1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Beating the Fascists: The authorised history of Anti-Fascist Action

Discussion in 'UK politics, current affairs and news' started by cogg, May 24, 2010.

  1. krink

    krink I'll do it this afternoon

    Ben Button - on book lists it'd be Button, Ben. BRAW!
     
    malatesta32 and Frances Lengel like this.
  2. malatesta32

    malatesta32 Anti-Fascist Always

    BRAW INDEED!
     
    krink likes this.
  3. Red About Town

    Red About Town Well-Known Member

  4. malatesta32

    malatesta32 Anti-Fascist Always

    inigo montoya is AFA in Eire on here mate! contact him.
     
  5. framed

    framed Leave it!

    Below is the review of Beating The Fascists that appears in the latest issue of AFA Ireland's magazine No Quarter.

    Sean Birchall, Beating the Fascists: the Untold Story of Anti-Fascist Action

    (Freedom Press). £15.

    This is an important book, telling for the first time the story of militant anti-fascism in Britain since the 1970s. In recounting the origins and activities of Anti-Fascist Action it offers an alternative to the standard liberal account of racism and anti-racism. It is well written, punchy (pun intended), exciting and often very funny. Beginning in the 1970s it recounts the efforts of anti-fascists to counter the National Front, then on the verge of an electoral breakthrough, describes how they responded to the emergence of groups like the British Movement in the early 1980s, and then the fight against the British National Party into the 1990s.

    Readers of No Quarter will not be surprised that this is a book that concentrates on the physical-force tradition of anti-fascism. In often bone-crunching detail clashes with the NF on the streets of London and Manchester in the 1970s are brought to life. The campaigns against Nazi infiltration of the punk scene in the late 70s, the bloody defeats inflicted on Blood and Honour when it tried go public in London in 1989 and 1992 and less-well known numerous encounters are detailed. In providing the genuine story of the original Anti-Nazi League of the 1970s, in which many of the founders of AFA first became active, it provides the perfect antidote to the sanitized version of that era promoted by the Socialist Workers Party. Activists like Mickey Fenn and Mick O’Farrell are given their place in left-wing history for the first time. How the ‘Squads’ were organized in order to back up the activities, first of the SWP, and then the broad-based ANL is explained. Particular attention is paid to the fight to maintain a left-wing presence in areas like Islington, targeted by the NF for expansion, and the violent struggle needed to stop fascists controlling the streets. How the SWP moved to disavow these militants once it no longer felt it had any use for them, by expulsion and slander, is a salutary lesson in the practice of many left-wing groups.

    In the early 1980s then, the militants, some of whom founded the group Red Action, were faced with a left that had walked away from the fight, while the NF, the BM and the newly formed BNP were trying to build on disaffected white youth from the football terraces and through conflict on the streets. Realizing they needed a broader forum to back up their strategy of physical confrontation, Red Action provided the impetus for the founding of AFA in 1985. Allied with anarchists and independent activists, AFA was established on a national footing. Campaigns against the NF’s Remembrance Sunday marches and Blood and Honour followed. There were regular clashes as fascists and loyalists targeted Irish events, and attempted to disrupt gigs by the Pogues and the Angelic Upstarts. Through systematic intelligence gathering and preparation, AFA was able to inflict many setbacks on the fascists. Younger Nazis, told that their opponents were all middle-class academics, were often put off far-right activity altogether after coming up against the reality of AFA. To do this required serious preparation and planning, an element of anti-fascist activity too often ignored. It also required activists who were prepared to risk injury and jail, for which they received little credit from the rest of the left.

    However while force was a key element in AFA’s politics, it was recognition of class as a key factor in the struggle against fascism that marked it out. Unlike many on the left, AFA saw the struggle to win support among white working class people as vital, and were among the first to realize that ‘liberal’ anti-fascism was not only ineffective but sometimes counter-productive. By the late 1980s the BNP had begun to target London’s East End for electoral growth. AFA responded with public meetings, music events, community festivals and of course, confrontation. The left took notice and launched their own anti-fascist organizations, attracted by the prospect of new recruits. However they ignored the lessons of AFA’s activities and in the early 1990s the new fascist street-fighters of Combat 18 were handed easy victories on ill-prepared and ill-advised anti-racists.

    By the mid 1990s, AFA, in a document entitled ‘Filling the Vacuum’ had begun to grapple with the fact that key figures within the BNP were urging their organization to move away from street politics and concentrate on building community support. Despite growing signs that this strategy was bearing fruit the wider left continued to claim that the BNP were finished. In fact during the last decade the BNP have become the most successful fascist party in British history, with two members in the European Parliament and dozens of local councillors. (In contrast the National Front in its heyday never had a single elected councillor.) It is to AFA’s credit that it predicted this and tried to establish a strategy to counter it.

    AFA was regularly denounced by liberals, ignored by the left, harassed by the state and obviously hated by the fascists. This encouraged a siege-mentality, which was well expressed in Red Action’s adoption of the old Millwall slogan ‘No one likes us, we don’t care.’ The only problem with this is that sometimes people may not like you for good reasons. One of the problems with the book is that those who disagree with AFA are usually derided for cowardice, or being engaged in some nefarious activity. But it cannot be coincidental that so many activists eventually found Red Action, in particular, hard to work with. Another strange trend throughout the book is the praise lavished on gangland figures who sometimes lent AFA a hand. Given the reality of the relationship between criminals and the working class communities they prey on, it grates that some of these characters are singled out for praise.

    There is also a vindictive element to the account of how a former Red Action and AFA activist, Dave Hann, eventually severed his links with the organization. Hann was a central figure in anti-Fascism in Manchester in the early 1990s but is portrayed as a fairly marginal, if not naïve character, in the book. As the BNP tried to establish themselves in the mill towns of Lancashire, AFA’s Northern Network, with Hann prominent, moved to combat them. In one incident in Rochdale, mentioned in the book, a large group of fascists came upon a group of AFA activists. Many of those present were new to anti-fascist politics and as the BNP charged, their ranks wavered. However ‘two leading RA people stepped forward and broke bottles off the wall (and) instantly people rallied’: the fascists were put to flight. Hann was one of the ‘two leading RA people’ but is not named, as this would surely position him as a more important activist than previously suggested. Similarly he is written out entirely of the account of the 1995 Bloody Sunday march in Manchester, in which he was again prominent. In December 1991 he was sent to help out AFA in Glasgow during one of their first major confrontations, also recounted in the book, but again his presence there is not mentioned. Much of the Northern Network’s activities were described in No Retreat, written by Hann and Steve Tilzey published in 2004. It seems Hann’s contribution has to be downplayed in order that his eventual departure from AFA appears as the result of purely personal failings. (That’s Hann at Hyde Park in 1989 putting the boot into a bonehead on page 158 of Beating the Fascists by the way.)

    Unfortunately this colours what otherwise is an important study of militant anti-fascism.
     
  6. framed

    framed Leave it!

    I'll leave the scurrilous points made in the penultimate paragraph to others, but there's a couple of points I'd like to make with regard to the final paragraph of the above review.

    The first is in relation to the criticism and inference that Dave Hann's name was deliberately omitted in BTF accounts of actions where he played a part. It is an absurd point imho, because the book goes to some length to avoid naming any of those who were involved in illegal and violent actions. I wish Dave had afforded the same level of anonymity to those like myself who were mentioned by name in No Retreat.

    The specific criticism about him being omitted from dispatches regarding the AFA-organised humiliation of the BNP at the December 1991 Scottish Rally in Glasgow is particularly petty, because no-one is named in the account of that particular action. Neither was Dave 'sent' to Glasgow to help us out. He came up from Manchester with G, a Red Action member originally from Glasgow, who still made regular trips back home to visit the family and go to the football. I met Dave through G and always got on well with him. Whenever he did come up to Glasgow for an AFA activity it was purely voluntary, there was no 'call out' for him or anyone else to attend, but his and G's input as very capable street operators was invaluable and much appreciated.

    I could gripe back about No Retreat's portrayal of the day in question where my own role was relegated to "handing out panel beaters hammers" when I was in fact the main organiser of the whole weekend's events, which also included a very successful AFA benefit gig and which was preceded by a mobilisation against the fash off the annual St Andrew's Day anti-racist march. That was on the Saturday and it was last minute info that came via Liverpool AFA which confirmed that the BNP Rally would definitely go ahead on the Sunday. Big Nose, who was in Glasgow that week on Searchlight business, also played a part on the Sunday by scouring the general area where we suspected the rally would be held and running into Tyndal and his escort leaving a hotel on their way to the venue. After that it was 'game on'.

    BTW, the only reason that my first name is also used in the BTF book is because I felt that, as the cat was already out of the bag and it had already been used without my permission in NR, I might as well be upfront in BTF.

    One other glaring error that I've been meaning to point out for a while in relation to NR is the reference by Dave to disgruntlement over the AFA decision to 'stand down' in the face of the 600 strong fascist/loyalist mobilisation against the Bloody Sunday march in London. NR claims that I had traveled down for it with a group of Celtic Casuals. This is entirely incorrect and if Dave had bothered to check with me I could have put him right on it. In fact, our relations with the Celtic Soccer Crew at that time were minimal with only a couple of their members sporadically appearing at AFA activities prior to 1993. It was in fact after a founding member of the CSC joined AFA and Red Action in London that relations between Glasgow AFA and the Celtic Casuals were further developed.

    ON the Bloody Sunday mobilisation mentioned in NR there were only 3 of us from Glasgow who went down for it. The other two younger lads with me were RANGERS fans, indeed they were members of the Territorial Army and two of the most handy streetfighters we ever had in Glasgow AFA. The myth that Glasgow AFA was 'Republican/Celtic/Catholic only' was started by Militant for their own politically sectarian reasons and was later repeated by Searchlight. It is a lie.
     
  7. articul8

    articul8 Guilty of Idealism

    Would Rangers fans have been welcome in Glasgow AFA?
     
  8. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    Did you actually read that last paragraph?
     
    framed likes this.
  9. articul8

    articul8 Guilty of Idealism

    Oh, missed that bit :oops:
     
    Red Storm and Smokeandsteam like this.
  10. DaveCinzano

    DaveCinzano WATCH OUT, GEORGE, HE'S GOT A SCREWDRIVER!

  11. articul8

    articul8 Guilty of Idealism

    :facepalm: indeed
     
    cesare likes this.
  12. bignose1

    bignose1 Searchlight Spoiler

  13. framed

    framed Leave it!

    On the Bloody Sunday mobilisation mentioned in NR there were only 3 of us from Glasgow who went down for it.
    The other two younger lads with me were RANGERS fans, indeed they were members of the Territorial Army and two of the most handy streetfighters we ever had in Glasgow AFA. The myth that Glasgow AFA was'Republican/Celtic/Catholic only' was started by Militant for their own politically sectarian reasons and was later repeated by Searchlight. It is a lie.

    There, I've put that paragraph in big letters just in case you miss it again articul8. There was never a problem with anyone who was anti-fascist and agreed with the basic tenets of AFA 'to confront fascism physically and ideologically'.​

    Those two lads that were Rangers fans and TA members weren't just your regular TA either, they were members of the Parachute Regiment TA Unit in Glasgow. If we had been true to the stereotype attributed to us by our malicious left-wing opponents we would surely never have had any truck with members of a TA unit of the most hated regiment of the British Army in Ireland? We had fans of Celtic, Rangers, Partick Thistle and other clubs in Glasgow AFA. The fella that succeeded me as organiser of Glasgow AFA was a Falkirk FC supporter.​

    This lie that Glasgow AFA was hostile to Rangers supporters in general was coined by members of Militant for purely sectarian reasons. Militant used the tar of Glasgow AFA being full of 'republican sectarians' as a divisive smear. Their application of the smear was relentless because in their world of 'party building' they viewed AFA and Red Action as more radical organisations with the potential of recruiting from a working class base that they regarded as exclusively their own. The point that they missed completely is that we were never interested in 'party building' and would have worked with anyone else on the left on the principled basis of 'confronting fascism ideologically and physically'.​

    That the smear was real and widespread became apparent when Frances Curran (pre her Damascian conversion to Scottish separatism and return to Scotland to become an MSP) arranged a meeting with leading members of London AFA to discuss possible co-operation between Militant's 'away team' and the AFA stewards group in London. During that discussion she went off on a tangent about Glasgow AFA being run by a known Irish republican (i.e. ME) and how they 'worked both sides of the divide in the city' and therefore could not be associated with supporters of Irish republicanism. There were 3 London AFA members in attendance; one of them was Irish, another was second generation and the third was Volunteer Patrick Hayes of the Provisional IRA (in a personal capacity of course)... :D

    Militant knew me well, I was an ex-member, and their bitterness against those who have turned against them politically is legendary. This anti-republican stuff started during the Anti-Poll Tax Campaign because myself and others were involved in local activist groups that were democratically run and not dominated by members of Militant. We also produced a Scottish anti-poll tax newsletter called Refuse & Resist which was independent and involved a range of individuals and groups.​

    It was during the course of the Anti-Poll Tax struggle (in 1989 I think) that myself and G (before he relocated to Manchester) were physically confronted by two Militant full-timers as we left a Glasgow bar. One of these was a former Sargent in the British Army who continually referred to me as a "Chucky Bastard". The end result was that the two Militant lads were hospitalised, the ex-soldier requiring extensive emergency dental surgery. After their attempts to physically bully us backfired they resorted to the whispering campaign about us being 'sectarian bigots' based purely on the fact that some of us were Celtic supporters and advocates of the republican cause... this became their M.O. which continued on beyond the anti-poll tax campaign and into the anti-fascist movement.​

    My family background is mixed, Catholic dad, Protestant Mum. I was brought up in a predominantly Protestant area with a very strong loyalist element. Half my family are Rangers supporters, so I never had any interest in the politics of religious sectarianism. My support for Irish republicanism was political not tribal. Some of the tip-offs that we received about imminent loyalist and fascist attacks on us during the anti-poll tax campaign and AFA's period of activity came directly from the connections with loyalism that some of our families had. On one occasion during the Anti-Poll Tax Campaign, while leafleting in Duke Street with a very soft group that included women and children, one of my cousins left a notorious loyalist pub to come and warn us that we were going to be attacked by a group of casuals and loyalists and to 'get off the street asap'. We took the advice. We received tip-offs and information like this throughout the AFA period too, these informal connections were invaluable. The finger pointing by Militant may have been 'political sport' for them and a way of poisoning the minds of some of their own potential recruits, but the implications on the street for us were potentially life-threatening.​

    The point remains though that Glasgow AFA was open to all creeds and none, to all football supporters and to those who despise the game. Indeed it was important for us to have input from Rangers fans, because this was the sea in which the fascists swam. They had paper sales at Ibrox going back to the early 1970's.​

    I remember arguing with a Militant member who criticised us for 'only working one side of the divide' on the basis that Celtic supporting Red Action members had set up the TAL Fanzine. He argued that this would alienate Rangers fans (???) and 'sectarianise' anti-fascism. My retort was, "Why don't you do the same at Rangers and we'll work together on a principled anti-fascist basis?" AFA had a few Rangers supporters in our ranks, but we didn't have the strength at Rangers to do anything other than monitor their paper sales. Militant, on the other hand, continually claimed to 'work both sides' and their organisation did have a fair amount of supporters of the Ibrox club in their ranks, yet they never sold papers at Ibrox, nor did they leaflet the supporters there. I think the later development of the SSP might have leafleted Ibrox a couple of times during election campaigns, but nothing that they ever did among Rangers supporters challenged the loyalist hegemony at the club. It was the police and Rangers FC themselves who eventually moved the fascist papers sellers on and by then it was a cosmetic exercise. The fash simply moved from standing outside of the ground to doing pub sales around the ground.​
     
    JimW, manny-p, The39thStep and 5 others like this.
  14. articul8

    articul8 Guilty of Idealism

    Was going to "like" the post above - but even though they sounded like they had it coming to an extent, I'm not going to "like" the account of battering "the two Militant lads".
     
  15. framed

    framed Leave it!

    It was they who confronted us and came off worse for their efforts. I was grabbed by the throat by the ex-soldier before I struck back. If someone is grabbing you by the throat and trying to stick the head on you, do you politely ask them to "Please stop doing that comrade" or do you get stuck into them?

    Militant in Glasgow were bullies, previous to this incident some of their members led by Sheridan's former sidekick and 'Chief Bully' George McNeilage had threatened to beat up anarchists during a debate about the Trafalgar Square Riot at a Strathclyde APT Federation meeting. Some of those who went on to form AFA and Red Action in the city were there from our local APTU's and made it clear that night that if there was any fighting to be done we'd be on the anarchists' side. They thought that their superior numbers also made them physically superior and they were not averse to physical intimidation of others on the left. We simply replied in kind. They never tried to physically bully us again after those two wankers got their come uppance. Standing up to bullies, left or right, works for me.

    I was putting the lies about Glasgow AFA being hostile to Rangers supporters in context. The lie originated from that organisation and the background is important imho.
     
  16. Red Storm

    Red Storm M14

    Interesting stuff Framed.
     
    framed likes this.
  17. articul8

    articul8 Guilty of Idealism

    Ah well, "physically confronted" didn't quite get that across. If you're properly getting attacked that's different altogether.
     
    framed likes this.
  18. framed

    framed Leave it!

    Incidentally, their political leader Alan McCombes actually phoned me the following day asking for a rematch with him and others that night and telling me that my days as a political activist were over and to "Get out of Glasgow or else..." :D

    Yeah, they are poor wee souls these Militant chaps. :rolleyes:
     
  19. articul8

    articul8 Guilty of Idealism

    Jesus, I think I could have Alan McCombes, and I'm no street-fighter :D
     
    dennisr, Smokeandsteam and framed like this.
  20. framed

    framed Leave it!

    That's what they thought about me too obviously. I am knee-high to a grasshopper, so picking on 'the wee man' is pretty low, but often counter-productive in a place like Glasgow where the 'Short Arse Syndrome' prevails. :p

    I knew Alan pretty well from the past. He was wiry in stature but he actually was no physical pushover in his younger days. It was pure ego that got the better of him to make that stupid phone call challenge. I think I was still laughing as he hung up. :D
     
    bignose1 and Spanky Longhorn like this.
  21. love detective

    love detective secret pint

    Another review hot of the press from Mark Hayes in the latest Journal of the Socialist History Society (framed did you see that mail today about dublin?)

    Sean Birchall, Beating the Fascists: The Untold Story of Anti-Fascist Action (London: Freedom Press, 2010), 416pp., ISBN 9781904491125, £15.00, pbk.

    "...they were hit with everything, bars, hammers, baseball bats. Yes it was savage enough I suppose but not gratuitous. We were taking the opportunity to send them a message ..."(p.215)

    Beating the Fascists deals with Anti-Fascist Action (AFA), an organisation that engaged in what was, in effect, a quasi-paramilitary conflict with a variety of fascist organisations, principally the BNP and Combat 18, who were intent on pursuing a policy of insurrection by ‘controlling the streets’. This semi-clandestine campaign continued up until 1994 when Nick Griffin ostentatiously declared that his party were to ‘de-commission the boot’ in order to end what John Tyndall had described as ‘a state of war’. AFA had,literally, driven the fascists off the streets and forced them into a comprehensive strategic re-evaluation, and this text provides key anti-fascist activists with a platform to tell their own story in their own words.

    AFA was created on 28 July 1985 at Conway Hall in London (although formally launched in Liverpool in the following year) and set out to be a totally non-sectarian and democratic organisation with its only objective being to oppose fascism both physically and ideologically. AFA in fact consisted of people belonging to a range of political groups, including Red Action (communist), the Direct Action Movement (anarcho-syndicalist), Class War (anarchist), Workers’ Power (Trotskyist), and Communist Action Group (Stalinist)—as the book says, in AFA hunt saboteurs rubbed shoulders with members of the Territorial Army and Irish Republicans! AFA was, indeed, an odd amalgamation but according to the book, ‘one of the reasons AFA was so effective was that it could apparently accommodate recruits from all ideologies and none’ (p.341). Yet the objective of AFA’s principal activists is clearly articulated throughout - physical resistance as a pre-requisite for effective anti-fascism, to clear the fascists out of working-class areas and destroy all semblance of a fascist presence in public spaces.

    By 1990 AFA was clearly identified as the militant wing of the anti-fascist movement with a dedicated street-fighting cadre and stewards group. At its peak in the early 90s AFA had four regions and 36 branches with particular areas of strength in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow. Yet as the book is at pains to point out, street confrontation was only a part of what AFA set out to do. It was an important tactic (not a principle) and only part of a multi-faceted approach to anti-fascist practice. The magazine Fighting Talk was set up in 1991, and an attempt was made to mobilise people via various cultural and leisure activities such as Cable St Beat and Unity Carnivals. Meanwhile football clubs were the focus of considerable AFA activity with teams like Glasgow Celtic, Manchester United and Aston Villa having a visible AFA contingent, determined to halt the colonisation of the game by the extreme right. AFA even produced a BBC Open Space video entitled Fighting Talk. So Beating the Fascists looks, therefore, in some detail at the ‘roots’ of AFA in the Anti-Nazi League of the late 1970s, the split from the SWP in 1981, the formation of Red Action, the launch of AFA in 1985, and the numerous internal feuds and splits that ensued. It is also replete with detailed and graphic descriptions of extremely violent confrontations with fascists, which will doubtless horrify those anxious to dismiss AFA as the mirror image of the right-wing bullies they were claiming to oppose.

    There is no doubt that Beating the Fascists is a controversial book, a fact acknowledged by the author(s) as well as the publishers, Freedom Press,
    who have described it as ‘the most controversial book of the decade’. Its credentials as a source of intense, even acrimonious, debate are reflected in the fact that some people did not actually want the text to see the light of day at all, and the eventual publication has precipitated vociferous ‘discussion’ in various circles, even causing some former comrades to condemn the book in recriminatory tones. It is a book that, seemingly, not only divides opinion but generates deeply felt and contradictory emotions, offending not just right wing reactionaries but a variety of liberals, anarchists, Trotskyists and others. This is quite an accomplishment for a text produced by a small independent publisher, concerning what is, on the face of it, a relatively esoteric element of left-wing political practice in the 1980s and 90s. The source of the consternation and condemnation is not difficult to discern.

    The book is in fact quite explicit from the outset in stating its purpose - it tells the story of AFA, not only from a rank-and-file activists’ perspective, but also more specifically from the point of view of those activists that coalesced around the group Red Action (described, incidentally, by BNP HQ as ‘the worst of the lot, total scum’). Given that AFA was always a relatively pragmatic amalgamation of various political groupings, there have been rumblings of resentment, particularly from anarchists, who claim that the text is focused too narrowly on those individuals who, although playing a key role in certain cities, did not constitute by any means the entirety of the organisation. Yet such criticism is odd given the fact that those who composed the text have not claimed any definitive or comprehensive purpose. Clearly the book does focus somewhat on those involved in Red Action, who acquired a fearsome reputation for ruthlessness when engaging their political enemies (it is worth remembering that Combat 18 were set up in response to the success of RA), but in many ways the driving force behind AFA was indeed Red Action. Formed in 1982, many of its members having been expelled from the SWP for the venal sin of ‘squadismo’, Red Action explicitly rejected the liberal-left anti-racist agenda, and criticised the state funded agencies of the multi-culturalist establishment. As the author points out, ‘while race awareness took the plaudits, it was a strikingly illiberal militant anti-fascism that did all the heavy lifting’ (p.18). Little wonder, then, that the book has caused controversy.

    What the text does provide is a fascinating glimpse of the struggle that took place between AFA and the unreconstructed Nazis on the extreme right, and the book is unquestionably authoritative in the sense of emanating from those who were actually engaged in the struggle - but it is much more than that. The strangely dichotomous narrative contains not simply a sometimes chilling account of collective confrontation, but also a concise,calculating analysis of why such methods were deployed, and interestingly, a realistic acknowledgement of the limitations of AFA’s strategy - violence of the first resort can never be anything but an artificial and temporary remedy. This is not simply hooligan-porn, and anybody aiming simply to satisfy an urge to experience, vicariously, the thrill of visceral violence, is likely to be somewhat disappointed. Fighting the Fascists has taken upon itself the more ambitious objective of contextualising and examining the strategy of AFA, as well as documenting, in remorseless detail, the various dust-ups that ensued.

    Beating the Fascists is, in effect, both an analysis and a micro-historiography of popular resistance against fascism. It documents the fight against the purveyors of an evil political creed which takes place in the very communities where that grotesque ideology is incubated. It is, more than anything, the story of ordinary people engaged in struggle. The words of Phil Piratin come to mind who, commenting on people remembering their participation in the ‘Battle of Cable Street’ said, ‘the people were changed. Their heads seemed to be held higher, and their shoulders were squarer—and the stories they told! Each one of them was a ‘hero’—many of them were’ (P. Piratin, Our Flag Stays Red, 1948, p.25). As Eric Hobsbawm has pointed out, sometimes it is a good thing to remind ourselves of what the enemy fears most—ordinary working people that are assertive in their own collective working-class identity, self-confident, politically astute and prepared to resist. Read the book and remind yourself.

    Dr Mark Hayes, University of Southampton
     
    framed likes this.
  22. Fedayn

    Fedayn Diffidati con noi

    I doubt that very much.
     
    Spanky Longhorn likes this.
  23. articul8

    articul8 Guilty of Idealism

    You think I am a streetfighter?
     
  24. Fedayn

    Fedayn Diffidati con noi

    No, I doubt you'd best McCombes on the street.
     
  25. framed

    framed Leave it!

    Oh stop it! FFS.

    My dad's smaller than your dad but ten times more aggressive. :D
     
    articul8, Fedayn and Red Storm like this.
  26. malatesta32

    malatesta32 Anti-Fascist Always

    has anyone got any links to, or stuff about, the away team?
     
  27. Fedayn

    Fedayn Diffidati con noi

    I doubt there's much written much, there's the occasional mention on tv programmes but it wasn't around long enough to have the kind of impact that would merit major writings.
     
  28. redhun

    redhun New Member

    Regarding the situation in Glasgow AFA as to whether Rangers fans were welcome in the ranks, i'm a fan of the Ibrox club and was active in Glasgow AFA from around 92/93 up until about 99 i'm sure, and also RA for at least 3 years if my memory serves me correctly.On no occasion did i receive any threats/inTIMidation (sorry couldnae resist) or indifference because of my football leanings. Of course, after an 'activity' there was harmless banter in the pub, defo not pc but NOT sectarian or nasty in any way!! Like Framed said, it was Scottish Militant who peddled the lie about Red Action and AFA being in some way 'anti-Rangers' , i even challenged a certain 'Tanned Wannabe Cuban' who was at a meeting in a town near me about his views that sectarian butchers like Billy Hutchinson were in some way 'socialists' due to some connection with Scots lefties, he accused ME of being 'anti protestant', 'pro Celtic ' and 'Anti-Rangers' which amused me, i corrected Suntan Man by letting him know i was a current Rangers season ticket holder AND how could he even make some connection with anti protestantism and republicanism anyway?? His face turned white (his real colour lol) and he kept eyeballing me during the rest of the meeting, he had been made to look a fool in front of his lefty followers. Funnily enough, an hour later in the pub, a couple of bearded (honestly) lefties did approach me and said well done on silencing the Pollok Polemican hahaha!!!! He was also Red on the outside Orange in the inside !!! (D Findlay- Sport in Question???)
     
  29. Red Storm

    Red Storm M14

    Nice name :cool:
     
  30. framed

    framed Leave it!

    You don't get many of those to the pound. :p
     

Share This Page