(eng) ANTIFA INFO-BULLETIN, Vol. 1, No. 6 [3/3]

Tom Burghardt (tburghardt@igc.apc.org)
Wed, 5 Jun 1996 01:10:47 +0200


working class and the Left. We are aware of our responsibility in
picking up that gauntlet. The gulf between the working class and
the Left is enormous. The size of the task is a daunting one, but
the challenge is nothing compared to the political consequences
of our failing to act.

RESISTANCE

One possible election scenario, is that some sections of the
working class finding themselves in confrontation with a
'socialist' government, and hungry for real change, end up
sharing common ground with the radical right out of sheer
desperation. The Left has an obligation to offer the working
class something other than the choice between New Labour and a
resurgent far right. Labour are forcing the working class into a
fight. As we see it, the alternative to resistance is either
capitulation or collaboration. The setting up of an independent
working class organisation is something that has to be done. New
Labour have themselves provided us with the opening, So, let's
get on with it

IWCA leaflet, Winter 1995/96

*****

ANL, YRE, ARA -- WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

In 1992, motivated by (they say) the rise in political
fortunes of the BNP or (we suggest) the number of demonstrators
on AFA's march against racist attacks in Bethnal Green, new
players temporarily entered the anti-fascist arena. The
Anti-Racist Alliance (ARA) used Marc Wadsworth's media
connections to present itself as a viable anti-racist
organisation. Militant launched its own 'safe' version of AFA -
Youth Against Racism in Europe (YRE). Eleven years after deciding
it was a political liability, the Anti-Nazi League (ANL) was
relaunched by the SWP.

Four years later ARA has collapsed after tearing itself
apart over money - specifically the amount of money being sucked
out of the organisation for salaries and 'expenses'. Its final
death throes took place at an industrial tribunal in January 1996
where one of its ex-workers took a case against Wadsworth & co.
For unfair dismissal, which was 'settled' discreetly out of court
before being heard in full. The settlement was for an
'undisclosed sum'. ARA's one 'success' was in convincing large
numbers of trade unionists not to involve themselves ever again
in anti-racist/anti-fascist activities. The TUC backed ARA with
big money. It pushed trade union branches into backing ARA with
more money. The money got spent, no worthwhile activity took
place. Thousands of pounds were provided to produce and
anti-racist exhibition to tie in with the TUC march against
racism in 1993 - where is it? The trouble is that it's not just
the ARA that got discredited, but the whole notion of
anti-racism/anti-fascism, to the extent that pro-AFA trade
unionists are now finding it extremely difficult to get any kind
of serious hearing on the question of anti-fascism.

On paper the ANL and YRE still exist, waiting in the wings
supposedly for the next fascist upsurge when they'll ride in like
the cavalry again. There's no mention of either organisation in
the press of the SWP and Militant now, save for nostalgic
references to the 'successes' of their respective outfits. In
1994 it was reported that 60,000 people had joined the ANL (this
was before the ANL Carnival), each of them paid to join. This,
plus the income from organisations that affiliated, equals a
tremendous sum of money. It is almost beyond belief that the ANL
could achieve so little with access to hundreds of thousands of
pounds. Even now when their membership has dropped to 10,000,
this still makes the ANL a moneyspinner for the SWP.

In a recent pamphlet the SWP gave some clues as to why the
ANL had been shelved. "The BNP has been beaten back by mass
support for anti-nazi initiatives and organisation" ('Where is
Labour going' - Duncan Blackie), and in an article in Socialist
Review (Feb.96) they talk about "...the marginalisation of the
nazis..."

The reality of the "marginalisation of the nazis" was an
electoral defeat for the BNP on the back of a mass campaign by
the ANL, YRE, and the rest of the Left, to rebuild the Labour
vote -- when it was white working class anger and disgust at
Labour which gave the BNP a base to start with. Having compounded
the problem the ANL and YRE popped open the champagne and retired
from the game.

When the ANL was relaunched the SWP was heavily criticised
for abandoning the anti-fascist movement for 11 years and then
coming back in and expecting to lead it. This time they are
keeping the name afloat (and raising money on the back of it) but
winding down 'operations'. So it is ironic that the 1996 ANL
affiliation form should carry a large headline "No Room For
Complacency" when they are still unable to prevent their
activists from being attacked by fascists. At Morden, in south
London, an ANL leafleting team of only 5 had to run to the police
for protection when some fascists turned up, while in Birmingham
a pub full of SWP got turned over by a handful of fascists after
an anti-Asylum Bill rally.

The YRE is also keeping its name going, but like the ANL has
seriously wound down its activities. In effect the YRE is the
youth wing of Militant, which has gone under various names since
the Labour Party shut down the Militant-dominated Young
Socialists in the 1980s. Although in some areas the YRE showed a
willingness to work alongside militant anti-fascists, their
activists were always kept strictly under control by their
political 'masters/mistresses' in Militant. Like the ANL, the YRE
has failed to take anti-fascism seriously, and so has only been
able to respond to fascist activities rather than being part of
an anti-fascist movement that can set its own agenda.

Once the BNP were no longer making headlines, groups like
the YRE and the ANL have deserted the anti-fascist movement
again. The fascists haven't gone away, they have their own
agenda, and it is the duty of anti-fascists to develop a strategy
to prevent them gaining support. This has to be done now, not
wait until the fascists are confident enough to enough to make a
public move again. The disappearance of the ANL/YRE from the
anti-fascist movement only serves to underline the complete
opportunism of the SWP and Militant who used anti-fascism to
raise money for themselves and try to recruit people to their
organisations. Once again they have betrayed the working class
constituency they forever take for granted.

(Source: Fighting Talk #13, March 1996)

*****

THE NEW FRONTIER -- THE GROWTH OF WHITE POWER ROCK IN THE
USA AND CANADA

With the proliferation of cross-border co-ordination between
fascists in Canada and the United States, combined with the
growth of extreme-right influence amongst the youth, Resistance
Records has attempted to forge itself as a leading edge within
the international neo-Nazi music scene. For some time now, their
leadership and organisers have been looking increasingly to
European fascist movements as the model around which to base
themselves. Britain, being the main English-speaking country has
long served a major influence, particularly in the area of
cultivating youth activism within the ranks. The influential
success in North America of British fascist bands like
Skrewdriver and No Remorse has now been mirrored and capitalised
upon in the form of Resistance Records; a producer and
distributor of fascist propaganda grounded firmly in the broader
fascist networks, similar to that of Britain's own Blood &
Honour. Resistance Records organisers have successfully tapped
into the hearts, minds and bank accounts of their target audience
within a short span of time, exploiting the overall condition of
a white backlash currently surging in North America.

In 1992 the Heritage Front, a Toronto-based umbrella group
of far-rightists, reached the peak of a massive recruiting drive
within the highschools and working class communities of cities
concentrated in the area of Southern Ontario. Part of this
campaign included the usual propagandising and leafleting, but
the bulk of it was orchestrated with the launch of the fascist
music scene. Although it was played out relatively low-key at
first, its effects were loud and clear. Against a background of
racist and fascist attacks taking place across Canada, the seeds
of fascist growth were sown.

On August 28, 1992 Toronto's RAHOWA (RAcial HOly WAr), a
white-power band fronted by one-time Church of the Creator (COTC)
organiser and bonehead George Burdi (aka George Eric Hawthorne),
played their first underground gig in the city. RAHOWA played
again on November 13 at the Roma Restaurant, complete with a COTC
Security Legion of 'White Berets' performing the evening's
security. The event was scheduled to feature British
holocaust-revisionist David Irving as a speaker. Irving was
deported earlier that day, but the event went on to commemorate
former Western Guard Party members John Ross Taylor and Jacob
Prins for years of 'white racial service'. The evening was cut
short by the efforts of an ARA (Anti-Racist Action) demonstration
which stormed the venue. On May 29, 1993, RAHOWA was playing out
again, this time in Ottawa at the Boys and Girls Club, where
running battles between boneheads and anti-fascists took place
after the event was shut down. George Burdi himself ended up
busted for assault. As a result, Burdi's bail conditions limit
his movements in the United States, but actually do little to
impede cross-border activity maintained by strong links that have
been built up between Detroit and Toronto. On the night of June
6, 1993 RAHOWA played in Downsview, Toronto to a pumped-up
audience of neo-Nazi boneheads, three of which went on a rampage
following the event. One Jason Robert Hoolans attacked and beat a
Tamil dishwasher into a coma that night, leaving the man
paralysed for life.

Burdi's long-term plan was to set up a record label to
legitimise 'white power' music in order to lure a wider audience
of white youth towards buying into the movement. Based in
Detroit, Michigan, Resistance Records was co-founded officially
in 1994 with Mark Wilson of Sterling Heights, Detroit; one-time
SHAM (Skinhead Army of Milwaukee) member and failed COTC
Reverend. This arrangement allowed them to avoid Canada's
stricter hate laws and take full advantage of American liberal
free speech rights. The label produced cassette and CD releases
of RAHOWA along with a growing line-up of North American fascist
bands. A glossy magazine, 'Resistance' is also produced which
contains interviews with the bands, news articles, and contacts
accessing the broader fascist music and political scenes in North
America and Europe. This project was based on the Blood & Honour
movement in Britain, founded by the late Ian Stuart Donaldson (of
whom a tribute is dedicated in the first issue of Resistance
magazine). Blood & Honour was responsible for putting on fascist
music concerts across Britain, and even sponsored several gigs in
the United States. This concept allows for the spread of
propaganda, cultivates for the recruitment of white youth to the
ideas and concepts of fascism, and funnels extremely large
amounts of money directly into the fascist coffers.

In the best interest of the fascists in Canada, 'racial
rock' was becoming of interest to the media, creating big
headlines. When RAHOWA played a secret Toronto location with the
London, Ontario-based Aryan, they gained themselves some airtime
on Much Music. Anti-fascists interrupted and shut down a 'panel
discussion' with these boneheads at the Much Music building. A
'Racialist Rockline' was set up, advertising their first 'Rock
Against Communism' concert, which took place in Toronto's East
End. The bill consisted of White Riot, Excessive Force, Aryan,
and Max Resist and the Hooligans from the United States. Operated
by George Harbottle, the Racialist Rockline was based in Toronto
and held together a loose network of boneheads and fash-bands
across Southern Ontario and America.

In keeping with the aim of "forging a new destiny for white
power music", Resistance Records held a tribute to Ian Stuart; a
memorial gig held on September 30, 1994 commemorating the second
anniversary of Ian Stuart's honourable death in a car accident.
"The Flame That Never Dies" concert was organised professionally
at a large venue in Racine, Milwaukee featuring No Remorse from
Britain, Bound For Glory, RAHOWA, Centurion, Berserkr and Das
Reich. Less than 300 showed up to this event, billed convincingly
enough as "The Concert Event Of The Decade". Immediately after
the concert, Joe Rowan, the vocalist for Nordic Thunder decided
to commemorate Ian Stuart's passing in his own special way.
Following an altercation in a convenience store, a black man
dispatched Rowan to Valhalla with a handgun blast to the head. A
video release of the concert is set for release sometime this
year, so hopefully it will include some stunning post-concert
footage!

A CD release from No Remorse entitled Farewell Ian Stuart
has been released by Resistance Records which has caused
considerable tensions between North American and British
fascists. It was no secret that Paul Burnley, the one-time
frontman of No Remorse, had skimmed funds from the profits of
Blood & Honour. No Remorse had long been popular in Canada and
were flown over to feature at a number of events. Tensions
between Blood & Honour, who are now firmly under the control of
C18, and Resistance Records have boiled to the surface. The
latest No Remorse release, Under The Gods on Nordland Records,
has also been released by Resistance Records this year along with
a No Remorse 'Best Of' compilation. No Remorse have since
reformed under a new line-up without Burnley as a Blood & Honour
band, much to spite Resistance Records and widely seen as an
attack.

In a bid to reach out to a broader 'white' market in North
America, Resistance Records have made it a priority to organise
and appeal to the metal scene. At the tail end of 1994,
Resistance Records had signed four 'White Power metal' bands,
Centurion (Milwaukee), New Minority (formerly Ritual, New
Jersey), Berserkr (Oklahoma), and Bound For Glory (Minneapolis).
Bound For Glory, a Northern Hammerskin band who formed in 1989,
are quite popular on the world-wide scene and even featured in
the American Pit Magazine, which caters to the metal audience.
BFG's original singer, Eric Banks, was put down for a dirtnap via
shotgun blast by a SHARP skin in Oregon early on in 1994.

Other acts signed to the Resistance Records label, many of
which were previously signed to Rock-O-Rama, include The Voice
(Pennsylvania), Aggravated Assault (Atlantic City), Max Resist
and the Hooligans (Detroit), Aryan (London, Ontario) and Nordic
Thunder (Delaware). Other titles carried by Resistance Records
but signed to other labels include Extreme Hatred and Eric Owens
(both on Phoenix Records), and Celtic Warrior (Di-Al Records) Two
aligned American outfits include Das Reich on White Terror
Records and Lightning Rod on the MSR label (California). Aside
from its numerous dealers in the US, its distributors abroad
include Tuono Records (Vicenza, Italy), S.P.E. Records (Gentilly,
France), One Voice (Segre, France), FD (Marseille, France),
Viking Sounds (Ar Goes, The Netherlands) and Nordland (Stockholm,
Sweden).

The main organisation behind Resistance Records in its
initial stages was the Church Of The Creator, of which George
Burdi was a prominent, second-in-command organiser. Due to a
split in the COTC involving differences of opinions with 'Dr.'
Rick McCarty, who took the reins of leadership following founder
Ben Klassen's suicide, Burdi left the organisation with what is
said to be a healthy share of its finances. The word is that
these funds went into the initial foundation of the Resistance
Records project. Since that initial jump-start, profits from the
sale of music CDs have paid for the Resistance magazine, a
propaganda organ which boasts a circulation of 13,000. Featuring
glossy, full-colour ads for the likes of the National Alliance
and the COTC, while being geared increasingly towards the
metalhead audience, Resistance magazine shines brighter than its
longer-standing counterparts like the Blood & Honour skinzine
from Long Beach, California and the Blood & Honour publications
from Britain. Its contents make no bones whatsoever with regard
to their fascist beliefs, motives and methods. The veneer of
'equal rights for whites' so espoused by the extreme right in the
past to make headway for their organising has been replaced by a
more true-to-form fascist face. Burdi's attempts to fire up and
agitate his targeted youth-based audience are laid bare
throughout the magazine in the form of his pompous writings and
reactionary news round-ups.

In most recent developments, London, England's Oi-cum-metal
outfit Squadron were flown overseas to play two gigs promoted by
Life Rune Records in the US, albeit to relatively small
audiences. On December 30, 1995 they played in Dallas, Texas by
themselves when the much-hyped Berserkr backed out while the
opening act, Bully Boys, also bagged it. A 'New Year's
Revolution' concert on the 31st, held in Cleveland, Ohio,
featured Squadron supported by Max Resist and the Hooligans,
Aggravated Assault and Bound For Glory. This gig ended off in a
punch-up amongst show-goers. In addition to these shows, Burdi
had Squadron slipped across the border for an unannounced show in
London, Ontario (just outside Toronto) on January 6, 1996 which
featured RAHOWA along with Aryan and Excessive Force. A Project
Tribute CD compilation is now being put together by Resistance
Records and Phoenix Records featuring Squadron.

At this stage of the game, Burdi is quite certain that he
and his cohorts have 'cornered the market' in rallying what he
believes to be an inexhaustible wealth of support to the cause.

Antifa Forum

(Source: Fighting Talk #13, March 1996)

*****

ANTIFA FORUM -- BUILDING FOR RESISTANCE

What Is Antifa Forum And Why?

Antifa Forum is an info-group which, on a basic and
practical level, collects and disseminates information and
analysis on fascist activity through the written word and
ever-increasingly over the Internet. Our emphasis highlights the
resistance to this activity and influence. Naturally, the aim is
to build anti-fascist politics into our assessment of the
ground-level situation across North America, particularly in
relation to our own stomping grounds which have long been an
organisational centre for the fascists in Canada. This work will
complement our work on the ground as well as building upon a
loose network of supporters and militants.

At the current stage, we are building on our existing
resources and contacts to widen our picture of fascist activity
in this country with its existing links across the border and
overseas. If you have information regarding fascist activity and
anti-fascist resistance in your area, write to us at the address
below. We have a pamphlet which details some of the recent
history of organised fascist activity and resistance to it in
Canada.

The pamphlet called "Antifascism In Canada" is available for
distribution and is essential for militants in and out of the
country who are putting together a coherent picture of what has
led us to the current stage of the game in Canada. It costs $4 a
copy and postage is $2 in North America and $3 elsewhere. Payment
can be made by sending well-concealed cash or a blank postal
money order (leave the "payable to" part blank) to the Antifa
Forum address below.

We also carry the new single from The Oppressed entitled
'Fuck Fascism' (3 track EP. 7" vinyl) - SHARP/AFA production.
$4 Canadian - all proceeds to Anti-Fascist Action

"The Oppressed, the Cardiff skinheads fronted by SHARP
'godfather' Roddy Moreno, have released another blazing attack on
the fascists, hot on the heels of their 'Anti-Fascist Oi!' EP.
'Sleeping With The Enemy', 'Fuck Fascism', and a reworking of
their original plea for unity between black and white, 'Work
Together', is another fine slice of buzz-saw guitar and 'oi! oi!'
vocals that kicks all that quasi-heavy metal Blood and Honour
bollocks well into touch. The Oppressed represent the positive
side of skinhead culture and the coming together with AFA to
release this single was an excellent idea, not before time. Buy
it!"

For more information or contact write:

ANTIFA FORUM
PO Box 6326, Station A
Toronto, Ontario
M5W 1P7 CANADA

Issued: Spring 1996

* * * * *

Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights (BACORR)
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E-Mail: <tburghardt@igc.apc.org>

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On PeaceNet visit ANTIFA INFO-BULLETIN on <pol.right.euro> or by
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BACORR text files can also be found on the following sites:

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