By Nigel Copsey
Anti-fascism has lengthy been some of the most energetic and dynamic components of radical protest and direct motion. but it truly is a space of fight and renowned resistance that continues to be principally unexplored by means of historians, sociologists and political scientists.
Fully revised and up to date from its prior variation, this booklet keeps to supply the definitive account of anti-fascism in Britain from its roots within the Nineteen Thirties competition to Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists, to the road demonstrations and on-line campaigns of the twenty-first century. the writer attracts on a powerful variety of resources together with respectable executive, police and protection providers documents, the writings and memories of activists themselves, and the guides and propaganda of anti-fascist teams and their opponents.
The publication lines the ideological, tactical and organisational evolution of anti-fascist teams and explores their frequently advanced relationships with the mainstream and radical left, in addition to assessing their effectiveness in scuffling with the intense right.
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Extra resources for Anti-Fascism in Britain
119 According to the picture gleaned from Home Office sources, the scale of anti-fascist activity noticeably declined in 1935. As Cullen has noted, for the first part of 1935 the CPGB concentrated its efforts on anti-Jubilee activities. 12 Clearly a contributory factor behind this decline in anti-fascist activity and the CPGB's corresponding shift in agitational focus was the departure of Strachey who, prior to his visit to the United States, was insisting that the 'most urgent task of Communism' was 'to save human civilisation from Fascism'.
Chesterton, addressed a meeting at Oriental Hall a counter-procession of anti-fascists brought a donkey along dressed in a blackshirt. 87 The largest counter-demonstration in the immediate aftermath of Olympia occurred during Mosley's visit to Sheffield City Hall on 28 June. This was organised by the CPGB and the ILP, under the auspices of the 'Sheffield United Action Committee' and set out to be the 'mightiest working-class demonstration ever known in Sheffield', attracting a crowd variously estimated at between 5,000 and 15,000.
125 None the less, fascist activities generally fell during 1935 as a consequence of the BUF's contraction and subsequent preoccupation with internal reorganisation. Noticeably, the BUF failed to contest the 1935 general election and it was not until the autumn before the BUF was fully reactivated in London where the decisive factor, as Thurlow identifies, was 'the discovery that anti-Semitism was a good recruiting tactic in the East End'. 126 Looking back over the early development of anti-fascism in the 1930s, it is clear that in sharp contrast to the 1920s anti-fascist activities did engage significant numbers of people.