Reports and Campaigns
Reports and campaigns:
Cardiff activists chase Nick Griffin out of town
Edmund Schluessel, Cardiff University Socialist Students
Cardiff residents mobilised on Monday 2 May to literally chase BNP leader Nick Griffin out of the city as he attempted to campaign for his party.
Efa Thomas, a journalism student and member of Socialist Students at the University of Glamorgan, spotted the BNP's sound truck on Monday afternoon.
She described the encounter:
"I was just about to go into Bute Park and I heard a car with a speaker on top stopped in the traffic lights. I turned around and noticed it was the BNP polluting our city with its racist manifesto.
"We started shouting 'Nazi scum' at them, to show them they weren't welcome here in Cardiff.
"The black Range Rover's window rolled down and Nick Griffin waved at us and smirked as we got angrier noticing that the bigot who runs the party was in our city."
Efa, along with her partner the Welsh-language rapper Steffan Cravos and a friend, followed the sound truck on their bicycles while contacting anti-racist activists in the city.
Cardiff Communities Against Racism chair Ross Saunders organised a mobilisation which converged on the National Museum of Wales, where the truck had stopped, and within half an hour, nearly 50 Cardiff dwellers had begun an impromptu anti-fascist rally.
Observing the forming crowd, Griffin's entourage hustled him back to the Range Rover and hurriedly left the city, pursued by cyclists.
Anti-BNP activists who joined the rally included, among others, members of Stop Racism and Fascism Network, Unite Against Fascism and Welsh Antifa; students from all of Cardiff's universities and colleges; members of the Socialist Party and of Cardiff Anarchist Network; and four members of education trade union UCU, three of whom are ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) lecturers.
The BNP, seeking a breakthrough in south east Wales, has made repeated attempts to campaign in the area but has been repeatedly turned back by locals.
A BNP leafleting session in Caerphilly on Friday 30 April was broken up by locals within 20 minutes, with trade unionists speeding back from Swansea's May Day march and rally in order to join in the protest.
A second attempt by Griffin to campaign in the north Cardiff neighbourhood of Gabalfa on Monday was similarly chased away by shoppers and students. This string of defeats follows 11 months after an English Defence League (EDL) demonstration in Cardiff was outnumbered six to one by a mass counter-demonstration.