Point Blank, RA Vol 4, Issue 6, April/May '00


AFA stewards began pre-election work against the West Midlands BNP in mid-March. Some 2,500 leaflets delivered door to door highlighted the opportunism behind the West Mid’s BNP’s Tipton ­based electoral experiment. A BNP member from the area phoned up the AFA national office stating that a copy of AFA’s Tipton leaflet was being forwarded to the police, precociously assuming a less than lawful AFA agenda with regards to the BNR Also a matter of concern to the caller was whether AFA itself would also be contesting the Tipton wards!

Orchestraters of the BNP campaign, Steve and Sharon Edwards, who live in the distant and largely middle class area of Wombourne, were vindicated by the caller as people whose family had lived in Tipton for four generations. Also cited was the BNP’s recent orientation towards community work and three local resident’s groups.


SCORES OF disappointed punters had to be turned away from an AFA benefit at the East Oxford Community Centre on 11.3.00. Popular local reggae band Mackating and DJ’s Hadyn, Natty Mark and Ras James rapidly had the venue packed to its capacity, forcing stewards to lock the doors on revellers unlucky enough to have arrived late.

The atmosphere in the club was buzzing all night and the dance floor heaved until the shut down. A total of £420 was raised on the door and the AFA stall reported an enthusiastic response. Both the venue and the performers stated that they were more than happy with the success of the gig and have offered their services for future fundraising.

Oxford AFA has felt the need to raise its profile recently, in this part of the city, in response to a wave of reaction in the local press against asylum seekers currently residing here. AFA has drawn attention to the fact that the situation is ripe for exploitation by the far-right. It Is impor­tant therefore, that through such activities as benefit gigs, using the letters page of the local press etc, AFA is in effect ensuring that any vacuum that opens up to possible fascist infiltration is promptly shored up. Guaranteeing that AFA strong­holds, such as East Oxford remain well and truly in our hands.

LIVERPOOL AFA held their first benefit for five years on 11th March. 300 people packed into The Picket on Hardman Street to see Vamos, Western Avenue and Zeb play an eclectic mix of punk, hip-hip and dance grooves. The audience was a diverse mixture of dockers, Republicans, students, musicians and other odds and sods that make the Liverpool so unique. Liverpool’s own Tommy 8 provided the well-received poetry in-between Western Avenue and Zeb. Andy Johnson spoke on behalf of AFA, telling the audience “AFA was formed in the mid-eighties for the sole purpose of the ideological and physical confrontation of fascism in this country. It has been a very successful campaign. Britain in the year 2000 is the only country in Europe without a noticeable Far-Right presence. AFA claims the exclu­sive responsibility for this. But this is no time to be complacent”.

All in all a very successful evening with £933 taken on the door, and this gig is sure to be the first of many.

A week later an AFA contingent was present during the St. Patrick’s Day parade, which had been stopped by Loyalists in l996. The opposi­tion failed to materialise on this occasion. Liverpool has always had one of the most respected and active branches within AFA, and this gig is the opening of a new chapter in Liverpool’s anti-fascist history. An influx of new faces, along with the rebuilding of AFA’s Northern Network, means that the underlying anti-fascist presence on Merseyside will become visible on the streets again.

Reproduced from RA Vol 4, Issue 6, April/May '00