Beating the Fascists - The Authorised History of Anti Fascist Action

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oisleep
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Jun 9 2010 13:14

I'm sure you'll all be pleased to hear that after a period of (understandable) wobbling from freedom over the last couple of weeks (brought on by a flood of deliberate mis-information from certain elements who clearly have a vested interest in ensuring that this book is not published, either by freedom or at all ) everything appears to be back on track now in terms of its publication

well done freedom for holding firm in the end

as part of a compromise the title will be changed from 'The authorised' to 'An authorised'

gypsy
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Jun 9 2010 14:25
oisleep wrote:
I'm sure you'll all be pleased to hear that after a period of (understandable) wobbling from freedom over the last couple of weeks (brought on by a flood of deliberate mis-information from certain elements who clearly have a vested interest in ensuring that this book is not published, either by freedom or at all ) everything appears to be back on track now in terms of its publication

well done freedom for holding firm in the end

as part of a compromise the title will be changed from 'The authorised' to 'An authorised'

What elements would these be oisleep?

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Jun 9 2010 14:58

one part would appear to be searchlight type elements (or those working to the same agenda)who are clearly not keen on seeing the book in print, alongside this were various anarchists who were not happy with freedom publishing it and moaning about how freedom should be publishing an 'anarchist' account of AFA (despite the fact that no one had ever actually bothered to write one, freedom would be more than happy to publish such an account if one is ever written of course, presumably if they felt it was worth publishing that is).

there also seems to be this bizarre (self important) notion that the whole book consists of slagging of and attacking anarchists (rather than it actuallybeing what it says on the tin) - which couldn't be further from the truth - clearly putting these kind of rumours out into the mill is a good way of creating ruptions between those involved in the joint venture and their respective 'constituencies' - when those making such claims (in public on indymedia) were challenged to offer up evidence to back up their claims they fell strangely silent

so overall the later elements (upset real anarchists) obviously provided, however unwittingly,ammo for the former (those pretending to be upset anarchists for more devious purposes)

(it was interesting that the most noise from 'anarchists' about freedom publishing the book were from ex-afa branches who were infiltrated and subsequently booted out of AFA for continuing to work with searchlight after they were proscribed nationally)

gypsy
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Jun 9 2010 15:18
oisleep wrote:
one part would appear to be searchlight type elements (or those working to the same agenda)who are clearly not keen on seeing the book in print, alongside this were various anarchists who were not happy with freedom publishing it and moaning about how freedom should be publishing an 'anarchist' account of AFA (despite the fact that no one had ever actually bothered to write one, freedom would be more than happy to publish such an account if one is ever written of course, presumably if they felt it was worth publishing that is).

there also seems to be this bizarre (self important) notion that the whole book consists of slagging of and attacking anarchists (rather than it actuallybeing what it says on the tin) - which couldn't be further from the truth - clearly putting these kind of rumours out into the mill is a good way of creating ruptions between those involved in the joint venture and their respective 'constituencies' - when those making such claims (in public on indymedia) were challenged to offer up evidence to back up their claims they fell strangely silent

so overall the later elements (upset real anarchists) obviously provided, however unwittingly,ammo for the former (those pretending to be upset anarchists for more devious purposes)

(it was interesting that the most noise from 'anarchists' about freedom publishing the book were from ex-afa branches who were infiltrated and subsequently booted out of AFA for continuing to work with searchlight after they were proscribed nationally)

I guess all this controversy may help sell more copies! Very interesting.

sort it out frosty
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Jun 9 2010 15:28

Disgusting to see the old lies about Malcolm from Doncaster repeated on that Indymedia thread. Got searchlight all over it.

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Rob Ray
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Jun 9 2010 15:28

Oisleep I know for a fact not all of the complainants are Searchlight types, at least some of the ire comes from people who reckon they ran afoul of internal politicking at the time and are understandably worried that they'll be written into history as stooges and wreckers by people with a grudge.

On those grounds afaik the word authorised is going entirely to reflect that it's not the only version of events, but it's being published because it has something to say.

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Jun 9 2010 16:20
Quote:
Oisleep I know for a fact not all of the complainants are Searchlight types, at least some of the ire comes from people who reckon they ran afoul of internal politicking at the time and are understandably worried that they'll be written into history as stooges and wreckers by people with a grudge.

Indeed which is why in addition to the searchlight type stuff in my post, I said:-

alongside this were various anarchists who were not happy with freedom publishing it

and

there also seems to be this bizarre (self important) notion that the whole book consists of slagging of and attacking anarchists

There seems to be two distinct types of voices of protest from those who are 'understandably worried' - the first group I have no sympathy with the second some sympathy with

The first is those who have claim to have read the book and maintain the claim that it is full of slagging off, and attacks on, anarchists - as I said when challenged to offer up an example from the text to back up their claims they fall silent. This group is more likely to be searchlight types as it's their MO to put out dis-information without any evidence and watch it spiral and cause ruptures (i.e. their smear campaign of racism against class war within AFA, which resulted in not a jot of evidence being put forward after a 6 month enquiry) .

The other group is the one I have a bit more sympathy with who obviously don't know the contents of the book but for whatever reason think they will be written in to history as 'stooges & wreckers by people with a grudge'. Now the folk at Freedom aren't dafties, they are not going to publish a book that consists of slagging of and attacks on anarchists, why would they? Clearly the best way of convincing this group of worriers that their worry is misguided is for the book to be published so they can see for themselves. In addition there is nothing stopping anyone writing and publishing their own account of the story - but there does seem to be plenty of people for whatever reasons wanting to put a stop to this particular account

Quote:
On those grounds afaik the word authorised is going entirely to reflect that it's not the only version of events, but it's being published because it has something to say.

Any book about anything is clearly not going to be the 'only' version of events - and as I said there is nothing stopping anyone from taking the time to write their own account and publishing that. This particular account is not a history of red action, nor is it a history of red action within AFA, it's a book about AFA, written by founding members and principle regional organisers of AFA - so yes an account from a particular perspective but certainly one that carries AN 'authority' to do so.

sort it out frosty
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Jun 9 2010 16:40

Probably was a bad idea to call it an "authorised" history of AFA tho eh? I reckun Freedom should publish it but not as an "authorised" history. Dunno if its too late now...

As I understand it Bowman is now a member of the Irish Workers Solidarity Movement (WSM) -- given the long-standing & serious allegations against him you'd think they might want to investigate these allegations? Anyway, lots of stuff brought up in that Indymedia thread.

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Jun 9 2010 16:41

it's an authoritative account - hence the title

it was never a big thing anyway, could argue it's caused more harm than good as it's given people something to hide behind when attacking it for other reasons

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Jun 9 2010 16:48
allybaba wrote:
I guess all this controversy may help sell more copies! Very interesting.

making even more money for freedom, and by extension the 'anarchist movement', yet apparently we're ripping them off according to the enlightened ones on indymedia

Caiman del Barrio
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Jun 9 2010 17:01

Oisleep what's your actual link with this book, outta interest?

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Jun 9 2010 19:25

just general link with the authors really, (on behalf of them) I put the initial proposal to freedom for publication, did all the initial toing and froing on it as a go between really, then as things moved on just generally been involved in the overall process, either as a 'representative' for the authors re dealings with freedom etc.. or as part of that group dealing with things like negotiations, layout, pictures, content, distribution, publicity, dealing with anarchist/searchlight fallout etc...

not sure that's any of your business mind

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Jul 28 2010 08:56

for anyone who is interested the book isn't coming out today per the original plan - due to slower than expected progress on the technical side of things (layout/design/proofing etc..) the publication date was put back a while ago to 4th October this year (anniversary of cable street)

gypsy
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Jul 30 2010 08:48

Ahh clever release date. Also later in that month is the anarchist book fair where im sure it will sell well.

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Oct 26 2010 08:21

As I believe it did.
My copy is in on its way to New Zealand thanks to Oisleep.

gypsy
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Oct 26 2010 16:37

Yeah I would agree with that Jack. Im nearly finished, there is alot of info here about the different factions on the far left and right. Its also really easy to read and engaging. Incidents and themes that stand out- the headbutting of an innocent gay skinhead researcher, the whole incident with red action defending a house/flat under petrol bomb attack from a massive gang for a whole night surprised and the constant attack in this book of the SWP leadership and all the other parties on the 'left'.