May 68 - 50 years on

A 30 year reunion was held on Saturday, 24th October 1998 for those who were at Essex University during the Academic Years 1967/8 and 1968/9, and who considered it to have been a positive experience worth celebrating. Over 120 people came and shared a wonderful, memorable evening. Friendships were renewed.

Jack Straw quote

Essex May 68 - 1998 messages

From Mike Quigley
Wednesday, August 1, 2001

Hi there. I thought you might be interested in some colour transparencies I found in the garage. These date from 1967/8. I have published them on line. Click here to see them

Should you wish to lift any for publication I would have no problem with this as long as you let me know and provide an acknowledgement.

I hope you find them interesting.

Kind regards

Mike Quigley

From Elizabeth Grant
Thursday, December 10, 1998

Further to Julian's message about our trip to Turkey, our German driver in fact lived in Lebanon, and we had many intense discussions with him and another Israeli driver on the nature of Israel.

My main memory is of camping in Turkey, where apart from being completely washed out on one occasion, I spent much of the night on another occasion listening to discussions with Turkish students who recounted cases of arbitrary arrest and torture in that country. I can remember concluding that we were all just dilettantes.

From Dave Wilson
Friday, November 13, 1998

I have finally got to read the Essex pages - this is Bosnia and it has taken months to get it together. I would be very interested to communicate with anyone interested in Bosnia (I am presently Director of the Pavarotti Music Centre) or who might have bright ideas on the centre and its future. If anyone's passing through Mostar come and see me. We do music therapy, music teaching (schools) rock school, techno music, concerts, gigs, drama, dance, exhibitions and have two recording studios which are state of the art and cheap for any professional musicians out there.

I see Andrew Mack's name there in New York UN. Would like to talk to him : Kofi Annan sent us a genuine (non-Sartrean) message of support for the opening. So did Tony Blair (whoops).

Someone referred to the Porton Down demo in London. My job, along with Alaistair Hatchett was to organise the petition to be delivered to the Min of Defence. I was stuffing empty forms into a large envelope. Alaistair hammered on the large steel doors like a scene from Macbeth and a small man opened a side door and politely took the "empty" envelope from us. The horse guards climbed down from their steeds and drew swords at the few of us around. It was in the Sun the next day and they probably paid him to do it. By the way I got on the front od The Sun when George Brown took a swipe at me in Colchester after I had been abusing him over Vietnam. I ran out through the feet of some NFers. The headline was "Up and at 'em George". Anyone got a copy or remember the date. It was election time.

It's getting to the time of life when you start collating your memories in the hope that someone might find it of interest when they go through the attic.

Greetings to one and all, David Wilson.


From Laurent Uren
Wednesday, October 28, 1998

Can something really be changing? The Swiss and the French are claiming Pinocchio! Reading Jan's piece, I remember how when the repression hit hard in Latin America thinking that we thought the CRS were bad. But we were white and European and close to home. A bad beating was as much as was tolerated (or needed).

I had applied to the University of Santiago and if the Colegio de Mxico had not given me a scholarship earlier I would have certainly been in a similar situation. As it is I have felt the guilt anyway. I mean the courage of these people!

In the 70's the exiles started turning up in Mexico first the Uruguyans, then the Chileans, then the Argentinians. Of course because they were educated and European they received more attention than the 70,000 Guatemalans who died since the coup against Arbenz, the Salvadoreans etc.. Mexico has always been very good at covering up its own bloody regime by extending asylum to Latin American exiles. So,Cuba doesn't look too bad in context. Even if it has sacrificed the cornerstone claim of having transformed itself from the brothel of the US.

By the way can anyone tell me what Blair's England is like seen from Essex late sixties?

From Pete Shore
Wednesday, November 4, 1998

A Question of Balance

There had been a lot of activity at Essex about South Africa. The involvement of Barclays Bank in the apartheid economy was notorious, and a demonstration against the Bank, and a mass withdrawal of accounts from the campus branch, was called for.

The demonstration, to be held in the University Square immediately outside the Bank, was intended to be lively and humorous. A student, who shall remain nameless but, for the sake of argument, I will call Tim Butler, was dressed up as a stereotype banker - long black coat and top hat - and was carried around and around the Square on the shoulders of some of the stronger comrades.

When the following throng had gained enough size and momentum, Tim was steered into the Bank and up to the counter. Tim was well over six feet tall, and was still perched, although now a little precariously, on the somewhat sagging frames of his colleagues. The top hat made him seem even taller.

"In protest at Barclays' involvement with the evil apartheid regime of South Africa", intoned Tim, loftily, "I demand to close my account with this Bank".

The clerk, although clearly nervous, was not to be fazed. "And your name, sir?" he enquired politely.

As he gave his name, Tim wobbled rather dangerously.

"One moment, sir", and the clerk consulted a sheaf of papers. Soon came the announcement: "I'm afraid it will not be possible for you to close your account".

"And why not?" demanded Tim, sensing a typical conspiracy of international capital.

"Because you have an overdraft".

Collapse of stout party, as they used to say......

Vietnam demo