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Author Archives: Donnacha DeLong

Show #85 Police spies

Police surveillance at the student march April 2012

© Donnacha DeLong

In the last two years, details of undercover police pretending to be activists have slowly emerged. A new book by Paul Lewis and Rob Evans, Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police, provides the latest information about police sleeping with activist women while pretending to be someone else and officers using the names of dead children. The case that has outraged the public and led to promises of political action has been the revelation that police spied on the Stephen Lawrence campaign.

Donnacha talks to veteran activist Ellenor Hutson, who knew some of the police spies in their activist cover, about what’s happened and what should happen next.

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Show #81 – It’s all kicking off in Turkey

Occupy Gezi protestors resting Saturday morning

Occupy Gezi protestors resting Saturday morning – image © resim77 http://www.flickr.com/photos/39967262@N07/8910863500/

Over the past week, what started as a protest against plans to turn Gezi Park in Istanbul into a shopping centre has started to look like a popular uprising across the country, with large protests and attacks by the police reported from numerous cities. Donnacha is joined in the studio by three young activists from Turkey to discuss what’s happening, why it’s happening and where it might go – the show also includes a pre-recorded interview with an activist in Turkey.

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Show #79 – Taking on the police in the courts – and winning

Policing the student demonstrations

© Donnacha DeLong

Donnacha talks to two journalists and trade union activists, Ewa Jasiewicz – still under injunction over her arrest at the No Dash for Gas protest at the EDF West Burton power station – and Jason N. Parkinson – who has just settled his second fight against police production orders – about their successful court battles and how their fight continues.

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Show #77 Voices from the Thatcher Party

Thatcher Party in Trafalgar Square

© Donnacha DeLong

In case you didn’t notice, Margaret Thatcher’s funeral took place today. Last Saturday, an estimated 3,000 joined a party in Trafalgar Square, called many years ago by Class War, to show their disdain for the Iron Lady.

In a special episode of The Circled A, Donnacha DeLong introduces a mix of voices recorded at the party with anti-Thatcher songs by Elvis Costello, Chumbawamba and the beautiful Coal not Dole by Norma Waterson.

Listen now: 

Join the campaign to get Coal not Dole into the charts next week – join the Facebook group or just buy the song – iTunes / Amazon.

Show #76 Martin Bowes (Attrition)

Logo of the band Attrition

For more than 30 years, independent musician Martin Bowes has been making his own kind of music with Attrition, rarely bothering anyone in the mainstream. As the music industry comes crashing down around big business’ ears, On this show, Donnacha talks to Martin about what a veteran of doing things his own way thinks about what’s happening and where things are going from here. And hear a track from Attrition’s new CD, The Unraveller Of Angels.

Listen now: 10th April 2013 –

Show #74 – Sex and hierarchy

© Simon Green

© Simon Green

From the SWP to the police, the Catholic Church to the Lib Dems, hierarchical organisations are in crisis over how they’ve dealt with – or failed to deal with – allegations of sexual impropriety: rape or sexual assault. Donnacha DeLong talks to Zoe Stavri (@stavvers) and Laurie Penny (@pennyred) about the current crises, the unofficial hierarchies within even autonomous and anarchist groups and whether equality is possible in hierarchical organisations.

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Show #72 Freedom after the fire

On Friday 1 February, Freedom Bookshop in Whitechapel was firebombed. The Bookshop is home to Freedom Press, founded in 1886 by a group of friends, including Charlotte Wilson and Peter Kropotkin. It remains one of the final remnants of the radical history of London’s East End and has been targeted before.

Donnacha talks to Simon from the Freedom Collective about what’s happening in the Bookshop and asks why Freedom Press is such an important part of anarchist history.

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Find out what you can do to help Freedom.

Show #70 – Review of 2012

2012 – the year the world didn’t end. Mass spectacles – the Jubilee and the Olympics – dominated a year where that saw fewer examples of peoples’ anger on the streets than the year before. Donnacha DeLong is joined by comedians Kate Smurthwaite and Jonnie Marbles – the man who pied Rupert Murdoch.

A mix of serious comment and some humour.

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Show #69 Mainstream Media

Union members at the BBC on strike in 2011

Union members at the BBC on strike in 2011 © Donnacha DeLong

Christmas strikes at the BBC called off, the crisis over Newsnight, the Leveson inquiry and the backlash in the media. It’s been an interesting year for the mainstream media. Donnacha DeLong speaks to Simon, a union rep at the BBC, and Thais Portilho-Shrimpton, who worked for the Hacked Off campaign during the Leveson inquiry.

Plus, at the end, a little bit of seasonal cheer with the ‘Crappy Christmas Song’.

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Show #58 – General Strike?

IWW General Strike poster

Donnacha DeLong presents his monthly show on The Circled A. The TUC congress voted last week to consider “the practicalities of a general strike”, a step forward from years of rejecting calls from some unions to call a general strike immediately. However, with union membership at its lowest level since the 1940s and largely concentrated in the public sector, it’s unlikely any big strike would actually be general. Becca Kirkpatrick from Solidarity Magazine (@solidaritymag) and Stuart from the Industrial Workers of the World discuss the prospects for a general strike in the UK and what unions need to do to get there.

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