'UNIONS HAVE been mobilising and we expect good delegations from the postal workers' CWU and firefighters' FBU,' says Matt Saywell. He is a member of Broxbourne Against Racism, which is mobilising for Saturday's march in the Hertfordshire town where the BNP has one councillor. 'The GMB London Region is also supporting the march, as are local churches,' says Matt. 'We've had a really good response from local people.'
Broxbourne and Enfield Labour Party branches are backing the march, as are the band Heartless Crew. Speakers at the rally include former TGWU leader Bill Morris. This weekend's 'Unity' demonstrations are focused on areas where the BNP has conned people into electing its 16 councillors. In Halifax the Calderdale Unity Committee has been mobilising. The trades council is sending its banner with a delegation, as are the firefighters' FBU, the Natfhe college lecturers' union and the civil servants' PCS union, and the journalists' NUJ union.
The local Labour Party has put out leaflets to its members. In Burnley, which has eight BNP councillors, campaigners have got a positive response from local trade unionists. Burnley trades council, and the GMB and Natfhe unions in the region are sending their banners. Other supporters include the FBU Lancashire Region and Unison's North West Region.
The Unity Campaign Against Racism and Fascism is organising for the march in Dudley. Three local Unison branches are backing the march. These marches are a vital focus for local opposition to the Nazis of the BNP.
March against the BNP Saturday 28 June Burnley 11am, Crown Court car park Halifax 1pm, Park Road, next to People's Park Broxbourne 1pm, Grundy Park, off Windmill Lane, Cheshunt Dudley 1pm, Leisure Centre, Wellington Road More details Unity, c/o Anti Nazi League phone 020 7924 0333
Blunkett tips scales of justice
TWELVE WHITE people were sentenced last week for their part in provoking the Oldham riots of May 2001. They were given sentences of nine months. Their supporters cheered when the sentences were announced.
Yet Asian youth who protected their community from attack by racists have typically received far higher sentences of three and four years. Political responsibility for this policy of making an example of Asian youth with harsh sentencing lies with home secretary David Blunkett. Blunkett's verbal attacks on asylum seekers and criticising the Asian community for failing to 'integrate' have contributed to a climate where the courts can blame the victims of racist attacks for self defence.
At least one of those convicted last week for sparking the Oldham riots is a well known Nazi. Darren Hoy has recent convictions for carrying knives and threatening a Jewish couple at last year's Holocaust Memorial in Oldham. He has been photographed with local BNP organiser Mick Treacy on a BNP protest and at a Nazi meeting.
The police claimed that the defendants convicted last week were responsible for provoking the riots - though not all the evidence was heard in court as they were allowed to plead guilty to lesser charges. The group mounted an organised attack on the Asian community by breaking into houses and assaulting families.
The recent 'Don't Vote Nazi' campaign in the local elections in Oldham showed that the BNP can be exposed as Nazis and kept out of office.