoffman was one of the most colourful and iconic figures … Continue reading

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7th April 1969 “The Birth of the Internet”

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Today we wish a very happy 45th birthday to the internet. In truth, pinning down an exact date for the birth of the internet isn’t really possible, but Wired magazine suggests today’s as good a day as any to celebrate; … Continue reading

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31st March 1970  The Yodo-Go Hijack

The infamous JAL hijack gave its name to one of the Japanese underground's most legendary albums, "Yodo-go-a-go-go"

Forty-four years ago today occurred the all-time single-most revolutionary political act in rock’n’roll, when Moriaki Wakabayashi – bass player of Tokyo’s notorious underground legends Les Rallizes Denudés – accompanied several other members of the Japanese Red Army Faction in the armed hijack … Continue reading

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18th March 1871 the Paris Commune Begins

"Storming Heaven" The barricades of Montmartre, 18 March 1871

Today marks the anniversary of the formation of the Paris Commune – the first successful seizure of power by the working class. Facing Prussian invasion forces on one side and French troops mobilised against its own citizens on the other, … Continue reading

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27th February 1917 Czar Nicholas II Abdicates

Nicholas II: The Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias no more

On this day in 1917 Czar Nicholas II abdicated – marking the end of a thousand years of Romanov rule and the beginning of a chain of events that would change the course of world history. Russia had witnessed previous … Continue reading

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30th January 1649 the Execution of Charles I

Off with his head

Today we commemorate the execution of King Charles I of England, three hundred and sixty-five years ago, executed on the orders of Oliver Cromwell after a trial by the Rump Parliament found the king guilty of being ‘a tyrant, traitor … Continue reading

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22nd January 1905 Bloodsky Sunday

Bloody Sunday outside the Winter Palace

Today marks one of the defining events of the 20th Century, for it was exactly 109 years ago today that a seismic shift occurred that would ultimately end Russia’s seemingly unassailable dynastical certainties – setting the stage for the new … Continue reading

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16th January 1968 the Release of Blue Cheer’s VINCEBUS ERUPTUM

Paul, Dickie & Leigh: Sonic Revolution

Let us today pay tribute to Blue Cheer’s astounding debut LP VINCEBUS ERUPTUM, their teenage master class in colossally loud avant-garde guitar dynamics released exactly forty-six years ago and arguably the first rock album genuinely deserving of the description ‘Heavy … Continue reading

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15th January 1919  the Murder of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht

Revolutionary leaders Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg

The murder of revolutionary leaders Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht on 15th January 1919 at the hands of the proto-Nazi Freikorps marked the end of the Spartacist Week – the failed workers’ uprising in Berlin. Incredibly their murder was ordered … Continue reading

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1st January 1994 The Zapatista Uprising

The Zapatistas, 1994

Twenty years ago today, 3,000 indigenous Mayan Indian guerrillas came down from the mountains of the southern province of Chiapas and declared war against the Mexican government. The insurgents – representing some of the poorest and most exploited people of … 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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14th December 1825 The Decembrist Revolt

Monument at the execution site of the five leaders of the Decembrist Revolt

Today marks the anniversary of the Decembrist Rising – a short-lived revolt of officers in the Czarist army in 1825. In many respects doomed to failure, the revolt has a historic significance that outweighs the actual events and marks a … Continue reading

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26th November 1976 ‘Anarchy In the UK’ Released

Thorough Motherfuckers

Today we celebrate the release of the Sex Pistols’ debut 7” single ‘Anarchy in the UK’ which caused a public outcry when it first appeared thirty-seven years ago, and heralded the entire regeneration of ‘70s rock’n’roll. A riotous wake-up call … Continue reading

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17th November 1947 the Death of Victor Serge

Victor Serge

Today in 1947, the life-long revolutionary Victor Serge collapsed and died in Mexico City at the age of 57. His health had broken down after many years spent in prison and imposed exile under regimes of various nationalities and political … Continue reading

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16th November 1938 Albert Hofmann Synthesizes LSD

Albert Hofmann

Today is quite an anniversary for psychedelic culture. Exactly four years ago the world lost one of its most remarkable visionary painters, the Peruvian Pablo Amaringo, whose art documented his shamanic ayahuasca visions. Forty years ago saw the death of the … Continue reading

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9th November 1989  the Collapse of the Berlin Wall

Celebrations as the Berlin Wall falls

Today we remember one of the most epochal world events of the second half of the twentieth century: the collapse of the Berlin Wall – that 90-mile-long boundary separating two opposing ideologies, that divided a city in half completely cutting … Continue reading

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5th November 1605 Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot

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Today we commemorate Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder Plot of 1605, in which several important English Catholics – led by Sir Robert Catesby – attempted to assassinate the recently crowned King James I, by blowing up the Houses of Parliament during its … Continue reading

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30th October 1968  Trans-Love Energies’ Zenta New Year

The MC5, Grande Ballroom, Detroit - October 30th, 1968

Today we celebrate one of the most incendiary events in rock’n’roll history. Forty-five years ago, within the hallowed walls of Detroit’s Grande Ballroom, the MC5 ignited the Zenta New Year. Cosmically calculated by the Five’s Trans-Love Energies commune to signify … Continue reading

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25th October 1917  the Bolshevik “October Revolution”

The 1920 Re-Enactment of the "Storming of the Winter Palace"

Today we consider the anniversary of Phase Two of the 1917 Russian Revolution, just eight months after Tsar Nicholas II’s regime was deposed and replaced by a Provisional Government. But the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks in their so-called October … Continue reading

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23rd October 1956 the Hungarian Revolution

Stalin toppled: Hungary 1956

Today marks the anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 – the first major anti-Soviet uprising in Eastern Europe and the first armed battle to occur between socialist states. It began spontaneously on the morning of 23rd October when 20,000 students delivered … Continue reading

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22nd October 1899 Sigmund Freud publishes “The Interpretation of Dreams”

"The Interpretation of Dreams"

Today we’re stepping back 114 years to the Autumn of 1899. To the day when a small academic printing-press in Vienna produced two advance copies of a book that was to herald a cultural revolution. A book that initially struggled … Continue reading

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18th October 1977 the Revolutionary Suicides of Baader and Ensslin

Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin

Today we celebrate the twin revolutionary suicides of Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin – co-leaders of Germany’s nihilistic Baader-Meinhof Gang – whose bloody and murderous exploits throughout the 1970s – made as part of Europe and Asia’s larger unhomogenised terrorist … Continue reading

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15th October 1966 the Founding of the Black Panther Party

Bobby Seale & Huey P. Newton

Forty-seven years ago today, in the Anti-Poverty Center in North Oakland, California, two young black American activists composed a “10-Point Program” for their envisaged revolution. Subtitled “What We Want and What We Believe”, this literal call-to-arms represented a significant shift in … Continue reading

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9th October 1967 The Martyrdom of Che Guevara

Che Guevara, 1959 – in everything, a Man of the Future

Forty-six years ago today, the CIA had Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara murdered in the jungles of Bolivia – the heroic exploits of this Latin American Warrior Poet and future World Prophet having, again & again, rendered the US Government’s many undercover … 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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5th October 1789 the Women’s March on Versailles

The Women's March on Versailles

Two hundred and twenty-four years ago today, an angry mob of nearly 7,000 working women – armed with pitchforks, pikes and muskets – marched in the rain from Paris to Versailles in what was to be a pivotal event in … Continue reading

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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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