Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Trump-Biden Debate: In Defence of Antifa.

with 12 comments


Stand With Antifa Against Trump and the Far-Right!

It was only a few years ago that American leftists made it clear to us in Europe that ‘antifa’ was an important movement in the US, given the development of a US far-right in the wake of the triumph of Donald Trump’s national populism.

To tell the truth I was impressed not just by their politics but their culture: that pro antifas really knew in depth about stuff like football hooligans, that some of them they drank real cider and ale  in Portland pubs, and they has serious knowledge and awareness of our own fight against the far-right in Europe.

Then there is this lot:

Most of us are very far from being in favour of rioting, or see, in the way groups like the French group Lundi Matin do, some kind of serious “insurrection” in the streets emerging from the radical fringes of the Black Lives Matter protests (. La politique de l’Identité, l’intersectionnalité et le discours du privilège social constituent la dimension la plus sophistiquée du dispositif policier » contre l’insurrection américaine.).

But ‘antifa’ as its name says, is against the far-right, and the other side’s fringe, the friends of our home grown gammon and the supporters of the Brexit ‘anglosphere’. 

This is still sticking in the craw:

Followed by:

I’d suggest anybody who want to know about antifa reads this article by highly regarded activist and researcher Spencer Sunshine;

“Debunking the 3 Biggest Myths about Antifa” (end of June. 2020)

The “antifa”—or antifascist—movement has captivated the American public’s attention as of late, especially in the wake of the deadly far-right gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017, and clashes in Berkeley, California on August 28. But many myths about the movement have been circulated in media reports and op-eds, creating something of a moral panic about the fight against fascism. Below are three of the most pernicious myths about antifa and evidence as to why they are dangerously wrong.

MYTH # 1—Violence is at the Core of Antifa

MYTH #2—The Violence is Equal on “Both Sides”

MYTH #3 — Antifa is a Gift to the Far Right

The article should be read in full (there’s lots more on the site).

It’s evident that public resistance works when confronting far-right groups, and antifa are not the left-wing terrorists despite how they have been portrayed. And so perhaps we should ask ourselves: why are so many mainstream media sources using dishonest methods to create a folk panic about antifa, and who benefits as a result?

There’s resources in Lib-Com, including this important piece: 

“Outside agitators”, “ANTIFA”, conspiracy theories and disinformation

Read Shiraz today as well:

Donald Trump is a Fascist

Thomas Carolan

The President of the USA is a fascist who is trying to steal the 2020 Presidential election. You can soften that down to saying Trump is an “authoritarian”, or a delusional psychotic would-be king of the USA, but fascist is better: a fascist is what Trump is in his opinions and in his actions where he is free to act as he likes.


Written by Andrew Coates

September 30, 2020 at 12:16 pm

12 Responses

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  1. Of course Trump hates ANTIFA, he’s a Fascist himself!


    September 30, 2020 at 12:24 pm

  2. Andrew Coates

    September 30, 2020 at 7:38 pm

  3. Andrew Coates

    September 30, 2020 at 8:44 pm

  4. I can’t speak about the US Antifa but I have experience of the progenitors of the movement in this country and violence was at the centre of their belief system, rather like the far right. Both saw violence as a redeeming feature of society. I remember Red Action which was their magazine and political front advocating violence against just about everyone even people on the left who opposed them. In the campaign against Derek Beacon in Millwall on the Isle of Dogs in early 1994 they stood in the middle of Castalia Square, drunk having spent the previous few hours in the local pubs, burnt the Union Jack and shouting fascist scum at the white working class people in the flats. Beacon narrowly lost but increased his vote.

    Dave Roberts

    October 1, 2020 at 6:25 am

    • Red action were, as you knew them you will be aware, splinter of the SWP, “squadists” we used to call them. In fact they were expelled from the Swoppies for this. I imagine you are referring to the larger group which they joined, Anti Fascist Action. I am sure they would contest your account. There is an Anti-Fascist Network around now, though not a lot has been heard of them I suppose they are concerned about Tommeh’s come-back in the anti-mask movement.

      Some of Red Action ended up in the Independent Working Class Association which had councillors in Oxford, and many still have one.

      Their views on violence are not mine, and, while some of the US left seem to imagine that riots in the recent months have an insurrectional aspect, others see their thrashing out in terms lumpen self-harm.

      Since neither you nor I know much about the very distant US left and antifa I refer you to the links given above, written by people who do know something. They do not suggest that the US Antifa are Red Action.

      Antifa in other European countries, such as the mouvance that can be traced back to the French Ras l’front, today seem to have a more anarchist background and ‘affinitaire’ way of networking (which is antifascist network’s present milieu and structure).

      Andrew Coates

      October 1, 2020 at 8:24 am

      • I know about the squadists being expelled as I lived in Tower Hamlets at that time and my younger brother was involved. Basically it was the confrontationalist wing of the ANL/SWP who didn’t accept the SWP expulsion of branches and individuals which refused to obey the SWP CC. The entire Hackney branch of ANL was expelled including Blair Peach who the SWP still claim was a member. That whole saga has been taken apart by a Bangladeshi form Tower Hamlets councillor and one time leader of the council Helal Abbas. http://www.helabbas.com and the first article Here To Stay, Here To Fight. This is what really happened and not the largely fictional accounts of the era by Dave Renton.

        Dave Roberts

        October 2, 2020 at 2:49 am

  5. What happened to my last post?

    Dave Roberts

    October 2, 2020 at 11:10 am

    • Caught in the filter.

      The link doesn’t work btw but I think your account is sound.

      We had problems with the SWP trying to tell the Leamington Spa Anti-Racist Committee what to do – we existed before the ANL and were part of the CARF network of similar independent groups.

      But organised squadism was not one of them – even though the town had a visit from the British Movement Honour Guard during the trials of Robert Relf and other fascists.


      “Relf first came to national attention in 1976 when he advertised his house in Leamington Spa as being ‘For Sale – to an English family only’.[7] The sign had initially read “Viewing. To avoid animosity all round positively no coloureds” before Relf amended it.[8] Relf was found to be in breach of the Race Relations Act and was jailed for contempt of court when he refused to take it down.[9] Relf’s plight was taken up by the tabloid press as an example of the supposedly draconian nature of race legislation and there was an outcry that Relf was imprisoned for his actions.”

      Andrew Coates

      October 2, 2020 at 11:56 am

      • Should be http://www.helalabbas.com. Try that.

        Dave Roberts

        October 2, 2020 at 2:04 pm

        • Click “My Thoughts”.

          Dave Roberts

          October 2, 2020 at 2:06 pm

          • Full of insight, thanks.

            They only standardised this tactic nationally later,

            “This was ignored by the International Socialists (IS and the next year to become the Socialist Workers Party — SWP), which proceeded to hand out their own placards in a blatant example of the opportunism that we were to see over and over in the coming years. The stewards removed the placards, which resulted in a fight, with the leading steward being arrested. After this, the IS gave up and resorted to holding up copies of the Socialist Worker paper.”

            “It was obvious, from the action of the IS/SWP that day, that they viewed us and other ethnic minority communities as cannon fodder, to be used in whatever political campaign they were mounting at the time. That day wouldn’t be the last opportunistic attempt by them to use ethnic minority groups for their own purposes, but from then on they were peripheral to the struggles in the East End. Their only Bangladeshi member resigned and they never managed to recruit even one single new member. They were always regarded as outsiders and remained so even during the attempted intervention of the SWP-controlled Anti-Nazi League (ANL) in 1977.”

            “Some commentators have noted, usually many years after the events, that the whole purpose of the SWP’s exercise was to recruit Asians and to try to take over existing organisations. As far as my community was concerned, it was blatantly obvious at the time. What all of the staged confrontations did, along with letters to newspapers and statements to other media, was to present the ANL as at the centre of a “struggle” and to draw national and later international attention to our corner of London. Left and right converged on us on Sunday mornings, had their confrontation, police permitting, and then disappeared. None of this in any way protected us but actually raised tensions that we had to live with, as well as increased feelings of insecurity.”

            Yes very interesting, I had heard some of it, but not in anything remotely like this detail.

            View at Medium.com

            I wonder what he thinks of the Islamists operating there in the new millenium. And Lutfur Rahmen. And the racism of those said to be involved in the politics of the area accused of collaboration with the Pakistani war against Bangladesh.

            Andrew Coates

            October 2, 2020 at 4:36 pm

            • The writer was defeated by Lutfur Rahman for the Mayoralty of Tower Hamlets when Rahman was backed by the East London Mosque and Ken Livingstone. Livingstone openly campaigned against the official Labour candidate and got away with it, he should have been expelled from the party. By that point Livingstone was losing the plot, whatever it was in the first place, and drinking at Mayor’s Question Time and his always present megalomania was taking over but it was still a sacking offense.

              Read the article “On Corruption” and there is a reference to a trial where three people went to prison. One of those acquitted was Kumar Murshid an advisor to Livingstone whose career was ended by the scandal and which reflected badly on the Kenster, something he never forgives. Murshid was an ally of Lee Jasper and they were both involved in stealing large amounts of Londoner’s money through various “regeneration” and “training” projects for ethnic minorities and of course it was Jasper and the missing millions that brought Livingstone down.

              Some news just in from Tower Hamlets. The current Mayor John Biggs is very unpopular and there are moves for a trigger ballot to open up the selection for the next candidate. If Biggs is re-selected Lutfur Rahman has announced that he will stand as an independent and I am told will win. That means we are back to the borough being run by the Mosque/Islamists and massive corruption.

              Dave Roberts

              October 3, 2020 at 7:49 am

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