Twelve British National Party activists have been arrested in Liverpool on suspicion of handing out racist leaflets claiming that “our people” are experiencing an “epidemic of racist violence, sexual exploitation and murder” by Muslims.
The leaflet alleges the “average racist killer” is 40 times more likely to be from an ethnic minority than “a native Brit”; the Muslim community condones paedophilia; and the English are “relentlessly discriminated against by an institutionally hostile ruling class”. One passage reads: “Wherever there are large numbers of young Muslim men, groups team up to lure girls – often as young as 12 or 13 – into a nightmare world of sexual abuse, rape, beatings, drug addiction and prostitution.”
The 12 men, aged from 19 to 70 and from Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley and St Helens, were arrested in the city centre at 12.50pm on Saturday.
The leaflet, “Racism Cuts Both Ways”, is also available on the BNP’s website [pdf here]. Anti-racism campaigners are preparing to submit a UK-wide complaint to the Metropolitan Police.
Assistant Chief Constable Colin Matthews of Merseyside Police said the arrests were made following the “distribution of leaflets … which officers believe to contain racist content”. He added: “Merseyside Police condemns racism and will take prompt action to support all our communities.”
The BNP intends to capitalise on the arrests. Simon Darby, a party spokesman, said it planned a “huge demonstration” in Liverpool. “It’s a mystery, you tell me what you think is criminal or inciting about it,” he said. “I don’t think Merseyside Police have any idea what they have done. It’s a knee-jerk reaction.” Asked if the party stood by the leaflet, Mr Darby said: “Obviously we do otherwise we wouldn’t have put it out.”
BNP response here.
See also the earlier arrest of BNP members in Manchester.