Football Lads Against Fascism

Discussion in 'protest, direct action and demos' started by Red About Town, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. Patteran

    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.
    xarmian, Riklet, Fozzie Bear and 11 others like this.
  2. Fallon

    Fallon Well-Known Member

    The voice of reason - one may say. ;)
  3. juice_terry

    juice_terry Here is a man who would not take it anymore.

    Got it in one

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk
  4. LiamO

    LiamO Well-Known Member

    So what, exactly, is occurring on Oct 13th?
  5. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    I know there’s a DFLA march planned for then but not much about details.
  6. The39thStep

    The39thStep Well-Known Member

    DFLA march in London , FLAF section on counterdemo. Corbyn was wearing both Liverpool and Everton FLAF stickers when he was at the Hillsborough memorial.
    Jay Park and Nigel like this.
  7. The39thStep

    The39thStep Well-Known Member

    RMT launch new antifascist stewarding group
    Fulham Fred's, TopCat, Nigel and 3 others like this.
  8. Fallon

    Fallon Well-Known Member

    Haven't watch the clip but not surprising after the attack on Hedley.
  9. crossthebreeze

    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.
    The39thStep and not-bono-ever like this.
  10. Magnus McGinty

    Magnus McGinty IdProle

    We’re so fucked it’s untrue.
  11. LiamO

    LiamO Well-Known Member

  12. Nigel

    Nigel For A Degenerates' Workers State

    At long last !
  13. Magnus McGinty

    Magnus McGinty IdProle

    I just meant in terms of where everything seems to be heading; the trajectory of far right growth everywhere.
  14. Fallon

    Fallon 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
  15. treelover

    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.
  16. The39thStep

    The39thStep Well-Known Member

    Can't understand what you are trying to say.
    Pickman's model and Dom Traynor like this.
  17. cantsin

    cantsin Well-Known Member

    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.
    Totoro303 likes this.
  18. Fallon

    Fallon Well-Known Member

    Saturday is the big one..

    Hopefully as many anti fascists can join this as possible.
    Nigel, manji and The39thStep like this.
  19. The39thStep

    The39thStep Well-Known Member

    Latest statement from FLAF steering group
    Signal 11, manji and juice_terry like this.
  20. The39thStep

    The39thStep Well-Known Member

    DFLA haven't had , as yet, a very succesful day out apparantly . Still a while to go but a good anti fascist turn out with both AFN and FLAF and others playing their parts.
  21. Smokeandsteam

    Smokeandsteam Well-Known Member

    Any report of numbers on our side?
  22. Red Sky

    Red Sky It was like that when I got here.

    About a 1000 AFN. 600 ish on the SUTR static.
  23. FridgeMagnet

    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.
    Nigel and paolo like this.
  24. paolo

    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.
    Nigel, cantsin and Red Sky like this.
  25. FridgeMagnet

    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.
  26. Red Sky

    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.
    M Testa and The39thStep like this.
  27. Magnus McGinty

    Magnus McGinty IdProle

    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.
    cantsin likes this.
  28. Red Sky

    Red Sky It was like that when I got here.

    Dodging the AFN call out?
    Nigel and Pickman's model like this.
  29. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    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.
  30. Magnus McGinty

    Magnus McGinty IdProle

    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.

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