Today in London anti-fascist history, 1992: nazi skins meeting for Blood & Honour gig get a pasting from Anti-Fascist Action

Blood and Honour was a national socialist (Nazi) music organisation run by Ian Stuart Donaldson of the band Skrewdriver ((since, happily, deceased in a car crash). It developed out of the National front’s White Noise Club in the mid-1980s, and had extensive links in Europe and America. They could attract crowds of 500-2,000 mostly skinheads.

Blood and Honour planned to hold a major rally in London on Saturday 12th September 1992. They publicly stated that they expected between one and two thousand people to attend. However, due to the disruption caused by anti-fascists, only 300 fascists made it to the Yorkshire Grey in Eltham, South East London where, as usual, the venue had been booked under a false name – the “Gods of War Scooter Club’. The pub, which had a multiracial clientele was duped into believing it was an ordinary booking. Apart from Skrewdriver, other bands that were due to play at the gig were No Remorse (previously called Dead Paki in the Gutter), Skullhead and the Swedish band Dirlewanger.

As usual, to avoid anti-fascist attention on the venue, organisers advertised a ‘re-direction point’ – where gig-goers could meet publicly and travel together.

However, between 1,000 and 1,500 anti-fascists secured the redirection point first – in this case the concourse outside London’s Waterloo mainline train station.

Blood & Honour had been unable to show their faces in London for several years, after a sustained campaign by Anti Fascist Action in the late 1980s, culminating in a humiliating defeat for the boneheads at Speakers Corner in May 1989. In 1992, they were starting to co-operate with the British National Party ,a rightwing group whose star was one the rise, and between them they hoped to be able to organise a large[-]scale public event which they hoped would open up all sorts of political and financial possibilities.
However, 12th September 1992 was to go very badly for the fascists. This was probably the biggest anti-fascist battle since Lewisham (1977). It was even covered on national TV news, radio, tabloids etc.

An initial group of several hundred Anti-Fascist Action supporters assembled far earlier than the fascists, giving the small group of boneheads who had arrived early for a drink an example of “cleansing”, anti-fascist style.

“That morning about a hundred of us anti-fascists met at The Old Bell in Kilburn. We took the tube to Waterloo and emerged up the escalators to the concourse. I don’t know about anyone else but I was very nervous. I thought we were going to be slaughtered. Everyone knew that Blood and Honour could muster ten times more people than we had.

The station concourse was nearly deserted. We discovered afterwards that British Rail had given Black and Asian workers the day off – pandering to racism. A small group of Red Action went into the station buffet and found a couple of skinheads who had been enjoying a quiet cup of tea. There was some loud rumbling and smashing sounds, then the Reds emerged unscathed and blended with our crowd. Five minutes later an ambulance arrived to cart off the two hapless fascists. (Rumour has it that they might have been, in fact, plain clothes coppers).

(From Kay Bullstreet, Bash the Fash)

The police cleared some anti-fascists out of the station. but many made their way back in, ensuring from the start that Blood & Honour would have serious problems in securing their redirection point. As the numbers of anti-fascists grew, the police made several attempts to clear sections of the station. setting their dogs on people and making some violent arrests in an attempt to intimidate the demonstrators into leaving.

All this succeeded in doing was dividing people into smaller groups, many of which came across groups of boneheads wearing nazi paraphernalia, SS runes and swastikas. In the ensuing clashes, the nazis clearly came off worse as they began to realise there were hundreds of people who had gathered with the sole intention of teaching them that they could not assemble in London for a publicly advertised gig without anti-fascists coming out physically to oppose them.

Unable to reach their advertised meeting point, the main concourse of the station, 20 boneheads assembled at the bottom of the steps of one end of the station looking unhappy at their predicament.

A group of Chelsea headhunters (rightwing football hooligans) decide to call it a day. A bad day.

“We spent the rest of the afternoon ambushing groups of fascists as they arrived, and trying to avoid the police. For example, four fascists arrived by car and were set upon until every window was broken, and the rest of the car was not exactly in showroom condition. The battles raged in all the surrounding streets. A comrade from Norwich and myself piled into a group of three fascists by the Waterloo roundabout. One of them turned to attack my comrade and I stuck my foot out to trip him up and with wonderful luck it was perfectly timed and he keeled over and hit his head, crack, on the pavement. He was unconscious I think, but in the heat of the moment I went and booted him in the head as hard as I could anyway. In fact I was a bit worried afterwards in case I’d killed him. I kept checking the TV news for a few days. The two other fascists were still there and I suppose we could have steamed into them some more, but we ran back to the main group.

Cheeky persons have summarised the anti-fascist events at Waterloo by saying “we closed more stations than the IRA”! (Kay Bullstreet)

At 5.00 pm with 1,000 anti-fascists present in several large groups, the police decided to evacuate the station, heralding a victory for the anti-fascist movement as the nazis’ meeting point was now closed.

A group of nearly 100 boneheads who were assembled outside the station waving swastika flags came on the receiving end of a hail of missiles. The police who had been protecting them clearly decided it was not worth it after all and left them to it.

At one point riot police and fascists actually fought side by side in a pitched battle with anti-fascists under the railway bridge, next to the Festival hall. An anti-fascist who infiltrated a group of fascists at one point, over heard a policeman say to a fascist, ‘If you run, we’re running with you.’ This particular ‘fascist’ was witnessed by colleagues sieg-heiling with gusto! One, police constable was heard to mutter, “Its like Custer’s last stand in there.”
 As the fascists huddled together for safety behind police lines, one black-shirted skinhead had a heart attack and was taken away in an ambulance. An abandoned Rover that had been driven to the gig by BNP members was smashed up by the crowds.

A BNP member’s car after anti-fascist mechanics gave it a free MOT

Furious calls from entrapped fascists to the concert organisers who had remained in Victoria, asking them to provide rescue or venue details, apparently went unheeded. The standard replay was, “Rather than us come to Waterloo, you should come to Victoria.’ Neil Parrish, who is believed to have been the organiser of the Blood and Honour concert, had earlier boasted that he would be available for interviews with The Scotsman, Sky News, and others on the concourse of Waterloo at 4.30 pm. However, he was nowhere to be seen.’

A total of 36 people were arrested and two people taken to hospital.

In the end a small gig was held on the edge of southeast London at the Yorkshire Grey pub in Eltham.  Fewer than 300 skinheads made it to the gig, including a group of 50 boneheads who arrived right at the end of the evening. Skullhead did not play at all and a large group of German boneheads never arrived, although a number of Dutch nazis managed to get there. A mob of nazis from Reading complained to one anti-fascist at Waterloo: “our weekend has been ruined by you lot” before getting onto the train back home.  Diddums. The icing on the cake came at the end of the evening when the pub’s landlady pulled the plug on the sound system while Skrewdriver were still playing.

There is no doubt that the day was a serious blow to Blood & Honour which hoped it could establish a presence in London. Anti-Fascist Action proved once again that the nazis can be physically opposed successfully.

One nazi, Kirk Barker. who was arrested in possession of a CS gas canister’ appeared in court on the following Monday morning, only to be rearrested for a breach of his bail conditions arising from a vicious assault on Asians in Hertfordshire the previous year.

Londoners who watched the events at Waterloo unfolding before their eyes appeared to have little or no sympathy for the vanquished neo-nazi army. One of the more more hopeful features of the day was that dozens of bystanders, including Arsenal and Millwall fans and black youths from south London, spontaneously joined the ranks of the anti-fascists in seeing off Blood & Honour.

Anti-Fascist Action organised a defence campaign on behalf of those anti-fascists arrested.

 

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