Anti-fascism in Britain, 1997–2012
in Against the grain
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Anti-fascism is along with anti-militarism, one of the most successful campaigns with which the left in Britain has been associated. The key moments, such as the Battles of Olympia, Cable Street or Lewisham were events at which the activities of the left forced themselves into the news and through which whole generations of activists came into the movement. Seasoned anti-fascists viewed New Labour's victory at the 1997 general election with scepticism. Between 1997 and 2001, the British National Party (BNP) grew noticeably, albeit without achieving the electoral breakthroughs which were to follow later. Between 2001 and 2005, the BNP enjoyed sustained electoral success. In 2009, 2010 and until summer 2011, the United Against Fascism (UAF) and English Defence League (EDL) numbers were usually broadly even. In June 2009, a rival far-right organisation, the EDL, was founded, as a street-fighting Islamophobic group.

Against the grain

The British far left from 1956

Editors: Evan Smith and Matthew Worley


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