June 29, 2011
Roberta Moore, who has led the Jewish Division since it was launched more than a year ago, was accused earlier this month of being a divisive figure in the EDL. Ms Moore had attempted to co-ordinate her efforts with those of the far-right American Jewish Task Force, whose leader Victor Vancier has been imprisoned for terrorism offences. The move, in February, was heavily criticised by the EDL leadership.
In a statement which she posted on Facebook, the Brazilian-born Ms Moore said she had been offered work on "an international level" elsewhere and so had decided to step down from the Jewish Division. Although she described the EDL as "doing a fantastic job" she said the party had been hijacked by elements who wanted to use it "for their own Nazi purposes".
Ms Moore said she still supported the EDL leaders and "all the genuine patriots out there who struggle to get their voices heard" but added that she no longer wished to be a part of it.
"I sincerely hope that the leaders will get the strength to squash the Nazis within," she said.
Mark Gardner, from the Community Security Trust, said: "This latest development shows, yet again, why Jews should not be involved in such circles. They will destroy this movement if allowed to remain."
The BNP leader Nick Griffin has tweeted how he hopes a visitor to the House of Commons tonight blows himself up in what would presumably be, some sort of suicide bombing.
A controversial Muslim cleric is due to address a meeting at the House of Commons this evening. Griffin wrote: "..they've invited a banned Islamist to speak in House of Commons this evening. Hope he blows himself up there! "
Griffin, who has failed in a number of attempts to get elected to the house himself, shows his bitter and vile disregard not just to the democratic institution itself, but to the loss of innocent lives that would follow such an outrage.
Time and time again we warn people about the vulgar, true nature of the BNP and having as good as smashed his tiny Nazi party to pieces by his own vulgar egotism, the truth about Griffin, his policies and his hatreds is becoming more and more obvious to everyone.
Who on earth would want to benefit for instance, from a suicide bombing at the House of Commons or indeed anywhere in a country that they purport to love so much?
After the dreadful 7th July suicide bombings in central London back in 2005, the BNP took images of the carnage and distress and turned them into a vile leaflet which the BNP delivered three days later in Barking and Dagenham during a council by election there. The candidate standing against the BNP was a Muslim, something that the BNP tried to make a great deal of. The BNP were hammered by the electorate, who were rightly disgusted.
This disgusting party will be trying to get itself elected back on to the Greater London Assembly (GLA) again next year. The people of London have long memories. We will make sure they do not forget the BNP leader’s vulgar cynicism and hatred.
Thanks to Nick Lowles at HOPE not Hate.
James Allen, 62, of Wood Villas, Hebden Bridge, appeared unrepresented at Calderdale Magistrates’ Court. He admitted causing £700 damage and possessing two bags of cannabis.
On seven different occasions between April 23 and June 7, station staff found graffiti supporting the English Defence League daubed on the back of doors in the male toilets. An undercover officer from British Transport Police went to the station on June 7 to wait for the culprit. He saw Allen enter the toilets at 1.41pm.
Paul Ramsey, prosecuting, said: “He sat on a bench watching all men who were going in. A minute later Allen was seen to leave his bike on the platform. The defendant exited two minutes later with what was believed to be a white marker pen in his right jeans pocket.”
After the officer checked the door, he followed Allen and arrested him. While searching Allen, he found two bags of cannabis. [Allen] admitted both offences to police.
Allen told officers he was not a member of the English Defence League but he wrote graffiti in support of the group to “vent his frustration”.When asked to explain his actions to magistrates, he said he had nothing to tell them.
“I’m just embarrassed about it,” he said.
He was given a 12-month community order and told to complete 60 hours of unpaid work, pay compensation of £100 and £85 towards costs.
June 28, 2011
Britain is a land built by migrants. After all, there was no one inhabiting these islands 50,000 years ago, and for most of human history there were no international borders. The emergence of the modern British nation state and the advent of a global economy brought with it the movement of capital in search of profit and the movement of people in search of work. Britain, home of the industrial revolution, saw successive waves of immigration from the 19th century onwards. It was driven by the needs of capitalists to find an adequate supply of workers. However, from the beginning, the capitalist class also grasped that the migration of cheap labour into the country provided them with a ready mechanism for dividing working people.. This was not automatic; it depended on an invented common identity of Britishness, which offered a false sense of solidarity between workers and bosses, while dividing native born from “foreign workers”. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the treatment of Irish workers who came to Britain in the 19th century to work on the canals and railways. They were forced to leave their homes—much like Roma people in Slovakia today—because of impoverishment or oppression, and usually both.
Our rulers have always tried to sow divisions among workers but there is a powerful history of class solidarity.The next time you walk down a canal towpath or ride a train think of the thousands of Irish labourers—the navvies—who died building the infrastructure of the industrial revolution, housed in the most squalid living conditions imaginable. Textile mill bosses also imported Irish workers. Initially this was often to use them as strikebreakers. In situations of sharpened competition in the labour market among low-skilled workers, it is not difficult to see how tensions arose. Karl Marx observed the process and got straight to the heart of the matter: “Every industrial and commercial centre in England now possesses a working class divided into two hostile camps… The ordinary English worker hates the Irish worker as a competitor who lowers his standards of life. In relation to the Irish worker he feels himself a member of the ruling nation and so turns himself into a tool of the aristocrats and capitalists of his own country against Ireland, thus strengthening their domination over himself.” Marx went on to explain how this antagonism was kept alive by “the press, the pulpit and the comic papers” in much the same way that the Sun, the Daily Mail and the Daily Express do today, with their relentless attacks on migrants and Muslims. But there was another process cutting aganist the divisions between workers. The bringing together of workers in the factory system created a need for unity against the common enemy exploiting their labour. Despite the best efforts of the capitalists to stoke racism, the impulse to class solidarity was often stronger. Many leading members of the Chartists, Britain’s first mass workers’ movement in the mid 19th century, came from the ranks of Irish labourers. Class fighters such as Feargus O’Connor and James Bronterre O’Brien led British workers into struggle, as did other “foreign” workers like the black Chartist organiser William Cuffay. Unfortunately the Chartists were defeated, and racist ideas were able to fester.
The New Unionism of the 1880s brought a new wave of Irish activists into politics. Ireland was officially part of Britain at this time so there was no issue of immigration controls—it was the availability of work not controls that adjusted the flow. At the end of the 19th century millions of Jews from the economically undeveloped parts of eastern Europe fled poverty and persecution. State-sponsored anti-semitic pogroms killed thousands of Jews in Russia and Poland. Three million largely poor Jews migrated to the US and perhaps a quarter of a million to Britain. Ruling class figures responded with racism. Tory MP William Evans Gordon said in parliament in 1902, “Not a day passes but English families are ruthlessly turned out to make room for foreign invaders.” This racism paved the way for the Aliens Act of 1905, the first to limit immigration and which defined some groups of migrants as “undesirable”. It made it easier for racists to argue that Jewish people were a problem in British society - however, Jewish workers came together with other sections of the working class. In the 1930s fascist attempts to turn “native” Britons against Jews were defeated on the streets. The long economic boom after the Second World War saw capitalists respond to increasing demand for labour by again looking to workers from overseas.
This time they looked further afield in the British Empire—to the Caribbean and the Indian subcontinent—for workers to plug the shortages in areas such as public transport and the hospitals. Black people soon found that the land of opportunity was also a land of racism. Some landlords and pubs in places like London and Birmingham put up signs saying, “No blacks, no Irish, no dogs”. But socialists and trade unionists organised reception committees to welcome the new workers and to help them settle in. However there was no automatic unity among the oppressed. Some established migrants, who had become assimilated into British society, came to view more recent immigrants as outsiders, and at times as a threat.
Some British people of Irish backgrounds could be among the most antagonistic towards Black people, seeing their own “whiteness” as making them superior to African-Caribbeans. Post-war Britain’s open door policy wasn’t to last as the boom ebbed and turn into crisis towards the end 1960s. The Tory politician Enoch Powell who had once implored Jamaicans and others to come to find work in the “mother country”, now scapegoated black and Asian immigrants for the mounting problems faced by a British economy in decline. This was even though many so-called immigrants were in fact born in the country. The 1971 Immigration Act brought a shuddering halt to “primary” immigration to Britain. Future migrants would be the dependants of those already here and not new workers. But the rising racism, especially in the mid 1970s, led to a powerful anti-racist response that reached a crescendo with the formation of the Anti Nazi League (ANL). The ANL drove the predecessors of the Nazi British National Party (BNP), the National Front, off our streets. Today asylum seekers, living in forced destitution, are blamed for “ruining areas” and bringing crime. Or in the case of “economic migrants”, like those from new European Union countries in eastern Europe like the Irish before them, lowering wages.
It can sometimes appear easier to kick the “foreign” worker next to you, especially during times of low class struggle, such as after the defeat of the Chartists in the 19th century. Equally however, during times of rising struggle, divisions are overcome time and time again. A key task of socialists today is to harness that class solidarity to fight both against the bosses and in defence of the rights of all working people, regardless of spurious notions of nation and race. Socialists must act as “tribunes of the oppressed”, as the Russian revolutionary Lenin put it. We must oppose all racism and bigotry. Today that means standing up against Islamophobia and racism, and breaking the back of the organisations these twin poisons are breeding, the Nazi BNP and the English Defence League.
Christopher Payne of Hucknall admitted spraying the graffiti but denied putting a pig's head on the site in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire. He appeared at Nottingham Magistrates' Court and will be sentenced on 21 July.
Police went to the property on 23 June where the slogan "No Mosque Here" was found spray painted on the ground.
Payne pleaded guilty to causing racially or religiously aggravated alarm, dissent or distress and causing racially aggravated criminal damage. Three other men aged 19, 21 and 31, have been arrested and questioned about the incident.
Payne, of Beardsmore Close, Hucknall, who is an events planner for the English Defence League, told the court that he sprayed the slogan but did not put the pig's head on the grassland. He was granted bail with a curfew but ordered to stay out of West Bridgford and not to go within 200m of a mosque. He has also been told not to have any public association with the English Defence League.
A member of the public reported finding the graffiti near Collington Way in West Bridgford on Thursday.
The great thing about being in Dubai last week was being a foreigner once more. It's how I spent much of my childhood, how I grew up, and how I feel most at home; but it brings professional rewards as well as personal pleasures. I was for the first time in my conscious life in an environment where the most important thing about Muslims was not that they were Muslims. It gave me a moment of sudden awareness, like waking in a log cabin without electricity when all the background hum and tension of electric motors that you never normally hear is suddenly audible by its absence.
The people I was hanging out, and sometimes drinking, with were Muslim intellectuals whom I know and like in England. They're not in any way discriminated against in this country, as far as I can tell: their lives are not impeded by the kind of people who think that Muslims are a problem to be solved. The kind of crude and open prejudice that flourishes online – and go and look at comments on the Telegraph website, or the videos of Pat Condell, if you want to know what I mean – is very rare in liberal circles, and when we catch ourselves at it, we feel guilty.
But there is a more subtle and general sort of prejudice which holds that Condell is not an extremist outcast. Richard Dawkins, for example, has praised Condell, and used to sell his videos on his website, which reminds of the way that Oswald Mosley remained a member in good standing of the English upper classes until the outbreak of the second world war, despite his views on Jews.
What I realised in Dubai was that in England today Muslims can't escape being Muslims, any more than Jews in England in the 20s or 30s could escape being Jewish. They can't just be unremarkable, as Jews in England can be now.
In Dubai, or neighbouring Sharjah, being a Muslim did not matter in the same way. Obviously, people made a huge amount of fuss about Islam. But when you're in a room full of Muslim academics and students arguing about culture, or censorship, or why there is so little science in the Arab world, the arguments themselves make one thing wholly plain. Neither side is more Muslim than the other. None of the flaws of the Islamic world are essential or intrinsic to it. They may be widespread, and in some cases quite horrible. But they're all cultural and not just religious.
I don't mean by this that all the bad bits are cultural and all the good bits religious. That's both false and simplistic. Cultures can be both good and bad and both are still authentically Islamic. But the whole idea of an "essential" or "true" way of being Muslim makes little sense when looked at historically, no matter how important, indeed indispensable, that style of argument is between Muslims. The same is of course true about "real" Christianity, or, for that matter, "real" atheism.
We don't have any real difficulty accepting this about Christians in this country. Except for a few noisy bigots, it's accepted that nice, good Christians are just as Christian as nasty and vile ones: that Jesus would be just as much at home among the Quakers as in Ian Paisley's congregation; in fact most Guardian readers believe that he would like the Quakers more. Certainly this is true about Jews. No one really believes that Lionel Blue is less Jewish than the chief rabbi (unless the chief rabbi does).
But with Muslims, in Britain today, there is a feeling that the civilised, funny, clever ones aren't really proper Muslims at all. And don't think that these civilised, funny, clever people people don't notice it.
This is subtle and pervasive – more of a smell than a substance – and I'm not sure whether it's a very diluted version of the stench that comes off Condell or Robert Spencer or something essentially different. Either way, it is a smell of which I spend most of my life unaware, and Muslims notice much more often. I shall try to flare my nostrils a little more often.
Andrew Brown's Blog
Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up
Stephen Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, was arrested and charged with the offence this month following the alleged incident at an EDL gathering in Blackburn on April 2. He is said to have committed common assault against Alan McKee.
Around 2,000 members of the group gathered in the centre of the Lancashire town in April as they were kept about 150 yards apart from a counter-protest by up to 500 anti-fascists. About 50 EDL supporters gathered at Blackburn Magistrates' Court to support their leader with a visible police presence outside.
Lennon, 28, of Luton, Bedfordshire, will go on trial at Preston Magistrates' Court on September 29. The hearing was listed for one day. Lennon was granted bail on conditions of residence, that he reports to his local police station on Saturday afternoons and does not participate in public protests that are 12 miles away from his home town.
The Garstang Courier
Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up
June 26, 2011
The usual dossers are standing around outside, with the biggest dosser of all, porky pervert Martin Reynolds, still head of personal security for the paunchy pig farmer himself, over on the extreme left for a change.
Mysteriously, the Lie Lorry was treated to a makeover of strawberry pink and egg white while the meeting was going on. Click on the image to see it full-size. Doesn't it look luvverly. :-)
Cheers to the anonymous picture provider.
A prominent member of the British National Party faces being banned from the classroom by the General Teaching Council for England (GTC) after it emerged he will face charges of unprofessional conduct.
Mark Walker - whose brother Adam, a fellow BNP member and teacher, also fought a high-profile battle with the disciplinary body - is accused of misusing his school computer. Mr Walker, who now works for the far-right political party, is said to have used a school email account for "inappropriate email exchanges" with a 17-year-old female former pupil. He is expected to be charged with unprofessional conduct when he appears before the GTC this autumn.
The former teacher has already lost an employment tribunal case. He has claimed he was unfairly sacked from Sunnydale Community College in Shildon, County Durham, for his political views and involvement with the BNP.
In September 2007, more than 100 people demonstrated outside the school with placards in support of Mr Walker, claiming he had been suspended because of his membership of the BNP.
Mr Walker's GTC hearing was due to take place last week, but instead the panel held a "case management" meeting about his case. The GTC has not yet released details of the charges he faces.
His representative, Patrick Harrington, general secretary of the Solidarity union, told The TES that Mr Walker had referred himself to the disciplinary body because he wants to "challenge" allegations recorded on his Criminal Records Bureau enhanced disclosure form as a result of his dismissal.
"He is resigned to the fact he won't teach again. He feels there is a vendetta against him but he knows it's unlikely any employer would now give him a job," Mr Harrington said. "The school and local authority have flung huge numbers of charges at him, and he wants them to be tested."
A tribunal rejected Mr Walker's case for unfair dismissal, concluding that the school had been justified in letting him go because of his sickness record at the end of 2008.
Mr Walker, a technology teacher, was first suspended in March 2007 after concerns were raised that he and a teaching assistant had watched video footage of "sexual activity" on a school computer.
The allegations made in September 2007 of using a school email account for "inappropriate email exchanges" with the 17-year-old ex-pupil sparked an investigation by children's charity the NSPCC. It concluded that the correspondence suggested a sexual relationship between Mr Walker and the girl, and questioned whether he should be put in a position of trust.
During the same period, Mr Walker became ill and remained unfit for work.
THE WALKERS - In the family
Mark Walker's brother, Adam Walker, who stood as a BNP candidate at last year's general election, was cleared of religious intolerance by the GTC last year, despite posting comments about "filth from other countries" on a website while he should have been supervising pupils.
The drawn-out case cost the GTC £72,746. Mr Walker, who taught at Houghton Kepier Sports College, County Durham, used a school laptop to post his views.
The GTC said he had not broken any rules to bar him from the profession. Education secretary Michael Gove cited this decision as one of the reasons he decided to axe the disciplinary body.
Mark Martin, 23, of Four Gates End, Hebden Bridge, admitted using threatening words or behaviour during the demo on April 16.
Prosecutor Paul Ramsey said: “There were 200 members of the EDL congregated in Halifax to take part in a demonstration. Police had reason to arrest two men but at the time Martin was also present. He took exception to the arrest.”
He shouted abuse at the officer.
“It was said in the middle of Halifax on a busy Saturday morning and members of the public were present,” said Mr Ramsey. “He tried to run away from the police but he was rugby tackled to the ground,” he said.
Martin was given a 12-month community order. He was told to pay £85 costs.
Also appearing at Calderdale Magistrates’ Court were Richard McTear, 29, of Brooksbank Gardens, Elland, and Mark Swidrak, 32, from Keighley. McTear pleaded not guilty to failing to follow the instructions of a police officer issued when he was in Princess Street, Halifax. Swidrak also pleaded not guilty to two charges. He denied using abusive, threatening or insulting words at Cow Green, Halifax. Both also denied obstructing police officers in their duty.
They were both given conditional bail until their next hearing on July 9. Their joint trial was listed for September 5.
June 25, 2011
One of the photographs shows soldiers from regiment, which recruits in Cumbria, posing next to the flag of the EDL at a homecoming parade for the regiment in Blackburn last year. Eight soldiers are seen standing next to the flag, bearing the words: “EDL supports Duke of Lancaster Regiment.” Another more controversial photograph shows a uniformed solider, allegedly in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, his face hidden by a black scarf as he brandishes a pistol and stands in front of the EDL flag.
A spokesman for the MoD told The Muslim News: “Individuals are free to join political parties but they’re not permitted to take an active role in political campaigning and must abide by our values and standards in all they do. Instances of unacceptable behaviour in the armed forces are investigated, and appropriate action taken up to and including dismissal.
“An investigation is already underway into allegations that individuals have breached army regulations through their involvement with the EDL.”
Former Chair on the Commons Counter Terrorism Sub-committee, Patrick Mercer, urged servicemen to steer clear of the EDL. He said the photographs could be used as propaganda by extremists in Afghanistan. “That could only damage our cause,” he said.
Thanks to the many people who sent this in
Now led by the (for anti-fascists) dream team of Griffin and Patrick Harrington, the BNP has become little more than a fascinating case study in derangement, phsychopathy, corruption, greed, deceit and delusion. It seems more suited to psychiatric than political analysis - but wasn't that always true?
Without apology then, from May 2008...
Nine years of vision and vermin
It's been nine long years since Nick Griffin unseated John Tyndall as BNP leader in what can fairly be described as the only relatively honest leadership election (in purely mechanical terms) the BNP ever held. And it's only ever held two.
Naturally, neither man was entirely honest in how they conducted their campaigns, and still less honest with their respective supporters as to their future intentions - but of the two only Nicholas Griffin was presented with the opportunity to demonstrate the fact, and upon winning lost very little time in giving the BNP a hefty dose of the control freakery and paranoia he had once administered to the National Front, the same which sent that organisation into terminal decline.
What is striking at this remove is John Tyndall's magnaminity in allowing the then recently arrived Griffin's 1999 challenge, to the point of permitting Griffin the full use of BNP structures and mechanisms even as the six-month campaign quickly descended into a long series of visceral dog-fights. It is, after all, John Tyndall who we see pictured in Nazi uniform, not the alleged "moderniser" Nick Griffin.
In 1999 Griffin claimed to be running an "open and honest" leadership challenge based on "positive ideas for the future", calling himself the candidate with "flair and vision". This certainly struck a chord with the BNP's newer members, and even appealed to some hardline BNP veterans all too aware of Tyndall's advancing years and of the tiredness of his leadership.
It did, however, obscure Griffin's woeful record in the National Front, where he spent much of his time engaged in factional activities, seemed to view political positions as expendable commodities, and was even then the subject of much disquiet in the matter of finance.
Griffin passed himself off as the BNP's "unity candidate", threatening that a Tyndall win would "lead inevitably to a most disastrous split" (presumably Griffin would be the leader of this putative split) - words that would earn anybody in today's Griffinite BNP instant expulsion. There were also dire warnings of purges ahead at the hands of Tyndall, while, "in happy contrast", Nick's "mature, level-headed and fundamentally decent approach" would restore unity and stability to the BNP. There would be "not one single expulsion" if Nick were to assume the leadership - "No cronysim, no favouritism, no grudges" he promised.
History tells a very different story.
One of Nick's first "positive ideas" as leader was to ensure that no challenger would ever again have the scope or freedom to campaign as he had done, and there began the first of a series of changes to the BNP constitution that should have rung loud alarm bells among those who had taken Griffin at his word
People like convinced Griffin supporters Steve and Sharron Edwards, who, within a year of Griffin's assumption of the leadership found themselves asking some searching questions about the new man's financial probity and as a result became victims of paranoic accusations that were the pretext for expelling them from the party.
They were among the first, and many legally dubious expulsions have passed under the BNP bridge since then.
That first proof that Griffin the BNP leader preserved exactly the same frame of mind as Griffin the National Front chairman (and author of the insane and infamous "Attempted Murder" pamphlet), gave wider currency to Tyndallite grumbling and opened the eyes of many early Griffin loyalists, few of whom have remained in place, due either to being cast aside as their usefulness to Griffin came to an end, were purged, or grew disillusioned.
The problem was that the only person capable of mounting a credible challenge against Griffin was John Tyndall, at the time subject to a campaign of vilification for that very reason - but Tyndall, with his Nazi past and barely reconstructed views, was anathema even to those Griffinites who had come to loath their leader.
Tyndall's death removed the biggest thorn in Griffin's side, and there has since been no other personality within the BNP who stands out even remotely as likely leadership material - not that a personality likely to present a future threat to Griffin will ever have the chance to stand out, as Jonathon Bowden discovered last summer (2007).
Had the BNP not begun to experience its first real electoral successes as disaffection with Griffin began to rise then it quite likely that the party would have descended into vicious faction-fighting, which might have been the end of the extreme-Right for a decade or more. But election success - albeit localised - did come, and Griffin was quick to take the credit.
BNP members - more like the "sheeple" they despise than they care to believe - were happy to go along with him, and in so doing were prepared to overlook their leader's less savoury character traits and blind themselves to the stark evidence that the BNP was increasingly beginning to look like what Martin Webster christened "the Griffin Family Business".
Of course there are many reasons for the BNP's initial spurt of electoral success, none of them much at all to do with Nicholas Griffin.
It might be argued that the best election agent the BNP ever had was Blairism and its apparent (if not intentional) attempts to disconnect itself from its core electorate - an electorate unlikely, especially in the northern towns where the first BNP gains came, to find any merit in voting for the then divided and demoralised Tories, or the Liberal Democrats. We must add in to that the 2001 Oldham riots, and the fact (much as it grieves us to say it) that in certain areas of strength the BNP did have capable organisers who ran intelligent, competent local campaigns with which Nick Griffin had no connection at all.
Further gains followed, of course, and Nick identified himself with every success, to the point where many BNP members really did (and still do) believe that without the guiding hand of Griffin the BNP would have achieved nothing at all.
This is utter nonsense. If there were any truth to it at all then the BNP would have achieved comparable results to those it obtained in places like Oldham and Burnley over the remainder of the country. Save for some small pockets where the circumstances outlined above pertained, it did nothing of the kind - but Nick was never eager to take the credit for that.
The probable truth is that finding himself the leader of the most electorally successful British racist party to date came as of much as a surprise to Griffin as it did to everybody else. Even so, Griffin seemed fixed on undermining "his" achievement by continuing the ludicrous (and legally expensive) hunt for John Tyndall's scalp, the unending litany of expulsions and proscriptions, and was quite prepared to wreck the BNP in its strongest electoral areas (Burnley being the textbook case) if he smelled the least whiff of personal disloyalty.
To many, even the BNP's enemies, these seemed like the actions of a demagogue more interested in preserving his hide than those of a man possessed of "flair and vision" with "positive ideas for the future".
Tyndall died, and the BNP's then electoral high point came and went, Griffin and his leadership team reduced to promising breathroughs to come.
Last year, as we all remember, along with the BNP itself we expected the party to add to its tally of 49 sitting councillors at the 2007 local elections. Everything seemed set fair for them to do so. We gritted our teeth, the racists prepared to crow - but early into the election night results it was clear who would be doing the crowing, and it wasn't the BNP.
The next morning we wrote:
The BNP's march to power turned into a cul-de-sac of indifference yesterday, with the racist party failing to make any impression in the English local elections.
Predicting at least a doubling of their 49 councillors, a devastated BNP finds its tally (at the time of writing) remains 49. Though the BNP did pick up seats it lost the same number, making no net gains. Of the nine BNP councillors up for re-election only one successfully defended his seat.
Claiming "mixed results" in an attempt to hide an electoral calamity from its shell-shocked members, there was no real disguising of the BNP's utter failure over large swathes of the country. The party's fortunes stalled and went into reverse in areas where its hopes were high, notably Sandwell and Birmingham, where thousands of votes were lost. Votes in cities such as Coventry were barely improved over those obtained thirty years ago by the National Front. In an effort to distract attention from the Birmingham debacle, the BNP is focussing attention on the fact that it gained more votes than the renegade Sharon Ebanks and her tiny number of New Nationalist Party candidates.
Griffin did not rush to identify himself with this particular set of results, nor did he attempt to explain why, when - by its own assessment - conditions had never been better for the BNP, all that could be reported was abject failure.
Of course, Griffin had other concerns by then, the lacklustre leadership challenge of Chris Jackson assuming a new and threatening importance in the light of the appalling election results, which challenge had to be hamstrung (as it was) before any damage to Griffin's position was done.
The paranoid sequel to Jackson's challenge was well enough reported here and is fresh enough in our minds not to bear a full re-telling, save to recall Griffin's infamously insane "vermin", "thieves" and "liars" blog diatribe, backed up by an equally hysterical and inventive four page spread in the BNP's "Identity" magazine - and, naturally, the purging and proscribing quickly followed.
Post the 2007 locals, the BNP continued to fight in by-elections, where it could concentrate its resources in pursuit of the best possible showing. Their results were lamentable - though there were areas, the East Midlands and adjacent districts being salient cases, where the party could produce a good first-time vote. Unfortunately for them, where the party's performance could be measured against previous outings in the same ward, their vote invariably fell.
Seeking a crumb of comfort, the party was overjoyed to retain a seat in Loughton, making a great deal of fuss over this "achievement" - and going to great lengths to silence wiser voices which pointed out that the BNP vote had fallen by a notable 5% and that the seat had been retained by a margin of 20 votes against a candidate who did not belong to one of the major parties. To say, as some did, that this was no small cause for concern was to invite attack as a "troublemaker", a "splitter", an "anti-BNP Red" and all the usual epithets beloved of the Griffinite BNP.
All that mattered was that the seat had been retained, and to hell with any unwelcome analysis.
They were to pay for this self-deluding complacency.
Ignoring for now the damp squib of the BNP's Decembrist revolt, the BNP began mustering its electoral troops early for the 2008 locals. As was clear from their numerous blogs and their posts on their usual internet hang-outs, they had worked themselves up for a real breakthrough.
This was going to be their year - they could feel it in their bones.
We couldn't. Everything we'd seen and recorded of BNP performances over the past year told us that though some gains were likely, nothing much was going to change and the established picture of electoral stagnation and reverse would continue.
For once, the BNP leadership cultivated a healthy restraint in its predictions, even inventing the meaningless spin-phrase "quiet revolution" to explain the BNP's snail's pace growth (or lack thereof) to a potentially restive membership. And there was a distinct air of unreality in the lead up to election day.
What struck us was the idiotic claim made by BNP deputy chairman and Griffin cheerleader Simon Darby that he had made a "breakthrough" by sealing a deal with the Pensioners Party whereby that party would recommend its members and supporters to vote BNP. The only fly in the ointment was that the PP had a total of six members, was completely unknown and without influence, and its leadership seemed to be unaware of any deal with the BNP. Members of other parties might have resented this cynical attempt to con them, but, all too typically, the BNP sheeple seemed more outraged that the con had been exposed.
Unreality continued as virtually powerless parish councillors became equated in Griffinite BNP spin with district councillors, an exercise designed purely to push up the total number of BNP "councillors" gained and to prove to an all too gullible membership of how well things were progressing for the BNP - proof in itself that the BNP's leadership had no great expectations for the 2008 locals. Several non-political parish council seats fell unopposed into the hands of the BNP, each "gain" being proudly reported on the BNP website.
It was so much whistling in the dark.
The BNP gained a grand total of ten "real" councillors, and its vote in its own heartlands fell, frequently by considerable margins.
Nick Griffin did not rush to bask in the reflected glory of this particular success, and though many BNP members still regurgitate the Griffinite smoke-and-mirrors line that something remarkable happened on May 1st, it is apparent that hard reality is finally beginning to bite for some of their number.
The plain fact, which they cannot ignore, is that by its own lights electoral conditions were never better for the BNP than they were on May 1st. A long serious of immigration controversies preceded the elections, some in the same week, there was the 40th anniversary of Powell's "Rivers of Blood" speech, falling together with the BBC "White Season" series, and the party frequently received completely uncritical press coverage. They themselves were reporting on ecstatic doorstep receptions for their canvassers.
And still Nick Griffin could deliver only 10 extra councillors from the 612 seats fought by the BNP.
Following the locals we had to wait 24 hours for the results of the London Mayoral race and the GLA elections - 24 hours in which Griffin must have prayed for a miracle. At all events, the BNP's spinmeisters began to play down expectations (and with good reason), uncertain whether they would gain anything at all.
Disaster seemed to beckon for what party apparatchniks were calling the BNP's finest campaign, but finally the much-hyped Richard Barnbrook scraped a GLA seat with 5.4%.
In the wake of this apparent "landmark" victory, as they touted it, the BNP seemed oblivious to the fact that 30 years ago the more honestly racist National Front averaged pretty much the same vote and better over large swathes of London. The truth is that the BNP should have achieved election on 7-8% of the vote if there was to be any credibility to their claim of "progress". They did not.
Again Nick Griffin failed to deliver.
After nine years of Nick Griffin's "vision and flair", in the most favourable circumstances imaginable, the BNP still manages a miserable grand total of 55 (real) local councillors and one elected (just) member of the GLA.
This is not a record that would wash in any political party other than the BNP.
To sum up the nine years of Nick Griffin's leadership, then, there has been, from the beginning and ever since, a long series of legally challengable expulsions of those who either cast doubt on Griffin's financial management of the party or who were deemed a threat to his position. There has been a ruthless willingness to wreck the BNP in its own areas of strength for no better reason than that members in those areas felt their loyalties to the party over-rode any presumed loyalty to a man they did not trust or in who they lacked confidence. In short, there has been continual internal strife since 1999.
If the incessant amendments to the BNP's risible constitution were not enough to make Nick feel safe, then, as some of you will be aware, the party has issued "Activist Declaration" forms - the only case we know of in British politics where ordinary members of a political party are being forced to swear something not a million miles removed from the Nazi oath of allegiance, and at the same time to give themselves as hostage to fortune to whatever constitutional changes Griffin chooses to enact.
Clearly a trap is being loaded, since: "I agree to abide by the British National Party’s Constitution and any amendments made to it under the provisions of the Constitution".
Those signing this (Barnsian?) document, especially those closely allied with Griffin's internal opponents, may as well hand the man a loaded gun and wait to be shot the moment the inevitable constitutional amendments are made.
It can have no other purpose.
Perhaps the sudden appearance of this scurrilous document can be best explained by the fact that elections for the European parliament are now a year away, and if there is one thing we know Griffin longs to do it is to bag his ticket on the Euro gravy-train.
To that end he has already deposed Chris Jackson as North-west Regional Organiser in favour of himself, and parachuted himself in as the BNP's number one candidate in the region. We also saw, when a general election seemed but weeks away last autumn, that Griffin's overarching concern was to preserve BNP finances for the Euro elections - strange behaviour for a British "national" party.
You or I might think a good general election performance would be of more lasting benefit to the BNP than Griffin's flying off to Strasbourg and the riches of an MEP on the back of a tiny vote in north-west England, but the BNP have convinced themselves that this is the way forward - failing to notice that a similar exercise has done the UKIP no good at all, and never really asking themselves exactly what a lone BNP representative in Europe is going to achieve for the party.
However that may be, with the prize now in sight the Griffin Family Business must be protected from hostile takeover, and we can't help but to think that the "Activist Declaration" form is a large and sinister part of that protection.
In perspective, then: in nine years Nick Griffin has taken the BNP from nowhere to next to nowhere. In the most favourable conditions ever to exist in which a racialist and nationalist party could expect to grow, the BNP under Griffin has remained stunted, its membership numbering well under 10,000, despite the regular repetition of the lie that hundreds join every week.
It remains electorally moribund, and where it has met with success it has done so despite the turbulent Griffin, not because of him. His record is, by any measure, lamentable, nine years of effort and eye-watering expenditure on the part of the BNP producing a paltry crop of 55 local councillors who all too often are not up to the job and all too prone to find themselves confronted with past indiscretions.
That Griffin has managed for so long to pass off his leadership as a story of unparalleled success is an achievement of sorts, we suppose, but we on our side of the fence really do thank our stars that the BNP chose to land itself with the most divisive and incompetent leader ever to grace the stage of the far-Right in Britain.
"Flair and vision"? It seems more like stuff and nonsense to us.
June 24, 2011
Stephen Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, was arrested after a rally of the far-right group in Blackburn, Lancashire, on April 2.
The demonstration saw minor skirmishes among the 2,000 members of the group who had gathered in the centre of the town. Police kept EDL supporters about 150 metres apart from a counter-protest by around 500 anti-fascists.
Lennon, 28, of Layham Drive, Luton, will appear on bail at Blackburn Magistrates Court.
The Edmonton Islamic Centre was among a host of mosques across the UK targeted in a suspected hate mail campaign over the last few weeks.
Tariq Chaudhri, secretary of the trust which runs the centre, called in police after opening a package on Tuesday, June 14. He told the Enfield Independent: “The envelope seemed a bit heavier than usual, and when I opened it some powder came out. I washed my hands and put the letter to one side, and called police.”
Officers evacuated the centre, in Raynham Road, as a precaution, just after 1pm, until specialist officers had determined the powder was harmless.
An accompanying letter included, according to Mr Chaudhri, insults to the Prophet Mohammed and offensive drawings. He added: “We haven't had any problems here before, we've got a good relationship with the community and don't have problems with extremist views. It seems someone is going round [the] whole of London, it has happened in quite a few places.”
The Met confirmed it is investigating a series of suspicious packages being sent to mosques around London, Dorset, Merseyside, Sussex, and Gloucestershire. The North London Central Mosque in Finsbury Park was among those targeted, and police have sent a letter to all mosques in the capital warning them to be cautious when opening mail.
No one has been arrested, and detectives are looking at whether the incidents are linked.
This is Local London
Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up
June 23, 2011
The controversial politician, who was joined by about 30 BNP activists, spoke to the assembled crowd on a megaphone as his supporters waved placards and handed out leaflets. A BNP trailer blaring out the theme from Dam Busters was also being driven around the town centre. There was a large police presence in Black Horse Street as officers from Bolton and Rochdale ensured the demonstration passed off peacefully.
It was triggered by a preliminary hearing in a Rochdale court case which was being heard in Bolton yesterday. Eight men from Rochdale are accused of offences including rape, paying for the sexual services of a child, trafficking a child and controlling child prostitution. They have yet to plead to the charges.
Mr Griffin, who was accompanied by a bodyguard, said: “We want to keep the pressure on so action is taken in every town.”
Among the demonstrators was local BNP candidate Dorothy Sayers. She said: “We’re not racist. We’re simply standing up for the British people because no other party is prepared to.”
But onlookers condemned the demonstration. Rev Les Allmark, the Bolton town centre chaplain, said: “This is racist propaganda. If they were here every time there was a paedophilia trial they might get more respect. What we’re seeing here is a small number of activists trying to stir up trouble where there is none.”
Worker Helen Jones added: “I don’t think there’s any place for the BNP in our country. All they do is promote intolerance, ignorance and prejudice in a way that will ultimately divide communities. We live in a multicultural society and we should be embracing that, not inciting hatred.”
Nishielle-Tamar Lloyd, aged 20, from Heaton, who was waiting for a bus nearby, said: “I don’t agree with it. I’m a Christian and something doesn’t feel Christian about what they’re saying.”
Police said the event passed peacefully. Insp Paul Murphy, who was overseeing the operation, said: “We’re here to facilitate a peaceful protest and prevent a breach of the peace.”
The Bolton News
June 22, 2011
Three men were arrested on suspicion of affray after a hail of rocks and bottles were thrown into the 150 strong crowd of music fans and at windows at The Well venue, Chorley Lane, near the city centre. Two people were injured at Saturday’s all day Rage Against Racism event. One man had teeth knocked out.
Kevin Berry, assistant manager at The Well, formerly Joseph’s Well, suffered an injured wrist during the fracas while shielding himself from a missile as he stood behind the bar. He said: “A group of around 15 people, estimated to be aged between 16 and 23 barged into the premises shouting and chanting ‘EDL’. They were throwing bottles and rocks. The police attended quickly and arrests were made. Despite the incident, the event continued without a problem. We had to carry on. It would mean that these people would have stopped the benefit gig and all the hard work done to arrange it. The group also allegedly posted their plans on Facebook and afterwards boasted on the internet about what had happened.”
Organisers today said that the concert continued as planned until the early hours of Sunday morning. Star guests at the punk, ska and reggae event included The Mighty Oppressed, Low-Life UK and DJs Jon Firth and Jamie Headcharge.
Four windows were broken, including one at offices above the venue. Two people were injured in the attack.
All money raised at the event will be donated to the Unite Against Facism organisation and local projects.
The EDL claims to be a street protest movement which opposes what it sees as the spread of Islamism, Sharia law and Islamic extremism in England.
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: “Officers were called shortly before 2.40pm on Saturday to reports of a disturbance at The Well. One man received a serious facial injury and others received minor injuries, with damage also caused to the premises. Three men were arrested on suspicion of affray, and were bailed pending further enquiries, which are being led by City and Holbeck CID.”
Witnesses are asked to call 0845 6060606.
Yorkshire Evening Post
June 21, 2011
It was thought the constant chanting of “E E E D L” for hours on end, was a battle cry of some sort, to make their presence known when vandalising town centres and intimidating shoppers. However, it now appears this is a method, introduced by the leadership, for helping the membership remember the complicated three letter acronym.
Facebook posts are a gold mine of EDL cock-ups, some of the best include; “ELD All The Way! No Surrender”, “ELD til I die!”, “E-On Yeah!! No to Islammyfication” and “DEL Forever, No Surrender”. Whilst some could possibly be put down to typos, a number of EDL supporters have been seen sporting ELD tattoos and wearing ELD clothing, and a source reported that the EDL leadership spent thousands manufacturing ELD merchandise, which is now for sale online.
Tommy Robinson, the leader, has blamed the crisis on the BNP's leader Nick Griffin. He said in a statement: “This is all his (Nick Griffin's) fault, when he started saying we were a state sponsored pressure valve, we had to sit down and think, what's a pressure valve? And we had to think, why a state sponsored one? We just didn't understand it, we still don't. All this thinking made us stop chanting and we forgot what the acronym was.”
Robinson later claimed the “new range of ELD merchandise” is for the new EDL French Division, he said “the French say things the other way round so you see it's actually quite clever”. This resulted in a backlash from EDL supporters, ranting via Facebook “them dirty frogs aren't even English so they can't join our defence league, if they want a French Defence League then fine, but no way are we having a French Division, it just isn't democratic!”.
When we phoned for comment, the spokesperson asked us what an acronym was and if it was poisonous, “I heard we've been having trouble with em and I don't want to get hurt or owt, tha knows, I ant even got me feet on the floor just in case".
Cambridgeshire police are gearing up for the far-right group’s demonstration and a counter-protest by Unite Against Fascism on Saturday, July 9.
EDL leader Tommy Robinson told the News he expects up to 400 people will attend the march against plans for a new £13 million mosque in Mill Road to replace the one in Mawson Road, which has space for just 500 of the city’s 4,000 Muslims.
He said: "We are against the building of this mosque which will be the biggest in East Anglia and we have had a lot of people in Cambridge contacting us who are worried about it. We are against the building of all mosques because they preach homophobia and anti-Semitism which we should not tolerate in this country."
The march clashes with The Ridgeons Big Weekend on Parker’s Piece.
An EDL march in Peterborough last year was policed by about 1,000 officers from 18 forces.
A police spokeswoman said: "Plans are under way to ensure an appropriate police response on the day. The force fully supports people’s right to peaceful protest, as well as ensuring minimal disruption to the people of Cambridge."
Councillors, trade unionists, Cambridge Muslim Council and Cambridge Islamic have signed a declaration saying EDL is "deeply Islamophobic" and aim to "divide us by making scapegoats of one community, just as the Nazis did with the Jews in the 1930s".
Richard Rose, Cambridge’s national officer for Unite Against Fascism, said: "The EDL is trying to divide our city but Cambridge loves its multi-cultural mix and they will fail."
Muslim leader Abdul Arain, Mill Road store owner and Chancellor of Cambridge University candidate, said: "In Mill Road you will find the melting pot of Cambridge and you will find the EDL really do not have any support here or indeed across the city."
The viscous attack occurred on Saturday 18th June, when the two Muslim men, both in their mid 20’s, were walking through their town when they encountered the EDL march. It is estimated that around 250 EDL members were present at the march and were shouting Islamophobic and racist chants.
Surprisingly, there was not a single uniformed policeman in the area and local residents were not warned by the police prior to the march that they must remain vigilant.
The two victims, Aftab Baig and Mohammed Baig crossed over to the other side of the road to avoid the EDL thugs but some of the EDL protesters followed them and started hurling abuse at the two men. Six of the EDL members then launched a violent attack on the two men, throwing them to the ground where they were kicked and punched repeatedly.
Both men sustained multiple injuries and Mohammed Baig was hospitalised suffering head injuries and a broken jaw.
MPACUK would like to know why the problem of the EDL is not being taken seriously by the government or the police despite the EDL having a track record of violence and disorder. A number of EDL members have criminal records for violent offences. The EDL is an extremist group that should be banned.
June 19, 2011
The English Defence League had threatened to disrupt the event on the grounds that the “UAF racists” shouldn’t be at an anti-racist gig. Around a dozen members of the EDL, thought to be from Bradford, turned up to conduct a smash and run type operation. Unfortunately it was successful in that they put through two windows, three of them got banged (including one leading mixed race EDL member who was sporting a cracked head) and then ran away only to be arrested latter on. One anti-fascist was injured by a stray bottle thrown as the legged it. Hope Not Hate claim to have photographic evidence but they have handed it over to the police *groan*. The gig carried on and the consensus is that it was fantastic!
However this is another worrying development the EDL are carrying out their threats against anti-racists although they are yet to realise there is a difference between the UAF and Anti Fascist Action types, hopefully the cracked skull will make them realise. The EDL have stepped up their militant activities especially in the North due to the North West Infidel and North East Infidel (NWI & NEI) split. These two groups, along with what remains of the Scottish Defence League, are disillusioned with the pathetic marching from the train station and back in some racial diverse town or city.
The NWI & NEI want to take the fight to the UAF and other “reds” and we must be prepared to defend ourselves and our activities. the UAF are constantly turning a blind eye to these attacks, which are mostly aimed at the UAF due to the intense hatred the EDL have for the UAF. The UAF must not allow themselves to be beaten off the streets and their ever decreasing turn outs to their useless counter demonstrations give evidence to this happening already. The UAF denounce militant anti-fascists as chuvenistic and “squaddist” but militant anti-fascist must be a weapon always in our arsenal and we must not be afraid to deploy it. Let us be prepared to defend the working class communities from fascists and to prevent their infiltration by fascists. The UAF has failed working class communities and allowing the EDL to take the place of what should be the left. The NWI & NEI must be watched too, if these groups move outside of the EDL they will no longer be constrained by the EDL marching tactics. They are a more openly racist group, openly using “white power” on their facebook group, and are more inclined to militant and violent tactics than the EDL officals.
To end on a positive note: MAFA would like to thanks the organisers for holding an excellent gig and we hope that we see more of them. Also thank you for inviting MAFA to do a stall. A special mention has been requested to thank the anti fascist organisation who stewarded the meeting so professionally and well and thwarted the attempted attack outnumbered.
This article will be updated once new information comes out. All the specifics in this article have already been written about in the public domain, if you have any further information and amendments please post it in the comments.
Written by Fat Lad at Manchester Anti Fascist Alliance
Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up
June 18, 2011
Darren Buck, 50, was involved in the demonstration with the far-right group in Halifax town centre on April 16. Calderdale Magistrates Court heard how around 200 EDL members turned out for the demonstration which they claimed was in protest at two of their number being attacked the week before.
At around 2.30pm police reported that a large gathering of protestors were congregating outside The Plummet Line pub, Bull Close Lane, Halifax, and were trying to break through the police line. It was at this time that officers saw Buck, a former sheet metal worker, acting aggressively towards the two elderly asian men. Officers said he was seen trying to punch the two men but he missed and was consequently arrested.
Buck was interviewed by police and admitted the offence saying he was demonstrating to show solidarity with his fellow members. He also told them he had been an EDL member for about a year but didn’t have any racist beliefs.
Buck pleaded guilty to a charge of using insulting or abusive language with the threat of violence.
Judith Poole, chair of the magistrates, said: “We feel this offence is so serious that only custody is appropriate. You were part of a group of 200 people, over 200 police officers had to be in attendance and it was a Saturday afternoon with a lot of people around who must have been really frightened.”
Buck, from Wombwell, Barnsley, was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison which was suspended for 12 months. He will be subject to a curfew on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 9pm for 20 weeks and must pay costs of £85.
June 16, 2011
Peter Craven, 28 and Michael Riley 23, both from Hull, each admitted stealing a pool ball and possessing an offensive weapon. The men admitted they were in Halifax for the EDL protest that engulfed the town centre on April 16.
They were part of a 16-man group who left the main organisation and moved to the Beehive and Cross Keys pub in King Cross Street near Park ward – an area police were trying to shield from EDL members. In the pub, EDL members chanted racist songs, snapped pool cues and hunted through waste bins for bottles. Police arrested the men outside the pub shortly after they left.
They will be sentenced at Bradford Crown Court July 19.
Thanks to Abu for the heads-up
The Park Hotel,
The meeting starts at 7.30pm.
Perhaps you would like to register your displeasure at this event taking place by calling 01709 582 367 and telling the manager politely that Grinnin is not welcome in South Yorks.
Design based on an original wartime poster by the English artist Reginald Mount. These were attached to aircraft sent from Britain to aid the Soviet war effort. In 1941 this included RAF No 151 Wing Hurricanes and their aircrew joining the Red Army in their fight against the Nazi
Available from Philosophy Football
I'll write more when I get further information but this is another hammer blow for Griffin as he fights off a leadership challenge from fellow MEP Andrew Brons.
Nick Lowles at Hope not hate
June 15, 2011
Stephen Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, was arrested in connection with a brawl at the EDL demonstration in Blackburn on 2 April.
On Wednesday, he was charged with one count of common assault. Mr Lennon, 28, of Layham Drive, Luton, is due to appear at Blackburn Magistrates' Court on 24 June.
Thanks to Abu and Gregg for the heads-up
In his resignation statement he said:
"It is with sadness that I have this evening resigned the British National Party whip on Amber Valley Borough Council. I will now sit as an Independent Member of the Council, though I retain my membership of the British National Party and, of course, my nationalist views.
This change will make no difference to the way I assist and deal with enquiries from my constituents, but is a symbolic protest at recent events within the British National Party, both at a national and local level."
Hope not hate
Warning - highly offensive content!
On 25 June 2011 a nightspot called the Slimelight in Islington, London, UK, plan to stage a concert that has attracted criticism over the involvement of musicians with links to Nazism. The headline band are an awful folk group called Sol Invictus, led by a singer called Tony Wakeford, who makes no secret of his past membership of the British Fascist party the National Front. Tony Wakeford was a founder member of Fascist bands Above the Ruins and Death In June, but says (on the Sol Invictus website) that his NF membership was the worst mistake he made. Tony Wakeford claims to have left his Fascist past behind him, but alot of people don't believe him, because still collaborates with racist musician Andrew King. Debate over the ethics of going ahead with this concert is divided between the small clique of fans, friends and members of these bands who bombard the WWW with comments claiming (usually without any proof) that (roughly summarizing) "they're alright mate", and anti-Nazis who present evidence showing that even if these bands aren't outright Nazis, at the very least they revel in displaying imagery that is highly offensive to victims of Nazism (1).
Slimelight manager Mayuan Mak told The Islington Gazette (newspaper) that "we would not tolerate an event that has a Neo-Nazi focus" (2), but Mayuan Mak is lying, because the Slimelight already staged concerts by Nazi performers Death In June, Luftwaffe and Non, and because, despite the ruckus caused by the Sol Invictus concert, on 1 Oct 2011 the Slimelight plan to stage a concert headlined by an electronic music group called Sutcliffe Jugend, who created their name by joining the terms "Peter Sutcliffe" (the name of a misogynist mass-murderer from Great Britain) with "Hitler Youth", while one of the support acts planned for 1 Oct is a convicted child sex offender and Nazi called Peter Sotos (3).
Sutcliffe Jugend is led by musician Kevin Tomkins, who is also an occasional member of another electronic music group called Whitehouse. Whitehouse leader William Bennett wrote a manifesto in the Belgian fanzine Force Mental (issue 1), also quoted in Flowmotion fanzine (issue 6), that explained how Whitehouse are "concerned with the struggle against the unhealthy Negroid influence in popular music". Whitehouse member Philip Best published a compilation (also featuring Sutcliffe Jugend) called White Power. Whitehouse member Peter Sotos was convicted for possessing child pornography after he was busted by Chicago PD for producing a fanzine called Pure, in which Sotos says "females are dogs whose only worth is as pawns for my pleasure" and describes death camps as "Triumphs of Nazism" (4). In a section called "Kiddie Torture" Peter Sotos describes "the sublime pleasure of child abuse" (sic), and shows graphic photographs of a man pleasuring himself over photographs of missing children (5). William Bennett also ran a record label called Come Organisation, who published a 10xC60 cassette box-set by Sutcliffe Jugend, entitled We Spit On Their Graves (extracts from which were reissued on CD by another UK label called Cold Spring Records), which features dozens of tracks which celebrate misogynist crime and Nazism (6+7). Many of the track titles from that release are named after women victimized by serial killers, refer in detail to murder techniques used by Peter Sutcliffe, and celebrate Nazism. Titles like "Storm Detachment Hitler", "SS 1982", "Reinard Heydrich", "Dictator Rule", "This Is Pommerenkke" and "New Camps" are some of the less offensive.
Debate about the morality of the music produced by the likes of Slimelight performers Peter Sotos and Sutcliffe Jugend is complicated, a little, by the defense put about by William Bennett, who (whenever anyone can be bothered to listen to him) argues against the huge weight of evidence provided by Pure fanzine and dozens of similar projects, that the ideas promoted by him and his friends do not come from National Socialist ideology, but that they come from a hyper-extreme interpretation of libertarian philosophy. William Bennett's self-justification takes libertarianism to the limits of self-parody, to an extreme in which the "rights" of the individual (as conceptualized in the Whitehouse track "Right to Kill") over-ride all rights and liberties due to all other people, period. William Bennett's self-justification distorts the meaning of libertarianism to equate the libertarian with the most psychotic libertine, who, through the broken lens of "Sadeian" cod-philosophy, identifies with "libertines" such as the Marquis de Sade, Ted Bundy, Peter Sutcliffe, and the Nazi war criminals who Bennett praised (in the Spanish music fanzine ADN) for enacting "glorious pleasures" rather than for their titular ideology. Bennett's defense is intellectually sub-zero, factually dishonest (as Bennett colleagues like Albin Julius are still Fascists), and a moot point when it comes to actual victims, because the bottom line is, legally and morally, that if some Nazi war criminals killed for "fun" rather than because they believed in Nazism... so what, they were still Nazi war criminals.
This is an issue of feminism and child protection as much as (if not more than) it is an issue of anti-Nazism, and attempts to discreetly stop these concerts at Slimelight, without publicity, have previously failed, which is (in case of asking) why the campaign's now gone public.
Both concerts are organised by promoter Gaya Donadio (who performs her own music under the name Anti-Child League). Objections to the Slimelight's entertainments license should forward this information to:
Licensing Service Public Protection Division Islington Council 222 Upper Street London N1 1XR Tel: 020 7527 3031 Fax: 020 7527 3430
1 - http://www.whomakesthenazis.com/2011/04/weather-warning-shower-of-shit-expected.html
2 - http://www.islingtongazette.co.uk/news/online_campaign_attacks_controversial_islington_gig_1_914659
3 - http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--qZWk4oN0mg/TfItm4wzMMI/AAAAAAAAATM/y1iQuuTlwz0/s1600/newpicoct11.jpg
4 - http://www.uncarved.org/othertexts/pure.html (reprinted from OVO magazine)
5 - These photos are documented in a book called Apocalypse Culture (Amok Press 1988)
6 - http://www.artnotart.com/come/cassettes.html
7 - http://noiz.tripod.com/sutcliffe.html
Photo 1 - Tony Wakeford (far left of photo) at NF newspaper stall in London's Brick Lane
Photo 2 - Boyd Rice of Non wearing Swastika pendant and "Rape" T-shirt
Photo 3 - Advertisement for Sutcliffe Jugend and Peter Sotos at the Slimelight
Photo 4 - Front cover and Whitehouse feature from Flowmotion fanzine, issue 6
Photo 5 - Detail from Flowmotion 6
Photo 6 - White Power compilation packaging
Not for Profit at Indymedia
Announcing the news on their Facebook page,admins tried to reassure angry members who had paid money for items so far not received.
It isn't clear yet as to the reasons behind the closure, however there is a strong possibility that after months of flaunting Ebay's strict rules and regulations, the EDL broke one rule too many.
Paypal along with closing down the EDL account have frozen all the EDL's money held in their account. This will no doubt leave a serious dent in the EDL's all important merchandising operation.
Hope not hate
June 14, 2011
January last year, during which 40 police officers were injured
Fears have been voiced that a planned English Defence League march in Derby will bring problems experienced by other neighbouring cities.
Police and the council say they have not yet received official confirmation of the demonstration, which organisers are legally required to give. But a page on social networking website Facebook states that the event is one of five that will take place across the country on July 9 and more than 290 people have said they will be attending. Posters have also been made.
A campaigner for multiculturalism is worried that unless it is properly controlled the march could result in violent clashes, like those witnessed previously in Leicester and Stoke.
Those demonstrations have cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds to police. In October last year, 1,000 EDL supporters and 750 counter-protesters descended on Leicester. Supporters of the EDL pelted officers with bottles, cans, bricks and coins during the protest. The operation to police it cost £715,000, with 18 people arrested. Forty police officers were hurt at a similar event in Stoke in January last year.
Superintendent Gary Parkin, head of operational policing in Derby, said: "Since the EDL was formed in 2009 they have held between 20 and 25 major demonstrations where there have been around 1,000 people. That is a major drain on the resources of any city."
Mr Parkin said that when the EDL held a "flash-demo" in Derby in January it did not require extra policing. He said: "We have had a flash-demo, where very few people turned up, but how much it will cost depends on the number of people who turn up from the EDL and how many people decide to protest against it. There are, however, four other events planned for the same day so it might dilute the support."
Under the Public Order Act, groups are required to notify police of any demonstration and details of their route if they plan to march. Mr Parkin said: "People are free to protest within the boundaries of the law."
It is expected that members of Unite Against Fascism, who have protested against the EDL in other areas, will hold a counter-demonstration. And organisers of a free music festival aimed at celebrating Derby's multiculturalism have brought forward the date of the event so it coincides with the proposed EDL demonstrations. It will be held in the Market Place and will feature live music and speeches.
Organiser Baby J said: "Derby is very diverse and always has been, that is something that the people of Derby are really proud of. We live in peace and harmony and have done for a long time."
Baby J said he had been at several EDL marches in other cities, some of which descended into violence.
He said: "It all depends on how it is policed. If EDL and protesters are in the same space, city centres have been shut down. I would hope that they are put somewhere else, like at the Cattle Market. I know that the EDL had meetings in Leicester and Nottingham at the weekend to discuss it so there will be at least a few hundred. It will not be like the previous one which was a flash demonstration organised the night before."
June 13, 2011
The leader of the far-right English Defence League has vowed to stage a large national protest in Dewsbury after complaining that supporters were treated like “caged animals” at a demonstration in the town on Saturday.
A protest by 400 EDL supporters passed off without serious incident but leader Tommy Robinson was angered that the protesters were contained within high steel barriers. He said the EDL should have been allowed to protest at Dewsbury Town Hall, rather than a tightly cordoned area of the railway station car park.
Mr Robinson said Saturday’s protest was a regional demonstration but the next one in would be national and “the EDL bandwagon will be coming back to Dewsbury in our thousands.”
Many of the EDL protesters were from outside West Yorkshire, including members from Merseyside, Teeside, Burnley, Bolton, Leicester and Mansfield. A nearby counter-protest by Unite Against Fascism attracted about 50 people at its height. A large police operation ensured that the day passed off relatively peacefully, although traders in the town said they were thousands of pounds out of pocket because many shoppers stayed away.
Kirklees Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent John Robins said: “On duty in West Yorkshire in relation to this operation there has been around 700 police officers in total but I stress they have not all been at Dewsbury. They have been around West Yorkshire in support of this operation.”
Six men were arrested by West Yorkshire Police and British Transport Police. They were: A 31-year-old from Batley, for possessing an offensive weapon; a 44-year-old from Barnsley, a 39-year-old from Merseyside and a 41-year-old from Cleckheaton, all for public order offences; a 16-year-old from Bradford for criminal damage; and an 18-year-old from Preston for trespass on railway property.
June 12, 2011
Britain's largest mainstream Muslim organisation will today call for "robust action" to combat Islamophobic attacks amid fears of growing violence and under-reporting of hate crimes. The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) will challenge the "ethnic profiling" of members of its community, claiming that minorities are 42 times more likely to be targeted under the Terrorism Act.
MCB secretary-general Farooq Murad will tell the council's AGM in Birmingham that there must be more monitoring of anti-Muslim crimes in response to incidents including violent assaults, death threats and the desecration of graves. He will also complain that not enough is being done to encourage communities to report crimes to the police.
The calls, supported by leading academics, a counter-terrorist think-tank and Muslim groups, come as the Metropolitan Police confirmed a total of 762 Islamophobic offences in London since April 2009, including 333 in 2010/11 and 57 since this April. A spokesman said the Met was aware of "significant" under-reporting of hate crime, and acknowledged "missed opportunities" to keep victims safe.
Despite rising concerns about the impact of hate crime on all communities, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) said that data on such offences are not collated centrally as this would be an "overly bureaucratic process for local forces". Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris, who leads the police on hate crime, was unavailable for comment.
In his speech, Mr Murad is expected to warn that attacks are increasing. "Islamophobic attacks, on persons and properties, are committed by a tiny minority, but the number of incidents is increasing. Robust action is necessary and this means we must have a systematic manner of recording, monitoring and analysing such attacks. Only a small number of police forces record anti-Muslim hate crimes."
He will claim that figures collated from only two police forces indicate 1,200 Anti-Muslim crimes in 2010, as opposed to 546 anti-Semitic crimes from all the police forces in the UK.
Muslims from across the country have reported attacks on imams and mosque staff, including petrol bombings and bricks thrown through windows, pigs' heads being fixed prominently to entrances and minarets, vandalism and abusive messages.
Mr Murad will tell the gathering at the Bordesley Centre: "It is not a piece of cloth on someone's head or face, the shape of someone's dress, a harmless concrete pillar on a religious building or even not speaking a common language that creates alienation."
Dr Robert Lambert, co-director of the European Muslim Research Centre and research fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, Exeter University, said a decade of research will report before the 10th anniversary of 11 September. His report will provide comprehensive figures on attacks on mosques, Islamic organisations and Muslim institutions, while avoiding confusion over race-related or random attacks.
Dr Lambert, a former counter-terrorism police officer, said problems over data collection stemmed from a lack of political will, rather than from the police efforts – and that the onus was on Muslim communities to emulate the "outstanding" data collection around anti-Semitic crimes conducted by the Community Security Trust.
He added: "When I was working in the police, some of the notable spikes in incidents came after terrorist events such as 9/11 and 7/7. We have more than 50 incidences of fire-bomb attacks and we have yet to reach the 10-year anniversary. But no leading politician has seen fit to stand shoulder to shoulder with mosque leaders. That is quite something."
Ghaffar Hussain of the counter-extremism think-tank Quilliam said: "Anti-Muslim bigotry is very real. It does exist. There are sections of our society who are deeply suspicious of Muslims, even of Muslims building mosques, and are threatened by the idea of Islamification across Europe."
Some 40 to 60 per cent of the mosques, Islamic centres and Muslim organisations in the UK have suffered at least one attack since 9/11.
Taji Mustafa, spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain, said: "Xenophobic attacks on Muslims have increased under successive governments. In a manipulative alliance with some sections of the media, they have demonised Islam as part of their foreign policy propaganda."
Case study: Community leader and diversity trainer
Mohammed Khaliel, 48, lives in High Wycombe and was among horrified families who discovered Muslim graves at a local cemetery had been desecrated on 20 April
"I am the community representative, but, equally, I'm a victim of it as well. My mother had been buried there four weeks earlier. This is not the first time that there has been desecration. This time it was much more severe, with more than 25 graves attacked. I've got photographic evidence of someone hammering them. It was a proper effort to deliberately do it.
It was pure hatred. You have a graveyard that is 200 years old that has a small section for Muslims, and only that section was attacked. It was clearly Islamophobia.
I'm on a number of advisory boards, including Scotland Yard, so I get notified as a courtesy on any Islamic issues relating to the community. On this one, they asked me to sit down before they told me.
A lot of the relatives belong to our mosque. We called an emergency meeting, and we had to calm people down. There was a stage at which, if we had not handled things properly, it could have turned into an expression of anger. But that didn't discount the hurt they felt for [their] loved ones to be attacked like that."