Socialist Worker

Nazi thugs' threats won't stop protest at BNP hate-fest

by Esme Choonara
Published Tue 4 Aug 2009
Issue No. 2163

“We won’t be intimidated by Nazi thugs—we will step up our campaign to build a mass movement to drive back the fascists.”

This is the defiant response of Weyman Bennett, joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism (UAF), to a Nazi hate campaign that has targeted prominent anti-fascist activists.

Weyman himself has received a number of direct threats, including a “death warrant” from a group calling itself the Aryan Martyrs’ Brigade.

The Nazi death threat says, “We know exactly what you look like and what venues you frequent and can strike at will...

“No matter where you are, we will get you, all we need is a lock on your mobile phone and you are one dead nigger.”

Weyman points out that the Nazis’ hate campaigns are further proof that electoral success for the fascists goes hand in hand with increased violence.

He said, “We have seen this before. The Nazis carried out campaigns of intimidation in the 1970s—but a mass movement drove them back.

“These threats offer yet more reasons to build a mass protest at the British National Party’s (BNP) Red, White and Blue event in Derbyshire on Saturday 15 August.

“The BNP wants to use its event to harden up supporters and build on its recent breakthrough in the European elections.”

The BNP claims that Red, White and Blue is a “family festival”—but in reality it is a Nazi rally that will attract violent fascists from across Europe.

A number of other anti-fascist activists have received threatening calls and emails.

Tim, an anti-fascist campaigner from Sheffield, told Socialist Worker, “I have had a number of threatening calls, including one playing Nazi marching music down the phone and another with recordings of chants of ‘Heil Hitler’.

“On other occasions the caller specifically mentioned the BNP. This just proves what we already know—that the Nazis are about hatred and intimidation.”

Tim is just one of those ­organising coaches to the protest at the Red, White and Blue festival who has received threatening calls.

He said, “It just makes us even more determined to build the protest.

“We have already filled one coach from Sheffield and we are looking to put on more transport.

“We have raised support from a number of local trade union branches.

“And we have also been to speak to people from the Yemeni community and the mosques about getting involved.

“This is exactly the sort of diversity the BNP hates.”

In many areas of Britain, campaigners have been building the protest with stalls and leafleting at festivals and carnivals taking place over the summer months.

Activists report that people are excited at a chance to make a stand against the BNP and enthusiastic about the prospect of “kettling”—surrounding—the BNP’s hate-fest.

Action

Activists across Britain are to hold national days of action on Friday and Saturday this week to publicise the protest.

UAF campaigners in Leeds reported a great response leafleting a Gay Pride event in the city.

In the north west, campaigners have been holding stalls in Wigan, Chorley, Liverpool and Manchester.

Paul from UAF in the north west told Socialist Worker, “Local branches of the Unison, FBU and CWU unions have all donated money to put on coaches to join next week’s protest.

“We now have people coming from all over the region.”

Activists in the Midlands have been holding stalls at lots of carnivals and Asian melas and have also had a lot of support from trade unions, especially the CWU, the NASUWT and the PCS unions.

In the area surrounding the village of Codnor, where the “Red, White and Blue” event is taking place, UAF activists have been out campaigning and report a good response.

The national protest against the BNP’s hate-fest comes at an important moment, Weyman says.

“The BNP’s event is an insult to everyone who died in the Holocaust, and to all those black people, Muslims and Roma Gypsys who are the victims of fascist terror across Europe,” he says.

“We have to seize the moment to push our united mass movement forward and stop the BNP in its tracks.”

For more information go to » www.uaf.org.uk


Article information

News
Tue 4 Aug 2009, 19:27 BST
Issue No. 2163
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