Apples and Oranges: The Merits of Comparing Diverse Protests in London's History

Hannah Awcock

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The history of protest in London is extensive and varied. Over the centuries, dissent in the city has taken diverse forms, involved a variety of different actors, and championed innumerable causes, in a range of political, social, and economic contexts. My PhD thesis compared four protests in London between 1780 and 2010: the Gordon Riots (1780), the Hyde Park Railings Affair (1866), the Battle of Cable Street (1936), and the Student Tuition Fee Demonstrations (2010). First impressions may suggest that they have very little in common. This homogeneity raises the question of whether anything can be gained from comparing such disparate protest events. In this paper, I shall use the conclusions of my thesis to argue that there is a lot to be gained from comparing such a range of events. Conducting in-depth analysis on the four protests allowed me to identify long-term trends of dissent in London. Analysis of these trends—the changes as well as continuities—allowed me to explore how London’s unique culture of protest has developed, proving that there is something to be gained from comparing apples and oranges.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - Jul 2018
EventInternational Conference of Historical Geographers - University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
Duration: 15 Jul 201820 Jul 2018


ConferenceInternational Conference of Historical Geographers

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