Saturday 29th November 2008 saw a massive protest leafleting event against the fascist BNP and the racist leaflet for which 13 BNP members were arrested the previous Saturday. Over 500 Anti-fascists turned out including many from Liverpool’s black community to ensure that Merseyside stays a Fascist free zone.
The Merseyside Coalition against Racism and Fascism (M.C.A.R.F) and Searchlight produced a special leaflet to counter the racist BNP leaflet and printed 10, 000 copies and many were distributed on Saturday.
The President of M.C.A.R.F. Alec McFadden negotiated with Merseyside Police, organized the event, recruited stewards and produced the leaflets. The agreement with Police was that our leaflets would be distributed at the bottom of Church Street near Co-op bank. The Merseyside Police also confirmed that anyone distributing the racist BNP leaflet would be arrested.
On Tuesday 25th November the Crown Prosecution Service C.P.S ruled that the leaflet was likely to increase racial tension but was unlikely to increase racial hatred.
Merseyside Police objected and appealed that decision but on Friday the appeal was rejected, which meant that BNP could distribute their leaflets that were likely to increase racial tension, however M.C.A.R.F. was not informed of this
On Saturday morning 9. 45am the President of M.C.A.R.F. and three stewards were informed by the Senior Police Officer that the BNP were free to distribute their racist leaflets. All 500 plus present were addressed by the President of M.C.A.R.F. of the dangers, the need to work in groups and to contact one of the stewards or the police if anything threatening happened, including the BNP photographing demonstrators, and that personal security was a priority.
Over the next two hours 3000 leaflets were distributed, a number of speeches were made, music played, and the stewards did a great job, although a few BNP did try and take photos of demonstrators leafleting. These were dealt with by Police and Stewards.
The Stewards regularly checked across Liverpool City Centre for any sign of BNP but none were seen other than the few fascists trying to take photo’s.
At around 11. 50am the Police met the Stewards and M.C.A.R.F. President and informed them that no BNP activity was going to take place and that local BNP had stopped the mobilization. Our Steward confirmed that no groups of BNP had been seen. The Stewards and organizers then agreed to celebrate victory against BNP and stop the protest leafleting. The President of M.C.A.R.F. then addressed the Anti-Fascist Protesters and the event wound down in a positive frame of mind and many left the area.
Less than 75 minutes later 40/50 BNP were discovered at St. Georges Platau, and they were escorted into Liverpool City Centre by Merseyside police. The Anti-Fascists who were still in town and a few of the Stewards protested and chanted against the BNP who were lead by Nick Griffin their General Secretary. The protest lasted over one hour and three arrests were made, one BNP for the threatening behavior at News from Nowhere and two Anti-Fascists. No Charges have been made.
It is now very clear that the Police were either mislead by their intelligence, the BNP or mislead the organizers of the Ant-Fascist Event.
Openly racist leaflets were distributed in Liverpool by BNP under the protection of Merseyside Police.
On Monday 1st December M.C.A.R.F, Searchlight plus members of Liverpool Black Leader Forum have arranged to meet senior Merseyside Police after the President of M.C.A.R.F. made a complaint against Police handling of Saturdays Anti-Fascist Event. That meeting will take place this week.
An Early Day motion will go to Parliament on Wednesday from Merseyside M. Ps asking the Crown Prosecution Service to reconsider their position on the BNP leaflet which in the view of the Black Leaders Forum, M.C.A.R.F, and Anti-Fascist Activists will increase both racial tension and increase racial hatred.
Merseyside has always been a Fascist Free Zone and it is the intention of its citizens to maintain that position.
The spectacle of Merseyside Police protecting the Fascist BNP while they walk through the streets of Liverpool City centre distributing openly racist leaflets is an outrage, and must never be repeated. Our diverse community, The Trade Union Movement and all democratic people must ensure it never happens again.
Alec McFadden: President MCARF
Tragic murders the BNP is trying to exploit