Bash the Fash : Anti-fascist recollections 1984-93 by K. Bullstreet [Review]

This little booklet is basically one person's memoirs. That person happens to have been an anarchist member of Anti-Fascist Action. There is no doubt that modern working class history including that of the essential struggle against fascism - is sadly lacking and as such, this is a valuable addition.

I personally am not much into other people's diaries. There is little in the way of analysis here, and even less in the way of lessons for current anti-fascist resistance. But, to be fair, this is not what this booklet is about.

The real reason to read Bash the Fash is to get an insight into a period when Thatcherism was rampant, fascists were trying to get a foot in, and groups of anarchists/ anarchosyndicalists and Marxists were out to stamp them out. And herein lies the rub - there is not really a great difference between these times and today - just put Tony Blair in a dress, slash the fascist movement to a couple of sad dozen, and you are well on the way.

The author was a member of the Direct Action Movement, the precursor to the Solidarity Federation. 1980s issues of the then newspaper version of this mag, Direct Action, covered the stories and indeed, feature in the booklet. But you cannot (and probably wouldn't want to) get hold of 1980s issues of Direct Action - whereas this booklet is fresh and new.

Where Bash the Fash really scores is in its uplifting storyline. Event after event, the fash were kicked into touch and left looking pathetic and cowardly. If you don't understand the gratuitous way in which violence against fascists is glorified here, you haven't seen fascists at 'work'. Personally, I cannot stand gratuitous violence and I oppose unnecessary violence against humans, animals and the environment generally. But I make a special exception for fascists.

If you think that the fight against fascism stopped in 1945; or that stopping neo-nazi violence can be left to the police or that a small group of people can't improve things, then you should read this booklet.

From: Direct Action 18, Spring 2001.