Who were the London Antifa rioters?
In the aftermath of Boris Johnson’s crushing victory in the British election there was the predictable riot in central London. About a thousand leftists took to the streets, attacked police and blocked traffic. So far so normal. Leftists never seem to believe any election they lose could possibly be legitimate so extremists assaulting law enforcement, letting off flares and inconveniencing normal people after they lose has sadly become the norm.
Part of the reason is that the groups who organise these riots are seldom named by the press. In this case at least the cover up was more difficult than usual as a significant minority of those assembled to protest the election were anarchists wearing black masks and carrying banners bearing the “Antifa” logo emblazoned with the red flag of Marxism and the black flag of anarchism. It’s possible that upon observing these black clad thugs assaulting police that even the normally myopic mainstream media journalists would have been able to discern that these people were not an elderly ladies Christian knitting circle, but then again who knows.
More interesting were the people without masks however.
All throughout the crowd were people carrying pre-printed placards with similar or identical slogans promising to “defy the Tories” and stop Boris Johnson. And printed on every one of these placards were the words “Socialist Worker”.
For those unfamiliar with the extreme left of Britain “Socialist Worker” is the name of the newspaper of the Socialist Workers Party or SWP. The SWP has for some years now been the largest revolutionary Trotskyist group in the UK, and while the smaller group of violent anarchists gained most of the attention it was the SWP who were responsible for organising the vast majority of the crowd.
So who are the SWP? The Socialist Workers Party openly state that they want to overthrow the government and implement a totalitarian state. They were founded as the Socialist Review Group in 1950, became the International Socialists in 1962 and finally the SWP in 1977. In 1950 they had only eight members, all fanatical followers of the ascetic Trotskyist zealot Tony Cliff (born Yigael Gluckstein in what is now Israel).
Cliff had been a part of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) a small Trotskyist group which began to split up in the aftermath of World War 2. The post war years were extremely difficult for Trotskyists around the world. Their nemesis Stalin had triumphed in eastern Europe, the Stalinist communist parties around the world saw them as traitors, and their hero had been killed by a Stalinist assassin in Mexico City in 1940. The rest of the world outside the communist movement didn’t really seem to care about their arguments and saw them as just another group of reds. They were alone and under constant harassment from all sides. While mainstream communists had the prestige of being on the winning side of the war and an institutional base inside the union movement; across the western world the Trotskyists had nothing but their newspapers and their small, tight knit, often cult like groups.
This caused a great deal of stress and contributed to the Trotskyist tradition of splitting over the smallest difference in ideology, tactics or personality. In Britain these splits were epitomised by three men who were prominent in extremist circles at the time and who would go on to found three of the major families of Trotskysim that have spread around the world: the zealot Tony Cliff, the ideologue Ted Grant and the deranged narcissistic rapist Gerry Healy.
Cliff split from yet another splinter group led by Healy in 1950. The issue which caused the schism was how exactly to describe the Soviet Union. Clearly it couldn’t be “Real” communism because “Real” communism would lead to a paradise and Stalinism had certainly failed to produce utopia. Cliff favoured calling it “State Capitalism” instead. His comrades regarded this as heresy, so he was cast out.
He and his tiny band of eight supporters joined the Labour Party and began using it as a way to recruit and indoctrinate new members. By the early 60s they could boast 400 members, by the end of the 60s they had 1000, by 1972 they had grown to 2,300, and two years later at the height of the protests that formed the “New Left” they reached a peak of 3,300.
It was a meteoric rise and it didn’t last, but the SWP never went away. Despite losing some of their more fanatical members to splits the group maintained their numbers by a tactic that would be immediately familiar to anyone who has observed Trotskyist groups in Australia: joining and then attempting to take over every campaign, movement, protest and group on the left. They’ve organised or led pro-Viet Cong groups, Pro-IRA groups, “anti-racist” groups and feminist groups. In 2001 they founded “Stop the War Coalition” which would become the largest anti-war group in British history. All created with the purpose of drawing in more naïve recruits to indoctrinate. Their history of organising violence against the police and right wing groups stretches from back beyond the Battle of Lewisham in 1977 to attacking EDL marches in the 2000s.
Probably their biggest scandal came about at the party conference in January 2013 when credible allegations of sexual assault and rape were made by a much younger female member against National Secretary Martin Smith. This constant cycle of sexual exploitation followed by clumsy cover-ups is a bit of a trend in Trotskyist groups. In the 80s the aforementioned Gerry Healy was accused of raping and sexually assaulting at least 26 female activists, and in America recently that countries’ largest Trotskyist group broke up over cover up allegations regarding yet more accusations of sexual assault. Of course In Australia we have the (alleged) socialist sex pest Councillor Stephen Jolly who first quit his own Socialist Party because he accused them of covering up sexual harassment, then was accused of sexual harassment himself (which was covered up) and whose private life recently led to his expulsion from yet another party he had founded: the “Victorian Socialists”.
Which brings us to the major point of interest for Australians regarding the SWP, the fact that it is the parent group for our own largest left wing extremist group Socialist Alternative. While he was alive Tony Cliff did his best to spread his gospel around the world. In the early 1970s a couple of Cliffite devotees Janey Stone and Tom O’Lincoln travelled from the United States to Australia, joined a small left wing group in Melbourne (called the Marxist Workers Group) and converted them to the gospel of St Cliff. That small group would eventually become the International Socialist Organisation (ISO) and would rise to become the second largest left wing extremist group in Australia before splitting in 1995. The rebels in that split founded Socialist Alternative.
The other two big figures in the British story also have adherents in Australia. Ted Grant continued working inside the British Labour Party with his “Militant” group which in the 80s recruited a young Irishman named Stephen Jolly who was freshly returned from living with his mother in South Africa. Jolly would of course later set up a franchise of the Militant group in Australia (later called the Socialist party, now called “Socialist Action”). Gerry Healy had a quite strong and devoutly fanatical party structure in Australia before it splintered when news of his unfortunate habit of violently raping young female activists in his office at party HQ was exposed. Their descendants still have branches in every state in Australia and stand in elections under the name of the “Socialist Equality Party”.
Why is it important to know all this? Because without knowing who these people are, where they come from and what they believe it will never be possible to beat them. These people follow the most murderous ideology in human history and yet are almost never named for who they are even when they plaster the names of their groups on thousands of signs and wave them above their heads in front of cameras. These people want to overthrow the government and implement a totalitarian state yet are able to operate within the mainstream left because journalists and others with a voice able to expose them choose not to.
Trotskyism is not a legitimate political ideology, it is an excuse for violence, thuggery and mass murder in the name of an imagined utopia that its adherents have never and will never see. This fact needs to be yelled from the rooftops and these fanatics both here and overseas need to be exposed for the deranged violent lunatics they are.