Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Continuing Struggle Against Nazism and Fascization of the State

First Published:The Workers’ Weekly, May 5, 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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During recent days the upsurge of the working people against racism and fascism has continued to gain strength.


On April 28th 15,000 people marched through Southall to denounce the racist and fascist attacks of the hitlerite National Front and the state on the working people. The demonstration was held five days after the mass anti-fascist battle in Southall against the attempt of the state to organize a meeting of its nazi party in the town, in the course of which the police savagely murdered one anti-fascist, Blair Peach, and arrested over 300 others.

The murderous attack on Blair Peach, a true martyr of the anti-fascist struggle, was simply the most vicious of countless unprovoked beatings carried out by the police throughout the day and night of April 23, part of a deliberate campaign of intimidation organized by the state against the local working people, particularly the youth and the thousands of anti-fascists who had rightly come to Southall to protest against the nazi meeting.

The massive turnout of police against the demonstration on April 28th completely failed to intimidate the working people and almost the entire Southall community militantly turned out to join the demonstration. Time and again participants pointed out that the nazis and the police work hand in glove to launch racist and fascist attacks on the people, and upheld the path of active resistance to fight these attacks.

Contingents of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), the South London People’s Front, East London People’s Front and the Indian Defense Committee militantly participated in the demonstration doing extensive propaganda and holding extensive discussions with the people during the course of the demonstration. The Party comrades widely disseminated the statement issued by the London Branch of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist). At the end of the march the Party contingent held a vigorous mass democracy meeting on these questions leading to further militant and vigorous discussions on the way forward for the anti-fascist movement. The comrades pointed out that the ferocity of the police attacks on April 23rd shows the rapid and all-round development of fascism by the ruling class in this country: firstly, by nurturing and protection of the open nazis; secondly, by the rapidly increasing fascism of the state apparatus itself. Such developments as the rapid building of police terror units such as the Special Patrol Group in London, and the vicious use of dogs against the anti-fascist demonstrators in Leicester on April 21st, bear witness to this. Faced with the growing resistance of the working people against the attempts of the rich, the ruling monopoly capitalist class, to make the people pay for the economic crisis, the government and state of the rich are gradually letting slip their “democratic” mask, and preparing open fascism to hold down the struggles of the people. The present election campaign shows this clearly. Police chiefs talk of protecting “democracy” and “free speech”, then deploy thousands of policemen to protect the nazi meetings and allow the nazis to propagate their fascist and racist policies, the very denial of democracy. Fascist gangs are encouraged and protected by the state to carry out murderous attacks on our communities, such as the recent killing of the student in North London Polytechnic and that of Altab Ali last year. They say that “we fought two world wars to protect free speech”, when every thinking person knows that millions of the world’s people fought and gave their lives in the 1930’s and 1940’s, not to give nazis free speech, but to wipe them out. And at the same time what democracy and free speech is there for those who protest against nazism? Forty arrested in Leicester on April 21st; 340 arrested in Southall on April 23rd; 16 arrested in East London on April 25th. In Southall the streets were forcibly cleared of even the most peaceful protesters. Whenever the working people organize to fight back against racist attacks it is they and not the nazis who are arrested, beaten up and imprisoned as was seen with the Virk brothers. In speeches later in the week, all the main spokesmen of the bourgeois political parties – Conservative, Labor and Liberal – supported the action of the police, supported the nazis’ “right” to propagate their hitlerite policies, condemned the just protest and resistance of the people, and called for more “law and order” – that is, more attacks on the people, more vicious prison sentences, and so on.


The all-round fascization program of the state was further in evidence when over 1,500 people demonstrated against fascism on the following day, April 29th, in East London. On this occasion not only did the state send in its squadrons of police, mounted police, police dogs, etc., to seize control of the streets and arrogantly strut around the community and attack the anti-fascists, but it also invoked its reactionary Public Order Act to ban the demonstration from going near Great Eastern Street where the nazi headquarters is situated.

Thus the state has even thrown away its pretense of “banning both left and right”, a hoax which is used in practice to attack and ban the right of the working people to oppose fascism. Now the state uses its reactionary laws to ban anti-fascist demonstrations and is quite open about the fact that this is directed solely at the anti-fascists, while it equally openly spends millions in the hope of ensuring that a handful of nazi thugs will be able to continue their murderous fascist activities and avoid just retribution at the hands of the working people.


On April 28th the working people also waged another vigorous anti-fascist struggle at West Bromwich, in the West Midlands, against another attempt by the state to hold a nazi election meeting. Well over 1,000 people, including a contingent of the Party, rallied in Handsworth, Birmingham, and marched to West Bromwich, gathering forces on the way, to oppose the nazis and the police, shouting anti-fascist slogans including “Death to Fascism!” and “Fight Back against Nazi and Government-Organized Racist Attacks!”

Once more the state sent in over 2,500 police, from nine different forces, including mounted police, to protect its nazi meeting. This did not prevent anti-fascist workers and youth from clashing with the reactionary police outside the meeting hall on numerous occasions through the afternoon.

When the nazi meeting began a section of the anti-fascist forces succeeded in entering it. The attempted speech by nazi chieftain Tyndall was entirely drowned out with anti-fascist slogans. In a vain attempt to rescue their meeting the 40 or so nazi thugs viciously attacked the audience, hurling chairs at it. This was militantly repulsed by the anti-fascist masses who dealt heavy blows to the fascists using chairs and other weapons. In a short space the nazi thugs were thrown into disarray and many were seen to bolt, ripping off their armbands as they went, being saved only by the intervention of the police who savagely attacked the anti-fascists, arresting 17 of them. The nazi meeting was successfully broken up. This represents a further victory for the line of militant active resistance to fascism and a further defeat for the bankrupt opportunist line of “peaceful opposition”.


The events in the present upsurge of the antifascist struggle show clearly the way forward for the anti-fascist struggle in Britain. They show that in the face of the intentions and policies of the ruling class, its government of whatever Party, and its state agencies, the road of “peaceful protest” is the road of suicide. They show that no reliance can be put on the state to curb the nazis, to curb the so-called “excesses” of the police and to see that “justice is done”, as some are asking. The state is behind the nazis, is deliberately organizing the so-called “excesses” of the police and has no intention that its courts should have any even remote connection with real justice for the working people.

Events show that the working people can only defend themselves against the fascism of the nazis and the state by relying on their own strength, by developing the just and militant resistance shown at Southall on April 23rd in concrete organized forms, by setting up their own organizations to mobilize the whole community to fight back against all attacks by the nazis and the state, to make every factory, street, community, etc., a conscious center of anti-racist, anti-fascist struggle. The anti-fascist struggle has to be led by the working class and its vanguard political party. The Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) has led the setting up of such organizations in the form of the People’s Fronts and the local defense committees, such as Indian Defense Committee, to organize the antifascist struggle on a protracted and systematic basis, developing all the necessary forms of struggle to seriously and effectively deal with the growing racism and fascism that the capitalists are developing in society.

The only possibility of genuine democracy and justice for the working people is for them, led by the working class and its Party, the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist- Leninist), to organize step by step for the overthrow of the present system, the establishment of socialism and the suppression of the present ruling class under the dictatorship of the proletariat. The anti-fascist struggle, the organizing of the people themselves against fascist and racist attacks by the nazis and the state, is a vital part and preparation in the process of developing proletarian socialist revolution.