On April 16 and 23 bombs exploded in London, deliberately and intentionally aimed to kill and maim defenceless men, women and children. These cowardly devices were filled with nails so that when they explode the nails will fly out in all directions like bullets and kill and injure as many people as possible. In Brixton 19 were injured.
Responsibility for planting the Brixton bomb was claimed – some time AFTER the event – by several fascist outfits, among them Combat 18 (the number 18 representing the 1st and 8th letters of the alphabet, A and H, Hitler’s initials), and the `White Wolves’, a fascist organisation which has been around for four years but the police claim not to have heard of before the bombing.
According to Rajeev Syal and Andrew Gilligan writing in the
of 25 April, (`Second bomb points to neo-Nazi hate campaign’), the `White Wolves’
“circulated details of a nail bomb timer only a week before the Brixton outrage. The timer is similar to a device which injured 39 people in the south London shopping street.
“The 15-page internal document explains to its members how to orchestrate racist attacks on communities while avoiding detection. `Our main line of attack must be the immigrants themselves If this is done regularly, effectively and brutally the aliens will respond by attacking the whites at random, forcing them off the fence and into self-defence’
“The text also proposes that neo-Nazis form into cells of 2 or 3 and remain as anonymous as possible. It then asks the reader to commit random `motiveless’ attacks, such as that on Stephen Lawrence. … to stir up trouble in immigrant communities.”
For socialists it is essential to fight these Nazis and firmly stamp them out. This is a fight to be conducted on several fronts:-
1. Fascists and racists must be prevented from spreading their poisonous propaganda. They should not be left free to sell their obscene publications or distribute these tracts which incite the commission of serious crimes directed against working class people. Distribution should be prevented
and if necessary
If the police will not defend black communities, and experience shows that they do not (is there any excuse for their not have bothered to infiltrate these fascist organisations and thus been able to prevent these bombings?), the working class people, white as well as black, must defend those communities themselves – as they have in the past in Toxteth, St Pauls, Handsworth, Southall, Brixton, etc.
2. Socialists must work hard to win the ideological battle for the hearts and minds of the working class. The leadership of fascist organisations is typically in the hands of well-heeled members of the middle classes who are characterised by a supreme contempt for the working class. To the extent, however, that they need working class mass support and muscle to get into power to implement their grand designs, they have to mobilise at least part of the working class for that purpose. As we know, if they do succeed in gaining power, which they could do if monopoly capitalism thinks that forcible restraint of the working class is necessary through a period of economic crisis likely to lead to mass revolt, their prime function is to prevent that revolt by unleashing terror and mass murder to stifle the slightest sign of working class resistance. We must prevent them from mobilising a single working class person for the implementation of these foul designs – and for this purpose we must not only suppress their foul and dishonest propaganda, but, even more importantly, we must spread our own truthful, socialist, propaganda that alerts people to their own class interests, and exposes the machinations of the enemy class.
The fascists seek their cannon fodder among disaffected alienated white youth, people `forgotten’ by the social-democrats who always claimed to represent working class interests as they chased after the labour aristocracy and petty bourgeois intelligentsia. Social democracy never had any interest in the poor and the deprived, which is why fascism leaps in and tries to tempt them:
(a) by offering them a scapegoat to blame for their deprivation – black people – and
(b) by offering them an illusion of power, dressing them in intimidating uniforms, teaching them to kill and maim, letting them think of themselves as hard men – when in fact they’re just stupid dupes.
We socialists must go lower and deeper into the working class to enhance workers’ class consciousness – their understanding that it is capitalism that is causing their misery, capitalism that has reduced them to slavery. White workers must fully appreciate that black workers, far from being the cause of their problems, are their class brothers and sisters who will fight ferociously alongside them to defend working class interests and fight for a new society.
The anger that arises out of deprivation and alienation is a good thing, not a bad thing, provided it is backed by understanding and organised to fight the true causes of that deprivation and alienation. Socialists must ensure that this understanding spreads. The media and the education system certainly do not do this job, for they are the mouthpieces of the ruling class which perpetrates our exploitation and oppression. If socialists fall down on the job, they hand over allies to the fascists, to their own bitter detriment in years to come.