Union leaders have called for a ban on fascist British National Party (BNP) members working in the public services and for a huge campaign to counter the threat of fascism.
The PCS and Unison unions urged a united front against fascism at the TUC.
Their motion stated that “the BNP is a racist and fascist organisation with no place in a democratic, diverse society”.
Tim Wilson from the probation officers’ Napo union called for “an implacable wall” of resistance to the BNP and its “brownshirt outriders”. “There can be no platform for the BNP and no acceptance of its inhumane doctrines,” he said.
Prison Officers Association president Colin Moses, backed the motion, saying, “I hear people say the BNP is a recognised party. Recognised by who? Extremists and thugs.”
Tim Lezard from the NUJ journalists’ union told of a threatening phone call he received from an anonymous member of the BNP. They ended their conversation with the ominous assertion that “We’ve got your number”.
“Yeah, I’ve got yours too, mate,” Lezard told him. “You’ve left it on my phone.”
“That,” Lezard told conference, “is how stupid they are.” He also challenged the claim that the broadcaster was duty bound to include the BNP in political programmes.
Following the motion, hundreds of delegates, including Gee Walker, the mother of Anthony Walker who was murdered by racists in 2005, attended a silent vigil against racism at the conference centre on Albert Docks.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said, “This is a silent vigil because we want first to reflect on the victims of racism and fascism.
“We know that when the BNP vote goes up it gives hate crime a boost.”