For seven years, first on my own server then on Blogger, Lancaster Unity (formerly Lancaster UAF) has been fighting fascism and racism as embodied in such groups as the BNP and the EDL. From originally being set up to accompany local anti-fascist activity, the blog spread itself wider until it became a national resource with, over the years, many excellent contributors and countless thousands of readers.
When LU began, there was a gap in the market for a continually updated blog that has now been closed by a number of anti-fascist organisations elsewhere, some of which are listed below. Also, the advent and popularity of Twitter and Facebook (both easily accessible and updatable via smartphones) has made the anti-fascist presence on the internet much larger and more effective than it has ever been before. While the bad guys use technology to humiliate and embarrass themselves, anti-fascists have used it to inform and organise.
Because of ongoing health problems which are drastically eating into the time I can devote to Lancaster Unity, it has gradually become a copy and paste blog with very few original articles. This is no bad thing because it's always useful to have one type of news that appeals to a certain group located in a single place. This role though, is rapidly being superceded by Twitter, which does the same job very well. Better, in fact, than we ever could. Thus, it's time for Lancaster Unity to stand down, though the blog as it is will remain here as an archive and a resource for anti-fascists.
It's not too bad a time to be going. The EDL, although it has political ambitions, seems incapable of keeping itself from fragmenting in all directions, while the BNP at the moment appears to be shrinking by the day while Nick Griffin spends half his time in the European Parliament participating in the gravy train that he once professed to despise, and the other half boring us all to death with his tedious stories about smoked salmon.
Even better, it's a real pleasure to be leaving in the week that two of the killers of Stephen Lawrence have finally been convicted. We look forward to the day that the rest of them get banged up.
Big thanks to Denise and John, both of whom helped make LU what it was, and very many thanks to our contributors: Andy Minion, Iliacus, Roddy, Larry and all the rest of them. Special mentions go to NewsHound and Zaahid, both excellent news-spotters who should get their own sites together and keep up the good work. Naturally, a site such as this is useless without readers, and we've had a loyal and feisty readership over the years whose contributions have easily been as interesting as ours. Thank you to all of you (except the nazis, who are just complete morons).
We've been helped since the blog began by a number of organisations. Principal among these are Searchlight (who gave us essential help to get started in the first place, and who we worked closely with on numerous occasions), Hope not hate and Unite Against Fascism. Special thanks to those three and to all the other people who have helped out in one way or another.
It's been (at times) great fun, interesting and bloody hard work (especially on the all-night election specials). Thank you to everyone for all your input.
Although I have a good deal less time and energy these days, I shall be posting occasionally at my own blog space on Searchlight's new website. Thanks to Searchlight for offering me both the opportunity and the space. John has moved over to Anti-Fascists Online.
This is not a comprehensive list of anti-fascist resources. If you think I've left anyone out who should be included, email me or make a comment and I'll add them.
Hope not hate
Unite Against Fascism
Love Music Hate Racism
Show Racism the Red Card
EDL Watch at Urban75
Love Music Hate Homophobia
Kick It Out