Today, activists from Liverpool Antifascists delivered leaflets in Halewood. The event was an overall success, but once again Merseyside BNP revealed that they rely more on intimidation tactics than on politics to get their point across.
As we set off from the Summerfield on Hillfoot Avenue, there was a brief encounter with a BNP supporter. Mistaking the antifascists for the BNP, he had joined us and asked whether Peter Tierney would be turning up soon. One activist explained to him that he was in the wrong group, whilst grabbing the opportunity to offer him a leaflet and explain why the BNP were not the party for anybody genuinely concerned with the plight of the working class. Events later in the day suggested that an antifascist making a similar mistake would have gotten more than a leaflet.
Despite the gloomy weather, there was a good turnout of activists, who managed to cover a significant area and deliver 500 leaflets in the surrounding working class estates. The event was extremely succesful and, as with a leafleting session around the shops the previous week, the response from the public was an overwhelmingly positive one.
On the way back to the original meeting point, however, we encountered Peter and Andrew Tierney. The brothers, along with an unidentified third fascist, had been delivering leaflets of their own and were just about to leave in Peter’s Land Rover. When they recognised several of the antifascists, however, they were quick to grab their cameras and start taking pictures.
Within moments, they were circling around the tired group of leafleters, taking photos as close as they could and chasing around those who tried to turn their face away. Their clear aim was to intimidate and provoke a small group of passers-by (at this point, they had distributed all their material and had nothing on them to identify their allegiances) which included two women, one of them elderly. At one point Peter, still awaiting trial for assaulting an antifascist back in April, referred to one man as a “shithouse” for not rising to the provocation. His brother Andrew, whose photographs and videos have emerged on Redwatch and various other neo-Nazi hate sites, suggested instigating a third-party assault. “Let’s get some local lads in, nothing to do with us, of course,” were his exact words, after feigning gangster-status by declaring that the leafleters should leave because “this is our territory.”
However, Liverpool Antifascists held our ground. If we had left, we risked being followed, which left individuals particularly vulnerable once they had to part ways. And if we had arisen to the provocation, it looked as though more BNP supporters would have emerged from the nearby pub to support the Tierney brothers. Instead, we stayed where we were until the two thugs got bored, seeing they weren’t getting a rise, and scuttled off.
To those familiar with the BNP, or indeed the Tierneys, this incident will come as no surprise. It also serves as a timely reminder that the party remain, despite their propaganda line, violent goons willing to threaten and intimidate anybody who dares oppose their fascist politics.
We must make sure, no matter what, that these thugs are not allowed to gain ground in Liverpool, Knowsley, or elsewhere.