Searchlight investigates and opposes fascism, antisemitism and racism in Britain and abroad
Searchlight was founded in 1964 as an occasional publication and press agency, and became a monthly magazine in 1975. From the outset it has been uniquely successful in gathering and analysing intelligence on the far right. The results of this work are used far beyond the pages of the magazine and our other publications.
Searchlight exposes the fascists and racists’ activities and alerts the antifascist community to our opponents’ intentions, plans and trends. We are the only publication regularly to investigate and analyse the far right’s ideological powerhouse, the New Right, and to expose the groups that bridge the fascist and Tory right such as the London Forum and Traditional Britain Group. Searchlight is the first port of call for activists, journalists, politicians and academics seeking information on organised racism and far-right paramilitaries in Britain.
Until autumn 2011 Searchlight worked alongside its creation, the Hope Not Hate campaign (before it broke away), to help bring about the defeat of almost all the British National Party’s local councillors. Searchlight’s accurate investigations of the BNP, especially its financial mismanagement, contributed greatly to the party’s collapse and the ousting of its leader Nick Griffin. The electoral far right has never recovered. Various splinter groups emerged from the dregs of the BNP, including the violent Britain First group, and Searchlight continues to investigate them, but that is no longer where the main threat from the extreme right lies.
Searchlight now focuses on investigating the intellectual and paramilitary far right. Searchlight has tracked the founding and growth of Generation Identity, has exposed paramilitary camps in Britain and elsewhere in Europe in which young Nazis receive weapons and combat training from instructors from Poland and Russia, and monitors the meetings of the London Forum and other organisations that bring together international fascist and antisemitic speakers and activists alongside the paramilitary right for the purpose of undermining democracy.
Since early 2011 Searchlight has worked with historians at Northampton University’s School of Social Sciences, who provide an academic input to Searchlight magazine. In conjunction with them Searchlight published Far-right.com, which examines the fascists’ widespread use of the internet and social networks. It was followed in 2012 by White Power Music: Scenes of Extreme-Right Cultural Resistance. The books aimed to be a fairly priced resource for students, academics and anti-fascist activists. A further book is set to be published jointly in early 2017.
The University of Northampton also houses Searchlight’s extensive archive of documents, publications and other material on the far right in the UK and internationally. The archive includes a large library of books and photographs, and modern and historic antifascist material.
Searchlight is happy to work with all antifascists and is not aligned with any political party. Searchlight works with trade unionists, union branches and national TU organisations through Trade Union Friends of Searchlight.