The left and self-defence

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 12:15

Becky Crocker

On 3 December, walking through Trafalgar Square on my way home from the anti-Trump demonstration, I noticed an SWP stall that had been turned upside down.

Skinheads, police, and SWP members were nearby. The SWP were asking the police. “Aren’t you going to do anything, he just knocked over our stall?” The police looked unsure of what to do.

Three people were jeering and doing Nazi salutes at the SWP. One got close enough to an SWP member and appeared to hit him and kick him to the ground. The police still looked unsure whether to intervene.

Although maybe 50+ years old and a little inebriated,

When workers beat the fascists: how the left fought the antisemites at Cable Street

Published on: Wed, 11/12/2019 - 07:14

Ruah Carlyle

IN OCTOBER 1936, the workers of East London stopped police-protected fascists marching through the
Jewish areas of the East End. The Battle of Cable Street was an epic, and is now a myth-enshrouded
event in British working-class history. The far right is on the rise in many countries. The fight against fascism may once more become a matter of life and death to the labour movement. What lessons for this work can we learn from the anti-fascist struggle in East London? Did ‘objective conditions’ and, after 1934, Establishment disapproval kill off Mosleyism, or was it direct action on the streets?

Leon Trotsky on fascism

Published on: Wed, 11/12/2019 - 07:00

Leon Trotsky

“The magnates of finance capital are unable by their force alone to cope with the proletariat. They need
the support of the petty bourgeoisie. ‘For this purpose it must be whipped up, put on its feet, mobilised,
armed. But this method has its dangers. While it makes use of fascism, the bourgeoisie nevertheless
fears it.

“Under the conditions of capitalist disintegration and of the impasse in the economic situation, the petty
bourgeoisie strives, seeks, attempts to tear itself loose from the fetters of the old masters and rulers of
society. It is quite capable of linking up its fate with that

Labour dumps Kashmir policy

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 19:33

Sacha Ismail

Labour chair Ian Lavery has written a letter to Indian-background voters in the UK saying that “Labour is opposed to external interference in the political affairs of any other country”.

Lavery does nod towards the right of the Kashmiri people “to have a say in their own future”, but insists that “Kashmir is a bilateral matter for India and Pakistan to resolve together”. “Labour will not take a pro-Indian or pro-Pakistan stance on Kashmir”.

Lavery’s statement is a mass of evasions — denouncing “external interference” in such a way as to rule out international solidarity, and dismissing the

Drain the far right swamp!

Published on: Wed, 25/09/2019 - 09:01

Luke Hardy

On 20 September, a 16 year old from Bradford was found guilty and detained for five years for seriously attempting to build a powerful bomb filled with shrapnel.

Although the eventual target is unclear, the court heard “he searched for and watched videos about the English Defence League, attacks on Muslims”. He also praised Adolf Hitler, telling friends “gas the Jews”.

This 16 year old was not just desensitised to the horrors of Nazism or far-right racism. He was ideologically convinced by them.

In Britain there is a growing threat of far right ideology. Only a tiny few will make the jump to


Published on: Wed, 11/09/2019 - 11:01

A “Free Tommy Robinson” demo in Leeds on 7 September drew only 50 people.

Tommy Robinson’s arrest last year was outside Leeds Crown Court, and since then there have been five “free Tommy” marches in the city by various combinations of ex-EDL, “Yorkshire Patriots”, “Yellow Vests”, “For Britain”.

They are always a few far-rightists filming all our left wing or anti-Brexit demos, and for a while there was a far-right demonstration of some sort or another in the city almost every weekend.

There is a loose Labour network on WhatsApp and Facebook for anti-fascist mobilisations, usually working with

Convergence on the right

Published on: Wed, 11/09/2019 - 10:09

Cathy Nugent

″The right has changed; it has embraced the ideas of its outliers″, argues Dave Renton at the start of The New Authoritarians, Convergence on the Right. By embracing the outliers, Renton says, Trump and others have ″radicalised″ their conservative message.

At the same time Renton says, the left has failed to reassess the shape of the new right spectrum and have been weak on challenging its central ideas. The most important of these, for Renton, is its particular form of racism, how the ″right seeks to restrict welfare benefits to members of the [invented] national community, excluding migrants

RMT activists oppose Lewis expulsion decision

Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 07:41

Daniel Randall

The conference on 23-27 June of the rail union RMT passed, by a majority of two votes with six abstentions, a motion expelling left Labour MP Clive Lewis from the RMT’s Parliamentary Group.

The conference decided that Lewis should be expelled unless he retracts and apologises for the criticisms he made of comments by RMT member Eddie Dempsey from the platform of a “Full Brexit” rally.

RMT activists who oppose the decision are circulating a statement of protest, already signed by numerous AGM delegates as well dozens of other union activists.

Lewis criticised Dempsey’s assertion that Tommy

After Christchurch, organise against far right

Published on: Wed, 20/03/2019 - 11:59

Riki Lane

Friday 15 March was a day of contrast in both Australia and New Zealand – exuberance and militant action by students striking for climate action in both Australia; followed immediately by immense sadness, horror and anger at the mass murder by a fascist at a mosque in Christchurch.

The apparent attacker, an Australian, made it clear in his manifesto that the murders were inspired by white supremacist neo-Nazi ideology. He was on no police or security service list, nor known to socialist or anarchist anti-fascists who monitor the right’s social media and other publicity. Apparently he was

Far right in Leeds

Published on: Wed, 23/01/2019 - 09:15

Luke Hardy

The far right organised a “Yellow Vest” pro-Brexit demo in Leeds on 19 January.

Since it was also a RMT strike day on Northern Trains, a special effort was made by the Leeds labour movement to turn out for the city centre picket.

In Manchester recently, fascists on a “yellow vest” demo abused and threatened a picket line.

About 100 turned out to back the RMT: Labour people, various flavours of socialists, Momentum, Young Labour, and Leeds Anti Fascist Network.

A couple of fascists turned up to jeer and film, but the main yellow vest group stayed clear.

The far ­right protest was called by

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