Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/479/2190
The Socialist 22 March 2007 |
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Public anger sees off BNP
"THE FAR-right BNP were there on the High Street, then this crowd gathered shouting 'racist pigs'. Eventually four police officers formed a line in front of the BNP. The angry crowd of about 30-40 people of all ages confronted them and the police told them to get out before a riot kicks off. The BNP then left."
This was the eye-witness account of a Socialist Students member in Lincoln on 17 March. The campaign against racism and fascism in Lincoln escalated this month when the BNP leader, Nick Griffin, was given a two-page interview in the Lincolnshire Echo, owned by the same company as the Daily Mail.
In it, he blamed women for the shortage of dentists, effectively denied the Holocaust, and said homosexuals should be shamed back into the closet! Saturday's edition, however, provided anti-fascists with a page to reply. Two Socialist Party members explained the link between support for the BNP and people's hatred of the mainstream pro-capitalist parties.
Lincolnshire Socialist Party used its Saturday stall to oppose the BNP and to put forward a clear working-class alternative to the anti-worker policies of the three main parties and the BNP. We were overwhelmed with the response. Long queues formed to sign up to our campaign, and hundreds of mostly young people supported us.
We sold 46 copies of the socialist and raised over £40 in fighting fund. Many young people gave us everything they had, keeping only what they needed for their bus fares!
The local Labour Party's position, that an anti-fascist campaign has to be non-political to get support, now looks even more ridiculous. The Socialist Party has been in the forefront in organising a demonstration of 200 people against racism and fascism in December.
This gave other people confidence to oppose the BNP too, as seen on Saturday. We have linked it to the need for all working-class people to unite together to fight for decent jobs, homes, and services.
These are the issues that the BNP raise, grossly distorting them by blaming migrant workers. We are the only local party to take them up by actually campaigning to save local bus services and the NHS. In May, the BNP say they will stand in every ward in the city. The Socialist Party will give working-class people the opportunity to oppose the BNP and the three main parties with a fighting socialist alternative.