Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/604/8433

From The Socialist newspaper, 2 December 2009

How mass campaigning closed BNP HQ

THE FAR right BNP moved into their headquarters in Welling, south east London in 1987. Labour Party Young Socialist branches in London responded with a call to the community and trade unions to join in a united campaign to rid them from the area.

Lois Austin

Many local politicians defended their right to be there with lame arguments about defending democratic rights. We warned that this was not a harmless bookshop as the BNP claimed but an organising centre for a fascist organisation - a cancer in our community.

We warned that if the BNP were allowed to take root their organisation would grow, causing division and would be a danger to the black and Asian community.

We organised rallies and demonstrations, directly challenging the BNP and trying to prevent their activities. At times we were met by skinheads in jackboots giving the Nazi salute.

We were outnumbered by fascists and surrounded when we marched through Eltham, south east London. Our worst fears were confirmed when Greenwich council published statistics for racist attacks that showed an increase of 200% in the few years that the BNP had been active in Welling.

By 1993 there had been three racist murders. Our campaign had by this stage dug deep roots in the local trade unions and community and had taken on a national and international dimension by becoming part of Youth Against Racism in Europe (YRE).

We responded with bigger demonstrations and demands on local politicians, all of whom remained silent on the issue of closing the BNP HQ.

In April 1993 Stephen Lawrence was murdered. This tragic death at the hands of racist thugs sent shock waves throughout the community, black and white alike. The YRE, south London trade unions and anti-racist organisations, including Panther, the black socialist organisation, responded by calling a demonstration just a few weeks after Stephen was murdered.

Between 8,000 and 9,000, predominately young people, marched through Welling and directly passed the BNP headquarters, their anger could not be contained when it reached the building where the protesters demanded it be closed down.

A second demonstration was organised in October 1993, it was co-organised with the Anti-Nazi League, and this time had 60,000 plus on it. The momentum to close the HQ was now unstoppable, responding to mass pressure and public mood, the council set up a planning enquiry.

The YRE and the community campaign submitted a statement linking incitement to racial hatred with planning law. This was accepted as relevant and became the findings of the inquiry. Local politicians, embarrassed by their disgraceful failure to act and feeling the pressure, joined the chorus of those calling for the HQ to be shut down.

After a long hard struggle, built over seven years, finally the order was given from the authorities that the HQ had to close. But it was the mass campaign, the thousands who marched, that forced the closure and pushed the BNP back from organising in south London at that time.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 2 December 2009:

Climate change 'gigantic market failure'

Copenhagen climate change talks


Socialist Party NHS campaign

National Health Service: Patient safety not private profit


Youth fight for jobs

Youth march for jobs: "A fantastic experience"


Credit crunch

Dubai's house of sand crumbles


War and occupation

Chilcot inquiry: Put the warmongers on trial!


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fast news

Yorkshire strikes - the lessons

BA management get tough

Fighting university cuts

Fighting council cuts in Greenwich

Stoke Axiom action continues

Defend the Four!

NUS plans mean students pay


Anti-racism

Rally to oppose racist EDL

How mass campaigning closed BNP HQ


International socialist news and analysis

Irish Republic: Huge public sector workers' strike against cutbacks

Indonesia: Eyewitness report from Tamil refugee boat


Socialist Party election campaign

Politics 'illegal' in Lewisham council

Help give a socialist answer to cuts and privatisation


Marxist analysis: history

Liverpool council's budget 'black hole': Establishment parties only offer swingeing cuts


 

Home   |   The Socialist 2 December 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

BNP:

triangleWhy I joined: "I hope that more and more people are going to join the Socialist Party and the fight to end inequality"

London:

triangleSix months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangleSouth London health bosses' cover-up

triangleNewham anti-academies strikes

triangleUnite day of action against blacklisting

Racist:

triangleRoyal wedding exposes them-and-us visa system

triangleGerman elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

triangleRefreshing, anticapitalist - but little pointing a way forward

Black:

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: Organising for socialist change

triangleThe "club no-one wants to be part of" - march by families of those killed in police custody

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

14/12/17

Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

13/12/17

London

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

13/12/17

Fracking

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

13/12/17

Devon

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

13/12/17

Miners

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

13/12/17

Bradford

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

13/12/17

South London

South London health bosses' cover-up

13/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite day of action against blacklisting

13/12/17

Brighton

Brighton victory

13/12/17

Newham

Newham anti-academies strikes

13/12/17

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

12/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

triangle13 Dec Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

EU parliament, Strasbourg

triangle13 Dec Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

More ...

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2