The Angry Brigade

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The Angry Brigade was a small British militant group responsible for a series of bomb attacks in Britain between 1970 and 1972.

Strongly influenced by anarchism and the Situationists, their targets included banks, embassies, the Miss World event in 1970 (or rather a BBC Outside Broadcast vehicle to be used in the corporation's coverage) and the homes of Conservative MPs. In total, 25 bombings were attributed to them by the police. The damage done by the bombings was mostly limited to property damage although one person was slightly injured.

Jake Prescott, a Scottish petty criminal, was arrested and tried in 1971 and given 15 years imprisonment, 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'.[1] 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 LGBT rights group Stonewall and was awarded an OBE for services to homosexual rights.

The group is parodied in Doris Lessing's The Good Terrorist, in which a group of naive, young, communist squatters splits over whether or not to join the IRA.

In March 2009, British family care activist and a best-selling 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.[2][3]


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