sexta-feira, 27 de agosto de 2010

Entrevista com os editores da Red Attitude do Man.Utd feita pela Fighting Talk (em inglês).

Entrevista já antiga feita pela zine Fighting Talk, da AFA.

Fighting Talk interviews Red Attitude, from FT 16

Q: What was the original idea behind Red Attitude?

A: The original idea to start an overtly anti-fascist fanzine was based on the sound history of anti fascism in Manchester and the success in keeping United fascist free over the years. Initiatives such as Reds against the Nazis in the early eighties broke new ground in opposing fascism at football. The actual decislon to go down the fanzine road was influenced by the success of Celtic Fans Against Fascism and the launch of TAL.

Q. How successful do you think it was in achieving its original objectives?

A. The original objective in any project like this is to secure first base or occupy the territory in which you want to operate. In this respect the fanzine was a major success, however for some people involved at the time, this was their only objective and once achieved there was no ambition to develop the project.

Q. The national press coverage gained from Red Attitude's support for Cantona over the Matthew Simmons attack at Palace gave AFA a high profile. When the Palace fan died at Walsall, Red Attitude remained very quiet. Was this a mistake?

A. In a nutshell yes. The editorial board ducked the issue after the Walsall incident. This caused a great deal of concern, especially in light of the position taken over the Cantona incident. During exchanges of letters on the matter between the editor at the time and United anti-fascists who challenged the editorial board, the editor played down the Walsall Incident, claiming it was non-political and unconnected to the Cantona incident. Basically the people who were running Red Attitude felt they had established themselves off the back of the Cantona issue and they weren't prepared to risk their own credibility or perceived status on defending United fans who were facing serious charges. Needless to say these people have been taken to task and not been reelected.

Q. Since issue 10, Red Attitude has been produced by a new editorial team. Apart from the spectacular new design and layout, what other changes are we likely to see?

A. Whilst there have been changes on the editorial team, much progress has been made by involving and bringing together all the peripheral elements that were involved in the fanzine, along with a number of people who wanted to get involved. This has allowed Red Attitude to develop in a number of areas simultaneously. Red Attitude operates an open door policy for involving United fans and anti-fascists in the work of the fanzine.

Q. Previously Red Attitude was guilty of indulging in slagging off other supporters in a negative way. Now the targets for abuse seem to have been more carefully chosen, like Gasgoine's wife beating. Is this a policy change, and how important do you think the question of slagging other teams is?

A. Slagging off other teams and their fans is part and parcel of the fanzine scene. Many fanzines overcome a lack of informed comment and objective analysis with a vitriolic attack on their nearest and dearest rivals! However if your initial brief is to set up with a distinct political edge to your work, then merely replicating the material available elsewhere is at best unimaginative and at worst could be described as pandering to the prejudices of supporters. There are real issues for fanzines to be tackling on behalf of their own supporters and sometimes it is easier to defer to historical rivalries and antagonisms rather than confront these issues. This is especially relevant to Red Attitude as we have political issues to address as well as football issues.

Q. What do you think of the other United fanzine's and how much competition is there?

A. United fans have Red Issue, United We Stand,and Red News to choose from apart from Red Attitude. Again you pays your money and you takes your choice. People know what we're about and we have a steady uptake in sales.

Q. Do the other fanzines ever carry articles about fascism, and what are they like?

Certainly not in the way that Red Attitude would raise these issues. I believe that United's fanzines are pointed in the right direction although politics can prove to be a bit of a minefield for people who in the main are involved in fanzines for football related reasons.

Q. Given the references to Man Utd's "left wing rabble" in C18 magazines, presumably they take the threat of AFA seriously?

A. I should say so! C18 and the BNP have struggled to get a foothold in Manchester. A few years ago the BNP set up a Manchester branch, and within weeks of going public the branch was put out of commission. Their organiser met AFA on a number of occasions to help with arrangements for his retirement from active right wing politics. It's fair to say that the advent of a BNP branch in Manchester prompted much behind the scenes activity from AFA, not just in combatting the activities of the BNP, but also the disreputable activities of Searchlight and its assets, whose role in the affair was at best 'unhelpful'.

Q. Red Attitude is produced by and promotes Man Utd. anti fascists. Can you explain how this group was formed, what it has achieved, and where you see it going in the future?

A. Man United anti-fascists is an umbrella grouping for United fans and anti-fascists whose main activity is to produce, sell and promote the fanzlne. Given the wide geographical base from which United draw their support. this too is reflected in the support for the fanzine, with regular contributors from all over Britain, Europe and also from a current member of the editorial board who is living it up at Her Majesty's expense! (Only joking Eric). It is hoped to build on this by setting up regional support groups in Manchester, London, and possibly Dublin for next season.

Q. In its first two seasons, RedAttitude made a number of international links, how do you see this developing?

A. Red Attitude has continued to consolidate its links with supporters groups throughout Europe.This year we aim to launch a European wide initiative during the 1997 European anti-racism year.

Q. Should there be an organised international network of antifascist football supporters

A. It can certainly do no harm, and given that progressive elements at many clubs are already in touch with each other, then a 'European super league' shouldn't be too far away. Sooner rather than later if Red Attitude has anything to do with it.

Q. What is Red Attitude's analysis of the lan Wright and Peter Schmeichel 'race row' and why has there been no pubic comment from RedAttitude in the media?

A. Red Attitude did an article in issue 11 entitled 'Great Dane of a Row' after the first altercation back in November 1996. In it we highlighted that Peter Schmeichel denied the allegations and stated that he is not a racist. Ian Wright has consistently refused to make any allegations as he did not hear any racist abuse. The FA and the Press were cauoht investigating a complaint that hadn't been made. The FA were looking for a high profile trial by TV case where they could come aiong and go through the motions on the politically correct anti-racist angle.and come out of it smelling of roses in the European anti-racist year. That they had no track record on positive anti-racist and anti-fascist work and their subsequent handling of this case bears out their lack of principle and integrity in this area. Prior to the second incident, the FA refused to allow the P.F.A (the players union) to mediate between two of its own members. Following the second Incident, the FA has threatened the players with more charges and subsequently offered to drop the charges if they end their dispute. Peter Schmeichel has responded by telling the FA that he is considering legal action to clear his name. The dispute between Wright and Schmeichel is a personal one emanating from events during a football match. This dispute can be ended with a handshake between the players in their own good time. The FA, having introduced and promoted the race row element for their own ends are looking for a sharp exit for themselves. Because lan Wright has refused to play the accusing victim and Peter Schmeichel denies being the racist, the FA have been found out. It is they and not the players who should be facing charges of bringing the game into disrepute.

The lack of public comment from Red Attitude on this issue is not for the want of trying. After the second incident in February at Highbury, Red Attitude put out a press statement and faxed it to the Press, TV and radio stations. Perhaps the contents were too near the truth tor comtort. Judge for yourself, here's the last two paragraphs.

Recently the debate on racism in this country was focussed on the events surrounding the murder of Stephen Lawrence. People were having to confront and digest the appalling reality of racist violence and murder, coupled with the inherently racist response of the police to a young black man Iying in the street, dying from stab wounds, and compounded by the institutionalised racism and antagonism of the judiciary, which allowed the killers to walk away scott free. It is at the expense of the issues raised in the Stephen Lawrence murder, including the exclusion of identification and eye witness evidence), that we now suffer the pantomime of the FA paying lip service to anti-racism by inviting the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service to investigate Peter Schmeichel over an incident for which there is no victim, no witnesses nor any complaint yet been made.

There will be many who will be pleased at this apparent shift in emphasis in the debate over racism in Britain, not least the promoters of racial intolerance. Racist murderers, racist police and racist judges have quietly walked away whilst Peter Schmeichel stands accused in their place, and lan Wright takes on the role of the victim in place of the murdered Stephen Lawrence. Is this what kicking racism out of football means?"

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