WAKE UP!! It's yer sort-of-weekly...
The free weekly direct action newsheet published in Brighton since 1994 - Copyleft - Information for Action
Until now the English Defence League (EDL) has been very much a one trick pony, with set piece marches in areas with underlying problems in an attempt to stir up racist tensions. For the first year or so this went very well; the far right have not had much of a street presence since Nick Griffin et al withdrew due to fear of the militant left, but many of the EDL yoof are too young to remember the kickings their ideological forebears received. Initial successes up north brought some of the old guard out of the closet, buoyed by a lack of physical opposition they dusted off their steelcapped boots and bolstered the EDL's ranks.
Things were never going to last though. Numbers began to drop for a variety of reasons, some of the flag waving nationalists were put off by the more extreme racism of their colleagues, others left for the opposite reason – frustrated by a lack of overt racism (at least officially) they either formed a splinter group or retreated to their bunker. The police, who had initially been fairly hands-off, began to become a more oppressive influence on demos – kettling, pre-emptive arrests and restrictive bail conditions became the norm (welcome to world of protesting guys). Even those that stayed loyal had begun to question the wisdom of increasingly ineffective mass action and a lack of political depth.
So, where next? Smaller scale violence against anything left-wing has been the first resort of many. So far this has seen attacks on Occupy camps – though this is only because they are the most visible and vulnerable form of organising, it could be your picket, social centre or info-stall next. While this might keep the rank-n-file content for a while it doesn't add any political clout to what is still just a bunch of drunk racists looking for a fight. EDL leader and former BNP activist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon's ill conceived solution has been to announce he is joining the British Freedom Party (think BNP with less members) and encourage others to do the same.
The BFP have welcomed this with open arms – even with the BNP haemorrhaging support and money the BFP have struggled to make an impact since forming last year. Apparently “this is an opportunity for EDL members to move over to BF and for the first time provide input and promote the views of the British working class within a British political party. The EDL will utilise their divisional structure to support British Freedom.” In other words: 'EDL give us working class foot soldiers, we provide middle class leaders to tell them what to do'.
Whether this unholy alliance will make the EDL/BFP a greater threat or merely hasten their demise as they become embroiled in a war with the BNP remains to be seen. Whatever happens though, antifascists need to continue organising to counter what can still be a real threat to both minorities and activists.
Russian anti-fascist unfairly imprisoned under Putin's new house rules.
Brighton turns out thousands to oppose the March for England's message of hate.
Oh Christ ..not again, about as welcome as Jimmy Saville at an orphanage, it's time for the outbreak of political venereal disease that is the March for England set to tarnish the streets of Brighton again on April 21st.
National Front demonstration has a poor turn out in Swansea, followed by a Blood & Honour gig in the valleys.
Dead cat bounce as EDL irritate the people of Manchester?
Over 10,000 anti-fascists gathered in Dresden, East Germany on Wednesday (13th) to oppose a neo-Nazi march.
Golden shower as British far-right turn in another piss-poor performance at the Greek Embassy
For 25 years Golden Dawn were a marginal group that for the most attacked small left-wing and anarchist groups and sometimes would also go for immigrants. Until a few years ago they never measured more than 200 members. Up until recently they had one office. Now? They have forty-eight.