The campaign to halt Nazi Nick Griffin’s ambition of winning a seat in the general election took off last Sunday. The BNP leader plans to stand in Barking, east London.
The first Barking and Dagenham Unite Against Fascism day of action brought together 170 people, including local residents, trade unionists and political activists.
They leafleted every house in the Alibon, Goresbrook and Parsloes wards.
The Nazis have 12 councillors on the local council.
“The BNP winning local council seats has made people more wary. It creates divisions,” Andrew Jones told Socialist Worker.
He lives in Alibon ward, where the BNP have two out of three councillors.
Police statistics show that when the BNP wins seats racist crime rises.
In Barking’s Eastbury ward, racially motivated violence, theft and criminal damage more than doubled after the election of the BNP’s Jeffrey Steed in 2006.
Forty five racial incidents were reported in the following year.
Local resident Marcia said, “The BNP work on people’s discontent, the lack of jobs and low status they suffer.
“They say ‘Here is your scapegoat’, and point to black people.
“The BNP’s latest leaflet talks about crime and has pictures of young white men who have been killed. It’s insidious. People will assume that they were killed by black people – but they weren’t. It plays on prejudices.”
Local primary school teacher Amna told Socialist Worker, “We need to nip this in the bud, or it will escalate and lead to the destruction of communities.”
Local day of action Saturday 6 February. London-wide mobilisation Sunday 21 February. Go to » www.uaf.org.uk