The Impact of Punk on Anarchism in Britain

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T La Palli
Joined: 9-02-09
Mar 20 2012 16:42
The Impact of Punk on Anarchism in Britain

Can anybody point me to articles on the influence of punk on the anarchist movement in Britain?

Fozzie's picture
Joined: 4-12-03
Mar 21 2012 11:19

There are some general articles about anarchopunk here, some of which are critical.

The links page includes some other articles too.

I seem to recall that punk in general is covered in the autobiographies of Albert Meltzer and Ian Bone.

If you mean explicitly early 1976 punk like the Sex Pistols then I'm not sure. Articles like "The End of Music" were critical of punk from a situationist perspective, I think. It's been a while since I read it. (It's in the "What Is Situationism" anthology by Stewart Home).

Joined: 8-01-11
Mar 24 2012 19:58

not sure how helpful this'll be but

rat's picture
Joined: 16-10-03
Mar 25 2012 17:03

The question should, perhaps, be asked the other way round.

Here's a link to an article that begins:
“Germany got Bader-Meinhof,” went the 1978 poster by the punk band Crass “England got punk.”
(Crass were hippies really)

It's not just about Britain though and also it's about autonomist Marxism and maybe not so relevant?

Theft's picture
Joined: 17-08-11
Apr 12 2012 13:06

Also worth looking up, Craig O'Hara's The Philosophy of Punk.

Ernestine's picture
Joined: 3-12-11
Apr 12 2012 15:10

Never mind the philosophy feel the tape cassette -
and Sniffin' Glue:
"this is a chord, this is another, this is a third. Now form a band"

Joined: 29-11-10
Apr 13 2012 13:59

I always found the Anarchist scene in the Uk from 85ish and into the and through the 90's (when I was first about- being 15 then) very stuffy about Punk- including Class War.

Almost all the people who had been into punk was just because it had been fashionable in 77/80. In the early/mid eighties the anarchos who where punks thought you where only to like 'anarcho-punk' and the sort of anarcho punk that wasn't very punk- they hardly ever seemed to even be able to like Crass. And bloody hell those sort didn't like people liking Discharge, Exploited , Disorder, GBH type of stuff. WE always did good sales of Class War to punks- it was the crusty vegan animal rights sort that seemed to hate us- though I think there was some bad attitude about stuff before 92- which was when I joined CW.

An aweful lot of the anarcho punks seemed to be up their own arse about animal rights back then also- an aweful lot of that scene hated Class even being mentioned. The further couth you got the worse it generally got- the orginal anarcho punk thing was a really southern/London thing in a lot of ways.

That Crack Fix Progaganda thing (well i've only read the first bit) made me laugh- in an 'oh so true' sort of way. There was a lot of misanthropy and other bullshit attached to the whole animals rights thing- most folk I know from the early 80's blaim it for fucking every thing up- which is annoying as it was just before I was coming along.

Crass where Freakpower not Hippie- that whole era is far more complex than Normal folk, Cloth cap folk and posh hippies. Calling Crass hippies is like calling Black Sabbath hippie. Punk comes out more from Black Sabbath and Hawkwind than it does from Malcolm Mclaren.

Serge Forward's picture
Serge Forward
Joined: 14-01-04
Apr 13 2012 19:09

This place was a big influence on me when I was a young punk.

GBF23's picture
Joined: 15-12-11
Apr 13 2012 21:59

punk as fuck!

welshboy's picture
Joined: 11-05-06
Apr 13 2012 23:09


communal_pie's picture
Joined: 18-10-08
Apr 14 2012 00:07

Late 70s punk contained a lot of good music, but politically it was just a hotchpotch of anything, the 'conservative punk' Ramones being a quite amusing example of this. The Clash and The Stranglers were quite notable mainstreamish exceptions, but if you can stand listening to them - quite a lot of other non-mainstream late-70s or mixed 80s ultra-political ones - I can't.. stuff like Crass..

flaneur's picture
Joined: 25-02-09
Apr 14 2012 00:29

Actually conservatism was the norm for the then burgeoning hardcore scene in America, in dress and in politics. It was common for skinhead gangs to kick off at shows. Though out of that came anarchist bands with better sounds and better politics than the anarcho punk bands here, like Dead Kennedys, Reagan Youth or Nation of Ulysses.

Serge Forward's picture
Serge Forward
Joined: 14-01-04
Apr 14 2012 01:41

Some was conservative some not... most of it was more clueless than anything though.

Back to the Electric Circus, I quite like this film of Penetration because: a) a youthful Serge is in there somewhere, b) it's funny as fuck when that beer chucking bellend gets twatted while the band looks on nervously (none of yer pacifist shite in Manchester that night), and c) Wild Willy Barrett is hanging about stage left. Happy days smile

Auld-bod's picture
Joined: 9-07-11
Apr 15 2012 14:08

Ah Serge was that you in the shades like Phil Spector looking for a Ronette? If so that’s really free.

Serge Forward's picture
Serge Forward
Joined: 14-01-04
Apr 16 2012 12:18

Really free? Cor baby!

For all my mancunian bravado and tough talk, in reality I was only a 15 year old tuppeny fart with minimal bum fluff, just five foot and a fag high and possibly crapping me keks when it all kicked off... or I could have been giving that beer chucking twat in sunglasses a crafty dig for upsetting Pauline. Whichever story sounds best, take yer pick wink

Len Tilbürger
Joined: 17-08-17
Sep 6 2017 12:46

Punk and Anarchism: UK, Poland, Indonesia by Jim Donaghey

Joined: 6-01-07
Aug 17 2017 14:47

I forgot that we published an article titled 'Anarchy in the UK' by Sophie Richmond who had worked with the Sex Pistols in the old 'Social Revolution' group journal No7 in an attempt to generate some discussion which did get one letter reply in a follow-up edition. Not my thing really even though I do have a Sex Pistols CD so have never got round to getting it up on-line. Might be available elsewhere?