Socialist Worker

Trade unionists oppose Nazi protest at Home Office

Issue No. 2146

Anti-fascists held a counter-protest at a British National Party (BNP) demonstration in Croydon, south London, last Saturday.

Around 50 BNP Nazis stood in the forecourt of Lunar House, the headquarters of the UK Border Agency (UKBA).

They clustered round a banner that said “Britain is full up”. This stunt was one of a series of actions they have launched in advance of the European elections in June.

The BNP demonstrators showed their less “respectable” face. Many raised Nazi salutes at anti-racists. The counter-demonstration was of a similar size, despite the fact that activists had only discovered the Nazis’ plans the previous afternoon.

It was organised by the civil service PCS union and Unite Against Fascism. Anti-racists got a good response when they went from the protest to leaflet the nearby Whitgift shopping centre.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka joined the anti-fascists. He wrote to the Home Office to ask why the Nazis were given permission to protest on its land.

UKBA head Lin Holmer replied that the forecourt was “public property”.

Paul O’Connor, the PCS group secretary for the Home Office, told Socialist Worker, “That will be news to many trade unionists! The fact that the forecourt is public property is news to me too.”

PCS national executive member Andy Reid told Socialist Worker, “The UKBA staff is more than 30 percent made up from ethnic minorities, and many of the people coming in on Saturday were over refugee issues.

“So the presence of Nazis was really intimidating. We recognised people among the BNP who have convictions for assault.

“If they were inside a Home Office building as a client they would be treated under special precautions – yet they were allowed to stand right by the door.”

The BNP are trying to whip up publicity to galvanise support for the European elections.

Anti-fascists across Britain are campaigning to drive them back.

To get involved in Unite Against Fascism activities in your area. Go to »

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Article information

Tue 7 Apr 2009, 19:04 BST
Issue No. 2146
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