The council by-election held in Sileby, Leics. yesterday has declared results. The BNP’s Charnwood organiser Steve “warm seat” Denham received 93 votes, just over 7% of the poll, and beat the Libdems (who did not stand here in the previous election) into fourth. This result falls short of what the BNP hoped to achieve, with Denham talking up his chances to anyone who would listen before the election. Although Charnwood is an area where the BNP have received reasonable support in the past, the BNP’s general (terminal?) malaise seems to have made itself felt in Sileby too.
Monthly Archives: June 2012
A leaflet written by former BNP councillor turned independent, Graham Partner, has been censured for an anti-Muslim leaflet he sent out to voters as a New Year message. Partner, who is now touting the English Democrats label, wrote a leaflet claiming that “victimhood comes easily” to Muslims accusing them of “terrorist atrocit[ies]” and “blood-soaked massacre[s]” “justified by reference to imagined grievances.”
A Leicestershire County Council standards committee found that Partner had undermined race relations, breached the council code of conduct by bringing the Council into disrepute and ruled that Partner should undertake equality training.
Partner’s leaflet was described as “causing harassment to people of Nigerian origin, Third World origin, Palestinian origin, Pakistani origin, any non-Christian beliefs as well as those of a liberal Christian belief” suggesting that there is almost no one in the world that Partner likes.
Standards sub-committee chair, Martin Caple, said “We have decided Coun Partner is censured in the strongest possible terms as this is a serious matter”, although it is not clear what consequences this has other than the slap on the wrist of equalities training.
Of course, Partner himself has decided that this is all a massive conspiracy claiming rather grandiosely that “it was seen as an opportunity to feign offence on [minorities’] behalf by political rivals who are incapable of defeating a single independent councillor by fair and proper means.” Partner seems to think that racism is all in the imagination of those who have to put up with over-entitled fucktards like him spouting such offensive rubbish day in and day out.
It’s a pity he didn’t get kicked out of his job.
A recent report illustrates that racist abuse is occurring in kids as young as eight in Derbyshire schools. Racist ideas (whether coming from political groupings, socially conservative interests, media stereotypes, or other sources) have a pernicious habit of spreading – also to the very young – if unchallenged. Such ideas all too often surface as abusive language or behaviour, and it’s not too large a leap to make the link between playground racism and the intimidation which is the stock-in-trade of fascist gangs. Counteracting racist and socially regressive ideas in society is as important a part of anti-fascism as actually opposing the fascists who are the manifestation of such ideas.
The BNP are trying their luck in the Charnwood Borough Council Election in Sileby, Leics. which will be held on Thursday June 28th. Their candidate is Steve Denham, the party’s Charnwood organiser. Denham, who lives nearby in Syston, claims good support in the area and fancies his chances of not finishing last; this is an area where the BNP would hope to poll well and we’ll be watching with interest.
The report is a collation of the evidence and observations obtained by a team of community-based volunteer legal observers who spent the day monitoring the policing of both EDL and counter-demonstrations.
The report criticises police handling of the demonstration, particularly the effort and resources the police and local authorities devoted to persuading the local community, particularly young people in the local community, not to attend counter demonstrations against the EDL. It also raises questions about the use of force, particularly the use of dog units against Muslim youth, and the restrictions on movement placed on the Muslim population, effectively making Leicester a ‘no-go’ area.
Val Swain of Netpol stated, “The decision by Leicestershire constabulary to persuade local communities, voluntary and faith groups and particularly young people to stay away from counter demonstrations was utterly wrong. It really cannot be the role of the police to decide who is able to demonstrate and who is not. As well as being an interference with fundamental rights to protest, it led to a policing strategy that prioritised police control of the local community, especially Muslim youth. This raised tensions, heightened anger, and in my view made conflict more, rather than less likely.”
The report was launched at the Highfields Centre in Leicester on Monday 11th June by community youth worker and Netpol campaigner Saqib Deshmukh, who presented the findings to local activists, journalists and a representative of Leicestershire constabulary. Saqib has also helped to train community based legal observers in East London, as part of the initiative to monitor the policing of the Olympics by Netpol partner Newham Monitoring Project.
Key report findings include:
• Police, working with Leicester council, put significant resources into a campaign aimed at persuading local people, particularly the youth, to stay away from counter demonstrations.
• The use of the Children Act, which allows police to take under-eighteen year olds to a ‘place of safety’, was unacceptably used as a ‘scare tactic’ to further dissuade young people from attending demonstrations
• Police maintained control over the movements of local people, making Leicester effectively a ‘no go zone’ for young Muslim men.
• Police used substantial force to control groups of Muslim youth, including the use of kettles, baton strikes and police dogs, leading to one young man sustaining dog bite injuries.
• Stop and searches were carried out under s60 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, a police power that does not require suspicion of an individual. Although the number of such stop and searches was not high, all reported searchers were of people of Asian appearance. Powers to remove face coverings and scarfs also appear to have been disproportionately used against Muslim/Asian young people.
• The facilitation of the EDL appeared to take greater priority than the facilitation of counter demonstrations.
Again, we are reminded that the police are no friends of local communities who are threatened by fascist mobilisations.
Blink and you’d miss them but 500 EDL members turned up in Rochdale yesterday to try to make further capital from the Rochdale grooming case. As I’ve said in a previous post, the far right have ignored a lot of the factual evidence and just followed their prejudices in “making sense” of this case, helped along by mainstream politicians like Jack Straw with his statement that some men in the Pakistani community “view white girls as easy meat”.
Given that the EDL say that they are so opposed to this mistreatment of girls and what they view as Islam’s mistreatment of women in general, you might think that they would be squeaky clean themselves. This is not the case. Another EDL member was outed for a paedophilia conviction recently, adding to the already extensive list. Experts suggest that male paedophiles flourish in environments where there is strong male bonding and an atmosphere of misogyny. The EDL is such a place.
Less than 10% of EDL members are female. The vast majority are men and the culture is correspondingly laddish and sexist. Indeed, EDL leader Tommy Robinson is a keen fan of the twitter feed of True Lad, who regularly tweets boorish sexist rubbish about “slags”, “fat girls”, making wagers for blow jobs from his girlfriend and even sexual assaults: “sneakily brushing against girls arses as they walk past in clubs.
#covertarseratingLAD.” But then, girls are just easy meat to these people.
These offensive, sexist values are present throughout the male EDL (and are often considered normal and acceptable by the women as well). We have already covered the “lock up your daughters” attitudes of local members, the rape jokes and the perception that women should be domestic servants. There is plenty more abuse of women where that came from.
The most common perception of women is that they are sexual and domestic slaves, as summed up in this post by Adam Repton (Nottingham EDL member): “A real woman never lets her man leave the house hungry or horny”.
This is an attitude shared by Craig “Leicester” Elliott, Leicester organiser, who had this Mothers’ Day wish for Leicester mums: “Happy mothers day to all mums! A little explanation to Leicester mums though! It’s such a special day for you on this day every year so this year we thought a special dinner was in order. In fact this dinner has got to be so special that were all off out to watch the footy whilst you cook it so we don’t get under your feet!”
Chris Conroy (Newark EDL organiser) is a man who clearly thinks a woman’s place is in the kitchen and nowhere else. “Why do women try to talk football? Do you see me in the kitchen discussing dishwashing strategies? No, you don’t.” When questioned by a woman who objected to his stance, he wrote “you fail as a proper female”.
These lads think that lounging around playing football is a “proper” man’s role whilst “proper” females should be happy to cook and clean.
Oh and be perved at by them of course, as demonstrated by Martin Wealthall of Nottingham EDL:
Any women who disagree with this servile role are just trying to spoil men’s fun. Steve “Bod” of Leicester EDL reckons “men were brought into this world to enjoy there life. women were brought into the world to make sure they dont”. Or as Chris Conroy puts it “Fucking females… lol! dont have a clue… text you with abuse before they even know the crack…get real cunt.” Lee Tams (Leicester EDL) adds “FK UM USE AND ABUSE”. After all, they’re just easy meat.
Not content to joke about rape and sexual abuse of women, the lads also like to fantasise about extreme physical violence and murder of their female partners. Ian Humphries of Leicester EDL likes to “joke” about breaking his wife’s jaw (the “sound barrier”) and burying her under the house.
All of this should demonstrate how hypocritical these EDL members are every time they complain about Muslims abusing women or the inferior status that Islam confers on women.
Anti-fascists are against the abuse of all women and children, not just when it is politically convenient for us. We want a world where women and men are equals, not one where women slave in the kitchen whilst their menfolk relax in front of the footy. Whether it is paedophile grooming gangs or the misogynists of the EDL, violence, sexual abuse and threats of abuse against people based on their gender need to be eradicated.
4. It bolsters the far right’s attempts to portray themselves as victims
Those on the far right love to think of themselves as victims of an establishment conspiracy to deprive them of their free speech and undermine them. To some extent, this is true, largely due to the sporadic adoption of a liberal anti-extremism by mainstream society. The tendency of liberal anti-fascists to give a platform to mainstream politicians and establishment figures (see Part 2 of this article), to leave physical confrontation of fascists to the police (see Part 1) and to lobby for the mainstream media and organisations to deny the far right a platform mean that it is extremely difficult to find mainstream voices explicitly supporting the BNP or the EDL.
However, it is not necessary to dig too much deeper to find establishment support for the kind of policies these groups would like to see implemented. Strict immigration controls, racial and religious profiling, greater police powers and patriarchal family values all receive some degree of support within the mainstream. Indeed, anti-fascism often turns into a game of labels rather than an examination of the content of politics. Tory and Labour MPs get away with saying and doing all kinds of authoritarian and reactionary things that Tommy Robinson or Nick Griffin could never, because anti-fascism can often become fixated on membership of certain organisations, rather than the ideological confrontation of a particular kind of politics.
Indeed, far from being rebels, the EDL often seem to act as guard dogs for the establishment: supporting the monarchy, the armed forces and British rule over the Falklands,attacking striking workers, student protesters, Irish republicans and the left. At times the EDL’s politics seems to flow directly from the pages of the right wing tabloids – hardly the voice of an oppressed minority! Indeed, the EDL were notoriously championed by the Daily Star.
As the examples of other European countries (e.g. Austria, Italy, Greece) demonstrate, these populist nationalists can easily become the establishment without shedding their fascist core. They can then start using the resources and authority of the state to build up their movements and carry out attacks on minorities and the left. Thanks to their contorted worldview they can happily integrate into the state in this way and still complain about what a victimised minority they are.
Increasingly, the far right is appropriating the language of genuine struggles against domination, e.g. anti-racism and anti-colonial and indigenous struggles, and using it for their own aim of continued European/white domination of the political, economic and cultural spheres. Anti-fascists need to confront this fake victimhood wherever it crops up and consistently challenge the fascists with the reality of the power relations involved.
5. It weakens anti-fascism on the streets
As Anti-Fascist Action famously stated, their aim was to confront fascism ideologically and physically. This is a message that has been lost in recent decades, as the Socialist Workers Party-controlled UAF has come to dominate anti-fascism’s street presence. Despite all of their rhetoric about smashing fascism, UAF rarely even try to confront fascist marches and demonstrations. Instead, they prefer to keep mainstream politicians, community leaders and trade unions on board by meekly conforming with the police’s instructions. They and the allied Love Music Hate Racism organise celebrations of multiculturalism that are often well out of the way of the fascists, giving the police plenty of space to control both crowds. Often the actual confrontation is left to the local communities themselves who are usually heavily outnumbered by better kitted out riot police.
Whilst it can certainly be argued that, due to the rise of police surveillance and evidence gathering capabilities, the days of AFA are long gone, the opportunity to physically resist fascist mobilisations is definitely not. This does not, despite the stereotype, have to mean going out for a fight with the fash (although we should always be prepared for that), but rather physically preventing them from going where they want. Anti-fascists can take heart from the successful blockade of a Nazi march in Dresden in 2010, and, more close to home, the successful blockade of a BNP meeting in Kimberley in 2007. Both actions relied mainly on the presence of large numbers of anti-fascists who refused to collaborate with the police and blocked the fascists from getting past.
As the BNP disintegrates and the much hyped British Freedom is turning out to be a big disappointment, the far right’s stormtroopers are hoping to go back to the streets again to assert themselves. It is vital for our struggle to prevent them from doing that. That doesn’t mean leaving it to the police to sort out or getting the government to ban them. It means defending our communities from these fascist intruders, by whatever tactics are most effective.
212 Poison are meeting at 4pm tomorrow at the Goose pub on Hotel Street in Leicester to “raise a glass to H.R.H The Queen”. They’ll be joined by several of the local EDL leadership. Why not pop down to see what they’ve got planned?
The latest vehicle for frustrated nationalist street fighters (now that the EDL is sliding down the shitter and who are the infidels again?) is cryptically calling itself 212. There are already Leicester and Nottingham branches of the group “dedicated to defending our City, our Country and our People”. Calling themselves “Proud enemies of extremist Islam, Defenders of England, it’s history, culture and its People” they aim to “end the Muslim stranglehold of our land and our government, expose Islam for the depraved fake religion that it is and to support other pro-English-anti Islamic groups throughout the Country.”
That should give you some idea of how connected to reality these people are. Not only do they think that a religion with over 1bn followers is “fake” (no doubt all the “so-called” Muslims are actually computer-generated shape-shifting lizard people from the moon) but they also think it has a stranglehold over our government. You know, the one that regularly goes and invades Muslim countries so that it can plunder and control them and has spent millions trying to infiltrate, spy on and control its domestic Muslim population too. But what would I know – I’m just a cultural Marxist-indoctrinated sheeple after all.
Unsurprisingly, given that they subscribe to exactly the same brand of paranoid anti-Muslim nonsense, they have “met up with local #EDL lads” and found that “were all on the same page”. Indeed they’ve pledged their “support for #EDL”. Quite a few prominent EDL members have liked their Facebook pages, including Leicester organiser, Craig “Leicester”.
UK “boss” of 212, Jay Butcher, says he is “Sick to death of weekend warriors around the pub table” and reckons the solution is to “Fight!”. A graphic illustration of what they are in favour of is given in the cover for the 212 Poison page which depicts a mosque in flames whilst dispossessed Muslims watch. This is a group clearly going for the Kristallnacht vibe. Indeed, some of the recent offerings cross-posted on the Leicester and Nottingham pages show that they are more of an attack dog for the British state than a rogue cell. For example, they have posted a link to the UK Border Agency’s contact page, encouraging members to grass up suspected “ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS”. Apparently, “High turnover of staff in Takeaways is a sure sign, any Muzi sweat shops no doubt will have a few as well. EYES OPEN PEOPLE. Smoke out the Rats.”
212, just like the EDL before them, are riding alongside the state’s crackdowns on Muslims and migrants and using them to build their vigilante gang. They threaten and maybe even carry out the work on the streets that official agencies don’t want to get their hands dirty with. Although they could well be another sad little nationalist gang that is more in love with its own butch image than actually doing anything, a change in the political environment towards a more hardline state could empower them to make their threats a reality.