Fight racism Fight poverty
The Nazis caused the riots
TONY BLAIR described the events in Bradford last weekend as "mindless thuggery". But one thing and one thing only sparked the rioting in the city. Police allowed known Nazis from the British National Party and National Front to gather in the city centre, even though a planned Nazi march had been banned. For over a week before last Saturday local people-Asian, black and white-had enjoyed a community festival in Bradford.
There had been no violence at the festival. Violence only erupted on Saturday when the Nazi gang first hurled racist abuse at Asians, and then attacked an Asian man. Since then racist thugs have also randomly attacked Asians for no reason other than the colour of their skin.
That's why Asians, and black and white anti-racists, fought back. They had no choice but to confront the police, because the police defended the Nazis and attacked those opposing them. Tony Blair and home secretary David Blunkett now say they are considering allowing the police to turn water cannon and teargas on people like those who opposed the Nazis in Bradford.
Yet the government will do nothing to tackle the rising poverty and segregation seen across the city, shockingly revealed in an official report this week. That poverty and segregation has been fuelled by the policies of all three main parties, which have run the local council at different times in recent years. Poverty and the despair it creates are what allow Nazis to gain any hearing among people who feel abandoned by all the main parties.
Faced with Nazi attacks, people are right to fight back and right to stand up against police attacks. But what is urgently needed now is a united fight by black, white and Asian together, against racism and against the poverty and despair which feeds it.
Black White Asian unite
Eyewitness reports and analysis on pages 3, 4 & 5