Socialist Worker

BNP plans to hold a fascist rally in Stoke

Issue No. 2118

The BNP plans to hold a fascist rally in the centre of Stoke-on-Trent on Saturday of next week to whip up race hatred against Muslims.

The fascists are boasting of plans to ship in 400 Nazis from around the country to hear their führer Nick Griffin speak at an open air rally surrounded by his “honour guard” of Combat 18 thugs.

The BNP claims that its rally will seek “justice” for Keith Brown, a longstanding Nazi who died from a knife wound after a fight with his next door neighbour Habib Khan last year.

Habib Khan was jailed for eight years for manslaughter last month, despite the fact that Brown had waged a violent racist campaign against his family for many years.

On the day Brown died he had attacked Habib Khan’s son outside his home. Habib grabbed a kitchen knife and ran to his son’s aid. Brown was stabbed in the ensuing melee.

The BNP has responded to Brown’s death by attempting to paint him as a “white martyr” of an “Islamic jihad”.

Despite the severity of Khan’s sentence, the Nazis are absurdly claiming that “political correctness” has led to the police being “soft” on ethnic minorities.

Brown does not deserve a shred of sympathy from anyone. The BNP’s attempts to portray him as a victim should be seen for what they are – a transparent ploy to stir up race hatred and violence.

The BNP has been steadily building in Stoke – it now has nine councillors there – with the aim of winning the post of the city’s elected mayor in May next year.

It has built an electoral base by posing as a “respectable” political party.

The BNP’s rally is designed to harden up this base and give the party’s bootboys a chance to be let off the leash. It should be resolutely opposed by a broad and united mass movement.

Anti-racist organisations in Stoke, including the North Staffordshire Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, Unite Against Fascism and Love Music Hate Racism, were discussing their response to the BNP plans as Socialist Worker went to press.

They have already launched a unity statement in the city against the BNP and are organising to hold a demonstration against the BNP rally.

Further details of the demonstration will appear on the Unite Against Fascism website at »

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