The Anti-Nazi League, ‘Another White Organisation’?

British Black Radicals against Racial Fascism

Alfie Hancox
This article explores how Britain's Black Power movement challenged the political outlook of the anti-fascist left in the 1960s-70s. While the established left interpreted the National Front (NF) as an aberrant threat to Britain's social democracy, Black political groups foregrounded the systemic racial violence of the British state. By addressing intensifying racial oppression during a critical early phase in the transition to neoliberalism, they prefigured Stuart Hall's analysis of 'authoritarian populism'. The British Black Power movement especially criticised the high-profile Ant-Nazi League (ANL) for its singular focus on the NF, which was framed as a revived Hitlerite peril. For British Black radicals, the larger strategic problem was the populist racism, inflected by imperial nostalgia, which propelled Thatcher's New Right to power. Instead of narrow Nazi analogies, they related the re-emergence of white nationalism to British social democracy's racist treatment of Black immigrants, as well as its neo-colonial role abroad.