IN TWO key areas of the north west of England meetings of the Unite Against Fascism coalition gathered anti-Nazi campaigners together last week. In Oldham, former British National Party councillor Maureen Stowe urged people at a rally to stamp out the BNP in the elections in June.
She explained how she was conned by the BNP into standing for the party and said it was time the party was stopped. Councillors, trade unionists, and community activists were among the crowd at the rally.
BNP leader Nick Griffin has announced he wants to stand in the north west region for the European elections, to be held on 10 June. Reena Woods from Unison said, 'Unison is made up of people from all walks of life. We should all unite and together we must smash the BNP.' In Burnley on Wednesday of last week there was a press conference to publicise the organising meeting of Burnley United Against Fascism.
Burnley council's leader, Stuart Caddy, spoke of Maureen Stowe's bravery in standing up to the bullying of the BNP. When Maureen spoke she was loudly applauded. She stated that she would do all she could to expose the BNP.
Weyman Bennett, joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism, urged everyone locally to join together to oppose the BNP.
Love Music Hate Racism
LOVE MUSIC Hate Racism is organising a tour of bands that oppose the BNP to help raise the profile of Unite Against Fascism. Pete Doherty of The Libertines, who were set to play the Astoria on Tuesday of this week, says, 'I don't think you have to be a particularly developed human being intellectually or spiritually to despise racism.
'We need to encourage people to fight racism whether with words or actions.' Love Music Hate Racism are launching a weekly 'Rock Against Racism' night at London's Borderline on Charing Cross Road, every Tuesday at 11pm.
THE TUC has organised conferences in Birmingham and London on Saturday 3 April: Defeating fascism in London and the south east-a mobilisation for all trade unionists. Speakers include Frances O'Grady, TUC deputy general secretary, and Lee Jasper, chair of Unite Against Fascism. To book places phone 020 7467 1220.
Unite Against Fascism rally. Birmingham NEC, 11am-4pm, with TUC general secretary Brendan Barber and Trevor Phillips from the Commission for Racial Equality. The following day there will be mass leafleting against the BNP. For details contact Unite on 020 7833 4916.