[Guest Post] Welcome to @NorthernAntifa

We are primarily part of the anti-fascist presence on Twitter as that was the reason we set up the account. We come from and fully support the militant, physical anti-fascist tradition.

We recognise that anti-fascism shouldn’t exist in a vacuum and instead should be part of a wider, working class movement.

We don’t want to stop fascism to protect the status quo, we want to create confidence and unity in our class so we can rid ourselves of the status quo.

Although we are all anarchists, we reject sectarianism and will work with and support all people fighting for working class emancipation across the UK and beyond. Having said that, we refuse to work with people who would sell us out to the authorities or try to impose their leadership upon us, no matter how ‘revolutionary’ they are.

We are also pretty normal folk (stop laughing) and we don’t care much for dry, theoretical naval gazing. We like music, art, sport and enjoying ourselves and this will also be reflected in our posts.

We aren’t an actual group off-line and we have no intentions of becoming one either. Some of us support groups, unions and organisations in a personal capacity but that’s our business.

Just to be clear, we aren’t part of the very popular “North East Anti-Fascists” page on facebook but we are supportive of them and regularly re-tweet their content.

We’ve teamed up with Sunderland Echoes as a way to lighten our load and to give ourselves a kick up the arse, resulting in a relaunch of sorts.

If you want to follow us please do so at @NorthernAntifa

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Echoes and @NorthernAntifa Link-up

Social media is here to stay so we need to use it rather than leave it to the cranks, weirdos and fascists. We have a half-arsed facebook page but we didn’t put any effort at all into our twitter account. To fix this we have decided to team up with @NorthernAntifa and help run that account. By taking turns on admin duties we can also promote this page without feeling we are taking advantage of their work building the account.

We have asked @NorthernAntifa to tell us the plans for the account and will publish this later today.

Onwards!

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Hello you racist fucks!

It seems the ‘Lover Scorned’  post we featured has attracted the attention of  Sunderland’s fascists and racists.

They’ve been babbling on about slashing some tyres in Grangetown [an area in Sunderland]. First, none of us are even on the south side of the river never mind Grangetown; second, slashing random tyres sums up your mentality i.e. five year olds having a tantrum.

So, here’s a new year resolution for all the racist and fascist scum reading this; kill yourselves in 2015. The world will be infinitely better without you scumbags stinking the place up.

Bye xxx

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Have a Merry Christmas

If you’re lucky enough to get a break from work this Christmas, enjoy it my friends.

Big, big thank you to all those working through Christmas in the NHS, fire and coastguard services, street cleaners, pub, care home staff, hotel and service workers, people caring for relatives and friends, public transport workers and anyone I forget.

Hope 2015 brings good times for all.

Editor.

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A Lover Scorned or Why I Stopped Supporting Sunderland

In March 2013 I stopped supporting Sunderland AFC. I threw away almost all of my Sunderland shirts, scarves, and memorabilia. “How can you fall out of love so quickly?” people have asked me. The truth is, it wasn’t sudden, we grew apart over a long time and then eventually…

I’ve supported Sunderland since I was a kid, my first game was in 1978 with my school pal Steven Woodmass. We wandered from Millfield to Roker Park and paid 40p to get in the Roker End. Sunderland won – I can’t recall who it was against – and that was that, I was in love.

Sunderland-AFC@3.-logo-80'sBy 1980 I had moved to the back of the Fulwell End but was soon back in the Roker with the other Skinheads.

In the second half of the 1980s I had left school and the prices were so low back then that even dole money could stretch to away games. Preston NE was my first away game, on the old wooden terracing.

The utter chaos at York, Wembley for the play-off final and later Hillsborough for the FA cup semi-final were among my favourite memories.

The move to the new stadium in 1997 was where it started to go wrong. For a while it was OK though. I remember being gob-smacked when I entered the Stadium of Light and walked from the concourse to the ‘terraces’ for the opening game against Ajax and it had nowt to do with Status Quo!

philquinThe higher ticket price were softened somewhat by the fact we had a cracking team under Peter Reid; Quinn and Phillips, good crowds, good atmosphere.

After 2001 the price of tickets really started to bite. Going from attending home and away to not even being able to afford the home games became my reality.

No matter what the club did, such as freezing prices for the odd season, it was of no help to the thousands like me who still couldn’t afford it. No matter how much I loved the club, I had a constant feeling that they were taking the piss with the prices being charged.

So eventually, reduced to discounted early cup rounds and cheap tickets via the bairns’ school, I was only getting to a handful of games a season.

Niall-Quinn-006Meanwhile, despite his qualifier about not meaning the poor, it was hard to hear Niall Quinn say he ‘despised’ fans, like me, who watched at the pub rather than the stadium. It also rankled a bit being called a part-timer by those who could afford a season ticket. Fuck that! I was there home and away when we were in the third division. Part-timers? Robbing the club of finance? What the fuck?

When, in 2012, they moved the away fans to the upper tier of the graveyard end, it killed the dynamic between the south west corner and the visitors. The move meant a considerably reduced atmosphere.

James-McClean-pa_2818962Later in 2012, during the James McClean poppy drama, I supported his right to do as he pleased, free country and all that. I knew people would disagree with him but I didn’t expect threats to kill from my so-called fellow Sunderland supporters. No, not to James, they ‘only’ booed his name and barely celebrated when he scored. It was me the Sunderland fans threatened to kill for speaking in support of him. I wasn’t best pleased about that.

I still loved my club through all of this and I would have continued this affair, even if it wasn’t all plain sailing, if not for the events of March 2013.

I was in the pub when the Sky Sports announcer said Paolo di Canio had been appointed as the new manager. I was devastated.

fash saluteDespite the Shankly cliché, there are many things more important than football. The idea of a self-confessed fascist being at my club was simply unacceptable. The camel’s back had been broken, me and Sunderland were finished.

The club, the supporters, the local media and the fascist himself issued various statements and excuses but for me thats all they were; excuses. Blind loyalty to the club trumped any kind of ethical, moral or political principle for the overwhelming majority of fans. Fine but there’s no way I was being part of it.

FotorCreatedLike leaving a toxic relationship, you start to see the bad things you once ignored. I realised how much I didn’t like many of the other Sunderland fans.

For example, take the rivalry with Newcastle United. The utter obsession with ‘the Mags’ shows how small minded and bereft of ambition many of the fans are. Far too many subscribe to the “as long as we beat the mags” bollocks. At derby games you might even hear that stubborn racism from the dark ages in the “I’d rather be a Paki than a Mag” chant.

alsWhat did surprise me was the way the independent fanzine ‘A Love Supreme’ quickly forgot their liberal politics and printed up Paolo shirts. The editor, Martyn McFadden, is the son of a prominent union man, Alec McFadden, who has been physically assaulted by fascists in the past. SAFC uber alles eh?

salute 2When they sacked the fascist a few months later the club might have won me back IF they had sacked him because of his fascist beliefs but they only sacked him because he was a pain in the arse.

So it was over for good. Why would I support the club that wasn’t bothered about employing a fascist. Why would I sit with fans who threatened to kill me? No, goodbye and fuck off.

and-the-horse

…………………………………………………………………………………………

A year or so later I have a new love, someone who had always been there, quietly earning my admiration as the years passed. What had been my long-term second team became my first team and I’m very, very happy…especially when I’m watching us beat Sunderland and Newcastle.

 

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Hello

I’m still here, just. May be back with actual posts soon…

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[Guest Post] National Front demonstration Newcastle 10th May 2014

You may have read the account of our writer friend being targeted by supporters of the National Front. Here’s his account of the demonstration itself. Thanks for your contribution, comrade!

 

I arrived at the demonstration area about half an hour before the advertised start time and there was already about 20 people standing on Grey’s Monument with a large banner declaring ‘Nationalists against Groomers’ and smaller Union flags. The crowd had doubled in size after just 15 minutes and by midday there was around 100 people.

ImageThis wasn’t the drunken wannabes of the EDL (although there was a small group of EDL from Sunderland who were, somewhat predictably, already drunk) this group was predominantly middle-aged veterans of the far-right. The fascist insignia was proudly on display; Blood and Honour shirts, C-18 badges and swastika tattoos.

ImageTheir banners and placards featured Enoch Powell; an iconic image from a past which felt so out of place among the modern, metropolitan shopping crowd who fill Newcastle on a Saturday afternoon. I heard one passer-by trying to explain to her adult daughter who Powell was and it almost sounded like an old folk tale.

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Simon Biggs, big Enoch fan

The demo was quite subdued for some time with only a few chants from the EDL supporters who, despite claiming to be against Nazis and racists, were obviously very happy to support the white-supremacists of the NF.

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Then the mood slowly got more menacing as passers-by were hassled by NF members trying to force their leaflets on them. I saw people being harassed to take leaflets and one NF supporter seemed to be targeting women. He wasn’t the only one either.

They had one of their members filming the demo but when teenage girls walked by he was filming them too, walking behind them, leering. Even the female NF supporters voiced their approval of this utterly creepy behaviour, behaviour which made a mockery of the stated aim of the demo; to protest against sex offenders.

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NF pervert

The almost non-existent police presence was either unaware of this behaviour or didn’t care. They didn’t intervene either when I  was targeted by NF supporters or when others who were reporting on the demo were subjected to abuse.

This group were itching for a fight

Various people from the far-right were in attendance; local EDL and Infidels, regional NF organiser Simon Biggs, Kevin Watmough the Redwatch website editor and bogus poppy seller and even veteran odd-ball Richard Edmonds was seen shuffling about with his tatty carrier bag of apples!

EDL couple, centre, drag this poor kid to every demo

Before the rain had started people had begun to drift away from the demo to the pub but once the heavens opened the NF lost a third of their group. The speeches were short and full of the expected anti-muslim, anti-immigration rhetoric. The irony of their claim to be peaceful protesters was not lost on this writer.

ImageThey left their demo early and trudged up the road in the driving rain to their rally at The Companions Club near St James Park. The pub has a reputation for not being particularly keen on non-white customers and their willingness to support the National Front will have only reinforced this reputation.

ImageWhat is worrying is my last report on a National Front demonstration in Newcastle was in 2011 and they had the grand total of four people, three years later they have 100. There was no opposition other than the odd comment from passers-by and it appears to be self-evident that these people will grow if left to their own devices. It may only be 100 now but that’s where these destructive movements start. How much bigger will they be in another three years?

DY 2014

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