Makhno mustard

“Batko Makhno mustard, pretty hot, containing horseradish, recommended for traditional Russian cuisine.” The anarchist Nestor Makhno headed the peasants’ uprising in Ukraine, 1919-1921. This plastic jar was presented to CIRA by the Victor Serge Library in Moscow.

Women's Trade Union League badge

Women's Trade Union League badge, 1919 carrying the League's motto 'Lose not those things that we have wrought'. The badge also has initials of the League's leaders, Emma Paterson and Lady Emilia Francis Strong Dilke. The badge was presented at the Annual Conference of Delegates to the TUC in which women were employed. This copy of the badge held in the TUC Library Collections was awarded to Ann Laughlin of the United Garment Workers Union in 1919 because 'women's membership of the union had increased by over 20,000 during the past year'.

Watch case of the IAWM

One of the twelve watch cases believed to have been struck in the 1860s to mark the meeting in London of the International Association of Working Men (The First International) when the eight hours working day had been proclaimed as the Association's objective. Similar watches were struck in Italy and Germany in the late 19th century. Around 1920, Kay and Company of Worcester produced a slightly different version of the original watch which sold for 42 shillings (£2.10).

MI5 Surveillance ‘Bug’

This surveillance 'bug', discovered by builders in February 1975, was probably used by MI5 to spy on Communist activity. Former MI5 officer Peter Wright may have planted it, as in his book, Spycatcher, he describes concealing a 'bug' at Communist Party headquarters. The government did not admit responsibility for the device.

The Party issued this statement after its discovery;

\The Communist Party protests most strongly at the fact that this device was illegally installed in its premises. We are a legal political party not engaged in any conspiratorial activity and

John Wilkes Commemorative Teapot

John Wilkes strongly opposed John Stuart, chosen by the King to be Prime Minister in 1762. His radical publication The North Briton mocked Stuart's Scottish ancestry. Issue number 45, dated 23 April 1763, criticised the King's Speech; Wilkes was sent to the Tower of London for 'seditious libel'. However he was released, to cheers of 'Wilkes and Liberty', because he was a Member of Parliament.

The 'Sulitjelma medal'

In the winter of 1907 the management at the copper and pyrites mines in Sulitjelma in northern Norway tried to introduce a new control system aiming to achieve a larger work intensity. Each worker received a number tag of lead to be worn in a cord around the neck and handed over after each work shift. The enraged workers immediately named the tags “slave tags” and boycotted the system. Ultimately the incident led to the founding of the first workers' union in Sulitjelma.

The Swedish Agitator August Palm carved in Wood

The agitator August Palm (1849-1922) worked as a tailor in the south of Sweden, in Germany and Denmark where he came in contact with the socialist ideas. He introduced the social democracy in Malmo 1881 with his speech 'What do the Social-Democrats want?'
He started newspapers, wrote books and agitated for socialism allover the country until his death 1922 in Stockholm.
This little sculpture (height 24 cm, 20 x 30 cm) was carved in wood 1939 by an unknown artist with the initials AR.