I attended many anti-National Front demos in the 1970s, but not the most famous/infamous/violent one. Too far for us Northerners - and there was probably a party on.
Tottenham Lad did.
Thirty years ago, while I was still at school and in proto-left-wing mode, I attended the anti-NF demonstration, witnessing its violence at first hand, ending up the day lying unconscious, beaten, head bleeding, in a grave yard just of Lewisham High Street; oh the folly of youth.
What did "Smash the National Front" mean ?
The nearest English lad crashed to the ground unconscious as he was viciously bottled. The second lad went down initially as he was hit, but tried vainly to get back to up to his feet by crawling along the pavement on extended all fours. A further brutal blow from a bottle sent him down again, to leave him lying on the ground with all his limbs twitching wildly like some grotesque children's wind up toy. The last English lad, turning to see the fate of his two mates, and outnumbered, sensibly made a dash for it, out pacing his would be attackers.
All this happened, literally, in a flash. Having been born, bred, and brought up in Tottenham I can't say I was shocked at what I saw, even though it was the first unprovoked violent attack I had ever seen by grown men. From the silence of the middle class SWP members I think it might be safe to say that more than a few of them were slightly disturbed by what they had seen. Even then I felt sorry for the lads who had been brought down and thought it was unsporting to attack, unprovoked, three strangers blindly from behind.
The Lad now wonders what happened to those three lads. His politics have changed since those days and it shows, but he writes it as he sees it, with hindsight.
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