E: Campaigns for Cultural, Civil and Political Rights
People Power and Protest since 1945: a bibliography of nonviolent action
compiled by April Carter, Howard Clark and Michael Randle
Section E: Campaigns for Cultural, Civil and Political Rights
- E. Campaigns for Cultural, Civil and Political Rights
- I. National Rights or Self Determination
- II. Campaigns for Civil Rights
- Foreword by Paul Rogers, Acknowledgements, About the Compilers
- General Introduction
- A. Introduction to Nonviolent Action
- B. Elements of Nonviolent Resistance to Colonialism After 1945
- C. Campaigns for Rights and Democracy in Communist Regimes
- D. Resisting Rigged Elections, Oppression, Dictatorship, or Military Rule
- E. Campaigns for Cultural, Civil and Political Rights
- F. Campaigns for Social and Economic Justice
- G. Nonviolent Action in Social Movements
- H. Bibliographies, Websites and Library Resources
- I. Preparation and Training for Nonviolent Action
- Author and subject index to bibliography - omitted from html version but included in pdf
- Supplement to bibliography, March 2007
- Ongoing online updates to bibliography
Since the 1970s there has been an upsurge of campaigns by nationalist minorities, not only in newly created states, but also in the west. They usually demand full cultural rights, degrees of political autonomy and in some cases independence. These campaigns often draw on a much longer history of opposition to incorporation into a larger state, and have typically pursued a strategy of either cultural renewal, or party politics and fighting elections, or both.
In some cases radical nationalists have engaged in spectacular exploits – for example four Scottish students removed the symbolic Stone of Scone from Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1951 – or adopted guerrilla tactics to dramatize their struggle. But usually bombing or dynamiting of symbolic targets, such as letter boxes with the Queen’s name in Scotland, has been a minority and temporary part of a predominantly constitutional campaign. In the Basque country, however, prolonged armed struggle has been maintained by a significant wing of the nationalist movement (ETA), despite electoral success by more moderate nationalists.
Nonviolent methods of protest, such as hunger strikes, have sometimes been adopted by nationalist movements. But Welsh nationalists have most consistently incorporated nonviolent direct action into their campaigns.
The long campaign for the public use of the Welsh language – including Welsh language radio and TV stations, and for Welsh political autonomy or independence – has used a mix of constitutional tactics and more dramatic protest. Plaid Cymru has contested local, British and European elections in Wales, but Welsh language campaigners have also refused to pay BBC radio licences and prominent activist Gwynfor Evans engaged in public fasts. The movement has included some acts of sabotage, such as burning down English second homes in Wales, and a guerrilla style attack on a reservoir built in a Welsh valley to provide water for Liverpool, but the Welsh campaign has made varied use of nonviolent direct action tactics.
518. Evans, Gwynfor, For the Sake of Wales: The Memoirs of Gwynfor Evans, Caernarfon, Welsh Academic Press,  1996, pp. 257.
Memoirs of this key figure in the nationalist movement and committed advocate of nonviolence.
519. Evans, Gwynfor, The Fight for Welsh Freedom, Talybont, Y Lolfa, 2000, pp. 176.
Covers Plaid Cymru, history and Welsh politics and government. An earlier book by Evans from the same publisher is: Fighting for Wales, 1992, pp. 221.
520. Howys, Sian, ‘Breaking the law to make change’, in John Brierley et al (eds.) Gathering Visions, Gathering Strength, co-published by GVGS organising group and London, Peace News, 1998, pp. 13-15.
521. Madgwick, P.J., ‘Linguistic conflict in Wales: A problem in the design of government’, in Glyn Williams (ed,), Social and Cultural Change in Contemporary Wales, London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978, pp. 227-41.
522. Morgan, Gerald, The Dragon’s Tongue, Cardiff, The Triskel Press, 1966, pp. 144.
523. Osmond, John, Creative Conflict: The Politics of Welsh Devolution, Llandysul, Gomer Press,
London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978, pp. 305. States the case for devolution, criticizes British regional policy, and traces the emergence and development of a distinctive Welsh politics.
524. Thomas, Ned, The Welsh Extremist, Gollancz, 1971, pp. 126. Chronicles the Welsh cultural and national revival in the 20th century, including the nonviolent direct action campaign of the 1970s. Chapters on several of the leading figures in the movement, Critical assessment of the response of English socialists to movement.
The Civil Rights Movement against ‘Jim Crow’, the racism and segregation practised in the southern states of the USA, became a key example of principled and effective nonviolent resistance, and its leading figure, Martin Luther King, was inspired by and sometimes compared to Gandhi.
There had been a long history of African American resistance to the systematic discrimination which was legally entrenched from the late 19th century until the 1960s. Often it took the form of promoting black education up to university level, and legal challenges to southern laws. The legal path, pursued primarily by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), began to have major results from 1954, the year in which the Supreme Court ruled that segregated schools were unconstitutional. In addition to the NAACP, other key organisations were:
CORE – the Congress of Racial Equality – which pioneered nonviolent direct action such as the first freedom rides; later excluded whites;
SCLC – the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization closely associated with Martin Luther King;
SNCC – Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee – which organized lunch counter sit-ins and the Mississippi Freedom Summer School, but which later turned away from nonviolence and excluded whites.
By the later 1950s and early 1960s federal government began to exert its powers more effectively, culminating in the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which outlawed devices designed to prevent African Americans voting. This federal legislation was in large measure a response to the growth of nonviolent direct action in the South.
The year-long 1955 bus boycott in Alabama, which brought Luther King to prominence, began the more militant movement of mass nonviolent direct action. There had been earlier small scale direct action challenges to southern segregation, but in 1960 large numbers of African American students engaged in sit-ins and occupations of segregated facilities and many other forms of intervention and civil disobedience. These tactics spread throughout the south, taken up by all sections of the black population, including school children, and were supported by white sympathizers. From 1964 to 1965 there was also a concerted attempt, despite white southern violence and intimidation, to register black voters.
The March on Washington in 1963, where Martin Luther King made his ‘I have a dream’ speech, perhaps represented a peak in mobilization for civil rights. Subsequently, especially after 1965, the movement became more radical. Two key issues were black separatism (linked to an assertion of black pride and autonomy) and a move to carrying guns (initially for self-defence). The turn to ‘black power’ was also prompted by the fact that the methods of civil disobedience, so effective in the south, could not easily be transplanted to the northern cities, where African Americans suffered de facto discrimination, unemployment and poverty. The extent of anger in the ghettoes was demonstrated by widespread urban riots in the mid-1960s. Urban protest and a philosophy of black power became associated particularly with Malcolm X.
The growing American involvement in the Vietnam War, and the disproportionate numbers of poor blacks drafted and killed in the war, also became a key issue, dividing the Civil Rights Movement.
The Civil Rights Movement is not only an iconic example of nonviolent methods and of disputes between advocates of nonviolence and violence, it also inspired a range of later social movements. The New Left, and various pioneers of the women’s liberation movement, were deeply involved with Civil Rights; Native Americans, too, began to assert and campaign for their rights (see G.6). Overseas, Aboriginal rights campaigners in Australia looked to the example of the freedom rides and the ideas of black power.
Civil Rights and black power have been exceptionally well documented by journalists, contemporary historians and by many activists themselves. The books listed below try to cover key political and theoretical issues, represent a range of important organizations, campaigns and personalities in the movement for African American equality, give a voice to prominent women activists, and reflect differing ideological perspectives.
The realities of life for African Americans have been captured in novels by Richard Wright and James Baldwin, and more recently Alice Walker and Toni Morrison. James Baldwin entered the political fray with his passionate polemic The Fire Next Time (Penguin, 1964; reissued London, Joseph, 1972, pp. 112).
For background of Southern segregation see:
525. Woodward, C. Vann, The Strange Career of Jim Crow, 2nd revised edition, London, Oxford University Press, 1966, pp. 205.
Classic 1955 account of the complex emergence and later consolidation of systematic segregation in the South after the Civil War and abolition of slavery. Updated to cover succinctly major moves towards desegregation from 1955 to 1965.
526. Abernathy, Ralph D., And the Walls Came Tumbling Down, New York, Harper, 1989, pp. 638.
Reverend Abernathy was one of King’s chief associates in the SCLC. After King’s assassination in 1968, Abernathy led the Poor People’s Campaign in Washington DC.
527. Albert, Peter J, Ronald Hoffman (eds.), We Shall Overcome: Martin Luther King and the Black Freedom Struggle, New York, Da Capo Press, 1993, pp. 294.
528. Anderson, Jervis, A Philip Randolph: A Biographical Portrait, Berkeley CA, University of California, 1986, pp. 398.
Study of the leader of the black trade union, The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, whose threat to organize a mass march on Washington in 1941 led to President Roosevelt’s issuing an Executive Order banning discrimination in Federal and defence employment. Some 22 years later was one of the principal initiators of the 1963 March on Washington.
529. Branch, Taylor, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-1963, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1988, pp. 1064.
Detailed account and insightful analysis of the US Civil Rights movement.
530. Branch, Taylor, Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years 1963-1968, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1998, pp. 746.
531. Brinkley, Douglas, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: The Life of Rosa Parks, London, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 2000, pp. 248 (published in USA as Rosa Parks, New York Viking, 2000).
Parks is famous for her role in starting the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, but had been engaged in demanding civil rights earlier.
532. Carbado, Devon W. and Donald Weise (eds.), Time on Two Crosses: The Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin, San Francisco, Cleis Press, 2003, pp. 354.
Bayard Rustin was an influential adviser to King and the coordinator of the 1963 March on Washington. These writings on civil rights and gay politics from 1942 to 1986 include his classic 1964 essay ‘From Protest to Politics’ which argues that the Civil Rights movement should shift its emphasis towards mainstream politics through voter registration campaigns and involvement with trade unions.
533. Carmichael, Stokeley and Charles V. Hamilton, Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America, London, Jonathan Cape, 1968, pp. 198.
Makes case for black separatism in the struggle for equality, to enable black people to lead their own organizations and establish their own power bases. It also describes the attempt to achieve these aims through the Mississippi Freedom Democrats in 1964 and the role of SNCC in voter registration 1965-66. There is also a chapter on problems facing blacks in the northern ghettoes.
534. Carson, Clayborne et al (eds.), The Eyes on the Prize Reader, 1954-1990, New York and London, Penguin Books, 1991, pp. 764.
Comprises documents, speeches and first hand accounts from the black freedom struggle during this period. Published to accompany a TV documentary series.
535. Carson, Clayborne, In Struggle, Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1981, pp. 359.
Admired study of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) by an activist in the Civil Rights Movement. An early book on this topic is Howard Zinn, SNCC: The New Abolitionists, Boston, Beacon Press, 1964.
536. Cone, James H., Martin and Malcolm and America: A Dream or a Nightmare, London, Fount/HarperCollins 1993, pp. 358.
Compares two key and contrasting figures in the movement for black liberation, who began wholly opposed to each other as ministers of, respectively the Baptist Church and the separatist Black Muslims. But they moved closer together in the later 1960s as King came out against the Vietnam War and Malcolm X moved away from black messianic separatism to increasing political engagement. They also worked with different constituencies: the black communities of the South, and the alienated residents of the northern ghettoes. This book is a useful source for criticisms of King and his strategy by Malcolm X and many other black militants; and also of the March on Washington (see pp. 117-18).
537. Crawford, Vicki L, Jacqueline Rouse and Barbara Woods (eds.), Women in the Civil Rights Movement: Trailblazers and Torchbearers – 1941-1965, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1993, pp. 290.
Articles originally presented at conference in 1988.
538. D’Emilio, John, Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin, New York, Free Press, 2003, pp. 568.
The most comprehensive account to date of the work and ideas of this leading civil rights activist. Shows also how Rustin’s gay lifestyle was continually brought up by political enemies intent on undermining the movement and by political rivals wanting to marginalize his role within it.
539. Farmer, James, Lay Bare the Heart: An Autobiography of the Civil Rights Movement, New York, Arbor House and Plume, 1985, pp. 370.
Central figure in CORE outlines its origins and later campaigns (chapters 9, 10 and 19) and recounts involvement in the 1960s movement.
540. Forman, James, The Making of Black Revolutionaries, New York, Macmillan and Washington DC, Open Hand, 1972, pp. 568.
Autobiography of one of the key activists in SNCC. Touches on issue of SNCC volunteers in the South carrying guns to deter assassination attempts.
541. Garrow, David J, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King Jr and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, New York, Morrow, 1986, pp. 800.
542. Giddings, Paula, When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America, Toronto, Bantam Books, 1984, pp. 408.
543. Harding, Vincent, The Other American Revolution, Los Angleles, Center for Afro-American Studies, University of California; Atlanta, Institute of the Black World, 1988, pp. 261.
544. Holt, Len, The Summer That Didn’t End, London, Heinemann, 1966, pp. 351. Reissued New York, Da Capo Press, 1992, with new introduction by Julian Bond.
On the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer.
545. King, Martin Luther, Letter from Birmingham City Jail, Philadelphia PA, American Friends Service Committee, 1963, pp. 15.
Answer to critics during the major campaign to desegregate Birmingham, Alabama. President Kennedy intervened to get King released from prison.
546. King, Martin Luther, Loving Your Enemies, New York, A.J. Muste Institute, pp. 50.
547. King, Martin Luther, Stride Towards Freedom: The Montgomery Story, London, Victor Gollancz, 1958, pp. 216.
Account of year-long 1955 bus boycott which heralded new era of nonviolent direct action against segregation and made King the most central figure of Civil Rights Movement.
548. King, Martin Luther, Why We Can’t Wait, New York, Harper and Row, 1963, pp. 159.
Answer to white political and religious leaders urging less militant confrontation and greater patience.
549. King, Mary, Freedom Song: APersonal Story of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, New York, William Morrow, 1987, pp. 592.
Insider account by white woman working in SNCC office. Meticulously detailed, with extensive quotes from key documents.
550. Klarman, Michael J., From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004, pp. 655.
551. Levine, Daniel, Bayard Rustin and the Civil Rights Movement, Rutgers NJ, Rutgers University Press, 2000, pp. 307.
552. Lewis, John (with Michael D’Orsa), Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1998, pp. 496.
By one of the early leaders of SNCC who came from the South.
553. Malcolm X (with assistance of Alex Haley), The Autobiography of Malcolm X, New York, Grove Press, 1965 pp. 455; republished several times, most recently by Penguin, 2001, with new introduction by Paul Gilroy, pp. 512.
See also Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements, ed. George Breitman, New York, Grove Press, 1966, pp. 226.
554. Meier, August and Elliott Rudwick, CORE: A Study in the Civil Right Movement 1942-1968, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1973 and Urbana IL, Illini Books, 1975, pp. 563.
Extensive analysis of rise and fall of CORE drawing on interviews with key members and CORE archives. Covers the 1960 sit-ins, 1961 Freedom Ride, mass campaigns in 1963 to desegregate Southern cities and the impact of black power ideology.
555. Morris, Aldon, The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement: Black Communities Organising for Change, London, Collier Macmillan, 1984, pp. 354.
556. Oates, Stephen B, Let the Trumpet Sound: A Life of Martin Luther King Jr., Edinburgh, Playback, 1998 (first published New York, Harper and Row 1982), pp. 560.
557. Peck, James, Freedom Ride, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1962, pp. 160. Foreword by James Baldwin.
First hand account by activist who participated in both the 1947 ‘Journey of Reconciliation’ (jointly organized by the Fellowship of Reconciliation and CORE) and the 1961 Freedom Rides organized by CORE at the height of the Civil Rights campaign.
558. Ransby, Barbara, Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision, Chapel Hill NC, University of North Carolina Press, 2003, pp. 470.
Recounts life and work of black woman activist who played key role in three major civil rights organizations – the NAACP, SCLC and SNCC.
559. Waldman, Louis, ‘Civil Rights – Yes – Civil Disobedience – No’ (a reply to Dr Martin Luther King)’ in Bedau (ed.), Civil Disobedience (see A.1.).
See also, Dalton, Mahatma Gandhi, chapter 6 ‘Mohandas, Malcolm and Martin’, pp. 168-87 (A.2.); Hentoff (ed.) Essays of A.J. Muste, ‘Rifle squads or the beloved community’ (pp. 426-37) on the debate about African-American activists carrying guns, and ‘The Civil Rights Movement and the American Establishment’ (pp. 451-61) (G.3.b.i).
The 1920 Government of Ireland Act created a Northern Ireland state within the UK with its own devolved parliament and government in the six North East counties of Ireland, which had constituted part of the nine counties of the province of Ulster. This constitutional arrangement was strengthened by the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty which created the Irish Free State, and also provided for Northern Ireland to choose to remain separate. The Treaty split the nationalist movement in the South and led to a bitter civil war between those for and against the Treaty.
Since Catholics/Nationalists formed a majority in two of the six counties of Northern Ireland and in the city of Derry/Londonderry, and since Irish republicans had fought for a united independent Ireland, the settlement created continuing sources of conflict. The demography of the new state and the political divide on Protestant/Unionist and Catholic/Nationalist lines ensured permanent Unionist control of the Provincial government at Stormont and the exclusion and political alienation of the Catholic minority. Unionist governments, fearful of this minority which mainly looked to the south and cherished the hope of a united Ireland, enshrined Protestant dominance through restricting voting rights of Catholics in local elections, altering local electoral boundaries and controlling most aspects of government and society, including law and order. Thus judges and magistrates were almost all Protestants, many members of the Unionists Party. The police force, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) was 90 per cent Protestant and the Ulster Special Constabulary – the ‘B-Specials’ – entirely so. Discrimination in jobs and housing, which pre-dated the creation of the new state, also continued.
This was the background to intermittent unrest, bombings and other military attacks by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) from the inception of the new state, and to the rise of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. For an overview of the history, governmental politics and moves towards change in the 1970s see:
560. Buckland, Patrick, A History of Northern Ireland, Dublin, Gill and Macmillan, 1981, pp. 195.
561. Murphy, John, Ireland in the Twentieth Century, Vol. 2 in The Gill History of Ireland, Dublin, Gill and Macmillan, 1975, pp. 180.
Chapter 1 ‘The independence struggle’ and chapter 2 ‘Treaty and Civil War’ set the historical context in which the Free State and Northern Ireland came into existence. Chapter 8, ‘Northern Ireland’ deals specifically with the Province from its inception until the collapse of the Power Sharing Executive in 1974.
562. O’Dowd, Liam, Bill Rolston and Mike Tomlinson, Northern Ireland: Between Civil Rights and Civil War, London CSE Books, 1980, pp. 224.
Examination of key issues by three Northern Ireland academics from a socialist perspective – includes a chapter on reform of the RUC in the 1970s.
563. Rose, Richard, Northern Ireland: A Time of Choice, London, Macmillan, 1976, pp. 175.
Clear analysis by British-based political scientist, which does not assume prior knowledge, tracing developments up to 1975.
The Civil Rights movement had its origins in various community initiatives in the early 1960s, but was launched on a countrywide basis in January 1967 when the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) was created with support from trade unions, community and campaigning groups, republican bodies and all the Northern Ireland political parties. (Although the Unionist Party delegate walked out of the initial meeting, the Executive Committee subsequently co-opted two young Unionists.) The Unionist government, however, saw the movement from the start as a republican ploy to undermine the state and achieve a united Ireland.
Initially NICRA focused on defending defence of individual rights, but it then switched to demanding an end to collective discrimination against Catholics on voting, housing and employment, the repeal of the Special Powers Act (which gave police sweeping powers of search and arrest and the right to ban meetings or publications), the disbandment of the B Specials and the disarming of the RUC.
In August 1968 NICRA organized the first civil rights march to support a local campaign against continuing Council discrimination in allocating housing in Dungannon. Though prevented by police from entering the city centre, and facing provocation from a loyalist crowd led by Ian Paisley, the majority of the march remained nonviolent. Violence against demonstrators escalated on subsequent marches: in October 1968 a police baton charge injured 77 protesters at the end of a march organized jointly by NICRA and the Derry Citizens Action Committee, and in January 1969 a march from Belfast to Derry organized by Peoples Democracy (PD) – a radical socialist-oriented, campaigning body which began life at Queens University Belfast – was attacked by Protestant loyalists at Burntollet Bridge. A subsequent People’s Democracy march in Newry, Co. Down, was followed by rioting and damage to property.
The turning point came in Derry on 12 August 1969 following clashes between the Protestant Apprentice Boys March and residents of the Catholic Bogside area of the city. The Bogside came under siege from loyalists, largely backed by the RUC and B-Specials. The rioting escalated and spread to Belfast on 14 August, where 150 Catholic homes were burned, eight people killed and hundreds injured. The British government sent troops into the province, who were initially welcomed by Catholics. But the troops were increasingly seen as serving the interests of the Unionist government. In August 1971, amid renewed armed attacks and terrorist bombings by the Provisional IRA and loyalist paramilitaries, the British government introduced internment. Over 2,400 people were arrested in the first six months, though most were soon released. Internment further antagonized the Catholic community and the (mainly Catholic) Social Democratic and Labour Party announced a campaign of civil disobedience, including a rent and rates strike. Many Catholics also withdrew from public bodies. After ‘Bloody Sunday’ in January 1972, when British troops killed 14 unarmed demonstrators, armed resistance predominated.
Despite the descent of Northern Ireland into violence, the Civil Rights movement did draw world attention to the injustices suffered by the minority community and forced the Northern Ireland and British governments to introduce reforms which met its principal demands. Reforms included one-person-one-vote in local council elections (1969), proportional representation in local and European elections (1972), the replacement of the B-Specials with the Ulster Defence Regiment (1970) and the creation of Parliamentary and local commissioners for complaints in 1969. A new housing executive (1971), local government reorganization (1972) and the 1976 Fair Employment Act were designed to end discrimination. The movement also brought forward a new generation of political leaders.
564. Arthur, Paul, The People’s Democracy 1968-1973, Belfast, Blackstaff Press, 1974, pp. 159.
565. Devlin, Bernadette, The Price of My Soul, London, Pan, 1969, pp. 205.
Devlin, a student in 1968, came to the fore as a fiery speaker and increasingly militant opponent of the Protestant supremacy and the British government role in Northern Ireland.
566. Farrell, Michael, Twenty Years On, Dingle, Brandon, 1988, pp. 160.
Contributions by nine activists who had been involved in the Civil Rights movement in 1968 and were still trying to secure social and political change in Northern Ireland, Contributors include Gerry Adams (of Provisional Sinn Fein) and Bernadette (Devlin) McAliskey.
567. McCann, Eamonn, War and an Irish Town, London, Pluto, 1980, pp. 176. (first edition published by Penguin 1974).
Account by one of leaders of Civil Rights movement of events in Derry from October 1968 to August 1969, and the aftermath, from a radical socialist and anti-capitalist perspective.
568. McCluskey, Conn, Up Off Their Knees: A Commentary on the Civil Rights Movement in Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, ConnMcCkuskey & Associates, 1989, pp. 245.
Account of origins and development of the movement by an activist who played a key role in its foundation.
569. McKittrick, David and David McVea, Making Sense of The Troubles, Belfast, The Blackstaff Press, 2000, pp. 353.
Provides excellent coverage of major events and includes a useful chronology covering period from the Government of Ireland Act 1920 to October 2000.
570. O’Brien, Conor Cruise, States of Ireland, London, Hutchinson, 1972, pp. 327.
Mixture of history, personal memoir and analysis by a noted author and Labour parliamentarian in Ireland. Chapter 8 ‘Civil Rights: the Crossroads’ (pp. 147-77) is a detailed study of the movement and discussion of why the broader Irish context meant civil disobedience had limitations as a lever for change.
571. O’Connor, Fionnuala, In Search of a State: Catholics in Northern Ireland, Belfast, The Blackstaff Press, 1993, pp. 393.
Incisive analysis of underlying factors in Catholic/Nationalist and Protestant/Unionist tensions.
572. O’Dochartaigh, Niall, From Civil Rights to Armalites: Derry and the Birth of the Irish Troubles, Cork, Cork University Press, 1997, pp. 364.
Traces the slide from nonviolent protest to riots and military violence in the city of Derry. A central thesis of the book is that ‘occasions of violent confrontation play a crucial role in promoting the escalation and continuation of conflict’.
573. Purdie, Bob, Politics in the Streets: The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement in Northern Ireland, Belfast, Blackstaff, 1990, pp. 286.
Argues in conclusion that the movement made a strategic error in taking to the streets because of the connection between street demonstrations and sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland. Although activists drew inspiration from the US Civil Rights Movement they did not take sufficient account of the different circumstances in the two countries.
574. Sunday Times Insight Team, Ulster, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1972, pp. 311.
Detailed account of the evolution of events from 1967 to 1971.
The power-sharing executive, created as a result of the Sunningdale Agreement in December 1973, took office in January 1974 with ministers drawn from the Ulster Unionist Party, the SDLP and the Alliance Party. However it was opposed by many Unionist politicians, as well as by the IRA on the nationalist side, and prompted widespread grassroots Protestant resistance. Anti-Sunningdale Unionist candidates won 11 out of 12 Westminster seats with 51 per cent of the votes in the UK February 1974 general election. The Executive was finally brought down by a mass strike in May 1974 organized by the Ulster Workers’ Council, in which gas and electricity workers played a critical role. In one sense it was an impressive demonstration of ‘people power’, but it was far from being nonviolent as there was widespread intimidation by Protestant para-military groups to enforce the strike. It also coincided with bomb explosions in Dublin and Monaghan in which 30 people were killed. Power sharing was deferred until the election of an assembly in 1998 following the Good Friday Agreement.
575. Fisk, Robert, The Point of No Return: The Strike which Broke the British in Ulster, London, Deutsch, 1975, pp. 264.
See also: McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles Chapter 5, ‘Sunningdale, strike and stalemate’ which notes the intimidation accompanying the strike (E.II.2.a.).
The growing tension between the Protestant and Catholic communities in the 1970s and the rising violence by both Catholic and Protestant paramilitary groups led to a number of attempts to prevent violence and promote reconciliation, for example Witness for Peace created by a Protestant clergyman in 1972, and Women Together founded in 1970 to stop stone throwing and gang fights. But the best publicized and most controversial protest against violence was the Peace People, founded in 1976 after three young children were killed by a runaway IRA car whose driver had been shot by the army. Two women initiated the movement, Protestant Betty Williams, who saw the tragedy, and Catholic Mairead Corrigan, the children’s aunt. The Peace People brought 10,000 and then 20,000 out onto the streets in Belfast in August and 25,000 in Derry in September to demand an end to paramilitary violence. By November 1976 the Peace People had over 80 local groups, offices in both Belfast and Derry and its own paper. The movement was criticized, especially by Sinn Fein, for its initial failure to condemn violence by the British Army and the Protestant-dominated RUC; and attacked by the militant Protestant leader Ian Paisley for being a Catholic front. Over time, under the influence of the third key figure in the movement, former journalist Ciaran McKeown, the Peace People turned to long term community organization.
Two periodicals which ran articles on the Peace People from a nonviolent perspective are Peace News (London) and the monthly Dawn (published by a collective from Belfast, Derry and Dublin). In the latter, see especially issues no. 25 (November 1976), editorial on Peace People leadership in no. 26 (Christmas 1976), and analyses of Peace People strategy in nos. 27 and 28 (January and February 1977). Dawn also published a combined issue, ‘Nonviolence in Irish History’, no. 38-39, (April-May 1978), which traced nonviolence in Ireland back to the arrival of the Quakers in the 17th century, through the campaign of Daniel O’Connell for Catholic Emancipation, the Land League agitation in the 19th century and nonviolent elements in the national and labour movements (late 19th and early 20th centuries) to the Peace People.
576. Deutsch, Richard, Mairead Corrigan, Betty Williams, Woodbury NY, Barrons, 1977, pp. 204. Foreword by Joan Baez.
Account of the genesis, development and programme of the Peace People by French journalist resident in Belfast at the time.
577. Fannin, Anne, The Peace People Experience 1976-1979, Anne Fannin, 1986, pp. 114.
578. McKeown, Ciaran, The Passion of Peace, Belfast, Blackstaff Press, 1984, pp. 319.
579. O.Connor, Fionnuala, ‘Community politics in Northern Ireland’, in Michael Randle (ed.), Challenge to Nonviolence, Bradford, University of Bradford, 2002, pp. 207-22.
580. O'Donnell, Dalry, The Peace People of Northern Ireland, Camberwell VIC, Widescope, 1977, pp. 122.
Description of the movement which covers marches and rallies against sectarian violence (chapter 4-6) and participants’ own perspectives (chapter 7).
581. Overy, Bob, How Effective Are Peace Movements?, Bradford School of Peace Studies and London, Housmans, 1982.
There is a sympathetic analysis of the Peace People pp. 30-38.
582. Overy, Bob, The Price of Peace, Belfast, 1976, pp. 34.
See also McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, for very brief assessment pp. 117 (E.II.2.a.).
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