Far right returning to street politics?

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Joseph Kay
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Sep 12 2009 08:18
Far right returning to street politics?

Something we've been discussing a lot in SolFed recently is the BNP and how to counter them, with an article in the last Direct Action and a couple more forthcoming. Personally i'm of the opinion that no platform is of limited use in opposing the BNP (although we've helped prevent them organising openly in Brighton), because they've abandoned the politics of controlling the streets in favour of opportunistic electoralism.

So i'm not sure what to make of groups like EDL/SIOE.* They seem to be trying to emulate the politics of the 70s NF; street marches aimed at a particular scapegoat (this time muslims), perhaps leading to increased confidence and taking on 'reds', whether paper sellers or meetings etc (speculation, i know little about them, just based on the 70s).

Also, a lot of the opposition to them may well be from islamist-inspired youths, so if they end up getting street battles between white nationalists and islamists, they've succeeded in racialising the politics of the crisis. so how should we react? batter them off the streets AFA style and remind them why Nick Griffin promised "no more punch-ups, no more marches" in the first place? get on with undermining the political space the far right exploit with community organising and leave it to the UAF and the cops, since the context is very different to the 70s, and the cops seem as willing to shut down EDL demos for the sake of public order as anti-fash counter-demos?

* English Defence League: a group of football holligans formed after islamists jeered a homecoming parade of British Troops, have been organising provocative anti-mosque marches in areas with large muslim populations (Birmingham, Harrow...)

Stop Islamification of Europe. Not sure who these jokers are, but much of a muchness i think.

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Sep 12 2009 10:12

I can't see this happening to be honest. That sort of street violence in the 70s was linked to the culture of the time, which just isn't about any more in any significant way (the demise of football hooliganism etc)

no1
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Sep 12 2009 10:29

In an enthusiastic report of yesterday's anti-EDL counterdemo in Harrow, the SWP-associated Lenin's Tomb speculates on the following :

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Some while back, the BNP's legal adviser made a speech explaining that as the BNP were unable to do street politics for a while, this role would have to be fulfilled by their some time rivals, the National Front. He said they could be 'very useful' in this respect. I think the division of labour thus becomes: NF activists and the usual array of thugs from C-18 and various football gangs try to instigate polarisation along racist lines in local communities; if they succeed, the BNP then go on television and radio, at the invitation of producers who evidently think they're the 'experts' on this kind of issue, and say that Muslims are causing racial tensions, and it's time to end the madness of multiculturalism and build 'peace walls' separating the 'comunities'. This is not really an optional extra for them. The BNP will not be able to grow unless large numbers of white people feel so threatened, so deranged with fear and loathing, that they don't just want to vote for the fascists but join them and become part of their activists base. Unless there is 'evidence' on the streets of racial polarisation, and of some putative threat to 'indigenous' people, they may hit a glass ceiling. So, they need violence and chaos to build.

There seem to be some links between EDL and BNP, like the EDL website was apparently made by BNP activist Chris Renton.

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Sep 12 2009 10:52

No1 says what I was about to, pretty much. By having the BNP and EDL as organisationally separate groups, the far-right get to have respectable electoralism and violent street politics at the same time.
As far as SIOE go, I think they're the British franchise of a group that started in Denmark (hence the stress on Europe rather than England/Britain). I could believe they're going for a more respectable, less thuggish image, but I've not really seen enough to judge.
As to what (largely white) class-struggle anarchists should do in response, maybe I just have an excessive soft spot for that kind of politics, but I do think that they will be facing militant street opposition whether we get involved or not, so it seems like we have a responsibility to de-racialise the situation by making sure white people get involved in it, rather than just leaving it as a case of "white racists vs lairy Asian youth (plus a sprinkling of white liberals staying safely behind police lines)."

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Sep 12 2009 18:16
Steven. wrote:
I can't see this happening to be honest. That sort of street violence in the 70s was linked to the culture of the time, which just isn't about any more in any significant way (the demise of football hooliganism etc)

yeah this is my instinct - just like we can't recreate the class militancy of the 70s at will, neither can a handful of far-rightists recreate 70s white nationalism. nonetheless, i think it's worth discussing so as to avoid complacency.

doing a vestas collection in Brighton we were confronted by an 18-stone skinhead ranting about immigrants and foreign workers. he picked out the smallest, nerdiest socialist to try and intimidate, but we saw him off without it coming to blows. now maybe that's just one guy, but in Brighton any public far right presence is pretty unheard of, and usually from out of town. EDL stuff may embolden such twats.

i think at present the establishment has no real use for an EDL-style 'street army', so they're unlikely to get the financial and (covert) political support they need to do anything on the scale of the old NF. nonetheless, if the massive cuts we face over the next couple of years provoke a working class fightback, i wouldn't rule out sections of the ruling class backing far right thugs to racialise class problems, break up pickets etc. not likely perhaps, but i'm not confident enough to rule it out.

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Sep 12 2009 18:33
Farce wrote:
No1 says what I was about to, pretty much. By having the BNP and EDL as organisationally separate groups, the far-right get to have respectable electoralism and violent street politics at the same time.

i'm pretty sure there was an episode of 'Spooks' where a far-right politician (obviously meant to be Griffin) denies involvement in a series of race riots instigated by their financial backer... the fash have to get their ideas somewhere don't they grin

Farce wrote:
As to what (largely white) class-struggle anarchists should do in response, maybe I just have an excessive soft spot for that kind of politics, but I do think that they will be facing militant street opposition whether we get involved or not, so it seems like we have a responsibility to de-racialise the situation by making sure white people get involved in it, rather than just leaving it as a case of "white racists vs lairy Asian youth (plus a sprinkling of white liberals staying safely behind police lines)."

i don't really fetishise this kind of politics myself, but i do find myself agreeing. far right demos outside mosques are going to provoke an understandable reaction from locals, particularly male youths. that's obviously the intention - cue Griffin on TV talking about the failure of multiculturalism. there's all sorts of problems, these reactions may well be interlaced with islamic identity politics etc, but we're neither in a position to nor is it desirable to encourage muslim youths to heed the calls to non-violence of their 'community leaders.' which leaves the anarchist reaction being to ensure when the fash take a beating, it's a good multi-racial one.

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Sep 12 2009 22:02

I think JoeK's right to be cautious. EDL were on Radio5 tonight blethering on and talking their usual shite about 'it's just the muslim extremists we hate' while there were many reports that many of those in their cadre were shouting 'I hate pakis more than you' and quite a few 'seig heils' were visible apparently.
And while the culture certainly is different, it only takes a few minor incidents, especially in the current climate, to spark shit we thought we'd never see.

And yeah football hooliganism is almost dead, but 2 weeks ago was the largest hoolie riot there'd been in what, 20years?
I'll not lose sleep over EDL but it does no harm to be vigilant about this sort of shit if it's happening in your area and oppose where possible.

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Sep 13 2009 09:21

The BNP haven't completely abandonned marching through the streets, they did it in Liverpool in the run up to the Euro elections and a few of their Liverpool members are clearly inclined towards violent confrontation. It's nothing serious, yet, but it's worth being aware of.

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Sep 13 2009 17:19
Choccy wrote:
I think JoeK's right to be cautious. EDL were on Radio5 tonight blethering on and talking their usual shite about 'it's just the muslim extremists we hate' while there were many reports that many of those in their cadre were shouting 'I hate pakis more than you' and quite a few 'seig heils' were visible apparently.

At the July demo in Brum they were chanting 'dirty muslim bastards' and 'you can stick your Allah up your arse'; I wasn't at the September one but there's youtube videos of them chanting 'mohammed is a paedo'. They also showered a group of asian bystanders with glasses and bottles after they were kettled inside a pub in the city centre. Funnily enough this incident wasn't reported in the mainstream media.

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Sep 13 2009 15:40

Definitely something to keep an eye on. Almost certainly there's a concerted effort to re-establish right-wing street politics of the kind familiar from the seventies. The situation today is different, bearing in mind that 30 or 40 years ago it was about a conspicuous and clumsy racism, whereas today much of the real racism (which is still evident) is being passed off as a defence of 'freedom' against 'religious oppression' - definitely more of a political minefield for those wanting to physically take on EDL-types without seeming to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Islamism. Agree EDL/SIE, et al should take a 'good multiracial beating' with a class analysis to match, but easier said than done.

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Sep 13 2009 17:48
Armchair Anarchist wrote:
At the July demo in Brum they were chanting 'dirty muslim bastards' and 'you can stick your Allah up your arse'; I wasn't at the September one but there's youtube videos of them chanting 'mohammed is a paedo'.

Funnily enough I saw that expressed on here more than a few times.

Devrim

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Sep 13 2009 17:39
madashell wrote:
The BNP haven't completely abandonned marching through the streets, they did it in Liverpool in the run up to the Euro elections and a few of their Liverpool members are clearly inclined towards violent confrontation. It's nothing serious, yet, but it's worth being aware of.

ah, this may explain some of the differences between Brighton and Liverpool SolFeds over the merits or feasibility of no platforming the BNP - sounds like our little liberal outpost may not be representative tongue

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Sep 13 2009 17:40
Devrim wrote:
Armchair Anarchist wrote:
At the July demo in Brum they were chanting 'dirty muslim bastards' and 'you can stick your Allah up your arse'; I wasn't at the September one but there's youtube videos of them chanting 'mohammed is a paedo'.

Funnily enough I saw that expressed on here more than a few times.

Devrim

Really? care to point it out?
Unless you're talking about when ClassWar used to post, or in a post where general religion bashing was going on and it was thus heavily qualified, I'm not sure it has happened.
To be honest if you can say anything about here, it's that people generally don't do islam-bashing.

[edit - ah I see Dev's clarified, cheers, but I've left it for context so my post doesn't look too random wink ]

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Sep 13 2009 17:50
Choccy wrote:
Really? care to point it out?
Unless you're talking about when ClassWar used to post, or in a post where general religion bashing was going on and it was thus heavily qualified, I'm not sure it has happened.
To be honest if you can say anything about here, it's that people generally don't do islam-nashing.

Actually I high lighted the wrong bit and have now changed it.

I am not saying that everyone does it in any way, but I can remember long discussions about it.

Devrim

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Sep 13 2009 17:58

I'm no islamic scholar, but as far as I know historians generally acknowledge that he was technically a paed - to be honest I don't find it an interesting fact that a historical religious figure was a paed, it's neither here nor there
but there is a big difference between pointing that out on an internet forum and twats who go out in the streets and chant that at a bunch of muslims, because it carries with it a whole bunch of racist baggage

but yeah pointing out that people may have said that on here means very little because you stripping it of context and are equating that with a bunch of fash taking to the streets and protesting outside mosques, which is clearly rediculous

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Sep 13 2009 18:09
Choccy wrote:
I'm no islamic scholar, but as far as I know historians generally acknowledge that he was technically a paed - to be honest I don't find it an interesting fact that a historical religious figure was a paed, it's neither here nor there

exactly, i mean classical greeks were well into paeding, and that's basically the 'root of western civilisation.' there's clearly a difference between saying all religion is a crock of shit and turning up outside a mosque using 'anti-islam' as a thinly-veiled synonym for race. just like saying judeo-christian morality is bollocks isn't the same as protesting outide synagogues.

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Sep 13 2009 18:58
Joseph Kay wrote:
exactly, i mean classical greeks were well into paeding, and that's basically the 'root of western civilisation.' there's clearly a difference between saying all religion is a crock of shit and turning up outside a mosque using 'anti-islam' as a thinly-veiled synonym for race. just like saying judeo-christian morality is bollocks isn't the same as protesting outide synagogues.

Agreed, Devrim's comment did seem to make the implication that there was an equivalence between peope pointing out the bullshit baggage that islam has and actively protesting against them.
Or else he was just saying it for a laugh, it's difficult to know.

but yeah, we bash christianity on here all the time, but think it would be mental to picket a church or something daft like that, and it doesn't even carry with it the racist connotations picketing a mosque or synagogue would carry

no1
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Sep 13 2009 19:13
Choccy wrote:
I'm no islamic scholar, but as far as I know historians generally acknowledge that he was technically a paed

I don't really agree with this - By this reasoning the grandparents generation of today's EDL hooligans would be paeds as well. In England and Wales, the minimum age for marriage was 12 years for girls and 14 for boys, until 1929, and in Northern Ireland that wasn't changed until 1951 (see section 4.27-29 here). Although it wasn't common for people below 16 to marry (see here and here if you want to know the actual number). I don't think it makes sense to talk about paeds unless they fulfil the criteria of a clear definition such as DSM or something similar.

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Sep 13 2009 19:24
Choccy wrote:
Agreed, Devrim's comment did seem to make the implication that there was an equivalence between peope pointing out the bullshit baggage that islam has and actively protesting against them.
Or else he was just saying it for a laugh, it's difficult to know.

No, I wasn't making any equivilance. I was just making the comment that I had seen it before on here, more refering to dominance of the ideolgy that comes from the gutter press than in any way suggesting that people were fascists.

With the thing about peodophilia, I think that it reflects the scare campaigns against both Peodophiles and Islam that comes across in the right wing press*.

It is depressing to see people go along with them.

Devrim

*This does not mean that I have any sympathy for either.

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Sep 13 2009 19:34
no1 wrote:
Choccy wrote:
I'm no islamic scholar, but as far as I know historians generally acknowledge that he was technically a paed

I don't really agree with this - By this reasoning the grandparents generation of today's EDL hooligans would be paeds as well. In England and Wales, the minimum age for marriage was 12 years for girls and 14 for boys, until 1929, and in Northern Ireland that wasn't changed until 1951 (see section 4.27-29 here). Although it wasn't common for people below 16 to marry (see here and here if you want to know the actual number). I don't think it makes sense to talk about paeds unless they fulfil the criteria of a clear definition such as DSM or something similar.

eh, definition of paed has nothing to do with legality, regulations or social norms
it literally means attraction to pre-pubescent children, hence I said 'technically a paed', so everything you have written in that post is irrelevant
one of Mohammed's wives was 9yr old, and some sources say possibly 6-7yrs old, if what I read was correct so even with your (irrelevant) legalistic definitions you're wrong wink

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Sep 13 2009 19:35
Devrim wrote:

With the thing about peodophilia, I think that it reflects the scare campaigns against both Peodophiles and Islam that comes across in the right wing press*.

It is depressing to see people go along with them.

who is 'going along with them?'
again you are making a false equivalence

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Sep 13 2009 19:43
Choccy wrote:
no1 wrote:
Choccy wrote:
I'm no islamic scholar, but as far as I know historians generally acknowledge that he was technically a paed

I don't really agree with this - By this reasoning the grandparents generation of today's EDL hooligans would be paeds as well. In England and Wales, the minimum age for marriage was 12 years for girls and 14 for boys, until 1929, and in Northern Ireland that wasn't changed until 1951 (see section 4.27-29 here). Although it wasn't common for people below 16 to marry (see here and here if you want to know the actual number). I don't think it makes sense to talk about paeds unless they fulfil the criteria of a clear definition such as DSM or something similar.

eh, definition of paed has nothing to do with legality, regulations or social norms
it literally means attraction to pre-pubescent children, hence I said 'technically a paed', so everything you have written in that post is irrelevant
one of Mohammed's wives was 9yr old, and some sources say possibly 6-7yrs old, if what I read was correct so even with your (irrelevant) legalistic definitions you're wrong wink

actually this gets even better, under the DSM IV definition (which is basically what I'd already written) Mohammed did indeed fit the category, because once again, it has nothing to do with legality or social/cultural/historical norms

PS - no1 is now my facebook friend so it's all good wink

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Sep 13 2009 19:57
Choccy wrote:
eh, definition of paed has nothing to do with legality, regulations or social norms
it literally means attraction to pre-pubescent children, hence I said 'technically a paed', so everything you have written in that post is irrelevant
one of Mohammed's wives was 9yr old

i have to side with no1 on this, many marriages then, and now, were/are arrangements, we have no idea of the condition under which he married the 9 year old., or what he felt about her.

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Sep 13 2009 20:06
Devrim wrote:
With the thing about peodophilia, I think that it reflects the scare campaigns against both Peodophiles and Islam that comes across in the right wing press*.

It is depressing to see people go along with them.

i think the paedo thing has more to do with the fact that there are numerous attempts to link paedophilia to anarchism (Hakim Bey, anarchopedia, 'the radical case' and so on), so non-paedo anarchists are obviously keen to distance themselves from it. there's also been loads of slagging of stuff the right wing press have never heard of, like primmos, and platformists grin

no1
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Sep 13 2009 20:17
Choccy wrote:
eh, definition of paed has nothing to do with legality, regulations or social norms
it literally means attraction to pre-pubescent children, hence I said 'technically a paed', so everything you have written in that post is irrelevant
one of Mohammed's wives was 9yr old, and some sources say possibly 6-7yrs old, if what I read was correct so even with your (irrelevant) legalistic definitions you're wrong wink

OK, you win on the issue of me conflating hebephilia, ephebophilia and pedophilia (like 98% of people).
My point is that the most you can conclude from the religious sources in question is the age when Aisha got married to Mohammed - as an atheist/agnostic I don't have that much faith in religious writings myself - but you can't possibly deduce anything as to Mohammed's sexual preferences. The minimum age of marriage is clearly a social norm that varies a lot between different societies, and there was was probably nothing unusual in this case. So no diagnosis of a paraphilia.

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Sep 13 2009 20:15

perhaps we should insist the far right employ proper Harvard referencing on their placards so we can more easily assess the veracity of their claims? wink

Skips
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Sep 13 2009 21:06

two words-anarchist federation.

Yorkie Bar
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Sep 13 2009 21:51
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there's also been loads of slagging of stuff the right wing press have never heard of, like primmos, and platformists

"Mohammed was a platformist" doesn't have quite the same ring to it, tho.

~J.

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Sep 13 2009 22:02

islam doesn't have the required theoretical-tactical unity though, bunch of lifestylists. anyway, i'm derailing my own thread...

So, are the EDL trying to create the impression of widespread, violent racial tensions, and therefore does an AFA-style response play into their hands? or should we be dusting off the boxing gloves and brushing up on our street brawling?

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Sep 14 2009 06:03
sickdog24 wrote:
two words-anarchist federation.

That's helpful. Care to expand?

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Sep 14 2009 08:27
Joseph Kay wrote:
i think the paedo thing has more to do with the fact that there are numerous attempts to link paedophilia to anarchism (Hakim Bey, anarchopedia, 'the radical case' and so on), so non-paedo anarchists are obviously keen to distance themselves from it. there's also been loads of slagging of stuff the right wing press have never heard of, like primmos, and platformists grin

It might have, but to me it sounded pretty similar to the right wing press. Whilst peodophilia is a horrible crime, peodophiles themselves are disturb individuals who need help, which obviously has to be balanced alongside protecting children. I always found the throwing around of insults like 'peodo' and 'nonce' distasteful.

On the point of Mohammed and Ayşa, I am pretty sure that according to tradition they were married as part of a political alliance, then didn't have sex until after she had started to menstruate, and that she was the only one of Mohammed's wives that was a virgin when he married her, considering the amount of wives he had this would imply that it wasn't a tendency he had.

How many European monarchs do you think could have been called a 'peodo' under the same criteria?

Wiki seems to suggest that they could:

Wiki wrote:
The youngest monarch to marry was David II who married Joan, daughter of Edward II at the age of 4 years 4 months and 13 days in 1328. The youngest queen at the time of her marriage was Mary II who was 15 years 188 days old when she married William III in 1677.

The youngest Queen Consort was Isabella of Valois who married Richard II at the age of 6 years c.357 days in 1396.

One never hears about "Richard "the Lionpeodo" though.

It is well off topic though so I will drop it.

Devrim