Nazi Nick and the decline of the BNP

After months of circling the drain, Nick Griffin’s far-right career (most probably) came to its end. At the British National Party’s (BNP) National Executive meeting last Saturday, Griffin was ousted as Party Leader.

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The Party’s decline has been almost as dramatic as it’s rise in which four years ago there was a real threat that the the UK could see it’s first first Fascist MP in the post-WWII period.

Griffin was declared Bankrupt in January and lost his EU seat in May.

Griffin was involved in the BNP’s rise in the early 1990’s with his decision to move the party’s focus from the streets to the ballot box. As they said in a press release in 1994, there would be “no more meetings, marches, punch-ups”.

Over the next few years, Griffin attempted to shake off the groups Hitler-loving, Holocaust-denying image in public, while keeping the rhetoric behind closed doors.

In the early 2000 ‘s Griffin led the BNP through a rapid rise culminating in him and Andrew Brons becoming MEPs in 2009, gaining a London Assembly member and a number of local councillors.

Nick Griffin was also invited the appear on Question Time for the first time in the same year.

The BNP’s rise was thankfully stopped by the work of antifascists who opposed the party wherever they stood candidates, which is epitomised by the campaign against Griffin’s candidacy in Barking and Dagenham in 2010. Despite standing 338 candidates the BNP gained no seats during the 2010 elections. Shortly after the group were all but smashed out of Stoke, where they had councillors which led to splits and direct challenges on Griffin’s leadership.

Griffin has been a lame-duck since then, with the BNP claiming he “prevented war in Syira. Literally.”, and posting cooking shows on Youtube.

Griffin’s replacement is Adam Jones, disgraced teacher who was banned for life for verbally abusing three boys, chasing them in his car and slashing the tyres on their bikes. He’d previously come to the attention of the authorities for using a school computer to send hate filled messages describing immigrants as “savage animals”.

Walker’s Brother, also a teacher was struck off too. This time for sending sleazy emails with lines like “I124Q” to a 16 year old former pupil.

It is unlikely that Walker will lead the party to it’s recent heights.

The Far-right in the UK is currently in dissary with the collapse of the EDL leaving several small groups fighting it out to be the show in town. Britain First is a worrying example of a group doing this well.

However, the racism espoused by Griffin still exists. The success of UKIP is an example of this.

Just as the BNP’s move from street to electoral politics presented a challenge to antiracists, the growth of racism in the political mainstream presents another. UKIP may be leading the way, but the Tories and Labour are desperately running behind when asked about migrants and Europe.

We should celebrate Griffin’s and the BNP’s decline, but as always, the fight against racism and fascism continues.

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Nick Griffin leaves the building

 

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Anti-Fascists on the streets this Sat 19th – Cricklewood / Dartford / Hexthorpe

Anti-Fascist Network

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This Saturday is shaping up to be a busy day for anti-fascists with multiple separate call-outs.

Cricklewood – they shall not pass!

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First up is the return of the EDL splinter group the South East Alliance to Cricklewood in North West London. They were seen off last month when they tried to march down the High Street. A united crowd of anti-fascists blocked the road and police were forced to turn their gang of racists and Hitler-fanciers around and march them back to wherever it is they come from.

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Pompey Celebrates Anti-Fascism!..(And We Host Another Top Gig!)

So on Sunday we held an all day event at The Barn (part of the Milton Arms in Portsmouth). Here’s a quick report – for a bit of context see our last gig report, maybe some idiots have learnt a lesson?

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Although we had received no communication from the law (not that we would have replied), we learnt the night before that the filth had been leaning on the venue for hosting us, just as they have been doing at the Southsea Social Club since we last hosted a gig in that function room. Threatening the licencees of premises is a classic tactic to try and get gigs pulled, but the problem the police have is that both venues are well run and therefore don’t have to worry about their licenses being revoked.

Sure enough as a few of us arrived to set up the BBQ there were two coppers in there, again telling the landlord he shouldn’t be hosting an antifascist gig. There’s an important lesson here – Hampshire police are happy to facilitate the far right and EDL in both flash demos and organised demos, where they are free to walk the streets under police supervision whilst lobbing fireworks about and abusing people but we are not allowed to put on a gig without harassment from the same police force. The last gig would have been completely peaceful if it was not for the caped crusaders of the EDL demanding they get a slap. And people still think anti-fascists should talk to the police!?!? Fuck that!

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‘revellers’

Although the venue had put doormen on, a bunch of antifascists kept vigil outside, again expecting the local fascists to be too stupid to learn their lesson and make a brief cameo, but alas it wasn’t to be – perhaps the local EDL spent a day with their families misunderstanding the D-day celebrations down at the sea-side? It’s a step in the right direction for them, now someone just needs to explain to them which side we were on! (The D-day stuff was really good apparently, the News has some good pics here!).

We are really pleased that everyone seems to have had a great time in what turned out to be a real family friendly day. We need to say a massive thank you to all the bands that played for travel money (or for free!), The couple running the BBQ (for free), the venue, the sound man, those who took the door money, or looked after the stall, and to every one who came down, for the whole day, or just a part of it, and to those that missed all the bands due to keeping an eye out for trouble with the intention of keeping those inside safe. Cheers!

Dead City Riot - US Punk Rock!

Dead City Riot – US Punk Rock!

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Merch Stall

We didn’t make a huge amount of money as we wanted to make sure the travelling artists were looked after as much as we could, but money is not important. What is important is that anti-fascism again grows in our city, that people don’t  blame the scapegoats chosen for them by the media and politicians,  that people don’t get intimidated by a few idiots, and that we can, and will, host our own events. This weekend it seemed particularly poignant  – fascism is not welcome in Portsmouth, never has been, never will be.

some of those who didn't miss the photo call and then moan about not being in it! ha ha - you snooze you lose!

Sorry to those that missed the photo opp! You snooze, you lose!

 

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Mashudur Choudhary, Portsmouth and Syria

The following text comes from a Facebook post by Zuber Hatia (shared with permission), and their subsequent comments on the conviction of Mashudur Choudhary, from Portsmouth, for terrorism offences in relation to the Syrian Conflict. The views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily represent the group as a whole.  

EDL Jami Mosque

Portsmouth, Hampshire has a relatively tiny Muslim population, but has been drawn into the Syrian Revolution in almost an inexplicable way with a disproportionate number of young men (apparently 5 in total) from the city who have ended up going there to take up arms against the unfolding brutality that has been unleashed by the Assad Regime over the past 3 years. 

Call it a sense of bravado or a sense of duty towards those in need as they see it, the young men’s decisions have left an indelible impact on their families in ways that cannot be ignored. There is no reason to assume that with such convictions in British courts as Mashudur Choudhary’s – who clearly went to Syria as plenty others have done so and who clearly did not join any combatant group and returned back to the UK having committed no crime, either abroad or here – that this is a reflection on the people of Portsmouth whose commitment to assist people anywhere in the world, suffering either as a result of natural disasters (eg Bangladesh, Haiti) or in war-torn conflict zones (eg Iraq, Afghanistan) overshadows the individual actions of some of its young men. But there will be people bigoted enough to try and tar an entire community based on the actions of a tiny few.

The attitudes of British courts that continue to threaten to criminalise anyone who travels to Syria is fraught with a further deepening sense of resentment from sections of the Muslim community who feel aggrieved at the discrimination that targets them differently to others who continue to travel to such conflict zones. This build up of resentment and anger are more likely to be the very factors that fuel flashpoints among communities that could well trigger the very thing that British courts are trying ostensibly to prevent.

 

 

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Skankin’ & Skirmishin’ – A Report From Saturday Night!

We are pleased to say that our first ever benefit gig was a total success, we probably had between 70-100 people come out (although admittedly this was due to the awesome line up!). First up we need to thank all the acts, both local and those that traveled and only asked for petrol money, they all played fantastic sets! We also should thank everyone who came out, and everyone who made it possible, from the people who stood at the door all night, to those that took the money, those who helped get all the equipment, the sound man who gave us a knocked down rate, and the poor bar staff who served with ear plugs in! Also we are sorry to report to all the people that were asking, but we have now sold out of all our t-shirts.

Although it was at the back of our mind that the organised local fascists might try something on, we didn’t in all seriousness expect them to be that stupid, but then you should never underestimate the stupidity of a fascist mind! They were clearly riding high after it took 12 of them to bully 4 middle aged Hope Not Hate campaigners in Eastleigh a few weeks back (Hope not Hate are a very fluffy antifascist group supported by celebrities and other notable types). The fascists made a video of that shameful action, it’s pathetic, and can be viewed here: crap video.

After getting reports that a few local boneheads had been spotted in the Albert Road area a few people from our gig went and stood at the corner of Albert Road and another group down by The Pheonix to ensure they could not get close to the door. Sure enough 5 fascists turned up at the Albert Road junction with a sixth observing from over the road. Fuck knows what they were planning, One of the scumbags was putting his balaclava on when they bumped into our lot. After a brief exchange of views,  things seemed to be going relatively peacefully. It was only after our mate got bored of arguing and turned his back on them that they attacked. Antifascists defended themselves and the fisticuffs quickly spread into Albert Road.

These are the guys who don't like to be called fascist - but try to rock up to an anti-fascist gig in balaclavas. the school kid was not involved in the fracas - he was either being used as a spotter outside co-op, or thought better of it.

These are the guys who don’t like to be called fascist – but try to rock up to an anti-fascist gig in balaclavas. the school kid was not involved in the fracas – he was either being used as a spotter outside co-op, or thought better of it.

The scum never stood a chance, they were outnumbered about two or three to one, and after a quick thrashing they managed to pick themselves up, running off in the direction of Fawcett Road. It was unfortunate that people out enjoying a Saturday night had to witness it, but to be fair most of them came out of the restaurants for a better look, and to enjoy watching the fascists get proper humiliated.  All looking pretty sorry for themselves they were last seen in the loving company of the police. We wouldn’t expect people just to take our word for it though, here’s what was going up on the ‘Spotted Portsmouth’ Facebook page soon after:

Details of those not involved have been obscured for obvious reasons.

Details of those not involved have been obscured for obvious reasons.

A few antifascists remained vigilant outside the gig, but most people went indoors to watch the bands and had a fucking great time! We need to say a big thank you, and also apologise to the good people at the social club, and the residents – It seems that as word spread, and as the night wore on more and more people came down until the area of Duncan Road looked like a new-age tent city…..only without the tents, so in order to try and get people inside and off the street we stopped charging for the last act who was a local lad playing a cool techie/punk/drum&bass set.

To be fair the fascists only had half their usual crew, but they were dealt with by a fraction of the attendees at the gig, It’s probably best that they didn’t get through the doors or who knows what would have happened. Just for giggles this is how Pete Brown told his mates how it went down:

50+ Antifa 'attack' 5? Come on now Peter, at least try and make it believable eh?

50+ Antifa ‘attack’ 5? Come on now Peter, at least try and make it believable eh?

Again we want to thank all who came and all who got involved in every aspect of the night, we managed to make a few quid that will come in useful, but more importantly we put on an openly antifascist event, with no police, no security, and those that were stupid enough to try and stop us were sent on their way. We will be remaining vigilant, but we won’t be drawn into a childish tit for tat situation. Working within our local communities will always be the only way to effectively oppose the spread of far right ideology, but in doing so our message remains simple – When fascists attack, we will fight back.

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Benefit Gig Tonight!

So this has been widely shared around social media, but just in case some of you didn’t get the message, there is a rather splendid night of punk & ska upstairs at Southsea Social club tonight – with any proceeds going to Pompey Antifascists! We have done a couple of stalls at gigs around town previously, and will obviously be there again tonight, so come down and say hi!

£5 on the door - Starts at 7pm.

£5 on the door – Starts at 7pm.

We’d like to say thanks to the promoters, and all the bands for sorting this out. Cheers & see ya later!

New sticker available tonight - no fridge should be without one ;)

New sticker available tonight – no fridge should be without one 😉

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Quick Report From Sunday/Monday

Well there’s not a lot to be said about what happened in Brighton at the March for England, other than ‘We told you so”. Mainstream media put the MfE march numbers at about 100 with about 1000 anti-fascists screaming at them to fuck off and die. During the march groups of Antifascists from various AFN groups flushed out fascists hiding in pubs waiting to pick people off. There’s a few good reports knocking about, as usual we’d suggest checking out Schnews, Reel News, or AFN. As far as our local’s are concerned, we are pleased to announced nobody from Portsmouth Antifascists got nicked – Unfortunately for the fascist scum they can’t say the same. A 45 year old man from Pompey was nicked (more info needed on this) along with a 39 year old man from Fareham  and a 21 year old also from Pompey – both for drunk and disorderly. Makes you proud don’t it? (Arrest info from Brighton Argus).

The next day saw Portsmouth play host to Nigel Farage as he opened up his South East Campaign at Portsmouth Guildhall. The day started badly for him as his ‘Common Sense’ campaign bus crashed into the Portsmouth & Southsea railway station, there’s a report in the Independent that mentions how ‘onlookers gathered and laughed’. Do’h!!

Later in the Evening Farage was to speak at the Guildhall, and did well to enter two hours before the counter protest formed up outside, as some naughty activists were overheard discussing what to do with their unused eggs. Numbers given for the counter protest vary from around 60 to 100, not too shabby for a Monday night, and there were a decent amount of new faces and passers by who joined in. A few attention seeking UKIP supporters holding a big party umbrella tried to show off in the midst of the counter demo, but after someone pointed out it wasn’t raining, and someone else tried to put a fag burn in said umbrella, they left complaining about the foul language of the proletariat…or something. It had generally been agreed that opposition to UKIP would not disrupt the event, but would just book out seats in the hall to leave empty, that said one lady was removed from the hall during the speech.

people gather at the entrance to the UKIP meeting for a nice bit of heckling.

people gather at the entrance to the UKIP meeting for a nice bit of heckling.

Our favourite part of the evening happened when the 8 local boneheads of the EDL drank enough in Wetherspoons across the road to come out to stand in the doorway trying to look mean. Members from Portsmouth Anti-fascists and a couple of friends who had been expecting trouble from the pricks made a quick decision to go and say hi, but we had barely stepped into the road when the until now subdued police came flying in between us and the fascists. A bit of handbags then ensued with the EDL doing the classic ‘hold me back lads’ routine as soon as the cops got in front of them, much to the amusement of onlookers. The fact that the EDL showed up made UKIP look really bad, not one of the Ukippers I spoke to and questioned could explain why the EDL would like their policies. Here’s a little snippet doing the rounds from the secret fascists at South Coast Patriot News. Makes pretty shit reading for anyone trying to defend UKIP!

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Riot vans soon surrounded the small group of EDL keeping them out of view from the Counter UKIP demo. The scene became more farcical as the EDL tried to sing their daft chants but were completely drowned out each time. Some of the highlights came as the anti-fascists pissed themselves laughing at being told ‘you’re not English any more’ – only to respond by joining in, but singing ‘We’re not English anymore’ as if any one gave a flying fuck what 8 boneheads think. Our favourite chant was when the  more militant Antifascists raised a chant of ‘You got done in Brighton, You got done in Brighton.’ It was good to see the local left and also passing students a lot more ‘up for it’ than as at previous meetings. And encouraging to see the EDL make complete pricks out of themselves.

The Next hour saw a pretty boring standoff as cops decided to try and get some intel on both sides, and tellingly decided to pick on the one Muslim lad who was there, who had definatley not been the most vocal. One copper who spoke to one of ours had an Israeli Flag pinned to his vest – its a shame he was not asked how he felt about the fact he was defending a lad across the road who is a known neo-nazi! that’s right, little Jake Hyland was back with the EDL, holding onto their banner. Not racist? Please refer to our previous article –You decide!

Jake Hyland holding 'The Real Portsmouth EDL' flag - Presumably named after the real IRA - these lads aint too smart!

Jake Hyland holding ‘The Real Portsmouth EDL’ flag – Presumably named after the real IRA – these lads ain’t too smart!

Anti-fascists remained in high spirits at what was clearly becoming a little victory, as passers by stopped to say ‘why are the EDL protesting outside Wetherspoons? ‘Oh really?’ ‘Fucking idiots!’.  The EDL were then moved on by the police, shouting threats as they walked away. Hilariously one of the keyboard warriors posted on our facebook account at 11.23pm to say they were drinking in our pub. There are a couple of things wrong with that:

1) We don’t have a pub – we are not just a bunch of degenerate mates like Portsmouth EDL – we are concerned citizens who have formed a group. That’s it. Some of us would probably like a clubhouse, but other would rather be spending time with their loved ones than running around after fascists.

2) Monday night at 11.23pm most pubs are closed, or standing over you waiting for you to sup up. so it’s a pretty daft time to half advertise your whereabouts, especially two hours after everyone else has gone home.

All in all a faily good evening we are sure you’ll agree. Well done to those from the local left who organised the ‘Stand Up To Ukip’ demo and got the crowd going! Just for giggles here’s a little picture that one of our lot made – The enraged UKIP candidate called those responsible ‘Pacifist Traitors’ ha ha ha, you really can’t make this shit up!

Fuck off Upricks!

Fuck off Upricks!

 

 

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