A Radical History of Hackney Parks

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“The Park is called the People’s Park
And all the walks are theirs
And strolling through the flowery paths
They breathe exotic airs,
South Kensington, let it remain
Among the Upper Ten.
East London, with useful things,
Be left with working men.

The rich should ponder on the fact
Tis labour has built it up
A mountain of prodigious wealth
And filled the golden cup.
And surely workers who have toiled
Are worthy to behold
Some portion of the treasures won
And ribs of shining gold.”

An ode to Victoria Park, 1872
(from Victoria Park, East London: The People’s Park)

The text below was originally published as a pamphlet, bashed out for the Radical History Network meeting on “Community Empowerment and Open Green Spaces”, July 10th 2013. (I have a couple of the pamphlets left – drop me an email if you want one.)

It’s full of holes, a work in progress. Get in touch with additions, criticisms, comments.

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1275 The area that is now London Fields was recorded as common pastureland adjoining Cambridge Heath. In 1540 the name London Field is found recorded as a separate item consisting of around 100 acres in changing ownership of land. London Field was one of the many “commonable lands” of Hackney where the commoners of the parish could graze their livestock on the fields from Lammas Day (Anglo Saxon for bread mass), August 1st, celebrating the first loaf after the crops had been harvested, to Lady Day, March 25th. This arrangement was known as Lammas Rights and was protected by law. (from here)

1700s In the Marshes towards Hackney Wick were low public houses, the haunt of highwaymen. Dick Turpin was a constant guest at the “White House” or “Tyler’s Ferry” and few police-officers were bold enough to approach the spot.

1750 onwards Clissold House (originally named Paradise House) was built, in the latter half of the 18th century, for Jonathan Hoare, a City merchant, Quaker, philanthropist and anti-slavery campaigner. (His brother Samuel was one of the founders of the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade.). The grounds of the house went on to become Clissold Park.

1793 Big open-air demonstration on Hackney Downs, in support of the revolutionary gains in France. The tutors Richard Price, Joseph Priestley and Gilbert Wakefield organised lectures on the French Revolution at the New College, a non-conformist academy (“by-word for revolutionary opinion”) at Lower Clapton.

1840 Abney Park Cemetery opens as the first fully non-denominational burial ground in Europe (where anyone could be buried, but especially non-conformists, dissenters etc). Many anti-slavery campaigners are buried there.

1845 Victoria Park is opened following a petition by 30,000 local people to Queen Victoria. “There was no bathing pool provided and local youths were in the habit of bathing – naked! – in the adjacent Regent’s Canal.  Attempts to police such shocking behaviour were unavailing and within a few years a pool was provided in the park itself.” – Victoria Park, East London: The People’s Park

1848 Chartists meet at Bonners Park (near Victoria Park) to march on Parliament.

1860s Hackney Downs open space (originally common land) preserved as parkland as a result of pressure by the Commons Preservation Society.

1866 Widespread pickets and demonstrations for universal male suffrage as advocated by the Reform League during summer. After disorder at Hyde Park the Tory government banned all protest meetings throughout London. The ban was widely ignored; a huge “illegal” rally took place in Victoria Park.

1872 180 acres in Hackney are preserved as public open space and protected from the encroachment of development. Including Clapton Common and Cockhanger Green (now boringly called Stoke Newington Common).

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In the 1880s the grounds of Clissold House and the adjacent Newington Common were threatened with development, and two prominent campaigners, Joseph Beck of The City of London and John Runtz of The Metropolitan Board of Works (MBW) persuaded the Board of MBW to buy the land and create a public park. (from Clissold Park User Group, as was the image above)

1885 William Morris speaks at Victoria Park:

The political culture of the day was not simply confined to the clubs and indoor meeting places. The open-air meeting, whether in the park, or on the street corner, remained the principal forum for addressing the uninitiated, convincing the unconvinced, spreading the word. William Morris was one of the mast well known public speakers for socialism of the period, and visited Hackney often. There is a fine portrait of him speaking to a crowd in Victoria Park in 1885 in Tom Mann’s Memoirs:

He was a picture on an open air platform. The day was fine, the branches of the tree under which he was speaking spread far over the speaker. Getting him well in view, the thought came, and has always recurred as I think of that first sight of Morris – “Bluff King Hal”. I did not give careful attention to what he was saying, for I was chiefly concerned to get the picture of him in my mind, and then to watch the faces of the audience to see how they were impressed…. Nine-tenths were giving careful attention, but on the fringe of the crowd were some who had just accidentally arrived, being out for a walk, and having unwittingly come upon the meeting. These stragglers were making such remarks as: ‘Oh, this is the share-and-share-alike crowd’; ‘Poverty, eh, he looks all right, don’t he?’ But the audience were not to be distracted by attempts at ribaldry: and as Morris stepped off the improvised platform, they gave a fine hearty hand-clapping which showed real appreciation.

(From Hackney Propaganda: Working Class Club Life and Politics in Hackney 1870-1900)

1887 Free speech demo in Victoria Park in March.

1889 Clissold Park was opened by the newly formed London County Council (LCC). The two ponds in the park are named the Beckmere and the Runtzmere in honour of the two principal founders.

1926 Victoria Park is the site for some enthusiastic speeches in support of the General Strike. The park is closed briefly to the public during the strike when the army is stationed there – for reasons which seem to be unclear.

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1930s Hackney Red Radio (a branch of the Workers Theatre Movement) perform agit prop and pro-working class skits and plays. The group performs in parks, streets etc, including London Fields, where they are pelted with over-ripe tomatoes by an unappreciative audience on one occasion.

“We are Red Radio,
Workers’ Red Radio,
We Show you how you’re robbed and bled;
The old world’s crashing,
Let’s help to smash it
And build a workers’ world instead.”

1936 British Union of Fascists holds regular rallies in Victoria Park including clashes with anti-fascists. Also a large anti-fascist meeting in July organised by the Trades Councils of North and East London: “A mile long procession headed by a brass band culminated in a large public meeting which declared its unalterable opposition to fascism and to the war which it would inevitably lead.” Fascists attempt to march through East London in October for another Victoria Park rally, but are prevented from doing so by anti-fascists: The Battle of Cable Street. They did not pass.

1939 Trenches are dug in Hackney Downs, Victoria Park and other open spaces at the outset of the 2nd World War.

(There is a bit of gap here! Can you help fill it? What happened between the 1930s and the 1970s?)

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1978 80,000 attend huge Anti-Nazi League concert in Victoria Park (apparently the stage was in Hackney but the audience was in Tower Hamlets!).

1980s Three GLC-organised festivals in Victoria Park. Two are themed around peace / against nuclear weapons – including one on Hiroshima Day, 6 August 1983.

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1981 Funk The Wedding concert takes place in Clissold Park on the day of the marriage of Charles and Di. (from History Is Made At Night, as is the image above)

1983 Clissold Park Free Festival, August?! (mentioned here, any further info welcome)

1990s The demolition of London Fields Lido is resisted by the people of Hackney, including standing in front of the bulldozers. Local people led campaigns to reopen the Lido and cleared away vegetation. The children’s paddling pool which was closed in 1999, was reopened by local people for summer seasons. In 1998 the Lido was squatted for housing, a café and communal events. In August 1998 there was the Carnival of the Dispossessed, a benefit for Reclaim The Streets. The Lido was squatted for a second time 2002-2005. (From Past Tense)

1990 Hackney residents burn Poll Tax bills in Clissold Park.

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1991 Anti-Fascist Action sponsor Unity Carnival on Hackney Downs:

“AFA had surprised everyone by organising the biggest anti-fascist event for over a decade, drawing 10,000 people to the Unity Carnival on Hackney Downs. Supported by a wide range of organisations, from the Hackney Joint Shop Stewards Committee, to the Fire Brigade Union, the Carnival programme again drew attention to rising levels of race attacks and urged people to become pro-active: ‘We have organised today’s event to draw attention to the growing number of racist attacks especially in east London. The fact that some sections of the community virtually live under siege is unacceptable and we hope you are prepared to do more than just come to this symbolic show of unity. Support the activities on the back of this programme to get organised and do something to stop racist attacks.'”

Sean Birchall – Beating The Fascists: The Untold Story of Anti-Fascist Action (Freedom, 2010) p250

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1994 Hackney Homeless Festival, Clissold Park – 30,000 people. Clashes with police afterwards. (image by Jamie from tribe.net)

1996 Hackney Anarchy Week, a ten day festival including a punks’ picnic and 3-sided football match in Clissold Park.

2007 After much resistance and protest, the Manor Garden Allotments (near Hackney Wick, but apparently not technically in Hackney!) are demolished to make way for the Olympics. Similar struggles take place on Hackney Marshes (where football pitches are closed to make way for a coach park)

2012 A small “Occupy London” camp sets up briefly in Haggerston Park.

Sources/Acknowledgements

http://www.londonfieldsusergroup.org.uk/

http://www.clissoldpark.com/park-history/

Victoria Park, East London: The People’s Park

Barry Burke and Ken Worpole – Hackney Propaganda: Working Class Club Life and Politics in Hackney 1870-1900 (Centerprise, 1980) (William Morris)

Barry Burke – Rebels With A Cause: The History of Hackney Trades Council (Centerprise. 1975)

History Is Made At Night (Funk The Royal Wedding)

Past Tense (London Fields Lido)

Getting Involved

Hackney Council’s list of Park User Groups.

Further Reading: Modern

The Rise of the Friends Groups Movements, by Dave Morris

Finsbury Park: A History of Community Empowerment, by Hugh – Friends of Finsbury Park

The Community-Led Transformation of Lordship Rec, by Friends of Lordship Rec

Further Reading: Older

Down With The Fences: Battles For The Commons In South London, by Past Tense

Subversive of Public Decency: Open Space In North / North East London: radical crowds, immorality, and struggles over enclosure, by Past Tense (not online yet)

Hackney People’s Press issue 10

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Hackney People’s Press #10 (April 1974).

Tabloid-size newspaper, 8pp. Illustrated. A local paper formed by a merger between Hackney Gutter Press and Hackney Action in 1973. Front page story on the upcoming trial of five women who were evicted from their squat at 190 Amhurst Road in May 1973. Also: working conditions at Ford’s Dagenham plant (illustrated with a graphic which borrows Jame Reid’s spoof ‘Fraud’ logo); reports on homelessness and squatting; more

[stolen from here – anyone with more info on Hackney People’s Press or copies that can be included on this site should get in touch]

From the National Archives site:

The Hackney People’s Press was an amalgamation of two earlier radical newspapers – Hackney Action and Hackney Gutter Press. Hackney Action was founded in June 1982 by Centerprise, who aimed to ‘promote a people’s paper. One that will reflect the feelings and attitudes of the people in the borough of Hackney.’

Hackney Gutter Press was founded circa 1971 ‘by a group of people who are involved in organised activities such as Claimants Unions, squatting, Womens Liberation, playhouses for children, food co-ops.’

The first issue of the People’s Press, was issued in May 1973. Run by a collective, the paper reported on local and relevant national radical issues, but from the early 1980s experienced difficulties in keeping enough people involved to produce and distribute the newspaper.

The collective produced 109 issues (including the first five from Hackney Action), the last of which appeared in June 1985. [link]

Text from the scan above:

BROADWAY MARKET SCHEME: THE PLANNERS MOVE IN

The Greater London Council nave taken over a shopfront at 28, Broadway Market to explain to the people living nearby what their plans for their area are. And to get their participation.

It’s a bit late, isn’t it? For many years now, the authorities have deliberately allowed the Broadway Market to run down and have been compulsorily purchasing houses since the mid sixties. They now own over half the houses in the area. Where did the idea of re-development come from? Why couldn’t there have been meetings of local people to discuss the future of the area and to decide the form the planning should take?

THE PLAN

The re-development area stretches from Queensbridge Road to London Fields covering an area of 39 acres; with 600 houses, around 2500 people, 100 shops, 6 pubs and 23 factories or workshops.

The GLC sent round a survey to less than a third of the families, asking them whether they wanted re-housing in Hackney or not. They never asked them if they woutd like to stay where they were. Or whether the area should have been made a General Improvement Area like De Beauvoir, and houses done up by the landlord or council.

Area allowed to run down

And now it’s too late! The GLC has bought up so many houses and left them empty that the whole area is “run down”, so that people want to get out. Their excuse is that the Public Health Officer declared some houses unfit. But with proper maintenance and money spent, improving the area, the houses would be attractive and yet another com-munity would not have to be des-troyed. That’s their scheme! To make sure the area wants redeveloping by making it unbearable to live in. It doesn’t matter to the planners that most of the people living there have lived their all their lives. and have relatives and neighbours and good friends in the next streets. Two thirds of those answering the GLC survey had relatives in Hackney and over half wanted to stay.

It doesn’t matter to the planners that people being “cleared out” to make way for new houses won’t be able to afford the rents. The planners say – “They can get a rent rebate.” But it’s council policy to house you in accommodation they think you can afford without a rebate.

How high the rents?

Hackney Peoples Press asked various officials of the GLC what the rents would be.

They said they don’t know.

They are saying that people will be able to move back to the area, but we suspect that with the City being so near the rents will be well out of reach.

Why are they doing it? We were unable to get a sensible answer from them. They did tell us that when completed the area will house less people than it does now!

Given the acute housing shortage, it seems crazy to be planning less housing rather than more.

How high the cost?

Again, were unable to get anything tangible from the GLC. They do admit to paying over £4 million for the land alone. The officials working at the Exhibition referred us to Mr. Dean of the Valuers Department. He said: “What relevance has it got whether it is £20 million or £200 million: it’s just a figure.” A figure made up from our rates. We feel that it should be publicly available information how much they are spending on destroying a community to provide less housing. How much would it have cost to rennovate the empty houses, and put a bathroom and a larger kitchen in every house that is going to be demolished? We can’t know for certain because they won’t tell us, but it would surely only be a fraction of what its going to cost to rebuild the whole area.

‘Going up in the world’

What wIll the new houses be like? In the exhibition they look very glamorous. It seems as though each house is separate and each has its own garden. In fact, there will be long rows of identical terraced houses with a strip of garden – separated between houses by chains! CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

[Broadway Market has of course seen its fair share of planning/gentriciation scandal in this century also – see Hackney Independent for more on that]

Amhurst Road Squatters on Trial

The trial began on Wednesday of 5 women who were evicted last May, from 190, Amherst Rd. where they squatting.

On that day the police arrived, led by Inspector Hilliard (previously attatched to the notorious Special Patrol Group), and with the help of a local builder, evicted the women inside by force. The women were subsequently charged with assault. This was necessary (from the Police point of view), since the police are not legally entitled to evict squatters: their case is that they were present merely to prevent a breach of the peace, and the assault charges must therefore be seen as a smokescreen to cover their own illegal activities.

So far in the trial, we have had three days of prosecution evidence, and Mr. Hughes (who summoned the police in the first place) has admitted under cross-examination that his intention was to enlist their aid in forcibly evicting the women. (He himself had no authority either from the owners of the property, or from anyone else, to forcibly evict anyone from the premises, where he was merely under contract to do some redecorating work.)

The police continue to maintain that their role was purely to stand by, in case of need to prevent trouble, though their evidence, vague on many points and conflicting on others, is beginning to look less and less realistic, despite their being professionals in the witness-box.

They are relying on lurid accounts of how they were attacked by the defendants, in order to cover up their own illegal action and the use of force and violence on the six women brought to trial.

This is an important case, for if the police are allowed to get away, with this kind of operation once, they will no doubt feel freer to harras people in the future.

[359 Amhurst Road was raided by the police in 1971 in connection with Angry Brigade activity]

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Hidden Histories: Common Land and Squatting in Hackney

The good people at Past Tense have uploaded the notes and commentary from their guided walk earlier this year.

Lots of interesting information on the history of places like London Fields, Brougham Road, Broadway Market, Mare Street, London Lane and even the Town Hall.

Seems to be missing the images at the moment, though?

Squatting history walk in Hackney, July 17th

I heard about this via the nice people at Past Tense.

Hidden Histories: Common land and squatting in Hackney

A walking tour of central Hackney revealing the histories of common land use and squatting over the centuries.

Sunday 17 July 2pm

Meet at 2pm outside the Lido on London Fields.

The walk will last about 2 hours, followed by a picnic in London Fields

All welcome!

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Hackney Anarchy Week, final programme 1996

NB: This updated programme was published on the first day of the festival – Friday 24 May, so events on that day are not included.


All Week

Squat Cafe • Cheap vegan food • Every evening 18.00-23.00 • Note the cafe provides food only and not accommodation

“Mistakes” art exhibition • Barnabas Hall • Mon-Thurs afternoon & evening (not Wednesday evening)

The Wormfarts of Art open exhibition • Bring your own stuff as well • The Factory Squat • Daily 17.00-21.00

Saturday 25 May

14.00 • Anti-Fascist 5-a-side Football Tournament • Teams indude: Legal Defence & Monitoring Group, Class War, Rugger Bugger FC., The Nation’s Vibration, Hackney Patients’ Council, the Albion, Squall, Active Badminton Crew, the Co-ordinators + teams from Bradford, Brighton & Bristol + many more • Sign your own team up on the day • Bring balls! • Clissold Park • free

16.45 • Facilitating Meetings • workshop • Squat Cafe • free

18.00 • Defending demonstrators • workshop • Legal Defence and Monitoring Group • Squat Cafe • free •

20.00-02.00 • Dub Soundsystem • The Nation’s Vibration • The Factory Squat • £donations

Sunday 26 May

16.15-20.15 • Films at the Rio • 16.15 Themroc (dir. Claude Faraldo) + 18.20 Un Chien Andalou (dir. Luis Buinuel) 8.40 Ghosts of the Civil Dead (dir. John Hilcoat) • ABC prisoner support group stall • Rio £4.50/3.50

19.30 • Visions of Poesy • Riff Raff Poets • Hackney launch of this anarchist poetry bock with readings from contributors • The Acton Arms • £2

20.00 • Exploding Cinema *A visual feast – no budget and low budget shorts, films, videos and live performance • The Factory Squat • £3

Monday 27 May

All day

• Three P Pirate Radio • 102-106 FM • straight out of the ghetto with kicking music, deliberate fun and hard-hitting politics

The WormFarts of Art exhibition opens • see All Week

13.00-18.00 • Small Press (Book) Fair • Books, comics, zines, records, Tshirts, underground’s finest • Expect to see AK Distribution, Active Distribution, A Distribution, Black Flag, Slab-O-Concrete, Bypass, ACE, McLibel, Squall, Freedom, Survivors, Between the Lines, ASS, Hackney green groups and many more … • Barnabas Hall • free

19.30 • Anti-Election Alliance Meeting • Class War and the Anarchist Communist Federation (ACF) • Barnabas Hall • free

Tuesday 28 May

11.00 • Perspectives of Anarchism • workshop • Barnabas Hall • free

12.30 • Picket of McDonalds • Meet outside McDonalds, Narrow Way, Mare Street, Hackney E8 • (BR and buses: as Samuel Pepys)

14.30 • McDonalds under the Grill: lessons for fighting multinationals • McLibel Support Campaign • The essential tool kit for taking on greedy corporations with live demonstration by McSpotlight (http://ww.mcspotlight.org/) • Barnabas Hall • free

16.30 • The Unabomber Manifesto – Key Ideas • discussion • Barnabas Hall • free

19.30 • Survivors Poetry & acoustic music night • Survivors Poets • Readings & performance by survivors of the mental “health” system with Billy Childish, Dave Russell, Ray Wilmot, Fiona Branson • Barnabas Hall • £2.50

19.30 • Sexual Freedom • workshop + cafe + risuals • From free lore to the Spanner trial, with especially sexy steamy food at the cafe • Squat Cafe • free

20.00 • Acoustic night • The Astronauts, The 1926 Committee, the Dole Claimers, Dr Feelshite • The Acton Arms • £2

Wednesday 29 May

14.30 • Training day for autonomous communities in space • Association of Autonomous Astronauts • Barnabas Hall • free

19.30 • Politics and Inner Change • Discussion • Unity Club, upstairs meeting room • free

20.00-24.00 • A Night of Extraordinary Acts • Comedy night compered by Tony Allen • With Mark Kelly, Mr Social Control, Col. Fitz, Steve Ignorant, Rory Motion, Julia Palmer, Jenny Moseley + more • Chat’s Palace • £2. 50/4.00

20.30 • late addition • Grunge, punk, reggae: Penalised, Brassic Park, possibly NothingFace, possibly P.A.I.N and other bands (subject to alteration) • Acton Arms • £1.00 21.00 •

Uncle Bob’s Special Film Night • Noam Chornsky’s Manufacturing Consent + Cable Street footage (60th anniversary) + more • Technobabble • free

Thursday 30 May

7.30 • Reclaim The Streets action Stop the Commuter-Polluters • meet outside Chat’s Palace • People on bicycles needed

15.00 • Anarchism & Mental Health • talkshop • Barnabas Hall • free

18.00-19.00 (maybe longer) • Organising in the Education Industry: Discussion for students and workers, what to do in terms of organisation and resistance. Barnabas Hall • free

18.45-23.00 • Ken Loach double bill • 18.45 Riff Raff + 20.30 discussion with Ken Loach + 21.15 Land & Freedom • Rio Cinema • £4.50/3.50

19.30 • Anarchism, Islamic Fundamentalism & the Kurdish Struggle discussion • 5th of May Group (Turkish/Kurdish anarchist group) Barnabas Hall • free

20.00-23.00 • Out-take charity event • Academy 23, the Apostles, John Antiss (queer poet), Sam & Mono band (anarchistic cabaret) • Out-take – Gay & Lesbian Survivors of the mental “health” system • Chat’s Palace • £5/:.3)

Friday 31 May

17.45 • Critical Mass • Regular monthly action • Cyding mayhem in central London, meet on South Bank below Waterloo Bridge • Followed by films at Squat Cafe (see below)

20.00-01.00 • Stricknien D.C., Terminal Heads, Substandard, The Restarts, Walking Abortions • Reknaw • Venue t.b.c., look out for posters • £3

20.45ish • Critical Mass film night • Screening of Return of the Scorcher, film from California that gave Critical Mass its name • Starts after the regular London Critical Mass • Squat Cafe • free

21.00 • Farrago Poetry Slam Poets vs. Rant Poets • Farrago Poets, MC John Paul O’Neill • Current Farrago London slam champions – Mark Rathmell, Annie Byfield, Brian Lynch – against the Rant Poets – Steve Tasane, Gabby Tyrrell, Vic Lambrusco, Annie Rouse • Squat Cafe • suggested donation 12

20.00 • Bad Attitude magazine party/benefit • Women only, mesas guests • The Factory Squat • t.b.c STOP PRESS: Now on Sat 1 June

Saturday 1 June

12.00-14.00 • Critical Mass 2: This time it’s Hackney • Cycle ride through Hackney from London Fields to Clissold Park (and the Punx Picnic) • By Pub on the Park, London Fields • free

14.00 • Punx Picnic • Reknaw • Possibly with the Tofu Love Frogs • Post-picnic gig at the Albion • Clissold Park • free

17.00 (after Punx Picnic) • Aus-rotten (USA), Oi Polloi, Special Duties, The Nerves, MDM, Coitus, Red Flag 77, English Dogs, The Varukas • Reknaw • Venue to be announced at the picnic • £4

20.00 • Bad Attitude. see Friday 31 May

LATE • United Sound Systems party • Phone for venue details on the night 0181-959-7525 £donations

Sunday 2 June

15.30-19.00 • Mad Hat Tea Party • Requirements for attendance: bring a hat • Bands – Dead Dog Hat, Ming Hat, Dole Hat • Springfield Park, outside cafe • free

19.00-22.30 • HHH Video Evening • HHH cooperative • Screening of first edit of the “official” Hackney Anarchy Week film made by HHH throughout the week + HHH films “It’s a bit rough, ain’t it?”, Spikey, ARCH, 75A, demolitions etc. • Samuel Pepys upstairs

Organising groups

5th of May Group • PO Box 16881, London 118 7L

ABC-Anarchist Black Cross • c/o 121 Bookshop, 121 Railton Road London SE24

Anarchist Communist Federation • c/o Freedom Press (address below)

Association of Autonomous Astronauts • BM Box 3641, London WCIN 3XX

Bad Attitude • c/o 121 Bookshop (address above)

Class War • BM Box 357, London WC1N 3XX

Critical Mass • just turn up

Exploding Cinema • 0956-823712

Farrago Poets • 106 High Street, West Wickham, Kent BR4

HHH • email: HHH@phreakintermedia.co.uk

Riff Raff Poets • c/o Freedom Press, 84b Whitechapel High Street London E1 7QX

McLibel Support Campaign • 0171-713-1269

McSpotlight • http://www.mcspotlight.org/ & email: info@mcspodight.org

Nation’s Vibration • 0171-639-8702

Out-Take • Derek 0171-613-5326

Reclaim The Streets • 0171-281-4621

Spare Change Press • Box26,136-138 Kingsland High Street, London E8

Survivors Poets • 0171-916-5317

United Sound Systems • 0181-959-7525

Bust Info

Look out for the Legal Defence and Monitoring Group bust cards and carry them at all times.

These are their recommended solicitors:

Moss & Co. • 0181-986-8336, Pager 01459-103582

MacCormacks • 0171-790-4339

Thanks to Hackney Squatters Collective, 75A, 67A, the Factory, Chat’s Palace, Charles @ the Rio, Rick, pHreak, Tao Links, Calverts, Giles and all the groups & individuals who organised events this week. See you next year!

Venues

Free maps from the council, try Hackney Town Hall

Acton Arms • 296 Kingsland Rd (corner Arbutus St), Haggerston E8, 0171-254-7056 • Bus 22A, 22B, 67,149, 243, 243A, N243 • Access: ground floor

The Albion • please note the Albion is now being boycotted

Barnabas Hall • 109 Homerton High Street, Homerton E9 • BR: Homerton, Bus 228, 236, 276, 52, W15 past the door; 221., 30, 38, 55, 106, 253, N38, N253 nearby • Access: ground floor

Chat’s Palace • Brooksby Walk, Homerton E9 • Buses and BR: see Barnabas Hall • Access: good

Clissold Park • Stoke Newington Church Street/Green Lanes N16 • Bus 73, 106, 141, 171.

The Factory Squat • 8 Shelford Place Industrial Estate, Stoke Newington Church Street N16 • Bus 73, 141, 171 Tube Arsenal • Access: ground floor

London Fields • Pub on the Park, Martello St E8 • on your bike

Rio Cinema • 103 Kingsland High Street, Dalston E8, 0171-254-6677 • BR: Dalston Kingsland, Bus: 67,76 (not Sun),149, 236, 243, 243A, 8243 past the door; 221., 228, 30, 38, 56, 277, 38 near­by • Access: good

Squat Cafe • 67A Stoke Newington Road (entrance on Princess May Road) 816 • BR: Dalston Kingsland, Bus: 67,76 (not Sun),I49, 236, 243, 243A, 8243 past the door, 236 goes near • Access: lots of steps

Samuel Pepys • Mare Street, Hackney E8 (next to Hackney Empire), 0181-533-7709 • BR: Hackney Central, Hackney Downs, Bus 221., 228, 38, 48, 55,106, 236, 253, 277, D6, N26, H253 past the door, 30, 56 nearby • Access: poor, up stairs

Springfield Park • Spring Hill ES, near Clapton Common. Bus: 253 outside, 106 nearby

Technobabble • 40 Underwood Street, Hoxton NI • Tube: Old Street, Bus: 43, 76, 141, 214, 271 nearest, 55, 243, N243 nearby • Access: poor, up stairs

Unity Club • 96 Dalston Lane, Dalston E8 0171-241-0923 • BR: Dalston Kingsland, Bus: 22k 30, 38, 56, 236, 277 • Access: poor, upstairs

Food

all cheap with vegan & vegetarian

Squat Cafe • cheap vegan food every evening 18.00-23.00

Pumpkins • 76 Clarence Road E5, 0181-533-1214 • 12pm-21.30pm veg & vegan

Cafe Alba • 183 Mare Street E8, 0181-985-8349 • Mon-Fri 12.00-15.00 & 18.00-23.00, Sat & Sun 12.00-23.00

Centerprise • 136 Kingsland High Street E8, 0171-254-9632 • 10.30-17.00

Info updates during the week

Posters at events • Squat Cafe noticeboard • http://www.pHreak.co.uk/anarchy/ • pHreak bulletin board • email: anarchy@phreak.intermedia.co.uk • HAW @ BM Active, London WC IN 3XX

Message From The Organisers

So it’s finally happening, but what is it and why? First, it is whatever you “the people” make of it, if riots and insurrection ensue during or following the week you can bet we’ll be blamed or cele­brated, depending on the bias. All that the co-ordinators have done is in fact what you see on these pages of the pro­gramme. We asked those who call themselves Anarchist or Anarcho-something to do their thing during this week. Hackney Anarchy Week is therefore just a concentrated reflection .of what the Anarchists of Hackney and London are, however weak, disorganised, diverse or dynamic that is. For those who are unfamiliar with Anarchist politics it may seem confusing but take heart that there are people who believe in chang­ing things away from the tired hypocrisy of government and trendy left (and right) wing revolutionar­ies who can’t see past their paper sales!

We did not aim to provide a Hackney Anarcho-Butlins Holiday camp. The festival has come through a Do It Yourself structure and we see it as an on­going path for the week and the eventual revolution itself. Hackney Anarchy Week did not ask the council for any­thing, and in fact all they have done is attack us, and we do not expect to be asked of anything ourselves. We want to inspire. to bring together, to celebrate and to advertise, not to patron­ise, regulate or act as benevo­lent guardians of revolutionary anger. We’ve done something, it won’t end here, what about next year’?

Dedicated to Albert Meltzer, Emma Cray and Joshua Compston for lives of dedi­cation and enthusiasm.

The Bread and Circuses Roadshow

Are you fed up with an unsatisfying, meaning­less existence’? Would you like to do something about it’? Fancy researching Ozone-hole depletion in Antarctica’? Or maybe doing that bit of metal- sculpture that you always want­ed to’? Or maybe trading in your polluting car for an environmen­tally-friendly pony and trap’? Wanna get a band together’? Or just get a break from the con­sumerist treadmill for a few years?

Well, tough shit. You can’t and there’s nothing you can do about it, because that’s the way it is. Yes, welcome to the BastardWorld (TM) Bread and Circuses roadshow. Here’s the low-down… what would you really like to do with your life instead of the dead-end tread­mill existence you’ve been allo­cated’?

Yes, that’s right, just fill in the triplicate form enclosed and return it to the Department of Social Control. Then, after it’s been bent, folded, mutilated and stapled, lost, found, lost again and then put at the bottom of the pile enough times, we’ll arrange for you to see a group of our own hand-picked professionals doing exactly what you’ve always wanted to do but aren’t allowed to. Remember, all the interesting jobs are reserved. If we allowed the likes of you to get a look in, there wouldn’t be any plum jobs to hand out to the privileged members of society, their offspring and their min­ions.

Musn’t grumble, otherwise we’ll stitch you up as a social deviant and send you off for rehabilitation therapy and find a dozen good reasons why you shouldn’t get a look in. So remember, get into vicarious living, because that’s all you’re gonna get. Don’t get any funny ideas about voting in a different government to change things at the next election, because it won’t make a jot of difference. Why? Easy, because all the political parties are just another aspect of tile Department of Social Control’s very own “Bread and Circuses” roadshow. We’ve had it all sewn up long before you were even born and were not about to change any­thing for some little git like you. Sure, everything’s bullshit and we don’t care because, we don’t give a toss. Get used to it. We control everything and that includes you.

Don’t like it’? Well, there’s nowhere to go, buddy. So you can either put up and shut up or check out.

Albert Meltzer

A life time of Anarchist struggle ended this month with his death. A public procession to his memorial service is planned for 10am Friday, 24. March from Celestial Gardens, off Lee High Road, Lewisham, SE 13. Bring Black Flags, respect, but no Golden Angels.

There follows an excerpt from his recently published auto-biography Couldn’t Paint Golden Angels, Sixty Years of Commonplace Life and Anarchist Agitation:

“Personally I want to die in dignity, but my passing celebrated with jollity. I’ve told my executors that I want a stand-up comedian in the pulpit telling amus­ing anecdotes, and the coffin to slide into the incinerator to the sound of Marlene Dietrich. If the booze-up can begin right away, so much the better, and with a bit of luck the crematorium will never be gloomy again. Anyone mourn­ing should be denounced as a repre­sentative of a credit-card company and thrown out on their ear. Snowballs if in season (tomatoes if not) can be thrown at anyone utter­ing even worthy cliches like “the struggle goes on” and should any one of a religious mind offer pieces of abstract consolation they should be prepared to dodge pieces of’ concrete con­frontation.”

Reclaim the Streets…

…is an autonomous group who take direct action against ‘car culture’. Hackney has the lowest propor­tion of car ownership in London, yet every morning and evening commuters bring their pollution through Hackney on their way to the City. Stop the Commuter- Polluters and join the RTS action. Thurs, 30 May. Meet outside Chat’s Palace at 7.30 am.

Hackney Anarchy Week, 1996

This ten day festival in the borough was inspired by the London-wide “Anarchy In the UK” festival of 1994. It commenced exactly 15 years ago to the day.

HAW was the culmination of six months of a small crew  holding at least weekly meetings, originally held in a squatted social centre around Newington Green, and then HQ was set up in a squatted block on the corner of Kingsland High Street and Princess May Road. Contacts were pooled, favours were called in.

The main programme was a massive foldout thing (click on the images for bigger versions):

The inner pages of the programme included a Hackney Timeline and other material which will appear here shortly.

There was also a Hackney Anarchy Week film – does anyone fancy getting that up on Youtube?