Anti-fascism
Overview
 
Anti-fascism is the opposition to fascist
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 ideologies, groups and individuals, such as that of the resistance movements during World War II
Resistance during World War II
Resistance movements during World War II occurred in every occupied country by a variety of means, ranging from non-cooperation, disinformation and propaganda to hiding crashed pilots and even to outright warfare and the recapturing of towns...

. The related term antifa derives from Antifaschismus, which is German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 for anti-fascism; it refers to individuals and groups on the left of the political spectrum, that are dedicated to fighting fascism.
In the 1920s and 1930s in France
France in the twentieth century
The History of France from 1914 to the present includes:*the later years of the Third Republic *World War I *World War II *the Fourth Republic *the Fifth Republic -Geography:...

, anti-fascists confronted aggressive far right
Far right
Far-right, extreme right, hard right, radical right, and ultra-right are terms used to discuss the qualitative or quantitative position a group or person occupies within right-wing politics. Far-right politics may involve anti-immigration and anti-integration stances towards groups that are...

 groups such as the Action Française
Action Française
The Action Française , founded in 1898, is a French Monarchist counter-revolutionary movement and periodical founded by Maurice Pujo and Henri Vaugeois and whose principal ideologist was Charles Maurras...

 movement in France, which dominated the Latin Quarter
Latin Quarter
Latin Quarter is a part of the 5th arrondissement in Paris.Latin Quarter may also refer to:* Latin Quarter , a British pop/rock band* Latin Quarter , a 1945 British film*Latin Quarter, Aarhus, part of Midtbyen, Aarhus C, Denmark...

 students' neighborhood.
In the 1920s and 1930s in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Communist Party
Communist Party of Germany
The Communist Party of Germany was a major political party in Germany between 1918 and 1933, and a minor party in West Germany in the postwar period until it was banned in 1956...

 and Social Democratic Party
Social Democratic Party of Germany
The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic political party in Germany...

 members advocated violence and mass agitation amongst the working class
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

 to stop Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

's Nazi Party and the Freikorps
Freikorps
Freikorps are German volunteer military or paramilitary units. The term was originally applied to voluntary armies formed in German lands from the middle of the 18th century onwards. Between World War I and World War II the term was also used for the paramilitary organizations that arose during...

.
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

 wrote:

"fighting squads must be created ...
Encyclopedia
Anti-fascism is the opposition to fascist
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 ideologies, groups and individuals, such as that of the resistance movements during World War II
Resistance during World War II
Resistance movements during World War II occurred in every occupied country by a variety of means, ranging from non-cooperation, disinformation and propaganda to hiding crashed pilots and even to outright warfare and the recapturing of towns...

. The related term antifa derives from Antifaschismus, which is German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 for anti-fascism; it refers to individuals and groups on the left of the political spectrum, that are dedicated to fighting fascism.

France

In the 1920s and 1930s in France
France in the twentieth century
The History of France from 1914 to the present includes:*the later years of the Third Republic *World War I *World War II *the Fourth Republic *the Fifth Republic -Geography:...

, anti-fascists confronted aggressive far right
Far right
Far-right, extreme right, hard right, radical right, and ultra-right are terms used to discuss the qualitative or quantitative position a group or person occupies within right-wing politics. Far-right politics may involve anti-immigration and anti-integration stances towards groups that are...

 groups such as the Action Française
Action Française
The Action Française , founded in 1898, is a French Monarchist counter-revolutionary movement and periodical founded by Maurice Pujo and Henri Vaugeois and whose principal ideologist was Charles Maurras...

 movement in France, which dominated the Latin Quarter
Latin Quarter
Latin Quarter is a part of the 5th arrondissement in Paris.Latin Quarter may also refer to:* Latin Quarter , a British pop/rock band* Latin Quarter , a 1945 British film*Latin Quarter, Aarhus, part of Midtbyen, Aarhus C, Denmark...

 students' neighborhood.

Germany

In the 1920s and 1930s in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Communist Party
Communist Party of Germany
The Communist Party of Germany was a major political party in Germany between 1918 and 1933, and a minor party in West Germany in the postwar period until it was banned in 1956...

 and Social Democratic Party
Social Democratic Party of Germany
The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic political party in Germany...

 members advocated violence and mass agitation amongst the working class
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

 to stop Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

's Nazi Party and the Freikorps
Freikorps
Freikorps are German volunteer military or paramilitary units. The term was originally applied to voluntary armies formed in German lands from the middle of the 18th century onwards. Between World War I and World War II the term was also used for the paramilitary organizations that arose during...

.
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

 wrote:

"fighting squads must be created ... nothing increases the insolence of the fascists so much as 'flabby pacifism
Pacifism
Pacifism is the opposition to war and violence. The term "pacifism" was coined by the French peace campaignerÉmile Arnaud and adopted by other peace activists at the tenth Universal Peace Congress inGlasgow in 1901.- Definition :...

' on the part of the workers' organisations ... [It is] political cowardice [to deny that] without organised combat detachments, the most heroic masses will be smashed bit by bit by fascist gangs."


Among the anti-fascist organizations formed to counter the Nazis was the Rotfrontkämpferbund
Rotfrontkämpferbund
Rotfrontkämpferbund was a paramilitary organization of the Communist Party of Germany created on 18 July 1924 during the Weimar Republic. Its first leader was Ernst Thälmann...

 (English:Red Front Fighters' League), which was created in 1924. The Rotfront was a paramilitary organization affiliated with the Communist Party of Germany that engaged in street fights with the Nazi Sturmabteilung
Sturmabteilung
The Sturmabteilung functioned as a paramilitary organization of the National Socialist German Workers' Party . It played a key role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s...

. Its first leader was Ernst Thälmann
Ernst Thälmann
Ernst Thälmann was the leader of the Communist Party of Germany during much of the Weimar Republic. He was arrested by the Gestapo in 1933 and held in solitary confinement for eleven years, before being shot in Buchenwald on Adolf Hitler's orders in 1944...

, who would later die in a concentration camp and become widely honored in East Germany as an anti-fascist and socialist.
After German reunification
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

 in 1990, many anti-fascist groups formed in reaction to a rise in far right
Far right
Far-right, extreme right, hard right, radical right, and ultra-right are terms used to discuss the qualitative or quantitative position a group or person occupies within right-wing politics. Far-right politics may involve anti-immigration and anti-integration stances towards groups that are...

 extremism and violence, such as the Solingen arson attack of 1993
Solingen arson attack of 1993
The Solingen arson attack of 1993 was one of the most severe instances of anti-foreigner violence in modern Germany. On the night of May 28 to May 29, 1993, four young German men belonging to the far right skinhead scene, with neo-Nazi ties, set fire to the house of a large Turkish family in...

. According to the German intelligence agency
Intelligence agency
An intelligence agency is a governmental agency that is devoted to information gathering for purposes of national security and defence. Means of information gathering may include espionage, communication interception, cryptanalysis, cooperation with other institutions, and evaluation of public...

 Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, the contemporary anti-fascist movement in Germany includes those who are willing to use violence.

Italy

In Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 in the 1920s, anti-fascists — many from the workers' movement — fought against the violent Blackshirts
Blackshirts
The Blackshirts were Fascist paramilitary groups in Italy during the period immediately following World War I and until the end of World War II...

, and against the rise of fascist leader Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

. After the Italian Socialist Party
Italian Socialist Party
The Italian Socialist Party was a socialist and later social-democratic political party in Italy founded in Genoa in 1892.Once the dominant leftist party in Italy, it was eclipsed in status by the Italian Communist Party following World War II...

 (PSI) signed a pacification pact with the National Fascist Party
National Fascist Party
The National Fascist Party was an Italian political party, created by Benito Mussolini as the political expression of fascism...

 on August 3, 1921, and trade unions adopted a legalist and pacified strategy, members of the workers' movement who disagreed with this strategy formed the Arditi del popolo
Arditi del Popolo
The Arditi del Popolo was an Italian militant anti-fascist group founded at the end of June 1921 to resist the rise of Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party and the violence of the Blackshirts paramilitaries...

. The General Confederation of Labour
Italian General Confederation of Labour
-External links:**...

 (CGT) and the PSI refused to officially recognize the anti-fascist militia, while the Italian Communist Party
Italian Communist Party
The Italian Communist Party was a communist political party in Italy.The PCI was founded as Communist Party of Italy on 21 January 1921 in Livorno, by seceding from the Italian Socialist Party . Amadeo Bordiga and Antonio Gramsci led the split. Outlawed during the Fascist regime, the party played...

 (PCI) ordered its members to quit the organization. The PCI organized some militant groups, but their actions were relatively minor, and the party maintained a non-violent, legalist strategy. The Italian anarchist
Anarchism in Italy
Italian anarchism as a movement began primarily from the influence of Mikhail Bakunin, Giuseppe Fanelli, and Errico Malatesta. From there it expanded to include illegalist individualist anarchism, and anarcho-syndicalism. It participated in the biennio rosso and survived fascism...

 Severino Di Giovanni
Severino Di Giovanni
Severino Di Giovanni , was an Italian anarchist who immigrated to Argentina, where he became the best-known anarchist figure in that country for his campaign of violence in support of Sacco and Vanzetti and antifascism.- Italy :Di Giovanni was born on March 17, 1901, in the town of Chieti, in the...

, who exiled himself to Argentina
Immigration to Argentina
Immigration in Argentina, can be divided in several major stages:* Spanish colonization starting in the 16th century, integrating the indigenous inhabitants ....

 following the 1922 March on Rome
March on Rome
The March on Rome was a march by which Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party came to power in the Kingdom of Italy...

, organized several bombings against the Italian fascist community.

Italian liberal anti-fascist Benedetto Croce
Benedetto Croce
Benedetto Croce was an Italian idealist philosopher, and occasionally also politician. He wrote on numerous topics, including philosophy, history, methodology of history writing and aesthetics, and was a prominent liberal, although he opposed laissez-faire free trade...

 wrote Manifesto of the Anti-Fascist Intellectuals
Manifesto of the Anti-Fascist Intellectuals
The Manifesto of the Anti-Fascist Intellectuals, written by Benedetto Croce in response to the Manifesto of the Fascist Intellectuals by Giovanni Gentile, sanctioned the unreconcilable split between the philosopher and the Fascist government of Benito Mussolini, to which he had previously given a...

, which was published in 1925. Another notable Italian liberal anti-fascist around that time was Piero Gobetti
Piero Gobetti
Piero Gobetti was an Italian journalist, intellectual and radical liberal and anti-fascist. He was an exceptionally active campaigner and critic in the crisis years in Italy after the First World War and into the early years of Fascist rule.-Biography:...

.

Between 1920 and 1943, several anti-fascist movements were active among the Slovenes and Croats
Croats
Croats are a South Slavic ethnic group mostly living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and nearby countries. There are around 4 million Croats living inside Croatia and up to 4.5 million throughout the rest of the world. Responding to political, social and economic pressure, many Croats have...

 in the territories annexed to Italy after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, known as the Julian March
Julian March
The Julian March is a former political region of southeastern Europe on what are now the borders between Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy...

. The most influential was the militant insurgent organization TIGR
TIGR
TIGR, abbreviation for Trst , Istra , Gorica and Reka , with the full name Revolutionary Organization of the Julian March T.I.G.R. was a militant anti-Fascist and insurgent organization active in the 1920s and the 1930s in the eastern Italian border region known as the Julian March.The...

, which carried out numerous sabotages, as well as attacks on representatives of the Fascist Party and the military. Most of the underground structure of the organization was discovered and dismantled by the Organization for Vigilance and Repression of Anti-Fascism (OVRA) in 1940 and 1941, and after June 1941, most of its former activists joined the Liberation Front of the Slovenian People
Liberation Front of the Slovenian People
On 26 April 1941 in Ljubljana the Anti-Imperialist Front was established. It was to promote "an international massive movement" to "liberate the Slovenian nation" whose "hope and example was the Soviet Union"...

.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, many members of the Italian resistance left their houses and went to live in the mountainside, fighting against both Italian fascists and German Nazi
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 soldiers. Many cities in northern Italy, including Turin
Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

, Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 and Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, were freed by anti-fascist uprisings.

Spain

Large-scale anti-fascist movements were first seen in the 1930s, during the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

.
The Republican
Second Spanish Republic
The Second Spanish Republic was the government of Spain between April 14 1931, and its destruction by a military rebellion, led by General Francisco Franco....

 Government and army, the Communist Party(PCE) the International Brigades
International Brigades
The International Brigades were military units made up of volunteers from different countries, who traveled to Spain to defend the Second Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War between 1936 and 1939....

, the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification
Workers' Party of Marxist Unification
The Workers' Party of Marxist Unification was a Spanish communist political party formed during the Second Republic and mainly active around the Spanish Civil War...

 (POUM) and Spanish anarchist
Anarchism in Spain
Anarchism has historically gained more support and influence in Spain than anywhere else, especially before Francisco Franco's victory in the Spanish Civil War of 1936–1939....

 militias such as the Iron Column
Iron Column
The Iron Column was a Spanish anarchist militia column formed during the Spanish Civil War to fight the military forces of Francisco Franco that had rebelled against the Second Spanish Republic....

 fought the rise of Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

 with military force. The Friends of Durruti were a particularly militant group, associated with the Federación Anarquista Ibérica
Federación Anarquista Ibérica
The Federación Anarquista Ibérica is a Spanish organization of anarchist militants active within affinity groups inside the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo trade union. It is often abbreviated as CNT-FAI because of the close relationship between the two organizations...

 (FAI). Thousands of people from many countries went to Spain in support of the anti-fascist cause, joining units such as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade
Abraham Lincoln Brigade
The Abraham Lincoln Brigade refers to volunteers from the United States who served in the Spanish Civil War in the International Brigades. They fought for Spanish Republican forces against Franco and the Spanish Nationalists....

, the British Battalion
British Battalion
The British Battalion was the 16th battalion of the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War.- Early volunteers :A number of British volunteers, including Tom Wintringham and Nat Cohen, arrived in Spain during August-September 1936 and formed the Tom Mann Centuria - a rifle company in...

, the Dabrowski Battalion
Dabrowski Battalion
The Dabrowski Battalion, also known as Dąbrowszczacy was a battalion of the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. It was initially formed entirely of volunteers, "chiefly composed of Polish miners recently living and working in France and Belgium". Because of the relatively short...

, the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion
Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion
The Mackenzie–Papineau Battalion or Mac-Paps were a battalion of Canadians who fought as part of the XV International Brigade on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War. Except for France, no other country gave a greater proportion of its population as volunteers in Spain than Canada. The...

 and the Naftali Botwin Company. Notable anti-fascists who worked internationally against Franco included: George Orwell
George Orwell
Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist...

 (who fought in the POUM militia and wrote Homage to Catalonia
Homage to Catalonia
Homage to Catalonia is political journalist and novelist George Orwell's personal account of his experiences and observations in the Spanish Civil War. The first edition was published in 1938. The book was not published in the United States until February 1952. The American edition had a preface...

about this experience), Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

 (a supporter of the International Brigades who wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls
For Whom the Bell Tolls
For Whom the Bell Tolls is a novel by Ernest Hemingway published in 1940. It tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to a republican guerrilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. As an expert in the use of explosives, he is assigned to blow up a...

about this experience), and radical journalist Martha Gellhorn
Martha Gellhorn
Martha Gellhorn was an American novelist, travel writer and journalist, considered by The London Daily Telegraph amongst others to be one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century. She reported on virtually every major world conflict that took place during her 60-year career...

.

Spanish anarchist guerrilla Francesc Sabaté Llopart fought against Franco's regime until the 1960s, from a base in France. The Spanish Maquis
Spanish Maquis
The Spanish Maquis were Spanish guerrillas exiled in France after the Spanish Civil War who continued to fight against the Franco regime until the early 1960s, carrying out sabotage, robberies , occupations of the Spanish Embassy in France and assassinations of Francoists, as well as contributing...

 linked to the Communist Party (PCE) also fought the Franco regime from a base in France, long after the Spanish Civil war had ended.

Sweden

Antifascistisk Aktion (AFA) is an anti-fascist group founded in Sweden in 1993. AFA's Activity Guide advocates violence against neo-Nazis. Some in the mainstream media have called them "left extremists
Far left
Far left, also known as the revolutionary left, radical left and extreme left are terms which refer to the highest degree of leftist positions among left-wing politics...

". An editorial in the tabloid newspaper Expressen
Expressen
Expressen is one of two nationwide evening tabloid newspapers in Sweden, the other being Aftonbladet. Expressen was founded in 1944; its symbol is a wasp and slogans "it stings" or "Expressen to your rescue", always on the reader's side....

argued that the label anti-fascist was misleading, because of the organization's methods, such as stealing the subscriber list of the National Democrats
National Democrats (Sweden)
The National Democrats is a minor political party in Sweden, formed by a faction of the Sweden Democrats in October 2001. The party describes itself as a democratic nationalist and ethnopluralist party....

 newspaper, and threatening the subscribers. Other critics say the group does not respect freedom of speech
Freedom of speech
Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used...

, because some members have attacked fascists
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 and other nationalists
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

.

United Kingdom

The rise of Oswald Mosley
Oswald Mosley
Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley, 6th Baronet, of Ancoats, was an English politician, known principally as the founder of the British Union of Fascists...

's British Union of Fascists
British Union of Fascists
The British Union was a political party in the United Kingdom formed in 1932 by Sir Oswald Mosley as the British Union of Fascists, in 1936 it changed its name to the British Union of Fascists and National Socialists and then in 1937 to simply the British Union...

 (BUF) was challenged by the Communist Party of Great Britain
Communist Party of Great Britain
The Communist Party of Great Britain was the largest communist party in Great Britain, although it never became a mass party like those in France and Italy. It existed from 1920 to 1991.-Formation:...

, socialists
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 in the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 and Independent Labour Party
Independent Labour Party
The Independent Labour Party was a socialist political party in Britain established in 1893. The ILP was affiliated to the Labour Party from 1906 to 1932, when it voted to leave...

, anarchists
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

, Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

 dockmen and working class
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

 Jews in London's east end
East End of London
The East End of London, also known simply as the East End, is the area of London, England, United Kingdom, east of the medieval walled City of London and north of the River Thames. Although not defined by universally accepted formal boundaries, the River Lea can be considered another boundary...

. A high point in the struggle was the Battle of Cable Street
Battle of Cable Street
The Battle of Cable Street took place on Sunday 4 October 1936 in Cable Street in the East End of London. It was a clash between the Metropolitan Police, overseeing a march by the British Union of Fascists, led by Oswald Mosley, and anti-fascists, including local Jewish, socialist, anarchist,...

, when thousands of eastenders and others turned out to stop the BUF from marching. Initially, the national Communist Party leadership wanted a mass demonstration at Hyde Park
Hyde Park, London
Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in central London, United Kingdom, and one of the Royal Parks of London, famous for its Speakers' Corner.The park is divided in two by the Serpentine...

 in solidarity with Republican Spain, instead of a mobilisation against the BUF, but local party activists argued against this. Activists rallied support with the slogan They shall not pass
They shall not pass
"They shall not pass" is a slogan used to express determination to defend a position against an enemy.It was most famously used during the Battle of Verdun in World War I by French General Robert Nivelle...

,
adopted from Republican Spain.

There were debates within the anti-fascist movement over tactics. While many east end ex-servicemen participated in violence against fascists, Communist Party leader Phil Piratin
Phil Piratin
Philip Piratin , known as Phil Piratin, was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and one of their few Members of Parliament....

 denounced these tactics and instead called for large demonstrations. In addition to the militant anti-fascist movement, there was a smaller current of liberal anti-fascism in Britain; Sir Ernest Barker
Ernest Barker
Sir Ernest Barker was a liberal British political scientist who served as Principal of King's College London from 1920 to 1927....

, for example, was a notable English liberal anti-fascist in the 1930s.

After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Jewish war veteran
War Veteran
War Veteran is a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick. It was first published in If magazine in March 1955.-Plot summary:The plot concerns an old man who claims to have travelled back in time from a future in which Earth has lost a devastating war to its own Martian and Venusian colonies...

s in the 43 Group
43 Group
The 43 Group was an English anti-fascist group set up by Jewish ex-servicemen after World War II. They did this when, upon returning to London, they encountered British fascist organisations such as Jeffrey Hamm's "British League of Ex-Servicemen" and later Oswald Mosley's reformed fascist party,...

 continued the tradition of militant confrontations with the BUF. In the 1960s, the 62 Group
62 Group
The 62 Group was a militant broad-based coalition of anti-fascists in the United Kingdom, set up largely in response to the resurgence of fascism in Britain at the time, and particularly the creation of Colin Jordan's Nationalist Socialist Movement, in 1962...

 continued the struggle against neo-Nazis
Neo-Nazism
Neo-Nazism consists of post-World War II social or political movements seeking to revive Nazism or some variant thereof.The term neo-Nazism can also refer to the ideology of these movements....

.

1970s and later

In the 1970s, fascist and far right parties such as the National Front (NF) and British Movement
British Movement
The British Movement , later called the British National Socialist Movement , is a British neo-Nazi organisation founded by Colin Jordan in 1968. It grew out of the National Socialist Movement , which was founded in 1962...

 (BM) were making significant gains electorally, and were increasingly bold in their public appearances. This was challenged in 1977 with the Battle of Lewisham
Battle of Lewisham
The Battle of Lewisham refers to the events of 13 August 1977, when an attempt by the far-right National Front to march from New Cross to Lewisham in southeast London led to counter-demonstrations and violent clashes...

, when thousands of black
Black people
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

 and white people
White people
White people is a term which usually refers to human beings characterized, at least in part, by the light pigmentation of their skin...

 disrupted an NF march in South London
South London
South London is the southern part of London, England, United Kingdom.According to the 2011 official Boundary Commission for England definition, South London includes the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Greenwich, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Southwark, Sutton and...

. Soon after, the Anti-Nazi League
Anti-Nazi League
The Anti-Nazi League was an organisation set up in 1977 on the initiative of the Socialist Workers Party with sponsorship from some trade unions and the endorsement of a list of prominent people to oppose the rise of far-right groups in the United Kingdom. It was wound down in 1981...

 (ANL) was launched by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). The ANL had a large-scale propaganda campaign and squads that attacked NF meetings and paper sales. The success of the ANL's campaigns contributed to the end of the NF's period of growth. During this period, there were also a number of black-led anti-fascist organisations, including the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism
Campaign Against Racism and Fascism
The Campaign Against Racism and Fascism is an anti-racist group based in London with a history going back to the mid-nineteen-seventies...

 (CARF) and local groups like the Newham Monitoring Project
Newham Monitoring Project
Newham Monitoring Project is a grassroots community-based anti-racist organisation in the London Borough of Newham, London, England with a remit to provide support work against racial discrimination and violence, police misconduct and around civil rights issues. It provides advice, support,...

.

The SWP disbanded the ANL in 1981, but many squad members refused to stop their activities. They were expelled from the SWP in 1981, many going on to found Red Action
Red Action
Red Action is a small British leftist political group formed in 1981. It became known for violently confronting racist and fascist opponents on the streets, and for supporting Anti-Fascist Action...

. The SWP used the term squadism
Squadism
Squadism was a militant movement within the Anti-Nazi League in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Participants used violence and intimidation to break up meetings, marches and other gatherings of far right groups such as the National Front and the British Movement...

 to dismiss these militant anti-fascists as thugs. In 1985, some members of Red Action and the anarcho-syndicalist
Anarcho-syndicalism
Anarcho-syndicalism is a branch of anarchism which focuses on the labour movement. The word syndicalism comes from the French word syndicat which means trade union , from the Latin word syndicus which in turn comes from the Greek word σύνδικος which means caretaker of an issue...

 Direct Action Movement launched Anti-Fascist Action (AFA). Their founding document said "we are not fighting Fascism to maintain the status quo but to defend the interests of the working class". Thousands of people took part in AFA mobilisations, such as Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth...

 demonstrations in 1986 and 1987, the Unity Carnival, the Battle of Cable Street
Battle of Cable Street
The Battle of Cable Street took place on Sunday 4 October 1936 in Cable Street in the East End of London. It was a clash between the Metropolitan Police, overseeing a march by the British Union of Fascists, led by Oswald Mosley, and anti-fascists, including local Jewish, socialist, anarchist,...

's 55th anniversary march in 1991, and the Battle of Waterloo against Blood and Honour
Blood and Honour
Blood & Honour is a neo-Nazi music promotion network and political group founded in 1987 with links to Combat 18 and composed of white power skinheads and other white nationalists....

 in 1992. After 1995, some AFA mobilisations still occurred, such as against the NF in Dover
Dover
Dover is a town and major ferry port in the home county of Kent, in South East England. It faces France across the narrowest part of the English Channel, and lies south-east of Canterbury; east of Kent's administrative capital Maidstone; and north-east along the coastline from Dungeness and Hastings...

 in 1997 and 1998. However, AFA wound down its national organisation and some of its branches, and by 2001 it has ceased to exist as a national organisation.

In the early 1990s, a number of left-wing groups formed anti-fascist front organisations, such as a re-launched ANL in 1992, the Socialist Party's
Socialist Party (England and Wales)
The Socialist Party is a Trotskyist party active in England and Wales.It publishes the weekly newspaper The Socialist and the monthly magazine Socialism Today...

 Youth Against Racism in Europe, and the Revolutionary Communist Party's Workers Against Racism. A number of black-led organisations, along with the Labour Party Black Sections and the National Black Caucus, formed the Anti-Racist Alliance in 1991, which eventually became the National Assembly Against Racism
National Assembly Against Racism
The National Assembly Against Racism is or was a British anti-racist and anti-fascist group.-External links:...

.

In 2001, some former AFA members founded the militant anti-fascist group No Platform, but this group soon disbanded. In 2004, members of the Anarchist Federation, Class War
Class War
Class War is a UK class struggle based group and newspaper originally set up by Ian Bone and others in 1983. It subsequently mutated various forms, becoming specifically anarchist....

, and No Platform founded the organisation Antifa. This predominantly anarchist group has imitated AFA's stance of physical and ideological confrontation with fascists.

In 2003, Unite Against Fascism
Unite Against Fascism
Unite Against Fascism is an anti-fascist pressure group in the United Kingdom, with support from politicians of all mainstream UK political parties...

 (UAF) formed out of a merger between the ANL and the National Assembly Against Racism
National Assembly Against Racism
The National Assembly Against Racism is or was a British anti-racist and anti-fascist group.-External links:...

, in response to electoral successes of the British National Party
British National Party
The British National Party is a British far-right political party formed as a splinter group from the National Front by John Tyndall in 1982...

 (BNP). UAF does not partake in militant anti-fascism, due to its critique of squadism. Organisations such as Manchester Anti-Fascist Alliance and Edinburgh Anti-Fascist Alliance have continued the militant tradition against far right groups such as the BNP and the English Defence League
English Defence League
The English Defence League is a far-right street protest movement which opposes what it considers to be a spread of Islamism, Sharia law and Islamic extremism in the UK. The EDL uses street marches to protest against Islamic extremism...

. Some of those demonstrations resulted in violent confrontations and arrests. Many of the local grassroots organisations came together in March 2010 to form the Stop Racism Stop Fascism Network.

United States

Premature anti-fascism is a term that was used in the United States to describe the views of those who opposed fascism at a time when the US government was on relatively friendly terms with fascist Italy
Italian Fascism
Italian Fascism also known as Fascism with a capital "F" refers to the original fascist ideology in Italy. This ideology is associated with the National Fascist Party which under Benito Mussolini ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943, the Republican Fascist Party which ruled the Italian...

 and (to a lesser extent) Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

. The term was applied especially to supporters of the Second Spanish Republic
Second Spanish Republic
The Second Spanish Republic was the government of Spain between April 14 1931, and its destruction by a military rebellion, led by General Francisco Franco....

 in the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

, including members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade
Abraham Lincoln Brigade
The Abraham Lincoln Brigade refers to volunteers from the United States who served in the Spanish Civil War in the International Brigades. They fought for Spanish Republican forces against Franco and the Spanish Nationalists....

.

See also

  • Anti-authoritarianism
  • Antifascist Circle
    Antifascist Circle
    The Antifascist Circle is a logo designed by Sergei Tschachotin - former assistant to the physiologist Ivan Pavlov - in 1931 for the 1930s German anti-fascist organization Iron Front. The logo was designed to be able to easily cover up Nazi swastikas. The meaning of the three arrows have been...

  • Anti-racism
    Anti-racism
    Anti-racism includes beliefs, actions, movements, and policies adopted or developed to oppose racism. In general, anti-racism is intended to promote an egalitarian society in which people do not face discrimination on the basis of their race, however defined...

  • Denazification
    Denazification
    Denazification was an Allied initiative to rid German and Austrian society, culture, press, economy, judiciary, and politics of any remnants of the National Socialist ideology. It was carried out specifically by removing those involved from positions of influence and by disbanding or rendering...

  • List of anti-fascists
  • Resistance during World War II
    Resistance during World War II
    Resistance movements during World War II occurred in every occupied country by a variety of means, ranging from non-cooperation, disinformation and propaganda to hiding crashed pilots and even to outright warfare and the recapturing of towns...

  • Resistance movement
    Resistance movement
    A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance or the use of armed force...

  • Redskin (subculture)
  • Slovak National Uprising
    Slovak National Uprising
    The Slovak National Uprising or 1944 Uprising was an armed insurrection organized by the Slovak resistance movement during World War II. It was launched on August 29 1944 from Banská Bystrica in an attempt to overthrow the collaborationist Slovak State of Jozef Tiso...

  • Squadism
    Squadism
    Squadism was a militant movement within the Anti-Nazi League in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Participants used violence and intimidation to break up meetings, marches and other gatherings of far right groups such as the National Front and the British Movement...


External links

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