Right of reply:
Green Anarchist responds

12th February 1999

BCM 715,
London WC1N 3XX

Dear Freelance,

Thanks for your support during the Gandalf prosecution, though no thanks to whoever posted your January 1998 statement on the Net. Due to the vagaries of search engines, I only found it today and was staggered and disgusted - it undoubtedly cost us a great deal of support.

Leaving aside the quip about "at most 2000 copies" - actually our circulation's a little higher than that and 2,000's not bad for the anarchist press, twice SG's circulation - what the hell was this crap about "duped by the likes of Patrick Harrington"? If your writer ever peeked inside a copy of GA s/he's have appreciated that we are all violently anti-fascist. If your writer had paid the slightest attention to the trial, s/he's also have appreciated we were prosecuted, in part, for publishing anti-fascist news and articles. Some was written by [name withheld], an agent provocateur employed by Searchlight, though - surprise, surprise! - he was never in the dock besides us to answer for them. Your writer is obviously not up with the Gable Memo - published by Duncan Campbell in New Statesman way back in 1980 - demonstrating Searchlight's just an MI5 mouthpiece or s/he would never have swallowed such a gross smear from such a long-discredited source.

{... writer suggests we "contact independent anti-fascist researcher Larry O'Hara" and refers to articles in Lobster: Journal of parapolitics, intelligence and State Research...}

The only contact I ever had with Harrington was when he sent a letter to GA in 1989 as part of his usual 'wind up the no-platformists' routine and I wrote back to say there was no way we'd publish it as we knew his little game. He used to send National Front News to all anarchist publications back then - even obscure FIN sheets - but never had any takers I heard of. Years after Richard Hunt was purged from GA in 1991 for his sexism and nationalism, the old boy started entertaining Harrington, Trans-Europa scum &c in the pages of his own zine, Alternative Green. This publication certainly fits the bill as "derided by many green anarchists" - us. We called a boycott of Alternative Green back in 1992 in protest against its sexism and nationalism, after #2 appeared. {...}

Although I'm happy to clarify anything needing clarification, I think I've now said enough to demonstrate you've made a serious mistake putting this smear material on the Net. It should be corrected within the next 14 days. Also in this time, we expect to receive a comprehensive apology via our correspondence address (above) from the writer responsible for it appearing in the first place.

Yours, for the destruction of Civilisation,


Editor, GA

[NUJ.LFB home]


This is the text of a response received from Green Anarchist, omitting the name of an individual who might have grounds for complaint about a counter-allegation, and a paragraph which gave telephone numbers for various parties in the controversy and made further allegations against Searchlight.

The paragraph complained of in the online Freelance piece was based on interviews with small-g green small-a anarchists of a number of conflicting sub-persuasions. As it happens, the author was unable to contact Searchlight at that time. The Freelance did contact Searchlight before posting this response, because of the allegations it makes: its editor, Gerry Gable, strenuously denies these.

The purpose of the background paragraph complained of was to make it clear to NUJ members and others that the Freelance and the union were supporting the GandALF appeal as a defence of the freedom to report. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press must always be defended at the margins, because that is where the most insidious attacks are made.

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