‘1968’ is a fragment from an uncompleted novel by lifelong campaigner for social justice Helen Lowe. It draws on her experiences as a young political activist in nineteen-sixties and seventies London, and opens with an account of the anti Vietnam War demonstration in Grosvenor Square in 1968.
When she died in 2011, Helen left behind some draft chapters of an unfinished novel. Though fictionalised, the writing drew upon her own experiences. Opening with the 1968 anti-Vietnam war demonstration in Grosvenor Square, this excerpt sees her beginning to locate the protest within a wider context of interconnecting social movements worldwide, and the emergence of debates around internationalism, authoritarianism, violence, class, gender, sexuality, personal life and the meaning of revolution. She began to write the novel in the 1990’s, and last revised the few remaining fragments of it in 2001. Her executors have agreed to publish this piece in the hope that it may be of some value as a version of events written, a couple of decades later, by a critical participant who remained committed to the ideals of that time.