Socialist Worker

Voices of unity from people on the anti-Nazi protest

Issue No. 2165

Yasmin Rassool, student at the University of Brighton
‘I think what we’ve done here today is amazing. We did what we set out to do – stopped the BNP from getting to the festival and put our message across.

A few weeks ago I was speaking to a woman in Brighton and she asked me where I was from. I said, “Here… England.” Then she told me I wasn’t English because I’ve got brown skin and I should go home.

That’s one of the things that made me come here. I don’t want the BNP getting more support – it needs to be stopped.

There’s strength in numbers. We’ve proved that today. A while ago the BNP managed to have a meeting in Brighton. But I’m going to get involved and help make sure that doesn’t happen again.’

Becky, photography student from Cheltenham
‘I heard about the Red, White and Blue last year and wanted to be here this time to protest against it.

It’s important to show that we won’t put up with the racist bigots in the BNP. I came to show how I feel about them.’

Catharine Hardy, charity worker from Manchester
‘I hate racism and homophobia – everything the BNP stands for. If you don’t make a noise, then silence condones. The danger is it becomes normal.’

Annie, teaching assistant from Bolton
‘The demo has gone really well. All the different sections of the protest seem to have communicated really well – it worked!

I got involved through Love Music Hate Racism – the slogan struck a chord with me.

Hopefully the BNP will have to think twice about trying to do this again.

But if they do try to hold events like this again, we will be back. And we’ll keep coming back again and again if we have to until we stop it.’

Jackie Hutchinson, call centre worker from Eastbourne
‘I think it’s really important there are lots of people here. We’ve got everyone here who might be attacked by the BNP, all age groups and all sorts, and everyone feels the same.

We all want a peaceful world, not a party that’s wearing pinstripes today and jackboots tomorrow.

When I heard about the Nazi festival I found it really disturbing that something so venomous could be couched as a family day.

I’m glad I came to protest. It’s easy to sit at home but it’s so much better to come, make your voice heard and take action.’

Elizabeth Mantzari, from Greece, student at the University of Essex
‘Since the BNP was elected I’ve seen a rise in racism. Here in England you have a great tradition of smashing the fascists.

The BNP was confident after the election – but this protest will give confidence to everyone who’s against the fascists.’

Shaheda Begum, student at the University of Birmingham.
‘It’s really good to see all the different kinds of people here. It makes you feel like we’re strong and they’re not.

The BNP says people like me are bad, but we’re not. They think that immigrants have come and “invaded” but immigrants help us with our needs here.

My parents came here to work. The BNP says we take their jobs, but I was born here and I’m educating myself to get a job.’

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