The BNP is facing serious opposition to its plan to stand 300 candidates in the coming general election. While the party’s leader, Nick Griffin, believes that it has a chance of winning its first seats in parliament, the Nazi party is opposed wherever it shows its face. Protesters drowned out most of its press conference at the launch of its campaign in Stoke. In Barking, east London, an angry demonstration forced Griffin to move a planned walkabout last Saturday. Unite Against Fascism activists leafleted shoppers in the centre of the constituency where Griffin is planning to stand in the general election. Griffin and his supporters were forced to retreat from a key part of the constituency and go leaflet elsewhere; the demonstration was brought together by local people with just a day’s notice. The BNP’s thugs are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up the “respectable” image they put on to win elections. The party tries to convince voters that it is in favour of law and order, but leading members are returning to street violence - several are involved in organising the violent protests organised by the English, Welsh and Scottish Defence Leagues.
The BNP has launched its election campaign under the banner “Support Our Troops – Bring Our Boys Home”. Rose Gentle from Military Families Against the War, whose son Gordon was killed in Iraq in June 2004, was shocked to hear that the BNP is using the war to win votes. She said, “Military Families is made up of different people from different backgrounds. The boys who have died come from different nationalities. “If the BNP thinks we will support them they are very wrong and people need to know that. It is a disgrace that they are using the deaths of our family members for electoral purposes.” Activists in Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire are organising to block a two pronged assault from the forces of fascism. The thugs of the English Defence League (EDL) say they will descend on the city this weekend, while the British National Party (BNP) plans to stand in three local seats in the coming general election. A protest in the city will oppose the EDL’s attempt to terrorise the Muslim community. Jason Hill, president of North Staffordshire TUC, told Socialist Worker that the trade union movement is mobilising to join with students and others. “We are expecting a good turnout – the NASUWT, Unison, the NUT and other unions are asking their members to attend. “There are coaches coming from across the north west of England and the East Midlands.”
The British National Party (BNP) and the English, Welsh and Scottish Defence Leagues are flip sides of the same Nazi coin. Fascists have built their support through a combination of legal electoral activity and street violence. Fascists have built their support through a combination of legal electoral activity and street violence. Nick Griffin has tried to temporarily rein in the BNP’s most overt displays of bigotry and violence in an attempt to worm his way into the political mainstream. This has fed the frustration of many Nazi thugs—and boosted the EDL. The EDL and the BNP deny they are linked, yet leading BNP members were involved in setting up the EDL. Key BNP members and supporters have been spotted at EDL protests. The EDL has fascists at its core. Its members make Nazi salutes and been heard chanting racist slogans. EDL members went on the rampage in Luton earlier this year, attacking areas with a large Muslim population. But they have been beaten back by anti-fascist protests in Birmingham, Harrow and Manchester - it is our responisbility solely to protect the equal, diverse, liberal democracy and society we have for the protection of all. Modern society needs to reject this filth, otherwise we could see a repeat of Nazi Germany.
Unite Against Fascism (UAF) will hold its annual conference on Saturday 13 February in central London. The conference will be crucial for all those who oppose the Nazis and want to stop them making gains – both in elections or in strength on the streets. The BNP has made some gains on the back of the economic crisis, anti-immigrant racism, Islamophobia and anger with mainstream politicians. But they have always been opposed – and the next few months will be key to building up that opposition. Nazi Nick Griffin, leader of the BNP, has declared that he will stand in the east London seat of Barking in the general election. Anti-fascists in the area are campaigning to expose his racist lies and maximise the anti-BNP vote. Many local community groups and trade unionists are backing Unite Against Fascism’s Don’t Vote Nazi campaign. Activists from across London will be joining a national day of activity in the area on Sunday of next week, leafleting wards with anti-fascist leaflets. The rise of the National Front in the 1970s saw an increase in racist and homophobic violence – but also of resistance that drove the Nazis back. They grew in the 1970s against the backdrop of a Labour government that had let working class people down. Unemployment was rising and wages were falling.
That provided the background for the Nazis to exploit the growing misery and insecurity – and try to direct that anger at inority groups. The NF started polling high in elections, which gave them the courage to march on the streets and attack black people and socialists amongst others; many were trying to stop them, but it was mostly local and uncoordinated. A group of leading BNP members from the Midlands have been pictured speaking at a recent neo-Nazi rally in Germany. BNP organiser Mike Bell headed a group of British fascists, joining others from across Europe at a rock festival organised by the German fascist NPD group. This shows that the BNP is serious about building a network of fascist groups across Europe. A BNP councillor in Carmarthenshire, Wales, has provoked outrage with calls for drug dealers to be killed. Kevin Edwards, a community councillor in the village of Penygroes, told the local paper that drug dealers should be hanged on live television. We need to strip the mask away. The BNP’s ultimate aim is the destruction of democracy. That is why we need to physically confront the Nazis wherever they try to organise.
A blog for the socially and politically conscious, written by a young, gay activist who strongly believes in equality and justice.