Pocketbook edition published in 1985 by Elephant Editions
Cover design by Clifford Harper
Republished 2015 by Elephant Editions and Active Distribution
The Angry Brigade 1967–1984
Documents and chronology
The eight libertarian militants on trial in the Old Bailey in 1972 who had been chosen by the British State to be the ‘conspirators’ of the Angry Brigade, found themselves facing not only the class enemy with all its instruments of repression, but also the obtuseness and incomprehension—when not condemnation—of the organised left.
Described as ‘mad’, ‘terrorists’, ‘adventurists’, or at best authors of ‘gestures of a worrying desperation’, the Angry Brigade were condemned without any attempt to analyse their actions or to understand what they signified in the general context of the class struggle in course. The means used to justify this were simple: by defining the actions of the Angry Brigade as ‘terrorist’, and equating this with ‘individualist’, the movement organisations—whose tendency is to see the relationship between individual and mass as something in contrast—neatly excluded them from their concerns.
Strangely enough this attitude was not limited to the broad left but was also prevalent within the anarchist movement, where still today there is a tendency to ignore the role of the individual within the mass, and the role of the specific group within the mass movement.
When the question is raised, it is usually in the form of absolute condemnation. For example, in an article entitled ‘Terrorism’ [sic] we read: ‘If a few people take it upon themselves to engage in ‘Armed Struggle’, this spells out for us, besides the usual public hostility, police harassment, arrests and defence campaigns, the loss of all our political lessons, gains and strengths’.(Class War)
The problems encountered by the comrades of the Angry Brigade were similar to those of other groups active at the time who had refused the limits of struggle delineated by the State—the so-called limits of legality, beyond which the repressive mechanism is unleashed—and taken as their points of reference the level of mass struggle. This decision was in defiance of the State’s definition of the struggle’s confines. It also defied the limits imposed by the official workers’ movement and the extra-parliamentary organisations, including the anarchist movement. The Symbionese Liberation Army in the US, the RAF in Germany, the first of the Red Brigades in Italy, were all isolated by the ‘revolutionary’ organisations, condemned as agitators, provocateurs, individualist terrorists threatening the growth of the mass movement.
On the attitude to the SLA, Martin Sostre was to write in America: ‘The denunciation of the SLA by the movement press is indistinguishable from that of the ruling class. Each left organisation seems to be competing with the others for their legitimacy by denouncing the SLA... Conspicuously absent from the denunciations is any discussion of the role of armed struggle. Revolutionary violence is seen as something repulsive that should be shunned. The left movement press would have one believe that to overthrow the criminal ruling class we have merely to organise mass movements, demonstrations of protest and repeat revolutionary slogans.’ One such paper in this country—the Trotskyist Red Mole—distinguished itself by calling for solidarity with the comrades accused in the Angry Brigade trial, with the following reservation—‘It is no use the organised left criticizing the politics of the Angry Brigade unless we also recognise why a lot of potentially very good comrades reject the various Leninist organisations, and indeed resort to bomb-throwing—until you are caught—by itself an easy option that does not deal with the problem of helping to change the political understanding of millions of people.’ Understandable enough in view of the Leninist program. But from the anarchist perspective?
We read on the front page of a fairly recent issue of Freedom, ‘Even the bombing campaign carried out by the Angry Brigade which was technically brilliant.. achieved absolutely nothing because, in direct contradiction with their spoken ideals, they were trying to act as an elite vanguard leaving ordinary people as passive spectators of their actions. Far from this resulting in an ‘awakening of the masses’ it resulted in a fear of anarchism and anarchist ideas which has significantly contributed to our current impotence.’
As we can see, the old preoccupation persists: that of protecting the movement (especially the anarchist one) from the ‘adventurists’.
In fact the movement of the exploited is not and never has been one monolithic mass all acting together with the same level of awareness. The struggle against capital has from the beginning been characterised by a dichotomy between the official workers’ movement on the one hand, with its various organisations—parties, unions, etc. channelling dissent into a manageable form of quantitative mediation with the bosses. And on the other hand, the often less visible movement of ‘uncontrollables’ who emerge from time to time in explicit organisational forms, but who often remain anonymous, responding at individual level by sabotage, expropriation, attacks on property, etc., in the irrecuperable logic of insurrection. There is no distinct or fixed dividing line between the two movements. They often affect each other, the surge from the base obliging the big official organisations to take a certain direction, or the inverse, where the latter put a brake an autonomous struggles.
Many of those who make up the mass of union membership are also extremely active in extra-union (and by definition extra-legal) forms of struggle. Each side, however, has its own heritage: on the one a heritage of deals and sellouts, the great victories that are real defeats on the workers’ backs; on the other, a heritage of direct action, riots, organised insurrections or individual actions which all together form part of the future society we all desire, and without which it would be nothing but a utopian dream.
A brief look at the development of the struggle in this country shows this duality quite clearly. The organised anticapitalist movement as we know it today began to take shape at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Unlike the other European capitalist countries developing at the same time, there was only a minor communist influence both at organisational and ideological level. Traditional British anti-intellectualism and ‘common sense’ were perhaps fundamental to a more pragmatic form of organisation which took the form of trades unions. These unions were from the start reformist, although at times, through pressure from the base, some knew insurrectional moments. The changes the unions proposed were however usually intended to come about using nonviolent methods within the constitutional limits. The most numerically significant of the early worker’s movements was the Chartist one, which began around 1838. Recognised as the first modern mass movement, the first Chartist petition had one and a quarter million signatures.
This is clearly not a qualitative assessment of active adherents. Even this movement was marked by two opposing currents: on the one hand those preaching nonviolence and the constitutional road to universal suffrage as a solution; on the other, those who spoke of (and carried out) rebellion and armed direct action. These were the so-called ‘moral force’ and the ‘physical force’, They were linked to the division between the tradesmen and unskilled workers and were never reconciled, possibly accounting for the short duration of the movement.
During and immediately preceding this period there also existed forms of autonomous revolt, such as that of the many artisans in the textile industry who, under threat of losing their jobs or of being reduced to non-specialized labourers, organised in armed groups. The most significant of these insurrectional movements was that known as Luddism, which took place between 1810 and 1820. During this period an immense amount of property was destroyed, including vast numbers of textile frames redesigned to produce inferior, shoddy goods. The Luddites, taking the name of Ned Ludd who had taken a sledge hammer to the frames at hand, organised themselves locally and even federally with great coordination, and in spite of vast deployments of soldiers, especially in West Riding and Yorkshire where the movement was strongest, generalised insurrection was approached on more than one occasion. As John Zerzan  points out, this was not the despairing outburst of workers having no other outlet, as a long tradition of unionism was in existence among textile workers and others prior to and during the Luddite uprisings.
In the early 1830’s it was the turn of agricultural workers to become casual labourers to organise in the ‘army’ of Captain Swing, a mythical figure adopted as a symbol of the farm workers who burned ricks and barns, threatening their oppressors—farmers, vicars, Justices of the peace alike—with the same fate. Where the Luddites were extremely organised, the Swing men lacked secrecy. Nineteen of them were hanged (sixteen for arson) 644 jailed, and 481 deported to Australia.
Along with the inevitable development in the forces of repression in the form of police and army, we see the development of the unions as an attempt to instill order from within the work situation itself. By their division by trades, and by specialised and non-specialised workers, they had the effect not only of controlling but also of fragmenting the struggle and diffusing it along these artificial divisions. By 1910 there were over 50 unions in the engineering industry alone. The revolutionary movement that subsequently developed began partly as a destruction of the old forms of organisation.
Three important movements developed. The evolutionary syndicalist movement under the French influence; the industrial syndicalists (IWW) from America and the shop stewards movement, which was particularly active in the Clydeside in Scotland. They struggled for the control of industry by the workers and against the failure of the orthodox trade unions and left parliamentarianism to get any improvement in working conditions. But these movements, although strong at local level, and capable of organizing important strikes and revolts, never went beyond the limits of the engineering and transport industries and the mines.
The war years saw a pact between the trade unions and the government. Both combined to forcibly instill a sense of patriotism in the workers to prepare them for the great massacre that was to come. Strikes became illegal as a result of this deal, showing clearly how the borderline between legality and illegality is a malleable instrument in the hands of power. Not all went willingly to the slaughter and the many deserters and mutinies which were savagely put down are still part of the proletariat’s unwritten history.
The Communist Party, formed in 1920 during the post war depression, was authoritarian and centralised. Although the party never gained the support that its continental counterparts did, it nevertheless carried out its role of policing the struggles in course. For example it entered the struggles of the unemployed who were organised in local groups expropriating food, squatting, etc., and channelled them into making reformist demands on the State and large demonstrations such as the Jarrow hunger marches.
The General Strike was emblematic of the contrast between the mass of workers and the unions and parties who claimed to represent them.
However, with the recovery and development of heavy industry, the main energies of the exploited were concentrated at the workplace, the only place they now found themselves together. The shop stewards’ movement was revived in the fifties and sixties in the so-called boom years. But, although nearer to the base of the workers, it broke up the area of struggle even further than the already single trades orientated unions. The growing division of labour caused increasing divisions in struggle, with the result that solidarity between the various sectors was limited, even between workers in the same factory.
While the unions were working to develop industry along with the bosses, the base were developing different, uncontrollable forms of struggle such as go-slows, wildcat strikes, sit-ins, etc. For example, of the 421 strikes in the docks at the beginning of the sixties, 410 were unofficial. These same workers had already experienced troops being moved into the docks by a Labour government, and TGWU officials giving evidence against their own members ten years before.
Acceleration in automation, work pace, and alienation, especially in the fast developing car industry, created struggles which went against the union/management work ethic. Against bargaining and negotiation, car workers and dockers in particular were carrying out sabotage on the assembly lines, wildcat strikes and occupations. At times they succeeded in pushing their ‘defence’ organisations into situations of attack and across the frontiers of sectoralism and trades differences into which they had been conscripted. But the economism of the unions was one of capital’s strongest arms. At a time when industrial riots and even insurrections were spreading all over Europe, each starting from a minority with its own objectives and spreading to other categories of workers in the same industry, then beyond, using pickets, workers’ committees, assemblies, etc., the unions were the only organs capable of negotiating with the management and getting workers to return to work under great slogans of unity.
This dualism in the workers’ movement between elements of the base struggling directly and spontaneously within a precise economic situation, and the representatives of the national politics of the official workers‘ movement always ready to put a brake on and formalise struggles (e.g. boycotts, strikes and even ‘working to rule’), turning them into instruments of negotiation with the industries, has always existed. But not all the actions of the base can be instrumentalised and the thrust towards illegality can never be fully stifled. At times it might seem so. But even during the relative ‘lulls’, there exists a perpetual movement of absenteeists, expropriators, and saboteurs. This movement from below, which emerged in force at the end of the sixties, dispelled the myth of the passive, stable English working class, just as the image of the traditional worker changed with the increase in the number of women and immigrant workers in productive work and the rapidly expanding service industries.
At the same time a new movement was growing in the schools and colleges. One of the main points of reference for this movement was the Vietnam war. In every college and university various groups were struggling for political space. For a period there was an attempt to form a unified students movement, the Revolutionary Students Federation. The most significant groups were of a Trotskyite tendency, Maoism having had little influence in this country. But the sterile politics of the straight left (Trotskyites and other Leninists) could not contain the new anti-authoritarian movement that was beginning to develop.
The politics of everyday life—organising around one’s own oppression, trying to overcome the division between workers and students, between men and women, forming groups around precise problems as opposed to under political banners—was in full development. A vast movement of claimants, squatters, feminists, etc., emerged expressing not the Right to Work but the Refusal of Work, not employing the waiting tactics of unionist education but taking, Here and Now what was being refused, and refusing what was being offered. A critique of the nuclear family as a firm bastion of capitalist power led to many experiences of communal living. This movement in all its complexity, not so much a students movement, but a widespread one comprising of young workers, students and unemployed, could be called the libertarian movement of the time.
This movement was comprised of autonomous groups acting outside the stagnant atmosphere of the traditional anarchist movement with its own microscopic power centres which, as Bakunin so astutely pointed out, are just as nefarious as any other power structure. A parallel can therefore be drawn between the dichotomy within the workers movement, and that which exists within the anarchist movement. On the one hand there are the comrades who hold positions of power, not carrying out any precise activity to contribute to the revolutionary consciousness of the mass, but who spend their time presiding over meetings and conferences aimed at influencing younger comrades through the incantation of abstract principles. These principles are upheld as the only true tenets of anarchism, and are adhered to by those who, either by laziness or weakness, accept them acritically. The manifestations of these islands of power usually take the form of publications that are long standing and repetitive. They have the external semblance of an ‘open forum’ for the use of the movement as a whole, but the basic ideology—that of conservation and stasis—is filtered through from behind the flurry of ‘helpers’ carrying out the task of ‘filling’ and physically producing the publication. These publications are the first to condemn autonomous actions that take their points of reference from the illegal movement of the exploited. They are the first to denounce them, accusing them of bringing police repression down on the anarchist movement. In their reveries they have forgotten that repression always exists, and that only in its most sophisticated form creates the peaceful graveyard of acquiescence, where only ghosts are allowed to tread. Many of the most forceful of recent social rebellions have been fired and spread by the popular response to police repression.
The traditional anarchist movement finds itself threatened therefore by the other movement of anarchists, the autonomous groups and individuals who base their actions on a critical appraisal of past methods and up to date theory and analysis. They too use the traditional instruments of leaflets, newspapers and other publications, but use them as tools of revolutionary critique and information, trying always to go towards the mass struggle and contribute to it personally and methodologically. It is quite coherent—and necessary if they are to be active participants in the struggle—that they also apply the instruments of direct action and armed struggle. These groups refuse the logic of the power centre and ‘voluntary helpers’. Each individual is responsible for his or her action which is based on decisions reached through the endless task of acquiring information and understanding. Some of this can also be gained from older or more experienced comrades in the group, but never as something to be revered and passed down acritically. Just as there are no immovable boundaries between the two workers’ movements, nor are there within the two anarchist movements. Nor is there a fixed boundary between the latter movement and the insurrectionalist workers’ movement. When the struggle heightens these movements come close together and intermingle, the anarchists however always with the aim of pushing the struggle to a revolutionary conclusion and offering libertarian methods to prevent its being taken over by authoritarian structures.
The other, traditional anarchist movement has shown all too often in the past its willingness to form alliances with structures of the official workers’ movement.
Given the situation at the end of the sixties and beginning of the seventies, with its wave of industrial unrest at the level of the base, the students’ struggles in the universities, the struggles of the unemployed, women and so on, the Angry Brigade emerge both as a product of this reality, and as revolutionary subjects acting within it. To reject them as some form of social deviance is to close one’s eyes to the reality of the struggle at that time. The fact that their actions deliberately took place in the field of illegality, soliciting others to do the same, does not in way disqualify them from what was in its very essence an illegal movement. It is possible to see this even in the context of the bombings alone that took place in
these years (although by doing so we do not intend to reduce the vast and varied instruments of illegality to that of the bomb): Major Yallop, head of the Laboratories at Woolwich Arsenal, main witness for the prosecution in the trial of the supposed Angry Brigade, was forced to admit that in addition to the 25 bombings between 1968 and mid 1971 attributed to them, another 1,075 had come through his laboratory.
Looking at the bombings claimed by the Angry Brigade, we see that they focus on two areas of struggle that were highly sensitive at the time. The first was the struggle in industry: the bombing of the Dept. of Employment and Productivity on the day of a large demonstration against the Industrial Relations Bill; the bombing of Carr’s house on the day of an even larger demonstration; the bombing of William Batty’s home during a Ford strike at Dagenham; the bombing of John Davies’, Minister of Trade and Industry, during the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders crisis; the bombing of Bryant’s home during a strike at one of his building works. To complement these attacks, there were the bombs aimed directly at the repressive apparatus of the State at a time when repression was increasing heavily in response to the upsurge in all areas of struggle. The bombing of the home of Commissioner Waldron, head of Scotland Yard. The bombing of the police computer at Tintagel House; the home of Attorney General Peter Rawlinson, and, finally, that of a Territorial Army Recruitment centre just after internment was introduced in Northern Ireland fall into this category. The bombing of the high street boutique, Biba’s and that of the BBC van the night before the
Miss World contest was an attempt to push further in the direction of destroying the stereotyping and alienation of the spectacle of consumerism and role playing ‘Sit in the drugstore, look distant, empty, bored, drinking some tasteless coffee? or perhaps BLOW IT UP OR BURN IT DOWN.’
By their actions the Angry Brigade also became a part of that spectacle, but a part that took form in order to contribute to its destruction. Their actions as presented here find a place therefore not as some old commodity to be taken out and dusted, then put back on the shelf like a relic that belongs to the past. The work they carried out—and which five libertarians paid for in heavy prison sentences—is a contribution to the ongoing struggle that is changing form as the strategies of capital change in order for it to restructure and preserve itself. A critical evaluation of the Angry Brigade must therefore take place elsewhere than on the sterile pages of this pamphlet. It must take place in the active considerations of a movement that has a task to fulfil, and that does not take heed of the condemnation and defamation by those whose ultimate aim is to protect themselves.
Many problems are raised by a rereading of the actions and experiences of the Angry Brigade—clandestinity or not, symbolic action or direct attack, anonymous actions or the use of Communiqués to be transmitted by the media—to name but a few. The pages that follow help to highlight these questions, whose solution will only be found in the concrete field of the struggle.
BROTHERS & SISTERS:
We expect the news of the machine-gunning of the Spanish Embassy in London on Thursday night to be suppressed by the bourgeois Press... It’s the third time over the last month that the system has dropped the mask of the so-called ‘freedom of information’ and tried to hide the fact of its vulnerability.
‘They’ know the truth behind the BBC the day before the Miss World farce, ‘they’ know the truth behind the destruction of property of High Court judges; ‘they’ know the truth behind the four Barclays Banks which were either burned or badly destroyed; ‘they’ also know that active opposition to their system is spreading.
The Angry Brigade doesn’t claim responsibility for everything.
We can make ourselves heard in one way or another. We machine-gunned the Spanish Embassy last night in solidarity with our Basque brothers and sisters. We were careful not to hit the pigs guarding the building as representatives of British capital in fascist Spain. If Britain cooperates with France over this ‘legal’ lynching by shutting the truth away, we will take more careful aim next time.
SOLIDARITY & REVOLUTION
Communiqué, The Angry Brigade
Fascism & oppression
will be smashed
Embassies (Spanish Embassy machine-gunned Thursday)
The Angry Brigade
Min. E. & Prod.
The Angry Brigade
(Only extracts of Communiqué 3 are available from I.T. 94 and I.T. 95)
The statement claims the bombing of the Department of Employment and Productivity Wages Council Office. They described it as part of ‘a planned series of attacks on capitalist and government property’. It ends ‘we will answer their force with our class violence’.
Robert Carr got it tonight. We’re getting closer.
The Angry Brigade
We are no mercenaries.
We attack property not people.
Carr, Rawlinson, Waldron, would all be dead if we had wished.
Fascists and government agents are the only ones who attack the public—the fire-bombing of the West Indian party in South London, the West End cinema bomb.
British democracy is based on more blood, terror, and exploitation than any empire in history.
Has a brutal police force whose crimes against people the media will not report.
Now its government has declared vicious class war.
Carr’s Industrial Relations Bill aims to make it a one-sided war.
We have started to fight back and the war will be won by the organised working class, with bombs.
The Angry Brigade
We have sat quietly and suffered the violence of the system for too long. We are being attacked daily. Violence does not only exist in the army, the police and the prisons. It exists in the shoddy alienating culture pushed out by TV, films and magazines, it exists in the ugly sterility of urban life. It exists in the daily exploitation of our Labour, which gives big Bosses the power to control our lives and run the system for their own ends.
How many Rolls Royce...how many Northern Irelands...how many anti-Trade Union bills will it take to demonstrate that in a crisis of capitalism the ruling class can only react by attacking the people politically?
But the system will never collapse or capitulate by itself.
More and more workers now realise this and are transforming union consciousness into offensive political militancy. In one week, one million workers were on strike… Fords, Post Office, BEA, oil delivery workers…
Our role is to deepen the political contradictions at every level.
We will not achieve this by concentrating on ‘issues’ or by using watered down socialist platitudes.
In Northern Ireland the British army and its minions has found a practising range: the CS gas and bullets in Belfast will be in Derby and Dagenham tomorrow.
OUR attack is violent...
Our violence is organised.
The question is not whether the revolution will be violent. Organised militant struggle and organised terrorism go side by side. These are the tactics of the revolutionary class movement. Where two or three revolutionaries use organised violence to attack the class system ... there is the Angry Brigade. Revolutionaries all over England are already using the name to publicise their attacks on the system.
No revolution was ever won without violence.
Just as the structures and programmes of a new revolutionary society must be incorporated into every organised base at every point in the struggle, so must organised violence accompany every point of the struggle until, armed, the revolutionary working class overthrows the capitalist system.
The Angry Brigade
Two months ago we blew up Carr’s house. Revolutionary
violence through the high walls of English liberalism.
Apart from a short Communiqué we remained silent since ... Why?...who is the Angry Brigade...what are its political objectives...a lot of criticism was directed toward vague directions...they called us the Special Branch, the Front, Anarcho-nuts, Commies, Bomb-mob, the lot...we believe that the time has come for an honest dialogue...with any comrade who cares to address us...through the Underground Press... through anything. Look around you brother and sister...look at the barriers...don’t breathe...don’t love, don’t strike, don’t make trouble...DON’T.
The politicians, the leaders, the rich, the big bosses, are in command...THEY control. WE, THE PEOPLE, SUFFER... THEY have tried to make us mere functions of a production process. THEY have polluted the world with chemical waste from their factories. THEY shoved garbage from their media down our throats. THEY made us absurd sexual caricatures, all of us, men and women. THEY killed, napalmed, burned us into soap, mutilated us, raped us.
It’s gone on for centuries.
Slowly we started understanding the BIG CON. We saw that they had defined ‘our possibilities’. They said: You can demonstrate ... between police lines. You can have sex ... in the normal position and as a commodity; commodities are good. You can rally in defence of the TUC...The ‘leadership’ is wise.
THEY used confusing words like ‘public’ or the ‘National Interest’. Is the Public some kind of ‘Dignified Body’ which we belong to, only until we go on strike? Why are we reduced then to dreaded scroungers, ruining the country’s economy? Is ‘National interest’ anything more than THEIR interest?
Lately we started seeing through another kind of con: there is a certain kind of professional who claims to represent us... the MPs, the Communist Party, the Union leaders, the Social Workers, the old-old left… All these people have presumed to act on our behalf. All these people have certain things in common ...THEY always sell us out ...THEY are all afraid of us...THEY’LL preach towards keeping the peace…and we are bored ...poor...and very tired of keeping the peace.
THE ANGRY BRIGADE BECAME A REALITY we knew that every moment of badly paid boredom in a production line was a violent crime. We had rejected all the senile hierarchies and ALL the structures, the liars, the poverty pimps, the Carrs, the Jacksons the Rawlinsons, the Bob Hopes, the Waldrons…
To believe that OUR struggle could be restricted to the channels provided to us by the pigs, WAS THE GREATEST CON. And we started hitting them.
* * *
January 12 was important...we shattered the blackouts of the yellow Press...hundreds of years of imperialism…millions of victims of colonisation were breaking up...all the suppressed frustration, all the glow of unleashed energy was blowing our minds...Carr was totally unimportant...he was just a symbol ...we could have killed the bastard...or Powell or Davies... or any pig.
Then we were scared...like any newly born baby opening our eyes to a gigantic glow—we got frightened...every knock, every word became a menace...but simultaneously we realised that our panic was minute compared to the panic of the Mirrors and the Habershons AND IT FLASHED: WE WERE INVINCIBLE...because we were everybody.
THEY COULD NOT JAIL US FOR WE DID NOT EXIST We started daring out into the open, talking to friends, to neighbours, to people in the pubs, in football games...and we knew we were not alone...WE WERE ALIVE, AND GROWING!
Brothers and sisters we hardly know have been picked up, framed, intimidated, harassed. The McCarthy’s the Prescotts, the Purdies are all INNOCENT. The pigs need scapegoats.
Our Power is the 6 Conservative Offices petrol-bombed on January 13, the Altringham generator which was blown out are all answers of the Revolutionary movement to our call.
We are certain that every single day that these comrades stay behind bars will be avenged...Even if it means that some of the Pigs will lose their lives.
* * *
Three weeks ago we nearly blew up Jackson’s headquarters. We knew he had to sell out. We wanted to hit him BEFORE he did the damage. But inside us we carry the remnants of liberalism and irrationality...burdens of our past we have tried to shed. He beat us to it...HE SOLD OUT…Let the working brothers and sisters be our jury.
This time we knew better: it’s FORD TONIGHT. We are celebrating the hundred years of the Paris Commune. We are celebrating our REVOLUTION which won’t be controlled.
Our revolution is autonomous rank and file action—we create it OURSELVES. We have confidence now...we don’t have to wait for them to dangle something tempting like a Powell, a Bill, or a bad apple in front of our faces, before we jump like rabbits. We don’t clutch desperately at the illusion of FREEDOM. Our strategy is clear: How can we smash the system? How can the people take Power?
We must ATTACK, we cannot delegate our desire to take the offensive. Sabotage is a reality... getting out of the factory is not the only way to strike... stay in and take over. We are against any external structure, whether it’s called Carr, Jackson, IS, CP, or SLL is irrelevant—they’re all one and the same.
WE BELIEVE IN THE AUTONOMOUS WORKING CLASS.
WE ARE PART OF IT. AND WE ARE READY TO GIVE OUR LIVES FOR OUR LIBERATION.
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
The Angry Brigade
‘If you’re not busy being born you’re busy buying’.
All the sales girls in the flash boutiques are made to dress the same and have the same make-up, representing the 1940’s. In fashion as in everything else, capitalism can only go backwards ... they’ve nowhere to go—they’re dead.
The future is ours.
Life is so boring there is nothing to do except spend all our wages on the latest skirt or shirt.
Brothers and Sisters, what are your real desires?
Sit in the drugstore, look distant, empty, bored, drinking some
tasteless coffee? Or perhaps BLOW IT UP OR BURN IT DOWN. The only thing you can do with modern slave-houses—called boutiques—IS WRECK THEM. You can’t reform profit capitalism and inhumanity. Just kick it till it breaks.
The Angry Brigade
WE are getting closer.
We are slowly destroying the long tentacles of the oppressive State machine...
secret files in the universities
work study in the factories
the census at home
social security files
Bureaucracy and technology used against the people...
to speed up our work
to slow down our minds and actions
to obliterate the truth.
Police computers cannot tell the truth.
They just record our ‘crimes’.
The pig murders go unrecorded.
Stephen McCarthy, Peter Savva, David Owale—The murder of these brothers is not written on any secret card.
We will avenge our brothers.
If they murder another brother or sister, pig blood will flow in the streets.
168 explosions last year. Hundreds of threatening calls to govt bosses, leaders.
The AB is the man or woman sitting next to you. They have guns in their pockets and anger in their minds.
We are getting closer.
Off the system and its property.
Power to the people.
The Angry Brigade
JOHN DILLON’S IN; WE WON
BATTY AND HIS TRANSFORMER’S OUT; WE WON AGAIN
PUT THE BOOT IN
SUPPORT THE ANGRY SIDE SPREAD THE WORD
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
The Angry Brigade
DAVIES IS A LYING BASTARD
He hides the deliberate rundown of heavy industry, the rundown of investment in the traditionally depressed areas, that’s never been much anyway, by saying that the closures at UCS are just the result of bad management. And the bloody management won’t suffer anyway. The conditions he’s made for the new company are tough only for the workers who have to sign once and for all a contract they can’t fight according to the Industrial Relations Bill.
Davies ‘courageously’ says the government won’t support lame ducks. Yet 2 weeks ago the government put a massive investment in Harland and Wolff. A political move to keep capitalism going at any cost in the face of the people’s uprising.
VICTORY TO THE WORKERS ON THE CLYDESIDE
We’d like to say to you to watch out for all the vultures who’ll be flying to Clydeside to tell you what to do. The same people who signed the productivity deals that started the redundancy ball rolling are now trying to feed off your struggle. If there’s going to be an occupation it’s got to be for real. Take the yards from the bosses and keep them. The Labour Party, the Unions and their minions, the CP with its productivity craze, the same bastards who always sell us out will try to fob you off with gestures like one day strikes and one day occupations, petitions, etc, which will achieve bugger all.
YOU ARE YOUR OWN LEADERS. HAVE YOUR OWN TACTICS, CONTROL YOUR OWN STRUGGLE—SOLIDARITY
BOGSIDE, CLYDESIDE, JOIN THE ANGRY SIDE
The Angry Brigade
Over 5,500 refugees, 2,000 homeless, over 20 dead in 2 days,
230 imprisoned without charge or trial, the six occupied counties of Ireland are terrorised by the gunmen in khaki. This war of terror is carried out in the name of the British people. THIS IS A SLANDEROUS LIE. The British Imperialist Campaign in Ireland is waged only to safeguard the fat profits of a few rich pigs and power crazy politicians.
We warn all unemployed brothers and sisters.
Do not be fooled by the army recruiting campaign. An army career isn’t fun in the sun and learning a useful trade, if you join you’ll be trained in Belfast, Derry and all the other working class ghettos in Northern Ireland to murder and brutalise ordinary working class people. The training will come in useful when the boss class sends the troops into Clydeside, Merseyside, Tyneside, Birmingham, London and all the working class districts throughout Britain. To any unemployed worker thinking of joining up we ask you one question:
—WHICH WAY WILL YOU POINT YOUR GUN WHEN THE OFFICERS ORDER YOU AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF YOUR OWN TOWN?
Who will you shoot when your parents, brothers and sisters are in sight of your gun?
The British boss class has lined its pockets with the accumulated profits of 700 years of exploitation of the Irish working people.
Now they are killing to defend these profits.
THE ANGRY BRIGADE ADVISES THE BRITISH RULING CLASSES TO GET OUT OF IRELAND AND TAKE THEIR PUPPETS (LYNCH, FAULKNER, ETC) WITH THEM.
POINT YOUR GUN
The Angry Brigade bombing of Chris Bryant’s home in Birmingham has brought attention to the activities of the Bryant building combine.
For two weeks workers on a Bryant site have been on strike
demanding a flat rate of one pound an hour and the end of ‘the lump’—a pool of self-employed non-union men available for hire.
The blast badly damaged the front of Bryant’s six bedroomed
house but as with other AB bombings, didn’t hurt anyone.
Capitalism is a vicious circle.
People’s sweat and blood is used and exploited. They make us produce shit...they give us next to nothing while their class pockets huge profits...the ruling class...the Bryants of this world.
Then, when we put the overalls aside, we clean up the muck
from our faces and we take the boring bus or train home and they suddenly transform us into consumers. In other words when we are not working they make us buy...the same shit we produced. The miserable wage packet they gave us they make us spend on useless food, on machines specially designed to break down and on houses we know look and feel like prisons.
Prisons we helped build. And paid (more specifically promised to pay over the next twenty years for we never have enough dough to pay for a house or a car or anything for that matter—they have to exploit us even more by making us pay interest) for them. We build the prisons and then we live in them. We produce shit and then we eat it.
Producers of shit—consumers of shit.
There are many of our brothers and sisters inside. An old revolutionary once called prisons ‘an occupational hazard’. A hazard which may hit any person who chooses to take up action. But to lose a finger, a limb, your lungs—any accident at work—this too is an occupational hazard. Look at the safety precautions on Bryant’s sites—none at all. Not only a limb but your life. So what’s the bloody difference?
Chris Bryant made £1,714,857 profit last year—a 25 per cent rise on 1969. He does it by a cocktail of high society, high finance and a lot of corruption. He has clinched his deals for the redevelopment of Birmingham on the golf courses of Solihull with Corporation Councillors. The Councillors oblige by charging high rents on the Council estates—like Chelmsley Wood—to pay high prices to Bryant for his contracts. Now he’s buying up land around Solihull to sell to the same Council who will give him the contracts to develop it, with our money. No one should be conned that the Birmingham Mail is anything other than the Bryant broadsheet either. A man who lives in a mock Tudor village, (‘Windways’, Jacobean Road, Knowle) doesn’t have to worry about the next HP instalment, doesn’t have to nick a can of paint from work to make his house look decent, doesn’t have to worry about draughts.
(But today—did we say Windways?) We hit million for million ...We’ll follow him from Tudor village to Tudor Village.
25 years we’ve waited in Birmingharn for a building strike.
Bryant hit us and bullied us with the lump. By hitting Bryant we’re hitting the lump too. The Woodgate Valley stands for class solidarity and Revolution. The Workers have taken their stand. Sabotage in the place of work is a reality. The bosses are beginning to feel the undiluted power of the people. The people are hitting back.
The Brigade is hitting back.
Now we are too many to know each other.
Yet we recognise all those charged with crimes against property as our brothers and sisters. The Stoke-Newington 6, the political prisoners in Northern Ireland are all prisoners of the class war.
We are not in a position to say whether any one person is or isn’t a member of the Brigade. All we say is: the Brigade is everywhere.
Without any Central Committee and no hierarchy to classify our members, we can only know strange faces as friends through their actions.
We love them, we embrace them as we know others will. Other cells, sections, groups.
Let ten men and women meet who are resolved on the lightening of violence rather than the long agony of survival; from this moment despair ends and tactics begin.
Power to the people.
THE BRIGADE IS ANGRY
AUGUST 21: Three gunmen in a white saloon car rake the consular section of the US Embassy with machine gun fire the preceeding night. Scattered leaflets call for solidarity with the Vietnamese. The action is claimed by the First of May Group. Five of their comrades had been jailed in Spain for trying to kidnap the chief of an American air base in Spain.
NOVEMBER: Simultaneous bomb attacks against the Greek, Bolivian and Spanish Embassies in Bonn and the Venezuelan Embassy in Rome. (1st of May Group in solidarity with the Latin American guerillas and against the fascist regimes in Europe). The same day a bomb destroyed the entrance to the Spanish Tourist Office in Milan and the Spanish, Greek and American Embassies in the Hague, Holland.
JANUARY: Explosive rocket discovered facing the Greek Embassy in London.
FEBRUARY 27: The Hornsey home of Stuart Christie is raided by police led by Det. Sqt. Roy Cremer with explosives warrant relating to Greek Embassy and information received that other attacks were about to take place in London.
MARCH 3: Six bombs damage the buildings of diplomatic missions in London, the Hague and Turin. These actions were claimed by the 1st of May Group.
MARCH 6: Incendiary bomb with timing mechanism explodes in the Moabit Criminal Court, West Berlin.
MARCH 18: Plastic bomb attacks damage three US buildings in Paris: Chase Manhatten Bank, Bank of America and Transword Airlines.
MARCH 25: US Embassy in Madrid bombed.
AUGUST: International Anarchist Conference in Carrara, Italy.
SEPTEMBER 10: Seven young anarchists arrested in Spain, accused of conspiring with the 1st of May Group and of participation in actions in the Valencia region. Information leading to their arrest came from the Special Branch of New Scotland Yard, London.
OCTOBER 15: Imperial War Museum gutted by incendiary device.
NOVEMBER 4: Department of Internal Affairs in West Berlin is attacked with molotov cocktails.
FEBRUARY 3: Unexploded dynamite charges discovered on the premises of the Bank of Bilbao and the Bank of Spain in London.
FEBRUARY 9: Bank of Spain in Liverpool bombed.
MARCH 15: Two anarchists, Alan Barlow and Phil Carver, arrested immediately following a powerful explosion at the Bank of Bilbao in London. In their possession was a letter claiming the action on behalf of the 1st of May Group.
AUGUST 16: Home of Duncan Sandys, Tory MP, firebombed.
AUGUST 17: Ulster office in London firebombed.
AUGUST 19: Bomb explodes after being thrown into army recruiting office, Brighton.
JANUARY 28: Bomb attack on offices of the Spanish Cultural attaché in Paris.
FEBRUARY 10: Ian Purdy is in prison for 9 months for throwing a petrol bomb at the Ulster office in Saville Row during an Irish Civil Rights Campaign march.
FEBRUARY 20: Three students captured as they are about to firebomb Barclays Bank.
FEBRUARY 28: Bomb attack on the Bank of Bilbao and the Spanish State Railways in Paris.
MARCH 28: Time bomb found at Waterloo Station.
MAY 4: American Embassy, London, firebombed.
MAY 10: Incendiary device discovered aboard Iberian Airliner at Heathrow. Similar devices are found in other European capitals on planes belonging to Iberia.
MAY 19: Wembley Conservative Association firebombed.
MAY 22: High explosive device discovered at a new police station in Paddington. This was later claimed by the prosecution in the trial of the Stoke Newington Eight to be the first action undertaken by ‘The Angry Brigade’.
JUNE 10: Brixton Conservative Association firebombed.
JUNE 11: Stuart Christie’s home raided with explosives warrant.
JUNE 18: Lambeth Court firebombed.
JUNE 30: Army depot, Kimber Road, London, firebombed.
JUNE 30: Ian Purdie is released from Albany prison, (Isle of Wight).
JULY 3: Simultaneous bomb attacks in Paris and London against Spanish State tourist offices, and the Spanish and Greek Embassies.
JULY 7: Army recruiting office, South London, firebombed. Army Officer Training Centre, Holborn, London, firebombed.
JULY 10: Home of a retired policeman in Stoke Newington firebombed.
AUGUST 18: The London offices of Iberia Airlines, Spanish State airline, bombed.
AUGUST 30: The London home of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir John Waldron, is damaged by a bomb blast. The bombing is not reported in the national press.
SEPTEMBER 8: The London home of Attorney General, Sir Peter Rawlinson, in Chelsea, is bombed. Again this goes unreported.
SEPTEMBER 17: Jake Prescott paroled from Albany Prison, Isle of Wight.
SEPTEMBER 21: Wimbledon Conservative Association fire-bombed.
SEPTEMBER 26: Hampstead Conservative Association fire-bombed.
SEPTEMBER 26: Bomb exploded outside Barclays Bank, Heathrow.
SEPTEMBER 26: Simultaneous bomb attacks against Iberia in Geneva, Frankfurt, Paris and London airports.
OCTOBER 7: BOAC Air terminal at Victoria, booby trap hand grenade found.
OCTOBER 8: Second explosion at Rawlinson’s home.
OCTOBER 9: Italian Trade Centre, Exhibition Building, Cork Street, London, bombed. Attacks simultaneously in Manchester, Birmingham and Paris against Italian State buildings. The attacks were claimed on behalf of Giuseppe Pinelli, the Italian anarchist murdered by the police in 1969.
OCTOBER 24: During the Council workers’strike a bomb explodes in the cleansing dept. head office, Greenford.
OCTOBER 26: Administration building on Keele University campus firebombed.
OCTOBER 26: Barclays Bank at Stoke Newington firebombed. Newspaper report says: ‘Police are investigating several similar incidents at other branches.’
NOVEMBER 20: A BBC van outside the Albert Hall in London covering the Miss World contest is bombed at 2.30am. The prosecution claimed that Jake Prescott was responsible for this explosion, but also brought a witness who vouched that Jake was in fact in Edinburgh at the time. They were forced to drop this charge.
DECEMBER 3: Spanish Embassy in London machine-gunned following international protests against the trial of the Basque nationalists, the Burgos Six. This was not reported.
DECEMBER 8: Big demonstrations against the Tory Government’s Industrial Relations Bill. In the early hours of December 9 the Department of Employment and Productivity in St James Square, London, is bombed. The police had searched the building and no sooner left it than it went off. Action claimed by the Angry Brigade.
JANUARY 12: Thousands of people strike and march against the Industrial Relations Bill. The home of Robert Carr, Minister of Employment, in Hadley Green Road, Barnet, is bombed. First explosion is at 10.05pm, the second at 10.20pm. The action is claimed by the Angry Brigade.
‘One man the police particularly want...is a Scot in his twenties who is suspected of being involved in the bomb attack at the Iberia Airlines office in London last August. This man was believed to be in Paris yesterday.’ The Times
The hunt for Stuart Christie as a likely ‘candidate for outrage’ was on. His history as an anarchist and his involvement with the movement in Spain made him a superb candidate for a fit-up.
Police searches extend over the whole of the London area. A number of people were dragged up to Barnet Police Station for questioning. ‘Special Branch were watching members of a group believed to be connected with the explosions’. All those questioned at Barnet in the early part of the week were released, apart from a man and a woman who were handed over to the police in other parts of London in connection with other offences.
In the week after the Carr bomb a police guard was provided for Justice Melford Stevenson after he had received a phone call saying that a bomb was to be placed at his house. This was Melford the hanging judge who was to sentence Jake Prescott to 15 years.
Secret orders have been issued to police and security guards that members of the organisation must be flushed out as a matter of top priority. An undercover squad of Special Branch officers has been formed to pursue full-time investigation into the group.
Full-time guards have been placed on Cabinet Ministers. These are angry times... Peter Walker (Environment Minister), Melford Stevenson, Tory MP Hugh Fraser, Tory Prime Minister Heath and many others have received threatening calls. A Communiqué sent to the Express newspaper says: ‘THE ANGRY BRIGADE IS AFTER HEATH NOW. WE’RE GETTING CLOSER’.
JANUARY 18: Glasgow South African Airways office firebombed.
JANUARY 19: Jake Prescott was arrested on a cheque charge in Notting Hill. On January 20 he appeared in Marylebone Court, where he was questioned by Habershon. In the time he was inside on remand, he was put in cells with Messrs A, B and C. Habershon had an interview with Mr A at Camberwell Court, which he took up again on February 9. Mr A made a statement that Jake ‘had admitted the bombings at the DEP, Carr’s home and the Miss World Contest’... Very convenient! But unfortunately for Habershon, the jury at Jake’s trial were not prepared to believe the police witness (perhaps they had in mind the £10,000 reward that had been offered by the Daily Mirror for police informants) ...This part of the police evidence was rejected as a frame-up.
At this time the police were being given full rein to do what they liked. In the midst of the hysteria that was generated by the idea that the opposition might be armed, in the midst of the fear that came after a cabinet minister had his front door blown off, a manhunt was taking place ‘leaving no stone unturned’. Stuart Christie was particularly a victim of this. The London evening newspapers were trumpeting from day to day about the ‘young Scottish anarchist recently returned from Spain’ whom they had branded as the most likely... people were disappearing off the streets for questioning.
The police visit offices of leading newspapers and take photographers off to Barnet to identify people from the photos that were taken outside Carr’s house on the night of the January 12 bombing.
On February 3 Jake Prescott was released on bail. Ian Purdie was in court at the time, as he had been for Jake’s previous remands.
Then, on February 11, Jake and a Dutch friend were seized from a pub in North London and dragged off to Barnet. They were refused any access to lawyers for two days. Jake was interrogated by Habershon and Allard for hours. On February 12 Jake’s defence counsel began preparations for a writ of habeas corpus on the police, which would require them to either charge Jake or release him. On February 13 Jan Oudenaarden, the Dutchman, was released after ‘the most frightening experience of my life’. Jake however was not released. He was charged with causing an explosion at Carr’s home and those at the DEP and the Miss World contest.
Jake and Jan had been ‘detained for questioning’ for 3 days. In the court at Barnet, Habershon is challenged to produce ‘grounds for arrest’ and is threatened with legal action. It is claimed that he had tried to persuade Jake to change his lawyer—presumably to one who would not cause trouble for the police...
JANUARY 25: Home of the Lord Provost of Glasgow bombed.
JANUARY 27: Communiqué 5 received by the Press Association.
The police were forced to admit that earlier bombings (which they had covered up) had taken place. The police, however, imposed a press blackout on the course of the investigations. At the same time the Daily Mirror offers a £10,000 reward to anybody giving information leading to a conviction.
JANUARY 29: The Times reports: ‘Scotland Yard and security officials are becoming increasingly embarrassed and annoyed by the activities of the Angry Brigade, who cannot now be dismissed as a group of cranks. Some senior officers credit the group with a degree of professional skill that has seldom been experienced’.
In the weeks after the Carr bombing, the Barnet Brigade, headed by Roy Habershon (explosives expert), Commander Bond and Commander Dace, thundered all over London with squad cars, dogs, photographers, raiding houses of ‘known left wing extremists’.
Their concern (as was clear from the number of address books, magazines, letters, etc that they took) was to draw up a picture of the extraparliamentary left, whose activities they were now forced to take seriously, and whose structures they were more or less ignorant of. These were raids of the political police in action.
The raids included:
January 13: Chris Reed, Huddleston Road, London, N7.
January 14: Stuart Roche, Schools Union activist.
January 15: Ian Purdie’s brother, Robert is taken up to Barnet and questioned. The police are looking for Ian.
January 17: The house of Ann Lamche (Cinema Action) is raided.
Two people are taken off for questioning. The Agitprop house in Muswell Hill (which the police were eager to look round) address book copied.
January 19: 4 known raids in which nothing is found. Joe Keith and Tony Swash questioned by Habershon.
January 20: Ian Purdie questioned by Palmer-Hall at Bedford Gardens.
January 21: Paul Lewis of International Times is questioned by Habershon. Office and home searched.
January 22: Chris Allen is questioned by Edinburgh CID. Habershon goes to Edinburgh for three days.
January 23: Another raid in Edinburgh.
January 24: Police raid a house in London and two men, Ross Flett and Phil Carver, are dragged off to Barnet for questioning. Barnet refuses them access to a lawyer who was present outside the station.
The papers start to talk of a Scottish anarchist.
Two men are seized by police in London and taken to Barnet for questioning concerning ‘about 30 unpublicised attacks on Establishment property’ including banks, the home of Tory racist Duncan Sandys and various Conservative Party offices.
JANUARY 29: The Evening News reports that: ‘...in the latest report of HM Inspector of Explosives, there was again a substantial increase in the number of cases involving homemade devices. There is evidence of the increasing use of such devices in the furtherance of political activities’.
JANUARY 30: Slough Conservative Office firebombed.
FEBRUARY 3: Jake Prescott is released on bail and yet is arrested on the 11th. He is interrogated, denied access to a lawyer for three days, and is accused of the attacks on Carr’s home and the BBC van.
FEBRUARY 9: The Jersey home of a local managing director firebombed.
FEBRUARY 11: The house in Grosvenor Avenue, Islington, where Jake Prescott had been staying, is raided by the police. The house is searched for explosives. Diaries, address books, newspapers and other articles are taken away, despite protests that this does not come into the terms of the police warrants. Press reports now make Grosvenor Avenue the centre of the conspiracy. The nearest thing they can find...
FEBRUARY 11: Earlier in the day Habershon and his gang had disrupted the trial of the people who were involved in the demonstration at the Miss World contest in November 1970. They removed by force four of the defence witnesses who were due to give evidence in the trial. They were taken off to Barnet, where they were questioned and denied all access to legal representation.
Habershon comes forth in true democratic light when he says ‘I am not concerned with legal niceties’. Charges are brought against Scotland Yard for assault (of those dragged away from Bow Street) and for wrongful arrest and imprisonment. The Special Branch were present at the Miss World trial.
FEBRUARY 13: Searches at the homes of Hilary Creek, John Barker, Kate McLean, Chris Allen and others in a hunt for explosives.
Jake Prescott is charged with conspiracy to cause explosions between July 30 1970 and December 1971, and with the specific bombings of Carr’s home, the Dept of Employment and the Miss World contest.
FEBRUARY 15: Cannock Street is raided again.
FEBRUARY 19: Habershon goes to Edinburgh. Two houses are raided and Jane and Chris Allen are questioned. The same day The Times prints Communiqué 6 from the Angry Brigade. There was also a telephone call from an Angry Brigade spokesman to the Havering Recorder in Essex, saying that from Saturday next a campaign of violence would be conducted against Conservative Party policies in South Africa.
The raids continue...
FEBRUARY 20: Mike Kane’s house is raided.
MARCH 5: House in Talbot Road, Notting Hill raided.
MARCH 6: 12 midnight, house in Tyneham Road, SW11, raided, Ian Purdie was there and was arrested. Habershon said at Barnet
that ‘the raid was to find explosives and Ian Purdie. They are synonymous as far as I am concerned.’ He admitted in court that he had ordered Ian to be arrested for questioning, which is illegal.
MARCH 7: Ian Purdie is charged, along with Jake Prescott, accused of the two Angry Brigade bombings. They are both in the top security wing at Brixton Prison—as class A prisoners—and are kept in their cells for 23 hours a day.
MARCH 10: The Guardian reports on police excesses in their investigations.
MARCH 18: During a major strike of Ford workers in England the main offices of the Ford Motor Company at Gants Hill, Ilford on the outskirts of London, is wrecked by a powerful explosion.
A thousand word Communiqué (Communiqué no 7) is delivered shortly after.
...A man walks into a London bank, and demands £5,000 with the threat of a bomb that he had with him (a biscuit tin full of coal).
The bomb at Fords sparks off another wave of raids.
MARCH 20: House in Notting Hill raided. Defence documents seized.
MARCH 23: Grosvenor Avenue raided for the second time. Dogs and ten pigs.
MARCH 24: Two houses in East London raided. First, Ron Bailey’s with explosives warrant. Impression of typewriter taken. Second, Digger Walsh’s with explosives warrant, by Cremer and Bentley.
APRIL 1: Two houses in Notting Hill raided. More defence files for the Powis Square trial are seized.
Throughout the period since their arrest, Ian and Jake have been kept in solitary in Brixton Prison, allowed out for only one hour each day. Their defence lawyers can only gain access to them after bargaining with Habershon. When the defence counsel asks for evidence of arrests to be produced, he is told this can’t be done without the permission of the Attorney General. In addition £10,000 bail for each of the defendents is refused by the magistrate at Barnet.
APRIL 1: The home of the headmaster of Roydale School is firebombed.
APRIL 5: Arson attempt at Gosport Tory Club. (Evening Standard says ‘this is the latest in a series of incidents involving this club in the last six months.’)
APRIL 5: Bomb left in Leicester Square.
APRIL 22: Committal proceedings for Jake and Ian start at Barnet Court. The committal is to decide whether or not the magistrate feels there is enough evidence against the two of them for a trial to be set at the Old Bailey. There is no doubt that he will find so, but nevertheless proceedings proceed ...interminably...until May 27.
Jake had been presented (April 15) with three more charges: having conspired with Ian to cause explosions ‘with others’ between July 1970 and March 1971 and having actually caused the Miss World and DEP bombings.
APRIL 22: Arson at Whitechapel Barclays Bank.
APRIL 23: Booby trap incendiary envelope posted to MP at House of Commons.
APRIL 24: Second police raid in Wivenhoe, Essex. Charges: possession of drugs—shown photos of Jim Greenfield and Anna Mendelson and 2 others.
APRIL 26: 3rd raid on Cannock Street. Chris arrested on cheques charges.
APRIL 28: The Times receives a liquid bomb through the post. It had a message: ‘From the Vengeance Squad, the Angry Brigade, The People’s Army. We will use these. Many of them in June and July. Revolution now.’
APRIL 29: Sabotage at Nuclear Power Station, Berkeley, Gloucester (3rd such incident within three months).
APRlL/MAY: The IS printers had an intimidating visit, asking about women’s newspaper. Raids on IS members in London.
MAY 1: Mayday, a bomb explodes in the Biba boutique in trendy Kensington. It was accompanied by Communiqué 8.
MAY 4: Bomb found strapped to the underside of Lady Beaverbrook’s car. Inquiries range through Kent, Essex and Oxfordshire.
MAY 4: Four home-made bombs found near the Sidcup and Chislehurst Grammar School, where Prime Minister Heath received the Freedom of Bexley on Friday.
MAY 22: Bomb attack on Scotland Yard Computer Room at Tintagel House, London. This is accompanied by simultaneous attacks by the Angry Brigade, the International Solidarity Movement and the Marius Jacob group against British Rail, Rolls Royce and Rover offices in Paris.
MAY: Harris Gleckman, Alan Barlow, and Smith raided for the second time at Agitprop, Muswell Hill.
JUNE 1: A letter is sent to The Times: ‘If Heath and Rippon contrive to enter the Common Market without seeking the opinion of the British people they will be on the receiving end of a bullet. This is no idle threat. Signed: The Angry Brigade.’
JUNE 19: Factory at Dordan damaged by several fires started by incendiary devices.
JUNE 22: During a dispute between Ford management and the militant shop steward John Dillon, in the Ford Liverpool plant, the Angry Brigade blow up the home of Ford’s managing director, William Batty, in Essex. The same night a bomb damages a transformer at the Dagenham plant of the Ford Motor Company.
BY THIS TIME Scotland Yard is hopping mad. Sir John Waldron holds a conference there, where senior police officers are told of the order that has come from the Prime Minister via Home Secretary Maudling, that ‘The Angry Brigade must be found and smashed’...
‘We have been ordered to treat the Angry Brigade as Public Enemy Number One. This is a top priority job.’ In the words of the Sunday Telegraph: ‘YARD WILL GET THE ANGRY BRIGADE .... A special team of 20 hand-picked detectives from the Flying Squad and Special Branch, working with army bomb disposal experts and Home Office scientists. Their leader, a commander whose name is being kept secret for his own safety... is known as rough and ready ... The squad is taking a tough line. It will raid hippy communes, question avowed members of the ‘underground’ and build up a complete file on the subculture that threatens the present social order.’
JULY 25: Intimidation of a claimant in North London when police with explosives warrant smash door in.
JULY 26: Ian Purdie refused bail of £17,500 by Melford Stevenson.
JULY 31: Despite close police protection in the home of the Secretary for Trade and Industry, John Davies, it is badly damaged by a powerful explosion in London. This action followed close on Davies’ announcement of his intention to close Upper Clyde Shipbuilders, throwing thousands of men out of work. This is accompanied by the 11th Communiqué from the Angry Brigade.
AUGUST 2: Two houses in Essex searched with explosives warrant.
Judge Argyll of the OZ trial is threatened in his Midlands home. The trial date for Jake Prescott and Ian Purdie is set for September 7, and now the police’s concern is to do everything possible to wreck and intimidate any support action that might be planned for them. Various houses are raided and material and addresses related to the Jan and Jake defence is seized. One of the places raided was the Agitprop collective in Bethnal Green, London, where material was seized.
AUGUST 15: More raids: Hungerford Road, Dave Garfinkel taken for questioning. Beresford Terrace, N5—documents seized. Crystal Palace—Sally Keith’s house, floorboards ripped up.
AUGUST 15: Following the announcement by the British Government that internment was to be introduced in Ireland, there was a powerful explosion at the Army recruiting centre in Holloway Road, North London. This was accompanied by a Communiqué signed ‘Angry Brigade Moonlighters Cell’.
AUGUST 16: Agitprop, Bethnal Green again raided with explosives warrant.
AUGUST 17: Wilson and Habershon raid house in Talbot Road, Notting Hill, with warrant for stolen goods.
AUGUST 21: House in Amhurst Road, London, raided by Special Branch and CID. Jim Greenfield, Anna Mendelson, John Barker and Hilary Creek are arrested. The four are taken to the ‘Bomb Squad’ HQ in Albany Street, London, where the two men are subjected to a brutal beating-up to extract a confession from them.
AUGUST 21: Stuart Christie arrested at Amhurst Road, London, while visiting the house. One hour later Chris Bott is also arrested at the same place. Both are taken to join the others at Albany Street Police Station. Incriminating evidence in the form of two detonators is planted by police officers in Christie’s car. Both men are also verballed.
AUGUST 23: All are charged at Albany Street Police Station with:
Conspiring to cause explosions between January 1 1968 and August 21st, 1971.
Possessing explosive substances for an unlawful purpose.
Possessing a pistol without a firearms certificate.
Possessing eight rounds of ammunition without a firearms certificate.
Possessing two machine guns without the authority of the Secretary of State.
Possessing 36 rounds of ammunition without a firearms certificate.
Jim: attempting to cause an explosion in May 1970.
Anna and Jim: attempting to cause an explosion in Manchester, October 1970.
Stuart: possessing one round of ammunition without a firearms certificate. (This was dated back 2 years when a bullet was taken from his flat. No charges were preferred against him at the time.)
John, Jim and Stuart: possessing explosive substances.
Jim, John and Hilary: receiving stolen vehicle.
Stuart: possessing explosive substances. (The two detonators were planted by the police). All are refused bail and remanded in custody to await trial.
AUGUST 29: Military wing of Edinburgh Castle bombed.
SEPTEMBER 10: Ipswich Courthouse bombed.
SEPTEMBER 16: Bomb discovered in officers’ mess inside Dartmoor prison. (News not released for two weeks).
SEPTEMBER 20: Support of Chelsea Bridge opposite army barracks bombed. (Blast heard three miles away).
SEPTEMBER 24: Despite the fact that the police claim to have arrested all the Angry Brigade, the Albany Street Army Barracks (near the Bomb Squad HQ) is bombed by the Angry Brigade in protest against the actions of the British Army in Northern Ireland.
OCTOBER 15: Maryhill Barracks Army HQ, Glasgow, fire-bombed.
OCTOBER 20: Home of Bryant, Birmingham building boss, bombed while his workers are on strike. Communiqué issued by the Angry Brigade.
OCTOBER 30: Post Office Tower in London is bombed by the Angry Brigade.
OCTOBER 30: ‘The Cunning Man’ Pub, Reading, which refused to serve workers from the M4 site, bombed.
NOVEMBER 1: Army Tank HQ in Everton Street, London, bombed by the Angry Brigade.
NOVEMBER 6: Amsterdam: attack against Lloyds Bank; Basle: Italian Consulate attacked; Rome: British Embassy attacked; Barcelona: British Embassy attacked. All in support of the ‘Stoke Newington Eight’ and the Italian anarchists imprisoned on trumped-up charges of ‘conspiracy’ and subversion.
NOVEMBER 11: Haverstock Street, Islington, raided. Angie Weir arrested, taken to Albany Street and charged with conspiracy to cause explosions.
NOVEMBER 17: 89 Talbot Road raided: Chris Allen ends up similarly charged.
NOVEMBER 26: Pauline Conroy arrested in her flat in Powis Square and charged.
NOVEMBER 29: Broadstairs Courthouse firebombed.
DECEMBER 1: Trial of Ian Purdie and Jake Prescott ends. Ian Purdie found not guilty on all charges. Jake Precott found not guilty of specific bombings, but guilty of conspiracy to cause bombings on the basis of having written three envelopes, and was sentenced to fifteen years.
DECEMBER 15: Jordanian Ambassador, London, machine-gunned in his car.
DECEMBER 18: Kate McLean arrested and charged along with Angela Weir, Chris Allen and Pauline Conroy, who had been arrested during the course of November, of having conspired with the six people already arrested on conspiracy charges. Shortly before the opening of Committal proceedings against the ten militants, Attorney General, Sir Peter Rawlinson, the victim of one of the Angry Brigade attacks, decided there was insufficient evidence for a case to be made against Pauline Conroy and Chris Allen, and they were released from custody.
JANUARY 22: Explosive letter sent to MP at House of Commons.
FEBRUARY 1: Rhodesia House in London firebombed.
FEBRUARY 3: Kirkgate, Huddersfield, Army Recruiting Office destroyed by firebombs.
FEBRUARY 17: Bonhill Street Social Security Office, London, firebombed. Liverpool Army HQ, Edge Lane, bombed. Severe damage.
FEBRUARY 22: Aldershot Paras HQ bombed—7 killed.
MARCH 10: South African Airways, London, firebombed.
MARCH 15: (Approx) Prison officer shot outside Wandsworth Prison.
MARCH 20: Two shots fired through the front of the Army Recruiting Office, Slough, Bucks.
MARCH: Four members of the Workers’ Party of Scotland sentenced to a total of 81 years as a result of an expropriation carried out against the Bank of Scotland in June, 1971. The comrades, who defended their actions politically in court, were dealt the highest sentences ever by a Scottish court for robbery: William McPherson, 26 years, Matt Lygate, 25 years, and Ian Doran were virtually ignored by the revolutionary left.
MARCH 30: Bomb containing 13 sticks of gelignite planted on railway line near Stranraer, Glasgow, used by the Army to transport men and equipment to ferry for N. Ireland.
APRIL 6: Second bomb (13 sticks) planted on rail link near Glasgow.
APRIL 24: Homemade bomb planted at police headquarters at Sleaford, Lancs. 15 year old boy held.
APRIL 26: Bomb blast and fire at Tory HQ, Billericay, Essex.
MAY 1: Explosion at CS gas factory.
MAY 30: Trial of ‘Stoke Newington Eight’ accused of conspiracy to cause Angry Brigade bombings, begins in No 1 Court at the Old Bailey in London. This was to be the longest trial in the history of the British legal system.
Excerpt from a Stoke Newington Eight Defence Bulletin:
THE TRIAL SO FAR...
Has been four months of prosecution, four months of police witness after police witness contradicting each other, changing their story, LYING, broken only for four weeks when the judge had his holiday...
A CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE
The Press have reported nothing of all this—just as they never reported the bombings until it suited them. What are they scared of?
The only concrete evidence is the guns and gelignite ‘found’ by the police in the flat where four of the defendants lived. At first the police said that 2 of the 4 were there throughout the raid; then they admitted that at one point they were taken out of the flat then brought back. WHY? The fingerprint expert admitted that there were no prints on the guns and explosives. WHY NOT?
The prosecution’s story changed from day to day. It emerged that the police would have fallen flat over the guns and gelly as they came into the flat if it had been where they said it was, instead of ‘finding’ it ten minutes later; so they suddenly ‘remembered’ for the first time—a year later—that it had been covered with cloth.
One detective was forced to admit that he had altered his notebook during the trial. Another gave the game away altogether when he said that he and a colleague sat down in the kitchen and ‘decided’ what happened in the raid.
The rest of the evidence against the eight is research, letters, and articles written by the defendants for different underground papers (Frendz, Strike) and broadsheets. The prosecution call them proof of conspiracy because they mention such political targets as the Industrial Relations Act, Fair Rents Act, Miss World contest, etc.
Their scientific ‘experts’ tried to pin 25 of the bombings that took place in England between 1968 and 1971 on to these people, claiming that these bombings were ‘associated’—disregarding other similar bombings and covering up the differences between the 25.
But the explosions were claimed by groups as different as the Ist of May group, the Angry Brigade, The Wild Bunch and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. And the ‘set’ didn’t include 3 claimed by the Angry Brigade AFTER Amhurst Road was raided.
Now the defence is beginning, the truth can come out: the only conspiracy there’s been is a STATE CONSPIRACY.
* * *
Police explosives expert testifies that between March 1968 and August 1971 there had been 123 known attacks on property.
NOVEMBER 24: During his summing up Mr Justice James directed the jury to ignore the defence’s protestations that it was a political trial. He said: ‘it is not (a political trial) and I direct you to have none of it. Political trials are trials of people for their political views. We do not have them in this country.’
DECEMBER 6: The trial ends. Jim Greenfield, Anna Mendleson, Hilary Creek and John Barker are sentenced to 10 years for ‘conspiracy to cause explosions’. The other four charged are acquitted, and the sentence of Jake Prescott is reduced to 10 years.
DECEMBER 7: After the Angry Brigade sentences the previous day, Scotland Yard names two more people they want in connection with the bombings: Gerry Osner and Sarah Poulikakou, both living abroad at the time. 300 people march in protest to Holloway Prison.
In all, 12 people were arrested and charged—2 had the charges against them withdrawn, 5 were acquitted, five were convicted and imprisoned for conspiracy.
* * *
Following the trial Commander Bond was promoted to Deputy Assistant Commissioner at Scotland Yard, Det. Chief Superintendent Habershon was made Commander and seconded to the Home Office’s Research and Planning Office in 1973. In June 1974 he headed the police investigation into the killing of Kevin Gateley, the Warwick University student, in Red Lion Square on June 5th 1974—as a result of which the police were absolved of all responsibility. In April 1975 Commander Habershon was appointed head of the Bomb Squad, replacing Robert Huntley.
THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES...
The situation today is very different to that of the late sixties and early seventies. New comrades are taking up the struggle, which has spread to that of attacks on NATO installations and nuclear power stations as well as other manifestations of the increasing militarism in Europe and the US and Canada. There are no structures today that correspond to the old RAF, Action Directe, the Red Brigades as they once were, or other forms of fairly structured armed groups.
The signatures and emblems are still used, but the comrades using them have hardly any direct relationship with others doing the same. What is apparent is that there is a will to act against the new and old forms of repression and in doing so, to also criticise the old forms of organisation. It is in this light that we see the following Communiqués that have appeared in this country over the past three years. Another opening towards armed struggle appears on the horizon. It finds its roots in the mass illegality of the present, and seeks to go further in terms of creating a new specific revolutionary armed attack. It is time to take a positon and to act.
THE BRIGADE IS GETTING ANGRY—AGAIN!
ALMOST TEN YEARS have passed since the political situation in the UK called for the type of direct action as practised by the Angry Brigade. The wheel has turned full circle and we are obliged, once again, to prepare to defend ourselves against the provocations of a virulently anti-working class State and its multinational manipulators, such as the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission.
SINCE THE THATCHER GOVERNMENT came to power, we have seen a rapid increase in the power of the repressive organs of the State, with a correspondingly obsessive and paranoid emphasis on perfecting its machinery for ‘countersubversion’ and ‘law and order’, political euphemisms for the control and elimination of all real, potential, and imaginary dissidents. The increased expenditure on police, prisons and army, the constant surveillance of trade unionists, harassment of investigative journalists, whistleblowers, environmental, ecological and community activists, the extended deployment of the SAS in Northern Ireland with their assassinations of outspoken socialists such as Miriam Daly and probably Noel Little and Ronnie Bunting, the overt terrorising and intimidation of anyone remotely connected with the struggle in Northern Ireland, the emphasis on population control in police training and the increased number of armed police patrolling the streets of Britain, the new picket laws, etc; all these things indicate that the consensus in British politics is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.
THE GROWTH IN STATE SECURITY is necessitated by the political and economic policies of the Thatcher government and its supporters. They know only too well that the economic situation is unlikely to improve without a reversal of their policies. This, in turn, is going to lead to largescale social unrest. There are no workable economic remedies available to them within the monetarist ideology with which they are obsessed. Unemployment will rise steeply, inflation will worsen, more factories and businesses will close down or go bankrupt, apathy and tension will pervade social relationships, the trade union leadership will be unable to restrain the rank-and-file. People will get angrier and more frustrated, and stronger and more desperate forms of control will have to be imposed as the system starts to fail, go hopelessly out of control, and finally collapse altogether.
WHY NOW AND NOT BEFORE? The late sixties and seventies saw a similar period of strident anti-working class hysteria and legislation which led up to the infamous and unsuccessful attempt to control organised labour through the Industrial Relations Bill.This led to the downfall of the Heath government. Having failed to break the labour movement through the courts, the Tories have now turned to a more oblique approach: a deliberate policy of mass unemployment! No doubt the Thatcher clique will be strengthened in their resolve with the election of Reagan, and begin to intensify their policies with each concession made to them.
WE ARE NO VANGUARD, nor do we claim to lead or represent anyone other than ourselves in our resistance to the arrogance of the present government and the misery, frustration and despair created by its selfish and inhuman policies. It is simply that we as individuals are approaching the limits of our tolerance. We see ourselves as an expression of the anger, resistance and hope created by the impending failure of this rapidly polarising society.
IN THE PAST TEN YEARS we have operated mainly in France, Italy, Spain, Germany and North America, and have acquired new skills, expertise, personnel and access to information sources. The more recent actions of Action Directe indicate the strategy and tactics we should employ. As before, there will be no ‘mindless terror’, no deaths, no hijackings, no hostage-taking of innocent bystanders.
We have nothing in common with the tactics or policies of the Red Army Faction, Red Brigades, PLO or any other authoritarian group committed to a struggle for power or control of the State at the expense of the man and woman in the street. The social revolution will not be built on the corpses of the old rulers or their functionaries; it can only be built by people taking control of their own lives, asserting their independence, their rejection of the State, of power politics, of authoritarian lifestyles and the competitive values of consumerism forced on us from birth to death.
In fighting these evils we also have positive aspirations. We wish for a self-managed society as the only possible basis on which we can build a more just, equitable and libertarian world for ourselves and our children. The increased power of the State, the aggressive confrontation policies of the Thatcher government, the breakdown of free collective bargaining and consensus in everyday life, the ever-increasing estrangement of people from the decision-making processes, etc, indicate only one course of action. We must reject and resist this inexorable erosion of our humanity and hopes with whatever means are available to us.
WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT—
THE ANGRY BRIGADE II (IRSM)
Communiqué sent to the Conservative Party:
WE PLANTED the small bombs in your northern headquarters at Manchester and Leeds as a reminder to you of the active resistance which exists in this country.
We have had enough of you ruining our lives. You commit the worst forms of violence in our society and you don’t care. We are thrown out of work, abused by the DHSS and the police, deported and exploited—and still it’s not enough for you. Every day we are subjected to greater repression; police powers are increased, more racist laws introduced, 20 years of gains by women are eroded in three, the organised labour movement is under attack, and now we see a policy of summary execution.
You think you can crush us, but you’re wrong. We will not remain silent in the face of this onslaught–we are fighting back. So far our actions have been aimed at property and not people, but our patience is wearing thin.
WE ARE GETTING CLOSER.
‘Overcrowding in the prisons, general repression and the murder of Barry Prosser earlier this year by screws in Winson Green Prison are some of the reasons given by a group calling itself the ‘Angry Brigade Resistance Movement’, for the bomb attack on property belonging to the Prison Officers Training College in Wakefield.
... One London-based ATS officer is reported to have said that it was unlikely that the Angry Brigade had reformed, ... it is not possible for the Angry Brigade to ‘re-form’. It wasn’t an organisation, nor was it a single grouping—but an expression of the anger and contempt many people up and down the country had for the State and its institutions. In this sense the Angry Brigade is with us all the time (the man or the woman sitting next to you?) — it neither appears or disappears (or re-forms) but is the natural manifestation of revolt when that revolt is directed at the heart of all that causes suffering: the State.
Black Flag, Vol V11 No 2, Feb 1983.
We decided to plant the explosives on the electricity pylon north of Maltby in order to damage the pylon, disrupt the Supergrid link from the Midlands to the North East, and to show that the system is vulnerable.
We see the State employing here the techniques of repression developed and practised against the people of Ireland. But we too have learnt lessons from the Irish struggle.
As we move towards open CLASS WAR, you will not find us unprepared!
VICTORY TO THE HIT SQUADS.
Teeside Humberside, join the ANGRY SIDE.
 John Zerzan—Creation and its Enemies: ‘The Revolt Against Work’, Mutualist Books .
 An unnumbered Communiqué which seems to be the first. Thursday night was the night of December 2/3, 1970.
 On November 20th, 1970 a bomb was placed under a BBC van. The van was to be used to aid the BBC in glorifying the super-women of the Miss World competition.
 Communiqué 3 was sent on December 9th, 1970.
 This Communiqué was preceded by two phone calls to the national Press. Min. E. & Prod, (Department of Employment and Productivity) was hit by a bomb explosion the night of December 8th, in the basement of St James’ Square. The DEP at the time with minister Robert Carr in charge, is one of the government’s organisations responsible for dangerous working conditions, unemployment, productivity agreements, and the Industrial Relations Bill passed by the Tory government.
 The Communiqué was sent on December 9th, 1970.
 The Communiqué was sent on the night of January 12th 1971. The Carr family, spending a typical evening at home, were shaken by the blast of the first bomb. Mr Carr, after crawling on the floor to the disconnected telephone, takes his wife and daughter to a neighbour’s house. Showing his usual concern for workers’ welfare, he instructs the nanny/housekeeper to go back into the house alone. Then a second bomb explodes, not hurting the housekeeper, but knocking three police officers to the ground.
 Sir Peter Rawlinson, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has been a pig for 43 years in London, Ceylon, Lancashire and Berkshire. A bomb had exploded at his home on October 30th, 1970.
 Sir John Waldron, Heath’s Attorney General, graduated from Christ College, Cambridge, with a BA, the British Army in North Africa with a major’s rank and the Inner Temple Bar with a piece of silk (QC). A bomb had exploded at his home on September 8th, 1970.
 A bomb mysteriously exploded last autumn in a car near a West-End cinema, killing two people.
 Tom Jackson, as head of the Union of Post Office Workers, directed the Post Office strike and then broke the strike with a sell-out pay deal.
 Bob Hope, who entertained regularly for US troops in Vietnam, also played the Big Man Master of Ceremonies at the Miss World competition.
 John Davies, the Minister of Technology and former director general of the Confederation of British industry, the supposed opposite of the TUC.
His earlier posts with Anglo-Iranian Oil, BP, Shell Mex and the National Export Development Council helped strengthen the British Empire.
 Stephen McCarthy died in January 1971 as a result of a brutal arrest by two Islington pigs and gross mistreatment by prison medical authorities in Wormwood Scrubs and Dover Borstal.
 Jake Prescott and Ian Purdie were falsely charged by Chief Superintendent Habershon with having been involved in earlier Angry Brigade actions. Jake, arrested on February 11th, 1971, and Ian, arrested on March 7th 1971, were in solitary confinement for the Angry Brigades’ actions against Fords, Biba’s and the police computer.
 This Communiqué was sent on the night of March 13th, 1971.
 The Communiqué is dated May 1st, 1971. The same day a bomb exploded in the trendy Biba boutique in Kensington High Street, Chelsea.
 Peter Savva was killed in the Holloway Road pig station. London, in May 1971. The pigs pretended that Peter tripped when drunk: the coroner reported ‘death by misadventure’.
 David Owale, a Nigerian, was found dead in a river near Leeds two years ago. Leeds pigs were charged with ‘unlawfully killing a vagrant Nigerian immigrant’.
 This Communiqué was sent on May 22nd, 1971, following an explosion at the police computer, Tintagel House, London, and simultaneous explosions at three British offices in Paris.