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No Future

“Yes, that's right / Punk is dead”

Crass and the anarcho-punk critique, 1977-1984

The following is the text of a paper given at the No Future conference on punk and punk rock, hosted by the University of Wolverhampton in September 2001.

No Future

In 1978, the release of the debut mini-album The Feeding of the Five Thousand by the band Crass announced the birth of a new current within the evolving British punk movement which came to be celebrated — and sometimes derided — as 'anarcho-punk'. By 1984, the year in which Crass themselves disbanded, the anarcho-movement had reached the height of its powers, and begun to strain against its own political and sub-cultural limitations, and growing sense of fatigue. Throughout the intervening years Crass remained the central focus and organising hub for anarcho-punk, at the centre of a burgeoning network of bands, labels, artists and publications which rallied around the anarcho-punk banner, and which, taken together, loosely defined this 'movement within a movement. [note 1] For anarcho-punk always existed as both a part of and apart from what might be characterised as 'mainstream' punk rock — insistent on the authenticity of its own reading of punk, and unyieldingly critical of what it saw as the commercial corruption of punk's original intent.

This paper will assess anarcho-punk's own account of the utility and meaning of punk rock; explore its claims of significance in the environments with which it identified and scrutinise anarcho-punk's conflictual relationship with punk rock's other manifestations.

Most fundamentally, I want to restate the importance of anarcho-punk as a vital and vibrant expression of the punk ethic and aesthetic, despite its flaws. Given the flood of publications addressing different aspects of the punk phenomenon that have appeared in the last few years, it's striking how often the experience of anarcho-punk is absent. [2] Although a few short treatments of Crass have been published, [3] most of the key debates currently animating the academic literature on punk simply exclude anarcho-punk from their frame of reference. [4] This is an all the more glaring omission given the sophistication of anarcho-punk's own critique of punk practice, and the profound significance which Crass and other artists invested in the medium of punk. [5]

Crass and the developments they inspired within the fields of punk music and radical politics within Britain deserve recognition because anarcho-punk as a form and as a movement was far more influential than has often been subsequently recognised, although — as I suggest below — the movement was not always as significant as its adherents suggested or wanted to believe. It is not simply the work of Crass that has been neglected, but the practice of anarcho-punk and anarcho-punks which has also been under-appreciated and under-theorised. Anarcho-punk suggested for its participants a relationship with their own subculture that was in many ways unlike that offered to fans of the Cockney Rejects or The Clash.

That other voices within punk responded with acute animosity and hostility to Crass and anarcho-punk's work should come as no real surprise, given the intensity of Crass's critique of other punk activity. Overall, I want to suggest that anarcho-punk's relationship with mainstream punk really could only have remained conflictual, not simply because of the 'essentially contested' nature of punk itself, but also because of anarcho-punks' refusal to abandon their connections with punk, even as their frustrations with the limitations, omissions and ambiguities of punk rock multiplied.

Emergence of anarcho-punk

No FutureThe Feeding of the 5000 remains the definitional anarcho-punk recording. Its release, secured through the support of the Small Wonder label, committed to vinyl the original live set that the band Crass had developed in the twelve months since the line-up of the the group had expanded from its drums-and-vocals origins. Central to The Feeding of the 5000 was an excoriating critique of 'commerical punk' as a betrayal of punk's original ambitions and a denial of punk's potential, merged with an articulate defence of punk 'as it was always supposed to have been' — independent, uncompromising and political to its core. The anthemic track 'Punk Is Dead' encapsulated the tension at the heart of what Crass were about, and what anarcho-punk would become — a band and a movement which both embraced and celebrated and shunned and denounced punk. As drummer Penny Rimbaud susequently explained, this critique of punk was also intended as a rebuttal to what was perceived as the blank nihilism of Rotten's declaration that there was to be 'no future'. Even though Rotten has since rejected pessimistic readings of this lyric, for missing its real intent, Crass were claiming punk as a rallying cry to 'make history' rather than as the soundtrack for its end. Importantly, Crass claimed punk as an extension and redefinition of elements brought forward from the culture of hippy.

Several of the occupants of the Dial House commune from which Crass emerged had had long associations with hippy and other counter-cultural movements. Disappointment with the decline and corrosion of hippy may help to explain the intensity of Crass's subsequent investment in punk. It had to work where hippy had failed. This notion of a rekindled hippy ethos sat problematically with punk's insistence on outright rejection of the political and musical forms of the past, but punk — drawing, as it had to do, on antecedents of all kinds — could not sustain the pretence that 1976 was some kind of 'year zero'.

More problematic than hippy's pre-punk origins, was its content — and the difficulty of reconciling The Clash's declarations of 'hate and war', with Crass's insistence on 'love and peace'. Ultimately, such approaches weren't reconcilable, even though both claimed to be legitimate representations of punk. Even so, Crass's was never an uncritical reading of hippy, but rather a reclamation of what were seen as common principles — a rejection of 'straight' society; of miserable wage-labour; of war and militarism; and a celebration of freedom, both collective and individual.

Anarcho-punk is far from straightforward to characterise or define. The characature offered by its critics really only properly fits the archetypal bands of which there were surprisingly few. But to put it at its crudest, anarcho-punk bands were those bands which looked at punk as a political loud-hailer, rather than an exercise in rock'n'roll outrage. Not only were anarcho-punk songs intense outbursts of agit-rock, delivered with passionate intent and often at great speed, but all aspects of the group's work, from its appearance on stage and the packaging of its records. to the band's relationship to its 'fans' were subject to a political critique which, it is claimed, tried to subvert usual rock'n'roll conventions, and reclaim what were seen as the essentials of 'punk'.

Development of anarcho-punk as a movement

No FutureBy the early years of the 1980s a recogniseable anarcho-punk subculture and movement had sprung up and set to work — principally in the UK, but also to varying degrees elsewhere across continental europe. Evolving first as a sub-culture within punk itself, the anarcho-punk movement was a rough-and-ready collectivity of bands, publications, venues, projects, organisers and activists. Anarcho-punk took up punk's shared DIY battle-cry and ran with it. Rather than offering participation in the creativity of the movement as an opportunity, anarcho-punk looked at involvement in the work of the movement almost as an obligation — a demand that motivated many, if far from all, of those involved with it. Some anarcho-punks certainly functioned largely as 'fans' of the genre, who bought the music, checked-out the gigs and — subject to sufficient pestering — bought the fanzines, but did little more than act in the role of consumer. Even so, the organisers, promoters, printers, composers, designers and authors of anarcho-punk tended to be thrown up from within the ranks of the movement. However inadequate and halting the practice of anarcho-punk proved to be, it is still distinguished by the degree to which the movement was, in that sense, self-directing and self-sustaining.

Musically, anarcho-punk certainly represented a further recalibration of the punk sound. After Never Mind the Bollocks a handful of records shifted perceptions of what punk could sound like. In that, Crass's early releases could stand alongside those of Joy Division, The Ramones or Discharge. When The Feeding of the 5000 was released it sounded like no other punk record before it had — the signature military drum-beat; the skittery power-buzz of the two guitars; the relentless lyric-chewing vocal; the shift without pause from one song to another; the uncompromising, compelling polemic. Although emulated, and too often poorly pirated by subsequent bands, the Crass sound was an original take for its time.

Not to discount — as with all the expressions of the punk genre — the emergence of a derivate anarcho-punk sound, it's still a misnomer that all anarcho-punk bands 'sounded the same'. Firstly, in the case of Crass, it's simply not true. The band's sound often altered between records — Steve Ignorant's vocals do not appear on the album Penis Envy on which Eve Libertine and Joy de Vivre alone are heard; the LP Yes Sir, I Will dispenses with the punk song format almost entirely, except to accompany a brutal self-parody. The album Acts of Love dispenses with guitar rock completely. In addition, Crass also released novelty records, such as Merry Crassmass as well as hoax recordings. Secondly, the music made by others artists within the anarcho-punk orbit differed, both from Crass's and each others. Crass's distinctions with the early recordings of Flux or Dirt might seem like questions of nuance and interpretation, but the differences separating Crass from the drum and vocal outfit D&V, Rubella Ballet, Hagar the Womb, Zounds, Poison Girls or The Mob, for example, are undisputable.

In a wider artistic sense, Crass's projection and presentation of their own work was highly innovative. The visual and graphic work of both Gee Suss and Mick Duffield was ground breaking. The disfigured Crass logo; the all-black-clad appearance; the stencil lettering and all the other elements of Crass's graphic packaging offered a striking identity to rival Jamie Reid's work for the Sex Pistols. Gee's stunning artwork of collage and montage gave visceral and graphic reinforcement to Crass's musical messages. Duffield's and Gee's video presentations turned punk gigs into film shows and punctuated Crass's live performance. For a band opposed outright to the commerical packaging and presentation of punk, Crass developed a visual identity that was distinctive and unmistakable.

Gigs as anarcho-punk practice

No FutureLive gigs provided one the clearest indications of anarcho-punk practice, illuminating both its distinctions and some of its limitations. Gigs tended to be organised in youth clubs, scout huts and church halls outside the usual punk rock circuit, usually put together by amateur fan promoters. Larger gigs, often involving Crass, offered a wide variety of performers: poets with backing tapes, films, drum and vocal duos, alongside full bands. The visual presentation would be as comprehensive as possible, as halls would be decked with banners of anarchist and anarcho-punk emblems, TV sets and film screens.

Normally there would be no meathead bouncers; no capitalist promoter in the background; certainly no t-shirt or merchandising stall; no hot dog concession; and no ticket touts outside. Entrance would be dirt cheap, and inevitably the evening would be a benefit for at least one cause if not more. Events got underway the minute the doors opened and were usually wound-up before last buses, tubes and trains so people could get home. These would also be, as they are characterised now, 'all ages show', without access restrictions. All of that might sound less significant now, but it was certainly a break with the dominant mentalities of the rock and the punk cultures of the time.

Despite, and partly because of these distinctions from the punk rock norm, anarcho-gigs were vulnerable to attack, and were frequently marred by outbreaks of violence, sometimes minor but other times more serious. [6] There are a number of reasons which explain this apparent anomaly. Firstly, anarcho-punk's political critique extended to the dominant leftist politics of the hour, and explictly condemned the highjacking of causes and the manipulation of 'front organisations' by the authoritarian left. At same time anarcho-punk was implacably hostile to the peripheral far-right and Nazi movements then trying to mobilise in Britain in the ideological context of Thatcherism. In consequence, anarcho punk gigs were thought of, by sections both the far-left and the right, (as well as by thugs or no particular political affiliation), as 'soft targets': [7] the gigs would be found outside the usual club circuit; there would be no crew of bow-tied bouncers willing to intervene; and no promoter ready to call the cops.

On top of that, would-be assailants recognised that the readily-identifiable core audience at these gigs upheld a pure pacifist politics, which for many included a refusal to use violence in any circumstances. Many of the audience were people in their early teens, and — although bands would usually repond to any violent incidents and protect people as best as they could — in many respects the audiences were expected to fend for themselves in an culture that, for the most part, frowned on the use of violence.

Acknowledging other less palatable sides of anarcho-punk culture, it must be also be readily conceded that the 'scene' could be an insular and self-satisfied one; that the commitments and practice of some bands fell short of their projected image — when there was often a mismatch between the talk that was talked and the walk that was walked.

Significances of Crass and anarcho-punk

No FutureThe complications of Crass's own political position, and by extension that of anarcho-punk, were acute. Explored in the extended essays of Crass's 1982 book A Series of Shock Slogans and Mindless Token Tantrums the politics of anarcho-punk emerge as an interplay between nonviolence, counter-culturalism, commune and co-operative experimentation, spartan anti-consumerism and the exploration of personal liberty, on the one hand, and support for a relentless struggle against the forces of capital and the war state, on the other.

Now, that is an unfairly crude dichotomy of a more complex matrix of positions, but if it is overstated, it does highlight what stands as one of the central dilemmas of anarcho-punk politics — (leaving on one side the question of credibility for a moment), what was anarcho-punk's ambition: to encourage its audience to 'live their own lives' guided by an independent moral code, and as free of state-interference as possible; or to mobilise its forces to prepare for the overthrow of capital and the state the world over? For example, although it deals with issues of war, animal suffering, state surveillance, global poverty and the insanity of the nuclear state, Flux of Pink Indians chose to title their debut LP Strive to Survive Causing the Least Suffering Possible — an ambition perhaps more readily associated with the work of Buddha than Bakunin.

In Crass's original lexicon, anarchism and pacifism were seen as synomymous and symbiotic — belief in the one philosophy neccesitating support for the other. Around the calls for 'anarchy, peace and freedom', anarcho-punk's varied political impulses pushed the movement in diverse directions. Anti-militarism, and in particular, opposition to the nuclear arms race, remained definitional concerns throughout. But anti-war cries did not exhaust the anarcho-punk remit. The movement engaged — sometimes more successfully than others — with feminist, atheist, anti-capitalist and eco- politics. Particularly for bands such as Conflict and Flux of Pink Indians, the politics of animal rights, animal liberation, vegetarianism and veganism also featured strongly.

From the early 1980s and up until the experience of the 1984-85 Miners's Strike the core activists of anarcho-punk were mobilised and engaged across a range of political fronts, adding their weight to the prominent campaigns of the day. A list of Crass's own claims to political notoriety in this period — which there is no space here to explore — would need to include the funding of the promising but short-lived Anarchy Centre in London (a follow-on for support for the defendants in the Persons Unknown trial); high profile opposition to the Falklands War (which led to 'questions in the House'); the 'Thatchergate' tape stunt (which fooled both the FBI and KGB for a while); the Our Wedding spoof (which tricked the publishers of Loving magazine); and, perhaps the defining moment of the anarcho-punk DIY ethic, the huge Zig-Zag festival squat.

The highpoint of anarcho-punk's mobilisation were the series of Stop the City (STC) demonstrations in London's financial centre between 1983 and 1984. [8] Although not initiated from within anarcho-punk, Crass's own video documentary of the second STC confirms the extent to which these were primarily, though not exclusively, anarcho-punk affairs. [9] The STC initiatives effectively illustrated both the capabilities and the limitations of the movement's political ambitions — demonstrating its disrespect for the routinism of traditional law-abiding demonstrations; while at the same time highlighting the movement's uncertainty about questions of strategy and agency.

In their own writing, Crass somewhat overstate the contribution the band made to resuscitating the moribund Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) in the early 1980s. [10] The initiation of a new arms race, confirmed by plans to deploy first-strike Cruise and Pershing nuclear missles across europe, revived anti-nuclear movements across the continent, and would have arisen with or without the intercession of anarcho-punk. What Crass and anarcho-punk can quite legitimately claim is to have convinced a subtantial number of radical youth to commit their energies to the most militant anti-militarist wings of the disarmament movement, which laid seige to nuclear installations across the country and which saw no conflict between its pacifist precepts and its willingness to commit acts of 'criminal damage' on the property of the nuclear state.

There can be no question that Crass and anarcho-punk together also reinvigorated the ranks of the near-comatose British anarchist movement, [11] which had slid into fractious irrelevance and been eclipsed by a resurgence in the far-left and the hard-right, although the 'old hands' and the 'new punks' initially struggled to relate to one another. Anarcho-punk both infused the movement with new blood, and and challenged its existing pre-occupations the better to reflect the primary concerns of the new militants. Today, many thirty- and forty-something British anarchists will readily acknowledge that it was anarcho-punk which provided their introduction to the politics of libertarianism, however far they may have moved from their 'veggie-pacifist' origins.

Much contemporary criticism of the politics of anarcho-punk, voiced from elsewhere in the anarchist milieu and outside it focused on three issues — anarcho-punk's pacifism; its emphasis on individualism and its rejection of class politics. The question of class was certainly central, and formed the basis on which, for example, Sounds journalist Garry Bushell carried out his persistent attacks on anarcho-punk. Eager to promote the Oi! and 'new punk' vehicles he had been championing (by mimicing McLaren's role as impresario and fixer), Bushell railed against the 'ageing, middle-class hippies' of Crass and talked up the proletarian credentials of the 'street punk' acts he was then promoting. Eventually, Oi lost it way, compromised by the flirtation of some bands with fascism, and by the movement's complicity with Falklands War patriotism. The reality of Bushell's residual 'socialism' also stood cruelly exposed as he later crossed picket lines to join the new Murdoch media empire.

And yet it's not necessary to buy into the Bushell-Oi critique of anarcho-punk to accept that Crass's denial of the importance of class, and insistence on a broadly individualist account of anarchist politics was deeply flawed, and open to misinterpretation. Yet the content of Crass's work often militated against this view, and — in practice — drew anarcho-punk into arenas of conflict that were collectively anti-capitalist by their very nature. It would also be wrong to suggest that the influences of Crass and anarcho-punk can only be detected in such 'organisational' outcomes.

Crass' political position shifted significantly, particularly in the latter years of the band's work (something which could only alter the centre of gravity in the movement as a whole). The final statements produced by the band indicate the degree to which the 'corporate' position projected by the group since 1978 was beginning to unravel. By the close of 1983, in the aftershock of the Falklands War and the wake of Thatcher's second victory at the polls, the pacifism which had been one of the defining features of anarcho-punk identity from the beginning was coming under acute strain — typified by the desperate remonstrations of the You're Already Dead single.

Castigating the movement for its appeasement with the 'war state', its timidity under attack, and its hesistation at so critical a juncture — the imminent deployment of Cruise missiles — was the most explicit call to immediate action ever articulated by Crass. The ugency of the call is matched by the ferocity of its delivery. Although not yet a literal 'call to arms', the trajectory along which the movement is being pointed appears decidedly ambiguous. As links with others outside of the movement appear to be severed, the indications are of anarcho-punk retreating in on itself, preparing to shoulder the political weight of the world alone.

The sense of impending catastrophy which increasingly defined Crass's endgame had a number of unintended consequences. The sense of desperation at the inability to defuse the 'ticking time bomb' of nuclear conflagration halted the development of the movement's politics. Long overdue shifts in that politics, in part encouraged by the experience of the Miners' Strike, were held in check in the shadow of 'The Bomb'. Such reasoning helped to reinforce the sense of isolation, and indeed siege, preoccupying the movement, and encouraged the development of a distorted sense of its own significance — as if, on its own and unaided, it might yet 'save the world'. One of Conflict's later album announced, with neither a hint of irony nor self-parody that The Ungovernable Force is Coming. Yet the culture of anarcho-punk made the forging of political alliances outside of its own ranks immensely difficult. In that combination of urgency and dread the anarcho-movement lost perspective and began to substitute itself for the generalised popular uprising it so desperately wanted to see.

Anarcho-punk's relationship with mainstream punk

No FutureHow should anarcho-punk's relationship with 'mainstream' punk rock be understood? Crass and anarcho-punk's own practice can be compared against some of the defining characteristics of punk. Anarcho-punk remained, by definition, hostile to the commerical imperatives of the music industry. Activity was based around attempts to subvert the mechanisms of the market-place; was reliant on the work of independent and autonomous labels outside the control of the majors; and posited on cheap and not-for-profit production. Entry prices for gigs were low; record releases came stamped with the instruction to 'pay no more than' the price preset by the label. In the volatile, inhospitable early 1980s anarcho-punk held fast to its implacable anti-establishment politics. Anarcho-punk was also was avowedly independent in nature, rejecting of 'Top of the Pops', the club circuit, Sounds and the rest of the music press, and committed to the fanzine network and the work of independent fan activists and promoters. Anarcho-punk also tended towards the collaborative.

Anarcho- bands felt themselves to be part of a shared 'scene' in a way that the Rejects or Disorder would almost certainly not have. Crass's position allowed them to support other artists through shared touring and record releasing. Crass' own approach gave them direct and total control over their work, especially after the creation of Crass Records and the Corpus Christi label, and allowed to put out work by dozens of other artists. The history of the first and second waves of 'mainstream' punk bands is littered with numerous disappointments and marred by accusations of 'sell-out' and 'betrayal' by bands who grabbed at their first advance cheque. It is striking that none of the centrally placed anarcho-punk bands signed up to to a major label between 1978 and 1984, despite the offers that were coming in to tempt them. [12]

The fact that Crass, and anarcho-punk as a whole, attracted such intense critical reaction from others within punk should, in many respects, come as no surprise. Crass in particular provided an easy target. By most measures of 'street credibility' they ought not to have registered at all — many of the band were the wrong side of thirty; they were open hippy sympathisers; they lived in a commune in the country and grew their own vegetables; and, on top of that, they had the audacity to get stuck into the punk aristocracy. Not only was their independence an explicit critique of the commercial operation of many other punk outfits; their insistence that punk be recognised as subversive and propagandist infuriated (or left bemused) those who saw punk as the expression of things outrageous, escapist or plain stupid. [13]

The accusation of inauthenticity was notably taken up by the otherwise undistingushed Colchester punk band Special Duties. Adopting a consciously 'anti-Crass' identity, Special Duties released the single 'Bullshit Crass', wrapped in a mocking pastiche of the Crass label's own artwork. Those looking for an articulate denunciation of anarcho-punk in the lyrics of the song or somewhere on the record sleeve will be disappointed. As a critique, it is, of itself, content-free. Yet this Special Duties' live favourite effectively expressed the suspicions of a significant percentage of the mainstream punk audience of its day — in this view anarcho-punk was perceived as an unwelcome gatecrasher at the punk rock'n'roll party, with Crass cast in the role of the Jehovah Witness, or Socialist Worker seller, knocking at the front door, determined to spoil the fun.

In their farewell written statement, Crass insist that the anarcho-punk brand of punk rock had eventually become 'almost synonymous with punk'. [14] They may have wished that this had been so, but in fact it wasn't. In reality, anarcho-punk was in perpetual contest with 'mainstream' punk, its take on the punk project opposed, ignored, resisted and challenged.

How did punks themselves resolve the tensions? Some attracted from the first wave of punk into anarcho-punk adopted a position of purity, discarding their Clash albums along with their leather footwear, committing themselves exclusively to the anarcho-punk project and losing contact with and interest in the Riot City or Oi schools. Others attracted to anarcho-punk declined to embrace that exclusivity, willing to make distinctions between the music that they liked and wanted to listen to and the politics and subculture they engaged with. They were prepared to shop for Sham or Anti-Pasti records to play alongside Stations of the Crass. Elsewhere, the tensions were resolved on the back of a thousand leather jackets, as punks, choosing to pick-and-mix, painted Crass's lettering and logo alongside those of Discharge, The Exploited or Chron Gen.


No FutureMuch of the significance and many of the pecularities of anarcho-punk are revealed in the tensions — some of them 'creative', others of them more problematic — within the movement and its practice. For Crass themselves, such tensions were manifold. There was the sharp contrast between the sophistication, complexity and subtley of much of the 'message' and the stripped-down, raw and raucous directness of the delivery. In every sense, it's not always clear that Crass's intent is audible above the noise. Then there's the mismatch between the espoused motivations of 'peace and love' and the aggression and harshness of the delivery — the amiguous logo, the black cotton drill fatigues, that militaristic snare beat, the howled and desperate vocals. Then there's the dischord between Crass's irrefutable position as the movement's figureheads, agenda-setters and effective leaders and the band's refusal of that leadership role and reluctance to assume responsibility for it.

There's also a misalignment between anarcho-punk's claims on the values of tolerance, inclusivity and 'togetherness' and the effective detachment and separation of anarcho-punks, together with the high costs that accrued to full-fledged membership of this anarcho-subculture. Crass's own determination to try out different forms of attack, to re-invent their own format and to strain at the creative limits of their project was not always matched in the work of the wider movement , where, in the work of lyric writers, fanzine editors and graffiti artists, evidence grew of a slide into formalism and routinism, and where — through familiarity with the subject matters of war, animal suffering and the nuclear threat — the law of diminishing returns made itself felt.

There seemed to be a collective unwillingness or inability to recognise the limitations of the movement. This was another illuminating conflict — exposing the contrast between the sophistication of anarcho-punk's analysis of punk and its betrayals, and the inability of the movement to acknowledge anarcho-punk's own limits, as well as celebrate its strengths.

No Sir, I Won't
December 2001



1. Crass's own contemporary accounts of the development of the band and the anarcho-punk movement can be found in: Crass, A Series of Shock Slogans and Mindless Tokens Tantrums, (Exitstencil Press, London, 1982); and, Crass, '…In Which Crass Voluntarily "Blown Their Own"', (insert with the retrospective Crass LP Best Before 1984, Crass Records, 1984).
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2. In Jon Savage's now 'classic' general history of British punk, for example, he acknowledges his inability to do justice to the phenomenon of Crass and anarchist punk, concluding that due to the complexity of Crass'swork 'they deserve a book to themselves.' Jon Savage, England's Dreaming: The Sex Pistols and Punk Rock, (Faber & Faber, London), p584.
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3. These include: George McKay, 'Crass 621984 ANOK4U2', in McKay, Senseless Acts of Beauty: Cultures of Resistance Since the Sixties, (London, Verso) 1996, pp73-101; Andy Scoot, Crass: A Countercultural Continuum (Kebele Kulture Project, Bristol) n.d; Ritchie Unterberger, 'Crass', in Unterberger, Unknown Legends of Rock'n'Roll, (Miller Freeman Books, x) pp.259-264.
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4. Essays in Roger Sabin, Punk Rock: So What?, (Routledge, London) 1999, for instance, contain passing references to the work of Crass, but make no effort to integrate the experience of anarcho-punk into the analytical frameworks on offer.
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5. This may begin to change now that members of Crass have begun to publish their own autobiographical and retospective work, notably: Penny Rimbaud, Shibboleth: My Revolting Life, (AK Press and Exitstencil Press, Edinburgh) 1998; and Gee Vaucher, Crass Art and Other Pre Post-Modernist Monsters, (AK Press and Exitstencil Press, Edinburgh) 1999. These works have yet to be incorporated into new commentaries.
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6. The fraught and atmosphere of a volatile and sporadically violent Crass gig (Perth, Scotland, 4 July 1981) is captured on the CD: Crass, You'll Ruin it for Everyone (Pomona Records) 1983.
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7. Rimbaud describes the attack on an early Conway Hall, London Crass audience by leftists seeking 'Nazi scum' in Shibboleth, p119: "Anyone with hair shorter than half an inch… was regarded as fair game. The resultant carnage was ugly, unnecessary and utterly indefensible.'; and other attacks by right and left, p127.
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8. Penny Rimbaud wrote a three-page report of his observations of the first Stop the City for Punk Lives, No 10, 1983, urging all punks, anarcho- or otherwise, to attend the second, scheduled for March 1984.
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9. Crass and Exitstencil Films, Stop the City 29-03-84 {Rough Cut, August 1984), 1984.
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10. Savage, England's Dreaming, p584; Rimbaud, Shibboleth, p.109: 'our efforts on the road slowly bought CND back to life.'
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11. Savage, England's Dreaming, p584.
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12. In the case of Crass, see 'In Which', and 'Still Ignorant, Not So Crass', Living Marxism, February 1999.
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13. For an exploration of such views of punk, see Stewart Home, Cranked Up Really High: Genre Theory and Punk Rock, (CodeX, Hove) 1995.
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14. Crass, 'In Which', 1984.
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