Physical Resistance Festival – a big success and back next year!

22 04 2017

“Now, whoever has courage and a strong and collected spirit in his breast, let him come forward, lace on the gloves and put up his hands.” – Virgil

“To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there’s no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other in the face” – Jack Handey

The beginning of the month saw the first Physical Resistance Festival. Hosted by the Anti-Fascist Network, and inspired by events like the Polish Freedom Fighters tournament, it was a mash-up of combat sports, football and drinking.

The Saturday saw anti-fascist fighters from around the country jump into the ring to face off over the course of twenty Muay Thai and boxing bouts. The fights were a mix of novice and experienced bouts. Weeks and months of hard training paid off in an atmosphere of great mutual respect. Honours were shared between the Red and the Black corners.

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Interview with an AFN activist fighting in Syria

29 12 2016

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In late 2015 an activist with the Anti-Fascist Network went to Rojava (the liberated Kurdish area in northern Syria) to join the Kurdish fight for self-determination and against ISIS. They returned in summer 2016.

You are an animal rights and anti-fascist activist. Why did you go to Rojava to help the Kurds?

There are many reasons that I went to Rojava to help the Kurds. There was a curiosity about war and conflict that took me to Rojava. I wanted to see what it was like myself and have that experience. I wanted, in many ways, to escape the stagnant and repetitive existence that we are forced to endure here.

I also went because I liked what the Kurds were doing in Rojava and I believe in the concept of solidarity. This is their moment in history, they invite internationals to go and help them and I felt in some ways it was my duty to honour my belief system and join them. This is the nature of solidarity. If you sincerely believe that a better world is possible then you have to take risks and be prepared to make sacrifices. After four years of academia I liked the idea of once again, ‘getting my hands dirty.’ Too many people on the left are content to prioritise writing articles or doing a PhD in critical thinking or environmental studies or something and kid themselves that they’re still struggling as part of some sort of radical counter-culture or movement.

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AFN Southern Regional Conference, Reading,10th September

13 08 2016

 

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The AFN will be hosting a Southern Regional Conference in Reading on the 10th Sept.

Facebook event here

Now more than ever we need to show a united front against fascism.

Join us at the Southern Anti-Fascist Network conference – a day of workshops, music, discussion, networking, films, stalls, books, food, children’s entertainment and more.

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No Platform for the far-right: An open letter to the organisers of ‘Does Islam clash with British values?’

8 06 2015
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Golding, Waters and Yaxley-Lennon

This letter is in response to an organisation called the Islamic Research and Education Academy, which has organised a discussion on Friday 12th June under the title ‘Does Islam clash with British values?’ So far, so normal. However, as part of this debate they have chosen to invite Paul Golding, leader of Britain First, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (AKA ‘Tommy Robinson’, ex-leader of the EDL) and Anne Marie Waters of UKIP, ‘Sharia Watch’ and founder with Yaxley-Lennon of the Islamophobic ‘Victims of Islamic Cultural Extremism’.

We believe this invitation extended to some of the most well-known names in the Islamophobic far-right is dangerous and that at best the organisers could be accused of naivety. It is also not clear that any of the speakers from the ‘Islam’ side of the debate represent a significant number of British Muslims.

Fascists and racists on the extreme right thrive on respectability. For this reason there is a long tradition of not giving them a platform to spread their views.

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Far-right election results

8 05 2015

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UPDATED WITH ANALYSIS OF THE RESULTS

In amongst the headline-grabbing triumphs and losses of the bigger parties in the election, another story goes rather less reported – how have the far-right and fascist parties fared?

Pretty appallingly, we are pleased to report.

The far right are finished as an electoral force. The election results for the BNP and others could not make this clearer. In 2010, the BNP stood and won 563,743 votes. In 2015, eight BNP candidates scraped together 1,667, in what must rank as one of the most humiliating collapses in British electoral history. Not a single one of their candidates polled over 1% of the vote. Anti-fascists should be congratulating BNP leader and Rotherham parliamentary candidate Adam Walker, who managed to reduce the BNP vote in the constituency from 3,906 in 2010 to 225 in 2015, on the way he has run the party’s election campaign.

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Far-right candidates in the local and general elections

1 05 2015

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Regardless of the results, next week’s general and local elections are already good news for anti-fascists. The far-right has collapsed electorally and is not mounting a serious challenge in any constituency in the UK. This is a very different from 2010, when the BNP stood 338 parliamentary candidates. This time round they are standing 8. Despite an influx of former BNP members to other far-right groups, notably the English Democrats, other fascist groups have not been able to pick up the slack. Electorally, the far-right is at its lowest ebb for a generation, although this is partly because the vote won by groups like the BNP has swung toward UKIP.

We hate to kick a man when he’s down, but this represents a golden opportunity for anti-fascists to push these racist groups out of the political arena completely.

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Idiots’ guide to the idiot far right

15 01 2015

To welcome in 2015, the Anti-Fascist Network has put together an idiots’ guide to the idiots on Britain’s far right. No need to thank us, it’s a public service.

British National Party

Introducing the man who will revive the fortunes of the BNP... Adam Walker

Introducing the man who will definitely revive the fortunes of the BNP… Adam Walker

Formerly known as Britain’s most successful and ambitious fascist group since the 1930s, recent years have not been kind to the BNP. Membership and electoral support for the party has plummeted after a disappointing performance in the 2010 local and general elections. This unleashed a series of bitter internal disputes culminating in longstanding party leader Nick Griffin being unceremoniously booted out during 2014.

Alongside Griffin, most prominent party members who were at least semi-competent and kept the show on the road have either resigned or been expelled. This has left the BNP bereft of people with the kind of basic skills necessary to do organise election campaigns or community work. Adam Walker, Griffin’s replacement, is uniquely poorly placed to lead the party. Although he lacks political skill, charisma or any observable talents, he does have a conviction for chasing children in his car and threatening them with a knife. Read the rest of this entry »