April 30, 2008

Protestors campaign against BNP

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Campaigners hit the streets yesterday in a bid to protest against an extremist party standing in tomorrow's local elections.

Three Counties Unite Against Fascism staged a mass leaflet drop on Tuesday evening appealing to electorates in Welham Green not to vote for the British National Party after 16 per cent of the village was won over in a recent by-election. Campaigners fear the party is seeking to build on its recent success in the forthcoming elections and they are desperate not to let it triumph.

Campaigner Mark Smith, who joined more than 25 people in the rally, said: "The history of fascism is about deceiving people into supporting it, once it gets power it will deny political freedom to everyone else - that is what fascists do. The nature of our leafleting is to address the kind of lies the BNP has come out with. It finds a social minority which it can blame for the ills of society on."

More than 25 campaigners gathered outside Simmons Bakery in Dellsome Lane ready to walk through the village with their leaflets.

"It is about being united and showing solidarity rather than politics or the hate and despair that the BNP is rooted in. People within the community will always stand against the BNP and I think activity like this represents a kind of positive experience of a multi-racial society which confounds and contradicts what the BNP says about society today."

A BNP representative was not available for comment as we went to press.

St Albans and Harpenden Review

Protestors tell the BNP they are not welcome during town centre rally

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Protestors held a town centre rally urging people not to vote for British National Party at the local council elections.

A crowd of more than 120 people marched from Hastings Pier to Robertson Street on Saturday handing out leaflets and waving banners as they went. When the march reached the town centre organisers Hastings Against Fascism invited a host of local political figures to address the crowd, which by that time had swollen to more than 200.

Among those who spoke was Hastings and Rye MP Michael Foster. He told the crowd: "The British National Party is not wanted in Hastings. Their message is one of hate and intolerance."

LibDem parliamentary candidate Nick Perry was another who spoke out against the BNP - as did borough councillors Peter Chowney, Trevor Webb and a representative of the Public and Commercial Services Union. Labour leader cllr Jeremy Birch was another who voiced strong opinions.

He told the gathering that the issue of the BNP in Hastings would have a negative impact on the future of the town.

He said: "How can a town like ours which welcomes thousands of foreign students each year and visitors from every corner of the globe afford to get a reputation for intolerance and discrimination. Those visitors will just go somewhere else. Just as we are regenerating the town and trying to attract in investment and jobs how can we afford to get a reputation of intolerance. Those investors will just go somewhere else with more harmonious and peaceable."

The event had been quickly organised by concerned local residents after the Observer broke the news that the BNP would be standing four candidates in tomorrow's borough council elections.

A spokesman for Hastings Against Fascism said: "It was a successful day and it certainly got our message across. Hastings Against Fascism is here to stay and will continue to organise anti BNP events to raise awareness about the racism and hate it is trying to spread."

Despite the protest the BNP was confident of making major inroads in tomorrow's elections and no less a figure than national leader Nick Griffin has identified Hastings as one of the party's main electoral targets.

Hastings and St Leornards Observer

Keep the BNP out

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UNISON is urging voters to “kick racism into the gutter” as England and Wales prepare to go to the polls tomorrow.

Residents of 174 local council areas are eligible to vote in the 1 May elections, with around 3,920 seats up for grabs, including that of London mayor. Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm. UNISON has been campaigning hard in the run-up to the elections to remind voters of the dangers of allowing the racist British National Party to gain a foothold in our communities.

“The far-right BNP has to be halted,” general secretary Dave Prentis said. “I would urge everyone to get out and make sure that they use their vote to keep out their vile politics.”

Despite the smart suits and alleged concern for public services and the workers, the BNP is as dangerous as it always was, Mr Prentis stressed.

“We live in a multicultural, diverse society; our public services would crumble were it not for the thousands of immigrants who deliver them. The BNP would change all that and deliver us to the politics of hate. Our message is simple, vote for Hope not Hate and kick the politics of racism and division back into the gutter on 1 May.”


April 29, 2008

BNP London leader hosts convicted Holocaust-denier

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Yesterday, with just three days to go until polling day, two leaders of the British National Party took time out from the campaign to attend a secret meeting in London with three leading European neo-fascists, one of whom has a recent conviction for Holocaust denial.

Initially billed as a press conference, its true purpose seems to have been to further the ambitions of Nick Griffin, the BNP leader, to become a Member of the European Parliament by building links with far-right MEPs.

A week ago Simon Darby, the BNP’s deputy leader and press officer, announced that the party was “honoured to be playing host to a special press conference to be held on the afternoon of Monday 28th April 2008” with “a number of guests from allied Parties from Europe”. They would include Bruno Gollnisch, a French MEP and vice president of the far-right National Front, and Andreas Mölzer, an Austrian MEP and leading member of the Austrian Freedom Party.

Yet four days later the BNP had pulled the plug on the press conference, with Darby lamely declaring: “It looks like we’ve lost the venue, but our foreign friends have been most understanding about this.”

Searchlight’s mole, who had drawn our attention to the European fascists’ visit long before Darby announced it, was convinced that this was a smokescreen to cover up Darby’s breach of security in publicising the event so far in advance.

Our mole was right. Yesterday afternoon Gollnisch, Mölzer and Georg Mayer, an Austrian far-right political fixer, arrived at St Pancras International station on the Eurostar and were whisked off, not to a press conference but to a private meeting with Griffin and Richard Barnbrook, who heads the BNP’s candidates’ list for the London Assembly.

The meeting revealed the true face of the BNP, which has recently been making vigorous attempts to con Jewish voters in London into voting for the party. In January 2007 a French court handed Gollnisch a three-month suspended prison sentence and fined him €5,000 (£4,000) for denying the Holocaust. The court in Lyon found he had “disputed a crime against humanity” in remarks he made during a news conference in the city in October 2004.

Gollnisch had questioned the number of Jews who died in the Holocaust and said the “existence of the gas chambers is for historians to discuss”.

Mölzer is the publisher of Zur Zeit, an Austrian political magazine in which racism, antisemitism and xenophobia are staple features. Its recent promotion of openly Nazi and antisemitic books prompted the Berlin weekly Junge Freiheit, on which Zur Zeit was originally modelled, to sever all connections.

Georg Mayer is another Freedom Party officer and spokesperson for the far-right Identity Tradition Sovereignty group in the European Parliament until its collapse late last year when five far-right Romanian MEPs walked out in protest at anti-Romanian remarks by their Italian colleague Alessandra Mussolini. Gollnisch had been the group’s leader.

Searchlight would normally have informed the Home Office of an intended visit to Britain of a convicted Holocaust denier, but as we found when the BNP played host to Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of the French National Front who has several Holocaust denial convictions, MEPs enjoy a privileged status and cannot be excluded.

Instead Searchlight passed the information to the Evening Standard, with which we had been working on the story.

We later tracked down the visitors at the plush Rembrandt Hotel in South Kensington where they were staying the night and even managed to speak to Mayer about the event.

This latest confirmation of Griffin’s continued espousal of Holocaust denial follows days of revelations about Barnbrook’s bizarre personal relationships, his drunkenness and his incompetence as the BNP opposition leader on Barking and Dagenham council. It is typical of Griffin that he should attempt to boost his European aspirations regardless of the further damage that exposure of this meeting may cause to Barnbrook’s electoral prospects.

Today’s Daily Mail, which reveals the marriage that Barnbrook had hoped to keep hidden, to a woman who hates his politics, will be seen by millions of Londoners. At the same time, more than 700 Searchlight Hope not Hate volunteers are giving out 250,000 leaflets at 200 tube and railway stations across Greater London, making it Britain’s biggest ever anti-fascist drive on a single day.

Later today the Searchlight and Daily Mirror Hope not Hate bus will visit Downing Street, where Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Cabinet members will sign up to the campaign and endorse our message of Hope not Hate.


The bizarre truth about the BNP boss, his ballerina fiancé and bitter wife

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With a distinct sartorial style which worries even his most extremist supporters, and a background as a "visionary" artist whose most notable work was a homo-erotic film, Richard Barnbrook is an unusual far-right leader, to say the least. But on Thursday, this is the man who hopes to become the first neo-fascist mayor of London.

Even when Barnbrook fails in that endeavour, as he most certainly will, he is likely to be elected as the first British National Party member of the Greater London Assembly.

Eleven of the 25 available seats are decided by proportional representation, and the extreme Right-wing party needs only a 0.2 per cent increase on its share of the 2004 election vote to gain one. In what it describes as its "biggest push ever", the BNP even hopes to win two or perhaps three seats. And Mr Barnbrook is top of their candidates list. Even his opponents concede it is possible.

Mainstream concerns about immigration levels have long played into the BNP's grubby hands. But in the run-up to the election, there has been an additional factor that has given the party a fillip.

Much has been made by would-be-Mayor Barnbrook of his recent engagement to Simone Clarke, the celebrated principal dancer of the English National Ballet. Though she has since left the ENB, her relationship with Barnbrook has given him a veneer of glamour and respectability that he hopes will serve him well at the polls. Speaking recently of their engagement, the Dagenham councillor said: "I gave her a diamond ring. I'm traditional like that."

Less traditional, though, is the fact that Mr Barnbrook already has a wife - albeit one that he is rather less keen to publicise. For we can reveal that Barnbrook, 47, has been married for the past ten years to a well-educated young American who is a decorated, serving officer in the Metropolitan Police force. Not only that, she has several prominent black friends, including the TV presenter Moira Stuart, and loathes her husband's far-right ideology.

Their marriage broke down because of his "rotten politics". She joined the police force, she says, to do some good in the world and, in part, to make amends for him. Little wonder, then, that Barnbrook has been so reluctant to volunteer her existence. Now, though, we can shed some light on the strange private life of Richard Barnbrook.

Certainly, if there is a more peculiar politician in the country, he has yet to emerge. In public, Barnbrook has long favoured what one acquaintance calls a "Stormtrooper" brown suit and matching tie, which even his supporters feel is rather too suggestive of a Nuremberg rally for his electoral good.

"He looks just like Hitler," one person posted on the extreme Right-wing Stormfront website. "Whoever styles him needs a good kicking."

Perhaps the uniform look is merely a facet of his military background. For Barnbrook is one of five children of a former NCO musician in the Life Guards, who during his service was based at the Household Cavalry barracks in Knightsbridge and Windsor and served a tour in Germany. After John Barnbrook left the Army, he moved his family to a smallholding near the River Humber. Stephen, Richard's younger brother, followed John into the armed forces, and later became a prison officer.

Richard was the artistic child. He moved to London, where he studied at the Royal College of Art before falling into the company of Derek Jarman, the award-winning gay film-maker who was later to succumb to Aids. Jarman gave Barnbrook his first film camera. He also introduced him to the future Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton, whom Barnbrook has since described as an ex-girlfriend.

But Barnbrook's time in this liberal artistic milieu will always be remembered for his writing and directorship of the 58-minute film HMS Discovery: A Love Story which archives describe as "Marxist Gay cinema". Naked young men run about, flagellating each other and simulating gay sex acts while homo-erotic poetry is intoned. Barnbrook, for whom the 1989 piece is an embarrassment among the homophobic Far Right, huffily insists it was an "art film".

We shall torment him no further on the matter. Suffice it to say that several years after its release he met a young American woman and surely dispelled any of those silly rumours. She was a wealthy doctor's daughter 13 years his junior who had moved to Britain because, she says: "I didn't agree with U.S. foreign policy."

I met her yesterday, bleary with fatigue having finished her inner-city police shift at 4am. She has reverted to using her maiden name, and cannot be identified because of her job. She is appalled at the possibility of being recognised as the London BNP leader's wife.

"I was 22 and I fell for him because I thought he was a great artist," she says. "He was different then."

They married a year later, in early 1998, at Lewisham register office. The couple set up home in South-East London and she joined the BBC, as an editorial assistant on Breakfast Time. Alas, there were few happy times ahead for her.

"Richard changed around 1999," she recalls. "That was when his views became very extreme. It was a total shock. Marriage means an awful lot to me, so I didn't want to walk away though I hated (their) rotten politics. I stuck with him because I thought I could persuade him otherwise. I thought that if he could change once, he could change a second time."

As their marriage creaked under the strain of conflicting ideologies, Barnbrook and his wife joined the board of the Jubilee Woods Trust, a reputable environmental project with royal connections. It collapsed when Barnbrook's senior position within the BNP became apparent.

Another board member recalls: "His wife was absolutely saint-like, worked tirelessly and I felt terribly sorry for her. I don't know how they ended up together. It was obviously a terrible marriage. I think she felt enormously betrayed and embarrassed about the BNP thing. She told me that she had decided to become a policewoman and that was the last I saw of her."

The Barnbrooks separated four years ago. His wife says: "In the end he said: 'If you don't like my politics you can get out.' So that is what I did. In a way, I wanted to join the police to redress the karmic imbalance in the world caused by my husband's views."

Police officers are not allowed to be members of the BNP. "You have no idea how much harder the vetting process to become a police officer was for me, because of who my husband is," she says. "Or what problems it could cause if people knew."

She adds: "He used me and he has admitted it and apologised. He owes me a lot of money and is just starting to pay me back."

She says because of the delicacy of both their positions they had agreed not to talk about the other. She adds: "I don't want to be tarred with the same brush as him. I want to move on. I love my job and want to be in it for another 25 years. I already have two commendations. Also I am a friend of Moira Stuart (the black newsreader) from my time at the BBC, and I have met Doreen Lawrence (mother of murdered black teenager Stephen) a number of times. I do not want them to stop talking to me or think ill of me because of a mistake I made at 23."

In the next few weeks, perhaps even days, the Barnbrook marriage will finally come to an end when their divorce is made absolute.

"I don't really have any problem with Richard saying he is engaged," she says. "Our divorce is so close now I can almost smell it. I can hardly wait. Let's just say that if Simone Clarke buys her wedding cake now, it won't be stale if she marries Richard at the first possible opportunity."

Ah yes, Miss Clarke - the principal ballerina who is said to be Barnbrook's fiancé. If his first marriage was dysfunctional, then the omens for Barnbook's second one are hardly more encouraging. Not least as he will become stepfather to Miss Clarke's four-year-old mixed-race daughter - the product of her previous relationship with a Cuban-Chinese dancer - despite the fact that he has previously spoken out against inter-racial families.

But will the marriage to Miss Clarke take place? There has been talk in far-right circles of a recent cooling between the couple. She does not wear an engagement ring - an absence Barnbrook explained by saying it had been stolen in a burglary. Nor has she stood, as once suggested, as a BNP candidate. Some have even speculated that the relationship is just a publicity stunt. But Barnbrook's wife does not think so.

"I have met Simone. She was there when I went to see Richard to discuss our divorce. I have to say they did seem to be genuinely in love."

If that's true, then Miss Clarke will hardly have been delighted by the kiss-and-tell story which appeared in a downmarket newspaper on Sunday. Finnish-born NHS nurse Annika Tavilampi claimed the mayoral candidate had also proposed to her after they met through an internet dating site. She claimed to have found a copy of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf under the bed in which they had "romped".

But if Barnbrook's relationship with women is odd, then it is by no means the only contradiction in his personal life. For while he has been busy gaining status within a party obsessed with racial purity, his prison officer brother Stephen has no such hang-ups. Doubtless to his brother's dismay, he has had at least two long-term relationships with black women. The first was with Stephanie Waldron, a cardiac rehabilitation nurse at the world-renowned Papworth heart hospital.

Yesterday, her daughter, Natasha, described the awkward scene that took place five years ago when the family spent Christmas at the Barnbrooks' parents' home in north Lincolnshire. One evening Stephen, his girlfriend and Natasha played board games with Richard and his wife.

"Richard was very reserved, even a little frosty," recalls Natasha. "We didn't know about his politics then - they weren't discussed by the family. We found out only later when we read that he had become the British National Party leader in London. The reason for his odd mood that Christmas then became clear - it was antipathy towards us because of our colour."

Stephen has since amicably split from Ms Waldron, and is now with a Jamaican woman whom he is understood to have married. One imagines he does not vote BNP.

For Barnbrook, such revelations are certain to cause huge embarrassment within his party. A brother who has embraced multiculturalism in its most literal sense; a liberal police constable wife who detests her husband's warped ideologies; a homo-erotic past...it is all richly ironic. But unless the British voting public turns out in force on Thursday, the BNP could win that extra 0.2 per cent needed and celebrate another morale-boosting step up to the mainstream, rather than a nosedive.

And that would not be funny at all.

Daily Mail

FA chiefs show BNP candidate red card

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County football chiefs have called for an honorary vice-president to be kicked out of the FA after learning he is standing for election as a BNP candidate.

Stan Leese is representing the far-right party in Stoke-on-Trent's Northwood and Birches Head ward in Thursday's polls. Mr Leese, of Woodhead Road, Abbey Hulton, told electors in his campaign leaflets that he has dedicated most of his life to local football, and was recently made a life vice-president of the Staffordshire Football Association in recognition of his efforts.

However, the admission has earned him the red card from the FA's directors, who are outraged at his political stance. They point out that the FA has a strict policy of tackling racism and inequality, and that they are bitterly opposed to the BNP's policies.

Mr Leese's campaign leaflet says: "I have lived in the city all of my life and have been involved with local football since 1946, now becoming a life vice-president for Staffordshire FA."

His letter to electors is attached to a campaign poster warning of the supposed impact of the city's growing Muslim population, and calling for the Shelton mosque development to be stopped.

Staffordshire FA chief executive Brian Adshed said he has now asked Mr Leese to quit or face disciplinary action.

"The chair of the association has spoken to him regarding both his continuing membership of the association and his affiliation to the BNP," he said.

"He has also been written to asking him to withdraw his membership of the association before polling day. Subject to that not being received, he will be dealt with by the board of directors at their next meeting on May 22. Everything about the political party he is standing for is inconsistent with the aims and objectives of the FA. It really does fly in the face of everything we are trying to achieve.

"We operate a policy of inclusivity and equality for all, whatever their race, gender or sexual orientation. I was very disappointed when I saw Mr Leese's leaflet as he has been an FA member for a long time and is more than aware of what we are trying to do."

Mr Leese was unavailable for comment.

The Sentinel

'Duty to vote' says Bishop

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Bishop of Barking, the Right Reverend David Hawkins, has urged all church members and people of goodwill to vote in tomorrow's London elections as "a Christian duty" not least where as little as 5 per cent for the British National Party (BNP) could give them a seat at City Hall.

"Whoever else we vote for we must stop racist politics making gains in London and elsewhere," he said.

A joint paper between the Bishop and the Churches Racial Justice Network claims to articulate a "strong and informed" response to racist politics, based on the Christian belief that all people are created as ONE race, the human race.

His call is joined by other London clergy including Parish priests in Bethnal Green. Fr Alan Green Vicar of St John's Bethnal Green said he rejoiced in the rich cultural diversity of East London's community.

"I hope people of faith will vote for those who are committed to London remaining a city where many cultures work together for the common good."

The Bishop's appeal was read out in churches across the dioceses yesterday. His statement said: "Each vote for the BNP will put into reverse the patient, strategic work of healthy, race relations and social integration that is developing in our London Boroughs, Essex and else where in the country.

Newham Recorder

April 28, 2008

Turn out to keep them out

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London elections 08: Only by turning out in force on Thursday can Londoners ensure the BNP is denied a foothold in London

About two weeks ago, I spoke at a unique and remarkable political meeting in south London. Other speakers included the candidates from the major parties, each battling to become London's new mayor. On the wall behind us was a huge poster, portraying and attacking the British National party (BNP). Yes, we have major political differences on many issues, but against the far right, we were and remain united and ready to speak out, with one voice.

Of course, Britain has a long history of fighting fascism and racism. We remember the Battle of Cable Street in 1936. Anti-fascists - from ardent socialists to Irish Catholic dockers, from honourable freedom fighters to the local Jewish population - all joined forces to erect roadblocks and defy Oswald Mosley and his Blackshirts, preventing them from marching through east London.

My late father, Barnett Janner, had been MP for Whitechapel and St George's from 1931-1935, and I still remember my family's disgust and hatred at the racist evils of the Blackshirts. Happily, they were roundly beaten and had little political impact.

Then came the war - this time, an international battle against nazism, fascism and racism, in all its forms. We won - and we believed that the evils of Hitler's philosophies were buried for ever.

So today, Britain is a bustling, multicultural, multiracial nation - with churches and temples, mosques and synagogues. We are proud of our democracy, in all its forms. And recent immigrants have made their valuable contribution to our national culture.

All four of my grandparents migrated to Britain from eastern Europe in the 1880s. They saw Britain as land that offered peace, tranquillity and respect for minorities - in their case, for their Jewish beliefs and standards. So how sad it is that we are seeing attacks on our British diversity of cultures, especially from the far right. The BNP, among their policies and ideologies, seek the repatriation of immigrants to their countries of origin. The BNP is not prepared to accept the diversity of our races and colours, our religions and our origins.

Today, we do not need to build roadblocks on the streets to combat the threat from the BNP. Instead, on May 1, we all have the chance to ensure that the threat from the far right is minimised, at the ballot box. Of course, we shall each choose our own mainstream party - and we should not forget that south London political gathering, where the democratic voice was clearly heard - which I was proud and happy to echo.

Britain has a fine tradition of fighting fascism. Next Thursday, every Londoner's vote counts. Please use yours, for decency, democracy, coexistence and goodwill. Please join with those candidates, who differ greatly on many policies, but spoke out with one voice against today's dangers from the far right.

Greville Janner
Comment is free

Football clubs lend support to keep out BNP

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Two of the region's football clubs have joined community leaders to urge people to keep the British National Party (BNP) out of the North-East in this week's local elections.

Campaigners from North-East Unites Against the BNP say the BNP is run by "hard-line Nazis" who deny the Holocaust happened.

Two of the region's Premier League clubs, Newcastle United and Sunderland, are urging people to use their vote to keep the BNP out. They are joined in the campaign by the Bishop of Durham, actor Ross Kemp, and Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson as well as GPs, members of clergy and grassroots sports leaders.

Canvassers from the crossparty campaign are distributing leaflets in areas where local elections are taking place. The leaflet says: "The British National Party tries to appear moderate and respectable but they are not. The BNP is run by hard-line Nazis who believe the Holocaust, in which millions of innocent people were murdered by Hitler's henchmen in the Second World War, didn't happen."

The pamphlet, which delivers the "Hope not Hate" message says the BNP is "jam-packed with criminals, terrorists and thugs". It also alleges the BNP has met with racist organisations including a US neo-Nazi group, The National Alliance, and the Ku Klux Klan. It accuses the BNP of not respecting women after comments from one of their senior leaders, Nick Eriksen, deemed rape as a "myth". And it says the BNP is unpatriotic as the party believes the UK should not have fought Hitler in the Second World War.

Last night, Labour MP Mr Wilson said he was proud to be part of the cross-party alliance against the BNP.

"What is excellent about this is it is the whole community standing against the BNP," he said. "They have got to be exposed for what they really are. They are racist, they try to con the electorate by offering simple solutions to complicated issues and they talk about immigrants like the Nazis used to talk about Jewish people in the Thirties. The BNP has no place in our community."

A spokesperson from Newcastle United FC said: "We are very proud of the multi-cultural society in which we live and we have no time for those that discriminate on the basis of race or religion."

A spokesperson for Sunderland AFC said: "Sunderland AFC deplores any form of racism or anti-social behaviour and believes this has no place in our communities or society as a whole."

Ken Booth, North-East organiser for the BNP, said the campaign had been organised by "communist bully boys" in the Labour Party. "It doesn't sound very democratic. That is communist bullyboy tactics. It is all these communists hiding in the Labour Party. The Labour Party are behind it secretly. They are afraid of losing votes to the BNP."

He said the Bishop of Durham should leave politics alone.

"The Bishop of Durham needs to go on a Bible refresher course," he added.

He also denied the BNP was a racist organisation.

The Northern Echo

Rock Against Racism/Brixton Academy

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The team behind the Left Field stage at Glastonbury Festival have put together a very special night at Brixton Academy on Wednesday 30th April to mark the 30th Anniversary of the famous Rock Against Racism carnival in Victoria Park in 1978 and as a rallying point on the eve of the London elections and the final night of the Daily Mirrors Hope Not Hate tour.

Glastonbury favourites the Levellers, Alabama 3 and Tony Benn will be joined by reggae legends and Rock Against Racism stalwarts Misty in Roots and Tom Robinson who headlined Vicky Park 30 years ago. All proceeds to the RAR legacy project - for more information and ticket details, go here.

Crowds attend anti-racism festival

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Thousands of music lovers were undeterred by bad weather and flocked to a free anti-racism festival.

Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) took place in Victoria Park, East London, with music acts including The Good The Bad and The Queen, Hard-Fi and The View. Organisers estimate 90,000 to 100,000 people attended the event, which singer Morrissey helped to make possible by donating £28,000 when one of the festival's sponsors pulled out at the last minute.

It was preceded by an anti-racism procession from Weavers Fields in Bethnal Green where campaigners and trade unionist marched with banners and a brass band.

The events replicated the first Rock Against Racism carnival, organised by the Anti-Nazi League 30 years ago, which saw 80,000 people march from Trafalgar Square to Victoria Park and watch The Clash perform. The Clash's ex-bassist Paul Simonon now plays with The Good, The Bad and The Queen, fronted by Blur's Damon Albarn, who headlined this year's celebrations.

There were also appearances from other stars of the 1978 event including The Specials' Jerry Dammers, Jimmy Pursey of Sham 69, Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex and Clash collaborator Don Letts. The eclectic line up also included contemporary acts Roll Deep, R&B singer Jay Sean, rockers Hard-Fi, acoustic indie act Get Cape.Wear Cape.Fly, and rock and roll band The Paddingtons who played across two stages and a DJ marquee.

Speakers included Tony Benn, Derek Simpson of the Unite trade union and Weyman Bennett of LMHR. Organisers said they hope this year's event inspired people to vote against the BNP in the Greater London Assembly and local council elections which will take place on Thursday.

Chester Evening Leader

April 27, 2008

BNP boss Richard Barnbrook cheats on Brit with IMMIGRANT

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Dickie Barnbrook's unlikely ménage
BNP frontman Richard Barnbrook has been cheating on his ballerina fiancée... with a FOREIGN NURSE.

The racist ranter —bidding to be London mayor—was secretly bedding Finn Annika Tavilampi when he proposed to English National Ballet star Simone Clarke. Barnbrook—who studies Hitler—ADVANCED on Annika, 28, after spotting her on an online dating site, BLITZED her with filthy texts and pictures— and asked her to MARRY him too.

"Richard sent me photos of his private parts before I'd even met him," says the redhead. "I thought this was very odd for a politician."

She only discovered the full depths of the London councillor's extremism when she found a copy of Hitler's Mein Kampf under his bed.

"If I'd known before that he was a sleazebag I probably wouldn't have gone anywhere near him," says Annika. "He was average in bed. And then there was his drinking—I've only ever seen him properly sober a couple of times. But I still fell for him."

Barnbrook, 47, caused a storm when he began dating principal dancer Simone after it was revealed she'd joined the BNP last year. She was then investigated by the English National Ballet over her anti-immigrant views and is set to leave. He proposed to Simone over a romantic candlelit dinner. But all the time Barnbrook—whose mayoral campaign pledge is to "remove" London's one million immigrants—was planning to remove a particular immigrant's knickers.

"We'd started chatting on Dating Direct, then he started sending me sex texts straight away," says Annika. "He wanted me to send him explicit pictures. I told him it sounded like he just wanted sex and I wanted a relationship. He said he wanted the same as me."

The Barking and Dagenham councillor kept his relationship with Simone a firm secret from Annika when she began romping with him at his flat in Blackheath, south-east London.

"I had no idea he was using me. He'd talk a lot about sex but also about marriage and children," says Annika. He even sent her a text saying: "If you still like me! And we get on! I would like to get married! x. He's not the most skilful or active lover I've had, but I loved him so much it made up for it— even though the only time he took me out was to a Wetherspoon's."

Brazen Barnbrook even tried to get the nurse from London's Chelsea and Westminster Hospital to appear on an election campaign leaflet for the BNP. "He wanted an example of an NHS nurse who supported him. I refused." The turning point in their relationship came in November when Simone found out.

"I got a text from his phone saying, ‘Hello Annika I am Richard's girlfriend. Why are you texting him?' I texted back that I was under the impression I was his girlfriend," says Annika.

The next day Barnbrook sent her a text dumping her. But the sneaky cheat bedded her again when she collected her things from his place—and the last time in December when he asked her to help him move to a flat in Dagenham.

"I stayed with him again and we had sex. While sorting stuff out, I even found a copy of Mein Kampf under his bed. As I'm not British, the BNP didn't mean that much to me. But I'm certainly not a supporter."

Then Annika read in the papers about Barnbrook and Simone and confronted him.

"The article said he'd proposed to Simone at the same time he proposed to me," she says. "I can't believe how devious he's been."

Now her love for Barnbrook is like any faint chance he had in the race for London Mayor. Finnished.

News of the World

BNP member jailed for drug-fuelled orgy of destruction

6 Comment (s)
A BNP member from Calderdale has been locked up for a cocaine-fuelled orgy of destruction at a young woman's Bradford home.

Dominic Jardine, a £50,000 a year company director, was jailed in February of breaking into the property in Low Moor, Bradford, and causing more than £4,000 damage. Jardine received a nine months prison sentence and ordered him to pay £3,300 compensation to the victim. Jardine, of Southowram, Halifax, was also ordered to pay £750 legal costs.

The jury at Bradford Crown Court heard that Jardine ransacked all the rooms at the flat. Windows were smashed, bathroom fittings broken, the microwave oven damaged and kitchen cupboards attacked. Jardine's barrister, said he was taking cocaine at weekends at the time of the burglary on June 17 and 18 2006.

Judge Robert Bartfield told Jardine he did terrible damage to the home of a young woman who lived alone.

"She had recently moved in, decorated and made the premises her own," Judge Bartfield said.

While she was away for the weekend, Jardine smashed the door in. The judge said Jardine's motive would never been known.

Poor white boys are victims too

0 Comment (s)
It was the tight suits that first alerted me. Or maybe the fact that they abruptly fell silent as we passed.

I had just given a speech – on the future of immigration, diversity and good relations in Britain – at the Birmingham hotel where 40 years earlier Enoch Powell had chosen to talk of the River Tiber “foaming with much blood”. As I made my way out of the hotel, one of my colleagues nudged my elbow and mouthed silently: “BNP.”

Hearing that we were in town, the British National party had arrived at the hotel, complete with an Enoch Powell lookalike, to deliver the same speech as Powell had made decades earlier.

In the flesh the BNP always feels like a pompous, self-regarding comedy turn – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a serious political force. Extremists gain leverage when the Establishment, or what the public believes is the Establishment, fails to talk about the issues that bother it.

My own speech had been squarely about the two questions that are at present top of the political charts – race and immigration. But I also wanted to deal with a wider question: at a time when our society is wealthier and better educated than ever before, who’s being left behind – and why?

To be sure, the problems of racial discrimination against minorities haven’t gone away – black and Asian young men are still up to seven times more likely to be arrested by the police; Pakistani men will earn more than a quarter of million pounds less than their white equivalents over a lifetime; and young Bangladeshi women are having to settle for jobs for which they are overqualified.

But we are also confronting for the first time in my lifetime an equality deficit not much talked about at Westminster. I am referring to the growing underclass of poor white boys – a forgotten group who also face a kind of institutional racism. I am deeply worried that they will grow into poor, disillusioned, alienated white men.

Why should the Equality and Human Rights Commission care? Many people, including our friends, think that it exists largely to shout the odds for anybody who is not male, white, straight and able-bodied. But that is wrong on every count.

We aren’t a minorities’ pressure group. We work for the whole of society, not just those at the margins – though those who suffer most disadvantage have a right to come first in the queue for our support. (And let’s remember that some of those who face systematic inequality aren’t small minorities – women are a majority, most of us will become parents and virtually all of us will get old.)

What we are is a body that attacks unfairness wherever it sees it. That’s why some of the wider trends that may be leading to greater inequality are right at the top of our agenda – economic change, the skills gap and, above all, migration.

Let me be unambiguous about this last issue. I am pro-immigration. The British people’s experience is that managed migration has brought great advantages to the country, not the tide of hate that Powell prophesied. But immigration has also raised important issues – not least that if we aren’t careful, the benefits from it will fall into the hands of employers, shareholders and middle-class professionals, while any burdens are left to be borne by the poorest in society.

So we have to ensure that the positive impact of migration is not offset by the costs – such as public services under increased pressure and an infrastructure that is struggling to cope. Let these issues languish in the tray marked “too difficult to talk about”, and resentment will grow. We also need to be clear that worrying about the consequences of immigration does not make you antiforeigner. And we must tackle a vital question: why are some groups in society not getting the chances they deserve? Last week two reports highlighted again the issue of underachievement. A report by the Bow Group, the Conservative think tank, showed that in the past 10 years almost 4m pupils left school without gaining the basic qualifications of five good GCSEs.

The cost to the economy of low educational attainment – and low social mobility – is £32 billion a year, or £1,300 to the average family, according to Reform, the independent think tank. Its report spoke of the “why bother?” generation – people who feel shut out by the system. If people feel shut out, they will try to find someone easy to blame: the outsider, the immigrant.

At the commission, we are doing research on educational underachievement and its link to ethnicity. Initial findings reveal that, for example, Bangladeshi and black African students at school outperform their white peers from comparable economic and social backgrounds. Statistics also show that black African, Bangladeshi and Pakistani students achieve higher GCSE scores than equivalent white students.

We know that it is not only white children from poorer background who are struggling. Black Caribbean children are also underachieving.

In the autumn, after our research is published, we will host a conference on white working-class boys. We want to listen to the pupils themselves, the teachers and the parents. And we need to demonstrate that fairness is about equal treatment for all – black, white or Asian.

It is only in tackling these issues that we take the toxicity out of debates on immigration, race and socio-economic underachievement. Fair treatment and equal chances are everyone’s right. No one should feel the work of the commission is “not about me”.

Trevor Phillips is chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Times Online

April 26, 2008

Keep death off London’s roads, keep the BNP off London’s bridges

8 Comment (s)
Desperate for cheap publicity for its flagging campaign for the London mayoral and Assembly elections, the British National Party is now planning some dangerous stunts.

The BNP intends to hang banners over a series of bridges over London roads. The banners are likely to distract and enrage motorists, putting them and other road users at risk. The Metropolitan Police will normally arrest anyone attempting to do this and close roads until they can arrange for the banner’s removal. Police resources are already stretched. Such stupid stunts will just cost Londoners money and distract the police from dealing with other crimes.

This is a strange way to act for a party that in its general election manifesto in 2005 said: “We will ensure that the main priority of the police be returned to that of the prevention and punishment of crime, and we will abolish all politically-correct distractions from this mission.”

And there is another reason why BNP activists are dangerous people to let loose on road bridges. Four years ago a BNP lorry driver was ordered to do the maximum 240 hours’ community punishment after he tried to throw a motorist off a bridge in a road rage incident.

Barry Oliver told the police that a car driver had forced him to brake hard and the grille on the front of his lorry came loose, Teesside Crown Court heard. Both men got out of their vehicles on the Cod Beck Bridge, North Yorkshire. Oliver, 44, leapt from his cab, grabbed Robert Bevan, 52, and tried to push him over the side into the river, shouting, “Right, you b******, you’re going”.

A jury convicted Oliver of assault but cleared him of making a threat to kill. Oliver was also ordered to pay £500 compensation and £500 towards prosecution costs.

Hope not Hate

Man remanded on far-right terror charges

0 Comment (s)
A 35-year-old Grimsby man accused of possessing far-right wing propaganda and bomb manuals has appeared at the Old Bailey to face terrorism charges. Nathan Worrell, of Cromwell Road, wearing a grey jumper and short, cropped dark hair, spoke only to confirm his name.

Worrell, who appeared via videolink, was remanded in custody for a further hearing at the court on May 23.

He is accused of possessing documents for making explosives, incendiary devices, and poisons, as well as matches, two tubes of sodium chlorate, fireworks, and lighter fluid, for terrorism. A second charge alleges that he collected records "likely to be useful" in terrorism.

Sleaford Standard

BNP-backing officials in polls row

1 Comment (s)
A Labour MP is urging Gordon Brown to ban members of the BNP from working on services dealing with the public after it was revealed that the Department for Work and Pensions has given permission for two civil servants to stand for the party in next week's local elections.

Michael Foster, MP for Hastings, is taking up the issue after the Public and Commercial Services union objected to Frank Swayne standing in Hastings and Daniel Thorlby standing in an inner city ward in Newcastle upon Tyne. Foster said yesterday: " It is outrageous that the DWP should have allowed these people to stand and I am asking the prime minister to look at this. We should follow the example of the police who do not employ members of the BNP because they would be perceived to be racist when dealing with the public."

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS, plans to launch an attack on the department's decision at the Love Music, Hate Racism rally in Victoria Park, east London, on Sunday. He will say: "This department is supposed to be about helping some of the most vulnerable people in society, and promoting equality. How can it possibly be right for active BNP members to be working there?"

Swayne handles claims from single parents at the Hastings Child Support Agency office while Thorlby handles pensions claims in Newcastle.

A DWP spokesman said: "Standing for election as a local councillor is, for a civil servant at this level, permitted by the civil service management code."


Bishop of Blackburn urges voters to shun far right parties

0 Comment (s)
A religious leader has called on voters in this May's local elections to reject political parties that spread racial hatred.

The Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev Nicholas Reade, has made the rallying cry against extremism in a letter to the county's Anglican churches, which will be published this weekend. The Rt Rev Reade urged voters not to be duped by far right parties which he claims have altered their image to hide the fact they are still pedalling racial prejudice.

He said: "I must urge the strongest possible rejection of the divisive policies of far-right political factions. They may have fine-tuned their outward image, but their ideas remain the gutter politics of racial hatred. The policies which such parties advance provide a blueprint for everything that Christians should renounce: contempt for minorities, ignorant victimisation of differences, and the denial of democracy. Their propaganda should be read as a recipe for rejection among Christian voters in Lancashire."

The bishop points to a private member's motion from the Blackburn Diocese in 2005 which led the Church of England's general synod to unanimously call for Christians to reject racist parties. The motion was passed in response to support for the British National Party in local elections in parts of Lancashire, at that time.

And he added that the diversity of the county was something that should be celebrated. He said: "Let us celebrate the diversity of our developing society, seeking to encourage candidates committed to policies that benefit those of all ethnicities and cultures."

The comments drew criticism from former BNP local leader Steven Smith, now chairman of the far-right Cliviger-based England First Party - who described himself as having an "open mind" on religion. He said: "The Bishop is confusing a desire to preserve racial and cultural identity with racial hatred. If there is any racial hatred it's come along as a result of the liberal establishment which people like the Bishop of Blackburn support. The ills that we are suffering in society at the moment, like race ghettos and race riots, are the result of people like the Bishop not standing up for traditional Christian values."

Lancashire Telegraph

'Nazi' jibe BNP man says sorry

0 Comment (s)
A senior BNP councillor issued a grovelling apology today after he had launched a foul mouthed attack on a Recorder reporter, branding her a "Nazi".

Cllr Robert Bailey, deputy leader of the BNP group on Barking and Dagenham Council, yesterday launched the unprovoked verbal assault on news editor Sally Lowe, complaining that the Recorder had not given the party a fair crack of the whip in its coverage of the London Assembly elections.

The phone call, peppered with four letter words and in which Cllr Bailey called Miss Lowe a "jobsworth", was followed by the councillor turning up at the Recorder's High Road, Ilford offices with a group of party colleagues. After spending 20 minutes shouting incomprehensively through a megaphone, the far right party members were moved on by a police community support officer.

Despite a BNP spokesman defending Cllr Bailey's outburst saying they "wouldn't blame him because of the way that paper behaved", he contacted the news desk this morning and profusely apologised to Miss Lowe.

"He said he had seen the article on the internet yesterday and said he wanted to apologise for some of what he said," said Miss Lowe.

"He added: 'I am not a yob, I'm not a thug or anything barely resembling anything like that. I was a little bit disappointed and I'm sorry for some of the things I said to you. We all have our moments sometimes, I'm sure you agree."

Recorder editor Chris Carter also spoke to Cllr Bailey - who is a candidate for the London Assembly - and accepted his apology, but insisted he may still pursue the complaint to the Standards Board of England.

"I cannot ignore the fact Robert Bailey is supposed to be an elected member of the council, and yet when he doesn't get things his own way he behaves like a yob."

The incident was followed by Barking and Dagenham BNP leader Cllr Richard Barnbrook failing to turn up for an interview yesterday evening with BBC Radio London.

Ilford Recorder

Drown out their discord

0 Comment (s)
I rocked against racism 30 years ago. Now the far right is wooing voters we have to do it again

Three decades ago an unwelcome shock hit the London flat I shared with five people. The 1977 GLC elections were under way, and through the letterbox came - not three, but four manifestos. For the first time we had the choice of voting left, centre, right or Nazi.

Nowadays the punk era is seen as a raucous and faintly insanitary blip on the continuum of pop history, but I remember it as a time of flux and desperate uncertainty. There were riots, brutality and a government falling apart at the seams, while the disaffected, dispossessed and extremists of every hue were seizing their chance for a piece of the action. Just because things happened to pan out one particular way doesn't mean any of it was inevitable.

The National Front's bid for electoral respectability kicked us all up the arse sufficiently to demonstrate against it in Wood Green and Lewisham. It also galvanised tens of thousands of people to descend on London for Rock Against Racism's famous Carnival Against the Nazis in 1978.

Punk rock's biggest ally - and a key influence on Joe Strummer and John Lydon - had been roots reggae. Nowhere was this better reflected than at Rock Against Racism concerts where bands such as Misty In Roots, Matumbi and the Cinnamons would headline on the same bill as aspiring punk and new wave bands, including my own.

For those of us who grew up with the music of James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Bob Marley, the proposition of Rock Against Racism was blindingly obvious. It successfully squared the circle of appealing to a mass audience while remaining genuinely of the left. RAR's sharp visuals and focused message wouldn't be equalled again until Live Aid.

On April 30 1978 we marched from Trafalgar Square to Hackney, east London meeting only token opposition on the way. Behind the scaffolding stage in Victoria Park there was no VIP area, corporate hospitality or even a changing room. RAR had hired a big enough PA to reach 20,000 people; on the day, four times that number turned up.

Looking back, I'm proud my band shared a stage with the Clash but also with perhaps the finest British band of the late 70s, Steel Pulse. The precision rhythms and razorsweet vocals of their single Ku Klux Klan - performed in white robes and hoods - provided an iconic moment for the day.

It would be nice to think that the Anti-Nazi League and Victoria Park carnival played their part in the NF's dismal showing at the 1979 election and subsequent implosion. For whatever reasons, Britain has become a much more tolerant society - at least superficially - over the intervening decades.

But this week an unwelcome shock hit the London semi I share with my family. The 2008 elections for London mayor are under way, and through the letterbox came a 32-page booklet on this year's candidates and parties. Alongside Paddick, Livingstone and Johnson are an illiberal sprinkling of political chancers such as The English Democrats, Christian Choice and Ukip.

In pride of place at the front of the pamphlet is the British National party. "Remember London the way it used to be - clean, friendly and safe?" asks its candidate. Hmmm - when was that exactly? Certainly not the 1970s. Jefferson's aphorism about the price of freedom being eternal vigilance may be a truism, but it's never been truer.

And that's why the 30th anniversary of the Carnival Against the Nazis actually matters. Since 2002 the RAR mantle has been worn by Love Music Hate Racism, which is staging an enormous event spread over three stages tomorrow in Victoria Park.

Rock Against Racism lives on.

Comment is free

April 25, 2008

BNP man arrested in 'gun' drama

6 Comment (s)
A Barnsley BNP candidate was thrown out of the police force in disgrace and conned an 80-year-old woman out of £1,000 as he awaited trial for perverting the course of justice.

This week, after the Chronicle tried to ask Simon Goodricke, 45, of Darton, about his past, he was arrested on suspicion of possessing a fire arm after our photographer saw him brandishing what appeared to be a handgun from his front door.

The former Solihull Detective Constable, who is standing in the Hoyland Milton Ward at Thursday's council elections, was sentenced to 18 months at Birmingham Crown Court in January 1998. He was found guilty of perverting the course of justice after he tipped off fraudsters attempting to swindle £100m from Columbian drug barons.

An international police investigation was underway but collapsed after the fraudsters were tipped off. Mr Goodricke was a gambling addict who had borrowed £200,000 from one of the fraudsters, to whom he later gave insider information. The judge at the time said evidence against him was overwhelming.

While on bail he tricked a pensioner into loaning him £1,000. He had first met her some years before while investigating a broken window at her house. When Mr Goodricke tried to beg more money from the woman she became distressed and wrote a letter asking him to leave her alone. He admitted a charge of dishonestly obtaining money.

Last week when the Chronicle first approached Mr Goodricke about his convictions he said he would not confirm or deny anything and that he was not prepared to discuss anything other than his political views and election nomination.

On Wednesday night this week the Chronicle went to his Pennine View home to question him further. At first he shouted that he had nothing to say from an upstairs window. Then he came downstairs to his front door and in a raised voice told the reporter: "It was more than ten years ago" before refusing to make any more comments and slamming the door shut.

As the reporter walked to the photographer, who was inside his car, the photographer saw Mr Goodricke come back to the front door brandishing what appeared to be a handgun. The photographer was not close enough to determine whether the gun was real.

As the Chronicle reported the incident to the police Mr Goodricke was also ringing 999. Police said he had claimed there were people in his street taking pictures of children.

A police car arrived within minutes but officers were given proof of the Chronicle staff's identity and told the real reason for their presence. Armed police were also on their way to the scene following the allegation Mr Goodricke was in possession of a gun.

Chief Superintendent Andy Brooke said: "A man was detained and his house was searched, he is presently on bail."

Mr Goodricke's house was searched about an hour and a half after the incident, the Chronicle understands nothing was found on the night. Yesterday Barnsley BNP leader Ian Sutton, who is also Mr Goodricke's election agent, was asked how he felt about his candidate's convictions.

Mr Sutton, who is standing in Darton West, said: "It is a spent conviction and that is all I can say."

Mr Goodricke's wife Lisa is the BNP candidate for Wombwell.

Barnsley Chronicle

Criminal past of BNP man

The BNP today defended a candidate with a criminal record who is standing in Barnsley in the local council elections.

Simon Goodricke, the BNP candidate for the Hoyland Milton ward, was jailed for 18 months for perverting the course of justice 10 years ago.

But Barnsley BNP organiser Ian Sutton today insisted the offences were all in the past and that Goodricke had paid his debt to society. He said: "That is a spent conviction, Simon has moved on since then and we believe he is a good candidate who has a great deal to offer the local community. We are happy with him as our candidate and have given him all our support."

Goodricke declined to comment.

He is standing for election in Thursday's Barnsley Council ballot. The party contested a number of seats at the last election, but failed to gain any places on the local authority. This years they have a record 21 candidates for seats on the council - almost a representative in every ward.

A spokesman said they were confident that they would win at least one seat.

Goodricke is a former West Midlands detective who was kicked out of the force and jailed for 18 months for perverting the course of justice and conning a pensioner out of £1,000. Described in court as a 'gambling addict', he borrowed £200,000 from a crooked businessman to try to deal with his massive debts. He was jailed at Birmingham Crown Court after being found guilty of tipping off two corrupt businessmen, including the one who had loaned him money, that they were the centre of an international police inquiry into a money laundering plot and scam to swindle £100million from Colombian drugs barons.

Goodricke, aged 46, who now lives in Pennine View, Darton, used his position as a CID officer in Solihull to get information from the National Criminal Intelligence Service which he then passed on to a fraudster Graham Alexander.

Charges of plotting to obtain the £100million against Alexander and his accomplice John Butler, both from Solihull, were subsequently dropped. But they were later each jailed for six years after being found guilty of conspiracy to obtain money by deception.

At court Goodricke was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and he admitted dishonestly obtaining £1,000 from an 80-year-old pensioner he had first met when as a police officer he was investigating a broken window at her home. He was said to have duped her with a sob story telling her he owed £3,500 on his mortgage and his house was going to be repossessed.

The court was told he was not in arrears and there had been no threat of repossession. He had used half of the £1,000 to pay of loans and gave his then wife, from whom he subsequently was divorced, the other £500 to pay bills and feed them and their three children.

Goodricke, described as 'an unremarkable detective', was thrown out of West Midlands Police in 1996, two years after being suspended on disciplinary charges.

He is standing for the BNP in the Hoyland Milton ward of Barnsley Council.

The Star

Legal victory for B&B owner who evicted Irving for being too moody

0 Comment (s)
In his long history of legal calamity, David Irving has confronted and lost to courtroom adversaries from the publisher Penguin, to a British Second World War convoy commander, to the Austrian state. To that list can now be added Jennie Allen, the 60-year-old owner of a B&B in the genteel London suburb of Kew.

Amid claim and counter-claim about boorish behaviour and an eviction made with the help of two police officers, the 69-year-old writer, who was famously described by a High Court judge in 2000 as an "active Holocaust denier... anti-Semitic and racist", went to Wandsworth County Court this week to claim that Mrs Allen had wrongly asked him to leave her premises while he was researching his latest tome.

But in a pattern which must be becoming grimly familiar to the much-criticised historian, the judge dismissed his claim for £2,000 in damages for breach of contract after finding that diverging interpretations by Mr Irving and his landlady of her terms and conditions meant she had been within her rights to ask him to leave. He was ordered to pay Mrs Allen £60 towards her costs and her bus fare to the court.

Mr Irving, who was sentenced to three years' imprisonment by an Austrian judge in 2006 for remarks he made in 1989 claiming there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz (views he has now revised), had booked a two-week stay last July at Mrs Allen's bed and breakfast, Melbury, so he could visit the nearby National Archives in Kew, used by thousands of academics every year to study government documents.

But, within four days of his arrival at the £300-a-week guest house, relations between the researcher and his host, who has been running B&Bs for 35 years, had deteriorated dramatically.

Mrs Allen declined to comment in detail on the case when contacted yesterday but said she was pleased that the court had found in her favour.

She said: "Mr Irving's behaviour was such that I considered it upsetting for myself and my guests. I asked him to leave and he said he would sue me for breach of contract. I won the case because the judge determined there had been no contract between us. I'm delighted to have won."

Court documents seen by The Independent show that Mrs Allen believed Mr Irving was unjustifiably moody throughout his stay, unsettling her other guests and behaving rudely towards her. In her statement to the court, she alleged that the scholar said "get out of my sight you evil witch" during a row over his conduct.

Mr Irving "strenuously denied" making the remark or being guilty of any "abusive or intimidating behaviour" towards the other guests at Melbury. He said in his statement of claim to the court that he had only two brief conversations with those in the B&B and spent most of the time in his room or at the National Archives.

The saga came to a head on 4 July last year when Mrs Allen said that, after repeated refusals by Mr Irving to accept her request to leave, she was forced to call police to ask him to end his stay. The historian claimed his landlady only cooled towards him after her solicitor sent her a copy of his Wikipedia entry detailing his views and controversies. Mrs Allen, who emphasised she has never before clashed with a guest and has a long list of repeat visitors to her B&B, denied the claim.

In his statement, Mr Irving said he agreed to leave within two hours of the arrival of the two officers, packing his belongings shortly after 5pm. He added: "I remarked in a conversational tone that no doubt we would next meet in court."

At the hearing this week, Mr Irving was told his claim for breach of contract was invalid because both he and Mrs Allen held diverging views of a clause in her terms and conditions which guaranteed a guest's stay for one night only. The landlady argued this meant she was entitled to ask a guest to leave after a single night.

The historian was sanguine about his latest legal setback. "The judge found there was no case to answer," he said. "But I very strongly reject the suggestion that I behaved obnoxiously."

Mr Irving was once a respected authority on Nazi Germany until he made clear views on the Holocaust which led to his defeat in an 1996 libel case against the author Deborah Lipstadt and her publisher Penguin. His £1m Mayfair flat was seized to meet the costs awarded against him from the case.

The writer lost his first libel case in 1970 when the commander of a British convoy claimed Mr Irving unfairly blamed him for its heavy losses. He most recently hit headlines when he sought to address the Oxford Union with the BNP leader, Nick Griffin.

He is hoping to change his luck with two other lawsuits surrounding the aftermath of the 1996 libel trial. In the meantime, he is working on an autobiography, entitled As I Lay There Drowning.


Days of Action Against Hertfordshire BNP

0 Comment (s)
Organised by Luton Unite in Association with the National Union of Teachers

- SUNDAY APRIL 27th. 11.00 a.m. Meeting point at Letchworth
Railway Station

HATFIELD - TUESDAY APRIL 29th. 6.00 p.m. Meeting point at Simmons Bakery,
Welham Green

April 24, 2008

Foul-mouthed BNP attack Recorder

13 Comment (s)
A Councillor launched into a foul-mouthed tirade of abuse today, branding Recorder news editor Sally Lowe "a Nazi".

Cllr Robert Bailey, deputy leader of the British National Party (BNP) group on Barking and Dagenham Council, was unhappy over the Recorder's coverage of the London Assembly elections. In a verbal attack peppered with four-letter words, the former Royal Marine accused the Recorder of bias and called Miss Lowe, 29, a "jobsworth".

The Barking and Dagenham Alibon ward councillor threatened to urge BNP members to boycott the Recorder.

Cllr Bailey said: "When we have control on Barking and Dagenham Council we are going to hit you where it hurts. You won't see a penny from us and we will tell everyone to boycott your paper."

After Miss Lowe protested about his language he then accused her of swearing and hung up when she challenged the assertion. Within half an hour of Cllr Bailey slamming down the phone, he turned up at the Recorder's offices in High Road, Ilford with a group of party members. After shouting garbled messages through a megaphone, Cllr Bailey also called the newspaper's head of classified sales a Nazi before being moved on by the police.

Recorder editor Chris Carter said: "I am shocked that someone who claims to be a member of a legitimate political party behaves in this way. It is not acceptable that a member of my staff should be subjected to abuse like this and I will be considering making an official complaint to the Standards Board for England.

Barking and Dagenham Recorder

Additional from the Press Gazette:

A spokesman for the BNP stood by Bailey’s actions.

He said: “The Recorder papers are astonishingly biased against us and they make no attempt at hiding that, there’s no love lost between us.”

Asked about Bailey’s language he said: “To be honest I wouldn’t blame him because the way that paper behaved – it’s scandalous that they should pass themselves off as an impartial purveyor of news when all the time they are undermining the BNP and propping up Ken Livingstone.”

Epping Forest: BNP slammed over 'disgraceful' faith comments

1 Comment (s)
BNP buffoon Rod Law
British National Party district councillors have been slammed as a "disgrace to the council and the community" after condemning a multi-faith forum representing various religions which has been set up in the district.

BNP councillor Rod Law told Tuesday's council meeting: "Forums like these are an absolute waste of resources for the council and are only put together to promote diversity and multi-culturalism which we feel is absolutely detrimental to the very fabric of society. I would like to think there are enough councillors here to very much vote against this motion and not let this council be bogged down with politically correct clubs like these as we see in many inner city councils."

BNP group leader Pat Richardson said: "The idea is it's a matter of freedom of choice, those who wish to mix and exchange views are free to do so and that's the key word here, freedom. To be brow beat into accepting the concept that the public purse, the taxpayer, has to fund this seems a little bit off. There might be some people who do not agree with this so why should they have to fund it. These forums are in the area anyway and they are self reciprocating. I don't see that the public council tax payer would see this as a priority for their money."

Council leader Di Collins branded the BNP comments "disgraceful". Independent Loughton councillor Stephen Murray said: "In 26 years (as a councillor) that was one of the most disgraceful contributions I've heard in this chamber. Because of a contribution like that there's even more reason why we need a multi-faith forum like this. We want to work together, we want community cohesion and we recognise that there is more that links faiths together than divides them."

Deputy council leader Chris Whitbread said the comments were "an affront to freedom".

"This is a motion at a time when we are in election mode that brings the council together because we all agree with it because it is about our wider community and the things we care about and the reasons we become councillors to start with."

He added: "It's about the wider good, and you as a party are not about the wider good. We've sat through meeting after meeting where you've sat silently and do nothing for your community. When we discuss the needs of your community you disappear and tonight you come here and you talk about dividing our community, and you don't even turn up when we discuss The Broadway or anything else. You are a disgrace to this council and you are a disgrace to our community. I am so cross that you could say that tonight, and for a start get your facts straight. This council is not paying for this body, this body is for the good of our community, you should retract your remarks."

Conservative councillor Mitch Cohen, a Jew on the 58-member council which also has a Sikh and a Muslim among its numbers, described the BNP comments as "disgraceful" and "disgusting".

Liberal Democrat group leader Jon Whitehouse said: "It's extremely important that we do take every opportunity to work together as a community and get the different strands of believe, backgrounds in the community talking together, sharing together, because what we have in common is far more greater than what divides us."

Mrs Haigh said: "It's very regrettable to hear the (BNP) words spoken. They (the forum) are coming together because they believe in the community, it's right across the district. I think it's very sad that people feel able to make statements like that without actually doing the research first."

The forum was established following multi-cultural Celebration of Faith services held by councillors Ann Haigh and Brian Sandler during their time as council chairman. The two councillors have been appointed chairman and vice-chairman of the forum. A motion noting the formation of the forum was supported.

Epping Forest Guardian

BNP row prompts journalists' union to re-publish race reporting guide

0 Comment (s)
The National Union of Journalists has republished its 'Race Reporting Guidelines' after newspapers carried adverts for the British National Party.

Regional publisher Archant has come under fire for its decision to carry advertising for the far-right party ahead of next week's local elections. The company later performed a u-turn, saying it would donate any revenue from the ads to charity.

Now, the NUJ has republished its guidelines, which later may have to include guidance to publishers on advertising too, according to equality officer Lena Calvert. She said: "It's very possible that we will have to take into account adverts. It seems that, if some organisations have thought this is the way to go, then we're going to have to add something in."

She added: "The union always had quite a hard policy on advertorials. We used to have huge debates about them as readers cannot always determine what's advertising and what's editorial. It's quite an ethical problem."

The Race Reporting Guidelines cover a wide variety of topics including immigrants, slang terms, racist organisations and travellers. The decision to republish also comes in the wake of a strongly-worded letter from NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear to Archant chief executive John Fry. In it, he called it an "incredible decision" to accept money from the BNP by some of Archant's local titles.

He added: "The decision to accept money from them is reprehensible enough, to try to argue it is to do with free speech sickening. The NUJ does not have a 'no platform' position. We believe in challenging vigorously all political parties... but advertising is different. The Newspaper Society's legal guidance requires that editorial content, not advertising content, should be fair and balanced. What adverts appear in a title is down to the publisher's decision, with no such restrictions. By accepting such adverts you can only damage the reputation of Archant and the titles the advert appears in."

Download a copy of the Race Reporting Guidelines here.

Hold the front page

Emmerdale cast backs Hope Not Hate campaign

0 Comment (s)
The Mirror's Hope not Hate bus celebrated St George's Day with the Emmerdale cast yesterday.

Lisa and Zak Dingle - played by Jane Cox and Steve Halliwell - welcomed the campaign on its final day in the North of England.

Jane said: "It's really important people realise we're in this together. We have to make this the best place for everybody. You can't go picking on people because of their race or religion or because they're a refugee. That's not the way forward."

Sammy Winward, who plays pregnant Katie Sudgen, agreed: "There are lots of tough communities where people have problems. But it's about how you deal with those problems. I believe in hope rather than hate."

James Baxter, young Jake Doland in the soap, and Chris Chittell, Eric Pollard, also broke off from filming in Leeds to support the campaign. "We all need to row in the same direction," said Chris, who has just run the London Marathon. James added: "We're all the same, no matter what you look like."

On its last day in Yorkshire, the Leeds Metropolitan university brass band joined our 1969 Bristol Lodekker bus in the city centre, playing to lunchtime shoppers. Today the bus arrives in the South East, spending its final week touring London, Essex and Kent. Travelling through different communities, visiting places from mosques to cathedrals, inner city estates to villages, its message is simple - a modern, diverse Britain is something we can be proud of.

The bus will visit the set of The Bill today as well as the stars of the Apprentice. Tomorrow the campaign meets the cast of Dancing on Ice. To watch the journey as a series of three-minute films, go to www.mirror.co.uk/hopenothate

Daily Mirror

Dig Deep for the Carnival

0 Comment (s)
Some of London's leading urban stars are performing at the Love Music Hate Racism Carnival at Victoria Park, Hackney on Sunday.

The Recorder-backed event marks the 30th anniversary of the first Rock Against Racism event there. With the carnival taking place four days before the London Mayor and Greater London Assembly elections - and a massive 70,000 people expected to attend - organisers say they hope the day "can mobilise the extra votes needed to stop the BNP winning in London".

Stratford grime stars Roll Deep Crew and their former frontman, turned solo star, Wiley appear, along with Asian R&B crossover star Jay Sean and Radio One DJ/presenter Nihal. Other dance acts to look out for include dub reggae star Don Letters, drum and bass jocks DJ Hype and Daddy Earl, plus cool up-and-coming vocalist Natty.

Roll Deep issued the following statement to Club Mix: "First of all, we would like to welcome everyone to Victoria Park for this huge festival, and big up to everyone who has come out to support the fight against racism. Coming from east London, it's extra special for us to have the event on our doorstep. For those of you who don't already know, we've been doing our thing for around six years as Roll Deep and are about to release our second main album in the summer.!

"Our crew is made up of 15 nationalities, so we've always backed LMHR and will continue to do so until racism and fascism is completely wiped out in our society. You can look forward to a big performance from us on the day, and we'll also bring a few special guests with us so find yourself a space and enjoy the day. Let's stamp out racism."

Natty added: "Considering there aren't any black MPs in the cabinet and hardly any black faces in the media spotlight talking sense, I feel like it's my duty to support LMHR, to not only talk to black youth about our identity but to reach white youths who might just see the stereotypes on the TV and show, through the music, that skin colour doesn't mean sh*t. Come down and support the LMHR Carnival."

The carnival is a free event, running from noon - 6pm, but is costing more than £400,000 to stage. A LMHR spokesman pointed out: "The trade union movement, in particular, has been brilliant in helping to raise much of the costs. However, we still urgently need support from anyone who can afford to contribute - no matter how small the amount."

Donations can be made at at www.lovemusichateracism.com/donate or by cheques posted to Love Music Hate Racism, 231 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, SW1V. For more information on the event go to www.lmhrcarnival.com.

Ilford Recorder

April 23, 2008

Searchlight calls for BNP candidate to back up ‘extraordinary’ claims, or resign

6 Comment (s)
A campaigning organisation, dedicated to challenging racist and fascist bodies in Wales, has called on a Carmarthenshire candidate for county council elections to back up claims he has made in his election campaign, or resign.

Searchlight Cymru is asking Kevin Edwards, BNP candidate for the ward of Penygroes in Carmarthenshire, to justify two extraordinary claims he has made in his leaflet. In Mr Edwards' election leaflet, he states that soldiers at Birmingham hospitals have to remove their uniforms so as not to offend Muslim staff and visitors. The leaflet also states that homosexuality is now being taught in our schools to children as young as four years of age.

Darron Dupre, Secretary of Searchlight Cymru is amazed at the claims.

"We were a bit bemused by such claims, but were happy to give Mr Edwards the benefit of the doubt, so checked" he says.

"We can find no evidence of his claims anywhere. We know of an unsubstantiated newspaper report of Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham, but that has been disproved some time ago. We also asked the NUT about the subjects taught to four year olds. To be honest, they were most bemused about Mr Edwards' claims.

"As Mr Edwards obviously knows something that no one else knows, then we ask that he, like any candidate, can back up claims with some facts. If he cannot substantiate such inflammatory claims, then we would expect him to do the honourable thing and resign his candidacy," says Mr Dupre.

Mr Dupre is asking the voters of Carmarthenshire to look into claims by candidates before accepting them as fact.

"On his glossy election leaflet, Mr Edwards states that British people should always get priority on the housing queue over asylum seekers, but as most people know, asylum seekers are not entitled to council housing. He further states that asylum seekers get free cars and TVs. Again, everyone at Searchlight Cymru is intrigued to learn exactly where this is happening."

"If Mr Edwards cannot justify these claims, then he is treating all voters in Carmarthenshire with utter contempt. Voters will have to consider whether they really want to elect someone who is wrong about the healthcare of British soldiers, doesn't understand schools or education and has no idea about council house waiting lists. Our only advice to Carmarthenshire voters is to use your vote and use it wisely".

Searchlight Cymru

Babyshambles man takes on racism

0 Comment (s)
Don’t judge a book by its cover, or more specifically in the case of Babyshambles bassist Drew McConnell, don’t judge a book by its unwashed hair and crackhouse-fancying lead singer.

One might decide from the look of McConnell and the rest of Babyshambles that the closest they get to government affairs is the back seat of one of those funny-looking British police cars. But McConnell raised eyebrows by urging Londoners to vote in the upcoming assembly elections in order to keep one of Britain’s political parties out of the assembly, NME reported Tuesday. What was his motivation? A drug law? An issue dealing with public display of reckless and gleeful drunkenness? Apparently it was only admirable concern over the state of his country. You go, Drewsky.

McConnell spoke out rather passionately, calling for voters to prevent the British National Party from gaining power. “The London assembly elections happen every four years, and last time the BNP were just 5,000 votes off getting a seat,” he said to NME. “That might sound like a lot, but 5,000 votes is actually just 0.1 per cent!”

The BNP is a right-wing political party whose aim, according to their official site, is to “secure a future for the indigenous peoples of these islands in the North Atlantic which have been our homeland for millennia.” They are generally regarded as a racist, pro-white platform that has spoken out against diversity in religion, ethnicity and nationality. Sort of like drunk grandma at Thanksgiving.

The indie rock crusader continued, “The polls are predicting the BNP to win two seats this year, which would be disastrous. As I understand it each elected member is given an office, £400,000 a year funding and, most terrifyingly in the case of the BNP, legitimacy and a platform from which to spout their vile hatred right into the heart of our nation's capital.”

McConnell will be performing at London’s Love Music Hate Racism festival April 27, in a band featuring Jon McClure of Reverend and the Makers and ex-Arctic Monkey Andy Nicholson. McConnell says his hope is for everyone who attends the festival to follow up their support with a vote.

“We know we're only musicians, and we can't change the world armed only with guitars and bad haircuts,” he said. “But there's nothing wrong with having a go, eh?”

Well spoken, Babyshambles. Well spoken.

Blend Music

Commemorating the Warsaw Uprising and Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust

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On April 19, 1943—the day of the first night of Passover sixty five years ago—the Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto launched an armed revolt. Faced with little material help from the non-Jewish populations surrounding them, as well as open opposition from Polish anti-Semites, these Jews fought with pistols, hand grenades and Molotov cocktails the heavy artillery, noxious gas, fire and air power of the German army and its minions. Despite the fact that this was the first open urban revolt against Nazi rule in Europe, the bravery of these Jewish fighters was met with less than an enthusiastic response by the Allied command. These acts of armed opposition, and others like it, should put an end forever to the myth that the Jews of Europe walked quietly and without protest to their deaths. And their story must be told and retold in every generation.

Beginning with their assumption of power in 1933, the Nazis—in an ever escalating campaign—had stripped Jews of their basic human rights, stole their property, murdered them, used them in slave labor camps, resettled them in ghettos and sent them to concentration camps. In January 1942, at a conference in Wannsee, outside Berlin, the Nazis revealed their plans for a “final solution” to the necessary German officials. And the first mass gassings began at Auschwitz the following June, according to the Encyclopedia of the Third Reich, by Louis L. Snyder. Although concentration camps existed within Germany itself, all of the “killing camps” were situated outside of Germany and in the East. And the shipment of Jews to these camps continued almost until the very end of Word War Two.

Jewish resistance in the ghettos and forests of Eastern Europe, and Poland in particular, occurred within the cross-currents of the war itself. The German army had invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, and twenty-seven days later Warsaw surrendered. After the British withdrew their troops from Europe at Dunkirk the following May, Hitler’s Army controlled all of Western Europe. A little more than a year later, on June 22, 1941, the German’s invaded the Soviet Union, and not until the Red Army won the Battle of Stalingrad in February 1943 and started a general counter-offensive did the war begin to turn against Hitler in the East. In the West, Allied armies landed on the Italian mainland in September 1943, and after D-Day, June 6, 1944, began to fight their way into western Germany.

Both the Jewish councils established by the Nazis (the Judenrat), and the Jewish Fighters Organizations, weighed their military plans based on their expectations of Allied action. All hoped in vain that the Allies would bomb the railheads that led into the concentration camps. And in the Vilna ghetto, for example, the decision about whether or not to launch an armed revolt was pinned on the outcome of the American and British invasion of Italy. Individual acts of resistance by Jews had started even before the Nazis came to power. But only after all other avenues of survival had been closed down did organized armed resistance—and almost certain death—begin to emerge in the ghettos of Eastern Europe.

Other factors within Jewish communal life mitigated against fighting back. Lucy Davidowicz, in her trenchant book The War Against the Jews, described a tradition of passivity and non-violence among observant Jews. Fighting for a “death with honor,” on the other hand, became the cry of young more secular minded members of organizations such as Hashomer Hatzair and the Bund, socialist Zionists and non-Zionist socialists respectively. The groups of communist Jews within the ghettos favored joining partisan groups fighting in the woods, according to Davidowicz. And the alignments of the many political parties, both inside and outside the ghettos, helped shape the armed Jewish resistance.

The first ghetto fighting organization was created in Vilna during January 1942. And armed groups were soon established in seven major ghettos and forty-five smaller ones, according to the definitive Holocaust Encyclopedia, edited by Walter Lacquer. An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 Jews joined the Soviet partisans, and about eighty percent of those died. It should be noted, that the resistance movement also existed in the camps themselves. They Fought Back: The Story of the Jewish Resistance in Nazi Europe, by Yuri Suhl, recounts several of these stories in the most compelling fashion. This book describes, for example, a successful plot to blow up one of the four crematoria in Birkenau in 1944. Another chapter is a first-person account of a revolt in Sobibor, and the escape of inmates into the woods. The reader will learn of a blond-haired, blue-eyed Jewish woman who made her way into the inner sanctums of Nazi officers, where she shot them point-blank with a pistol. Emmanuel Ringlebaum (who was murdered late in the war), considered the historian of the Warsaw ghetto, portrays with great love the person and the work of Mordechai Anielewicz, the 23-year old commander of the Jewish Fighting Organization in Warsaw. Also in Suhl’s book, a chapter details the military and political aspects of the revolt, drawn from author Ber Mark’s book, Uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto.

The Warsaw Ghetto was a small, ever shrinking, squat of land in which the 375,000 Jews of that city were confined behind brick walls, built after the Nazi conquest of Poland. After hundreds of thousands of these Jews were shipped to the camps, the population of the ghetto declined. By the September 1942, only 60,000 souls were left. During this early period, many of the young men and women who would become fighters engaged in cultural and educational work among the ghettos residents—including those persons originally from small towns and shtetls outside Warsaw. These would be-fighters, members of several Jewish organizations, agreed upon a set of goals and created a unified political leadership that jockeyed for position with the Nazi-instituted Judenrat. They also opened communication and smuggling lines with Polish groups on the “Aryan” side of the wall. After the collapse of the Judenrat, the Jewish Fighters Organization became the de-facto political leadership inside the ghetto.

By January 1943, the Jewish Fighters Organization (JFO) had about 600 fighters. For months they had been building bunkers for those Jews remaining in the ghetto. They established organized units and military commands, created a bomb factory and concentrated their forces in three zones within the ghetto in expectation of fighting back. The Jewish Military Association, a second military command run by so-called Revisionist Zionists, was more heavily armed but had only 400 members. And they concentrated their forces in a separate section of the ghetto.

The JFO began by attacking active collaborators, and one of their first acts was the assassination of the chief of the Nazi-controlled Jewish police force. On January 18, 1943, German armed forces surrounded the Ghetto and began an attempt to round up the remaining Jews. In spontaneous reaction, four units of the JFO fought back. While sustaining heavy losses themselves, the JFO killed about 50 German soldiers and stole their weapons; and after three days of fighting, the Germans suspended their sweep of the ghetto. After that action, the JFO received a small influx of weapons from Polish armed groups operating on the “Aryan” side of the ghetto.

The major action on April 19 was better planned. The JFO knew in advance of the Nazi plans to march thousands of soldiers and police into the ghetto and re-start the deportations. When the fighting began the JFO seized the military initiative and drove the Germans and the Ukrainian and Latvian units that accompanied them. Overtime, however, the Germans began a campaign of heavy artillery and firebombing aimed at driving the Jews out of their hiding places. At the end of April, the JFO decided to smuggle as many fighters as possible through the sewers and canals under the city and into the forests, where they could join the partisans. On May 8, the German forces discovered the JFO headquarters on Mila 18. The German piped gas into the bunker, and the JFO’s commander, Mordechai Anielewich, and eighty fighters and 300 Jewish non-combatants died. On May 16, twenty eight days after the fighting began, the German command declared victory.

In the end, however, it is the Jewish fighters who will be remembered as men and women of honor. Just last week, on Saturday April 19, 2008, the last surviving leader of the Warsaw revolt, Marek Edelman, stood at the “Heroes of the Ghetto” monument in Warsaw. As described by the New York Times, he handed his grandchildren tulips and daffodils and watched as they placed them at the foot of this memorial to the ages.

Leonard Zeskind