Posted by: helenrobertsbradford | June 28, 2010

Spring in winter

Michael Randle on his way to Hungary, 1956

Photograph of Michael Randle on his way to Hungary, 1956

The last of the collections to be completed under the PaxCat project was the papers of Michael Randle.  Michael has been involved in the peace movement since registering as a conscientious objector to military service in 1951.  He played a leading role in the Direct Action Committee, the Committee of 100 and War Resisters’ International, and also worked briefly for Peace News.  Evidence of his political activities is found in many of the Commonweal archives, including the DAC archive, the papers of Hugh Brock, the papers of Mary Ringsleben and Derry Hannam relating to the Committee of 100, the Peace News archive and the research papers of Richard Taylor.

Michael’s own papers shed light on his involvement in non violent direct actions and protests from the early 1950s to the late 1960s.  These include:

  • a personal pacifist mission to Hungary in December 1956 in protest at the Soviet invasion and suppression of the Hungarian Uprising
  • a year spent in Ghana, 1959-1960, organising opposition in West Africa to French nuclear tests in the Sahara desert, developing plans for a positive action centre in Winneba, and writing and editing the newspaper, Voice of Africa
  • arrest, trial and imprisonment, along with other leading members of the Committee of 100, for planning direct action at Wethersfield and other military bases in December 1961
  • participation in the occupation of the Greek Embassy in London in April 1967, in protest at the military coup in Greece, and subsequent imprisonment
  • organisation of  ‘Support Czechoslovakia’ protests across Eastern Europe in September 1968, in response to the Soviet invasion and suppression of the Prague Spring
Sahara Protest Team vehicle

Photograph of Sahara Protest Team vehicle in West Africa, 1960

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