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Anger as BNP Nazis walk free

This article is over 15 years, 11 months old
Anti-racist campaigners reacted with anger last week as Nick Griffin, leader of the fascist British National Party (BNP), and his sidekick Mark Collett walked free from a Leeds court.
Issue 1987
cartoon by Tim Sanders
cartoon by Tim Sanders

Anti-racist campaigners reacted with anger last week as Nick Griffin, leader of the fascist British National Party (BNP), and his sidekick Mark Collett walked free from a Leeds court.

The pair were on trial for incitement to racial hatred for statements they made attacking Islam and asylum seekers that were secretly filmed by the BBC for a documentary.

But Griffin and Collett were cleared on four charges and the jury was deadlocked on the other four. The Crown Prosecution Service says it intends to press ahead with a retrial of the two men.

Many people will be outraged that two confirmed Nazis with a history and record of poisonous bigotry against ethnic minorities can walk free on charges of incitement to race hatred.

Griffin claimed he was attacking Islam rather than Muslims. The government’s Religious Hatred Bill, which was designed to close this loophole, was gutted in a Commons vote last week.

Weyman Bennett, joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism, urged all those opposed to the Nazis to get involved with Unite’s national campaign to stop the BNP at the local elections this May.

Unite activists will be travelling to London for a major conference on stopping the rise of the BNP on Saturday of next week.

Unite conference, Saturday 18 February, TUC Conference Centre, Great Russell Street, London. See page 10 for details or go to www.uaf.org.uk

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