Socialist Worker

Nazi-inspired racist attacks in Merseyside and Barking

by Anindya Bhattacharyya
Issue No. 2002

A leading trade unionist and anti-racist in Merseyside was almost blinded on Thursday of last week in a horrific knife attack. The attack took place at his home in front of his two young daughters.

Alec McFadden is president of the Merseyside Trades Council and a prominent local activist against racism and fascism. He has been targeted by Nazis for many years and believes they were responsible for the attack.

“The fascists play these games in elections – talking about how they’re interested in law and order,” he told Socialist Worker. “But the moment the election is over, they go back to thuggery.”

Alec opened his front door in the Wirral at around 9.30pm after hearing banging outside. A white man lunged at him with a craft knife, slashing at his head, arms and wrists. Eventually he managed to force the door shut while his elder daughter called the police.

The fascist British National Party (BNP) has been active in Merseyside, coming second in one council ward in Liverpool at the 4 May elections. The Nazis also campaigned in the area after the murder of black teenager Anthony Walker last year.

Alec, who stood as a Respect candidate for the north west of England in the European elections two years ago, has received death threats from fascists before because of his anti-racist activism.

“They threatened to shoot me after I led a demonstration against the French fascist Jean-Marie Le Pen when he tried to hold a press conference with the BNP,” he said.

“They’ve also tried to blow up my car in the past. But this is the first time they’ve managed to touch me. It’s shocked everybody in the anti-racist movement.”

Alec’s home address is published on several fascist websites. He is now campaigning to get these websites shut down. “It’s outrageous that these sites exist – sooner or later somebody is going to get killed,” he said.

Racist attack in Barking

Anti-fascist campaigners are also highlighting a stabbing in Barking, east London, last week as an example of how BNP election gains directly lead to racist attacks on the streets.

A 30 year old Asian man was stabbed by racist thugs outside the train station in Barking on Wednesday of last week. The attack took place on the day that 11 Nazi BNP councillors were sworn in on Barking & Dagenham council.

The victim, who came to Britain as a refugee from Afghanistan and now works as a mechanic, was set upon by four white men. They shouted racist abuse at him, stabbed him repeatedly, then left him for dead, draped in an England flag.

He is now in a serious but stable condition at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. Police are treating the attack as racially motivated.

Weyman Bennett, joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism, said, “There is a heightened racist atmosphere in Barking & Dagenham which led to this attack.

“The BNP goes into an area to stir up racism and then leaves people to deal with these brutal racist attacks.” In 2004, the year one BNP councillor was elected in Barking, racist attacks in the area increased by 18 percent.

The Barking stabbing was also condemned by David Okoro, cousin of Anthony Walker. “We are disgusted at this despicable, unprovoked racist attack,” he said.

“Our worst fears have been confirmed – when the BNP is elected racist attacks increase.”

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Tue 23 May 2006, 17:51 BST
Issue No. 2002
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