Anti-Fascist Action

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ANTIFA books published in 2003 & 2010 celebrating their street violence.

Anti-Fascist Action (AFA) was an Antifa umbrella organisation in the United Kingdom consisting of varying far-left violent groups engaged in domestic terrorism that were active from around 1985.

AFA was more social anarchist than, for example, the antifa groups associated with the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party (SWP), and AFA was consequently more disorganised, claiming to coordinate activities by independent groups rather than having a central leadership. However, some of its members, such as the influential Red Action, were more (anti-SWP) Communist or had other far left views.

A "twin-track" strategy was claimed: violence against those disliked and "ideological" propaganda, the latter notably involving a musical arm, "Cable Street Beat", named after the Battle of Cable Street.

They had a publication entitled Fighting Talk.

AFA was associated with the communist group Searchlight, but there was later a falling out, possibly related to the various dubious associations of Searchlight, starting to be criticized even within the Far-Left, as discussed in the article on Searchlight.

As could be expected from the presence of many anarchists, there was much infighting and drama. Better organised Communists have regularly outcompeted disorganised social anarchists in Far-Left internal conflicts, and AFA's collapse and disappearance is associated with an apparent takeover attempt by 'Red Action' in order to make AFA support Red Action's new party the 'Independent Working Class Association' (IWCA), which had a councillor on Oxford City Council until 2012.

Some of the social anarchists later went on to form the Anti-Fascist Network.

See also

External links


  • Hann, Dave, & Tilzey, Steve, No Retreat: The Secret War between Britain's Anti-fascists and the Far Right, Milo Books, Lytham, Lancashire, U.K., Nov 2003, ISBN: 1-903854-22-9
  • Birchall, Sean, Beating the Fascists, Freedom Press, London, 2010, ISBN: 978-1-904491-12-5