Marching Altogether: Interview with a member of Leeds Fans United Against Racism and Fascism

Marching Altogether

This is an interview with a member of Leeds Fans United against Racism and Fascism (the first football fan-based group in Britain set up specifically to fight racism) from the Leeds Anti Fascist Action newsletter 'Attitude' in Spring 1994 along with issues of LFUARAF's fanzine 'Marching Altogether'.

An interview with a member of Leeds Fans United against Racism and Fascism. LFUARAF was set up in 1987 and is widely recognised as the first campaign of it's kind in the country.

Why did you start?
The atmosphere at Elland Road was intolerable in 1987. Both the racism in the ground and the fascists peddling their filth outside. The club said that there wasn't a problem and so the Leeds Trades Council and AFA produced a report showing just how bad the situation was. The club's response wasn't great and we didn't get any support for our campaign. We had to do all the running ourselves.

How did the idea of a fanzine come about?
We started with a couple of leaflets to test the water and lots of anti-fascists came to help us in that first year. The response was pretty mixed and we realised that the problem was that people felt outsiders were coming in to leaflet. What we needed was a campaign run by football fans themselves and the fanzine was the best way for us to do this. It gave us a chance to get our people listening to our ideas. We slagged off the fascists but we also talked about issues that affected the fans – all-seater stadia, the club treating fans badly, etc. The political message in the fanzine was strong but it wasn't all about well-intentioned lefties telling people what to think. It was about people that cared passionately about football and Leeds United and wanted to give people the confidence to speak up.

We used cartoons about fascists and football (nominating 'crap haircut' awards being our favourite). 'Dickhead in the crowd' was a way of pinpointing individual racists to shut them up. 'Eric the football hooligan' and '101 things to do with a nazi skin' made regular appearances.

Has it worked?
Well, the fascists gave up in 1991 as people became more hostile towards them and told them where to go. Inside the ground, the racist chanting was gone, but there's still a lot of individuals there that need confronting. It's getting better but there's more to do.... You still don't see that many Black and Asian faces on the terraces.

It's worked because we've done more than just a campaign about racism. We hope we've made people think about these issues and we've tried to help change the atmosphere down there. The club's improved performance and the signing of Black players has probably done much to change things.

So with the fascists gone where do you go from here?
As I said, there's more to do than just get rid of fascists. We'll carry on with issue 19. There's plenty more racists to get rid of and besides, the fanzine gives people a chance to write about their club. If we just stopped then in a few years the fascists might go back down there and we'd have to start all over again. It was really hard when we started – fascist thugs can be pretty intimidating, but by being organised we learnt to look after ourselves and they faded away, and the long-term work is better than going through that again.

AttachmentSize
Marching Altogether No.33.18 MB
Marching Altogether No.53.11 MB
Marching Altogether No.73.26 MB
Marching Altogether No.152.87 MB
Marching Altogether No.162.69 MB
Marching Altogether No.212.25 MB

Comments

bulmer
Feb 18 2012 04:36

I'm looking for more issues of Marching Altogether. I'll update the list when I get more of them. (not sure when that will be though)

Ernestine
Feb 19 2012 10:16

When you walk in the wind
hold your head, don't cry
you might stop the pain if you try

In the end we are all
in the same old boat
And there ain't any pie in the sky

Talk on if you like
and get on your bike
Cos you know who your friends are

Don't play dirty games
Don't call strangers names

And man you'll be your own
Woman you'll be your own

'malatesta'
Feb 19 2012 11:29

bloody soccer. there are a bunch of red attitudes on this website!
http://antifascistarchive.com/2012/02/12/red-attitude-mufc-anti-fascist-fanzine/
great resource!

bulmer
Feb 20 2012 12:04
'malatesta' wrote:
bloody soccer. there are a bunch of red attitudes on this website!
http://antifascistarchive.com/2012/02/12/red-attitude-mufc-anti-fascist-fanzine/
great resource!

You shouldn't be advertising scum zines on this page wink

'malatesta'
Feb 20 2012 14:48

theyre all shite mate. soccer is divisive, distracting, encourages nationalism and is a mortal sin and all players are going to hell! FACT!

bulmer
Feb 21 2012 05:59
'malatesta' wrote:
theyre all shite mate. soccer is divisive, distracting, encourages nationalism and is a mortal sin and all players are going to hell! FACT!

Typical miserable lefty roll eyes

Ed
Feb 21 2012 13:00

I think 'malatesta' is taking the piss, mate..

bulmer
Feb 22 2012 00:55

I know, hence the roll eyes

Or did I use that in the wrong way? confused

anti-fascist archive
Apr 29 2012 18:08

Is it just me who can't download the 'attached' fanzines?

bulmer
May 3 2012 04:58

I think it might be because of the '#' in the filename. Can an admin rename the files or would I have to reupload them again?

bulmer
May 3 2012 05:22

OK, I've reuploaded all the fanzines and added issue 21 too. Just have to wait for an admin to approve the changes

Serge Forward
May 3 2012 11:02
anti-fascist archive wrote:
Is it just me who can't download the 'attached' fanzines?

What else would you expect from Dirty Leeds? black bloc

bulmer
May 4 2012 00:57

down vote for you!!

yidkid
Dec 8 2012 14:45

respect from the yid army anti-fascists