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Waiting for the RevolutionThe British Far Left from 1956$
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Evan Smith and Matthew Worley

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526113658

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526113658.001.0001

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Not that serious?

Not that serious?

The investigation and trial of the Angry Brigade, 1967–72

(p.30) 2 Not that serious?
Waiting for the Revolution

J. D. Taylor

Manchester University Press

The Angry Brigade claimed responsibility for ten high-profile bomb attacks against cabinet ministers, police, employers involved in industrial disputes, and other targets of a broadly anti-capitalist bent over 1970-71 in Britain, and were linked to a further fifteen. This chapter analyses their emergence from a milieu of wider left-wing political violence over the period, and assesses their activities and communiqués, the heavy-handed police investigation that follows, and the trial of the ‘Stoke Newington Eight’ over 1972, whose defence resulted in legal innovations and a significant support group. Drawing on archival research, interviews and historical analysis, it seeks to take the group seriously, often derided as Pythonesque or a suicidal diversion for an isolated minority on the Far Left. While emerging from overlapping networks in the counterculture and young British New Left, it argues that its choice of targets, its horizontal and diffuse organisation, and the crude police crackdown and prosecution forecasts some of the political weather of the far Left in Britain over the 1970s and beyond.

Keywords:   Angry Brigade, Stoke Newington Eight, Terrorism, New Left, Counterculture

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