On the Barricades of Berlin



The 1848 wave of worker rebellions that swept across Europe struck the German states with the March Revolution. While Richard Wagner and Mikhail Bakunin fought side by side in Dresden, the writer August Brass led the successful defense of the barricades in Berlin’s Alexanderplatz public square. Published in English for the first time, On the Barricades of Berlin provides a riveting firsthand account of this uprising. Brass’ testimony begins with the tumultuous events leading up to the revolution: the peaceful democratic agitation; the demands that were brought to the king; and the key actors involved on all sides of the still peaceful, yet tense, struggle. It then follows the events that led to the outbreak of resistance to the forces of order and sheds light on the aftermath of the fighting once the exhausted Prussian army withdrew from the city.

August Brass (1818–76) was a German journalist, editor, and novelist and a member of the Doctor’s Club of Hegelian enthusiasts along with Karl Marx. Andreas Weiland is a renowned German translator and art and film critic. … more



Book Review – Lavinia by Ursula Le Guin

Book Reviews by A. Siegel


Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The past few years as a full-time classicist have seen a boom for me in the reading of modern retellings of classical myths and tales. Of all the ones I have read so far, Lavinia has been the best. Perhaps this is because this novel is based on the last six books of my favorite ancient work and author, the Aeneid by Vergil.

I was first told about this novel by my graduate advisor, with whom I am working on research about Vergil’s pastoral poetry. While Lavinia references the Aeneid and not Vergil’s other works, there are elements of contact with nature, which I will elaborate on below.

For those who don’t know, or have only a vague idea, Lavinia is the daughter of King Latinus, whom Aeneas married when he settled down in Latium, the area of…

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The demise of independent local media

We’ll be honest and admit that a fair chunk of what we do in terms of commenting and putting our slant on local issues is only possible because of the hard graft put in by dedicated local journalists. The problem we face is that local journalism is in terrible shape at the moment. Yet another local news outlet, the Yellow Advertiser, will be shutting their doors: ‘We went out with a bang’: Thank you and goodbye, for now, from the Yellow Advertiser.

Increasingly, all that’s left are the large newspaper groups such as Newsquest, the publishers of the Thurrock Gazette. These groups treat local papers as little more than advertising platforms staffed by a handful of under resourced reporters struggling to produce content. All too often, the reporters will have to contribute to a number of titles in the area they cover. In addition to this, neighbouring titles will…

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What is capitalism and where is it taking us?

Focus E15 Campaign

Karl Marx’s political work has a lot to offer us in terms of making sense of the world we live in today -a system where people are not housed when there is housing and not fed when there is food, in short where many people’s basic needs are not being met.

Karl Marx’s ideas will be explored over the next 3 monthly campaign meetings in short interactive sessions led by the artist Andrew Cooper and campaigner Eric Ogbogbo. The first session, The Bones of Capitalism, is on Saturday July 6th. Come and listen to this special series of accessible presentations which have been designed as an introduction to Karl Marx’s Capital, using drawings to help illustrate all the big ideas.

Session 1
-The Bones of Capitalism
What makes value? What are wages?
What is the source of capitalist profits?

Session 2
-Abundance and Waste
Why with increasing technological advances…

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What future our libraries?


Library bookshelves. Photo credit: Ricardo Esquivel (pexels.com)

Another day, another public consultation!   This time, Havering Council are asking for our opinions on its library service provision.   The biggest proposed change to the way it runs our libraries is to make five of them ‘community run’  – meaning that they will be staffed by volunteers instead of paid employees, but will still receive some “financial and strategic support” from Town Hall.

The five libraries affected are Collier Row, Elm Park, Gidea Park, Harold Wood, and South Hornchurch.  The  ‘community run’  library model has been adopted by many councils across the country in recent years.   This includes our neighbours in  Barking and Dagenham –  although that council also closed a number of its remaining branches  at the same time, something which Havering is not proposing to do.  Yet!

Speaking to the Romford Recorder,  Romford Civic Society head and one-time Conservative councillor Andrew Curtin

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Keep up the pressure!

The above graphic is from the Save Our Libraries Essex – SOLE – Facebook page

Ahead of this event: Save Our Libraries Essex – March on Essex County Council Cabinet Meeting

Tuesday 23rd July – 9.00-11.00
Meet outside the Saracens Head Hotel, 3 High Street, Chelmsford CM1 1BE

…writing to Essex County Council cabinet members and completing the SOLE alternative consultation on the future of libraries across the county will help to keep up the pressure.

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Work Pamphlet

Red and Black Leeds

A few years ago, we wrote this pamphlet with the Anarchist Federation about the nature of work under capitalism and why it needs to be abolished.

For some reason we have only just got round to uploading it onto our website.

You can read it through the following links:


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