18. Near misses

It seems that three out of four anti-fascist call-outs don’t result in any action. Either the fascists are too protected by the police, we can’t find them despite our best efforts, they don’t show up when we expect them, or we’ve been so outnumbered its too risky to attack. Also, to be truthful, we sometimes didn’t engage against them because our organisation was not perfect or we spent too long in the pub and missed chances. We are only human. Below are listed some of the ‘near misses’.

Brighton: DAM stewarded an AFA public meeting expecting the fascists to arrive. But they are never there when you want them!

Grays: Face-off with the NF in the town centre.

Liverpool: Chasing around the city centre. Never caught up with the fascists but got involved in a fracas with the cops which resulted in one of the police inspectors hats being set ablaze in the middle of the road. All good clean fun.

Manchester: Half-a-dozen trips there for the ‘Manchester Martyrs’ march which the fascists always opposed – and they sometimes got a kicking from local Irish Republicans.

Blackburn: We arrived 5 hours late due to roadworks on the M6.

Chesterfield: All day spent trying to track down the NF and their friends the Ulster Loyalists. At one stage we got in hot pursuit of two lads in red uniforms who we thought were from the loyalist marching band – it turned out they worked at the local B+Q!

Sheffield: A couple of trips there when the NF started doing paper sales in the town centre.

Some of the local lefties mistook us for plain-clothes police because we look ‘normal’. I’ll never forget one of the local comrades, who was wearing some massive motorcycle gloves (on a hot sunny day), delivering a beautiful knockout blow to one fascist.

Newham/Tower Hamlets: Loads of times we’ve been out trying to track down the fascists in these areas because they normally target here for their election campaigns

Plaistow: DAM tried to oppose the NF’s Albert Mariner memorial event.

Hounslow: The NF have tried to recruit in this area and hold a few meetings. We went along to cause trouble, and Red Action managed to batter some of them in McDonalds.


Holloway Road and Edgware Road:
Irish Republican marches regularly harangued by fascists from the safety of a police cordon. Sometimes skirmishes occurred.

Barking: DAM comrades including myself got tooled up to batter the NF paper sale one Saturday morning, but it was lashing down with rain so they didn’t show up. Part-timers!

Old Street: Stand off between AFA and the NF.

West Ham: The BNP had a team re-directing their members from West Ham tube station to a meeting at the Tidal Basin Tavern. There was a large anti-fascist demonstration opposite, with the police dividing the two sides. The police used vans from the Racial Incident Unit (a unit supposedly set up to help victims of racial attacks) to transport the BNP to their meeting in the pub (ie help them cause more racial attacks).