What we do
Merseyside, but particularly Liverpool, has long been a haven of working class organisation and antifascist sentiment. In recent years, however, there has been a marked increase in organised fascist activity. Liverpool Antifascists exists to oppose and beat back this rise in fascism as well as to act in solidarity with other antifascist movements nationally and internationally.
There are many fascist groups operating in Britain, but the biggest threat comes from the British National Party, the English Defence League, the North West Infidels and a resurgent National Front. Liverpool Antifascists oppose all fascist activity, but destroying the BNP, NF, EDL and NWI is our current priority. Their presence on the political landscape pushes the wider political agenda to the right to the cost of working class people. We challenge that in a number of ways.
Distributing information and ideas
The electoral ambitions of the BNP and other fascist parties will not be defeated simply by shouting “Nazi” at them. They are not gaining in support simply because they’ve hidden their criminal convictions and swastikas (though, of course, this helps) but because they’re appealing to a white working class abandoned by Labour and disenfranchised by the political system.
As antifascists, we need to counter that. Not by trying to draw people back to Labour, but by challenging the ideas of the fascists. The far-right take peoples’ grievances and distort them to suit their warped agenda. We need to recognise these grievance as valid. Not by pandering to the fascist version of them as the mainstream media do but by challenging the distortions and pointing out that the blame does not lie with immigrants or people of a different skin colour, but with the capitalist system that exploits them.
An enormous part of Liverpool Antifascists’ work is in challenging fascist (and mainstream) propaganda. This is not about telling people who to support – which party they vote for, or if they refuse to vote altogether, is a matter of their own personal conscience. It is about making the point that a vote for the far-right is not a protest vote. It is a vote for fascism.
To find out more, visit our resources page.
Building community links
Liverpool Antifascists believe that for a meaningful impact on fascism involvement in local communities is critical. This does not mean parachuting in as outsiders, but people taking action in their own communities.
Education and presenting workable solutions to the problems faced by communities are absolutely vital to the struggle. Although these activities are outside the current remit of Liverpool Antifascists, we wholeheartedly support these tactics. We may not be able to initiate such activities ourselves, but many of our members involve themselves in this sort of grass-roots work and we encourage this wholeheartedly.
One thing that we, as an organisation, have been doing is building links with local people and communities whilst raising awareness of antifascism. Talking to people when we’re engaged in protests and explaining why we’re there is one part of this. Another is making contacts and building networks with those who perform at and attend our benefit gigs. We hope to be able to do much more as our numbers grow.
Challenging the fascists
Fighting fascism is not merely an intellectual exercise. As well as countering their propaganda and building links within communities, it is vital that we physically resist attempts by fascists to put their policies into action or to take over the streets.
This does not mean street fighting or mindless violence.
Though Liverpool Antifascists cannot and will not condemn the use of force in self-defence, we are not looking to initiate violence. In fact, we hold that it is possible for the vast majority of physical resistance to be entirely peaceful. As our previous actions have demonstrated, it is entirely possible to block the fascists from view or to drive them off the streets altogether without throwing a single punch.
If you want to find out more about the work we do, or to get involved yourself, then please contact us.