How to Fight the BNP

BNP leaders Nick Griffin and Mark Collett were recently cleared of inciting racial hatred at Leeds Crown Court. The results of the court case confirms the idiocy of relying on the state to deal with the BNP. It’s given them publicity money just cant buy.

But what is the BNP and how should socialists fight it?

The BNP isn’t just a right-wing, racist cult, they’re a fascist organisation and this means they want to destroy their opponents. In the past BNP supporters have fire bombed asian homes, beaten up lesbians and gay men, attacked socialists, Irish republicans and anti-fascist campaigners. If they came to power, these attacks would become institutionalised. This the lesson of Hitler’s rise to power. Some people believe in defending “free speech” for the BNP. But the BNP is modelled on Hitler’s Nazi party, they’ll only use “free speech” to deny the free speech of everyone else. They believe in expelling non-whites from Britain. How can this be acheived? Only by extreme violence. The BNP denies the right of lesbians and gays to enjoy loving relationships. They believe a women’s place is “in the home”. They want to solve the “problem” of Jews and of people with disabilities. We know how the Nazis did this when they were in power. The BNP would be no different given a chance. We must deny them them the right to spread their hatred and lies.

So, how to fight the fascists?

The strategy of UAF boils down to appealing to the state to deal with the BNP, or as the UAF convenor puts it, “turn BNP into HMP”. No only is such a strategy extremely dangerous, as any new legislation brought in by the state will in all likelyhood be used against the left, but by refusing to build a militant anti-fascist movement they demoralise their own supporters.On Nov. 1st the anti-fascist protest only numbered about 100, and was out numbered by a large BNP presence of more than 200.

Instead, we need militant anti-fascist mobilisations based on the organised labour movement to physically confront the BNP when they seek to demonstrate or hold public meetings. Two years ago, when Le Pen visited Manchester to promote the BNP election campaign, he was prevented from getting his message across by a mass mobilisation which was reported across Europe. That action was condemned by the UAF speaker on the day, but it showed what’s possible. It showed we can build a mass movement willing to take the direct action needed to deny the fascists a platform.

We also need to fight the BNP at the ballot box. Any electoral success emboldens the BNP and leads both to increased racist attacks and to attacks on left-wing and anti-fascist activists as in the recent attack on UAF supporters in Morley. We should support working class candidates, including Labour Party candidates, against the BNP, as part of building up workers united front against fascism. Such a united front of trade unions, Labour Party and all workers organisations, cannot include bosses parties. The UAF line of “vote for anyone but the BNP” undermines the necessary direct mass working class action needed.

The BNP are not an ordinary party, they’re a violent fascist organisation so the ordinary methods of political debate are not sufficient. Only the strategy of mass mobilisation, based on the organised labour movement, can defeat the BNP.

No Platform for Fascists!

Smash the BNP!

By Jim Padmore

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