[spectre] The Otter Memoir

Séamas Cain seamascain at gmail.com
Tue Nov 8 20:00:09 CET 2016



Laurens Otter was a prominent activist in the Ban-the-Bomb Movement in
Britain during the late 1950s and early 1960s.  Indeed, he was a strategist
and theoretician for *The Committee of 100* and *Polaris Action*.  Mr.
Otter has now published a *Memoir* of his life and activism.  I think it
will prove to be of some historical interest.

Over the years Mr. Otter has been a prodigious small-press publisher.  He
has published any number of collections of essays, as well as collections
of poetry and plays by various authors.  His *Memoir*, however, provides a
wealth of specific details and glimpses of movements that challenged
established institutions throughout the world.

Laurens Otter has written:  “My parents knew Gandhi in India — mother had
first contacted him when she was in South Africa, she used to fast whenever
he did and my elder brother and I (in my case from the age of 4) used to
fast for a day or two whenever Gandhi began to fast.”

Martin Bashforth, the editor of *The Otter Memoir*, has written that
“Laurens belongs to a generation who, though they did not know it at the
time, laid the foundations for the New Left in the 1960s and beyond.
Laurens was very much one of the activists from that generation — people
who gave the movement its practical impetus.  They created organisations,
movements, and publications to which those of us born after World War Two
could turn as we worked out our response to the world around us.  In
particular, during the late 1950s and early 1960s their use of non-violent
civil disobedience was an inspiration, even for those of us too timid to
adopt these tactics ... The Memoir as it stands admirably sums up the
culture on the Left that had been created since 1945 and that deserves to
be revisited by today's networked dissident generation.  They need to
honour their forebears and learn from them.”

*The Otter Memoir* is available here as a free download ...


This *Memoir* contains descriptions of encounters,
disagreements/agreements, and/or interactions between Laurens Otter and
Richard Acland, Alex Alexander, Frank Allaun, Andy Anderson, Lady Clare
Annesley, Pat Arrowsmith, Brian Bamford, John Banks, Donald Bannister,
Robert Barltrop, Ernie Bates, Olwen Battersby, Brian Behan, Desmond O'Neill
Belshawe, John Bishop, John Boland, Claude Bourdet, Maurice Brinton, Eileen
Brock, Hugh Brock, Lily Brown, Peter Copper Brown, Tom Brown, Dr. Noel C.
Browne, Oliver Browne, Forbes Burnham, Melita Burrell, Mike Callinan, Mary
Canipa, April Carter, Ian Celnick, Ray Challinor, Terry Chandler, Terry
Chivers, Stuart Christie, Bill & Joan Christopher, Chichester Clark, Howard
Clark, George Clarke, Tony Cliff, Ken Coates, Kelso Cochrane, G.D.H. Cole,
Canon John Collins, Phil Cooke, Mike Craft, Rikki Dalton, Lawrence Daly,
Sir Tam Dalyell of the Binns, baronet, Dorothy Day, Francis Deutsch, Ian
Dixon, Dr. Richard Doll, Kurt Dowson, Peggy Duff, Raya Dunayevskaya, Father
Alan Edwardes, Freda Ehlers, Robert Ehlers, Stanley Evans, Marianne
Faithful, Baron Brian Faulkner, Leah Feldmann, Michael Foot, George
Foulser, Crystal Gates, Dorothy & Norman Glaister, Ygael Gluckstein, Victor
Gollancz, David Goodway, David Grahame, Martin Grainger, Eddie Grant,
Robert Green, Jo Grimond, Reg Groves, Stephen Gwynn, Denzil Harber,
Margaret & Bryan Hart, Ernie Hartley, Ken Hawkes, Stephen Hawking, Eric
Heffer, Ammon Hennacy, Wynford Hicks, Axel Hoff, Philip Holgate, Gerald
Holtom, Bishop Trevor Huddlestone, Cheddi Jagan, C.L.R. James, Brenda
Jordan, Pat Jordan, Francis Jude, Matt Kavanagh, Douglas Kepper, Jim
Kilfedder, Father Gresham Kirkby, Charles Lahr, John Lall, Kitty Lamb, Bill
Lean, Father Kenneth Leech, John Lloyd, Meng-Tse Lo, Keith Lye, Freddie
Lyons, Seán MacStíofáin, Ollie Mahler, Father Donald Manners, Harry Marsh,
André Marty, Madame Natalia Trotskaya, Tom Mboya, John McGuffin, Pronchais
McGuinness, George McLeod, Harry McShane, Clifford Mélotte, Albert Meltzer,
Hélène Michon, Renée & Lucien Michon, Yvonne Michon, Bernard Miles, Rita
Milton, Harry Mister, Ron Moir, George Molnar, Sybil Morrison, Ken Morse,
Peter Moule, Arthur Moyse, Hilda Murrell, Colin Myers, Mike Nolan, John
Olday, Captain Terence O'Neill, Dr. Chris Pallis, Jeanne Pallis, Max
Patrick, Geoffrey Payne, Inge & Donovan Pedelty, John Pilgrim, Carl Pinnel,
George Plume, Eric Preston, J.B. Priestley, Stu Purkiss, Jim Radford, Mike
Randle, Vero Recchioni, Vernon Richards, Archbishop Tom Roberts, S.J.,
Adrian Robertson, Mary & Jack Robinson, Jeff Robinson, Ernie Rodker, Roger
Rolph, Donald Rooum, Father John Rowe, Bertrand Russell, Raphael Samuel,
Philip Sansom, Simon Schama, Ralph Schoenman, Father Michael Scott, Natalia
Ivanovna Sedova, Mike Segal, Gene Sharp, Dr. Owen Sheehy-Skeffington,
Sydney Silverman, Allen Skinner, Jim Slater, Colin Smart, Harry Smith, Joan
Smith, Dr. Donald Soper, Harold Steele, Mary & Jack Stevenson, John
Stockbridge, Bishop Mervyn Stockwood, George Stone, Douglas Stuckey, Buck
Taylor, Carol Taylor, Joe Thomas, E.P. Thompson, Tommy Thompson, David
Thornley, Charles Tillon, David Toogood, Peter Turner, Arthur Uloth, Fred
Walker, Barbara Wall, Bernadine Wall, Digger Walsh, Nicolas Walter, Colin
Ward, Tom Wardle, Will Warren, Kate & Bobby Waters, Kurt Weisskopf, Fran
White, Roma White, John Whiteley, David Wicks, Kathy & Wolfred Wigham,
Thomas Willis, Tom Wintringham, and Lillian Wolfe.

*The Otter Memoir* is available here as a free download ...



Peaceful regards,

Séamas Cain

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