Socialist Worker

BNP sparks race attacks

Issue No. 1804

RACISTS HAVE been going on the rampage in a series of shocking attacks in Burnley and Oldham in north west England. These attacks are the direct result of the Nazi British National Party encouraging racist hatred in the area.

The violence first erupted with a gang of around 40 racists in Burnley after England's World Cup football match with Sweden two weeks ago. The gang jumped onto the cars of six Asian taxi drivers. They hurled kicks and punches at them.

The violence had been whipped up in a local pub, with racist yobs rallying people to the chant of 'Let's go Paki bashing.' There has also been a spate of racist attacks on local mosques and Asian people visiting them in the Daneshouse area of Burnley. Daneshouse is a predominantly Asian area which has been the target for the scapegoating by the BNP and racist politicians.

The BNP and its leader, Griffin, have been spreading their Nazi poison in Burnley following their recent local election campaign. The racist violence comes just a month after three BNP councillors were elected. Disgracefully, the national media has ignored the attacks. Tory and New Labour politicians have been silent about the Asian victims and kept up their words of hate against asylum seekers.

The scale of the racist violence forced the Lancashire Evening News to run the details on its front page. But on page three the newspaper had an entire page of profiles of the BNP councillors under the headline 'It's Not About Colour'.

There was no mention of the BNP's Nazi politics and its aim of an all-white Britain. The paper made no connection between the BNP's racist words and the race hate attacks on the streets.

Local politicians, including those from New Labour, are also treating the Nazi councillors as if they were respectable politicians. This will not stop the Nazis, and can only lead to more racist attacks.

Thugs' other targets

RACIST ATTACKS have not only been happening in Burnley.

  • Over 150 racist thugs charged through Oldham town centre after the England vs Sweden football match. Leading BNP members were at the forefront of the violence. The gang singled out local Asian people and shouted racist slogans. Nazis from the Combat 18 group joined BNP members and football hooligans to hurl bottles at Asian people passing by.
  • A 60 year old Muslim cleric died after Asian people were attacked in Llanelli in Wales, again on the Sunday of England's football match with Sweden. The assault shocked local people. Mohammed Ashraf from Swansea died after 12 attackers set on a group of elderly Asian clerics. The racists hit, punched and spat beer on their victims. Mohammed Ashraf collapsed and died within minutes.

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Article information

Sat 15 Jun 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1804
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