Police target anti-Nazis
THE POLICE ensured that the Nazi National Front (NF) was able to defy home secretary Jack Straw's ban on its march in Oldham last Saturday. Greater Manchester police deployed 500 police on the streets of Oldham, supposedly to stop the Nazis marching.
Yet the police allowed around 40 members of the Nazi terror gang Combat 18 to march in the town centre. Later the police allowed around 70 Nazis to rally, claiming they didn't have enough officers to prevent this.
The Nazis are intent on increasing the racial tension in the area. The Nazi British National Party is also standing in two seats in the coming general election. But the police used their powers to pen in around 200 black and white anti-Nazis.
Chief superintendent Eric Hewitt attacked the anti-Nazi protest, saying, "More than 500 people came into Oldham to cause trouble from all parts of the country." Cath from Oldham, who joined the anti-Nazi protest, said, "It's absolutely ridiculous. The Nazis are the ones that need controlling and got off our streets. I don't want the NF in our area."
Hundreds of Asian youths had gathered at the entrances to their estates to protect their communities from the Nazis. "We're demonstrating that we're not scared of the NF," said Abdul. "We don't want them round here. People aren't going to stand for it."
Twice during the day these Asian youths marched down from their estates to try to confront the Nazis. On both occasions the police and their community leaders managed to convince them to return to their estates.
This was the second weekend in a row that the police have allowed racists to mobilise and target Asian communities in the area. Last weekend showed once again that the police are more interested in constraining anti-Nazis than stopping groups like the NF and BNP spreading their race hate.
ABOUT 50 people attended the launch meeting of the Socialist Alliance in Oldham last week. Many people were angry at the stirring up of racism by the media, police and politicians.
It was agreed to stand a Socialist Alliance candidate in the general election in Oldham West and Royton, the same seat that BNP leader Nick Griffin is contending.
Why I'm voting socialist
"I AM so disillusioned with Labour. I'm supporting the Socialist Alliance because I want to be part of a united front of everyone on the left. I want to be part of an organisation that incorporates everyone working together for a socialist future."
- ROISIN MacDOWELL, student at Manchester University