Socialist Worker

BNP’s Euro friends are thugs and bombers

by Esme Choonara
Issue No. 2152

The British National Party’s (BNP’s) “friends” in Europe are an assortment of violent fascist organisations.

These links are yet more evidence that the BNP is engaged in building a serious Nazi party.

BNP deputy leader and West Midlands European candidate Simon Darby was welcomed with Nazi salutes at a meeting of European fascists in Milan last month.

The meeting was organised by Forza Nuova – a fascist organisation headed by Roberto Fiore.

A convicted terrorist, Fiore once said he was happy to be described as a neo-fascist, and is a long-standing ally and collaborator of BNP leader Nick Griffin.

He was involved in the terror group that carried out the bombing of Bologna train station in 1980, killing 85 people.

Fiore spent much of the 1980s on the run in London where he worked closely with Griffin in a variety of Nazi groups.

Last year Fiore became an MEP for Forza Nuova after Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of the Italian fascist dictator, gave up her European seat to join the government.

Forza Nuova is a notoriously thuggish group. Its members ambushed left wing students at Rome’s La Sapienza university last year, attacking them with knives and iron bars.

This was in retaliation for an occupation at the university the previous day that had stopped Fiore from addressing a conference on the campus.

Fiore is also one of the founders of the Hammerskin skinhead movement which has links with Nazi football hooligan groups across Europe.

Another keynote speaker at the fascist meeting in Milan was French Front National (FN) MEP Bruno Gollnisch. He was found guilty in 2007 of questioning the extent of the Holocaust and the existence of the Nazi gas chambers.

‘Dog whistle’

Nick Griffin invited Gollnisch over to London along with other European fascists just days before the London assembly election last May.

Griffin and the BNP also have strong links with Jean-Marie Le Pen the founder and head of the FN and another convicted Holocaust denier.

Griffin has tried to remodel the BNP along the lines of the Le Pen’s FN – attempting to adopt the veneer of “respectability” in order to gain a foothold in mainstream politics.

Like Le Pen, Griffin has learnt how to appear “moderate” while simultaneously delivering coded Nazi messages, or “dog whistles”, to harden up the fascist core of his organisation.

Le Pen has joined Griffin on a variety of platforms over recent years, visiting Britain on several occasions to help with BNP fundraising.

Just like the BNP, Le Pen’s “respectability” barely hides the true nature of his fascist politics. He has referred to the murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust as a “mere detail of history”.

In the 1990s the FN won control of several town halls in France. In power the FN councillors targeted progressive council workers and drew up plans to censor libraries and school text books in line with their reactionary views.

The BNP has also been cultivating links with fascists across eastern Europe, where Nazi parties in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania all hope to grow out of the anti-Roma feeling they have stoked-up.

Petra Edelmannova, leader of the Czech National Party was invited to speak at the BNP’s Red, White and Blue Festival last August.

Griffin returned the favour by speaking at their rally last October.

The party’s leader has recently released a publication entitled The Final Solution of the Gypsy Question.

Members of the Czech National Party erected a plaque in 2006 at the site of a former concentration camp where more than 300 Roma died.

It stated that any Roma who died there did so through their own fault due to poor hygiene.

BNP leader Nick Griffin has also met with representatives of the Hungarian fascist Jobbik party.

Griffin addressed one of their rallies last October and spoke to the crowd about the upcoming European elections.

He said, “We are all in the same struggle against the same enemies. Now we all stand together in a long march for freedom and the next step on that long march to freedom is June 2009.”

This is the company that Griffin, Darby and the rest of the BNP are keeping in Europe. It is chilling proof of the threat their party represents.

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