THE NEED to build a united mass campaign to counter the rise of the far right was the central theme of the Scottish Anti Nazi League (ANL) conference held on Saturday. A total of 130 anti-racists took part.
A speaker from France talked about how the French presidential election results showed the opportunities for the left as well as the dangers from the right. Mukhtar Ali, a Labour councillor from Bradford, and other anti-racists explained how mainstream politicians aid the far right when they attack asylum seekers.
Speakers from Burnley and Oldham explained that the Nazi thugs are only under wraps at election times-they haven't gone away. This message was reinforced when a small group of BNP activists in among a mob of drunken Loyalists attempted and failed to stop the conference. A steering committee for the ANL in Scotland was elected.
It includes Aamer Anwar, the human rights lawyer, and members of the Labour Party, the Scottish Nationalist Party, the Scottish Socialist Party, and representatives of gay rights groups and trade unions.
THE ANTI Nazi League has launched a national petition calling on workers and councillors at Labour-controlled Burnley council not to work with the town's three Nazi BNP councillors.
As many signatures as possible are needed from across the country before the petition is handed in to Burnley council's next meeting on Wednesday 3 July. Many union branches want to take further action against the BNP but feel isolated.
The petition can boost the confidence of those workers wishing to take a clear stand against racism and bigotry.
Send returned petitions to the ANL, PO Box 2566, London N4 1WJ, by Friday 28 June.
CHUMBAWAMBA, the chart-topping band, are to headline an anti-Nazi benefit gig in Burnley on Thursday 27 June. The gig is part of the 'Love music, hate racism' series being organised by the Anti Nazi League.
The gig takes place at Burnley Mechanics, Manchester Road. Doors open at 7pm. Entry £10/£7.