The Angry Brigade
- For the play of this title, see The Angry Brigade (play).
The Angry Brigade were a British anarchist group responsible for a series of bomb attacks in Britain between 1970 and 1972.
In mid-1968 demonstrations took place in London, centred on the US embassy in Grosvenor Square, against US involvement in the Vietnam War. One of the organisers of these demonstrations, the well-known radical Tariq Ali, claims to recall an approach by someone representing the Angry Brigade who wished to bomb the embassy; he told them it was a terrible idea and no bombing took place.
The Angry Brigade decided to launch a bombing campaign with small bombs - in order to maximise media exposure to their demands while keeping collateral damage to a minimum. The campaign started in August 1970 and continued for a year until arrests took place the following summer.
Targets included banks, embassies, the Miss World event in 1970 (or rather a BBC Outside Broadcast vehicle earmarked for use in the BBC's coverage) and the homes of Conservative MPs. In total, police attributed 25 bombings to the Angry Brigade. The bombings mostly caused property damage; one person was slightly injured.
Resurfaced Angry Brigade of the 1980s
Jake Prescott, whose origins were in the mining community of Dunfermline, was arrested and tried in 1971. Melford Stevenson sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment (later reduced to 10), mostly spent in maximum security jails. Later he said he realised then that he "was the one who was angry and the people [he] met were more like the Slightly Cross Brigade". The other members of the group from North-East London, the "Stoke Newington Eight", were prosecuted for carrying out bombings as the Angry Brigade in one of the longest criminal trials of English history (it lasted from 30 May to 6 December 1972). As a result of the trial, John Barker, Jim Greenfield, Hilary Creek and Anna Mendleson received prison sentences of 10 years. A number of other defendants were found not guilty, including Stuart Christie, who had previously been imprisoned in Spain for carrying explosives with the intent to assassinate the dictator Francisco Franco, and Angela Mason who became a director of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights group Stonewall and was awarded an OBE for services to homosexual rights.
On 3 February 2002, the Guardian newspaper reported a history of the Angry Brigade and an update on what its former members are doing now.
On 9 August 2002, BBC R4 aired Graham White’s historical drama, ‘The Trial Of The Angry Brigade’. Produced by Peter Kavanagh, this was a reconstruction of the trial combined with other background information. The cast included Kenneth Cranham, Juliet Stevenson, Mark Strong.
In March 2009, British family care activist and novelist Erin Pizzey reportedly declined to comment on the temporary withdrawal by its publishers of the book Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain following her complaint it had falsely linked her to the Angry Brigade.
- The group are parodied in Doris Lessing's The Good Terrorist (1985), in which a group of naive, young, communist squatters split over whether or not to join the IRA.
- The group and trial feature in Jake Arnott's 2006 novel Johnny Come Home.
- Howard Brenton's 1973 play Magnificence, about a group of far-left revolutionaries in a London squat, is partly inspired by the Angry Brigade.
- The Angry Brigade: A Documentary Novel (Allison & Busby, 1973) by Alan Burns.
- The Angry Brigade 1967-1984: Documents and Chronology, Bratach Dubh Anarchist Pamphlets, 1978.
- Anarchy in the UK: The Angry Brigade, Tom Vague, AK Press, 1997, ISBN 1-873176-98-8.
- Granny Made me an Anarchist: General Franco, The Angry Brigade and Me, Stuart Christie, Scribner, 2004.
- The Angry Brigade: A History of Britain's First Urban Guerilla Group, Gordon Carr, John Barker, Stuart Christie, 1975 (reissued 2005). ISBN 0-9549507-3-9.
- Bending the Bars, John Barker.
- Hastings, England: Christie Books, 2002. Limited edition.
- Hastings, England: Christie Books, 2006. ISBN 1-873976-31-3.
- The Angry Brigade, a 2014 play by James Graham
- The Trial of the Angry Brigade, BBC Radio 4, by Graham White. Produced by Peter Kavanagh and broadcast 9 August 2002.
- The Angry Brigade: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Britain's First Urban Guerilla Group, (DVD), Gordon Carr, BBC, January 1973. Released on DVD in 2008 by PM Press.
- The Persons Unknown (DVD) by Gordon Carr, 1980. Features as a DVD extra on the January 1973 BBC documentary, 'The Angry Brigade: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Britain's First Urban Guerilla Group'.
- Our Friends in the North (BBC TV drama series, 1995), features a storyline in which a main character joins a fictional left-wing terrorist group based on the Angry Brigade.
- On 16 September 2013 the BBC’s The One Show aired a short documentary on the Angry Brigade, stating, "Joe Crowley discovers how the violent tactics of the Angry Brigade lead to the formation of the bomb squad."
- Void, "The Angry Brigade",
- Wax Dolls (John Watts), Fischer Z, "The Angry Brigade", 1978
- The Bear Quartet, "Angry Brigade"
- Architect & Heiress, "The Angry Brigade"
- War Criminal George Pt. 1, "The Angry Brigade"
- Rome, "The Angry Brigade"
- Walsall Anarchists
- First of May Group
- Anarchism in the United Kingdom
- Black Mask
- King Mob
- Movement 2 June
- Horspool 2009, p. 385.
- Horspool 2009, pp. 385,386.
- "'Trick questions' protest at Carr bomb trial". Glasgow Herald. 25 November 1971. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "Social Services chief's husband was drug-addicted violent terrorist". Mail Online. 14 December 2008. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- Bright, Martin (3 February 2002). "Look back in anger". The Guardian (London).
- Horspool 2009, p. 386.
- Angry Brigade's Bomb Apology, The Observer, 2 February 2002
- Look Back In Anger
- BBC R4 - Graham White’s ‘The Trial Of The Angry Brigade’. Produced by Peter Kavanagh. Broadcast 9 August 2002
- Sam Jones & Maev Kennedy "Marr book urgently withdrawn", The Guardian, 9 March 2009.
- "The Scotsman, 9 March 2009".
- Horspool, David (2009). "Grovenor Square and the Angry Brigade". The English Rebel: One Thousand Years of Troublemaking from the Normans to the Nineties. London: Viking. pp. 384–386. ISBN 978-0-670-91619-1.
- The Angry Brigade: A history of Britain's first urban guerilla group, Gordon Carr, 1975 (reissued by Stuart Christie 2005) ISBN 0-9549507-3-9
- The Angry Brigade 1967-1984: Documents and Chronology, Bratach Dubh Anarchist Pamphlets, 1978
- Anarchy in the UK: The Angry Brigade, Tom Vague, AK Press, 1997, ISBN 1-873176-98-8
- Bending the Bars, John Barker, Christie Books, 2002 (reissued 2006). ISBN 1-873976-31-3.
- Edward Heath Made Me Angry, Stuart Christie, Christie Books, 2004. 978-1873976234.
- Granny Made me an Anarchist: General Franco, The Angry Brigade and Me, Stuart Christie, Scribner, 2004. 978-0743263566.
- The Angry Brigade: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Britain's First Urban Guerilla Group, (DVD), Gordon Carr, BBC, January 1973. Released in 2008 by PM Press.
- The Persons Unknown (DVD) by Gordon Carr, 1980. Features as an extra on the January 1973 BBC documentary, 'The Angry Brigade: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Britain's First Urban Guerilla Group'.
- A personal memory of Anna in 1968
- Libertarian community and organising resource. Libertarian communism and anarchism in the UK
- Angry Brigade: Documents and Chronology, 1967-1984
- John Barker's review of Tom Vague's Anarchy in the UK: the Angry Brigade
- Look back in anger (An article by The Observer on the 30th Anniversary of their trial)
- Interview with Stuart Christie (3:AM Magazine)
- Interview with John Barker (3:AM Magazine)
- British minister's home bombed (BBC 'On This Day' article)
- Timeline of actions (spunk.org)
- Obituary of Anna Mendleson
- 1973 article on the Stoke Newington Eight trial
- John Barker's personal page on Through Europe
- Christie Books