September 18, 2008

Anti-racist peace vigil as BNP meet

Campaigners are urging people to attend an anti-racism vigil on Saturday. The Unite Against Fascism and Love Music Hate Racism protest event will involve speeches from trade union leaders and campaigners.

The organisers are hoping to attract support from hundreds of people. The event, which will coincide with a BNP rally, is also being supported by local organisations like North Staffordshire Campaign Against Racism and Fascism and Staffs University Students Union. The protest, titled a Peace and Unity Vigil, will be held at the North Staffordshire African Caribbean Association car park, in Cannon Street, Hanley, at 10am.

Weyman Bennett, joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism said: "We believe it is the intention of the BNP to whip up tension in the city long after Nick Griffin has retreated. We believe it is a mistake the BNP have been allowed access to Stoke-on-Trent this coming Saturday particularly with regard to leafleting on the streets. Our event will be a peaceful demonstration."

Later on Saturday, an anti-racism music festival called Jam It, will be held in Hanley Central Forest Park from 12pm to 7pm. Music acts SWAY, Skinnyman, Ghetto, and Jammer will all perform. Live graffiti demonstrations, inflatable laser quest and bouncy castles will also be laid on to entertain the crowds at the celebration event.

But the protest in the morning is specifically aimed at combating the BNP event which is being held somewhere in the city centre at the same time.

The locations and details of this BNP event will not be made public until Saturday morning. BNP councillor Michael Coleman said: "The plans are guarded because a lot of anti-BNP activities go on and we could be targeted. We want our rally to be a positive activity and so we are using all the right precautions so that rent a mobs from outside the city do not attack us. We have some people travelling in from outside the city and we do not want them to be faced with something violent. We have planned for about 500 people and if we had 1,500 we would not be able to cope with that. If there is any form of confrontation we will walk away. This will be a peaceful protest – that is how democracy works."

The BNP rally has been organised the wake of a highly contentious court decision. Habib Khan of Normacot, was jailed for eight years last month for the manslaughter of BNP activist Keith Brown.

A police spokesman confirmed officers are in talks with the BNP about their rally. He said: "We have met with members of the BNP on three occasions to discuss their planned campaign for September 20. "During these meetings we have discussed their legal obligations and will continue to meet with them in the approach to the day."

The Sentinel

12 comments:

a very public sociologist said...

It's also worth noting anti-fascists will be holding meetings throughout the unity festival and will be mobilising for our own mass leaflet of Stoke, in response to that undertaken by the BNP in the morning. Anyone who wants to do this are welcome to bring along their own material.

Anonymous said...

Could someone please tell me our plans where we are meeting up ect dont want to be alone in Stoke for long as I have my girlfriend with me.

Zonko said...

"Could someone please tell me our plans..."

http://www.uaf.org.uk/news.asp?choice=80917

Matthew Collins said...

"Live graffiti demonstrations"

Once more the UAF shows how in touch it is with working class tax payers and voters.

What a disgrace.

What planet is the UAF on, what good does this do to stop people voting BNP?

The BNP goes delivering leaflets of vile racism to the people of Stoke and the UAF have pop concert for activists bussed in or too young to vote.

It really is time people made their minds up as to whether they want to defeat the BNP or just have noisy protests everytime the BNP gets votes.

Anonymous said...

It's also worth noting anti-fascists will be holding meetings throughout the unity festival and will be mobilising for our own mass leaflet of Stoke, in response to that undertaken by the BNP in the morning. Anyone who wants to do this are welcome to bring along their own material.

Why can't you afford to print a standard leaflet?

UAF said...

There is a leaflet. It's here: http://www.uaf.org.uk/news.asp?choice=80917

Bagpuss said...

Is it wise for the UAF to actually attack the memory of a dead man?

I agree with the earlier poster that the UAF has really lost the plot.

Furthermore, why do people (presumably) have to print out their own leaflets?

a very public sociologist said...

Matthew, the Unity Festival is not organised by UAF. the Youth Arts Forum, a local community project, is behind the festival. This itself is not a specifically anti-fascist event but rather a multicultural carnival that has allowed anti-fascists space there to mobilise for a mass leaflet.

Last anonymous, we, as in Stoke Socialist Party, have thousands of our anti-BNP leaflets available. But we've got the political nous to realise not everyone might want to hand these out on the day, in the same way many will be uncomfortable with the 'nasty Nazi'-style fare UAF will be doling out. But that doesn't mean we have to split into separate teams while we're pounding the streets, hence anyone is welcome to hand out whatever they wish.

Soup drinking dragon said...

"Is it wise for the UAF to actually attack the memory of a dead man?

I agree with the earlier poster that the UAF has really lost the plot."

I was thinking that last night when I looked at the supplied link.

UAFs leaflet has a confrontational, rabble rousing tone to it. They will come out of this as bad as the BNP.

BNPROTT said...

Just had a gander at the bnps site and saw their Stoke leaflet.

If anyone thinks UAFs is a little beligerent I suggest they look at the BNPs effort:

"Police and Courts spit in the face of the British people" is one main subheader.

Where have I heard a similar comment?

Oh yes remember now. Islamic fundamentalists.

Couldnt Believe My Mince Pies said...

Just downloaded and printed off the BNP's Stoke leaflet, Im havin a bath in a minute, and I odnt think we need to turn up in Stoke at all.

The BNPs own leaflet will do our work for us, yes it really is that appalling.

Not so sure implying the judge was a "deluded fool" will do them any good, nor suggesting plod is "GUILTY".

Way over the top and wide of the mark, so much so I can only end by saying "Thanks very much BNP".

"You may not score election victories but scoring own goals seems a speciality".

Clingfilm said...

First reports are in, looks like all passed off peacefully

http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/news/Hundreds-gather-BNP-rally/article-342414-detail/article.html