Anti-racism campaigners vow to battle BNP

Anti-racism campaigners vow to battle BNP

Morning Star, 20 February 2006

Anti-racism campaigners vowed on Saturday to put out the biggest campaign possible against the far-right British National Party as it fights this year’s local council elections.

The Unite Against Fascism national conference in London heard that the BNP had saved its deposits in 34 constituencies in last year’s general election, compared to only five in 2001. In 2004, the BNP missed getting elected to the London Assembly and European Parliament by a hair’s breadth. It currently has 21 local councillors and will try to use them as a launch pad to gain several more council seats in the 2006 local elections.

Delegates heard that, where the BNP has council seats, incidents of racism and homophobia have risen and, if the party’s support continues to increase, it will be on course to make a national breakthrough.

UAF joint secretary Sabby Dhalu said that the events of the last few weeks have clarified the serious threat that the growing climate of racism in Britain and the rest of Europe poses to us all. “Racism towards Muslims is being presented under the banner of ‘freedom of speech’,” she said.

“All these events indicate a legitimisation and deepening climate of racism. In 1930s Germany, the nazis systematically used such so-called cartoons depicting Jewish people in the most dehumanising manner for the sole purpose of creating caricatures that justified their programme of mass extermination of the Jewish people. It is incumbent on all anti-racists and anti-fascists to condemn unreservedly the publication of these racist images, for exactly the same reasons,” Ms Dhalu said.

The UAF is organising three national days of action against the BNP on February 25, March 25 and April 29.

If you want to get involved in activities in your local area on these days, please contact the UAF office on (020) 7833-4916 or (020) 7837-4522.