Excerpts from an article by The National Newspaper- read the full article here
Beating the Fascists is far from an objective history. It does, however, provide something rare: a clear map of the tangled web of activist groups existing on both sides of the fence, from the late 1970s through to the 1990s. On one hand the SWP can be seen splintering into Red Action and AFA. On the other, the NF erupts into a dizzying array of factions, from Blood & Honour and the British Movement to the BNP. But while the chronic disorganisation and endemic squabbling of British radical political groups may dissuade sympathisers from coughing up membership dues, as Birchall notes, such statistics bear little relation to the extent of their ideological spread
Birchall recounts AFA’s clashes with nationalist activists in bone-crunchingly vivid prose. From the SWP squadists’ routing of the NF in Manchester’s city centre in the early 1980s to London’s Battle of Waterloo Station in 1992, in which 1,000 anti-fascists assembled to prevent a large group of Blood & Honour supporters attending a concert by the Nazi-punk band Skrewdriver, the tales are also told with discomfiting relish
Rather than a simple memoir of radical thuggery on long-forgotten frontlines, Beating The Fascists: The Untold Story of Anti-Fascist Action offers a conflicting, yet candid analysis of a history that rapidly appears to be repeating itself
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