Documents collected by Ernest Rudd, Dept. of Sociology. The Box holds two folders, marked ‘1968‘ and ‘Campus Events‘, respectively, and a large amount of loose materials that have been loosely grouped by theme or type in the outline list below.
The ‘1968’ folder contains a number of documents in circulation around campus during the events of the spring and summer terms; many of these are available, in identical form, in more than one location elsewhere in the archive and are thus unlisted below. Similarly unlisted are duplicate items in the ‘Campus Events’ folder relating to the Powell and Inch protests, and the Free University. Most of these may be located in Box 14/Internal Documents, or in Rudd’s most comprehensive collection of such materials in Box 17, and many are in both. For the most part, items to do with the May events listed here are either unique to these folders or bear some significant dissimilarity (e.g. handwritten annotations) to any other version published on the site.
The ‘Campus Events’ folder also contains a great deal of material on subsequent developments in campus politics and ongoing student unrest at Essex, especially during 1969-70, but running through to the mid-1970s. A large number of these documents cover specific issues around student discipline, the powers of Proctors, and the ‘Membership Committee’ emerging from the Working Party on a Code of Conduct established in the wake of the 1968 campus events. There are materials on student blockades of Senate in November 1969, and the Vice Chancellor’s offices in March 1970, both in response to specific cases of student exclusion from the University.
The ‘Campus Events’ documents listed below for publication here focus largely on May 1968 and its aftermath, especially in terms of structural reforms of the University, and a visit to campus by a parliamentary sub-committee in April 1969. Materials selected from the remainder of the Box contents cover Student Council and wider student politics in the UK and overseas; local, national, and global student campaigns; and a number of student bulletins and publications.
Documents relating to campus events, March-June 1968
- Dean of Students curt memo of (04.03.68) in wake of Powell disruption (see also longer memo from 13.03 in Box 12/WPCC Ref 63, Box 15/Revolutions; both memos also in Box 17/May 1968).
- An undated note from ‘D’ to ‘Fiona’ [Rudd?].
- ‘Resol from Dept of Sociology, 13th May 1968’: the two motions from the General Meeting at 11.30am, handwritten on the reverse of Busfield, Butterfield and Smith’s call for moratorium and dialogue distributed to students on their way onto campus that morning.
- Handwritten note (undated, May 1968) on Senate powers of exclusion under §28 Section XX of the statutes.
- Handwritten list of over forty members of staff, presumably present at Monday 13th meeting of staff and students, or more possibly Tuesday 14th staff meeting (undated, May 1968).
- Motion on rusticated students and Vice Chancellor (‘passed by an overwhelming majority’) from meeting of staff and students (16.05.68), annotated (see also Box 14/Internal Documents Ref 45; Box 17/May 1968).
- Typewritten addition to meeting resolution that the three rusticated students should be permitted to take their exams regardless of the committee’s decision (undated).
- ‘In the Matter of the University of Essex: Opinion’ – handwritten text from Douglas-Mann & Co. Solicitors (19.05.68).
- Anon. undated note from meeting: comment by observer from Leicester about their model of Union democracy.
- Anon. undated note from meeting to do with the Tribunal brief and the ‘Oppose Chemical and Biological Warfare’ pamphlet.
- ‘The Situation Now!!!!!!!!!’ (undated, c. 27th May?) flyer inviting readers to meeting (‘Monday 8p.m.’) seemingly to consolidate sense of position of protestors in terms of the University, Society (and its relationship to the University), and forms of authoritarianism; also seemingly under the influence of (at least) William S. Burroughs.
- Union #4 (26.06.68).
- Flyer requesting assistance transporting newly-arrived students from the station to campus or their accommodation (undated, likely early October 1968).
- Wyvern Late News ‘Resignation Shock!’ on Brodie’s departure from Student Council chair; Adrian Jansen elected to position unopposed (undated).
- Handwritten and incomplete research/archival note on 20 of the documents in circulation in the week 6-13 May 1968, inc source origin and availability (e.g. Andy Mack’s ‘A Statement’ noted as ‘only 200’, and ‘not many’ copies of ‘Galileo’s last speech (Brecht)’.
- Handwritten research or archival note on sequence of events from Tuesday May 7th incident to Free University session the following Wednesday.
Reports on structural change at 2 French Universities (see also Charles Posner’s Paris Odéon paper delivered May 19th 1968, in ‘University Structures’ subfolder within ‘Campus Events’ below)
- ‘The new structure of the Faculté de Droit et des Sciences Economiques of the University of Paris’: text (English version) adopted by joint staff-student assembly establishing autonomous self-management (undated, presumably brought back from Paris May 1968).
- ‘Faculty of Sciences – University of Lille’ – report (undated – likely again brought back from Paris) on new structures agreed by a meeting of students, academics and administrative technical and service staff. Proposals include strengthening powers of Departments, the establishment of a permanent council on structural reform, and implementation of critical teaching methods.
A flyer from student Biafra campaign, December 1968
- ‘8,000 died today! Do you care?’: flyer from three students announcing their fast in aid of Biafra (04-08.12.68).
Campus events folder
March-April-May 1968 and aftermath
- Motion of no confidence in University disciplinary procedures (undated, March-April 1968), in light of perceived unfairness of enquiry into disruption and damage related to Powell visit on February 20th. The document includes demands for the enquiry to cease immediately, and for Senate to negotiate changes in the disciplinary procedures with a group of student representatives, to be ratified by the first Union General Meeting of the Autumn term, 1968. It is attached to a note to all members of staff, requesting their consideration and support, and emphasising the need to avoid damage to the reputation of the university.
- ‘Home Rule for Wilts’ (21.05.68). Satirical flyer, in part anti-Porton Down, presenting it (and the English) as occupying and oppressing indomitable Wiltshire ‘nationals’.
- ‘1968 International Human Rights Year’ (22.05.68). Israel and Jewish Society flyer on International Student Day of Solidarity with Soviet Jewry detailing actions and urging readers to write to their Members of Parliament.
- David Triesman’s response to John Barrel’s criticism of him and the Essex events, ‘In a Barrel over the Niagara Falls: a political option’ (Summer 1968, Barrel was criticising an article Triesman had published in The Lancet, 25.05.68; copy held in Box 38).
- ‘Free University Newsletter No. 28576/58th year’: orientation points for resumed Free University and notice of co-ordination meeting Thursday 20th June 1968.
- ‘Free University’ schedule of events 24-27.06.68.
- ‘What Sloman DIDN’T Stay To Hear’ (autumn 1968). Protests Vice Chancellor not admitting a number of 2nd– and 3rd-year students to a meeting at which he outlined his feelings on freedom of speech; having addressed the meeting, Sloman is further accused of walking out and refusing to enter a discussion with those students who did get to hear him.
- Memo from student members of Student Affairs Committee to all other members protesting non-installation of a contraceptive vending machine that had apparently been ‘on the University premises since the last academic year’. (16.11.68 for SAC 20.11.68 Agenda item 7).
- ‘Festival of Revolution’ (January 1969) invitation to participate. See also Festival of Revolution documents in Box 15/Revolutions especially; nb also ‘Manifesto of Rationalism’, in ‘Student Bulletins and Publications’ below in this box, and commentary in Wyvern #46 (14.02.69) submitted to the Working Party on a Code of Conduct (Box 12/WPCC Ref 66).
- ‘Meanwhile over at the big disciplinary committee…’ (Friday 28.11.69). Report (has the look of a latter-day Red Letter) on Chris Ratcliffe’s London Court of Appeal hearing the previous day on the injunction excluding him from University premises. See also Red Letter (23.11.69) and ‘Incite I’ (12.11.69) under ‘Student Bulletins and Publications’, below.
- ‘The Witch Trials Continue – at Essex – the “Liberal” University’ (Spring 1970). Student Action Committee bulletin recalling Spring 1968 and adding notes on Bowden’s exclusion of three students, followed by charges against 30 for participating in an occupation of the Vice Chancellor’s offices 04-05.03.70.
- Unattributed two-page leaflet protesting increasing arbitrary authority, especially on the part of the Proctor and ‘a tiny minority of politically-motivated staff in the reactionary departments’. Circulated w/c 25.05.70 in response to Disciplinary Committee verdicts (issued 22.05.70) against students who had occupied the VC’s offices 04-05.03.70.
- ‘Poem (with apologies to Lewis Carroll)’, unattributed and undated 1970 summer term satire on Proctor Bowden and Albert Sloman strategising on how to deal with student radicals.
Documents relating to structural reform of the University and student input in, especially, the Department of Sociology
- Memo about meeting for Sociology students to mobilise around a core set of issues as attempts are made to include student representatives in fortnightly Department Meetings (meeting scheduled Wednesday 21.02.68); two brief memos below indicate the issue was still unresolved by winter 1969/70.
- Notes (from a General Meeting or Free University likely c.15.05.68), sketching University structure and line of action headed ‘Autonomous Un.’
- Charles Posner’s Text on “The Meaning of Recent Events at Essex” presented to a Seminar on University Structure at L’Odéon, Paris, 19.05.68.
- ‘Internal Inquiry’ (November 1969). Union General Assembly call for boycott and discussions between all members of the University.
- 2-day ‘Proposed Timetable’ for November 1969 ‘Internal Inquiry’ above.
- ‘Essex Students’ Internal Enquiry Conference Reader, November 1969’ (see also Box 13/Senate Group on Student Representation).
- Sketch of possible inclusive structure for University decision making processes/student representation (undated, likely result of/response to Senate Group on Student Representation, 1968-69, although Senate is conspicuously absent from the diagram).
- ‘Sociology at Essex: Origins of the Present Crisis’ (undated, academic year 1968-69). Lengthy document co-authored by Rick Coates, Jean Seaton, Dave Douglas-Wilson, Alastair Hatchett, Lucia Jones, Diana Bennett, and Julian Harber in response to issues with course content and administration leading to a decrease in student engagement.
- ‘Liberation Sociology Movement’ announcement of formation, aims (inc journal publication) and meeting to discuss activities Thursday 23.10.69. See also flyer for a Socialist Society Liberation Sociology meeting the previous winter to discuss mass media and the October 1968 anti-Vietnam war demonstration in London, under ‘Global Campaigns’ below in this box.
- Memo from Sociology students to all students in the department (09.12.69) to discuss and vote on student representation in Department Meetings.
- Memo from Sociology Department to its students (14.01.70), inviting them to a meeting to discuss student participation in Department Meetings.
House of Commons Subcommittee of the Select Committee on Science and Education visit, April 24th 1969
- ‘On Thursday the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Students will visit Essex’ (undated, week of Thursday 24.04.69). Short advance notice of House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Education visit, making great play on lack of advance notification through more official channels.
- ‘Why are we contemptuous?’ (c. late April 1969). Unattributed and undated student response to outcry over the disruption of the Select Committee delegation’s visit.
- Undated memo on student unrest from Roy Cox and Ernest Rudd, for the Parliamentary Subcommittee visit to the University in April 1969.*
- ‘The Political Positions of Students Entering the University of Essex in 1968’ – appendix attached to Cox/Rudd memo above, co-authored by Ernest and Fiona Rudd, undated.*
See also extracts from the Subcommittee’s report reproduced in ‘Essex Students’ Internal Enquiry; Conference Reader November 1969′, located with the papers of the Senate Group on Student Representation in Box 13/SGSR.
* These two documents were found in Box 18A, with Keith Ives’ papers during the research and digitisation processes. Given the authors and subject matter, however – the parliamentary visit is not featured elsewhere in Ives’ collection – they appear to have been returned to this box in error at some point. For this reason, and for ease of reference, digitised copies of these documents will be posted here under Box 16 alongside the other materials on the disruption of the Subcommittee visit.
Essex Students’ Council, local and national student politics
Student actions at the London School of Economics, January 1969
- Unattributed message to all members of staff about recent closure of LSE (January-February 1969), calling for staff-student solidarity in protest and urging attendance at meetings and discussions (see also ‘What Lies Behind LSE?’ in Box 17/May 1968).
- Letter from 7 students to Sociology Department (29.01.69) calling meeting about LSE and suggesting adoption of resolutions from previous evening’s General Meeting (inc. exerting pressure on Sloman to state his position) as basis for discussion.
- ‘Academic Freedom and LSE’ (30.01.1969) call for boycott of lectures and classes in suppport of LSE lecturer Lawrence Harris, whose support of student sit-ins and other actions had put his job on the line.
- ‘Programme for Friday’ (undated, likely 31.01.69). Schedule for second day of strike and occupation in support of LSE students barred by injunction from entry to their campus. Also on the agenda were plans for the Revolutionary Festival (February 10th-12th) and a demonstration in London the following week.
Students’ Council Election materials and debates over Rule by General Meeting, autumn 1969 (see also ‘Student Bulletins and Publications’, below)
- RSSF bulletin on organising in universities (16.10.69) inc. schedule of upcoming meetings and 2-part reading list.
- List of candidates for contested Union election seats (November 1969).
- ‘Remember GINGER?” (undated, Autumn 1969). Electioneering leaflet from former editor Ken Montague, now running for the editor’s position at former rival Wyvern.
- ‘Wyvern: An Election Manifesto’ (Iain Noble, October 1968).
- ‘Vote Community Control’, Students’ Council election leaflet (05.12.69) against Socialist Society and RBGM.
- ‘You are voting for the way you will run your union’. Unattributed and undated response to ‘Vote community control’ leaflet above, setting record straight about ‘straw man’ RBGM outlined therein.
- ‘How long must we endure this accursed generation!’ Leaflet decrying proposed RBGM proposal for constitutional change (undated, c. December 1969).
- ’What’s Left at Essex?’ (undated, c. 1970). Call for a Radical Liberal Union, signed by Peter Hain, inter alia).
NUS re-affiliation referendum, December 1970
- Flyer for visit of secretary of NUS Jack Straw to address debate on Essex reaffiliation (undated; reaffiliation referendum 01.12.70).
- ‘Why we should stay out of NUS’ (Socialist Society leaflet, November 1970).
- Brief note on cost of reaffiliating to NUS in advance of December 1970 vote (represented as equivalent to 20 sewing machines, 5 billiard tables, a minibus… and more, inc. 500000 pictures of Donald Duck (November 1970).
Anti-Vietnam war movement and actions
- ‘Liberation Sociology’ Soc. Soc. meeting flyer: visiting speaker Graham Murdock (Leicester Mass Communications Centre) ‘will be publishing a book in the spring on the Mass Media Manipulation of the Vietnam demonstration of Oct. 27th 1968’.
- ‘Vietnam: The War and the British Workers (Socialist Worker, undated).
- Flyer for ‘M-Day’, International Vietnam moratorium on 15.10.69.
- ‘Does Biafra Exist?” (undated; Biafra campaign kicks off in earnest w/c 09.12.68). Leaflet from Biafra Action Group formed Monday the previous week, in advance of Peter Cadogan’s visit and talk.
South Africa (Barclays and Springboks boycotts) and demonstration, spring 1969
- Leaflet (24.01.69) in support of Edward Devoren, Secretary of the London RSSF, in his summonsing of five police officers for assault, malicious injury/GBH and threat to kill him following his arrest at a demonstration against the Rhodesian and South African governments in London. Leaflet dated 24.01.69
- ‘Southern Africa and Essex University: We Support Apartheid’ (flyer for evening meeting Tuesday 29.04.69).
- ‘Don’t Bank on Barclays’ (undated, likely January-February 1969). Socialist Society flyer on apartheid regime and ways Barclays and the University (as an institution and a community) are implicated. Reminds students of horrific conditions for black South Africans and urges closing Barclays accounts.
Black Panther demonstration in support of Bobby Seale, London, March 2nd 1970
- ‘Bobby Seale Demonstration – March 2nd’. Sociology Society report on police harassment of demonstration in London in support of Black Panther Bobby Seale, attended by 12 Essex students. Report acknowledges heightened/racialised police violence and appeals for donations for the 16 arrested demonstrators.
- ‘Black Panther Demonstration Rattles British Ruling Class’ (Black Panther Movement, Britain) reports on London free Bobby Seale demonstration (02.03.70), and the subsequent jailing of 4 panthers and acquittal of 4 white radicals.
Student bulletins and publications
- ‘Bullsheet’ (Labour Club bulletin, October 1969).
- ‘Bullsheet’ (November 1969).
- Comrade #4 (Labour Club, February-March 1969).
- Excite #2 (E.R.A. – Essex Radical Alliance and Community Reform Group): ‘Construction or Destruction?’ leaflet for E.R.A. deploring strike the previous Tuesday (24.11.70) as a destructive minority stunt; proposes instead a six-point platform ‘for constructive community reform’ and asks for support in forthcoming Students Council elections.
- Excite #3 (Radical Alliance Free Press, late November 1970), ‘Daily Telegraph Taken Over by Drug-crazed Hippies’ spoof of Telegraph report on squalor of Essex that same week demanding a public enquiry into the state of the institution. ‘The editorial comment is widely believed to have been written by one of the Tory M.P.’s who was shouted down by Essex students last year.’ See also Box 21 for correspondence and coverage of November 26th Telegraph article.
- Ginger #4 (October 3rd 1968): independent production by Ken Montague and Chris Ratcliffe.
- ‘A Grimm Fairy Tale’ parable of Wyvern mis/management (undated, likely Autumn 1969).
- A Guide to Essex Politics (undated Student Council pamphlet, including ‘Glossary of political terms’).
- In Brief (Students’ Council Information Office, 23.10.69) with little except appeals for interesting news topics – you’d think a normal university…
- In Brief (24.10.69) giving students’ side of readmission case, as well as detailing motions passed by Students’ Council the previous evening demanding immediate reinstatement for Thompson, and an investigation into procedures of progress committees and appeals to School Boards. Threatens to withdraw cooperation of student representatives from University committees and consultative bodies if no progress by following Tuesday (28th) lunchtime.
- ‘Incite I’ (seemingly parody of Liberal Union newsletter c. 12.11.69) on Chris Ratcliffe injunction and much on imminent Vietnam Moratorium. Short satire appealing for money to help the struggling Royal family.
- Insight (published by Liberal Union, c. 26.11.69) on election seats.
- Insight (10.12.69) ‘mainly into the election results’ (and nb ‘It’s a Montague Wyvern…. We wait with baited breath and lawyers Ken.’)
- Insight (‘mainly into the GC elections’ 26.10.70) with details of results of elections to the Senate’s General Committee (11 student places, 1 per department), established in wake of October 1968 Senate Group on Student Representation. See materials in Box 13/SGSR).
- Left News (Socialist Society, c. 12.01.71) on Rudi Dutschke expulsion; some success also claimed for Barclays boycott protesting apartheid regime in South Africa.
- Left News (c. 19.01.71) inc. news of Post Office workers’ strike, and scathing account of Tariq Ali’s near arrest at the demonstration for Dutschke the previous Sunday.
- Left News #5 (c. 15.02.71) ‘Welcome home, boys!’ on return of Royal East Anglian Regiment to Colchester; troubles in Northern Ireland more than simply matter of the sadism of a few soldiers; also notice of forthcoming Women’s Liberation weekend conference February 27th/28th.
- Left Newsheet #1 (01.10.70) inc. homelessness campaign and news about Socialist Society agendas and events.
- Left Newsheet – Special (Autumn 1970) rebuttal of Essex County Standard report on case of a porter at the University who claimed his union had ‘blacklegged’ him. Urges student support of unionised staff working at the University.
- Manifesto of Rationalism, an 8-page publication from around the time of the Revolutionary Festival (February 1969).
- Red Letter #5 (Socialist Society bulletin, 24.10.68) on Colchester police reposnse to anti-Vietnam war demonstration in town centre the previous day.
- Red Letter from Cuba (undated but appears to be autumn 1968, and claims written on anniversary of Che’s death i.e. October 9th). Special edition from ‘Jean’ (Jean Franco?), a former Essex student now studying the Batista regime and workers’ rights in Cuba. Appeals for Sloman to speak up on behalf of free speech everywhere, and for some books for the Philosophy Department at her institution in Cuba, as the US blockade has not allowed any academic publications to reach the island.
- Red Letter (23.11.69) inc. appeal for support for Chris Ratcliffe fighting his injunction, and report from comrade returning from South Africa: ‘the action against the Springboks is getting wide coverage there and is having a great effect on non-white morale.’
- Red Letter (27.11.69) on readmission cases and focus on ‘Academic Standards’.
- what must be done, pamphlet dated October 1968 and ‘independently financed and produced’ (although Brodie and Lomax are 2 of the 4 signatories so likely a liberal union document).
- ‘Who Died Why in Universe City’ stapled booklet put together by the University and NEETC Christian Unions, addressing campus alienation and proposing following the ‘real revolution’ carried out by Jesus Christ almost 2000 years earlier. Meeting and discussion organised for Thursday 04.02.71.