Feminist anti-fascism has drawn attention to the misogyny of the far right, and challenged macho, chauvinistic and apolitical forms of anti-fascism. Cambridge Feminist Anti-Fascists is the latest local group intending to organise against the far right and the broader social issues that fuel it.
Cambridge Feminist Anti-Fascists was formed from the realisation that in order to protect ourselves from the growing threat of the far right and government authoritarianism, we have to get organised for our self-defence.
The governing institutions will not protect us from fascism. Rather, the UK government has become increasingly authoritarian, deepening institutionalisation of state racism and misogyny, promoting xenophobia and racism, supporting authoritarian regimes worldwide, and increasing repression for those seeking change. In this situation, we only have each other. Each other is all we need. We must become organised to protect ourselves, our friends and our neighbours against fascist violence.
The seeds of fascism are embedded in the nature of capitalist society. People have been isolated and atomised and community has been destroyed, leaving many without a sense of belonging, identity, or purpose. People are forced into meaningless and underpaid work, producing deep social misery and poverty in the UK. Foreign wars for money and oil, that accrue wealth for the elite and arms dealers, have demonised minority groups in the UK and across the world. The only way the ruling class can maintain this system and keep making money is by keeping society divided, by blaming migrants, minorities, and women.
Our feminist anti-fascism will address the fundamental problems of society. We hold that community and social solidarity needs to be repaired, and we will work with communities to bring people together again. We will work to raise political consciousness on the problem of fascism, both through educational efforts and the power of culture and the arts. We will directly oppose fascism in all forms and on all levels; in culture, in institutions, in ideology, on the streets, in the home, in the state and the economic system, and we will work with all others who do the same and anyone affected by discrimination or violence. Through internationalism, we will oppose authoritarian fascist regimes worldwide, and we will oppose all imperialist wars. We will also seek to create a positive vision for an anti-fascist society, and will embody that society in our own organising, creating a liberating anti-fascist space in our group where all can flourish and find friendship and meaning.
Fascism is underpinned by patriarchy. The state and capitalist system which leads to fascism could not exist without the subordination and exploitation of women. The authoritarian, racist arguments and ideology of the far right rest on the subordination of women. The imperialist wars around the world stem from a patriarchal mindset and they affect women most. And everywhere women are fighting back. That’s why we believe a feminist anti-fascism is key to undoing the far right, and state authoritarianism. We will actively oppose fascism by centring the cause for women’s freedom, and we will seek to understand what a society of women’s freedom and equality looks like, what institutions can be built to turn this idea into a reality, and how we can create a society of freedom, solidarity, pluralism, collective care for all, where fascism can never return. Only when women are free can we all be free, and when women are self-organised we can make that society a reality. Today, we’re going to start building that society here in Cambridge.
In Cambridge Feminist Anti-Fascists we’re about to begin organising. We welcome people of all genders and we look forward to engaging with and learning from people across Cambridge and beyond! Look out for our events and projects coming up, and how you can get involved! We can’t wait to meet you!
You can follow Cambridge Feminist Anti-Fascists page on Facebook here. rs21’s pamphlet ‘The new far right & how to fight it‘ addresses several of the issues raised in this launch statement, including pieces on the new global far right, the necessity of feminist interventions into anti-fascism, and the role of gender in fascist ideology.