Socialist Worker

Unions throw their weight behind protest to stop Nazi BNP rally

by Anindya Bhattacharyya
Issue No. 2114

Trade unionists and other anti-Nazi activists will be gathering in Codnor, Derbyshire, on Saturday of this week to protest against the “Red, White and Blue” event being held there by the fascist British National Party (BNP).

The demonstration has been called by East Midlands Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and is supported by a variety of trade unions, including Midlands TUC, Midlands CWU, Midlands GMB, Midlands Unite and East Midlands Unison.

Roger McKenzie, the TUC’s regional secretary for the Midlands, this week issued a statement backing the UAF protest and calling for a “good trade union turnout” on the day.

The BNP claims its event is a “family festival” – but in fact it is a fascist rally dedicated to spreading race hatred. In previous years the “festival” has included playing SS marching songs as entertainment.

The true nature of the event is also revealed by the “guest speakers” that the BNP has invited along.

These include Marc Abramsson, leader of the National Democrats, a Swedish Nazi party. Abramsson has campaigned for “racially pure kindergartens” in Sweden that would exclude all non-white children. His party has also organised skinhead gangs to physically attack gay pride marches in Sweden.

Also speaking at the BNP’s hate-fest is Petra Edelmannova, chair of the Czech National Party, a fascist organisation that has led a vicious racist campaign against Romany Gypsies in the Czech Republic.

Last month Edelmannova co-authored a booklet called “The Final Solution to the Gypsy Issue in the Czech Lands” that advocates “relocating” Czech Romanies to India.

Meanwhile UAF, Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) and the North Staffordshire Campaign Against Racism and Fascism have launched a joint statement opposing the BNP’s plans to hold an anti-Muslim rally in Stoke-on-Trent on 20 September.

“We want a city for everyone where we can live together,” the statement reads. “We believe that the BNP’s intention, whatever they may say publicly, is to whip up racism and division in Stoke.

“As organisations and individuals we pledge to work tirelessly together to oppose groups who seek to divide our community.”

Activists launched the statement at Stoke’s first ever Gay Pride festival on Saturday of last week, and at the city’s African-Caribbean carnival which took place the next day.

In Rotherham, another target area for the Nazis, LMHR activists have teamed up with Jon McClure of Reverend & The Makers to host an “indoor carnival” against the BNP on Saturday 6 September.

The final 500 tickets for the carnival will go on sale on Saturday 23 August.

Go to the Love Music Hate Racism website at » www.lovemusichateracism.comfor more details.

Protest against the Nazi BNP, Saturday 16 August. Assemble 11am at Codnor Market Place, Codnor, Derbyshire.

Coach transport to the demo has been organised from Birmingham, the Black Country, Coventry, Derby, Leicester, Nottingham, Chesterfield and Stoke-on-Trent – for details go to » call the UAF office on 020 7833 4916.

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Tue 12 Aug 2008, 19:15 BST
Issue No. 2114
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