Protest

Edited by Ra Page

Featuring

NEW PAPERBACK EDITION

Whatever happened to British protest?

For a nation that brought the world Chartism, the Suffragettes, the Tolpuddle Martyrs, and so many other grassroots social movements, Britain rarely celebrates its long, great tradition of people power. In this timely and evocative collection, twenty authors have assembled to re-imagine key moments of British protest, from the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 to the anti-Iraq War demo of 2003.

Written in close consultation with historians, sociologists and eyewitnesses – who also contribute afterwords – these stories follow fictional characters caught up in real-life struggles, offering a streetlevel perspective on the noble art of resistance. In the age of fake news and post-truth politics this book fights fiction with (well researched, historically accurate) fiction.

Featuring: Sara Maitland and Prof. Jane Whittle on THE PEASANT'S REVOLT Holly Pester and Dr. Steve Hindle on THE MIDLANDS RISING Matthew Holness and Dr. John Rees and Prof. Mark Stoyle on THE DIGGERS Frank Cottrell-Boyce and Dr. Ariel Hessayon on VENNER'S RISING Andy Hedgecock and Dr. Kartina Navickas on THE PENTRICH LUDDITES Laura Hird and Dr. Gordon Pentland on the RADICAL WAR Michelle Green and Elizabeth Crawford on THE SUFFRAGETTES Sandra Alland and Dr Francis Salt on the NATIONAL BLIND MARCH Stuart Evers and Dr Michael Randle on the ALDERMASTON MARCHES Kit de Waal and Avtar Jouhl on MALCOLM X in SMETHWICK Alexei Sayle and Rusell Hickman on the ANTI-VIETNAM WAR DEMO David and Stephen Constantine on the ANTI-RIVERS OF BLOOD MARCH Maggie Gee and Prof Sally Alexander on the NIGHT CLEANERS' STRIIKE Francesca Rhydderch and Ned Thomas on the WELSH LANGUAGE PROTESTS Jacob Ross and Prof. Stephen Reicher on the NEW CROSS FIRE & THE BRIXTON RIOTS Joanna Quinn and Lyn Barlow on GREENHAM COMMON Martyn Bedford and Prof. David Waddington on the BATTLE OF ORGREAVE Juliet Jacques and Dr. Em Temple-Malt on SECTION 28 Courttia Newland and Dr. John Drury on the POLL TAX RIOT Kate Clanchy and Prof. Laleh Khalili on the ANTI-IRAQ WAR DEMO This project has been supported by the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust and the Lipman-Miliband Trust, as well as Arts Council England.

Press

Listen to editor Ra Page discuss the project on Radio 4's 'Open Book', earlier in the year.

Ra Page writes for The Guardian about the decade of unrest which inspired the anthology, and how he went about commissioning the stories which feature in it.

'As the book enters the 20th Century, the chapters become infused with an awareness of the inequalities and discrimination of our age, becoming a call to action. The variety of storytelling ensures that the protests don't feel indistinct or hopeless, yet the injustices described feel depressingly familiar' - The New Statesman

'When right-wing populism is seemingly sweeping the west this whistle-stop tour demonstrates the power of people and provides a glimmer of hope and inspiration.' - Antonia Charlesworth, Big Issue North

'A 
kaleidoscopic feast... A great gathering of voices, a dispersal of perspectives' - The Skinny

'
It would be heartening to see more works of historical fiction inspired by Comma Press’s approach, serving both to educate and entertain by giving voice once again to people who struggled to make their voices heard in challenging circumstances. ' - Bethany Creamer, Disclaimer Magazine

'
There are so many good short stories and accompanying essays here, it is difficult to leave any unmentioned. Tales by Frank Cottrell Boyce on Venner’s Rising, Maggie Gee on the Night Cleaners’ strike, Martyn Bedford on the Battle of Orgreave, and Joanna Quinn on Greenham Common are all thoroughly absorbing and enlightening. Protest is an important collection highlighting the history of dissenting voices in the UK. It teaches rather than preaches and should be required reading for many of our current politicians.' - Shirley Whiteside, Book Oxygen

'Protest: Stories of Resistance is an illuminating and essential read. The perfect inter-generational birthday or Christmas present, it joins up the dots and gives context, which is invariably missing from disdainful, market-led Media narratives, and rote-learning history ordained by successive governments. Buy it and read it!' - Georgia DC, Book of the Week on Bookblast

Interview with editor Ra Page, also in Bookblast

'Protest is a valuable treasury of reminders of earlier struggles and a persuasive call for us to have courage in our current ones with a ruthless class enemy.' - Paul Simon, Morning Star


Editor Ra Page responds to the Morning Star review in his article Time to Exit the Comfort Zone

Read Martyn Bedford's blog The Battle of Orgreave: How Stories Germinate from Unlikely Sources for the Royal Literary Fund about his story 'Withen'

Courttia Newland discusses his Poll Tax Riot story on BBC Radio Manchester's 'The People' programme (51:46 in) 
Ra Page discusses the Protest book project and our Manchester Literature Festival event with Mike Sweeney on BBC Radio Manchester.

'With a strong message of revolution and rising against injustice, the crowd’s applause and hum of feet pounding the floor shook The Dancehouse. The power of the people was a prominent theme throughout the afternoon, we have the power to make our voices heard and impose real change on the issues that we are concerned with. Literature forever remains a strong medium for political and social commentary and forever remains a vehicle for change.' - Mancunion, review of the Manchester Literature Festival headline event


Readings and discussion by selected authors at festivals across the UK, see our Events page for more information.

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Book Details

ISBN-10
1910974439
ISBN-13
9781910974438
Published
15 Mar 2018