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Bash the Fash: Bash the Fash Anti-Fascist Recollections 1984-93 v. 1 Paperback – 2 Jan 2001
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"Four people who know what they are doing can be much more effective than four hundred useless paper-sellers." This is literally a no-punches pulled account of Anti Fascist Action's fight against fascism in Britain by a grassroots anarchist member of AFA. It is important, not because he makes any pretence at being a leading light but because the many small (or not so small) contributions such people make are key to the success that AFA achieved. Written with honesty and a sense of humour, the tale of challenging the fascists for control of the streets - and winning - never descends to political cliche or reads like a pools forecast. Obviously, a changed political environment requires different tactics from the anti-fascist movement, but it's equally clear that, if we don't record our recent success (because it is the success of AFA that changed the landscape,) our enemies will write us out of history. Here's an insight into the true story. If you think that the fight against fascism stopped in 1945; or that stopping neo-nazi violence can be left to the police or that a small group of people can't improve things: then you should read this pamphlet. "It must be said that the fascists don't have a very good record in the courage department. They often like the skinhead haircut, bomber jacket and Doc Martens to look hard, but they rarely 'walk the walk'. Of course large groups of them like to attack vulnerable targets, but if they expect some opposition they are not so brave. At Hyde Park once three coachloads of them (ie 100-150) jumped off their buses and came screaming towards 20 AFA comrades who stood their ground. As the fascists got nearer some started to lag behind, then the leaders slowed to a jog, then a walk, then they just stood at a distance shouting abuse until the police arrived. Wankers." "The NF arrived by train in Exeter and there was only one copper standing there, plus some anti-fascists nearby. The leading fascist went up to the copper and said cockily "We are the National Front and we are having a march here today. Where are the rest of the police?" To the fascists' despair, the copper replied "that's OK, you carry on with your march". At the thought of no police protection the fascists promptly got back on the train and fucked off. This incident is another example of the truth of Albert Meltzer's maxim that there is no such thing as a fascist march, only a police march." "The fun started when some of our lot found a few fascists arriving at Bury St. Edmunds train station. They got battered and one of our Liverpool comrades managed to nick the watch of Derek Holland, then an NF bigwig, before he hit the floor. This caused us some amusement afterwards about the stereotyping of scousers!"
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