Trawling the web, I discovered that a bloke called Steve Tilzey has gotten up the noses of some mob calling themselves ‘Aryan Unity’. It seems that these “Aryans” are rather unhappy at the popularity of FC United of Manchester…
Well, either that, or they’re hopping mad at the un-popularity of their own idiotic brand of fascist stupidity; so mad that they’re lashing out at all and sundry, but especially those folks who like community football…
Or perhaps the reason this small band of divided descendants of Persia got so upset at Tilzey has something to do with the fact that he wrote a book with a mate, Dave Hann, called it No Retreat, and sub-titled it as being an account of “The Secret War Between Britain’s Anti-Fascists and the Far-Right”.
Unhappy memories, perhaps? Could it be that one of these “Aryans” had the misfortune to attend the Blood & Honour rendezvous in Hyde Park on May 27th, 1989?
Whatever the case, as I’ve been unable to obtain a copy of the book, I can’t really comment on its contents, but the following may give you some idea of what the fuss is all about: ‘Street Fighting Men’ : “Ben Granger talks to Dave Hann and Steve Tilzey, authors of No Retreat, a punchy account of their days fighting neo-Nazis in the North-West of England.” A favourable review of the book is also made available by Irish antifa here.
The book is an interesting read, especially if you know a little about the idiots that wrote it.
Here\’s a statement issued by Red Action, one of the main organisations behind AFA.
RED ACTION STATEMENT ON \’NO RETREAT\’
October 31 2003
Due to the controversy surrounding the launch of a book called \’No Retreat\’ by Dave Hann and Steve Tilzey due out on November 1, which is presented by the authors as a true and honest account of their involvement in militant anti-fascism over two decades, we are now putting out this statement.
As preview copies of the book have not been made available we cannot comment with any authority on the contents.
Of the character of the authors we can say this. As a result of serious breaches of trust, Tilzey and Hann were either expelled or forced to resign from Anti-Fascist Action (AFA) and Red Action respectively.
Following the attempted theft of extremely important AFA intelligence data, Steve Tilzey was shown the door by AFA in 1993.
Sometime in 1994 Dave Hann was arrested and charged in connection with a street robbery involving a gay man. It was many months before the national leaderships of RA or AFA were made aware of the charges. An immediate investigation revealed disturbing evidence of Dave Hann\’s involvement in similar anti-social activity. Shortly after his trial at Liverpool Crown Court, where his co-defendant pleaded guilty, Dave Hann resigned from Red Action. On being confronted with the testimony of former associates, and in the presence of two officers representing national AFA, and a leading anti-fascist resident in the city, Hann confessed his guilt and offered his immediate resignation from AFA. He also surrendered his involvement in the football fanzine Red Attitude with which AFA was publicly associated. Not long afterwards he left Manchester.
End of Statement
There’s an interview with one of them (Dave Hann from memory) on Fight Dem Back! that we did with him a while back…
You can borrow my copy if you like.
Oh yeah! Here is the FDB interview with Dave:
This comment by Dave is particularly interesting considering the Red Action statement posted above:
Dave: What I most enjoy about FDB is the refreshing lack of petty sectarian bickering on the forum. Similar forums in the UK seem to be full of anonymous snipers and back-stabbers with an axe to grind, a point to score, and nothing helpful to contribute at all. I think the potential of the internet as a tool to aid communication and organisation amongst anti-fascist and progressive groups is enormous, but more often than not, any useful initiatives become bogged down by petty arguments and bickering caused by anonymous gossip-mongers hiding behind their computer screens.
I will borrow your copy Doctor — please remember to bring it next time we meet. (Alternatively, you could always use the Flying Monkey ZOG insists we keep — “just in case”. Personally, I’ve found mine to be more interested in eating bananas than delivering important, highly confidential documents such as these.)
As for Tilzey, Hann, Red Action, AFA, Searchlight and what-not… it’s extremely difficult to comment with anything like certainty. But even assuming that the authors are, for various reasons, dodgy, the book itself sounds like a worthwhile read. I mean, it’s not like there’s a vast number of first-person accounts of these struggles coming from a radical (anarchist / left) perspective from which to choose anyway. Further, given that it’s a struggle that’s both open and public, covert and secretive; involves taking action in opposition to forces which are both rational and calculating, stark-raving-mad and incredibly foolish; takes place on a terrain in which the state, its political police and various para-political associations all share; it’s little wonder that there’s all kinds of narratives and counter-narratives being produced.
In any case, from my perspective, AFA and similar organisations appeal more than the work of the ANL or Searchlight, and I support the work of antifa.org.uk. But I also think it’s mistaken to reduce questions about ‘anti-fascism’ to dividing particular individuals, groups or practices into categories marked ‘good’ and ‘bad’; better to examine specific practices in their political contexts, in terms of their effectiveness, and, crucially, according to whether or not they conform to our political principles and perspectives.
Oh, and finally, I think that this field of political endeavour produces more “petty sectarian bickering” of the sort Dave alludes to precisely because of the requirements of anonymity… but I’m not sure how (or even if) this could be overcome.
oh yeah. the interview:
can’t we all just get along?