Urban75 Home About Offline BrixtonBuzz Contact

Football Lads Against Fascism

Patteran

A nowadays excuse
The RA FB page admins showed interest in the FLA as an expression of working class politics, acknowledged genuine grievances around a) anger at murderous violence on the streets of London & Mcr & b) a policing system that took passports off fat lads suspected of throwing chairs while being surprisingly relaxed about petty criminals jetting off to join armed insurgencies, & consequently guarded against denouncing everyone involved as a hardcore fascist. Expedient, & good form. Letting the FLA speak for themselves, insisting they define themselves politically, explicitly, rather than letting them hide & unite behind the victimhood of 'you cant say anything without being called a racist', worked well. The FLA tied themselves in knots, & subsequently split acrimoniously, & some who joined in good faith walked away looking for progressive alternatives. FLAF could become a network for that progressive alternative.
 

juice_terry

Here is a man who would not take it anymore.
The RA FB page admins showed interest in the FLA as an expression of working class politics, acknowledged genuine grievances around a) anger at murderous violence on the streets of London & Mcr & b) a policing system that took passports off fat lads suspected of throwing chairs while being surprisingly relaxed about petty criminals jetting off to join armed insurgencies, & consequently guarded against denouncing everyone involved as a hardcore fascist. Expedient, & good form. Letting the FLA speak for themselves, insisting they define themselves politically, explicitly, rather than letting them hide & unite behind the victimhood of 'you cant say anything without being called a racist', worked well. The FLA tied themselves in knots, & subsequently split acrimoniously, & some who joined in good faith walked away looking for progressive alternatives. FLAF could become a network for that progressive alternative.
Got it in one

Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk
 

crossthebreeze

Well-Known Member
This is an interesting development. Newcastle Unites (SWP/Labour front) have actually got some proper speakers/support from various trade unions on at their rally this time (something that doesn't always happen) - against the "Ban the Burka" NE Frontline Patriots (ex EDL) march. And some Trade Unionists and NUFC fans (with I suspect SP involvement) are organising under the FLAF name and are trying to get cross-involvement between them and the Mike Ashley Out protests.
 

Fallon

Active Member
Just the type of activity that is needed at football grounds all over Britain.

Luton Town fans are fighting back against racism & fascism

Luton Town #FLAF Sticker
Last weekend, Luton Town welcomed Charlton Athletic to Kenilworth Road. Football Lads and Lassies against Fascism (FLAF) decided to leaflet this game in opposition to the far right Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) and their figurehead Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, who calls himself Tommy Robinson and is a supporter of the club.
Luton Town is significant because it is one of the most diverse towns in Britain, yet it’s also notorious for being the birthplace of the racist English Defence League (EDL) which was founded by Yaxley-Lennon. At West Brom and Portsmouth away matches a small minority of Luton fans have chanted racist slogans and songs in support of Yaxley-Lennon.

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon - under arrest
Supporters of FLAF felt it was important to show that these bigots are a small minority and that Yaxley-Lennon has no real support in Luton Town.
The leaflet was produced by FLAF supporters based in Luton. It argued that the DFLA and Yaxley-Lennon are racist and they have nothing but contempt for working class people. It also pointed out that the recent statement from the club was weak and that the club should produce a new statement condemning racists at the club and offering support for anti racist fans who want to drive out the bigots.
We met at a couple of meeting points about 90 minutes before kick off. A group of the Men In Gear or M.I.G’s, the original Luton Town soccer casuals, some trade unionists and Momentum supporters agreed to leaflet different sections of the home support. As we began handing out leaflets we found the overwhelming majority of fans, both men and women, were receptive and took leaflets. We also discovered that a large minority of fans were really delighted that we were there challenging the bigots. This wasn’t the hotbed of racism many had feared.
Some of the fans were saying this is what is needed at the club. There were lots of supportive comments to encourage us to keep up the good work. One couple who go to the away games said that the problem here is a small group of older men in their 50s who are drinking too much and being abusive to other fans during the game. Others agreed that the recent statement from the club was not strong enough.
A number of people stopped us and asked how they could get involved. One elderly Asian fan stopped to help with the leafleting. Another said he liked what we were doing but complained that there was no mention of homophobia in the leaflet. He explained that his two sons are gay and they feel unable to attend Luton Town games because of the poisonous atmosphere created by the bigots. He said that the actions of this minority meant that many other people felt unwelcome at the club. He said he was going to write to the Luton CEO to try and get the bigots banned from the ground.
Just before kick-off, a group young racist Charlton lads tried to break up the leafleting. They were shouting 'Brexit means Brexit', 'Cmon FLAF' and 'you're all a bunch of lefty fascists'! They surrounded the elderly Asian fan and tried to intimidate him. At this point it wasn't clear who they were but a group of the M.I.G.’s stopped them and moved them along making it clear that we don’t want none of this racist shit at Luton, pointing out that the M.I.G.'s were a united crew. They made it clear to this small group of racists that they weren’t welcome at Luton Town.
We handed out 1000 leaflets, meaning that about one in 8 luton fans got a copy. We got into a lot of great conversations with Luton Town fans who are sick of the shame Yaxley-Lennon has brought to Luton Town and the reputation the bigots bring to the club.
The success we had at Luton Town shows it’s possible for fans who oppose the fascists to organise and leaflet at any club against the DFLA. We are currently encouraging FLAF supporters at Luton Town to join the anti DFLA protest in London on October 13th. Next time we leaflet Luton Town we will have a bigger team as we continue our battle to make Luton Town a club that welcomes all
 

treelover

Well-Known Member
This sounds like the article you read in socialist worker, its not nuanced, etc

"The RA FB page admins showed interest in the FLA as an expression of working class politics, acknowledged genuine grievances around a) anger at murderous violence on the streets of London & Mcr & b) a policing system that took passports off fat lads suspected of throwing chairs while being surprisingly relaxed about petty criminals jetting off to join armed insurgencies, & consequently guarded against denouncing everyone involved as a hardcore fascist. Expedient, & good form."

Noting of the above in it.
 

The39thStep

Well-Known Member
This sounds like the article you read in socialist worker, its not nuanced, etc

"The RA FB page admins showed interest in the FLA as an expression of working class politics, acknowledged genuine grievances around a) anger at murderous violence on the streets of London & Mcr & b) a policing system that took passports off fat lads suspected of throwing chairs while being surprisingly relaxed about petty criminals jetting off to join armed insurgencies, & consequently guarded against denouncing everyone involved as a hardcore fascist. Expedient, & good form."

Noting of the above in it.
Can't understand what you are trying to say.
 

cantsin

Well-Known Member
Just the type of activity that is needed at football grounds all over Britain.

Luton Town fans are fighting back against racism & fascism

Luton Town #FLAF Sticker
Last weekend, Luton Town welcomed Charlton Athletic to Kenilworth Road. Football Lads and Lassies against Fascism (FLAF) decided to leaflet this game in opposition to the far right Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) and their figurehead Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, who calls himself Tommy Robinson and is a supporter of the club.
Luton Town is significant because it is one of the most diverse towns in Britain, yet it’s also notorious for being the birthplace of the racist English Defence League (EDL) which was founded by Yaxley-Lennon. At West Brom and Portsmouth away matches a small minority of Luton fans have chanted racist slogans and songs in support of Yaxley-Lennon.

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon - under arrest
Supporters of FLAF felt it was important to show that these bigots are a small minority and that Yaxley-Lennon has no real support in Luton Town.
The leaflet was produced by FLAF supporters based in Luton. It argued that the DFLA and Yaxley-Lennon are racist and they have nothing but contempt for working class people. It also pointed out that the recent statement from the club was weak and that the club should produce a new statement condemning racists at the club and offering support for anti racist fans who want to drive out the bigots.
We met at a couple of meeting points about 90 minutes before kick off. A group of the Men In Gear or M.I.G’s, the original Luton Town soccer casuals, some trade unionists and Momentum supporters agreed to leaflet different sections of the home support. As we began handing out leaflets we found the overwhelming majority of fans, both men and women, were receptive and took leaflets. We also discovered that a large minority of fans were really delighted that we were there challenging the bigots. This wasn’t the hotbed of racism many had feared.
Some of the fans were saying this is what is needed at the club. There were lots of supportive comments to encourage us to keep up the good work. One couple who go to the away games said that the problem here is a small group of older men in their 50s who are drinking too much and being abusive to other fans during the game. Others agreed that the recent statement from the club was not strong enough.
A number of people stopped us and asked how they could get involved. One elderly Asian fan stopped to help with the leafleting. Another said he liked what we were doing but complained that there was no mention of homophobia in the leaflet. He explained that his two sons are gay and they feel unable to attend Luton Town games because of the poisonous atmosphere created by the bigots. He said that the actions of this minority meant that many other people felt unwelcome at the club. He said he was going to write to the Luton CEO to try and get the bigots banned from the ground.
Just before kick-off, a group young racist Charlton lads tried to break up the leafleting. They were shouting 'Brexit means Brexit', 'Cmon FLAF' and 'you're all a bunch of lefty fascists'! They surrounded the elderly Asian fan and tried to intimidate him. At this point it wasn't clear who they were but a group of the M.I.G.’s stopped them and moved them along making it clear that we don’t want none of this racist shit at Luton, pointing out that the M.I.G.'s were a united crew. They made it clear to this small group of racists that they weren’t welcome at Luton Town.
We handed out 1000 leaflets, meaning that about one in 8 luton fans got a copy. We got into a lot of great conversations with Luton Town fans who are sick of the shame Yaxley-Lennon has brought to Luton Town and the reputation the bigots bring to the club.
The success we had at Luton Town shows it’s possible for fans who oppose the fascists to organise and leaflet at any club against the DFLA. We are currently encouraging FLAF supporters at Luton Town to join the anti DFLA protest in London on October 13th. Next time we leaflet Luton Town we will have a bigger team as we continue our battle to make Luton Town a club that welcomes all
sounds encouraging, especially with Lutons' MIGS lot getting involved ... if that was replicated elsewhere , wld be v interesting.
+ good to hear local Momentum there as well as TU's. Top work to all of you.
 

The39thStep

Well-Known Member
Latest statement from FLAF steering group
For Working Class Unity Against The DFLA
Football Lads Against Fascism·Wednesday, 10 October 2018
by Lee Stevens (FLAF Steering Group)
A few weeks ago, at our first steering group meeting, around 20 people, all from football & anti-fascism, gathered together. They were of different ethnicities and religious backgrounds: Black, White, Brown, Muslim, Jew, Catholic, Protestant, Atheist.
I talked with Muslims that, according to the far right, live a life that is a thousand years removed from ours. They were complaining about the same things that I complain about – and it wasn't only the far right or racism that worried them. As the conversations developed, what was recognised by all and voiced by one of the Muslim workers there, was that we were all working class, from similar communities with the same hopes, fears, and anxieties as each other. The same concerns about grooming gangs, sex crimes, racism, fascism and terrorism and that the way forward is to stick together as working class people against those that seek to divide our communities.
As a steering group we want to work in the best interests of our communities. We are a united group of working class people, from diverse backgrounds, most of whom have been around football for a few years and some who have long experience of fighting racism & fascism at football & in the areas where they live.
We have people who voted for Brexit and people who voted against Brexit. None of them voted either way for racist reasons. Some are more political than others, but the basic unity and common denominator between us is our working class backgrounds and a commitment to improving the situation of fans at our clubs, and working in co-operation, with the best interests of our communities at heart. FLAF is about uniting working class people of all backgrounds.
FLAF is about UNITY : the DFLA is about DIVISION.
We would appeal to those who may have been hopeful of a politically neutral organisation in the original FLA and who followed a right-wing rump into the DFLA to break with these wolves in sheep's clothing. We appeal to you to step away from the DFLA and join us in the struggle to improve our working class areas;
  • For accountable officials and effective policing;
  • Proper & accountable investigations into all sex crimes & crimes against children.
  • Full support and compensation for the victims of abuse and sex crimes.
  • Justice & Truth for the victims of terrorism.
The DFLA says that it is for all of these things also, but they are selective and discriminatory in the campaigns that they champion. Take a look at the facebook pages of some of the so-called ‘campaigns’ with which the DFLA is associated and you will see casual racism and religious sectarianism tolerated at every turn. The Justice For Women & Children facebook page, for example, doesn't seek or achieve justice for anyone. They simply repost lurid stories of sex crimes that in the vast majority of cases have already been solved and the offenders convicted. These are not 'human rights workers' - these are vigilante squads led by the neighbours from hell. You know the type, the sort of people that make everyone else's life on working class estates a misery. The idea that they are solving crimes and offering advice and comfort to the victims of abuse and sex crimes is a fanciful lie.
FLAF supports the work of organisations like the Rape Crisis Centres in England, Wales, Scotland & Ireland, who do great work with very few resources to help the victims of rape and child abuse. These are the real champions of women and children who have been traumatised by abuse and rape.
Examine how the DFLA's involvement with the J421 Campaign (the relatives' campaign that seeks truth and justice about the Birmingham Pub Bombings) is linked directly to their association with members of a religiously sectarian organisation and a Northern Irish loyalist terrorist group.
We stand for Justice, Truth & Reconciliation for ALL of the victims of terrorism, without exception, including the Birmingham families. However, we will not lend support to an organisation that is backed by loyalist terrorists and fascists. The families are being well financed but politically misled by sectarian bigots. The DFLA supports the bigots and convicted terrorists who are the real power behind the J421 Campaign.
For this reason we would point people in the direction of a genuine movement for justice that does not discriminate on grounds of religion or political affiliation, that of the Miscarriage of Justice Organisation (MOJO), set up by one of the six men wrongly convicted of the Birmingham Pub Bombings, Paddy Hill. These are true warriors for justice on behalf of working class people wronged by the state.
The DFLA tries to portray itself as peaceful and non-racist, but it is awash with far-right fanatics who have swapped membership of the NF, the BNP and the EDL for a pair of trainers and designer jeans, but no matter how they dress up their bigotry, the stench of fascism is hard to wash off.
Whilst it is true that not everyone in the DFLA is a racist or a fascist, it is clear from their public statements that they are now endorsing the Thatcherite spivs and failed Tories of UKIP, which under the leadership of Gerard Batten is moving ever further rightwards into political space previously occupied by the BNP. The DFLA has become Batten’s Barmy Army and is the umbrella organisation that is providing cover for the convergence of right-wing groups. They have deliberately blurred the lines between far-right and fascist.
It is for these reasons that we want to stop them marching in London on October 13th.
We do not advocate violence, nor do we sanction anything more than peaceful protest of the march itself. According to the DFLA the march will be led by women and children. Should this be the case, we would suggest that there should be no harassment of the march. It's a cynical move by the DFLA, but it is not our way to frighten women and children.
There are already many violent threats being made by DFLA members on social media, so many it's difficult to keep up with, yet it is they who portray themselves as 'victims' under siege. Nothing could be further from the truth. These are not people who are denied 'free speech' – these are bullies who will do their utmost to silence me and you and anyone else who opposes them.
They wrap themselves in flags and hide behind a false sense of patriotism, the type of false patriotism that Samuel Johnson described as 'the last refuge of a scoundrel.' They're not patriots, they're nationalists – British Nationalists – and British nationalism has become synonymous with fascism.
We appeal to all working class football fans who oppose racism and fascism to:
STAND WITH US
AGAINST THE DFLA & AGAINST FASCISM
 

FridgeMagnet

Administrator
It was kind of hard to say how many DFLA there were, because they were all over the shop, mixed in with tourists and arriving in dribs and drabs. I'm not sure exactly what happened - the cops seem to have delayed the start of their march (was meant to start at 1, actually left at 2) and re-routed them. Also lots of them were outside of the actual march and hanging around Trafalgar Square, though not in a big group as per previous Free Tommy stuff, even the cops would be wise to that now. Not a vast number, probably less than the total number of counter-protestors.
 

paolo

Well-Known Member
A few of DFLA were on random wanders trying to beckon AF into throwing the first punch. Didn’t get any takers that I saw. Made it tense viewing from the sidelines. One guy in a red t shirt wandered past with two full big glass beer bottles. Sure enough one went into AF on a lob. Big cheers from onlookers when someone caught it. Free beer, donated by the DFLA.

I overheard one policeman struggling to answer a tourist’s question in simple terms.
Cop: “Far right.”
(tourist is puzzled)
Cop: “KKK”

Made me chuckle.

DFLA were sent West at embankment, and AF corralled east. There was a brief rearguard attempt by DFLA, but AF were quick on it, shouts of “come back” to the marchers ahead, who responded swiftly. DFLA were outnumbered and promptly swamped by police.
 

FridgeMagnet

Administrator
I'll say one thing - they really don't like it when women reply to their "banter" and clearly aren't intimidated. I was around a few who were shouting the usual stuff, "anybody here got a job" and so on, but when women shouted back and laughed at them, the jaws clenched, you could almost hear it.
 

Red Sky

It was like that when I got here.
Anti fascist numbers were actually down on the last big London demo, (ven with the recent arrival of FLAF and the formation of an RMT anti fascist stewarding group) so the real question is what caused such a collapse in the DFLAs numbers?

One answer might be demo fatigue coupled a lack of any clear objective or point to this particular outing.

This is being celebrated as a success (Fair enough) but if Tommy Robinson had been sent down at his last court hearing it might have been very different.
 
I ended up on the Trot gathering near Parliament square with rousing speeches saying things like, “eventually we’ll grow enough to stop them marching!” whilst they were actually already being stopped elsewhere.
I thought this was supposed to be a ‘unity demo’ - as in everyone be in the one place? I couldn’t make the FLAF meeting point so headed to Parliament square thinking that’s where everyone would end up. My mistake.
 

Red Sky

It was like that when I got here.
I ended up on the Trot gathering near Parliament square with rousing speeches saying things like, “eventually we’ll grow enough to stop them marching!” whilst they were actually already being stopped elsewhere.
I thought this was supposed to be a ‘unity demo’ - as in everyone be in the one place? I couldn’t make the FLAF meeting point so headed to Parliament square thinking that’s where everyone would end up. My mistake.
Dodging the AFN call out?
 

FridgeMagnet

Administrator
Anti fascist numbers were actually down on the last big London demo, (ven with the recent arrival of FLAF and the formation of an RMT anti fascist stewarding group) so the real question is what caused such a collapse in the DFLAs numbers?

One answer might be demo fatigue coupled a lack of any clear objective or point to this particular outing.

This is being celebrated as a success (Fair enough) but if Tommy Robinson had been sent down at his last court hearing it might have been very different.
I've written at length on the FLA thread (or one of them, I can't remember which) about my theories but this isn't a sudden collapse - it's been like this for the last couple of marches. They're nakedly far right now and involve loads of the elements that people on the first couple clearly hated. When I think back they had "no flags" rules, Tommy Robinson was actively unwelcome, and marchers cheered anti-racist counter-protestors because "we hate racism too". Not saying that there weren't shitty elements there of course but people were saying "we don't want to be the EDL mark 2" and that's what this is now so it's not surprising they don't turn up any more - plus the intrusion of all the youtube wankers.
 
Dodging the AFN call out?
I had to dash there from another commitment and made some incorrect assumptions. I assumed the AFN would March from the BBC (?) to Parliament Sq and I assumed FLAF would be a bloc with the unions actually. I was wrong on both counts. I wouldn’t choose to be with the swappies.
 
Top