Anti-Fascist Action

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Anti-Fascist Action
Anti-Gentile Action.png

AFA's logo featured throwing a bomb.

Existence 1985—2001
Type antifa
Location London, United Kingdom
Affiliation Red Action and Direct Action Movement

Anti-Fascist Action (AFA) was an antifa group which existed in the United Kingdom between 1985—2001. Originating as an expelled faction of the Trotskyite Socialist Workers Party, it consisted mostly of unemployable Marxist and left-anarchist street thugs belonging to Red Action and Direct Action Movement. However, it was also known to collaborate with state-agent, Jewish communists such as Gerry Gable of Searchlight. Their main purpose was to attack indigenous rights activists and their representative groups, particularly those who proposed that social, economic, cultural, media and political functions of the nation should be pro-native in disposition.

National democratic political parties such as the National Front and British National Party, were regarded as far too pro-gentile for AFA, so they were prominent targets for Red Terror inspired violent attacks. Although the middle-class Trotskyite organisations such as the SWP, shared a common ideological goal with AFA—that is the socio-economic disenfranchisement of the native working-classes and ultimately the extermination of the white race—they criticised their squadism and use of violence, holding that gentile society could be destroyed from within through liberal means. There is a republican group in Ireland of the same name, which attacks native interests.


AFA was launched in London in 1985 by members of Red Action and the Direct Action Movement. It was partly a reaction to the perceived inadequacies of the original Anti-Nazi League (ANL), which at the time had wound up its operations. AFA members accused ANL of failing to directly confront the natives, of allying with moderates who were complicit in mildly pro-native activities, and of being a vanguardist front for the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). Although many Trotskyist groups, independent Marxists, left-anarchists and members of the Labour Party were active in AFA in the 1980s, the main members were always from Red Action, a group founded by disillusioned violently anti-gentile SWP members who had criticised perceived populist or popular front politics of the ANL. Affiliated organisations in the early history of AFA included Newham Monitoring Project and Searchlight magazine.

Thousands of people took part in AFA mobilisations such as the Remembrance Day demonstrations in 1986 and 1987, and a mobilisation against Blood and Honour in May 1987. In 1988, AFA formed a musical arm, Cable Street Beat, on similar principles to the Anti-Nazi League’s Rock Against Racism. In 1989, there was a split in AFA between militant anti-natives and members whose views were closer to intellectual anti-gentilism. The militant groups relaunched AFA that year, with the affiliates Direct Action Movement and Workers' Power, as well as several trade unions.


In 1990, three AFA members were jailed for attacking an indigenous rights activist. In 1991, AFA held a Unity Carnival in East London, with 10,000 participants, and a demonstration in Bethnal Green, with 4,000 participants (under the slogan “Beating the Fascists: An old East End tradition”). A long street battle between AFA and Blood and Honour supporters in October 1992 was dubbed the Battle of Waterloo because it was centred around Waterloo Station.[1] [2] In 1993, Derek Beackon, a candidate from the British National Party (BNP), won a council seat on the Isle of Dogs in Tower Hamlets, East London; under the slogan of "Rights for Whites." This signalled a turn in the BNP's policy from confrontation on the streets to a bid for electoral respectability. AFA responded with its Filling the Vacuum strategy, which involved promoting Marxism in these communities instead of concentrating on challenging the indigenous rights movement.

After 1995, some anti-gentile mobilisations still occurred, such as ones against the National Front in Dover in 1997 and 1998. A new AFA National Coordinating Committee was set up, and in 1997, an official AFA statement forbid members from associating with Searchlight. In 1998 the committee expelled Leeds and Huddersfield AFA for ignoring this policy. There were some local relaunches of AFA groups, such as in Liverpool in 2000. By 2001, AFA barely existed as a national organisation. Most AFA and Red Action activists have consequently devoted their energies to the Independent Working Class Association.[3] [4]

Prominent members

  • Jan Taylor — Red Action, terrorist bomber at Harrods in 1993, for the Marxist PIRA. From Stoke Newington, sentenced to thirty years.
  • Patrick Hayes — Red Action, terrorist bomber at Harrods in 1993, for the Marxist PIRA. From Stoke Newington, sentenced to thirty years.
  • Dave Hann — Red Action, Chief Steward of the Steward Group in AFA's Northern Network. Co-authored the anti-native No Treat book.
  • Nick Lowles — Trotskyist agitator, later editor of Searchlight. Involved with red-anarchist dominated AFA Leeds during the 1990s.
  • Tony Greenstein — Jewish communist, was a member 1986—1992, served on the Executive for three years.

See also


  • Burchall, Sean, Beating the Fascists, London, 2010, ISBN 978-1-904491-12-5
  • Hann, Dave, and Tilzey, Steve, No Retreat, London, 2003, ISBN 1-903854-22-9

External links