Anti-fascism

Far Right: Left Pole of Attraction

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The growth of the anti-war movement means greater forces to deal with the dangers from the far right.

Two contradictory moods are sweeping Britain. There is the enormous movement against the war on Iraq. Not only has there been the biggest anti-war demonstration the country has ever seen, but the global anti-capitalist mood that emerged after Seattle has been getting a wide echo within the movement, feeding into the first real political student movement for years and creating a wide sense of solidarity with the firefighters' strikes at the end of last year.

The Jubilee: No Future in England's Dream

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Punk was the perfect antidote to the 1977 jubilee, because it stuck two fingers up to the establishment.

By now you are probably sick of the hype surrounding the queen's golden jubilee. Even before the royal beano began, newspaper columnists talked of a country united. Many have evoked the celebrations that took place during the queen's silver jubilee in 1977. But the country was never united. One 7-inch single helped piss on the queen's parade.

Polarisation in Europe: Designed to Deceive

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Today's fascists stand in the tradition of their Nazi forefathers.

Fascism in the year 2002 does not come in a black shirt with a pencil moustache--it comes in a designer suit. It is not going to call openly for the extermination of the Jews and will try to cultivate maximum respectability. Neither is it going to goosestep down your high street complete with swastika flag. This seems to throw many liberal journalists and academics into confusion. For them if someone does not correspond to their image of fascism they cannot be a Nazi.

To Vote or Not to Vote?

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It was wrong to call for a vote for Chirac against Le Pen in the recent French elections.

One of the fascinating things about the present period is how it brings up old issues in a new form. Take the debate which erupted last month among the French revolutionary left about how to react after Le Pen came second in the first round of the presidential election, and knocked out the Socialist Party prime minister Jospin. It was very much a rerun of the arguments over the Popular Front between revolutionaries, Communist Party supporters and social democrats back in the 1930s.

Polarisation in Europe: Right Turn or Revolt?

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The crisis in Europe has allowed the far right a hearing, but it's also led to a resurgence of the left.

Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold.' The Irish poet WB Yeats wrote those words in the wake of the First World War. Today the sense of political crisis across Europe, while not as great as then, is growing weekly as support for the parties of the centre cracks and politics polarises to the left and right.

'Halte au fascisme, halte au capitalisme!'

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They came in their tens of thousands, young and old, black and white. Within hours of the news that Le Pen had come second in the first round of the presidential election, the boulevards of central Paris were filled with protesters.

Many were in tears of shock and emotion. One young woman had painted 'J'ai honte' ('I am ashamed') on her forehead.

I was on a feeder demonstration that marched first to the Place de la Republique on its way to the traditional gathering place for protesters, the Bastille. As we passed metro stations and cafes people responded to the call 'Dans la rue!' ('Onto the street!') and joined the march. Demonstrators hugged each other as they found friends in the crowd--they were on their mobile phones--'We're going to the Bastille. You must come'.

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