Summary

Alternative Name(s): Button

Fight War not Wars is the title of a 1978 song by the British political and anarchist punk band Crass. Fight War Not Wars is also the only line in the song, repeated over and over again. It appeared on the album The Feeding of the 5000, which is considered one of the fist punk albums that presents a coherent anarchist philosophy. However, Crass was more than a band: it was a record label, collective and creative centre. The community met in a place known as Dial House from 1977 to 1984, identified as a centre for radical creativity and initiated by the artist and Crass Drummer Penny Rimbaud. This place amassed a collection of thousands of fanzines and original punk artworks.

The image of the smiling soldier on this badge, in fact, was initially made for a fanzine as well. The second issue of International Anthem, bearing the tagline 'Nihilist Newspaper for the Living' had this 1977 collage by Gee Vaucher on its cover. Gee Vaucher is a British artist that has been an important part of the Crass community as well. Her work helped shaped anarcho-pacifist and protest art of the 1980s. The DIY and grassroots aesthetic highlighted through the technique of collaging found material is a characteristic of her work and can also be encountered in this design.

This particular badge was produced for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, with which Crass was involved. The extent to which the Crass initiative contributed to the success of a waning CND in the 1980s is debatable. However, it is clear that the band and anarcho-punk in general be credited with having urged a number of radical youth to invest their energy towards the disarmament movement. This new wave of punk was much more socially aware than the generation with the Sex Pistols had been; with bands like Crass donating thousands of pounds to the CND, for instance.

Physical Description

This badge has a ring printed on it. The upper half is black, the lower half red. In the centre of the ring the picture of a soldier is printed on white. On the soldier's face a red, laughing mouth is printed. On the black part of the ring is white text, on the red part is black text. The badge has a pin on the back.

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