When I first met self-proclaimed anti-fascist skinheads, I was only 12 years old and didn’t know much about the punk & skinhead scene yet. I went to a local area that had an all-ages club and a coffeehouse, both of which had punks and self-proclaimed SHARP skinheads frequenting it. From talking to people and picking up zines & flyers there, I learned about more other local places that had shows, and started getting involved in the local punk (leftist) scene, and along with it, Anti-Racist Action and SHARP.
I had been collecting ska, punk, and oi! records for awhile, and I figured this was a scene where I could go hear this type of music without the risk of the White Power guys from my school beating me up.
I was not trying to get involved with revolutionary politics, stinky hippies, or gangs.
However, this is exactly what I got involved with.
I noticed something was wrong when people calling themselves SHARPs and anti-racist punks were using terms like “Racist” and “Fascist” interchangeably when discussing people they didn’t like and had labeled as “boneheads”.
I also saw many people calling themselves both “SHARP” and “RASH” (Red & Anarchist SkinHeads), as if being against racism means you have to be a radical leftist. RASH, in my opinion has marred the worldwide image and future of SHARP forever by repeatedly linking extremist politics with a simple stance against racism.
Visit almost any antifa messageboard or live show and, you can find the term “anti-fascist” being used as interchangeable with the word “anti-racist”.
I am Conservative and clearly don’t support either of these systems of belief, but I know that Racism is an belief that different “races” of people supposedly exist and are somehow different enough for some to be “better” than others and that “Fascism” is a form of Government in which the State/Military and Corporations control nearly all aspects of public life. They also often lump in “Capitalism” as being part of “Fascism”, even though there is clearly no room for a free enterprise market in a Fascist state. They also find “destroying the audience-performer barrier” as part of fighting fascism, capitalism and racism, which of course only leads to more criminal violence at shows and worse and worse music, further killing the punk scene, and has no effect whatsoever on any supposed Racist, capitalist or Fascist movement.
An elementary schoolchild is taught the difference between Racism and Fascism and Capitalism, and the audience-performer barrier in music has nothing to with any of the three.
Somehow these people forgot all their history classes and believe in some myth that Benito Mussolini has something to do with Slavery or the KKK, and that some company with cheaply made mass-produced products (such as Nike or McDonalds) all are involved with it, and they often throw in the wild idea that Neo-Nazis are, on the majority, homosexual. Soon every gay skinhead was a potential Neo-Nazi, Nazi sympathizer or at least Nazi-fetishist to some of these people.
These people had no idea about most of what they were talking about and were actively indoctrinating (and beating on) youths to think this way as well. They were just as ignorant as these “boneheads”.
Soon, I realized this was not just some place that simply didn’t allow racial violence, but it was a network of old men (usually 30+) trying to have sex with underage girls, anarchist nutcases who want to blow up buildings, communist would-be dictators, homophobes, hard drug heads, and hypocrites who all had all the Skrewdriver records anyway, but would beat up a guy who wore the shirt.
These were People who wanted to censor Art & Music, Who thought they were better than the “boneheads”, but who couldn’t tell me the first thing about the Runes they labeled as “Racist symbols”. These “anti-fascists” were forcibly silencing people who they perceived to not agree with them, and influencing young kids to join up in politicized gangs, buying liquor for underage kids, and all sorts of other sordid behavior.
Communists and anarchists are heavily involved in the antifa movement, and they use terrorist spy -type phone trees to send alerts all over the city within minutes, such as where a certain “bonehead” was located, so they could jump him.
Most of the “boneheads” they beat on were just young confused kids who listened to death metal, or who like the way runes & skulls looked, and sometimes they have even beat up Gay Asatru followers just because of Runes. How this differs from anti-Semites beating on Jews because they don’t understand our religion is hard to define.
Antifa and Spain recently publicly took responsibility for a violent assault on the singer of the well-known punk band the Exploited, who have had gay members, and never recorded a racist or fascist song. They claimed a photo of the vocalist wherein someone else behind him had their arm raised in a Roman salute or “Seig Heil” pose as justification for this assault.
Becoming engulfed in this type of mentality causes these people to become paranoid, seeing a Nazi under every rock, a Fascist behind every tree, and a mortal enemy in anyone who does not agree with or support them.
I realized that I was not at all like any of these people, with their stupid drunken fights, shitty aesthetics, and horribly unstylish dress.
I was defiantly at odds with their whole scene-when I brought up publicly to some of their “organizers” that they were being more “fascist” than those who they labeled “fascist” , and that they didn’t fully even understand what Racism & Fascism were, and that the two don’t necessarily have anything to do with one another, they would change the topic to how I just didn’t understand.
I had many arguments with these people about their ridiculous ideals & tactics, and eventually, they labelled me as a “Fascist”, and have boycotted me and my projects ever since.
I think people should have the right to free speech, no matter how unpopular that speech may be. I do not, however, think people should be allowed to pressure underage children through social means and intoxicants into joining a political fight of any kind. Both Neo-Nazis and AntiFa do exactly this, with nearly identical methods.
If some guy is Proud to be German, why is he less entitled to that belief than someone who is proud to be Gay or Mexican? Either way neither did anything to gain their status, and if they aren’t killing anyone, who cares?
The antifa don’t agree. They do not believe in Freedom.
They believe the opposition to their way of thought MUST be silenced, and by any means necessary.
They actually spy on people’s houses & make threatening phone calls (I have even recieved some).
They use their girlfriends as street warriors to fight other women (anti-sexist, right?).
They intoxicate the youth with drugs and alcohol and influence them into violence.
They say they support the voice of “the people”, yet need to meet in secretive locales, often with passwords needed to enter, such as the back room behind the bookshelf in the Modern Bookstore on South Halsted Street. Yes, the communists actually go behind a bookshelf to a secret hall meet and will probably try to kill me for revealing this.
They make publications that list personal information such as home addresses and phone numbers, and work locations of “the opposition”.
They organize & fund other shady causes under other guises: i.e. money from an “Anti-Fascist Benefit” show may go to buy them some beer, or may actually go to buy supplies for making homemade firebombs, smashing up corporate property, or else legal defense for some Anarchist who is on video-tape hitting a cop with a brick from behind.
They claim to hate ‘Nazis’ and “sexists”, yet constantly work against the Jewish people and the state of Israel and against the rights of women through Islamic-support programs like “Voices in the Wildnerness” and “Solidarity with Hamas”, “Justice in Palestine” groups, etc.
They cannot be trusted, because they believe the individual must be crushed in the strive for the “equality” of the masses, and hurting individual people doesn’t matter in their “Grand Scheme”.
To liberally allow any random person to be publicly labeled a “Nazi” or a “Fascist” (two completely different political ideologies, btw), without much proof, by a prejudiced group with money and scene clout to gain by “smashing more Nazis”, can create a very dangerous reactionary atmosphere where almost anyone can point the finger and shout “Fascist!”, and get someone who they simply do not like for whatever reason, injured or even killed by an angry “well-intentioned” mob.
Yes, people get into fights sometimes, but, for me, skinhead was always about love for the music and the style as a working class way of life, never about political violence. Extreme politics in any culture will always cause divisions and in-fighting.
If the real Neo-Nazis created “antifa” to try to divide and destroy the growing multicultural and non-racist skinhead cult, they couldn’t have done a better job.
Every politically-motivated incident of “Skinhead” violence, be it racist or “anti-racist”, damages the profile of Skinhead culture even more, and the more politically extremist the scene becomes, the less young people will want to even consider being involved in it, and, sadly, it will eventually die.