Interview : Manchester Anti-Fascists

A member of Villa FLAF recently interviewed an anti-fascist organiser from the 0161 group in Manchester.

When did 0161 start and why did you start?

0161 came about nearly six years ago now, with a load of our lads being involved in anti-fascism and general community stuff for a while, the point of beginning 0161 festival was to bring as many people as possible under the anti-fascist banner without it being a proper weird clique or just the same old people. For too long “anti-fascists” are just preaching to the converted and patting themselves on the back. We needed to engage with people from all over, different backgrounds and different cultures. To have a festival and run events in normal areas that wasn’t just the same crowd going round again and again. Punks, casuals, hiphop kids, skaters, indie kids, skinheads, DJs, rappers and normal heads from all over standing together against racism.





Can you name some of the activities you run throughout the year?

We’ve gone on from much more since the music side of stuff, we do gigs, radical and historical walking tours of Manchester, film showings, fight nights, community meals, football tournaments, martial arts training, graffiti workshops, hikes, and loads more.

I see a lot of inner estate activities normally done by outsiders (middle class ones at that) how important do you think it is that you’re all working class and from the areas you build / work in?

Yeah man, massively important like, people always try and parachute into places, tell people what to do without having any clue. A lot of these kinda activities always come from “activist” types who think they know better than everyone else, they have no interest in the working class, and no interest in helping people like you and me. We know the areas we work in, we know the problems people have, and it makes a massive difference. A lot of academic types always come and try and tell people what’s wrong, people know that, know things are shit at the moment, but need actual physical change not someone coming spouting more shit. So doing actual activities all the time and being able to relate to heads makes a big difference for sure. A lot of what we do is to try and get as many locals involved in doing and making it sustainable that way as well like.

Where do you want to take this? How big / future plans ?

All over Greater Manchester, we’ve got big plans for 2019, a full programme of activities in a host of different areas, we wanna be getting our own spaces for people, to use all the time, real visible change and progress for the working class.

Any advice to lads n lasses who want to do similar things on their manor?

Just do it, you don’t need many people, get a few of you together and start doing the right thing, get a communal tea on the go, get people chatting to each other, get some local artists to throw a gig in the community centre, we’re in a tough time at the moment and we all need to stick together. All it takes is a couple of you to start something and people will jump on that. Also if anyone wants any help we will do whatever we can advice wise and that, just give us a shout.