'WE ARE going to keep up our campaigning against the Nazis and continue hounding them whenever they show their face,' says Mary Black from Burnley in Lancashire. 'The BNP managed to get three councillors in Burnley in last year's elections. But large numbers of people were always against the BNP. Now the anti-Nazis are growing in confidence. We will be harnessing that to oppose the Nazis standing in the elections.'
The Nazi BNP aims to stand 219 candidates in the council elections in England, and a couple of candidates in the national elections in Scotland and Wales. They want to con people into voting for them by targeting the deep disillusion many feel with mainstream politics. They are feeding off the racism from press and politicians directed against refugees.
Jess Edwards from Burnley explained how campaigning against the BNP has made a difference. 'We mainly talk to people about the fact that they are really Nazis and the horrible racism they whip up. But we have also pointed out that their councillors haven't even bothered to go to council meetings, including the budget-setting meeting. They are hardly speaking up for ordinary people! Our activity has given confidence to anti-racists inside Burnley. You got a sense of that on last week's Question Time programme which came from round here. Many people spoke out against the BNP.'
In Oldham, another key area in the north west for the BNP, local campaigners are focusing on BNP leader Nick Griffin. Pete Hick says, 'We have already leafleted the ward of North Chadderton where he is standing, held stalls and put up posters against him. We want to create an atmosphere locally that there is opposition to Nick Griffin and the Nazi BNP.'
The Anti Nazi League is encouraging people to build the Don't Vote Nazi campaign in the few weeks left before the election, making sure BNP and other Nazi candidates are exposed.
For more information phone the ANL on 020 7924 0333 or go to www.anl.org.uk
Unison's Unite against Racism march and rally, Saturday 26 April, assemble 10.30am, Castlefield Basin, (opposite Museum of Science and Industry) Liverpool Road, Manchester.