Physical Resistance: A Hundred Years of Anti-Fascism

Physical Resistance: A Hundred Years of Anti-Fascism
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An interesting walk through of how these threats have been tackled at and away from hustings and the ballot box. For those who have already read No Retreat by the same author co-authored with Steve Tilzey , the largely personal story of two antifascist activists will, after this book, become embraced by the collective story of hundreds, if not thousands, of antifascists, will cover a hundred years instead of twenty and will spread over a vaster territory than before.

That has its flaws, no doubt. Sometimes you can just get lost in all those numbers, dates and names and stop bothering to keep each one of t For those who have already read No Retreat by the same author co-authored with Steve Tilzey , the largely personal story of two antifascist activists will, after this book, become embraced by the collective story of hundreds, if not thousands, of antifascists, will cover a hundred years instead of twenty and will spread over a vaster territory than before.

Sometimes you can just get lost in all those numbers, dates and names and stop bothering to keep each one of them in memory.

But one has to remember that this book is more of an oral history than an academic historical analysis or a biography. And as such, it succeeds in delivering the main message about the infinite and always acute need to continue both physical and ideological resistance against all forms of racist, fascist, nationalist and assorted totalitarian and authoritarian movements and ideas, and to "never drop our guard".

Feb 12, Mike rated it liked it. This is a great, concise book covering street action in the 20th and early 21st century to resist fascist organizing in England.

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It's strength is in the oral history Hann was able to collect, and, as a committed anti-fascist himself, the print material he was able to amass in order to set the record. He tells both of great victories like the Battle of Cable Street and Lewisham, but also discusses how political factionalism or tactical missteps hampered antifascists.

Sometimes leftist coalitions This is a great, concise book covering street action in the 20th and early 21st century to resist fascist organizing in England. Sometimes leftist coalitions were instrumental in amassing numbers to challenge fascist marches, while at other times in-fighting or a less-militant stance led to insufficient responses.

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The testimony of the regular, working-class people who, throughout decades, fought for what they believed was right shines through and is incredibly touching and inspirational, given current political developments in the US. The book can be faulted for being a little narrow and repetitive. This is not a book that addresses fascist thought or the theoretical underpinnings of anti-fascism. It makes great mention of infamous British Union of Fascists leader Oswald Mosley without delving into what made him dangerous, aside from the street-level violence he inspired.

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Also, those outside of the UK may have trouble with geographical place names. Write your review. Presumably those who entertain neo-Nazis at Yad Vashem are anti-fascists whereas those who fight the fascists are 'Pro Fascist'. Welcome back. Cold War Conversations Podcast marked it as to-read Mar 16, See details and exclusions.

The book acknowledges gains that fascists made it terms of electoral success and strongholds within Britain, but faintly sketches at why it was an attractive prospect for working-class people and ideological or opportunistic political elites, aside from reaction to immigration or targeting those it saw responsible for violent crime. The waning of fascists is mentioned in the post-war period, but the relative significance of their re-groupings or the reasons behind them isn't explored. The book also confines itself to street-level resistance and some counter-cultural responses, such as the formation of Rock Against Racism, but it doesn't pretend to be something it isn't and its bibliography is rich with texts that elaborate further.

Also, those outside of the UK may have trouble with geographical place names.

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The book ends with the creation of the modern Antifa movement taking on the less-ideological but nonetheless violent and racist English Defense League. It's a well-researched labor of love, a time-capsule honoring those who saw it necessary to put everything on the line to resist the everyday violence and indignity that fascism would unleash on a changing and increasingly-diverse society. Aug 30, Thomas Hale rated it really liked it.

By any means necessary

A history of anti-fascist action, organisation and conflict in the UK. Densely packed with eyewitness accounts and covering every year from , it's about as comprehensive a work as I could have asked for. Opposing the gaggle of deluded thuggish scum that is the EDL is a very small fig leaf for your violently antisemitic beliefs.

It's a good idea to post the idiocy of the Zionists occasionally. Perhaps 'anti-fascist' is one of Israel's paid bloggers. Iranian Jews aren't prevented from leaving Iran. Despite the Nazi-style attack on Iran's leaders, deliberately distorting their actual record, which is bad enough, they have to pretend that its Jews are in danger. Unlike Argentina where up to 3, Jews were murdered by a military Junta Israel supplied weaponry to. Apparently my whole campaigning life has been 'dvoted to kicking Jews out of the Middle East. Since I've never said any such thing it shows that you cannot debate rationally with most Zionists.

Atzmon isn't a Nazi, he is anti-Semitic. Such subtleties are entirely missing from the propagandist's diatribe. This is honestly explored and I take the point about the limits that can bedevil official demonstrations. The EDL never really recovered from the mass direct action that day. Voluntarism can come unstuck and result in anti-fascists walking into traps laid by the state, arguably what happened in Tower Hamlets last September when a small breakaway march from the main demo, sadly but predictably, resulted in huge arrests. The EDL, unable to enter Tower Hamlets, suffered humiliation on the day at the hands of those who held to a broad, united front approach, and two of their leaders, Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll, resigned a month after the flop.

Nothing can substitute for well thought out strategy and tactics. But all such should be seen in their specific context. However, Hann rightly argues that stewarding of meetings and demos relies on some being willing to do battle physically, when required.

The Fight Against Fascism in Brighton & the South Coast

But surely a key point is that physical resistance is, in reality, quite a rare occurrence. Several contributors also credit the importance of Rock Against Racism and alongside the gigs and the great carnivals, millions of leaflets were distributed, playing a key role in undermining the NF.

Indeed, a whole number of such small acts, which involved many, were important for ensuring that people were confident about confronting the Nazis on a mass basis. Critical to the movement in the s were socialists who worked with black and Asian communities, groups such as the Indian Workers Association and young anti-Nazis who were eager to finish off the Front.

Hann does rightly conclude that, from Cable Street to the Battle of Welling in , numbers on the streets mattered. But there are no shortcuts to building the movement. The long-term work needed to undermine Nick Griffin and the British National Party in Barking and Dagenham in and similarly in Stoke and Burnley in , involved another key component of anti-fascism, electoral effort.