Radical New Cross: protest and dissent 1875 - 2015

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A festival of free public events exploring the radical past, present and future of New Cross and beyond!

Researchers and artists from across Goldsmiths are collaboring with community groups to put on an ambitious series of free public events from 12th-15th November.

New Cross has long been a hotbed of radical new ideas, protest and dissent and these events will kindle discussions around some of the most important issues of our time. From the future of radical politics to a unique exhibition of new printmaking, we invite you to share and be part of our ground-breaking humanities research and creative practices.

Events are taking place at some of our unique historic buildings, including the refurbished St. James Hacham Building and the historic Deptford Town Hall.


Five radical New Cross facts

  1. In 1877, New Cross’ St James Hatcham Church was the parish of ritualist priest Arthur Tooth, who was prosecuted and imprisoned in Horsemonger Lane Gaol for the use of incense, vestments, and altar candles. The St James Hatcham is now part of the Goldsmiths campus. 
  2. In 1865, the Hatcham Iron Works on Pomeroy Street was an important steam locomotive factory and the site of a bitter conflict between its workers and management. The official Strike Committee met at the Crown and Anchor pub on New Cross Road.
  3. In 1977, the far-right National Front (NF) attempted to march from New Cross to Lewisham and were halted by a huge counter-demonstration by activists, students, local people and church groups. The Battle of Lewisham marked the first ever use of police riot shields and was attended by author Iain Banks.
  4. In 1981, thirteen young black people were killed by the New Cross Fire at a party at on New Cross Road. Suspicions that the fire was caused by a racist attack and apparent official indifference to the deaths led to the largest ever political mobilisation of black people seen in Britain.
  5. Former Goldsmiths students and staff were at the crux of some of the most important cultural moments of the last 30 years, including defining the punk movement (Malcolm McLaren), bands like Blur, artists like Damien Hirst and Oscar winning filmmaker Steve McQueen.

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