Socialist Worker

Stopping BNP breakthrough

Issue No. 1791

THE NAZI British National Party (BNP) hopes to make a historic breakthrough in the local council elections in seven weeks time on 2 May. Anti-Nazi activists are mobilising to stop it. The annual conference of the Anti Nazi League (ANL) was held in Manchester last Saturday.

Julie Waterson, the national organiser of the ANL, explained, 'The Nazis pose a great threat. However, at the same time they are also very weak. The BNP are fighting to preserve themselves as a political force. They want to follow their counterparts in Europe, yet they expose that they are Nazi thugs. Lawrence Rustem, chair of the BNP ethnic liaison committee, was beaten to a pulp by a fellow BNP member. Frighteningly, the BNP may get a meeting of 150 people in Bradford in July and 100 in February. However, they can't get one local person to stand as a candidate.'

Unfortunately this isn't the case in Burnley and Oldham. Delegates from many trade unions came to the conference. There were delegates from the civil servants' PCS union, the firefighters' FBU, the postal workers' CWU, the print workers' GPMU, teachers in NUT and the GMB general union among many others. Anti-Nazi campaigners from the areas targeted by the BNP were widely represented at the conference.

They came from Bradford, Burnley, Oldham, Tipton, Pudsey and elsewhere. Students from Leeds University spoke of the attempts to get BNP activist Mark Collett expelled from the university. In the run-up to the council election people in Oldham have been out organising opposition to the Nazis for six months.

They have gone into the areas the BNP sees as its heartlands, building the 'Don't vote Nazi' campaign and getting locals involved in actively opposing the BNP. These campaigns need to be stepped up, getting more people involved and support from surrounding areas.

Hear the truth about the Nazis, with Holocaust survivor Leon Greenman, and the father of Sarfraz Najeib, attacked by Leeds footballers. Wednesday 20 March, 6.30pm, Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre, Leeds University.

Expel Nazi Lawrence Rustem. Lobby the university governors, Tuesday 19 March, 6.30pm, Queen Anne's Court, Greenwich University.

Join the Anti Nazi League campaign. Phone 020 7924 0333 or visit

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.