Some brief observations regarding attitudes towards the repression of the far-right by state forces.
The following observations are in no way typical of the majority of anarchists, just a small minority I have encountered in recent weeks.
The last few months has seen a marked increase in the active interference by the Police in the activities of various far-right groups, such as the English Defence League, Infidels of Britain, National Front, and the Combined Ex Forces (CxF).
Individual fascists have received letters ordering them not to attend events; they have had mobile phones, computers, and other hardware confiscated, and houses raided. They have been arrested prior to attending demonstrations, and detained in the cells for the duration of the demonstrations without charge. There are several examples of fascists being arrested for making racist comments on-line, and for uploading provocative film clips.
The ‘Infidels of Britain’ in particular have come in from some very close attention from the counter terrorism police, who are openly attempting to hamstring their activities.
The state interest in the ‘Infidels’ has increased since they started charging into town halls, staging roof top protests on local government buildings, and making threatening comments on-line.
Within the last month there have been film clips of EDL boneheads on a protest in London being battered by the police. These pictures have been widely disseminated on-line, and have been the source of much hilarity too many. Whilst I can always raise a smile at the misfortune of fascists, the idea of revelling in misfortune brought about by the state does not sit comfortably with me whatsoever.
Having spoken to a variety of people, read discussion forums, and seen various on-line threads, you would think that some people believe that the state are only interested in targeting fascists.
Fascists are undertaking ridiculous activities without any forethought of the potential consequences, and are presenting themselves on a plate for the authorities.
As so-called ‘revolutionaries’, how do we expect to achieve even the smallest amount of radical social change without having to fight against state intervention? Do we think the ruling elite will roll out a red carpet and instruct the police to stand aside? We have already seen activists snatched out of their beds on the day of the Royal Wedding to prevent protests, several examples of police infiltration within environmental groups, and anarchists being arrested at Heathrow, on their return from St Imier.
Whenever the state deems anarchists or whoever they deem to be ‘far-left’ as a threat, then we can expect much of the same, if not worse.
So however tempting it may be to gloat at the misfortune of fascists, we should be focusing more on watching each other’s backs, and taking the threat of the state much less flippantly.
Originally published in Freedom newspaper.