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Socialist Review, December 1993

Adam J. Powell


Right to march?

From Socialist Review, No. 170, December 1993.
Copyright © Socialist Review.
Copied with thanks from the Socialist Review Archive.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.

I am a ‘left wing’ Labourite, sympathetic to the work of the ANL and read Socialist Review with interest. However, I must protest about Pat Stack’s article, Any means necessary.

Lenin and Stalin sought to create a socialist society by any means necessary. The result was one of the most evil regimes in history and millions of people being slaughtered for nothing.

Pat Stack needs to be reminded that democracy is necessary to maintain the stability of society. The BNP has every right to march. It is the responsibility of the ANL to march to discourage people from following the BNP. It is true that in the 1970s the ANL did defeat the Nazis and by peaceful means they can be defeated again. Violence will do nothing other than discredit our cause. One cannot evade fascism by using fascism, and who are the fascists anyway?

In Millwall, and in many other parts of the country, the fascists are working class people. Generally they are motivated by social deprivation, persuaded by the Tories and other elements of the establishment that the reason for their hardship is immigration and not capitalism. The ‘racist card’ is part of a wider strategy to divide working people and rule them – for example, black from white, young from old, the employed from unemployed, unionised from non-unionised workers, countrymen from city dwellers, intelligent people from the less able. By fighting other working class people one simply plays into the hands of the establishment. Our rule should be to win the argument and let people live in unity from their own free will.

I don’t accept that if Hitler’s movement had been smashed with the utmost brutality that it would have stopped. Instead it would have been driven underground, only to fight another day.

Ken Livingstone is absolutely right to suggest that one should listen to the deprived people in Millwall and similar areas. By showing concern for their lives and needs, showing our love for all people, they will see who the real enemy is and join us in working for a fuller society.

I hope that Pat Stack will be convinced. If not, may I suggest that he watches the film Gandhi as soon as possible.


Adam J. Powell

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