struggle histories

class struggle historiescropped-delinquent-book-title-e1355336242477-300x285Brixton riot lowcontact

Class pervades every aspect of this website as it does every aspect of the contradictions we live. And class struggle is the essential ‘impossible’ escape from this mad mess of a life.

Most people who write about history do so not from a perspective that  aims to clarify the “lessons” of past struggles, their strengths and weaknesses, but merely as either a career, or as a pastime. On this site, I hope to use the past to help change the future. History is something to make, not merely read or write about. When one riots or strikes or revolts in some other way one does so in the present. The past only makes sense when one first of all begins with a disabused analysis of the present and then works backwards.

Please note: on the drop-down menu class struggles in China, France, Greece & South Africa and Mexico are now under the A-Z (countries) section

Video, followed by comments, from end of October 2019:

Re. the song in the video above:

Whilst I like the song, its simplicity is both refreshing and yet at the same time simplistic. Particularly as it finishes with “down with Israel”. Not, of course, because I am for Israel but because, although the song attacks governments and demands revolution everywhere, only Israel as a nation-state is selected to be ‘abolished’. Without wanting to make an easy equivalent of all nation-states, there are some things they all have in common –  all nation-states can be as murderous towards their own proletariat and that of other countries (if they have the means to be) as Israel.

There seems to be internationally, amongst the most significant movements that have taken on their ‘own’ state, a kind of confusion of internationalism as an ideal and nationalism as some ideal (hence so many national flags in these movements). In other words, most participants recognise a certain commonality of interests between the oppressed of all countries but also seem to have a fantasy of a good nation-state, that their miseries can still be overcome within the geographical (and particularly cultural) definition of their ‘own’ country. This might seem a pedantic quibble – at least in relation to this heartening song – but it seems to be a significant contradiction that needs to be unraveled in all its country-to-country complexities. Those who strive towards the progress of struggles need to find the ways and means to oppose such complex contradictions without seeking easy set-piece ‘analyses. and ‘answers’. We need to avoid the frying pan of  uncritical cheer-leading and the fire of contempt masked as ‘coherence’. Some lament how much more advanced the struggles of the  late 60s and the epoch following it were. But if struggles today are often expressed in extremely naive and simplistically ideological terms compared with the past, the  way forward is not to just blame people for their lack of class consciousness but to  understand the unprecedented power of the conditions and conditioning  that repress class consciousness and their history. “The end of alienation is only reached by the straight and narrow path of alienation itself” – Of Student Poverty



Iraq – October 2019 – March 2020

on the October 2019 revolt in Chile

Iran – November 2019 – January 2020

Lebanon – October 2019 – February 2020

Ecuador, October 2019

Catalonia, October 2019

Extinction Rebellion – October 2019



Tunisia, 2018 – 2013

Iraqi Kurdistan

france: the latest… (a chronology and reader constantly updated up until the present)

mexico fucks the elections (updated 16th June 2015)

leaflet on the German train drivers strike (may 2015)

ethiopian jews riot in israel (may 2015)

ferguson… (2014 – 2015)

brazil against the world cup (2014)

bosnians against bosses, yugoslavs against yugoslavery (2014)

portugal, Nov 2010 – March 2013: On the Passage of a Few Thousand People Through a Brief Period of Time (translated 2014)

occu…POW! – the jolt of Occupy St.Louis (2013)

south africa: another man done gone & post-marikana notes (2012/13)

the 1919 u.k. police strike (2012)

france: infant and primary schools occupied (2011)

france: class struggle in autumn 2010, september – november (2010)

st. pauls, bristol 1980 (2006/2011)

france: all quiet on the french front (2006)

france novembre 2005: 2 petits trucs sur les émeutes (2006)

france 2005: brief notes on the movement of secondary school students (2005)

south africa – now & then (2005/1979/1983/1985)

france: social movements (2003)

“you make plans – WE MAKE HISTORY” (2001)

algeria 2001: no forgiveness (2001)

uk fuel protests: looks as though we’ve got ourselves a convoy (2000)

france 1995-6: the strike and after (1996)

france 1996: la grève et après… (1996)

london hospital occupations, early 1990s: occupational therapy (1995)

kurdish uprising in Iraq (1991)

the university, the car factory and the working class (1991)

emergency! (1990)

france goes off the rails: 1986 – 1987 (1987)

mendeku: revenge in the basque country (1987)

rebel violence v. hierarchical violence (1986)

os cangaceiros: freedom is the crime that contains all crimes, and other stuff…(1985-6), plus a critical introduction (2013)

school stopper’s handbook (1984/5)

the spanish dockers’ “co-ordinadora” (1984)

the third day of september – sebokeng 30 years ago ( written 1984, plus introduction 2014)

daily riot (1981)

uk, 1978-9: now is the winter of our discontent (1980/2001)

soweto ’76 (1978/9)

the montgomery bus boycott -1955-6 (1978)

class struggle in Italy (1977)

news of disalienation (1973)


Hits as of 13/2/18:


2 Responses to struggle histories
  1. Siddiq says:

    Interesting article by Mohamed Keita on the history of popular struggle in Africa here:

    I must confess my ignorance about almost all the revolts he discusses. I’d appreciate any suggestions for materials that might help correct that, especially those written from a revolutionary (i.e. international class struggle) perspective (as rare as such texts are sure to be).


  2. One Response to original page “LATEST!” which has now been suppressed, with, however, bits added to this “struggle histories” page:

    The end of the affair: some reflections on 2019 | Cautiously pessimistic says:
    January 5, 2020 at 1:20 pm   

    […] I always try to do a little end-of-year round-up thing, and had been toying with the idea of an end-of-decade one, but (as the lateness of this probably shows) I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed to even attempt anything at all. This year saw a genuinely international wave of struggle, bigger than anything we’ve seen since at least the highpoint of 2011 and perhaps even beyond that, which I did very little to cover, but which were covered far more extensively by projects such as Crimethinc and Dialectical Delinquents. […]

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