Nazi British National Party (BNP) leader, Nick Griffin, was booted out of the European parliament in election results announced last Sunday.
Griffin needed 7 percent to get re-elected as an MEP for the North West region. But he failed to cling on to his seat after polling just 1.8 percent of the vote.
Unite Against Fascism (UAF) held a protest outside Manchester town hall where the vote count took place. Police fought their way through anti-fascists to escort Griffin and a small clutch of Nazis into the hall—two protesters were arrested.
Rawaha, who was wearing a niqab, joined the UAF protest to confront the fascists. She said, “I want to show them Islamic clothing because we’re not afraid of them. They’re the ones hiding inside.”
The fascists’ vote has haemorrhaged over the years thanks to consistent campaigning by UAF. In 2011 UAF set up Nick Griffin Must Go and have campaigned in towns and cities in the North West to expose the BNP as a Nazi party. Trade unionists and local Green and Labour Party members have all been part of the campaign.
In those years the BNP vote has tumbled. Griffin’s vote is in stark contrast to the 8 percent he got five years ago. In the 2009 European elections he was voted in on 132,094 votes. Last week he got 32,826.
At the height of their success in 2009 the BNP had 58 councillors, with nine of these in Stoke on Trent. They are now down to just two—Brian Parker in Pendle in the North West and Catherine Duffy in Charnwood, Leicestershire.
However Parker scraped his way to re-election last week with just a six-vote majority. His re-election shows that the fight against the toxic BNP is not yet over.
Weyman Bennett, joint secretary of UAF told Socialist Worker, “There is no room for complacency. The austerity crisis means that Nazi parties can grow out of the despair and despondency.”
Fascist parties made serious gains across Europe last week. In Hungary, anti-Roma fascists Jobbik are now the second largest party. The fascist Front National topped the poll in France with around a quarter of the vote. And Greek Golden Dawn Nazis will send three members to the European parliament for the first time.
“We have received a warning call from Europe,” said Weyman.
“We need to build UAF to join with our brothers and sisters across Europe who will be fighting back against fascism.”
Bring delegates from your workplace, union or college to...
Unite Against Fascism national conference
Saturday 14 June, 9.30am to 5pm, TUC Congress House, Great Russell St, London WC1B 3LS
£12 / £6 (students and concs). uaf.org.uk