fifty years ago March 3, 1970 Archives

From the Archives (March 3, 1970): Isle of Dogs declares ‘independence’

The Isle of Dogs has followed Rhodesia — it proclaimed unilateral independence yesterday [March 1]. The Isle of Dogs, in the heart of London’s dockland area, is a narrow peninsula jutting out into the Thames estuary. Tired of the Greater London Council’s failure to improve their housing conditions the 10,000 inhabitants of the peninsula decided to “break away and govern” themselves. The head of the movement, Mr. Fred Jones, called a news conference to outline his “State’s” policy. “The people lead a dog’s life in the Isle of Dogs. That is why we have declared unilateral independence,” he said. A citizens council would be formed, he said. “We are capable of governing ourselves.”

It was, of course, a blood-less revolution. The most militant action of the day was when some of the “rebels” captured London transport buses which had “illegally” entered the isle.

The Isle of Dogs got its name because King Richard III and other kings had dog’s kennels built there.

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