THE NAZI British National Party is hoping to repeat the success of Jean-Marie Le Pen. Local council elections take place on Thursday of next week. Anti-Nazis in the areas targeted by the BNP are stepping up their campaign. They are appealing for support from across Britain. That support needs to flood in to isolate the Nazis.
Burnley and Oldham in the north west of England face the major threat. The BNP is trying to con people into voting for 13 Nazi candidates in 15 council seats in Burnley. It wants to capitalise on the 23 percent the BNP polled in Lower House ward in Burnley in November last year. Oldham has five hardcore Nazi thugs standing for election. Nazis are also standing seven candidates in Bexley in south London. The police are investigating the BNP there after people complained they were tricked into signing its candidates' nomination forms.
There are four BNP candidates in Tipton in the West Midlands, one in Bradford, four in Dewsbury and six in Sunderland. The BNP is putting up candidates in 68 seats around the country. That is more than double the number it managed in the last local elections.
But the campaign against the BNP is also growing. It can tap the wave of outrage across Britain at Le Pen's vote in France. Home secretary David Blunkett talks of taking on the BNP. That should mean the entire labour and trade union movement throwing its weight into the campaign over the next week.
The biggest union in Britain, Unison, is taking out adverts across the north west of England exposing the BNP. That can boost the confidence of local people who know the Nazis are in a minority.
All the religious organisations in Burnley have put their names to a statement calling for people to use their vote, but not to vote for the BNP. It is going into the local paper. Community activists who run local discos and youth clubs that bring together white and Asian young people in Burnley have written an appeal against the Nazis. They are delivering it to residents in the Rosegrove area of the Lower House ward.
Anti-Nazi campaigners together with Burnley football supporters were out leafleting Burnley Football Club's home game on Sunday. Most football fans didn't know about and were sickened by the BNP's string of convictions for racist attacks and thuggery.
Campaigners will be out every day before the elections. Their campaign in Oldham over the last year has already restricted the number of candidates the BNP is standing. The BNP, the so called 'party of law and order' in Oldham, hasn't been able to keep away from crime during the election campaign.
Its candidate in Hollinwood, Mick Treacy, has just been found guilty of affray on top of his lengthy criminal record. A local anti-Nazi campaigner told Socialist Worker, 'The authorities have been forced to change their approach to the way they police groups of racists. They are no longer escorted into Asian areas and allowed to carry out racist attacks on the community. We have won a space for legitimate anti-Nazi campaigning.'
Anti-Nazi campaigners were out on Sunday in the Alexandra ward in Oldham. Among those campaigning door to door was Labour MEP and ANL treasurer Glyn Ford. They were also out in Bexley, Newham (east London), Bradford and Dewsbury. In each area the Nazis are a minority but a real threat.
Local people are standing up to the BNP. They now need to feel the solidarity and support of the anti-Nazi majority across Britain.
Campaign gets results
HUNDREDS OF people joined an anti-Nazi 'Fun Day' in Bradford on Saturday of last week. Teams of people leafleted Eccleshill, where the BNP is standing a candidate. About 50 people leafleted against the BNP in Bexley, south London, on the same day.
The following day 400 people packed a lively Anti Nazi League gig in Manchester. Some 46 DJs from around the Manchester area helped raise £1,000 for the 'Don't Vote Nazi' campaign.
The BNP don't care about the elderly
Join the campaign in the areas near you where the BNP is standing.
The Anti Nazi League is organising transport to the mass leafleting sessions. As Socialist Worker went to press there were already coaches from London, Manchester, Nottingham, the Home Counties, Liverpool, Sheffield, Scotland and Wales.
Take a collection to support the anti-Nazi campaign around your school, workplace, union or college.
Join the mass leafleting sessions against the BNP on Sunday 28 April.
OLDHAM: 12 noon, Civic Centre car park, Rochdale Road. BURNLEY: 12 noon, Towneley Park car park, Todmorden Road.
What you can do
OVER 400 local people marched in Burnley on Saturday against plans to close old people's homes. The BNP, which claims to stand for ordinary people, did not turn up. Many people on the march knew that the BNP has no answers to the real problems people face. It only offers division.
As 71 year old Mr Cummings said, 'The danger is the BNP will jump on something like this.' The fact that it didn't shows how the anti-Nazi campaign is exposing the BNP.
The ANL has details of activities in each area-phone 020 7924 0333