Only a couple of 14 year olds and a dejected looking bloke in an EDL polo shirt bothered turning up to the EDL’s attempt to exploit a tragedy in Nottingham yesterday. The organiser obviously lost his bottle before even showing up. A 70 strong crowd of anti-fascists held the square for the afternoon quite comfortably and sent a clear message to these vultures that their attempt to capitalise on a violent murder will win them no converts in the city.
Monthly Archives: May 2013
Hoping to exploit a horrific murder for political ends, individuals associated with Nottingham EDL are calling an “unofficial” demo in Nottingham’s Market Square tomorrow (Saturday 25th May) at 1pm. Steve Ryan, a Nottingham Forest football hooligan, has been touting an attempt to milk social tensions generated by the murder of a soldier in Woolwich, according to a poster on Nottingham Indymedia. Local Muslims have been warned to stay away from the city centre out of fear that they will face violent racist “revenge” attacks and anti-fascists are calling for a counter-mobilisation.
We are sceptical about whether many EDL will turn up as most will be going to Newcastle for the EDL’s national demonstration there. However, some bully boy “patriots” might spend enough time in Weatherspoons to get the courage up to have a go at any non-white people who happen to be in the area. If you’re in the Nottingham are tomorrow please go and support the anti-fascists who will be making sure the EDL are not welcome in the city.
Here’s the Indymedia post:
Members of the EDL (the English Defence League) are attempting to arrange an unofficial “demonstration” tomorrow (Saturday) at 1pm on the market Square.
Muslims in the area have been urged to refrain from entering the city centre by Mosques because of a high chance of violent confrontations.
Similar attacks have been occurring up and down the country since Wednesday’s event in London.
This information is public and has been taken from the social media site Facebook.
Please spread the word that the EDL may be meeting tomorrow!
(Please note that there will be another Demo taking place on the market square against Monsanto @ 2pm….)
Please join us, bring banner making materials, noise makers and energy to let them know that their fascism will not be tolerated and people will not be intimidated!
Just a few days after Lincolnshire’s newly elected UKIP councillors refused to sign an anti-racism declaration, Linconshire Police have confirmed that they are investigating three of the councillors over racist posts made on their social media accounts. One of those to be investigated is the leader of UKIP in the county, Councillor Chris Pain, who has made appearances at BNP and EDL supporter, Dean Everitt’s anti-immigration demos.
Pain posted the following:
Have you noticed that if you rearrange the letters in ‘illegal immigrants’, and add just a few more letters, it spells, ‘Go home you free-loading, benefit-grabbing, resource-sucking, baby-making, non-English-speaking ********* and take those other hairy-faced, sandal-wearing, bomb-making, camel-riding, goat-********, raghead ******** with you.
Pain used the time-honoured ‘my account was hacked guv’ defence and hilariously added ““When you’ve got friends that are coloured it makes it even worse.” Perhaps you should ask those friends whether they like being referred to as “coloured” Chris! The rather dubious account hacking explanation was rubbished by the journalist investigating Pain who said that he has a “prolific habit of xenophobic, racist and far-right posting”.
Also under investigation is Alan Jesson, councillor for Spalding South who posted racist and homophobic remarks on his page, threatening forced repatriation for all migrants. Jesson told a Polish woman to “fuck off” and another man that his “culture is not welcome in the UK”.
Tiggs Keywood-Wainwright, the third councillor, posting about migrants said “Put them in a box so they can’t fight back and ship them off as cargo” and “From what I know of Turks, they are not to be trusted.” In her defence, Keywood-Wainwright said “The comments I made were from months ago.”
We’ve been doing a little digging into the Lincoln mosque demo to find out what more about the people organising it. The original Facebook event was set up by a local man called Alex Banos who lists his religious views as “muslim bashing” and his political views as UKIP. He is a big fan of the EDL and it was his posting stating that “we all edl on here”. He has also made posts threatening to bring down the mosque if it gets built.
Since then a more organised far right group has picked up on the event. The East Anglian Patriots, led by former EDL webmaster, Anthony Bamford, and with an admin consisting of disaffected former EDL organisers like Andy Reynolds and Rob Stebbing, is promoting the event. In spite of the fact that Lincoln isn’t in East Anglia. Oh dear. There are plenty of actual EDL members involved as well. Members of the Stop the Lincoln Mosque group include EDL deputy, Kev Carroll, and Norwich EDL organiser Ivan Humble. Sam Burgess, who organised the Norwich EDL demo has said he is going. Other members of the East Anglian Patriots include EVF Midlands organiser, Wayne Ayers, Daz Healey and Ben Laight of Boston EDL and a familiar face who seems to pop up in everything far right around these parts – Dean Everitt. Everitt’s latest anti-immigration demo in Wisbech was deemed too extreme even for the strongly anti-immigration UKIP to attend so he obviously feels the need to move in more blatantly fascist circles these days.
Things are not looking good for the far right mobilisation according to posts on their event page, demonstrating that, as we expected, local interest in the demo is non-existent. Interest from “Lincoln lads is embarrassing” according to Dave Gooderham, who complains that “the locals don’t seem to care”. Rob Sawyer agreed: “the i don’t want a mosque brigade can’t get off there arse” and added that he’s “using the demo as a social and nothing more”. He concluded “the people of Lincoln don’t fucking care”. Which begs the question of why people from a different region are coming to protest a mosque that has nothing to do with them? It just looks like an attempt to stir up trouble where there is none, a social (i.e. heavy drinking) session for a few lads from Norfolk and an excuse to do a few racist chants as well as trying to intimidate the local Muslim community.
Fortunately, local Lincoln anti-fascists have calling for a counter-mobilisation against the racists. We will promote their plans once they’ve been made public and encourage anyone who is against fascism and nationalism to oppose the anti-Muslim demo.
It seems that Paul Hilliard’s not alone in his admiration for Mussloni’s boot boys. The Sun has investigated Oswald Mosley fanciers, the New British Union, and found that a prominent member lives in Sudbury, Derbyshire. Matthew Gill was until recently the NBU’s “Policy Officer”, although he stepped down citing health reasons earlier this month. Here’s an excerpt from the Sun’s piece:
A key Raikes lieutenant is NBU “Policies Officer” Matthew Gill, a charity worker and Doctor Who fan.
On the NBU website is an article on immigration in Gill’s name. It reads: “There are those who will say there is nothing wrong with massive Third World immigration so long as they learn the language, adapt to the local culture and so on. This presupposes that the human being can be intentionally colour blind.”
Gill’s blog posting adds: “The truth, of course, is that even if a Kenyan can speak perfect English, even if he wears English clothes, uses English slang and attends the C of E, none of that makes him English!”
The Derbyshire village of Sudbury, where Gill lives, was mentioned in the Domesday Book, and with its bowling green and friendly village pub, it’s a picture postcard location.
Dad-of-two Gill, 33, and his father Phil are both members of the New British Union.
Answering the door in jeans and T-shirt, Gill Junior soon scuttled back inside to put on his black coat with an NBU badge.
The former mortgage adviser, who says he now works for a Mormon charity, claims the party has “a few thousand” members and said: “We’re not racists. I’m a fascist but I’m not anti-Semitic.”
He added: “Black shirts are a traditional way of making us stand out. We don’t wear them in public.
“It sets us apart. Black was the colour chosen by Mosley.”
However, Gill then defended Mussolini, one of the party’s heroes. In 1938 the Italian fascist dictator passed laws barring Jews from universities and many professions. After 1943, when Germany occupied parts of the country, more than 7,000 Jews were deported to Nazi concentration camps, with many dying at Auschwitz.
Gill insisted: “Mussolini was not anti-Semitic, he got carried away. He got in with the wrong crowd — with Hitler. But you can’t compare us to Nazism — they were National Socialists, I’m not.”
The presence of a fascist in the tiny village — population 180 — has shocked locals.
Vicar John Vickerstaff, 52, said: “Well, I certainly don’t share their views,” while salesman Joe Hagan, 65, said: “The younger man has said some odd things to people so I’m not that surprised. I knew they were Mormons — but not fascists.”
One anti-fascist campaigner who posted NBU activists’ biographies online called them “a few easily led fools” but added: “They’re still fascists who think they can organise openly and as such it seems sensible to cast a wary eye in their direction.”
EDL splinter group, the East Anglian Patriots (not to be confused with the East Anglian Patriotic Front or the People’s Front of East Anglia), have announced that they will hold a demonstration in Lincoln on Saturday 8th June at 1pm. They are protesting the building of a mosque on the site of a disused dairy because they don’t believe in freedom of religion.
Just in case there’s any dispute about whether or not the organisers of the demo are EDL or not, here’s what they are saying on Facebook:
Unsurprisingly, the promotional material for their event is littered with factual errors and half-truths. To start with they state that the mosque will cost £0.5m to build whereas the actual figure is close to £1m (and it’s going to be paid by the local Muslim community anyway, so why do they care?) The former EDL members twist the truth mercilessly by saying that “Local residents have objected but as usual their pleas have been ignored.” In actual fact, local residents group Boultham Residents’ Association initially objected to the plans on the basis of the increased traffic that would be brought to the area, but came out in support of the final plan, which included 68 parking spaces for worshippers. Lincoln Council only received five letters of objection, “mostly about concerns over traffic congestion”, while six letters were sent in which backed the project.
Chair of the Boultham Residents’ Association, Jean Flannery had some very positive things to say about the scheme that seem to demonstrate that local people are accepting and welcoming of the mosque and the Muslims who use it:
We need to move forward together. Now, our joint task is to foster understanding and acceptance of one another.
Misunderstandings may cause difficulties and anxieties but they can be corrected.
We already live and work alongside one another.
Individual and working relationships are the norm for many. We have our differences but we also share more similarities.
By far the majority of us surely wish to live in harmony. To my mind the way to accomplish this is to develop and expand relationships to fully include the wider community, in which we all share.
It seems that it’s the far right protesters who are riding roughshod over the desires of the local community and trying to impose their own agenda.
“Our way of life, our faith, our very existence is under threat from this Islamic encroachment” the East Anglian Patriots’ poster shrieks hysterically, although it’s not at all clear how turning a derelict wasteland into a mosque is going to do that. The Lincoln Islamic Association has compelling reasons for needing a larger mosque, saying “We now have approximately 2000 Muslims in Lincoln and surrounding areas. Our current Mosque capacity is only 60.” The truth of the matter is the demonstrators are mostly anti-Muslim and racist people from out of town (Lincoln is not in East Anglia) who want to divide communities along lines of race and religion.
This demonstration and its politics of intercommunal violence should be resisted.
The BNP’s election campaign turned out to be a disaster yesterday as their share of the vote was seriously cut down across the East Midlands and the country as a whole. Newcomers, the British Democrats, failed to make any impact and the English Democrats did very badly as well. UKIP’s populist right wing politics seems to have eclipsed the far right, perhaps for good.
Here’s how the BNP share of the vote looked in the wards in which they stood at the last elections in 2009 compared with the current results.
- Derbyshire: 2009: 19.2% 2013: 5.5%
- Leicestershire: 2009: 14.3% 2013: 8.4%
- Lincolnshire: 2009: 11.1% 2013: 4.3%
- Northamptonshire: 2009: 13.2% 2013: 4.7%
- Nottinghamshire: 2009: 10.9% 2013: 2.4%
In other words the BNP has done extremely badly, a view shared by their last remaining councillor, Cathy Duffy, who flounced out of the count in Leicestershire before her (poor) result was even announced.
Another welcome result at these elections was the booting out of Graham Partner, elected as BNP Councillor for Coalville in 2009 and being rejected by the electorate as a British Democrats candidate this year. We won’t be sad to see him go.
Whilst the further collapse of the BNP is to be welcomed, the rise of UKIP poses new questions and challenges for those who oppose anti-migrant racism and right wing populism. This analysis by the Independent Working Class Association is not a bad place to start in understanding the relationship between UKIP and the BNP and stating the challenges facing those who seek to oppose their right wing populism with a genuine working class politics.
The bad news keeps coming for the BNP who have seen their vote collapse across the East Midlands, even in previously strong areas such as Charnwood and Amber Valley. The results are now in from Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire and they’re not good for the BNP.
In Amber Valley, the Invisible Councillor’s stay in the wilderness looks set to continue. Cliff Roper blogged excitedly about UKIP not standing in his Greater Heanor ward a month ago but it didn’t help him out. He managed to get 336 votes (12.5%) but that was nowhere near winning. Adrian Hickman failed in Heanor Central only managing 5.5% in a ward that the BNP got 12.5% in in 2009. In Ripley the party’s results were even worse with Alan Edwards getting a pathetic 2.6% in Ripley East & Codnor and Ken Cooper only scraping 63 votes (1.5%) in Ripley West & Heage. There have been some boundary changes in the area but the BNP got 7.2% in Ripley and 6.3% in Heage last time around so this is a significant drop in their share of the vote.
The BNP were standing 6 candidates in Charnwood and 1 in the nearby ward of Glenfields, an area of north Leicestershire they have previously done well in. It was not to be this time around though. Peter Cheeseman’s share of the vote in Glenfields slumped from 16% in 2009 to 3% and the party’s share of the vote was halved across Charnwood. The best results came from Cathy Duffy in Syston Fosse (11.4% compared with 25.6% in 2009) and Robin Derrick in Thurmaston (10.5% compared to 19.6% in 2009) although in both wards their share of the vote had dropped dramatically.
Things weren’t looking much better for the newly formed (and probably soon to demise) British Democrats either. Kevan Stafford, a former BNP candidate got 7.4% of the vote in Loughborough South (the BNP did better with 12.4% in 2009) and we are very happy to announce that nasty islamophobe and former BNP councillor Graham Partner lost his seat thanks to a massive desertion by his voters. Partner won the Coalville ward with 27.7% of the vote in 2009 but only managed to get 7.4%, less than a third of his previous share, this time. Good riddance!
In Nottinghamshire the re-emergence of Broxtowe BNP seems to have been dealt a fatal hammer blow. Broxtowe organiser David Wright only got 78 votes (2.6%) in Beauvale and fellow activist Alex McConnell did even worse in Eastwood, only managing to attract 57 votes (2.1%). The BNP got 19.7% in Beauvale in 2009 so this is shockingly bad.
With only Northamptonshire left to declare, the news is grim for the far right who have seen voters desert them. No doubt this is in part due to a surge in popularity of the slightly more moderate UKIP but also undoubtedly because the BNP has failed to offer anything to voters in times of austerity except a racism that is increasingly out of touch with the public. Infighting in the far right has meant that many of the party’s activists have given up in despair or left for other pointless groups, leaving the BNP unable to contest elections effectively. We will doubtless see many more desert following these appalling election results and hopefully the knives will be out for Griffin again.
The first East Midlands county election has declared and the BNP have done rather badly in Lincolnshire. The “Reverend” Robert West got a measly 88 votes in Holbeach, 4% of the vote and a massive collapse since 2009 when the BNP came second with 418 votes (16.5%). In Louth Wolds, John Hattersley’s 318 votes (10.8%) in 2009 slumped to 176 (7.9%) this time. In Spalding East & Moulton where the BNP polled 573 votes (20.5%) in 2009, Anthony Williams only managed 94 votes (3.9%) – the BNP’s share of the vote is only a quarter of what it was.
It seems that all their leafleting in Skegness around the halal slaughterhouse has come to nothing as well. Robert Ashton, Lincoln Coastal Branch organiser stood for the BNP in Skegness South, a seat the party has not contested previously, and managed a very poor 77 votes (4.3%).
In the run up to these elections anti-fascists were pleased at the low number of candidates the BNP were standing, suggesting that the party was collapsing. The BNP claimed they were concentrating on areas where they thought they would do well. That is not turning out to be the case.
A UKIP candidate in Thursday’s Leicestershire County Council election has been suspended by the party. Chris Scotton was representing the reactionary party in the Syston Ridgeway division, but fell out of favour after displaying numerous declarations of support for the EDL on his facebook page, along with various other dubious postings. Open support for the EDL is not something that UKIP, seeking to poach votes from the Tories, wish to endorse – despite the EDL leadership endorsing UKIP…
Foolish Chris is not the only fascist embarrassment for UKIP; party leader Nigel Farage has been forced to agree that his party contains “a handful” of candidates with links to fascist organisations. There are a large number of UKIP candidates in the forthcoming elections, whilst the BNP remain in the doldrums, and there are no other far-right parties with any chance of making any impact. Therefore, UKIP, apparently on an upsurge, will be an attractive vehicle for fascists with ambitions in local politics. It’s no surprise that a right-wing anti-immigration party will attract such people in a time when the far-right is is disarray, and anti-fascists will be watching the political development of UKIP with interest.