Anti-fascist? Or anti-Israel?

12Feb09

Rather disappointed to see (at the excellent Whitechapel Anarchist Group website) that UK’s Antifa (strapline: “Militant Antifascists”), as were WAG themselves, out in force at the Gaza demos, marching alongside, er, lots of fascists.

More at Indymedia and Flickr, where you can check out their sorry-arsed out-dated uniform of black hooded top.

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6 Responses to “Anti-fascist? Or anti-Israel?”

  1. didnt see lots of fascists there myself, were you there then?

    “where you can check out their sorry-arsed out-dated uniform of black hooded top.”

    why do you think we wear that sort of kit then you fucking prick? as some sort of protest fashion statement or as an effective tactic against police intelligence teams? muppet.

  2. Antifa:

    1. On the 10 Jan march: I’m afraid I wasn’t there; I don’t get out as much as I used to, so I am reliant on Indymedia and other such sites for my impression of the event. I am glad that the anarchist/anti-authoritarian marchers marched as a bloc, removing itself slightly from some of the messages of the official march. Looking at their coverage, I see:
    – Holocaust denial and relativisation e.g. http://www.indymedia.org.uk/images/2009/01/417982.jpg or http://www.indymedia.org.uk/images/2009/01/418011.jpg
    – I see a sea of BMI placards: “The British Muslim Initiative is the sister organisation of the [fascist] terrorist group, Hamas. Its President is Mohammad Sawalha: a man who the BBC identified as the mastermind of “much of Hamas’ political and military strategy”, and as responsible for directing “funds, both for Hamas’ armed wing, and for spreading its missionary dawah”. Its senior members include Azzam Tamimi, the Hamas Special Envoy who once expressed a desire to commit a suicide bombing.” http://shirazsocialist.wordpress.com/2008/07/10/sue-us-too-you-anti-semitic-scum/
    – I see the yellow flags of (fascist) Hezbollah and the green flags of (fascist) Hamas, as well as portraits of Hamas leaders

    I am not a fan of Harry’s Place, but the pictures and chants depicted at http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/01/10/hey-ho-israel-has-gotta-go/ and http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/01/10/from-todays-anti-israel-march/ are not inventions.

    2. On being hooded and masked.
    Of course I understand why you need to get masked up when you are involved in doing something dangerous or illegal. But when you are joining an anti-war march, as part of a libertarian bloc, dressing up like that serves no practical purpose and just reinforces your isolation in a “militant” ghetto. It looks like pure posturing, a fashion statement. I’m willing to admit I am wrong about that: persuade me.

  3. Darren Redstar has just left this comment at a follow-up post:
    —–
    Something needs to be said here. the antifa took part as a part of the black block, alongside and among them were members of the AF, who distributed the ‘no state’ leaflet that you yourself have praised. The ICC were also on the demonstration distributing their critique, should they be condemned also?
    Antifa is a composite group. it has no set line on Israel/palestine, and its members hold a variety of views on the conflict. The Black Block was organised to allow people to protest at the brutal attack on Gaza without becoming a integral part of the Islamist agenda of the STWC.
    protesting against the war is not the same as giving support to Hamas.
    One snarky comment shouldn’t cause you to launch a Fatwa against an overwhelmingly sound group.

    —–
    [Darren = http://redstarcommando.blogspot.com/ His comment = https://antigerman.wordpress.com/2009/03/03/no-to-war-no-to-nationalism-no-to-fascism/#comment-99 ]

    My response:

    I’ve been thinking about this since I posted it, and wondered if I was over the top. Darren’s comment makes me think maybe I was.
    I haven’t, though, written off Antifa, as at least one subsequent post celebrated them: https://antigerman.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/antifa-donor-card/

    I think it was probably right for an anti-authoritarian bloc to organise for the march, with its own distinct message, i.e. a no state solution and solidarity with the PEOPLE of Gaza. I think I was wrong to initially oppose that.

    However, I still have two concerns. First, I have reservations about the black bloc approach in general, and am unhappy with the black bloc approach (masked up, etc) on this particular demonstration, for which it seems inappropriate. Physical force militant anti-fascism is something I still support (and I totally understand that that involves protecting one’s identity), but that is a very different thing from the black bloc approach, and this march had nothing to do with (anti-)fascism.

    Second, I am not sure that Antifa, as Antifa, had a place on that march. Not the individuals, who could have joined the anti-authoritarian bloc, but the group as itself. This is because fighting Israeli militarism is NOT anti-fascist and Antifa as Antifa should have no position on it (just as AFA never would have although its constituent members might have). Antifa members might also march against the monarchy, against the City, in solidarity with cleaning workers, etc – but not AS Antifa.

    The reason I feel extra-strong about this second point, hence my over-the-top reaction the first time, is that there is such a strong mood around that Israel is “fascist”, which is a dangerous idea – dangerous, not least, for anti-fascist politics.


  1. 1 Black bloc « Anti-National Translation
  2. 2 Anti-fascism in a new era « Though Cowards Flinch
  3. 3 Looking back at 2011 « Anti-National Translation

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