Anti-fascist campaigners and trade union activists across the Yorkshire and Humberside region are planning a protest outside Leeds Crown Court later this month to coincide with the trial of Nick Griffin, leader of the fascist British National Party (BNP).
Griffin and his sidekick Mark Collett face charges of incitement to racial hatred following a BBC television documentary in 2004 that exposed BNP members boasting about organising racist violence.
The Leeds protest, called by Unite Against Fascism and Yorkshire and the Humber TUC, follows a highly successful anti-BNP demonstration and rally in November outside the preliminary hearings into Griffin’s trial.
That demonstration saw over 1,000 anti-fascists — including a large number from Leeds University—humiliate some 150 BNP Nazis who had turned out to support their leader.
Dedicated campaigning by Unite activists last year prevented the BNP from winning any council by-elections or from making a breakthrough at the general election.
But the Nazis still pose a threat in the local elections this May.
The BNP wants to capitalise on the atmosphere of anti-Muslim racism, targeting areas such as Keighley in West Yorkshire and Barking & Dagenham in east London.
Unite is hosting a national conference on beating back the BNP on Saturday 18 February in central London. Speakers include London mayor Ken Livingstone and Billy Hayes of the CWU communication workers’ union.
Demonstrate against the Nazi BNP, Monday 16 January. Assemble 9am outside Leeds Crown Court, Oxford Row. For details of coaches and transport call Unite Against Fascism on 020 7833 4916 or go to www.uaf.org.uk