Past Tense Publications

A complete (we think!) list of all the books, pamphlets, maps, leaflets, posters & more that we have physically, so far, 2001-2022. Where items are still in print there’s a link to our online shops.

Much of this is now out of print… some will soon be available again. Money is tight, so some may never be re-printed (at least by us). Hey ho. That’s the nature of publishing. Also some of it we look back on & go, ho hum, wouldn’t do THAT like THAT these days… That’s all in the way of things too, ideas evolve, writing styles improve… Hopefully.

If something’s not currently in print, we’ve tried to link to any text or version that’s online, or a closely related page or blogpost…

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Past Tense was launched in 2001, initially to publish writings about the history, geography, struggles and landscapes of North Southwark… as an offshoot of sorts from 56a InfoShop. Over the years it evolved to a wider focus on all of London, and sometimes voyaged beyond.

2001

• NINE THINGS THAT AREN’T THERE
A Manoeuvre Around the Elephant and Castle.
By Christopher Jones.
Pamphlet
Published Winter 2001 (reprinted later)
“Criss-crossing the place called the Elephant and Castle, a local just South of The Thames in London Town, is the right way to go about things.This is because there is no other way to pass through this terrain.”
Mysteries of South London’s central nexus.
Out of print, but the text is online here

2002

• THE SOUTHWARK PUDDING WONDER IS OVER
Leaflet
Published for Mayday 2002.
The looting and scoffing of a huge pie by the slum-dwellers of the Southwark Mint…
Online here

2003

• SOUTHWARK KNIVES.
By Christopher Jones.
Pamphlet
Published Spring 2003 (and reprinted later)
“Walking down Crampton Street at 1 am… There is a full moon above that lights up my movement of foot over foot on the paving slabs below. I look at the fenced-in wild land that sits on the junction of Crampton with Amelia Street. I remember the non-space fondly. I played games there. Have milked poppies there. Enacted with friends”.
Out of print, but the text is online here

• SUBTERRANEAN SOUTHWARK
Pamphlet
Published 2003 (Republished as a book a few years later)
Ever wondered what’s under Southwark soil? Which tunnels, subways, bunkers
and hiding holes are right beneath our feet. Whether it’s a mile or so of disused Northern Line or the long lost Camber Well, a secret passage way for 18th century villains or an emergency exit shaft for the Jubilee Line.
This booklet reveals all: tunnels, bunkers, sewers, the lot.
Currently out of print.

• FORMULARY FOR A NEW URBANISM
Pamphlet
Originally printed in 1953
The writings of French political theorist, activist and poet Ivan Chtcheglov, which were an inspiration to the Lettrist International and Situationist International.
Published Winter 2003
Currently out of print.

2004

• DEPTFORD FUN CITY
By Neil Gordon-Orr.
Pamphlet
Published 2004
‘Deptford Fun City: a ramble through the history and music of New Cross and Deptford’.
Deptford Fun City includes a cast of punks, pagans, revolting peasants, gut girls, slaves and slavers, sound systems, suffragettes, speedway riders, sailors, dock strikers, deserters, metal bashers, may queens, pearly kings, ghosts, vampires, Chartists, bread rioters and anarchist bombers.
Currently out of print. But the walk it is based on can be found here

• DOWN WITH THE FENCES:
Battles against enclosures in South London.
Pamphlet
Published October 2004 (reprinted 2010).
Most of the open spaces – commons, woods, greens – that exist in South London remain today because they were preserved from development by collective action. Whether by rioting, tearing down fences, or by legal agitation, many of the parks and commons we know and love would have been lost if they hadn’t been actively defended.
Consistently failing to update with loads of new research but should be eventually back in print…!
The original text is online here

• THE MAYOR OF GARRATT:
Mock Elections in 18th Century South London.
Pamphlet
Published October 2004 (reprinted and updated 2008)
In the 18th Century mock elections for the fictional office of Mayor attracted huge crowds to the tiny South London hamlet of Garratt.
Thousands of people flocked to a huge rowdy satirical pisstake of the election process of the times. The candidates were always poor tradesmen, usually with a drink problem and sometimes with a physical deformity…
Later version can be ordered here
Text online here

• THE CORRUGANZA BOXMAKERS STRIKE.
Pamphlet
Published October 2004 (reprinted 2008)
In August 1908, 44 young women workers at Corruganza Box making Works in Summerstown, South London, went on strike against a reduction in their wages. None of them had ever struck before. Fascinating account of their experiences, much of it on their own words.
Out of print – text online here

2005


• POOR MAN’S HEAVEN

Pamphlet
Published October 2005
A 14th Century peasant Utopian song, The Land of Cokaygne, and how it expressed the subversive desires of the time – in opposition to the poverty and misery of the lives of the poor; and how the theme recurs in song and story throughout the following centuries.
Out of print – though here’s a PDF… a longer revised version was published as a book in October 2011.

• REDS ON THE GREEN:
A Short tour of Clerkenwell Radicalism.
Pamphlet
Published October 2005 (reprinted and updated, as a book, 2012)
A radical history of the Clerkenwell area of North London, its characters and events; charting the changing fortunes and developments of the communities, classes and individuals involved. It also offers some passing comments on the Clerkenwell of today.
Out of print – longer revised version published as a book in October 2011.
PDF here

• NINE DAYS IN MAY:
The 1926 General Strike in Southwark.
Pamphlet
Published October 2005 (reprinted and updated 2007)
The events of May 1926 in the (then separate) South London Boroughs of Southwark and Camberwell: how the strike was organised on the ground, pickets’ clashes with scabs and the police, attempts to distribute news and information about how the Strike was going. Personal accounts by local Strike activists: an insight into a crucial battle in British working class history.
A reprint is being worked on… The text is online here

• THE STORY OF WILLIAM CUFFAY, BLACK CHARTIST.
Pamphlet
Published October 2005 (reprinted 2008)
Black tailor William Cuffay was on of the leaders and martyrs of the Chartist movement, the first mass political movement of the British working class. Cuffay suffered for his political beliefs and activities: in 1848 he was convicted of treason for his involvement in plans for an insurrection in London – he was transported to Tasmania for life.
Can be ordered here

• I SAW A TIGER RUNNING WILD
Pamphlet
Published 2005
Rambles round Walworth’s wilderness, Burgess Park, created from rubble and bombsites, growing together as a unique open space over demolished streets and filled-in canals. “There is only a notion called Burgess Park, for such a collection of oddments cannot possibly be planned. Despite many plans and the future, the park remains pure poetry.”
Out of print

2006


• TOWARDS AN ACCOUNT OF THE 1926 GENERAL STRIKE IN LONDON

Pamphlet
Published May 2006. (reprinted twice)
Brief accounts of some of the local events of the 1926 general Strike in different areas of London, produced for a South London Radical History Group discussion about the Strike. A step toward a more comprehensive history of London’s part in this cataclysmic event in working class history.
A post based on the text

• KENNINGTON PARK:
Birthplace of People’s Democracy.
By Stefan Szczelkun.
Pamphlet
Originally published by Working Press.
Past tense version published June 2006 (reprinted 2010)
In 1848 Kenington Common, later to be renamed Kennington Park, was host to a historic gathering which can now be seen as the birth of modern British democracy. In reaction to this gathering, the great Chartist rally of 10th April 1848, the common was forcibly enclosed and the Victorian Park was built to occupy the site.
Order here

• RARE DOINGS AT CAMBERWELL
Map
Published June 2006 (reprinted 2008)
A map of some of the hidden rebel history of Camberwell, produced for a radical history walk of the area.
An online version of the map

• WATER, MORAL ECONOMY AND THE NEW RIVER
Pamphlet
Published August 2006
North London’s New River was created in the 17th century to relieve problems of clean water supply in the City of London. Produced for a walk down the river’s northern stretch, this booklet recounts some of the social background to water supply and the moral economy of water delivery before and after the digging of the river, and as an aside relates some of the rebellious history of areas the river passes through.
Currently out of print. Later updated version published in 2013 as ‘Free Like Conduit Water’
Here’s a post based on this text though

• LAST ORDERS FOR THE LOCAL:
Working Class Space v. the Marketplace; Theme Pubs and other disasters.
Pamphlet
Originally published 2001 by A Class Act to End All Classes. Re-Published by past tense October 2006
Inspired by the destruction of most of the best pubs in our locality and the increasing difficulty in finding a pub with a bearable atmosphere to enjoy a drink in, Last Orders for the Local? casts a critical eye over recent changes to pub environments and the emergence of Theming as a marketing factor in various fields of leisure and consumption; and ponders how this connects to the balance of class forces and changes in the way we relate to history and memory.
Currently out of print, but Text online here

• SET THE PEOPLE FREE:
Opposition to ID cards in North London, 1950/2006.
By David King.
Pamphlet
Published October 2006
During the Second World War the government introduced compulsory ID cards as part of their emergency measures. It was not until seven years after the War that ID cards were finally withdrawn. Clarence Willcock was instrumental in this process; his refusal to show his ID card when stopped by the police in North London raised questions about their use in peacetime Britain and contributed to the withdrawal of the cards in 1952.
Order here

• THE COMMUNIST CLUB.
By Keith Scholey.
Pamphlet
Published October 2006
The Communist Club, originally a political social club formed by German émigrés, played an important role in the radical politics of London and Europe during the mid to late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It linked Chartism, utopian socialism, the First International, early anarchism, the first Marxist groups in Britain, and formed an important connection between the British and Continental European (German, Russian) socialist movements.
Order here

• A SHABBY LONDON SUBURB:
A walk around the working class & radical history of Hammersmith.
Pamphlet
Published October 2006 (reprinted 2010)
Revolting peasants… heretics… civil war agitators… chartists… suffragettes… socialists… irish republicans… anarchists… suffocated tory MPs with satsumas in their mouths… Hammersmith has seen it all. With the aid of this pamphlet you can wander the streets of one of West London’s finest neighbourhoods, delving into its proud and rebellious history…
Order here

• THE BURNING OF THE ALBION MILLS.
Pamphlet
Published October 2006
The Albion steam-powered Mills were the first great factory in London, an industrial wonder of the time. But the mills were widely resented by millers and workers. In 1791 they burned to the ground. Arson was strongly suspected… Crowds gathered to celebrate the Mills destruction, ballads were written and sung on the spot…
Currently out of print but there’s a post here

• DOWN WITH THE AUSTRIAN BUTCHER:
A Vicious Military Man Gets What he Deserves, 1850.
Leaflet
Published October 2006 (reprinted 2010)
The vicious Austrian General Haynau and what happened to him when he met the draymen of Bankside in 1849.
Free leaflet can be ordered here
A post on the Haynau incident

2007


• BURNING WOMEN:

The European Witch hunts, enclosure and the Rise of Capitalism.
Pamphlet
Published February 2007 (reprinted 2010)
Understanding the witch trials of the 16th and 17th Centuries is a vital part of understanding the rise of capitalism, the family, women’s roles and our relation to our bodies. A brief overview of the economic, social and ideological reasons for, and effects of, the massacre of women that took place during the rise of capitalism.
Order here

• SYMOND NEWELL AND KETT’S REBELLION:
Norfolk’s Great Revolt against Enclosures, 1549.
By Peter E Newell.
Pamphlet
Published October 2007
In 1549 England was rocked by a major revolt in Norfolk against enclosures. Rich landowners were fencing off lands and woods, mainly to make agriculture more profitable; in the process depriving poor labourers and small farmers of small plots of land for grazing, growing food, and preventing them from gathering wood for fuel. This caused major upheaval and poverty, driving people onto marginal land & into cities. Enclosure was a vital engine for the rise of capitalist agriculture, but this wholesale robbery of access to land was resisted for centuries, often by force. Kett’s Rebellion in 1549 was the largest act of resistance: 1000s of Norfolk yeomen and labourers took arms against their landlords. Peter
E. Newell’s account, made personal by his ancestor Symond Newell’s played involvement in the Rebellion, relates the background to the revolt, the personalities involved, and the dramatic outcome…
A text based on this out of print item

• A GLORIOUS LIBERTY:
The Ideas of the Ranters.
By A.L.Morton
Pamphlet
Published October 2007
The Ranters formed the extreme left wing of the sects which came into prominence during the English Revolution. Heretical, impassioned, possessed: their contemporaries accused them of spending their time “in drunkenness, uncleanness, blasphemous words, filthy songs, and mixt dances of men and women stark naked.” They were fiercely repressed by the authorities. AL Morton recounts the ideas, activities and fate of these intriguing 17th Century mystical anarchists.
Order here

• READER FLATTERY:
Iain Sinclair and the Colonisation of East London.
Pamphlet
Published October 2007 (stolen from Mute)
Iain Sinclair is familiar as a psychogeographic chronicler of London’s East End in transition from Dickensian darkness to socially cleansed sterility. But is he an enemy of the urban enclosures or a literary estate agent, a seer or a voyeur? John Barker offers a stylistic analysis and some embedded psychogeographic reportage of his own.
Since we nicked it, here’s a link

• EASTENDERS:
Glimpses of the Radical History of East London.
Pamphlet
Published October 2007, laid out and printed in a mad frenzy in the two days and nights before the 2007 London Anarchist Bookfair in Mile End.
Reprinted 2008, 2010)
The people of East London have a long tradition of organising themselves – to change their lives, improve their living standards, or working towards a radical overthrow of the social conditions they lived under, and dreaming and creating new ones… From the Peasants’ Revolt, to struggles against gentrification, Eastenders have always been ready to stand together and kick up a fuss. A very basic introduction to some of the East End’s turbulent past.
For various reasons, no records of this publication exist… we were still doing paper layout art then, and the computer layouts got deleted somehow. Maybe we’ll reprint. Maybe we won’t.
Lots of our blog posts relate to the East End though

2008


• HISTORICAL SPITALFIELDS:

Poverty and Disorder
Map
Published April 2008
Rioting silkweavers… anarchist tailors… migrant communities and gentrifying conservationists… A map of what was once called “a land of beer and blood”, though there’s more art and curry these days.
An online version of the map

• RARE DOINGS AT CAMBERWELL:
Radicals, subversion and social control: a short tour through Camberwell’s underground history.
Pamphlet
Published June 2008.
A wild ramble through London SE5’s murky past, featuring a dubious cast of rowdy fairgoers, proletarian artists, rioting chartists, squatters, feminist authors, mad folk, anti-fascists… and the occasional transexual trotskyist housing officer.
An online walk based on this text

• MUZAK TO MY EARS:
Canned Music & Class Struggle; Public space and muzak as policing
Pamphlet
Published October 2008
“Muzak… the equivalent of Chinese water torture… for forty hours per week… horrible.” (former shop-worker).
Originally piped into workplaces to improve productivity, muzak has now invaded public space like a cancer everywhere, from lifts to shops, transport, toilets, telephones… Used in shops to create an atmosphere that makes what is on sale more saleable and appealing, Muzak is a commodity that, by being consumed, encourages you to buy other commodities; neatly illustrating the old situationist slogan “culture – the commodity that sells all the others”. From drumming more productivity from workers in World War 2, through bamboozling shoppers into spending more, to modern developments in music and sound as social control; Muzak to My Ears recounts a brief history of muzak and analyses its role in our continuing alienation.
Out of print, but here’s a text online

2009

• A POST-FORDIST STRUGGLE:
Report & reflections on the UK Ford-Visteon dispute 2009.
Pamphlet
Published June 2009 (reprinted October 2009)
In June 2000 the Ford Motor Company outsourced the production of component parts to a new spin-off company called Visteon. In March 2009 Ford/Visteon closed its three UK factories, sacking 610 workers with only a few minutes notice. The workers responded by occupying their factories…
Order here

• CLERKENWELL SCORCHER
Pamphlet
Published June 2009
Some brief notes on one of London’s oldest suburbs, written for a history walk around Clerkenwell. The Peasants’ Revolt, legendary prison escaper Jack Sheppard, Lenin and many others flit through the alleys and courtyards of this fascinating area.
Out of print and no PDF seems to exist, or it’s on a CD we’ve ‘archived’ somewhere

• SE1 MAP
Map
Published October 2009
Some hidden aspects of the rebel past of Waterloo, Blackfriars Road and the Borough revealed…
Currently out of print, but there’s an online version

• RIGHTS OF COMMON:
The Fight Against the Theft of Sydenham Common and One Tree Hill
Pamphlet
Published October 2009
Many open green spaces that we take for granted today still exist because in the past they were preserved from enclosure and development by both legal and illegal resistance. The battles to save two such spaces in South London, Sydenham Common & One Tree Hill, saw legal shenanigans, rioting, intrigue and violent death…
Order here

• MAY 68: SPOT THE WORKERS’ AUTONOMY.
Pamphlet
Published October 2009 (originally published in French by Mouvement Communiste)
A text translated from French raising some questions about established myths and reality in the uprising in France in May-June 1968. Ten million workers were said be on strike during these events; a strike wave brought under controlled and neutralised by the Communist party and CGT union. But how autonomous was this wave? how much did the CGT and its militants direct the strikes and how much did workers themselves break from these structures? With first-hand accounts from some strikers and activists involved.
Order from this site

2010

• ALL ELECTIONS ARE A JOKE!
let’s treat them with the contempt they deserve
Leaflet
Published April 2010
A free leaflet distributed round the time of the 2010 General Election.
The text of the leaflet

2011


• MAYDAYS IN SOUTH LONDON.

By Neil Transpontine.
Pamphlet
Published May 2011.
For centuries people have been celebrating May Day in South London. This pamphlet includes the stories of Walworth and Bromley May Queens, May Games in Greenwich Park, the Deptford Jack in the Green, demonstrations in Bermondsey and Woolwich, Horse Parades on the Old Kent Road, Maypoles in Kennington and St Mary Cray; festivals on Clapham Common and at Crystal Palace, and much more besides.
Now out of print, but here’s a blogpost based on the text

• HOW TO COPE WITH TIMES OF AUSTERITY: LIE AROUND AND DO FUCK ALL
Let’s Build Cockaigne
Postcard.
Published May 2011.
Order here

• HOW TO COPE WITH TIMES OF AUSTERITY: Loot the Shops and Paaaaarty!
Postcard.
Published May 2011. Out of print.

• BURN DOWN LAMBETH PALACE!
Postcard.
Published May 2011.
Order here

• UNWAGED FIGHTBACK
A History of Islington Action Group of the Unwaged, 1980 – 1986
Pamphlet
Published October 2011.
With the dole queue growing, a timely tale from the last recession but one…
What happens when a group of unemployed trying to organise for themselves has to take on not only the benefits system, but the entrenched interests of the trade union hierarchies and the local council?
Unwaged Fightback is a firsthand account of an unwaged workers’ group in 1980s London, its efforts to establish and run a centre for the unemployed and its relationships to the Miners’ Strike and other struggles of its times.
Can be ordered here

• HOW TO COPE WITH TIMES OF AUSTERITY: LIE AROUND AND DO FUCK ALL!
A3 Poster.
Let’s Build Cockaigne!
Published October 2011.
Can be ordered here 

• HOW TO COPE WITH TIMES OF AUSTERITY: Loot the Shops and Paaaaarty!
A3 poster.
Published October 2011.
Can be ordered here 

• GOING UNDERGROUND
Free pamphlet
During the riots in August 2011 we were handed this text: a communiqué claiming to be from a murky group.. of sewer workers? or sewer dwellers?
 A communique from the past tense Gongfermers’ Cell
Physically out of print
Text Online here

2012


• CLERKENWELL: THE HUB OF THE RADICAL WHEEL

Map.
London’s oldest suburb – its turbulent rebellious history mapped.
Published September 2012.
Can be ordered here 

• REDS ON THE GREEN
A Short Tour of Clerkenwell Radicalism
by Fagin.
Book.
Published September 2012.
ISBN: 978-0-9565984-4-8
Reprint as book of pamphlet published 2005.
Out of print

• THE JUDGES ARE GOING TO JAIL
Songsheet.
A Rousing Chartist Song for all the family.
Published September 2012.
Order it here

• BOLD DEFIANCE
The Spitalfields Silkweavers: London’s Luddites?
Pamphlet.
Published October 2012.
For centuries, silkweaving was one of London’s biggest
industries, employing thousands in the East End. Through the 18th century, the silkweavers fought to defend their wages & conditions: their tactics included strikes, riots, sabotage and more. In some ways the issues they faced, and the methods they used, anticipate those of the later Luddite movement; but with crucial differences.
Order here

• WE REMEMBER THE ROTUNDA
Free pamphlet.
Published October 2012.
…to coincide with the 2012 Cuts Cafe squat in South London’s Blackfriars Road, a short account of the groundbreaking social centre that once stood opposite.
Out of print
There’s a text online here

• POOR MAN’S HEAVEN
The Land of Cokaygne and Other Utopian Visions
Omasius Gorgut.
Book.
Published October 2012.
ISBN: 978-0-9565984-3-1
In the face of a life defined by exploitation and suffering, the poor of the Middle Ages dreamed up a fantastical land where their sufferings were reversed; where people lived in idleness and plenty – and the rich were barred. This myth of a free earthly paradise emerged in a popular song, The Land of Cokaygne, in which rivers ran with wine and milk, the houses were made of pasties and tarts, and animals ran around cooked and ready to eat.
From fourteenth century Europe to the twentieth century USA, Poor Man’s Heaven traces this popular fantasy, its links to the culture & customs of the times – and the rebels who tried to turn dream into reality…
Out of print

• …TO DELIGHTFUL MEASURES CHANGED…
Reflections on the 1978-79 Winter of Discontent.
Pamphlet.
Published October 2012.
ISBN 978-0-9565984-6-2
The 1978-79 Winter of Discontent, forgotten and repressed as it may be, nevertheless still haunts the memory of this society. The last great mass success of the class struggle for the employed section of the working class in the UK, it also marked the beginning of the new epoch – the Thatcherite counter-revolution, a decisive change of strategy for British capital.
The only time politicians and the media can bring themselves to mention it is as their
ultimate horror scenario, one that must never be allowed to happen again.
“To Delightful Measures Changed” recounts the build-up to the the events of 1978-79, details (and celebrates) some of the crucial struggles, and analyses them in their
economic and political context. It also asks searching questions about the past, present and future role of autonomous workers’ movements and trade unionism.
Text reproduced here

2013

• NEWINGTON GREEN
Some of its Radical History
Poster
Feminists and Dissenters, Anarchist printers and squatters, Radical Clubs, and much more…
Out of print

• EVERYWHERE AND NOWHERE
an Updated and much improved version of
TOWARDS AN ACCOUNT OF THE 1926 GENERAL STRIKE IN LONDON
Free Pamphlet
Published May 2013.
Brief accounts of some of the local events of the 1926 general Strike in different areas of London, produced for a South London Radical History Group discussion about the Strike. A step toward a more comprehensive history of London’s part in this cataclysmic event in working class history.
Out of print
A post based on the text

• FREE LIKE CONDUIT WATER
The New River: Its Moral and Immoral Economies
• John Tyre •
A4 pamphlet
Published September 2013
ISBN: 978-0-9565984-8-6
A brief dive into the murky depths of North London’s New River… including an exploration of the moral economy in London’s water supply before the River; how the capitalist exploitation of water that the River represented was undermined by North Londoners, and a wander down some of its length; including diversions to subversive
historical locations on or near its banks… and some trespassing…
A much updated version of the earlier ‘Water, Moral Economy and the New River’
A post based on the text

• LET’S DIG UP THE NEW RIVER
Free leaflet.
Published September 2013
The New River was four hundred years old in 2013…
For much of its length it is buried beneath our streets and parks… LET’S DIG IT UP!
For centuries people swam, bathed and played in the River… Think of the fun we could have! Boating from Wood Green to Angel… Sunbathing on the banks in Green Lanes… Skinny-dipping in Palmers Green…
The leaflet text

• OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS
Occupying Hospitals: Some Inspirations and Issues from UK History
A4 pamphlet
Published October 2013
Through the 1970s, 80s and early 1990s, more than twenty hospitals were occupied either by NHS workers or people from local communities, usually to prevent closures of wards or buildings. Occupational Hazards recounts the stories of some of these actions, with first hand accounts of some, and raises some questions about who controls the occupations and work-ins. Can tales of these events be useful the face of current closures in the NHS?
Can be ordered here

• 2014 LONDON REBEL HISTORY CALENDAR
Published December 2013 – limited edition, distributed free.
“An almanacke of some rebellious, riotous, educational and downright strange anniversaries, all having taken place in London, or thereabouts…”
Only now exists as a PDF online here

2014

• THE BATTLE FOR HYDE PARK
Ruffians, radicals and ravers, 1855-1994
Twentieth Anniversary Edition.
A4 pamphlet.
Published October 2014
Hyde Park in central London has been the scene of conflicts between the state and its opponents for at least 150 years, with protagonists including Karl Marx, the unemployed, anarchists, and almost every radical or counter-cultural current that has ever breathed the London air. This pamphlet covers some of this tumultuous history of sex, drugs and rioting.
The first edition of this publication came out late in 1994, (produced by Practical History, one of the projects from which past tense emerged) shortly after the massive demonstration and riot against the Criminal Justice Act with its repressive provisions against ‘raves’, protests, trespass, and so on.
This new edition, produced for the 20th anniversary of the October 1994 Criminal Justice Act Riot, includes additional material not in the original text.
Can be ordered here

• THROUGH A RIOT SHIELD:
The 1985 Brixton Riot
A5 pamphlet.
Published October 2014
A rip-roaring account of the events of September 1985, when a large-scale riot broke out in Brixton, in angry response to the police shooting and crippling of Cherry Groce, mother of 6, in a dawn raid while searching for her son.
Out of print, but there’s a post here based on the text

• IN THE SHADOW OF THE S.P.G:
Racist policing, Resistance, and Black Power in 1970s Brixton
Tim Barker
A5 pamphlet.
Published October 2014
“The revolt of Brixton’s young blacks against the police did not begin in 1981… thousands and thousands of young blacks have grown up in British society having little contact with any other section of British society but the police and courts…”
In the ten years before the Brixton Riot of April 1981, Brixton’s black youth faced routine attacks by the local police, backed by regular military-style invasions by the Special Patrol Group. But racism, harassment, beatings and arrest sparked strong resistance…
Back in print soon, but here’s a post based on the text

• “STRANGE CONFUSED TUMULTS OF THE MINDE”:
Wanderings in the past, present and future of radical pamphleteering.
Omasius Gorgut
A5 pamphlet.
Published October 2014
Since the earliest days of printing, political pamphlets have been one of the most popular way to spread radical ideas. Short, sharp, easy to read and distribute; by their very nature, pamphlets lent themselves to underground ideas. But in the age of blogs and twitter, does political pamphleteering have a future?
Just recently sold the last one! Till we reprint – here’s a post based on the text

• “WE ARE NOT REMOVING”:
The 1915 Glasgow Rent Strike.
A5 pamphlet.
Published October 2014
In 1915, during World War 1, one of the largest rent strikes in urban history broke out in parts of Glasgow, in response to steep rent rises imposed by private landlords. 20,000 joined the refusal to pay rent, organising a grassroots movement that physically resisted evictions and contested them in the courts, and forcing the British government to passing legislation to control rent levels. The Rent Strike was a significant factor in the development of subsidised public housing.
Out of print
A post based on the text
past tense WW1 series, no1.

• MUTINOUS SWINE:
A Strike of Jailed Conscientious Objectors in Wandsworth Prison, 1918-19
A5 pamphlet.
Published October 2014
In the centenary of World War One, lip service is being paid to the fact that several thousand mostly young men refused to fight. However, accounts like this one, of how they were treated, are unlikely to be given anything like the airing that the orthodox script of ‘national unity’, ‘a war for democracy’, ‘the spirit of sacrifice’ will receive.
Of 16,000 or more men who refused to be conscripted to serve in the slaughter, and claimed Conscientious Objector status, at least 6000 were court-martialled and jailed.
But for many imprisonment was far from the end of the story. In prisons and work camps, many were beaten, tortured and starved. And they fought back: through hunger strikes, refusal to work, underground newspapers, and agitation.
This pamphlet, an excerpt from the biography of anarchist war resister Guy Aldred, details just one episode from this long hidden history. The humour and stubbornness of their rebel spirit shines through the years.
past tense World War 1 Series, no 2
Currently out of print, but here’s a post on this struggle

• THE WILHELMSHAVEN REVOLT
A Chapter of the Revolutionary Movement in the German Navy 1918-1919.
‘ Ikarus’ (Ernst Schneider)
A5 pamphlet. Reprint.
Published October 2014
In 1918 the war-weary German sailors and soldiers mutinied, and a radical uprising launched the German Revolution. Wilhemshaven, on the North Sea, was a leading centre of the revolt. The revolutionary ‘Ikarus’, a participant in the events at Wilhelmshaven, gives an account of this crucial episode in the mutinies that ended World War 1.
past tense World War 1 Series, no 3
Order it here

• WILLIAM COVELL AND THE TROUBLES AT ENFIELD IN 1659
An enclosure struggle sparks a discussion of how land should be used, in the wake of the English Civil War.
J.M. Patrick
A5 pamphlet.
Published October 2014 (from undated original)
A great revolution always involves changes in land ownership. That the Puritan Revolution was no exception is proved by the story of agrarian riots in 1659, over property rights to Enfield Chase, a tract of land in Middlesex about nine miles from London. The struggle was between ‘Intruders’ who had purchased part of the Chase and ‘Inhabitants’ who had traditional feudal property rights, including rights of common, over the area.
Their quarrel reproduced in miniature the conflict between moneyed men attached to the new capitalism and men whose wealth consisted mainly of “feudal” rights and properties – the conflict which underlay the English Revolution. Just as the agrarian struggles of the Diggers helped to provoke the communistic writings of Gerrard Winstanley, the struggle at Enfield inspired the collectivist theories of local thinker William Covell.
Order here

• 2015 LONDON REBEL HISTORY CALENDAR
Published October 2014.
A rollercoaster through London’s radical past, with anniversaries for every day of the year, all based around the Big Smoke. Now an (almost) annual fixture…
Here’s a PDF of this

• We Remember: THE BURNING OF NEWGATE PRISON BY THE GORDON RIOTERS, 6th June 1780
Double-sided A3 poster.
Intended to be the first in a new poster series, ‘We Remember’, commemorating events, struggles, movements and individuals from UK radical history that inspire us; ‘The Burning of Newgate’ not only depicts the cataclysmic destruction of this most hated English prison, but relates some of the 700 years of resistance to Newgate that the Gordon rioters formed just a part of…
Order here

2015

• WE WANT TO RIOT, NOT TO WORK
The 1981 Brixton Riots
ISBN: 978-0-9565984-7-9 £5.00
“Between Friday, 10th April, 1981, and Monday April 13th April 1981, serious disorder occurred in Brixton… when large numbers of persons, predominantly black youths, attacked police, police vehicles (many of which were totally destroyed), attacked the Fire Brigade, destroyed private premises and vehicles by fire, looted, ransacked and damaged shops…”
After more than a decade of repeated attacks, arrests, harassment, beatings, racist provocations by the local police and the Special Patrol Group, Brixton erupted in a massive uprising. The riot – followed by more in July, part of a nationwide wave of disorder – shocked the British state. Though quickly labelled ‘race riots’ by the press, in fact blacks and whites had fought side by side, in the first anti-police riots for more than a century.
We Want to Riot, Not to Work (originally published in 1982) combines rip-roaring personal accounts of the riots from unashamed participants, with a radical analysis of their causes, and the response of the authorities. Reprint of a classic, with some additions, comments, and context…
A book is in progress, but here’s a text based on this 

• CUNNING PLANS
Tommy Atkins’ hidden tactics to avoid combat on the Western Front in WW1 or Why ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’ could have been a lot funnier (and more subversive)
By Roger Ball
Published October 2015.
Mass refusals, mutinies, disobedience, strikes and out-right rebellion were all part of the British armed forces’ experience in World War 1. But on a day-to-day level, many soldiers were also actively constantly resisting the war effort – shirking, skulking, and avoiding combat. Though by its nature, these practices are usually clandestine and hard to document, ‘Cunning Plans’ briefly lifts the lid on this hidden resistance… ISBN: 978-0-9932762-0-0
Order here

• 2016 LONDON REBEL HISTORY CALENDAR
Published October 2015.
The third edition of our provocative, inspiring and rip-roaring (allegedly!) compendium of subversive anniversaries from the murky depths of the Great Wen…
A link to the online version of this calendar

2016


• WE REMEMBER JACK SHEPPARD
London’s Eighteenth Century Prison escaper.
A3 Poster
A double-sided A3 info-poster celebrating the master of escape, the darling of the 1720s poor, the rebel against a criminal justice system created by the rich, in their interests, to control and order the lower orders.
Order here

• CATCH US IF YOU CAN
A Walk Around the Tabard Estate.
Photographs by Martin Dixon, writing by Christopher Jones.
Pamphlet
Catch Us If You Can re-imagines living histories from the bricks, passageways and stairwells of a council estate in South London. Forces exist all around that want to snatch this all away – but the joy we found in the landscape reminds us that what we have here is what we all want to keep – Catch Us If You Can!
“In 1997 I moved onto the Tabard Garden Estate. It’s been around for a good while longer, but now is the time to document it – while it’s still here, still a place for us to live…. In 2014 I walk the Tabard Garden estate with the writer Christopher Jones and photograph it as it moves into spring.”
Out of print. But the walk is up online at Martin Dixon’s lovely site

• A GLIMPSE INTO THE HISTORY OF SPA FIELDS
Leaflet 
A free booklet handed out at 2016’s Clerkenwell Festival, commemorating the unruly history of one of North London’s oldest and most infamous open spaces.
Online here

• 2017 LONDON REBEL HISTORY CALENDAR
Published October 2016.
The fourth of our annual radical history roundup of anniversaries for every day of the year…
Here’s an online version

2017


• RENT STRIKE, ST PANCRAS 1960

Dave Burn
Pamphlet
Published October 2017
In 1960 over 2000 council tenants in the then London borough of St Pancras went on partial rent strike, against a new rent scheme introduced by the Conservative council. This pamphlet recounts the causes and the history of the rent strike, examining the reasons the rent scheme was brought in, and the history of the tenants’ movement. A comprehensive but also compelling story of a community struggle, as well as a thoughtful analysis of its motives and possibilities.
Order here

• (I HAVEN’T HAD SO MUCH FUN) SINCE MY LEG FELL OFF
The North London civil servants Strike 1987-88
Jean Richards
Pamphlet
Published October 2017
An account of a strike by low-paid civil servants across North London Department of Employment offices in 1988, also involving Job Centre and Department of Health & Social Security staff who came out in solidarity when they were asked to do the strikers’ work.
By a woman civil servant who worked for 10 years in one of the offices in dispute.
Order here

• THE ESTABLISHMENT VS. THE ROTUNDA
We remember 1830s South London’s premier political social centre.
Pamphlet
Published October 2017
In the early 1830s a building on Blackfriars Road became the most notorious radical political meeting places of its era. For a few short years, the Rotunda was the heart of radical London. The Rotunda entered its golden age in 1830, when it was taken over by freethinker Richard Carlile, and was transformed into a centre of political and scientific education and theatrical anti-religious performances… It became home to diverse radical groups and speakers, including the National Union of the Working Classes, Robert Taylor (known as the “Devil’s Chaplain’), and female atheist lecturer Eliza Sharples, the ‘Pythoness of the Temple’.
The Rotunda was feared and hated by the political establishment, who saw it as influencing all radical and rebellious opinion. The reactionary Duke Of Wellington considered the battle for the future of society as one of “The Establishment Vs The Rotunda.”
Order here

• BLACK WOMEN ORGANISING
The Brixton Black women’s Group & the Organisation for Women of African and Asian Descent
Pamphlet
Published October 2017
The Brixton Black Women’s Group, founded in 1973, emerged among women who had been active in the Black Power movement in London in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This pamphlet reprints two articles originally published in feminist journals in the 1980s – an interview with three Brixton Black Women’s Group activists about the development of the group, and an appraisal of the national Organisation for Women of African and Asian Descent.
Currently out of print, but here’s the two articles, as posts on the Brixton Black Women’s Group and the Organisation for Women of African and Asian Descent.

• MENACING LANGUAGE AND THREATS
The Anti-Corn Law Riots of 1815.
Pamphlet
Published October 2017
At the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, corn prices fell to nearly half their war level, causing panic among British farmers – many of whom were also voters. In response the government introduced the Corn Laws in 1815; banning cheap wheat imports, to ensure the high incomes of farmers and landowners.
This was class legislation at its most blatant. It made sure aristocrats could continue to benefit from high bread prices, and the high rents that they supported; knowing well enough this law meant penury for the poor, who relied on bread to stave off starvation.
Riots broke out in the area around Parliament as the Acts were being debated, and spread out around London and Westminster as the London houses of the MPs and lords held most responsible were targeted by crowds…
Order here

• SPATIAL DECONCENTRATION
Gentrification as Social Control in the USA
Pamphlet
Published October 2017
In the late 1970s US housing activists uncovered evidence of a government-sponsored program, labelled ‘spatial deconcentration’, in which urban decay and subsequent ‘regeneration’ had been deliberately used in the USA to disperse poor, mainly black communities, both to disrupt communal solidarity and subvert organised movements for social change, and to maximise private profit.
With the levels of gentrification and re-development many communities are currently facing 40 years later, the two texts reprinted here provide a useful example of how political forces and business interests operate to maintain social control.
Order here

• WE REMEMBER: WAT TYLER
A6 pamphlet.
Published October 2017.
The 1381 Peasants’ Revolt remains one of the most cataclysmic and inspiring events in British history. At its climax the Revolt pushed to the fore a character of who it can fairly be said that probably no other person has such historical significance while so little actually known or proven fact can be definitely stated about him. Wat Tyler remains an enigma, a fascinating glimpse of a personality, thrust to the head of a fierce rebellion. An account of what we know about him, and the events that he took part in, his death, and the unravelling of the rebellion…
Out of print but there’s a blogpost of the text here 

• TROUBLE DOWN SOUTH
Published 2017.
Some thoughts on gentrification & resistance to gentrification in Brixton, with historical digressions, experiences, and some ranting…
Order here
Much of the text is also online here

• 2018 LONDON REBEL HISTORY CALENDAR
Published October 2017.
Here’s an online edition of the 2018 Calendar

2018


• ALICE WHEELDON

Framed by spycops for resisting WW1
Published July 2018
In 1917, Derby socialists and war resisters Alice Wheeldon, her daughters Hettie, Winnie and
Winnie’s husband, Alfred Mason, went on trial at the Old Bailey, all charged with conspiracy to murder the Liberal Prime Minister Lloyd George and cabinet minister Arthur Henderson.
In fact the supposed ‘plot’ was a fit up, set up by a spy working for the intelligence unit of the Ministry of Munitions, effectively then run by a combination of Special Branch and what would become MI5. The  aim was to attack and discredit the anti-war
movement.
Order here

• STEALING THE COMMONS
A Brief Introduction to the Politics of Open Space, Enclosure and Resistance in London
Free Sheet
A free booklet revealing just a glimpse of the history of open space in London, its uses for recreation, work, rowdy gatherings and subversive celebrations, and recounting the attempts by landowners and authorities to enclose common land, repress unruly culture of the city’s open spaces… and how Londoners fought back over the centuries.
Out of print, but here’s a blogpost of an updated version of this text
And a PDF of the original freesheet

2019


• ROAD RAVE
Road Rage Becomes Road Rave:
A Very Brief discussion of Reclaim the Streets 1990s anti-roads protests, June 18th, anti-capitalism, Extinction Rebellion and Beyond
Free pamphlet, limited distribution.
Out of print – here’s a PDF tho
This text is also posted up online here

• 2020 LONDON REBEL HISTORY CALENDAR
Published October 2019.
An online version

2020


• 2021 LONDON REBEL HISTORY CALENDAR

Published October 2020.
Out of print