This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Antifa as it is today is a relatively new group, created around the millennium by direct action antifascists in order to meet the growing fascist threat. We are of the same tradition as those who fought the British Union of Fascists (BUF), the National Front (NF), and the British National Party (BNP) at the ‘Battles’ of Cable Street (1936), Lewisham (’77) and Waterloo (’92). We are the heirs of militant antifascism, and this is seen in our slogan ‘No Pasaran’ (‘they shall not pass’), a rallying call of international antifascists in the Spanish Civil War. 2. What do you do? We are a collective of militant anti-fascists, who seek to halt the advance of the far right in the UK in order to protect the unity of our multi-cultural society and of our class. We seek to challenge the fascist thugs wherever they try to preach hate and we seek to remove from fascists the ability to organise. This means we will challenge fascists physically as well as ideologically. We cannot accept that militancy against the fascists is not an effective strategy, as we know it can and does work. Fascism is violent by its very nature and there must always be people prepared to counter that violence and we do, without apology. Many a candidate has withdrawn from the BNP and many a BNP leaflet has not been posted because of people taking a militant stand. It should also be stressed however that violence is only one tactic we employ. We also try to work in local communities and produce propaganda where we can. We produce a newsletter and print off thousands of stickers each year. We also run a website which we keep updated with any current news or information. The rank and file of the BNP have also shown that they still like to throw their weight around given the opportunity. 3. Do you think that the recession has had any impact on far-right political parties? Due the role of fascism it is always likely to threaten more in times of crisis for capitalism. The fascists use ethnic minorities as scapegoats for the problems caused by capitalism, to divide the workforce and defend the state. In times of crisis the liberal facade of ‘mainstream’ politics slips and we see more and more racist propaganda in newspapers, and from our ‘elected leaders’. E.g. Gordon Browns “British Jobs For British Workers” slogan (a slogan rejected by the organised working class on the recent strikes, however a slogan exaggerated and reinforced by the bourgeois press). In times of recession the far right will grow, playing on the fear and uncertainty found amongst the labouring classes, it is our role to stop the far right from successfully organising and spreading their false propaganda, but also to explain the real causes of the recession and to show the fascists do not have the answers the people seek. 4. What do you think the government can do to prevent far-right political activities/politics? Fascism is an view that has its ideological roots in the defence of the state, the historical role of fascism has been to act as the ‘reserve army’ of the state; in this role it is used to divide the workers along racial lines weakening our ability to organize as a class, Fascists are also utilised, if necessary, to halt popular working class movements and revolutions. Historical examples show us that this is the nature of fascism, and our view is reinforced by countless events, from the role of the Freikorps in defence of the German state and in the subsequent rise of Nazism, to the role of the NF in dividing the working classes, spreading right wing sentiment and securing the election of Margret Thatcher. With this in mind we know the seeds of fascism lie in the capitalist national governments and so we would not rely on the state to counter fascism, neither would we expect it to do so. The current level of anti-BNP/anti-fascist sentiment is found in government as the power of the bourgeois state is not under immediate threat, thus fascism is not needed to defend the state and so can be kept in check; like a dog on a leash.
The role of the SPD (German Social-Democratic Party) in its use of fascists to crush the working class movements of 1920’s Germany stands as testament to how quickly capitalist politicians drop their ‘liberal facade’ when their power is threatened. 5. Are you worried that the BNP could gain its first ever seat in the European Parliament this June? We are naturally worried about any factors which undermine working class solidarity and which push ‘mainstream’ politics further to the right. Nick Griffins election to the European Parliament, although not hugely significant in itself, would be an indicator of growing BNP support in Britain, and this is a thing we are greatly concerned about. The BNP are parasites playing on the racist propaganda found in the capitalist press divide communities, which weakens our ability to organizes and therefore to stand up and fight for our own agendas. That said it is a fact that the current Labour government have done more harm to communities than the BNP could even hope to do at the moment. It’s the Labour government that has eroded civil liberties through the Terrorism Act, it’s the Labour Party that has overseen the creeping privatisation of the NHS and education, it’s the Labour Party that has undertaken the latest assaults on working conditions and lower earners and it’s the Labour government that continues to deport refugees back to countries where they are likely to be persecuted. However the strength and popularity of the BNP can also lead to the political agenda being pushed further right. For example: the NF in Britain was all but destroyed not simply by grass roots opposition but also because the Thatcher government appropriated much of their support. Fascism is directly linked to the social and economic conditions of society, and the Labour government have created the conditions where the likes of the BNP can flourish. By undermining the welfare state and job security while simultaneously pitting domestic workers against migrant workers the Labour government have created a situation whereby the BNP are seen as a radical opposition to the government. While in essence being a staunch supporter of the status quo and the state the BNP has been made to look like a progressive party in the context of Labours continued attacks on the working class. In short, we are worried about any attacks on our class, but the growing support of the BNP, as would be indicated by Griffins election, is of special concern to us due to its implications on the British political scene. 6. What do you think the future holds? We exist mainly to combat fascism and so our future actions depend mainly on those of the fascists, needless to say we will continue to mobilise to stop the growth of the far right, and we will continue to speak the truth about the fascists. The defeat of fascism and capitalism lie in the organisation of the working class, the future will bring greater working class unity and an increase in political consciousness, every day we are talking steps towards a better future. 7. Is there anything you'd like to add? We feel it necessary to highlight 2 points: Firstly unlike groups such as Searchlight, and to a degree UAF, we see antifascism as integral to the class struggle, not a substitute for it or a moral crusade, therefore Antifa England is part of the international Antifa network, a network we stand in solidarity with and whose struggle we share. Secondly, Antifa England will not, work with or share information with the state, or any state affiliated antifascist groups such as Searchlight.