Socialist Worker

Anti-fascist demo humiliates BNP leader at court appearance

by Anindya Bhattacharyya
Issue No. 1975

Students march to join the demonstration

Students march to join the demonstration

Over a thousand anti-fascists rallied outside Leeds Crown Court on Wednesday morning for a vibrant and united demonstration against Nick Griffin, leader of the Nazi British National Party (BNP).

Griffin was in court alongside his sidekick Mark Collett to face charges of incitement to racial hatred.

The Nazis had called a national mobilisation to back him, but their 150 supporters were comprehensively outnumbered and humiliated by the anti-fascist turnout.

Griffin was pelted with eggs and flour as he scuttled into the court building, surrounded by minders and police.

The anti-BNP demo was called by Unite Against Fascism and Yorkshire and the Humber TUC.

Trade unions from across the region attended with their banners, with the PCS civil service workers' union and NASUWT teachers' union prominent among them.

The high point came at 9am, when an already sizeable Unite presence was swelled by a huge contingent of students from Leeds University.

Anti-fascists cheered as the students arrived. The colour drained from the Nazis' faces as they turned round to see hundreds of young people, black and white, marching on them.

Unite protesters jeered at the fascists, singing 'Where's your führer gone? He's going down!'

The Unite protest ended with a lunchtime rally outside Leeds Art Gallery.

Activists heard speeches from Unite, the TUC and others, all vowing to keep up their unity and smash the BNP.

Local anti-fascist campaigners were delighted with the size and confidence of the turnout.

'We've put a marker down today to the BNP,' said Katie from Leeds Unite. 'If they try sticking their heads up again, they'll know we'll be here — and there's a lot more of us.'

Demonstrating outside the court

Demonstrating outside the court

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Sat 5 Nov 2005, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1975
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