Cock Up Or Conspiracy - Fascists Target Pub

Seven anti-fascists were arrested on 28 November 2000 as the National Front failed in their attempt to close down a pub in North London.

Article from Black Flag #220 (2001)

Submitted by Fozzie on January 26, 2021

The Cock Tavern in Euston, North London is a friendly pub with a pool table. For the past few years its function room has seen a range of left/libertarian meetings and socials, some of which have attracted the usual undercover coppers and low-life joumos in search of an exclusive.

In November 2000 there was a social organised by the 32 Counties Sovereignty Committee, advertised as having speakers from, amongst others, a Kurdish left-nationalist group. It promised to be a thrilling way to spend a Saturday night. 32 Counties is supposedly the Sinn Fein to the 'Real IRA’, who put their hands up for the Omagh bombing in 1999. Relatives of the victims of the bombing turned up at the pub along with TV crews and journalists. The Sunday Times had already written their story and presumably paid for the families' travel It wasn't a secret meeting but had not been that widely advertised. Red Pepper magazine reports that RTS had received emails asking for the meeting to be advertised through their email list. The pub, the social and, to an extent, the relatives of the victims, had been set up.

The press 'revealed' that other groups including Reclaim the Streets had meetings at the Cock Tavern. RTS’ regular, open, Tuesday night meeting was clearly identified - the RTS/Real IRA mad bomber link was there for all to see.

The National Front, that's Terry Blackham's rump, announced on their website that they would be marching on the pub; the following Tuesday night.

On Tuesday 28 November around 50 anti-fascists turned out to defend the pub from a dozen fascists who were supported by around 80 coppers. Despite being protected by the police the fascists lost the day. Seven anti-fascists were arrested. The police arrested two fascists but changed their minds and released them immediately. Despite the NF's fanciful claims on their website, not one anti-fascist was injured by the fascists. In fact, the fascists seemed absolutely startled that their usual practice of hiding behind the coppers had failed. They had no stewards and were not prepared to support one another.

The NF have vowed to march on the Cock Tavern every Tuesday, subject to adequate police protection, until it is dosed down. Anti-fascists have vowed to defend the pub and prevent the fascists from securing its closure through intimidation and violence.

Blackham's NF are not the sharpest tools in the master race's box. They are always up for some abuse and flag-waving at Republicans and singing Rule Britannia. However even they must know the difference between RTS and the IRA. So who chose the Tuesday night? Was it simply that it was the first day the NF could mobilise for? Was it the cops, who turned out in strength to protect the NF? A bit of pre-Christmas overtime? Was it the NF themselves hoping to use anti-IRA sentiment to have a go at an increasingly coherent RTS? Well, they lost it there. A journalist hoping for yet another exclusive? Unlikely, as it didn't have the same 'hold the presses' importance as the original manipulation. So what is left? The same people who set up the original 'story'. And they are... ?

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