Friday, March 02, 2012
UAF and the re-framing of twenty-first century anti-fascism
In several posts on this blog, I have criticised the main national anti-fascist organisations in the UK, such as Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and Hope not Hate (HnH), which I see as populist organisations, preaching an ineffective liberal anti-fascism, and often operating as un-democratic front organisations for sectarian Trotskyist vanguard parties. Here, I intended to return to this issue, concluding by looking at a couple of potentially promising South London examples that attempt to go beyond this situation. However, in writing it, I ended up with an overly long preamble, a potted history of the anti-fascist movement in the last two decades, a kind of provisional diagnosis of the current state of play. (Comments on the extent to which my diagnosis resonates with your local experiences would be appreciated.) As the post ended up so long, I started with a short version, published last week, and have now re-written the long version as three posts that each kind of stand alone. Both examples I turn to the in second and third parts relate primarily to UAF, but the general points are relevant to the broader anti-fascist movement in the UK, such as it is. The first part, therefore, is an account history of recent British liberal anti-fascism, focusing on UAF. The second part is more focused, developing a critique of UAF’s specific form today, while the third part looks at the possible emergence of a new paradigm for anti-fascism.