October 31, 2008

NutNZi rally in Wellington

1 Comment (s)
The New Zealand National Front (NZNF) held a rally in Wellington on Saturday, October 25. This follows former NF secretary Kerry Bolton’s successful campaign to have a thesis examining the links between neo-Nazi and Satanic beliefs in New Zealand removed from Waikato University. According to Radio New Zealand, 120 people in total attended the NF’s celebrations of National Flag Day outside Parliament, and 30 police kept the peace. (TV3 reckons 150 people attended.) Other sources suggest that the 120 or 150 people present were fairly evenly divided between decent, flag-saluting, law-abiding white folk, on the one hand, and indecent, law-breaking, flag-burning criminals, on the other.

Aotearoa Indymedia reports:
Anti-fascist activists gathered at the Cenotaph in Wellington this morning in opposition to the Nationalist Alliance, a coalition comprising white-supremacist groups the National Front, New Right and the National Democrats.

A banner was hung from the Cenotaph (”No racism - Anti-Fascist Action”) as around 65 anti-fascists danced and held the Cenotaph as a fascist free space, removing a fascist photographer from the New Right from the area.

The fascists were expected at 11am, however they must have missed their train and finally showed up at 11.30am. Instead of approaching the Cenotaph, they were escorted by police up Molesworth Street to Parliament grounds. There were around 40 fascists present, many of them waving New Zealand flags.

The anti-fascists claimed victory for holding the Cenotaph and charged up the bank to Parliament grounds where a line of police and a metal fence protected the fascists. “More hair than brains”, “No room for racism” and “Hey hey, ho ho, your racism has got to go” were chanted, drowning out all the speeches by the fascists. Jim Saleam, who served time in jail for firebombing a Brisbane bookshop and organising a shotgun attack against a representative of the African National Congress, Steve Larsen from the New Right and Kyle Chapman all attempted to give speeches - without success.

The fascists retreated after about 30 mins and were chased to the train station by anti-fascist activists. Bagels were thrown at them while they were protected by a police line. Two antifa were arrested by police at that point. Following a scuffle, some anti-fascists went to the train station, just in time for 3 fascists to emerge. They were chased across Bunny Street and again had bagels thrown at them. They were protected by a lone cop who tried (and failed) to arrest an antifa, while frantically calling for back-up. All the anti-fascists managed to get away safely and went to the police station, waiting for their comrades to be released.

Once again, the day was a victory for the anti-fascists!

No room for racism!
VC reports:
So here’s how it went down:

The anti-fascist rally at the Cenotaph was already cranking by the time that I got there, 30 or so people at 10 o’clock. We aimed to be there an hour before the boneheads did just to be sure. There was a sound system playing truly cheesy disco hits and about 30 people in black-bloc-meets-circus costumes. There were a few cops around but it wasn’t too heavy.

The train from the Hutt carrying the boneheads was due around 11. They turned up with their customary police escort. The bypassed the Cenotaph entirely and headed to the Parliament lawn around the monument of King Dick Seddon. Ironically, there were quite a few 5′-5′2″ (fully-grown) warriors amongst them.

There was a bit of chanting and general yelling back and forth. As noted, they had their kids out the front in case we threw something. The chants petered out (”more hair than brains” was still the best to date). Individual remarks were exchanged, some wittier than others. Most memorable was “this National Front demonstration was brought to you by the methadone clinic”. Angry Guy was my fave, he was this 5′-nothing pot-bellied aging bulldog of a dude with bodgy tatts and decked out in classic bonehead garb. He kept yelling and giving us the finger, which was very mediapathic for his whole crew.

The assorted boneheads milled around about 10m behind a metal barricade, flanked by Parliamentary Security on one side and cops on the other. When our mob got up the hill and partway up parliamentary lawns, the cops formed a line stopping us another 10m or so short of the barricade. The short, stocky fellow with the Totenkopf on his shirt and the Confederate buckle asked us why we supported paedophiles.

Kyle and Jim made speeches, but the police presence deterred any kind of public attendance other than a few bemused tourists. They snapped a whole bunch of pictures and filmed us for their current Redwatch effort. Some yelled at us to remove our masks, even though there was at least one masked bonehead amongst them.

After a rather brief stay, they made their way back to the train station via the underground tunnel. We got as far as the tunnel entrance, when I had my back turned there was a scuffle and a couple of people got arrested. The cops seemed unnecessarily rough and there was a lot of screaming.

Some people split off and moved down to the main entrance, where we’d spotted three boneheads with a lone cop. We followed them for a bit, bagels or miscellaneous other items were thrown. There was another scuffle, but no arrests. The cop got some back-up there eventually (see the TVNZ footage of the cops running off).

That was pretty much the day, they got the train back out to the Hutt and we went back to whatever we were doing.
As noted, among those in attendance at the rally was Dr James Saleam, Führer of the Australia First Party (NSW Inc.). The ‘Mad Arab’ — as he was once dubbed by his political rivals on the far right — has cobbled together an ‘Alliance’ between his party and various denizens of the far right in New Zealand; principally the National Front, but including the National Democrats and the New Right.

In his usual manner, Herr Doktor opined NZ Flag Day Was A Great Success For The Nationalists: ANZAC Ties Strengthened Between NZ And Australian Nationalists! “…Just under 70 nationalists were confronted by 34 or so anarchists! It is no accident that the rebirth of the two countries as independent realities based upon their Euro culture but with new identities born of history, is opposed here by the same negative forces as would oppose us in Australia. These dross will serve only to delay your victory but not frustrate it. Inside the parliament sit men in suits who would sell out their country, to globalise it. Here protesting are those unclean drugged out ones who would do the exact same thing. How ironic, and yet these out here say they are opposed to those in there. It’s almost scum above and scum below… I reiterated my words [on TV] and said that the NZ movement was professionalising itself as were we in Australia!”

One of Dr Saleam’s former allies is Mark Wilson, who has since jumped ship and joined Saleam’s arch-enimy the Australian Protectionist Party. In this capacity, Mark addressed the BNP’s Red White & Blue festival this year. In 2005, however, Mark was still on good terms with Herr Doktor, and echoed his thoughts on the rabble of rowdy rebels who apparently threatened to close the 2005 Sydney Forum. “Last but not least, there was the threat of “mass demonstrations”. It was said “two thousand screaming leftists”, anti-white racists in fact, were to “shut down” the Forum. Or so said a pro status-quo group of Israel supporters called ‘Fight Dem Back’. A grand total of thirteen (13) sad, brainwashed, pro-system haters eventually turned up to stop us from having our lawful free-speech gathering.”


More ominously, Mark noted that “[o]ne important event was the Patriotic Youth League (PYL) national meeting which was held at a very friendly Sydney watering-hole. New young people stepped forward to staff existing branches and start a new one.”

Like the Sydney Forum, the Patriotik Yoof League has gone from strength-to-strength.
White men! White women! The flag is calling you. The scared and ancient symbol of your race, since the beginning of time. The Jew is using The Black as muscle against you. And you are left there helpless. Well, what are you going to do about it, Whitey? Just sit there? Of course not! You are going to join with us. The members of the Trans-Tasman, National Socialist, White Peoples’ Party. An organisation of decent, law abiding white folk. Just like you!

@ndy Slackbastard, via Fight Dem Back

October 28, 2008

Lest We Forget: No Place For BNP in Poppy Day Remembrance

3 Comment (s)

As we approach November 11th, the BNP is again trying to exploit the annual British Legion Poppy Day. As Griffin points out on his party's site,
  • British National Party supporters must make an extra effort to assist the national Poppy Day appeal as poppy-sellers to help avert the worker-shortage crisis for that charity, BNP leader Nick Griffin has said.
This is a repeat of last year when the BNP tried to hijack the Remembrance Day for their own odious political ends. Whilst many people still feel a little uneasy in wearing the poppy these days - In the 80s, I used to have a complimentary white one, hastily made with tippex and guaranteed to produce head-clearing effects in warm rooms - what with Iraq and the debate over Haig, I do feel that it should be maintained. Death is death whatever the battlefield.

In 2003 - as reported by the Wakefield Express - wreaths were used as placards for the BNP:
  • Incensed bystanders at Sunday's service at the Rishworth Street memorial watched as a BNP representative marched up to lay a wreath under the guise of East Ardsley Conservative Club.
    Horrified dignitaries quickly realised what the wreath stood for and it was immediately removed.
  • And a wreath bearing the BNP logo was also placed at a memorial in Horbury with a note which read 'You fought bravely to keep this country for your own. Rest in Peace. Now it's our turn'.
    Both wreaths caused distress to war veterans and members of the public.
Earlier this year, ex-BNP councillor, Tony Bamber put out a leaflet - later deemed insufficiently inflammatory for prosecution - demanding Muslims apologise for the heroin trade and making the bizarre claim that before the 'Islamic invasion, it was almost impossible to find heroin here' . In addition to this vile hate-mongering, he saw fit to call his band 'Preston Pals' in a blatant attempt to link to a famous WWI volunteer force. Lancaster Unity add,
  • Bamber, in keeping with the BNP's long-established tradition of jumping on any available bandwagon, formed a fictitious group a couple of years back, which he called the 'Preston Pals', a reference to the company of volunteers from Preston who were eventually formed into 'D' company, 7th Battalion, the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, to fight in World War I.
The British Legion, hopefully, will not forget what was said at the time:
  • The Royal British Legion (RBL) has roundly condemned this misappropriation of the name by the BNP, with its spokesman Patrick Leavey saying; '[The Preston Pals] sacrifice should not be besmirched by people engaged in political campaigning for such an ugly cause. We condemn this leaflet, its contents, and those who are disseminating it'.
In 2007, the Sunday Mail in Scotland was appalled at the hijack attempt,
  • Jim Panton, chief executive of Poppyscotland, said: "I had no idea the BNP have tried to get involved in the Poppy Appeal.

    "It's outrageous for any organisation or group to try to hijack the poppy for their own benefit or gain.

    "It is a misuse and misrepresentation of the sentiment of the appeal and we would take a strong line against that.

    "We are apolitical and have not asked any party to back us."

No doubt people will tell me that these people are individuals and have the freedom to do as they please, and that help is help. The Royal British Legion does not seem to share this view:
  • Neil Griffiths, of the Royal British Legion Scotland, said: "We abhor any association with the BNP. I worked most ofmy military career with Gurkhas and feel angry by any level of racism when I encounter it.

    "The BNP seem to have forgotten that the Indian Army in the Second World War had two million members.

    "It was the biggest volunteer army in military history and it played a huge role in the war."

And there we have it. Whilst other political parties attend cenotaphs and lay wreaths, overtly provocative ones like those from the BNP are not wanted. A party that would not let Indians join has no place on a day when sacrifices are remembered; a party that has produced a so-called White History resource cannot stand next to someone remembering slaughtered skin of all colours.

It barely needs stating of the sacrifice made in one particular conflict against the very credo the BNP is connected to but tries to distance itself from. This is another attempt to gain legitimacy and the RBL should be firm, notwithstanding the ageing membership and dearth of volunteers. Poppies are still prevalent in pubs, shops and offices and I for one will be wearing one.

Eric the Fish

FBI foil neo-Nazi plot to assassinate Barack Obama and kill another 101 black Americans

6 Comment (s)

A plot to kill Barack Obama and 101 other black Americans was foiled yesterday.

Federal agents said two neo-Nazis were being held over a plan to rob a gun store and target a predominantly black high school in Tennessee.

The pair intended to shoot 88 African-Americans and decapitate another 14, said Jim Cavanaugh, of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.

Obama was their final target, Cavanaugh added. 'They said that would be their last, final act - that they would attempt to kill Senator Obama.

Neo-Nazis: Daniel Cowart (left) and Paul Schlesselman, seen posing with guns on their Myspace pages, have been charged over a plot to assassinate Barack Obama and 101 other black Americans

'They didn't believe they would be able to do it, but that they would get killed trying.'

The planned bloodbath was unveiled in court records unsealed last night.

Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tennessee, and Paul Schlesselman 18, of West Helena, Arkansas, have been charged with possessing an unregistered firearm, conspiring to steal firearms and threatening a candidate for president.

More charges are possible, Mr Cavanaugh added.

Agents said the skinheads did not identify the school by name. Officers seized a rifle, a sawn- off shotgun and three pistols from the pair who, officials said, were preparing to steal more firearms.

Anti-racism campaigners said the number 88 is used by white supremacists as an abbreviation for Heil Hitler as H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.

The figure 14 represents a slogan consisting of that many words, coined by American white supremacist leader David Lane, who is serving a 190-year jail sentence.

The plot was similar to one uncovered during the Democratic party convention in Denver last month. Then, three white supremacists were arrested after being found with a sniper rifle and being high on drugs.

Later FBI agents and the Secret Service decided not to charge them after coming to the conclusion they did not pose a real threat.

Plot: U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama was on the hit list of 102 black Americans to be killed in a murder spree in Tennessee

The latest plot came to light with just a week to go in the race to be the next President of the United States.

Senator Obama fiercely criticised Republican candidate John McCain in a 'closing argument' as little more than a clone of George Bush. Both candidates were in Ohio, seen as a crucial state in the election next Tuesday.

Senator McCain was repeating his charge that Mr Obama was a tax-and-spend liberal.

But having said over the weekend that he and President Bush, as fellow Republicans, share some economic philosophies, Mr McCain was accused of doing a U-turn yesterday.

'We (Obama and McCain) both disagree with President Bush on economic policies. My approach is to get spending under control,' Mr McCain said.

He added that the difference was that: 'He (Obama) thinks taxes have been too low and I think that spending has been too high.'

Mr Obama said: 'After 21 months and three debates, Senator McCain still has not been able to tell the American people a single major thing he'd do differently from George Bush when it comes to the economy.'

He claimed that 'the biggest gamble we can take is embracing the same old Bush-McCain policies that have failed us for the last eight years'.

The Daily Mail

October 27, 2008

Homegrown British Terrorists: The Extreme Face of Nationalism

3 Comment (s)
It appeared to be a routine operation. Intelligence had suggested that a 31-year-old forklift driver from Goole, Yorkshire, had downloaded child pornography. But when officers of Humberside police raided the home of Martyn Gilleard in October 2007 they found more than they bargained for.

In his free time Gilleard had not only been downloading 39,000 indecent images of sadistic child abuse onto his computer, he was arming himself for an impending race war.

Police discovered knives, guns, machetes, swords, axes, bullets and nail bombs in his flat, as well as “significant” amounts of literature from far right parties including the National Front, the British People’s Party (BPP), Blood and Honour, and the British National Party.

Prior to being arrested, he was the BPP’s Goole branch organiser, making him a senior member of what is alleged to be a neo-Nazi organisation.

Gilleard had a five-year-old son who he described as “the most perfect thing in my life”. However in an interview with a tabloid newspaper, the mother of his child claimed that he had stored nail bombs under his son’s bed.

He was sentenced in June for 16 years after being found guilty for, among other charges, preparing terrorism acts with the intent of carrying them out.

It is clear from his diary that Gilleard was preparing to wage a race war. “Be under no illusion we are at war,” he wrote. “It is a war that we are losing badly. Unless we, the British right, stop talking of racial war and take steps to make it happen we will never get back that which has been stolen from us.

“I’m so sick and tired of hearing Nationalists talk of killing Muslims, or blowing up mosques, of fighting back. Only to see these acts of resistance fail to appear. The time has come to stop the talk and start to act.”

It is easy to regard Martyn Gilleard as an isolated agent. A maladjusted young man who externalised the demons that plagued him. But the reality is that he is but one of many far right extremists who have plotted to or actually carried out terrorism attacks across Britain over the last 50 years.

On online forums Gilleard advised other far right activists in bomb making manuals and encouraged others to take up arms.

One poster wrote: “I’ve seen the nail bombs spoke about by the police along with some more of his artillery. It’s a sad day when comrades get nicked but for every one that does there must be three more that don’t get caught. It’s a pity he couldn’t have just blown up the local mosque before he was arrested.”

Following his arrest he was offered “full support” by the BPP and was described on the Guestbook page of Nazi terror group Combat 18 as a “hero to the cause”.

However after Gilleard admitted to charges of possessing images of child pornography, the BPP issued a statement of “total abhorrence and repugnance” and claimed that had his criminal activities been known he would’ve been expelled from the Party.

His conviction was highly embarrassing for the organisation, which runs the Noncewatch website – an “integral” part of the campaign which advocates the death penalty for paedophiles.

Another campaign run by the BPP is Redwatch, which campaigners describe as a “hit list” carrying the personal details of anti racist activists, including photographs and in some cases, addresses and phone numbers.

The website has been used as a tool of political intimidation and critics of racist groups have been actively targeted. Manchester-based local councillor John Taylor, received an email on July 5 which read: “Congratulations, you’re on Redwatch. I am going to take you out. Six .22 rounds in the back of your head should do the trick. I would bring my special .38 but it makes one hell of a mess. I’ll be seeing you.”

Far right terrorism in Britain is nothing new but has failed to garner the same recognition as the relatively more recent phenomenon of Islamic extremism.

Britain’s first suicide bombing was not in fact carried out by a Muslim, but rather a Birmingham National Front member.

In the early 1980s Richard Barnes carried out an orgy of violence, which began when he fired a crossbow bolt at an Asian man and ran down two black women. Following this he kidnapped another woman, dumped her in the boot of his car and ram-raided a left-wing bookshop. The car burst into flames and the trapped woman died in the blaze. Barnes was pulled from the fire and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Another right wing terrorist was member Tony Lecomber, who in 1985 injured himself with a nail bomb while trying to blow up the offices of a British left-wing political party. Police found ten grenades, seven petrol bombs and two detonators at his home. He was imprisoned for just three years and after his release was promoted to a senior position in the BNP.

In 1999, over three successive weekends, David Copeland placed homemade nail bombs in three locations across London with the intention of killing Asians, Blacks and homosexuals. The bombs killed three, including a pregnant woman, and injured 129, four of whom lost limbs.

He was a member of the National Socialist Movement, a small neo Nazi group run by Tony Williams, a former school chum of BNP chief Nick Griffin. Editor of anti-facist Searchlight magazine Gerry Gable, who compiled many of the examples used in this article to back up his case, wrote in an editorial: “Copeland was treated as an isolated madman rather than as part of a long history of involvement by the extreme right in terrorism.

“The public deserve a response from the police and intelligence agencies that takes far-right terrorism as seriously as the Islamist variety and not only fights this threat on the domestic front but looks at the wider international implications.”

In March this year, a police community support officer from south London escaped jail despite being found to have lied about his BNP membership. Police found in his flat a vast collection of racist literature, as well as illegal weapons including a CS spray, eight combat knives, a replica AK-47, a crossbow and a stun gun. He also had in his possession T-shirts bearing the logo of violent neo Nazi organization Combat 18.

In Glasgow, BNP activists were accused of using the murder of white teenager Kriss Donald to stir up hatred against the Asian community, from which the killers came.

Later that year, Allan Burnett, the incoming counter terrorism coordinator for the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland said that right-wing extremism was as dangerous as the threat posed by al-Qaeda.

“There’s no point promoting positive race relations, if in claiming to be everyone’s coordinator of counter terrorism, you take your eye off the far right,” Burnett said.

The Epoch Times

October 26, 2008

Shooting Walker in the foot?

7 Comment (s)
Graham Williamson's Accentuate PR "company" has hardly set the world on fire in the long, dreary months of its almost pointless existence.

The only place we ever encounter Accentuate's press releases is as republishings on the inter-linked websites of the far-Right's front groups, or the free (and largely disregarded) PR-Inside public relations website.

Accentuate's website has not been updated since June, and continues to carry an exhortation to donate to the fake National Liberal Party's "moneybomb" appeal - which, as we reported at the time, "bombed" spectacularly.

It also continues to carry three endorsements for its "work", from, inter alia, the Adamsgate Action Group (leading member, Graham Williamson), the National Liberal Party (leading member - there are only 20 - Graham Williamson), and the bogus Solidarity "trade union" (General Secretary, long-standing friend of Williamson, Patrick Harrington).

The praise for Accentuate's work is as extravagant as it is spurious.

"We could not have handled the launch of our website without Accentuate's help. They not only promoted the launch but helped focus our message to maximum effect," claims NLP secretary David Durant of a launch notable only for the fact that it went entirely unnoticed, while Harrington gushes: "Graham Williamson has helped to bring our independent Nationalist Union to the attention of a wider public... Graham and Accentuate are doing a great job on behalf of ordinary working people in this country who want their views represented and communicated."

Fortunately, nobody very much seems desirous of having their views "represented and communicated" by the miniscule Solidarity, and so "great" is the job Williamson's PR company is doing that few outside the far-Right have ever heard of it. The bogus "union" even has trouble recruiting BNP members, its target prey, they being suspicious that the entire exercise is no more than a money-making scheme from which they would derive little or no benefit.

And they would be quite right.

BNP member Mark Walker, brother of Solidarity's president and fellow BNP member Adam Walker, could not save his own teaching job, even with the dubious help of the fighting union's egotistical general secretary. Mark Walker was suspended for accessing the BNP website during school hours, and eventually sacked on the grounds of his sickness record.

Were it not for the BNP connection, any half-way decent shop steward would have made a meal of the case. Mark Walker was stuck with Patrick Harrington.

Adam Walker resigned from Houghton Kepier Sports College in Houghton-le-Spring following allegations that he posted critical comments about asylum seekers, Islam, immigrants and the promotion of homosexuality on a chat forum during a lesson. Walker has since been re-employed as a supply teacher, but faces a General Teaching Council (GTC) disciplinary hearing which could ban him from teaching for holding views suggestive of racial and religious intolerance.

Despite the best efforts of Patrick Harrington, Solidarity, and Accentuate, the case of Adam Walker has failed to become a cause celebre, and even in the enclosed world of the far-Right such passions as it has raised have been noticeably muted.

Perhaps that is why another BNP front group, the jokingly named Civil Liberty has been roped in to prod things along by organising a picket of the GTC on the day of Walker's hearing in Birmingham on November 17th. Calling upon the various fascists and racists who will attend to "Make a noise for freedom" by banging drums, blowing whistles and ringing bells (which we're sure will impress the GTC), Civil Liberty claims that the GTC wants to introduce the "political vetting of teachers".

Of course, this is very far from the truth, as is the disgraceful allegation that Walker faces a "kangaroo court".

The allegations against Adam Walker are extremely serious, and the truth about them (on which the GTC will decide fairly, Civil Liberty intimidation or no) will impinge directly on his fitness to teach.

Patrick Harrington gives a distinct impression of believing that Walker's case will eventually be lost, and has been demanding the removal of former NUT president Judy Moorhouse from the GTC (for which purpose he set up yet another online petition) and has threatened to go to the High Court should Adam Walker be banned from teaching - though where the money will be raised to finance such a move is anybody's guess.

Coming back to the feeble Accentuate, it has posted yet again on the PR-Inside website that "A Liberal Party backs Civil Liberty campaign" - the "liberal party" in question being the 20 member bogus National Liberal Party, better known as the Third Way, the political habitat mostly of ex-National Front members like Harrington, Williamson and David Durant - men who, with their friend Nick Griffin, took the once mighty National Front into oblivion and who have ever since lived in a fantasy world in which they seem to have insulated themselves from the fact that nobody at all takes the least notice of their magisterial pronouncements.

"NATIONAL LIBERALS BACK CIVIL LIBERTY DEMO!" shouts Accentuate on PR-Inside, where Williamson apparently spoke to himself (a not uncommon occurrence in the Third Way) to tell himself: "There are serious implications if Mr Walker were banned from teaching (which seems the intention). It will open the door to persecution and harassment of teachers on grounds of belief."

A gross distortion, of course, but what is striking is how seriously these micro-groups (or corpusclets if you prefer) take themselves and expect others to take them.

Accentuate is an ineffective one-man band, the NLP is a fantasy, Civil Liberty exists largely as a website, Solidarity neither impresses nor scares anyone, and we're pretty sure that none of them, the BNP included, is in the least likely to sway the GTC in coming to a fair decision on Adam Walker, just as we're sure that the GTC will ignore the noisy assemblage of racists, anti-Islam fanatics and homophobes, mostly from the BNP, who will turn up to support Walker - appearing before the GTC on a charge of holding views suggestive of racial and religious intolerance, let us not forget!

Of course, we could be wrong. Accentuate, the NLP, Civil Liberty and Solidarity may well have shot their man in the foot by organising this parade of extremist misfits that can only reinforce the case against Adam Walker.

October 23, 2008

BNP seeks to reactivate far-right alliance in European Parliament

3 Comment (s)
Jobbik:Hungarian Master Race?

The seeds of a reactivated extreme right-wing alliance in Europe were being sown this week by British National Party leader Nick Griffin, who made visits to Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Mr Griffin was invited to the two East European countries by representatives of extremist parties who had made trips to Britain earlier in the year.

A fragile pan-European Parliament alliance last year collapsed in disarray after five Romanian nationalists walked out, claiming they had been insulted by their Italian colleagues. The effect of the walk-out was to put the group below the minimum number of seats required to allow it to participate in the parliament.

Now Mr Griffin is planning another attempt to bring together extremists - the BNP calls them "nationalists" - from Belgium, Austria and Italy, as well as the Czech Republic and Hungary. After a first stop in Budapest, he will be heading to Prague for Czech National Day on October 28. Earlier this year, a Czech right-winger spoke at the BNP's Red, White and Blue Festival.

Gerry Gable, the veteran anti-fascist and publisher of Searchlight magazine, said: "They are clearly hoping they will be able to pick up the extra seats they need. However, they may not be successful because the European Parliament has increased slightly the number of seats necessary.

"In the past year, Griffin has associated himself with a number of very hard-line extremists. In May, members of an extreme group from Hungary came here and a member of the Czech Republic was here several weeks ago to talk to the Greenwich and Bexley branches of the BNP. Only a few days ago, a number of people were sprayed with acid in an antisemitic attack in Hungary.

"I know Griffin has made overtures to the community in the past couple of years to try to shed the BNP's image of being antisemitic, and has been firmly rebuffed. But when he is consorting with these people in Europe, it rather gives the lie to what he says he trying to do."

Winston Pickett, director of the newly formed European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism, said: "Griffin's tour has come against a backdrop of renewed and increased political activities by the Hungarian far-right.

"In particular, the Jobbik party [Movement For a Better Hungary] wants to forge alliances with other right-wing groups in order to create a united front ahead of the European elections next June."

Simon Darby, the party's deputy leader, confirming the invitations, said the BNP was following only what other groups had done in Europe in trying to form a "nationalist bloc".

The Jewish Chronicle

A band of brothers that fought for freedom

2 Comment (s)
Sam (back row, centre) with other British volunteers, (clockwise from back row right) Peter Kerrigan, Ted Edwards, Bob Cooney, Alan Gilchrist, Paddy O’Daire and George Fletcher.

THEY left their homes and families to risk their lives fighting for the freedom of a foreign land. Sixty-six working men from Manchester travelled to Spain in the 1930s to join the international brigades determined to stop the rise of Franco’s fascists.

Ultimately, their efforts were in vain but their sacrifice has never been forgotten. This week marks the 70th anniversary of the defeat of the republican forces in the Spanish Civil War. As Manchester prepares to remember the sacrifice made by those in the name of liberty, the Reporter spoke to the family of Sam Wild one of the heroes who fought for a better world ...

FOR many working men in Manchester it was a battle for the future of Europe.

In 1936, together with thousands of volunteers from all over the world, they travelled to Spain to join the International Brigades to fight against rebel Spanish Nationalist forces, led by General Francisco Franco and assisted by Nazi German and Fascist Italian forces.

Impassioned by the fight against fascism taking place in Spain, scores of Mancunians voluntarily joined a special international regiment in a quest to achieve worldwide democracy.

Along with many other ‘ordinary’ men from Manchester, Sam Wild, played a major role during the Spanish Civil War.

He received the highest accolade for his gallant efforts as the last commander of the British Battalion of the International Brigade and continued to fight - even while injured - until they were forced to lay down their weapons.

His daughter, Dolores Long, from Whalley Range, grew up inspired by the selfless involvement of her father and more than sixty other Manchester residents who fought side-by-side with the Spanish Republican Forces in the 1930s.

Her mother was also involved in the Aid to Spain movement, raising money to send food and provisions to the troops.

Named after Dolores Ibarruri, a revolutionary leader who made a passionate speech thanking the International Brigades as they withdrew from the battle, Dolores Long and her siblings have their parents’ story forever ingrained in their minds.

She said: "My father, like the other volunteers were proud and political men.

"It was their instinct to go and fight. They did so to stop the rise of fascism because they could see the way that things were going. I’ve always thought what a brave and heroic thing it was to go and volunteer."

Sam, born in Ardwick to an Irish Immigrant in 1908, had grown up attending rallies at Stephenson Square to listen to speakers calling for the home rule of Ireland.

It was injustice he felt when he later joined the Navy, and the extreme poverty he encountered in places like South Africa, coupled with his political passion he felt on his return from sea, which made him sign up to help the Spanish struggle.

More than 2,000 Brits joined the International Brigades and their fight was well documented by Ernest Hemingway and George Orwell, who fought on the Aragon Front in support of the Workers’ Party of Marxist Unification.

Teacher Dolores, 65, said: "My father was an unskilled worker who left school early. He joined the Navy because he was short of money and it was then where he noticed the differences in the way the officers were treated in comparison to the other recruits."

"The British Battalion wasn’t a conscripted army, those who went to Spain did so to stop the rise of fascism. It was very often working class people who signed up to fight and, in my father’s case, it was the principle he felt was at stake which made him stay for two years."

Sam, who lived in Longsight, fought in a number of battles, including the infamous Battle of Ebro in July 1938. He even continued to fight with an injured right hand and was rewarded with the Republic’s highest decoration for bravery, the Spanish Medal of Valour - the equivalent of the Victoria Cross. He was also on the frontline in Aragon and took part in the Battle of Jarama in between Madrid and Valencia.

A blue plaque commemorating his achievements is now mounted on the old family home on Birch Hall Lane, between Longsight and Fallowfield.

Before leaving, Sam Wild was quoted as saying "The British Battalion is prepared to carry on the work begun here to see to it that our 500 comrades who sleep for ever beneath Spanish soil shall serve as an example to the entire British people in the struggle against fascism."

To those who fought in the anti-fascist struggle - a precursor to World War II and the rise of Hitler - the Spanish Civil War was a social revolution that united workers, helped in the strengthening of trade unions and started powerful campaigns.

Dolores added: "My mother and father let me make up my own mind about things, they never forced their beliefs on me, but I was always aware of the things they had done which influenced me to become involved in various campaigns. It’s been a big part of my life. Growing up on a 1950s Manchester council estate with a name like Dolores was no easy thing!"

Poets, speakers and musicians will gather to pay homage to the anti-fascist international volunteers, on the anniversary of the withdrawal of the International Brigade from Spain 70 years ago.

Poet Jackie Kay, actress Maxine Peake, Celtic folk band The Wakes and playwright Eileen Murphy, will feature at the event in the Mechanics Institute, Princess Street, on Saturday, November 8.

Dolores, a passionate political campaigner, often reads the emotive speech made by her namesake at memorial events.

This week Dolores and her sister Hilary attended a special ceremony in Barcelona, where the surviving Brigaders and all the other men and women who assisted during the Civil War will be honoured by the Spanish Government.

She said: "It is far more than just being about my father, it is about all the other men and women who were involved in the Civil War.

"I have been fortunate to meet many of them over the years, it has been amazing - they were such an inspiring group of people."

Tickets for the Manchester commemorative concert can be paid for on the door, priced £10, £5 concessions. For details visit www.international-brigades.org.uk.

South Manchester Reporter

October 22, 2008

BNP candidate denies racism

7 Comment (s)
A BNP candidate has appeared in court charged with racially aggravated harrassment.

Tameside Magistrates heard that Roy West, 44, of Glenmore Grove, Dukinfield is accused of using racially aggravated words against his German neighbour on August 22 this year.

He denies the charges.

Defending, Kevin Nicholas said that West is alleged to have said "Remember Dunkirk" during an argument with his neighbour.

Mr Nicholas, who disputed whether the words were racist, asked for the trial to be heard out of the Tameside area because of West’s connections with the BNP in Tameside.

"I’m not suggesting any integrity issues, but Mr West is a BNP candidate for this region," he said. "He tells me that on the bench in Tameside there are some Labour councillors or candidates. He has had difficulties with one of them in the past. We would ask the court not to hear this at Tameside, but at a different court."

The court took note of West’s concerns and asked for the case to be heard before the Manchester district judge who comes to the court on a weekly basis.

West will remain on police bail, on the condition that he does not contact his neighbour or the neighbour’s partner either directly or indirectly. A hearing on 12 November will set a date for his trial at Tameside Magistrates’ Court.

West stood as the BNP candidate for Dukinfield during May’s local elections.

He came second behind Councillor Brian Wild with 734 votes.

Tameside Advertiser

Far-right Austrian leader who replaced Jorg Haider reveals: 'We were gay lovers'

18 Comment (s)

Austria has been rocked after the male successor to right-wing leader Jorg Haider virtually admitted to having a gay affair with him.

Haider, 58, who was pictured cuddling a man in a gay bar where he had his final drinks before the death crash which claimed his life, was long suspected of leading a double existence during his years in power.

Now Stefan Petzner, 27, who recently replaced Haider as leader of the right wing party, Alliance for the Future of Austria, effectively outed himself as the far right leader’s gay lover while being interviewed on the country’s O3 radio channel breakfast show.

Good friends: Joerg Haider, right, and his spokesman Stefan Petzner toast after a news conference in Vienna

'I had to go to him. I had to go to him,' Petzner said in his highly emotional interview as he recalled how he rushed to the hospital where the dead body of 52-year-old Haider was lying after his fatal crash in early October.

Admitting that he felt a 'magnetic attraction' for Haider, whom he met five years ago while working as a cosmetics correspondent for a newspaper, Petzner insisted: 'We had a relationship that went far beyond friendship. Jorg and I were connected by something truly special. He was the man of my life.'

He insisted that Haider’s widow, Claudia did not object to his relationship: 'She loved him as a woman. He loved her as a man. I loved him in a completely different and personal way. She understood that.'

But Petzner’s sister, Chrisitiane, 30, appeared to cast doubt on her brother’s story.

In a newspaper interview she said: 'Sometimes Claudia was jealous because Stefan would spend more time with her husband than she did.'

Clearly embarrassed by the revelations, officials at the Alliance for the Future of Austria, yesterday attempted to limit the political damage to the party by cancelling forthcoming interviews with Petzner.

However their attempts to prevent his radio interview being rebroadcast were turned down.

There was speculation that as a result of his controversial interview, Petzner might soon find himself replaced as party leader.

Haider crashed his Volkswagen limousine while drunk and driving at more than double the speed limit while on his way his mother’s birthday party in the early hours of the morning earlier this month.

Last Saturday he was given the equivalent of a state funeral in Klagenfurt, the capital of the Austrian province of Carinthia where he was governor for more than a decade. More than 25,000 people attended.

Hours before he was buried it was revealed he drank a whole bottle of vodka in a seedy gay bar with an unidentified male 'friend'.

His party more than doubled its share of the vote in Austria’s general election at the end of September i n which the far right won 30 per cent.

The result prompted speculation that Haider would once again figure in Austrian national politics.

Allegations that Haider was either gay or bi-sexual were first published in Austria nearly a decade ago.

However the far right leader, who fathered two children with his wife Claudia, refused to discuss the allegations, fearing that they would alienate thousands of his ultra conservative followers.

Until yesterday conservative Austria had preferred not to dwell on the subject and allowed Haider to portray himself at least, outwardly as a traditional family man., although his party was nicknamed the 'Haider’s Boy Party' .

Daily Mail

Terror teens trial verdict in

0 Comment (s)
TWO Ravensthorpe teenagers accused plotting to blow up the BNP have been found not guilty.
Waris Ali, 18, of Dearnley Street, and Dabeer Hussain, 18, of Clarkson Street, had both denied possessing articles for a terrorist purpose.

During a thirteen day trial jurors at Leeds Crown Court heard the pair had copies of terror manual The Anarchist's Cookbook on their home computers.

A police raid on Ali's home in 2006 uncovered quantities of potassium nitrate and calcium carbonate, which the prosecution said could be used to make a bomb.

But Ali said he downloaded the manual so he could make fireworks and smokebombs with the chemicals.

Dewsbury Reporter

October 21, 2008

Don't let the BNP break through

1 Comment (s)
The far right is in position to prosper if Labour fails to address its traditional supporters' grievances, says Mike Ion.

According to the Labour MP Jon Cruddas, the far-right BNP is busy exploiting the present economic crisis and could easily end up winning seats in the European parliament next year.

Jon has long pointed out that one reason for the BNP's growing support has been its ability to respond to and exploit genuine local grievances. The credit crunch will only end up exacerbating these and could help turn more people toward the far right. One way to prevent this is to address some of the underlying problems that have resulted in many traditional Labour supporters taking refuge in the policies of the far right.

The BNP is keen to take advantage of issues such as the end of funding for housing projects in predominantly white areas, and targets those wards with large numbers of disadvantaged white working-class families and where the local secondary schools are seen to be underperforming. It is often successful in what we might describe as "forgotten" white areas, where many traditional Labour supporters say they feel alienated from modern political discourse and have long been of the view that no one in the Labour party is listening to them, let alone concerned about them.

Historically, far-right parties have increased their support in the context of significant problems: high unemployment, economic deprivation, lack of educational achievement, high crime rates, drugs, and people of different ethnic backgrounds living apparently separate lives, which encourages the growth of myths and rumour.

One leaflet used in last May's local elections in Dagenham asked voters: "Are you concerned about the growth of Islam in Britain? Make May 4 referendum day." It added: "Defend Our Christian Culture."

It is sobering to remember that, in recent local elections, the BNP has continued to gain seats in east London and Stoke-on-Trent and picked up enough elsewhere to hold 46 council seats in England.

This follows 2002's dramatic local election successes in the north of England and a 4.9% showing in the 2004 European elections. For the first time ever in Britain, an openly racist party has sustained the support of more than one in 20 voters over several contests.

I believe the BNP is evidence of a new challenge in British politics. In the past the battleground (sometimes literally) of left v right politics centred on our inner cities. This is no longer the case.

The BNP has begun to develop a network of suburban supporters, people who are openly willing to admit not only to supporting a racist and bigoted political party but to doing so with pride and patriotic fervour.

If the trends of the past few years continue, the BNP may well make the type of breakthrough that Jon Cruddas is signalling and it will then be far more difficult to reverse than to stop it before it occurs.

Mike Ion was Labour's PPC for Shrewsbury in 2005. He blogs at mike-ion.blogspot.com

Comment Is Free

October 18, 2008

Neo-Nazis Murder Schoolgirl in Irkutsk

3 Comment (s)

Neo-Nazis killed a 16-year-old girl in Irkutsk, Russia because they thought she was a member of an anti-fascist group, according to an October 17, 2008 report by the Jewish.ru web site. On October 18, three neo-Nazis beat Olga Rukosyla to death after noticing that she had red laces on her shoes, a sign of membership in an anti-fascist group. Witnesses, however, assert that she merely wore the laces as a fashion statement rather than as a sign of any political affiliation. Neo-Nazis and anti-fascists often clash violently in Russia; it is not clear from the report if police have made any arrests in connection with the murder.


Two Italian politians 'made fascist salutes' during tribute to Jews

0 Comment (s)
Two Italian politicians were accused of displaying the stiff-armed fascist salute on Friday as Rome paid tribute to the more than 1,000 Jews to deported to Nazi concentration camps 65 years ago.

The allegation came as graffiti questioning the veracity of the attempted extermination of Europe's Jews was daubed on a bridge on the outskirts of the capital.

"The Holocaust is the biggest lie in history," one slogan read, signed by a neo-Nazi group calling itself 'Militia'.

Last month the same group defaced the walls of a historic cemetery, calling the speaker of Italy's Senate, Renato Schifani, a "Jew" for having paid a visit to Auschwitz.

The two politicians, city councillors from the People of Freedom Party of prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, allegedly raised their arms in a Mussolini-style salute as colleagues passed a motion of solidarity with Rome's surviving Jews.

Their actions caused uproar in the council chamber, with colleagues yelling "Shame on you".

The controversy took place in the oddly named suburb of EUR (Esposizione universale romana), a monument to fascist architecture conceived under Mussolini's rule in the 1930s.

Pietrangelo Massaro and Paolo Pollak denied the accusations, calling them "loathsome".

But opposition councillors stood by their claims. "I clearly saw the two councillors stretch out their right arms and make the fascist salute," Vincenzo Del Poggetto told/ La Repubblica/.

His account was backed up by several colleagues. "I saw them with my own eyes raise their arms," said Augusto Culasso. "It was an extremely worrying episode." Of the 1,022 Jews who were deported from Rome to Nazi death camps in 1943, only 15 survived.

The city's Jewish community has been unnerved by the political background of the newly-elected mayor, Gianni Alemanno, who once led a neo-fascist youth party.

When he was elected in April, his supporters celebrated with straight-arm salutes, fascist chants and cries of "Duce! Duce!" – the name adopted by Mussolini.

But since assuming office Mr Alemanno has gone out of his way to portray a moderate image and embrace Rome's Jews, attending community events and meeting rabbis.


October 17, 2008

Austrian fascist leader visited gay bar before death crash

13 Comment (s)

The former leader of the far right in Austria was drinking in a gay bar the night he died, it has emerged.

Joerg Haider had never been open about his homosexuality, but his habit of surrounding himself with handsome blond teenagers had led many to speculate.

The German and Austrian press outed the married father of two daughters in 2006.

His fascist political views led him to high office in Austria, despite his open praise for Nazi policies.

Haider died in a car accident on Saturday morning near Klagenfurt, less than 30 minutes after leaving the Stadtkraemer, a well-known gay hangout.

Prosecutors have confirmed there was four times the legal limit for alcohol in his blood and he was driving at twice the legal speed limit when he crashed his VW Phaeton.

Haider, 58, was the Governor of the state of Carinthia.

Thousands of people are expected to attend his funeral today, and police are prepared for clashes with anti-Nazi protesters.

Pink News

October 16, 2008

Haider 'drunk' in fatal car crash

7 Comment (s)
Austrian far-right politician Joerg Haider was drunk at the time of his fatal car crash last Saturday, an official from his party has said. Stefan Petzner, the new head of Mr Haider's Alliance for Austria's Future (BZO), said the blood alcohol level was well above the legal limit.

Mr Haider, 58, was driving alone after leaving a nightclub early on Saturday when his car crashed and overturned. Police have said he was travelling at 142km/h (88mph) in a 70km/h zone. The accident occurred south of Klagenfurt, the capital of Carinthia, where he was the provincial governor.

"It is correct that... Joerg Haider was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. I can and must confirm that," said Mr Petzner.

He said he had made the announcement because of widespread rumours that Mr Haider had been driving drunk.

Mr Haider's car overturned a number of times, causing him serious head, chest and spinal injuries. He died on the way to hospital. Mr Haider had reportedly been due to attend his mother's 90th birthday celebrations later in the day. Mr Haider was known for his anti-immigration and anti-EU policies.

The BZO was one of two right-wing parties that did better than expected in general elections last month, fuelling speculation of a possible role in a ruling coalition. His deputy, Mr Petzner, took over as head of the BZO after Mr Haider's death.

Mr Haider was first elected as governor of Carinthia in 1989. He was forced to resign in 1991 after he made comments praising the employment policies of Nazi Germany. He was re-elected governor in 1999 and 2003.


BNP row teacher sacked by school

1 Comment (s)
A teacher suspended for alleged misuse of school equipment has been sacked because of his sickness record.

Technology teacher Mark Walker was suspended from Sunnydale Community College, in Shildon, County Durham, last March pending an internal inquiry. Last week, the school’s board of governors terminated Mr Walker’s contract on the basis of his sickness record. He has until Friday to lodge an appeal against the decision.

Supporters of the former RAF weapons technician, from Spennymoor, County Durham, claim the action against him was politically motivated. They said he was accused of accessing the British National Party’s (BNP) website during school time and described the proceedings as a witch hunt.

The school has never commented on any specific allegations.

Yesterday, headteacher Sue Byrne said: “I can confirm that his contract has been terminated but he has still got a period in which he can appeal. I cannot comment further on an individual case.”

Patrick Harrington, general secretary of Solidarity, a trade union closely associated with the BNP, said: “No one should be victimised because of their political views. To sack him for ill health is despicable, since his health only deteriorated because of the pressures of the disciplinary and sickness process.”

A spokesperson for the local education authority, Durham County Council, said: “The governing body at Sunnydale Community College followed its sickness absence policies correctly and made a determination that a member of staff’s employment should cease because of their continuing health problems.”

Mr Harrington confirmed that the union plans to appeal against Mr Walker’s dismissal.

Mark Walker’s brother, Adam, is due to appear before England’s General Teaching Council in Birmingham next month and faces being struck off the teaching register. He left his job at Houghton Kepier Sports College, Houghton-le-Spring, Wearside, last year after using a school computer to join an online discussion forum about the BNP.

Both men stood unsuccessfully for the BNP in Durham County elections.

The Northern Echo

MP attack's BNP's 'racist' agenda

3 Comment (s)
The British National Party is attempting to drum up support in north Manchester and has launched a scathing attack on the Labour party.

The controversial party has slammed Labour for being in ‘free fall’ and claims the UKs current leading party is betraying working class communities. And the BNP says north Manchester is no longer a ‘no-go’ area for nationalist politics which is reflected through the party winning between 25-30 per cent of the vote in Blackley and Charlestown wards over the past two years.

Both Blackley and Charlestown are said to be long established white British and Irish communities and are areas the BNP feels are under severe pressure from the alleged immigration invasion under Labour.

A statement on the BNP official website said: "Political support for the Labour party is in free fall, as ordinary people at last recognise the extent of Labour's betrayal of white working class communities. There is a now a tangible sense of despair among Manchester’s local Labour ‘mafia’. In a last desperate attempt to stave off rising support for the BNP, the Labour Party has enlisted the support of their political fellow-travellers in the ruling politburo of Greater Manchester Police.

"Following the humiliating departure of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, Greater Manchester Police, under Chief Constable Peter Fahy, have now taken on the mantle of Britain’s most blatantly political police force."

Blackley Labour MP Graham Stringer has hit back at the BNP’s criticisms and branded their comments 'racist' and instead stresses the desire his party has to support the Blackley community during the current financial crisis, which is also an attempt to rubbish the BNP’s remarks.

Graham Stringer, said: "North Manchester does not need the BNP causing racist trouble from outside to help destroy our community as they have done in other areas in the past. Especially during these difficult and uncertain times of the credit crunch, Labour councillor are not complacent and do not take people's support for granted. We are willing to work harder to try to ensure that there is as much time to involve ourselves in the community as possible."

Middleton Guardian

Letters of support needed for Dale Farm

2 Comment (s)
Basildon District Council is to reconsider its options in regard to the continuation of the Dale Farm community, where some 90 families accommodated in 132 chalets, mobile-homes and caravans (January 2008 official count) are in breach of planning regulations, as the land they own is in a greenbelt zone.

The community urgently needs letters (see below) which can be submitted to the Council's Development Control Committee, meeting on 11 November.

The council voted in 2005 to take direct action under s178 of the Town and Country Planning Act, which would involve a huge eviction operation using Constant & Co bailiffs accompanied by police, some in riot gear. The cost of this unprecedented clearance, in which many homes would be destroyed and families left to camp on roadsides and car-parks, is set at nearly two million pounds.

It would endanger and likely bring about the early death of several severely sick people, and end the home care and medical supervision of many others; as well as interrupting and probably ending the education of some 60 children now in primary school.

In addition, it would mean the closure of the Saint Christophe Centre, headquarters of the Dale Farm Chaveys, a youth club that caters for some 100 young people, nurturing their culture, language and history, and providing courses in youth leadership, IT proficiency and photography, among other subjects. Saint Christopher's is also a place of prayer.

If allowed to continue, the Centre is to become within the next few months the venue for a unique education programme being devised by Prof Stephen Heppell, of Anglia Ruskin University, serving the needs of 50 children of secondary school age (none attending locally due to racist bullying) and offering literacy courses for adults. Having consulted with counsel about the 11 November decision that is to be made, we should submit:

A full catalogue of welfare needs backed up to the greatest possible extent with letters from schools, GPs, treating hospitals, social workers etc. to say that eviction without the identification of an alternative site will result in x or y needs not being met. We must show that there is a list of needs which cannot be met on the roadside.

It is a task, but it needs doing, and thoroughly.

Please send letters directly to:

Keith Lomax
Davies, Gore, Lomax
63 Great George Street
Leeds, LS1 3BB

October 15, 2008

BNP supporter’s racist stickers

2 Comment (s)
A BNP supporter stuck racist stickers on packages and sent them out in a protest over mosques, a court heard. The stickers contained the words ‘no more mosques’ and a cartoon figure of a Muslim with a bomb exploding from his head. They were found by Muslim workers at the Royal Mail Centre in Stockport in March.

Internet trader Lockhart Kneen, 39, of Braemore Drive, Hyde, who sells political magazines for the BNP, claimed he had put the stickers on the packages and sent them out through the post in protest against a ‘Tameside super mosque’.

Stockport Magistrates heard that the stickers, which contained the Muslim tenet ‘There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger’, were found by a Muslim mail processor who found them extremely offensive.

"When I saw the statement about no more mosques and the writing in Arbabic, I knew that these stickers were not normal and were descriminating against muslim people," said Mr Mohammed. "I live in a free country and nobody makes trouble for me. I am very glad to live here, but of course the statement ‘no more mosques’ offends me. If I was a Christian and somebody said ‘no more churches’ it would be offensive."

The packages were traced to Kneen, who claimed he had been advised by the leader of the BNP in Tameside that the stickers were not racist, but were illegal when stuck on public property.

"I just thought, the stickers are fine, these parcels are my property and I live in a free country, so I decided to stick them on my property," he said. "They’re going to move the war graves in Ashton and build a super mosque. I’m a methodist. If someone said no more methodist churches I wouldn’t find that offensive, that’s their opinion."

Kneen’s internet account has been suspended and he is no longer able to trade in electronics.

Defending, Mr Lake said: "It was an expression of freedom of speech that was expressed in the stickers and clearly had personal significance to the defendant."

District Judge Tim Devas said: "I find the defendant’s point on Methodist churches thought provoking. But these stickers did cause offence to people of other cultures and I don’t find his actions reasonable."

Kneen was fined £150 and ordered to pay £115 costs for two counts of racially/religiously aggravated harrassment.

Tameside Advertiser

Is racism rife in European football, and what is being done to stop it?

0 Comment (s)
Why are we asking this now?

Racism has long been an issue in football, that most tribal of sports; but in recent weeks, the game in Europe has faced a series of incidents that have reminded British supporters of the Continent's problems and may have brought matters to a head.

First, Croatia fans made monkey noises at Emile Heskey during England's World Cup qualifying fixture in Zagreb, and were fined £15,000 by Fifa, the game's global governing body. Next, England asked for their forthcoming friendly against Spain to be rearranged away from Madrid's Bernabeu stadium, where black England players suffered similar abuse in a fixture four years ago. And yesterday Uefa decided that Atlético Madrid would be forced to play their next two home matches at a neutral venue and fined €150,000 (£120,000) after supporters abused black Marseille players a fortnight ago.

Where does racism most affect the game in Europe?

Spain and Italy have long had reputations as being particularly poor at policing racist supporters, and in both leagues black players are abused for the colour of their skin as a matter of course. In Spain, leadership from politicians and senior figures in the game has been seriously lacking. After national team coach Luis Aragones called Thierry Henry a "black piece of shit", condemnation from politicians didn't exactly pour out, and it was no great surprise supporters unfurled a banner which read "Aragones 1 – Henry 0" at the same game against England in 2004 at which Shaun Wright-Phillips and Ashley Cole were constantly barracked.

Italian fans are known for the same kind of behaviour. Some Italian clubs' supporters are also subject to a troubling neo-fascist influence, with Lazio, the club that Mussolini supported, particularly notorious in that regard. Meanwhile, away fixtures against Eastern European teams are often an endurance test for black players.

Why are fans so susceptible to racist influences?

In the aforementioned countries, it's partly to do with wider demography: countries with smaller ethnic minority populations are almost always more hostile towards them. But some believe that football's insular culture is especially prone to such problems.

"The [football] hard-man lives in a dangerous and unchanging world," wrote sociologist Dave Robins in 1994. "Permanently sensitised to 'trouble' in his environment, his paranoid fantasies about defending his 'patch' against outsiders make him ripe for manipulation by the politics of the extreme right."

Do the same problems apply in the UK?

To some extent, racism can still be found in British stadiums. Just a few weeks ago, Tottenham supporters chanted racist, homophobic abuse at their former captain Sol Campbell in a game against his current club, Portsmouth. Compared to much of Europe, though, such incidents are few and far between. "When you go to a football match in the UK, you don't expect to be abused for the colour of your skin," says Piara Powar, director of the anti-racism campaign Kick It Out. "In Spain, Italy, some parts of Eastern Europe, you would expect it."

Why are things better here?

Partly as part of a broader cultural difference. "There's a wide appreciation of multiculturalism here," Powar says, "even if there's been a backlash against it in the last few years." Black players became a fixture in British football much earlier than in Spain or Italy, and so British football went through its own racist phase earlier – in the 70s and 80s supporters thought nothing of throwing bananas at players like Cyrille Regis and John Barnes – but, as a result, they dealt with them earlier, too.

What do we do differently?

Campaigns like Kick It Out started earlier here than they did in many other European countries, and clubs founded their own anti-racist initiatives which have become part of the furniture of the game in this country. This week, for instance, Kick it Out starts a "One game, one community" campaign aimed at encouraging inclusivity in the game at all levels.

Anecdotally, most supporters say that such efforts have coincided with a major reduction in racism in the game. As early as 1994, a survey found that 84 per cent of football fanzine editors felt that racism had diminished significantly in the previous five years; and, while homophobia is still rife, serious racist incidents are now very rarely a feature of the clashes between Premier League teams. Most British players and supporters are much more likely to encounter trouble in international fixtures or club games in European competitions.

What is Fifa doing about it?

Football's authorities have long talked a good game on anti-racism. Before the 2006 World Cup, Fifa president Sepp Blatter declared that "more than the sword of Damocles" was hanging over national associations that failed to take adequate steps to prevent racism. "This," he went on, "is the end of non-compliance with what our society is asking football to do." Since then, though, the organisation's actions have been far from the firm deterrents that such a speech would suggest. The decision to fine Croatia a mere £15,000 in the light of the clear evidence of abuse against Emile Heskey has drawn particular derision.

"Croatia were fined a few thousand quid," Rio Ferdinand said afterwards. "What's that going to do? That is not going to stop people shouting racist or homophobic abuse. Sepp Blatter likes to speak up about things that are good for Fifa's image but I would love to see them stand up and dish out the right punishments for these incidents."

What would the right punishment be?

It's widely agreed that a points deduction would be a far more powerful disincentive for abusive supporters, who might then see their teams lose out in competition. But many say that it has no chance of getting off the ground because of the minefield of potential legal challenges to such a decision. If that fear – and the inertia of member nations where racism is not high on the agenda – stops Fifa taking stronger action, it's hard to see how the organisation's actions can have much impact on racist behaviour.

Is anyone else doing more?

Uefa, which has responsibility for the club game in Europe, has taken a more convincing anti-racism stance. Its decision to hit Atlético Madrid with a much heftier fine and to deny them home advantage for two fixtures is seen as much more likely to hurt supporters and club revenue – and therefore to motivate real change. There is a caveat to this: while the fine was levied because of racism, the home ban also took into account an attack on the opposition bus after the game, and no such punishment has been levied on purely anti-racist grounds. Still, says Piara Powar, "this is a momentous step. It shows Uefa's prepared to show leadership on the issue. And football is a very familial industry. If the daddy shows a lead, the national associations will follow."

Should clubs with racist supporters get points deducted?

  • Supporters don't regret a financial penalty in the way they do if their team suffers in competition If a victim's play is affected, it makes sense to deny the other team any advantage it might have gained
  • A points deduction makes headlines and send a wider message that such behaviour will not be tolerated
  • Docking points is much more likely to produce an expensive, time-consuming legal challenge
  • You could end up encouraging away fans to sneak into the home end and behave in a racist fashion on purpose
  • It's wrong to punish the club, players and law-abiding supporters so severely for the actions of a few

Reinstate Section 18 - Join the campaign to allow unions to expel fascists

0 Comment (s)
The House of Lords has recently altered a section of a Government Bill that would have allowed trade unions to expel BNP members and other fascists from their ranks. In doing so, the Lords have actually made the situation for trade unions even more difficult. Under the revised Bill, trade unions will not only find it more difficult to remove fascists but individual BNP members will actually be afforded more protection than any other trade unionist.

Section 18 of the Employment Bill was introduced in response to a European Court of Human Rights ruling that upheld the right of ASLEF to expel a BNP member from its union.

However, we now find ourselves in an even worse situation. A legal opinion on the Lords amendments concludes: "If the revised version of section 18 comes into law, I am convinced that it will become more difficult than ever for trade unions to expel BNP members. It will also be an opportunity for the BNP to pick publicity fights with trade unions, and also to waste trade union funds."

Trade Union Friends of Searchlight (TUFS) is launching a campaign to get MPs to reintroduce the original wording when the Employment Bill returns to the House of Commons this autumn.
  • We believe that fascism is incompatible with the ethos of trade unionism. Trade unionism is built upon the concept of solidarity whilst the BNP seek to divide people on grounds of race, colour and religion.
  • We believe that trade unions should have the right to exclude members of the BNP and other fascist parties from their membership.
  • Unions should not be liable for any financial loss incurred by fascists if they are quite separately disciplined, overlooked for promotion or even sacked by employers after the union itself has taken action, as the Lords' amendments now state.
  • We call on MPs to either discard the Lords amendments or introduce new wording that is favourable to unions.
To support the campaign to Reinstate Section 18 click here.

October 14, 2008

Rallying for power

4 Comment (s)
Last month the BNP rallied for a fallen member in Stoke-on-Trent, but, the party was really launching its bid for power

The British National Party conducted its largest single leafleting session when 300 people campaigned in Stoke-on-Trent last month. Publicly they were there to draw attention to what they considered was the lenient sentence handed down to a man found guilty of the manslaughter of a local BNP member, but in truth they were launching their campaign for control of the city.

The BNP activists, drawn by a ratio of more than four to one from outside the city, spent a few hours leafleting and then met up again for a shambolic rally in car park. As usual Griffin was surrounded by thuggish henchmen and the so-called truth truck – known more accurately as the lie lorry.

Habib Khan had received an eight-year sentence in August after being convicted in May of the manslaughter of his neighbour Keith Brown, a BNP member.

The pair had been involved in a long-running dispute over land and Khan had been the subject of a sustained racial campaign by Brown, his family and friends. The two men had previously worked together at H & R Johnson Tiles quite amicably but things turned nasty after Khan bought the house next to Brown and applied for planning permission to demolish his two houses to build one new one.

“I took him [Mr Brown] inside the house and I said ‘it’s so dangerous’,” Khan told the court. “‘I have a family, in my position what would you do? He said ‘my house is old, your house is new, I don’t like it’. From that day he never cooperated.”

Brown blocked access to the builders and is alleged even to have tried to smash down some of the new building. The Khans were regularly called “Paki”, had their windows put in frequently and even had a panic button installed by the police because of their fear of attack. Last year Brown’s son, Ashley Barker, was convicted of assaulting Khan, an incident that left Khan unconsciousness.

The court heard how Khan acted to defend his son who was being attacked by Barker outside his home. Khan, described in court as a “mild and calm-mannered family man”, had intended to use the knife to threaten Mr Brown, who had hold of one of his sons.

Judge Simon Tonking said Khan had acted “in the honest belief that he needed to protect his son” but in doing so had killed Mr Brown.

The jury, consisting of 11 white people, found Khan not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter. In passing sentence, the Judge took into account the abuse and attacks on Khan.

“What became obvious as the evidence unfolded, however,” said Judge Tonking, “is that from time to time, despite denials to the contrary, both Mr Brown and his son Ashley Barker were involved in acts of racial aggression towards members of Mr Khan’s family. It should be said that the jury’s verdict was entirely respectable and understandable on the evidence.”

The real issue

The BNP and Brown’s family were furious and claimed that this was another example of anti-white prejudice and so a rally was organised. However, raising opposition to Khan’s sentence was simply the pretext. It was left to the party’s deputy leader to spell out the real purpose of the day. Simon Darby told the rally that the party’s next target would be to take control of the city of Stoke-on-Trent through the election of a BNP mayor.

“If there is a mayoral election then we are confident that we will win that election,” he added.

The BNP currently has nine councillors in the city and averaged 24% in the wards it contested in May’s local elections. While this is less than one sixth of the total councillors, their influence extends far beyond what the figure suggests.

Labour has the largest group on the council, but at 17 it is not that much bigger than the BNP group. In May the Labour Party polled 25% of the vote across the city, only fractionally more than the BNP. Indeed, in the ten wards where the BNP and Labour went head to head the BNP was in front in all but two.

More worryingly, the BNP councillors sit and regularly vote with a larger group of independents, making a group of 29 in total. Opposing them is a coalition of 31 Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

This is all a far cry from the mid-1990s when Labour held all 60 seats on the council, most with huge majorities. Since then Labour has collapsed. Internal wrangling, incompetence and a general swing against the national government has seen Labour’s grip on the city weaken.

A directly elected mayor was introduced in the city in 2002 but unlike in other local authority areas with mayors, Stoke-on-Trent was unique in that it gave total power to the mayor and the council’s Chief Executive. This created resentment and hostility in the city and particularly from the councillors who became increasingly redundant in the decision making process. Their disquiet often became open opposition, which added to the political instability in the city.

The first mayoral contest was won by an independent (who was a former Labour Party member), with the BNP only just failing to go through to the second round by 1,500 votes. Each voter has two votes and the result is determined after the two leading candidates in the first round are allocated the second preferences of the others.

In 2005 Labour won it back, largely because the contest was held on the same day as the general election, which had brought the Labour vote out. The BNP was further behind, though its candidate still took 18% of the vote.

In the face of mounting hostility to mayoral government the current mayor introduced a cabinet system in a bid to involve the councillors. However, this has done little to improve the standing of the council in the eyes of the population.

The BNP scents victory next year and certainly has the momentum behind it. Its confidence was evident by a recent letter from the party’s councillors to other councillors in which they boasted of running the council before long. These councillors were invited to join them.

However, it is not certain that there will even be a mayoral election next year, as the legislation that introduced the elected mayor only provided for two terms. Later this month the people of Stoke-on-Trent will decide whether to keep the mayoral system or replace it with a traditional leader/cabinet authority. It is not clear which they will choose.

Most parties appear split, though the councillors of the three main parties seem keen to revert to the more traditional method of selecting the council leader from within the council chamber.

The BNP however, precisely because it believes it can win a contest, is campaigning to retain the mayor. The party is joined by a group of individuals who have launched a campaign called People’s Choice.

Its leader Paul Breeze told the local paper: “The reason we voted for a directly elected mayor system in the first place was because our existing governance arrangements of a leader and cabinet had resulted in our city becoming stagnant, bereft of ideas, and lacking in vision and true leadership.

“We are still paying the price today for the years of drift we had under the old system. Our city needs stability, someone given a clear mandate from the people, to push forward with changes.”

However, in a sign that chaos will reign, the anti-mayoral campaign is also called People’s Choice!

If a mayoral contest does take place it would seem that the BNP, Labour and the former independent mayor Mick Wolff will be fighting it out for the top two places. Any one of these could win.

Given the danger of a BNP victory, it might seem logical for anti-fascists to hope the mayor is abolished. However, not only is this merely delaying a problem, it could in fact create a bigger one in a year or two.

If the people go against the mayoral system, the city will be in a state of flux, which will only intensify the stagnation and demand for real change. By law, the current mayor leaves office next May, so who would run the council? A Governance Report into Stoke-on-Trent recommended a reduction in the number of councillors in the city so we are likely to face all-out elections in either 2010 or 2011. With chaos and confusion likely to overshadow the intervening period the BNP could continue to grow locally and so dominate those elections. It might be easier for the BNP to win enough wards to take control of the city council, albeit with the support of some independents, than win a mayoral election outright.

Either way Stoke-on-Trent is where we currently face the most serious threat. With a real danger of the BNP winning control of a city of 250,000 people, the energies of the anti-fascist movement must be focused here. Likewise, the main political parties and the trade unions must also redouble their efforts.

A multi-track approach is needed. Anti-fascists and trade unions need to develop a coherent and sensible campaign that highlights the threat of the BNP and its true nature, but recognises that the BNP has planted deep roots in local communities and that undermining the BNP’s councillors locally is vital. At the same time a turnout campaign needs to be built, especially if there is a mayoral election, which can identify and mobilise anti-BNP voters. Wider mood events are important but in a winner-takes-all election our priority has to be winning the election.

The mainstream political parties need to get their act together and find a way to engage with voters locally. Nationally, the government still needs to do more to address the deep-rooted economic problems that beset the area.

Searchlight is currently making representations to the main parties, unions and government to make sure that everyone is doing their utmost to help in Stoke-on-Trent. Anything less and the BNP will next time be organising a victory rally.


October 13, 2008

BNP's Mozar inflicted upon Dartford BNP

17 Comment (s)
Lynne Mozar: the BNP is all hers, and don't you forget it
Desperate to get some life back into its ailing branches, the BNP is sending out anyone it considers to be more or less coherent as an official speaker, with Nick Griffin himself heading the list as, if reports on the party's website are to be believed, the greatest orator since oratory was invented.

Arthur Kemp, the former South African spook who currently oversees the BNP's 'ideological training' and is thus responsible for the party's brainwashing, is a regular speaker at the larger branches from which Nick Griffin expects great things, and next in preference seems to be Jonathan Bowden, the man who once stomped out of the party in disgust after Griffin's attack dogs at Covert suggested he was a paedophile, but who has now re-entered the party with renewed enthusiasm.

Simon Darby, the party's press officer and deputy leader, doesn't do too much public speaking because he seems to be too busy doing his nature blog and working alongside Richard Barnbrook down in London - though Barnbrook himself, despite being almost incoherent, seems an unaccountably popular branch speaker. Perhaps it's because he makes them laugh. He certainly makes us laugh.

And so it goes on. Good speakers are snaffled by larger and more active branches and the smaller, more remote or simply less worthy branches have to make do with the best they can get. Which is probably why Dartford BNP has ended up with the ghastly Lynne Mozar.

Regular readers will no doubt remember Mozar from the truly toe-curling Sky TV documentary BNP Wives, in which she was heavily featured, spouting her racist bile and pontificating at great length about her love for the party. Who can forget her lunatic babbling as the programme opened? Not us, so here it is.
'The British National Party is my baby. It's not, not necessarily my familys or my husbands or anyone elses, it's mine. All mine. My own. For me. And I love it...mine. [cackle, cackle] All mine! [more cackling]'
Indeed. Though Mozar is more than just a babbling loon - she's also, as you would expect, a racist. During the documentary, after referring to 'Paki's', she hastily added; 'That's a legal term for them', pointing out that she also 'sometimes' uses the racist term for blacks, 'and why not?'

Erm, because it's deeply offensive, perhaps?

Nevertheless, Dartford BNP looks to be saddled with this racist harridan at its next meeting on Wednesday at the Jolly Farmers pub at Thames Road, Crayford DA1 4QH. The meeting starts at 8pm though members and supporters are asked to arrive at 7.30pm - presumably so they can join the enormous queue to see the crowd-pulling Mozar.

If anyone fancies going along to join them, a map is available here (viewable in Firefox or IE), though it should be pointed out that there will be security, and you know how vigorous BNP security can be at times. The pub - for those who know the area - is on the bottom-left point of the chemical works/waste reception centre/industrial estate triangle. Such a salubrious address but somehow fitting for Mozar and the BNP.

If you'd like any more details, I feel sure that the party will be only too pleased to provide them. You can ring the Dartford contact at 07594-160118 or 05601-950167.