15. Waterloo, Blood and Honour gig, London, 1992

The battle of Waterloo

A personal account of the battle of Waterloo, when Anti Fascist Action trashed a gig by neo-nazi label Blood and Honour by disrupting their redirection point at Waterloo station.

This was probably the biggest anti-fascist battle since Lewisham (1977). It was even covered on national TV news, radio, tabloids etc. It was to oppose a ‘Blood and Honour’ concert. Blood and Honour was a fascist music organisation that promoted racist bands such as Skrewdriver and No Remorse (previously called Dead Paki in the Gutter). They could attract crowds of 500-2,000 mostly skinheads.

In fact anti-fascism would be much easier if all the fascists wore the skinhead ‘uniform’ because (a) we can spot them more easily than the ‘casuals’, and (b) the skinhead scene, being a branch of fashion, is guaranteed to remain a small phenomenon.

Blood and Honour had advertised that they were holding a massive gig with all their top names at an undisclosed venue. They advised their followers (not trusting them with the information, and to avoid anti-fascists) to go first to Waterloo station to be re-directed. This was a common fascist tactic.

That morning about a hundred of us anti-fascists met at The Old Bell in Kilburn. We took the tube to Waterloo and emerged up the escalators to the concourse. I don’t know about anyone else but I was very nervous. I thought we were going to be slaughtered. Everyone knew that Blood and Honour could muster ten times more people than we had.

The station concourse was nearly deserted. We discovered afterwards that British Rail had given Black and Asian workers the day off – pandering to racism. A small group of Red Action went into the station buffet and found a couple of skinheads who had been enjoying a quiet cup of tea. There was some loud rumbling and smashing sounds, then the Reds emerged unscathed and blended with our crowd. Five minutes later an ambulance arrived to cart off the two hapless fascists. (Rumour has it that they might have been, in fact, plain clothes coppers).

We spent the rest of the afternoon ambushing groups of fascists as they arrived, and trying to avoid the police. For example, four fascists arrived by car and were set upon until every window was broken, and the rest of the car was not exactly in showroom condition. The battles raged in all the surrounding streets. A comrade from Norwich and myself piled into a group of three fascists by the Waterloo roundabout. One of them turned to attack my comrade and I stuck my foot out to trip him up and with wonderful luck it was perfectly timed and he keeled over and hit his head, crack, on the pavement. He was unconscious I think, but in the heat of the moment I went and booted him in the head as hard as I could anyway. In fact I was a bit worried afterwards in case I’d killed him. I kept checking the TV news for a few days. The two other fascists were still there and I suppose we could have steamed into them some more, but we ran back to the main group.

Cheeky persons have summarised the anti-fascist events at Waterloo by saying “we closed more stations than the IRA”!