August 13, 2008

Death threats to councillor

Police are investigating death threats made against a Tameside councillor.

 The threats were made after Councillor John Taylor’s details appeared on a violent far right website, Redwatch. The site, which includes pictures of political activists including anti-British National Party demonstrators, anti-deportation marches and Socialist Worker volunteers, lists home addresses and contact details of people featured online.

 The 60-year-old Dukinfield councillor, who has been a Labour Party member for 36 years and trade unionist for 40 years, is known for his criticism of the BNP. Since featuring on Redwatch, Councillor Taylor — who is a grandfather — has received countless emails saying that he will be shot in the head.

 "Since I was a teenager I’ve been involved in anti-fascist campaigning, so I’ve put up with day-to-day political jibes. I’ve been on marches and had things shouted at me but never anything as serious as this," said Councillor Taylor. "I’ve obviously had to take it very seriously because of my family. They said they were going to shoot me and have identified what gun they’re going to use, so it shows they know what they’re talking about. For people who know Redwatch, when they do identify you, you usually become a victim of violence."

 Councillor Taylor was also alerted to a video on the YouTube website, which accused him of being a communist. Fellow Dukinfield councillor, Brian Wild, also had his picture placed on the Redwatch website along with his address and the comment that he is an ‘anti-BNP associate of Councillor John Taylor’.

 Inspector Tony Alogba, of Stalybridge police, said: "We are investigating a threat to kill recently made on a website. We are following a number of inquiries and working closely with the victim to trace the person or people responsible. If anyone has any information about the threat please contact us on 856 9255."

Tameside Advertiser

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