By Nigel Copsey
Anti-fascism has lengthy been probably the most lively and dynamic components of radical protest and direct motion. but it truly is a space of fight and renowned resistance that is still mostly unexplored via historians, sociologists and political scientists.
Fully revised and up to date from its prior variation, this e-book maintains to supply the definitive account of anti-fascism in Britain from its roots within the Nineteen Thirties competition to Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists, to the road demonstrations and on-line campaigns of the twenty-first century. the writer attracts on a magnificent variety of assets together with legitimate govt, police and safety providers files, the writings and memories of activists themselves, and the guides and propaganda of anti-fascist teams and their opponents.
The ebook strains the ideological, tactical and organisational evolution of anti-fascist teams and explores their frequently complex relationships with the mainstream and radical left, in addition to assessing their effectiveness in fighting the extraordinary right.
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Extra resources for Anti-Fascism in Britain
In line with the Hyde Park counter-demonstration, Strachey's call was publicised by the Daily Worker and was joined by an appeal from the CPGB for all working-class organisations in London to give their full support. As many as 250,000 leaflets were distributed. These were mainly directed towards East London Jews where local events were linked with the repression of Jews in Germany. Informed by a 'class analysis', the CPGB attacked anti-Semitism on socio-political rather than racial grounds, insisting that anti-Semitism was an instrument used by capitalists to scapegoat the ills of capitalist society.
As Cullen has noted, for the first part of 1935 the CPGB concentrated its efforts on anti-Jubilee activities. 12 Clearly a contributory factor behind this decline in anti-fascist activity and the CPGB's corresponding shift in agitational focus was the departure of Strachey who, prior to his visit to the United States, was insisting that the 'most urgent task of Communism' was 'to save human civilisation from Fascism'. 121 A further factor was the failure of the CPGB to develop an offensive struggle against 'fascism' on the widest possible front.
This was apparent 'by the little interest taken in the objects of the proceedings and the manner in which large numbers rushed to the scene of any unusual activity' . 105 But notwithstanding these observations, the CPGB clearly succeeded in mobilising unprecedented numbers of ordinary Londoners to Hyde Park, leading Harry Pollitt to later describe the Hyde Park anti-fascist demonstration as 'the biggest breakthrough ever made against the ban on the United Front imposed by the Labour leaders' . 10 6 Unsurprisingly, the Labour Party minimised its importance.
Anti-Fascism in Britain by Nigel Copsey