Pressure is growing on the authorities to review their decision not to take action against the British National Party for its Racism Cuts Both Ways campaign. An Early Day Motion, signed by Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Plaid Cymru MPs, was accompanied by a letter to the Home Secretary and the Attorney General demanding that the BNP initiative be deemed an incitement to racial hatred.
These moves came as the BNP issued a fundraising appeal with the specific intention of distributing its Racism Cuts Both Ways racist pamphlet to secondary school children. “From now on we’ll [be] turning up outside secondary schools and sixth form colleges just as they close for the day … now we’ve got the means to reach out and grab them [young people]” promised the BNP in an appeal for more money to carry on the campaign after the schools reopen in January.
The Racism Cuts Both Ways initiative claims to highlight anti-white racism. In an introduction to the RCBW section of the BNP website, party leader Nick Griffin called it the “silent epidemic of racist targeting of indigenous Britons”.
In the opening address of the pamphlet, Griffin went further. “The vast majority of the real racism that scars Britain involves white victims from the indigenous community. Whether you are English, Scots, Welsh, Irish or from Ulster, being white makes you a target, being white means you are guilty.”
To back up his claims the BNP listed 167 people who it says are the victims of anti-white racist murders.
Last month Searchlight proved that this was nothing more than a crude attempt to whip up racial tensions and fears. Fewer than ten of the cited cases had any clear racial motivation. Some of the killers turned out to be white and others were part of mixed race groups, including whites, but the BNP only focused on the white victims and black perpetrators.
In some cases it was the victim who was racist, most notably Keith Brown, a BNP activist who was killed by his neighbour, Habib Khan, in July 2007 after a sustained racial campaign by Brown, his family and friends.
After a complaint from Liverpool City councillors Merseyside police arrested 13 BNP supporters for distributing the Racism Cuts Both Ways pamphlet. They were released on police bail while the CPS considered whether to charge them.
It appears that the local CPS felt the pamphlet raised racial tension but did not incite racial hatred, but fearing a local political backlash they passed the files to the CPS in London for a second opinion. It concurred and the case was dropped, though not without much anger within Merseyside Police.
The day after the arrests the BNP announced a “Day of Action” in Liverpool city centre to support the 13 the following Saturday, 29 November. A national mobilisation attracted just 120 supporters, far fewer than the 500 anti-fascists who had gathered in a counter-protest earlier that day organised by the Merseyside Coalition Against Racism. Thousands of specially designed HOPE not hate leaflets were distributed and dozens of people signed up to the anti-BNP campaign.
The only sour note on the day was the duplicity of the police. Despite making promises that the BNP would not be allowed into the city centre, and indeed at one point claiming that the fascists had not even turned up, hundreds of police officers were deployed to protect the BNP as it rallied in the middle of the city. BNP supporters were even allowed to distribute the same pamphlets on the very site where the 13 were arrested the previous week, after the CPS decision not to charge the 13 was announced that morning. By this time the anti-fascist protest had ended and several people were isolated and cornered by fascists.
Despite the initial refusal of the CPS to take action the campaign is not over. Politicians of all parties have signed a letter to the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland, asking her to reconsider. This has been given added momentum with the news that the BNP intends to target secondary school children with the material.
For more information visit http://www.racismcutsbothways.org.uk