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Submitted by Cautiously Pes… on Tue, 22/05/2012 - 15:03

See, this is the bit I have problems with: "Should Meale have been invited? No. But the ins-and-outs of his invitation are secondary to the technicolour display of crass, ultra-left and sectarian “militancy” put on by some anarchists." To me, the ins-and-outs of the behaviour of some anarchists, whether you agree with them or not, is always going to be secondary to the fact that Sir Meale is a class enemy. That's not hyperbole, he is genuinely, actually a member of the ruling class helping to impose neoliberal policies on us. Take a "third campist" position of neither Meale nor the anarchists if you like, but you pretty much seem to be suggesting that Meale's reactionary politics are a lesser evil than some anarchists not being very polite.
Ironically, one of the things I actually quite respect the AWL for is your stance on anti-fascism, which is genuinely quite principled, and which explicitly rejects UAF's Popular Front position of building alliances with neoliberal politicians as the "lesser evil" to fascism (for instance, I think this statement of yours is pretty much correct). How you can be principled enough to reject the idea of allying with our class enemies against the fascists, and then enthusiastically side with ruling-class politicians against anarchists, is completely beyond me.
Anyway, just on another factual note: why do you assume the events in Newcastle were anything to do with the AF? I might well be wrong on this, but I was under the impression that none of the national federations had much of a presence in Newcastle, and the main groups there were Tyneside Solidarity Group and North-East Anarchists, both of whom are local groups not affiliated to any national organisation. The only anarchist write-up I've seen of Newcastle May Day is on the NE Anarchists site, and considering they're nothing to do with the AF, it looks like you might have got it wrong again, as you did when you left Autonomous Nottingham out of the initial write-up of what went wrong in Nottingham. This isn't just nitpicking - I'm sure you'd object quite strongly to an article that assumed all Trots were SWP members, so it seems only fair to do some basic factchecking before making sweeping assumptions about anarchists.

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