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Anti-Nazi League

The Anti-Nazi League (or ANL) is a UK organisation opposed to what it describes as neo-Fascist individuals and groups. It developed in the 1970s as an attempt by the far-left to counter the National Front, and then again in the 1990s against various other far-right groups. In the 2000s, its main target has been the British National Party.

Table of contents
1 Activites
2 History
3 The ANL's Leadship
4 External links


The ANL carries out leafletting and other campaigns against these groups, including protests, some of which have resulted in violence.

The ANL was linked to "Rock Against Racism" in the 1970s, and is heavily involved in a similar group, "Love Music Hate Racism", in the 2000s.

Critics accuse the ANL of being opposed to free speech, the most notable being the Pro-democracy league, which often holds counter demonstrations against the ANL.

Sir Paul Condon, the then Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police said of an ANL protest in London in October, 1993:

"Again in London we have seen a cowardly mob of extremists turning up ... to cause disorder, violence and damage."

In response the ANL pointed out that, having prevented any exit from the area, mounted and riot police broke their own rules by charging the crowd.


The ANL begun as a United Front initiative on the part of the Socialist Workers Party. However in its first period, 1977-1981 it was run by an elected committee nationally and similar committees throughout the country. many trade unions sponsored it as did the Indian Workers Association, then a large organisation, and many members of the Labour Party such as Neil Kinnock. In 1981 with the eclipse of the National Front and collapse of the British Movement the ANL was wound up.

One small group of former members of the SWP, Red Action souught to continue building an anti-fascist movement however and launched "Anti-Fascist Action" or AFA. AFA has since had an entirely separate history of its own.

In 1992 the SWP leadership rlaunched the Anti Nazi League due to the reconsolidation of far right groups in the british National Party and that parties electoral sucdcess. The ANL has recently aff8iliated with Unit Against racism alongside other groups such as the National Assembly Against Racism.

The ANL's Leadship

The ANL's National Organiser and leader is Weyman Bennett, who is a high-ranking member of the Socialist Workers Party and on the National Executive of the Socialist Alliance.

Its previous National Organiser was Julie Waterson, who was also an active and high-ranking member of the SWP. In May 2001 she wrote in the SWP's newpaper, the Socialist Worker:

"We [the ANL] are not turning our back on the Marxist tradition that we stand for."

The ANL has close links with many Trade Unions, many of which have affiliated with it.

External links