Sound/Systems #02 – Antifascist Punk
10 November 2020
This month Sound/Systems explores how Marxist thought influenced punk aesthetics, music and ideology. This episode provides a historical genealogy of “antifascist punk” in late 1980s America, when “commie skinheads” were forced into militant antifascist organising against a rising tide of neo-nazi skins infiltrating their music scene and inciting violence in their hometowns. Sound/Systems host Elissa explains who the antifascist punks were and how they adapted their tactics from post-World War II movements in Europe, forming a network of groups like the Anti-Racist Action and Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice.
01 MDC - Live In Los Angeles 1984
02 Violent Society - Comin' Back For You (Live From CBGB's)
03 MDC - Born To Die
04 The Dicks - No Nazi Friend
05 The Toasters - Shebeen (Live In Munich 1997)
06 Bob Marley - Punky Reggae Party
07 Napalm Death - Unchallenged Hate
08 The Dead Kennedys - Viva Las Vegas
09 The Dead Kennedys - Holiday In Cambodia
10 The Dead Kennedys - California Über Alles
11 H20 - Nazi Punks Fuck Off
12 Black Flag - Rise Above
13 Black Flag - Depression
14 Black Flag - Rat's Eyes
15 The Minutemen - Corona
16 The Minutemen - History Lesson Part II
17 The Minutemen - Fascist
18 The Minutemen - Maybe Partying will Help
19 Ghoti Hook - Where Is My Mind
20 No Artist - Never Forget
In the show:
“Skinheads in 1988 (feat. the original S.H.A.R.P.)”. YouTube, 20 Jul. 2007.
“Good Skinheads, Bad Skinheads and The Lone Neo-Nazi (Part 1)”. YouTube, 21 Jan. 2012.
“Good Skinheads, Bad Skinheads and The Lone Neo-Nazi (Part 2)”. YouTube, 23 Jan. 2012.
Invisible Revolution. Dir. Beverly Peterson. 2000. Film.
soynoise. “Part 1: The Oppressed Interview with Roddy Moreno.” YouTube, Soynoise, 20 Apr. 2020.
Liner Notes from Anti-Racist Action Stop Racism Benefit CD (Asia Man Records/@ttitude 1999).
Background research and other sources:
Mark Bray. Antifa: The Antifascist Handbook (Melville House 2017).
Michael Azerrad. Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991 (Little Brown 2001/Hachette Book Group 2019). Audiobook.
The Story Of Skinheads with Don Letts. Dir. Don Letts. BBC Four, 2016. Film.
Martin Sprouse and Tim Yohannan. “Interviews: Kieran of Anti Racist Action”. Maximumrocknroll, 1989.
Peter Shapiro. “The Primer: US Hardcore.” The Wire, March 2013, Issue 349.
Louis Pattison. “An Abuser’s Guide To Anarcho-Punk.” The Wire, June 2016, Issue 388.
Democracy At Work. “Richard Wolff on the differences between Fascism and Socialism.” YouTube, 24 Jul. 2019.
Democracy At Work. “Richard Wolff: Fascism is an economic system that sustains capitalism.” YouTube, 26 Mar. 2019.
Loren Balhorn. “The Lost History of Antifa.” Jacobin. YouTube, 28 Aug. 2020.
Gabriel Kuhn. Sober Living For The Revolution. PM Press, 4 Feb. 2010.
Kate Sharpley Library. “Anti-fascism Now [interview].”
KPFK. “How The Midwest Was Won: The Bloody Rise of Anti-Racist Action.” Radio show. 16 Feb. 2018.
Mark S Hamm. American Skinheads: The Criminology and Control of Hate Crime (Greenwood Publishing Group 1993).
Andrew Zammit. “Defining Fascism: some notes on the Marxist interpretation.” New Historical Express, 14 Dec. 2012.
Anson G. Rabinbach. “Toward a Marxist Theory of Fascism and National Socialism: A Report on Developments in West Germany.” New German Critique, No. 3, Autumn 1974. (Duke University Press.)
Matthew Worley. “Oi! Oi! Oi!: Class, Locality, and British Punk.” Twentieth Century British History, Volume 24, Issue 4, December 2013.
“Famous Geraldo Rivera Skinhead Brawl.” Dailymotion, 2014.
“Anti-Racist Action.” Wikipedia.
“Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice.” Wikipedia.
“Redskin (subculture).” Wikipedia.
Jes Skolnik. “A History of Anti-Fascist Punk Around the World in 9 Songs.” Pitchfork, 06 Mar. 2017.
“Eye of The Storm & The Rise of Antifa.” YouTube, 05 Jun. 2020.
Steve Knopper, “Nazi Punks F**k Off: How Black Flag, Bad Brains and More Took Back Their Scene from White Supremacists: An oral history of fighting back against Nazis.” GQ, 16 Jan. 2018.
Artwork and logo for Sound/Systems by Emma Hazen