05 August 2008

Anti-Fascism in Suburban NJ

I got Mark Steel's Reasons to be Cheerful for my birthday this year. I found it to be a very interesting, informative, and funny look into recent British history from a socialist perspective, and I found several quotes in it that I hope to use as starting points for various rants in the future. I'll post a more complete review later, but for the moment I just wanted to mention a small part the book. Early on in Reasons to be Cheerful, Mark talks about his involvement in anti National Front activities:

"Thousands became adept in the art of removing NF stickers. After a while, you could reach out and yank one off a post box without even breaking your stride. But what a bastard if one was well stuck down. How many people at that time were later for work because their route had taken them past a particularly stubborn sticker? Because once you'd started,to leave it even half intact was an admission of defeat. So you'd stand for five minutes, scratching alternately with a key and a two-pence piece. Eventually you could resume your journey, having reduced this sticker to four torn white corners and no middle. 'That,' you would say to yourself, 'is a Nazi-free post box.'"

Last night I stopped by Quick-Chek with some friends, and ran into some other folks we collectively knew. Mid conversation, I noticed a payphone nearby had some stickers on it from the National Alliance, which is a far right/white nationalist group, saying "Bring the Troops Home and Put them on the Border," or some quite similar anti-immigrant slogan. Recalling what I had recently read, I quickly tore the stickers off, and proceeded to scratch at their remnants, all the while muttering to my friends about fascists in town. A rather small incident in the grand scheme of things, but I can walk by that payphone with the confidence that it is now a Nazi-free payphone.

1 comment:

Phil BC said...

Lol, good stuff.

A simpler, easier and less inconvenient way of going about things is to have a ready supply of your own stickers to hand? You can spring into action, peel one off, affix it to the offending post and be off without getting bits of sticky paper stuck beneath your fingernails.