This article offers an alternative historical reading of militant antifascism and argues that application of the “gang” designation is overly reductionist. Whilst there is a historical connection between “gangs” and militant antifascism, and militant antifascists do engage in “gang” behaviors, a “gang” designation pays no attention to the multiplicities of militant antifascism; its transnational evolution and character; and above all, the ideological motivations of the antifascists themselves.
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My primary works on antifascism are Nigel Copsey, Anti-Fascism in Britain 2nd edit. Abingdon: Routledge, 2017; and Nigel Copsey and Andrzej Olechnowicz (eds.) Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Inter-War Period. Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010.
Eve Rosenhaft, Beating the Fascists? The German Communists and Political Violence, 1929–1933. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983, p. 131.
Ibid., p. 132
Ibid., p. 159
Quoted in Michael Burleigh and Wolfgang Wippermann, The Racial State: Germany 1933–1945. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991, p. 226.
See Tom Behan, The Resistible Rise of Benito Mussolini. London: Bookmarks, 2003, p. 61.
Philip V. Cannistraro, Blackshirts in Little Italy: Italian Americans and Fascism 1921–1929. West Lafayette, IN: Bordighera Press, 1999, p.84.
Ibid., p. 137.
See Warren Grover, Nazis in Newark. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2003.
Quoted in Faja, Antifa U.S.A.: A history in their own words. Independently published (7 Sept. 2017), p. 13.
Quoted in Anna Key (ed.) Beating Fascism: Anarchist Anti-Fascism in Theory and Practice. London: Kate Sharpley Library, 2006, p. 46.
See Antifa forum, Antifascism in Canada, 1996. p 37.
Quoted in Faja, Antifa U.S.A, p. 14.
Fighting Talk, Magazine of Anti-Fascist Action, no. 7, p. 6.
Quoted in Nigel Copsey, “Crossing Borders: Anti-Fascist Action (UK) and Transnational Anti-Fascist Militancy in the 1990s”. In Contemporary European History (Volume 25 (4)), November 2016, 707–727.
Quoted in Copsey, Anti-Fascism in Britain, p. 178.
See Antifa forum, The Nature of the Beast, 1998, p. 43.
Anti-Fascist Action, An Introduction to London AFA, 1991, p. 3.
Quoted in Sean Birchall, Beating the Fascists: The Untold Story of Anti-Fascist Action. London: Freedom Press, p. 369. Emphasis as original.
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Copsey, N. Militant Antifascism: An Alternative (Historical) Reading. Soc 55, 243–247 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12115-018-0245-y
- Militant antifascists
- Anti-Fascist Action
- Anti-Racist Action