Welcome to the website of
Cambs Against the Nazis
one thing could have broken our movement if our adversaries had
understood its principle, and from the first day had smashed, with the
most extreme brutality, the nucleus of our new movement" Adolf Hitler
Stand Up to Racism, Stand Up to Trump
Hundreds of people joined our rally and march on January 21st in Cambridge Market Square.
NUT members deliver solidarity collected at their schools and by Cambridge Love Music Hate Racism and Stand Up to Racism to the Care for Calais warehouse, 10.12.16
Building the local and national demo:
Convoy to Calais 18.6.16
Thanks to everyone who helped with the convoy today. Whether that was by joining the journey, fund raising in advance or spreading the word, everyone played their part in taking over £3000 worth of aid from Cambridge to Dover. A pity we had to bring most of it back again, but the good news is that as it is non perishable it WILL get over to the camp soon where it is so desperately needed. And the 2 massive trucks of aid did get through.
Just as important, the convoy provided a vision of hope and positivity in a political landscape that has all too often been dominated recently by scaremongering statements of hate and fear. For that, we should all be very proud.
What political lessons people want to draw from the refusal of the authorities to let us cross the border and deliver the aid to the warehouses, I'll leave for another day...
pix are here and I am sure others have their own:
Statement about the murder of Jo Cox, MP
Cambridge Stand Up to Racism and Unite Against Fascism send our condolences to the family friends and comrades of Jo Cox MP following her brutal murder today. Jo was a principled campaigner against inequality and racism, and in support of diversity, speaking out against the scapegoating of refugees. We know that the vast majority of people in Britain support the multicultural, peaceful, progressive society which she believed in, and we must all redouble our efforts to make her vision a reality.
Refugees Welcome here, 5.9.15
Around 300 people crammed into Cambridge market square on Saturday at a hastily arranged march in support of refugees. Local MP Daniel Zeichner said that the demonstration showed the feeling that is sweeping the country in support of refugees, a feeling that is not shared by the government. Anti racists on the Love Music Hate Racism stall raised nearly £300 to be taken on convoys from Cambridge to Calais for refugees.
Strawberry Fair 2015
Reports from the LMHR stage here
Love Mill Road Hate Racism-
Around 100 local people attended a Love Mill Road Hate Racism picnic in Cambridge on Saturday. The event was organised by Cambridge Unite Against Fascism to show solidarity with a local Muslim woman who, along with her young baby, was verbally racially abused in the same park. The gathering was addressed by councillors and candidates from the mainstream political parties and Trade Unions, as well as by speakers from UAF and Stand Up to UKIP. The victim of the attack attended the event and said that it had restored her faith in the Cambridge community and would give her the courage to revisit the park where it had happened. Many there echoed the point that the way that UKIP is attempting to normalise scapegoating and Islamophobia runs the risk of allowing racism to rear its ugly head again. However those at the event expressed their determination to stop this from happening, and to quiz the parliamentary candidates about how they would oppose racism at the UAF organised hustings on 20th April at The Box Cafe.
Stand Up To UKIP in the Fenlands
[While clearly not Fascists, the influence of UKIP works to push British politics to the right and normalise racism, especially Islamophobia. In turn, this can create a space for the Nazi right to regroup. That's why many members of UAF and LMHR also support Stand Up to UKIP. Visit Cambridge Stand Up to UKIP's website here http://cambridgesutu.tumblr.com/]
Cambridge Stand Up to UKIP has been touring the Fenlands towns where Farage's crew is in danger of getting a good vote. We have been running stalls and explaining why UKIP offer no solution to the problems faced by ordinary people. We have worked hard to try to ensure that locals join us, so that we can leave the nucleus of opposition to UKIP behind us. For instance in Ely this week the stall was run by Greens, Labour Party members, Socialists, Trade Unionists and those from no organisation, and involved people from the town and surrounding areas. The response was overwhelmingly positive with shoppers eager to take posters, leaflets, badges and beer mats and many saying how relieved they were to see us standing up to the divisive influence of UKIP. Stall holders from the market took publicity and gave us cheap coffee, while publicans asked for beer mats and fact sheets to display in their pubs.
Having so far covered March, Wisbech and Ely we now plan to visit Soham after next week's UAF conference and the demo at UKIP's Margate conference. We then expect to visit some of the same towns again (as well as others) in the run up to the elections, to try to counteract the toxic influence of UKIP in Fenland.
30 people crowded into a room in Queen's College Cambridge on
least 3 people signed up for transport from Cambridge and others
mixed crowd of around 50 people crushed into Cambridge Unite Against
Fascism's pubic meeting,
Saturday 1st June 2013
18.5.13 - Wisbech
of Cambridge Unite Against Fascism went to Wisbech on Saturday
Around 70 people crammed into a hall in Cambridge on Monday to take part in Cambridge Unite Against Fascism's public meeting, 'Why We Say No English Defence League in Cambridge'.
Over 50 people attended a meeting at Cambridge United Football Club where ex England international Luther Blissett spoke on Why Football Fans Should Show Racism the Red Card. The meeting was jointly organized by Cambridge Fans United and Cambridge Unite Against Fascism, and supported by Cambridge City Supporters Trust. Luther spoke of how fans and players have worked to ensure attitudes have changed since his early playing days, and his role in spreading anti racism through Show Racism the Red Card. He spoke poignantly about the fact that while he has forgotten many of the physical injuries he received in the game, the racial insults directed at him still hurt deeply.
Cambridge United chief executive Dave Doggett stressed how the club has zero tolerance of racism, while Cambridge City manager Gary Roberts spoke of his pride in the club's Diversity Mission Statement. Paul Sillett of Unite Against Fascism explained how ordinary fans can unite together to make sure racists such as the EDL and the BNP are marginalized and driven out of our game. People left the meeting feeling empowered that they could be active in their workplace or in their football club to do something to help Kick Racism Out Of Football, and out of wider society.
Stall to sign people up to our statement supporting the new mosque (see here) as well as promoting our forthcoming gig.
See the list of signatories of the Unity Statement here
Turned on EDL In Peterborough, 11.11.10
Sponsored Busk, 23.10.10
Kick Racism Out Of Football day of Action at Cambridge United, 16.10.10
of Cambridge Unite Against Fascism joined with Cambridge Ethnic Community
Forum and the Racial Incident Support Group Project in a celebration
of Kick It Out Week organised by Cambridge Fans United at Cambridge
United's Abbey Stadium on Saturday, with the full backing of the Club.
Fans of both United and visitors Barrow queued to get Kick It Out stickers,
and hundreds of leaflets underlining why we don't want the racists to
ruin our game were given out. The Kick It Out banner was paraded on
the pitch both pre match and at half time. UAF members also distributed
information about why it is important to stop the EDL, who have been
trying to recruit at the ground and whose poisonous ideas must lie behind
the recent disgusting events at a local community house used by Bangladeshi
Muslims, where a severed pigs head was dumped. They also used the day
to build for the national demonstration against Racism, Fascism and
Islamophobia in London on November 6th, and the Cambridge public meeting
on November 2nd. Respect to Cambridge Fans United for organising such
a positive show of unity against racism and Fascism.
Leafletting at Cambridge United 2.10.10
of Cambridge Unite Against Fascism were joined by fans of
Love Music Hate Homophobia Riot Grrl Night
LMHR 'Mass Stall Day'
Local Trade Unionists, campaigners and political activists all came out onto the streets in solidarity with Cambridge Love Music Hate Racism this Saturday May 15th. Last week members of the EDL sought to intimidate our regular LMHR stall, so this week we organised a 'mass stall day' where we invited as many local groups as we could think of to come and hold their own stalls alongside ours, both to protect our own stall but also to make the point that we mean to defend the tradition of agitating and organising in the Market Square area of the City. Amongst the stalls were representatives of Unison, Unite the Union, Cambridge Labour Party, Palestinian Solidarity, Cambridge Socialists, the SWP, Cambridge Migrant Solidarity, Cambridgeshire Against the Cuts and of course Love Music Hate Racism, whose card in support of Unity and Diversity was signed by many shoppers.
Nazi BNP humiliated in 2010 general and local elections
The fascist British National Party suffered a major blow in the general election when its leader Nick Griffin spectularly failed to take his target seat of Barking in outer east London. Griffin was beaten into third place in the constituency - behind Labour and the Conservatives - with a share of just 14.6% of the vote, compared with the 16.9% the BNP polled in 2005. They also lost ALL their council seats.
Unite Against Fascism joint secretary Weyman Bennett said: "The BNP were defeated by mass anti-nazi activity. We built a coalition against them of black, white and Asian people, trade unionists, LGBT people and members of different faith groups. We systematically visited every ward, every major workplace and council estate, exposing the BNP as Nazis."
BNP fared no better in their Stoke-on-Trent target seats, coming fourth
in each seat. Deputy BNP leader Simon Darby took only 7.7% of the vote
in Stoke Central, while BNP candidates in Stoke North and Stoke South
took 8.0% and 9.4% respectively. The humiliation suffered by the BNP
in Barking and Stoke came amid a wave of popular revulsion against the
party's Nazi and racist politics. The day before the election BNP candidate
Bob Bailey was filmed viciously lashing out at an Asian man in Barking.
Former Stoke BNP leader Alby Walker issued a statement condemning the
BNP's virulent racism and apologising for his previous involvement in
Many thanks to all who helped make this possible, either by leafletting, coming to the Cambridge Crawl, coming on a demo, or in any other way.
Report from National Conference 2010 here
Uprizing LMHR Night at Legends Bar
Kick Racism Out Of Football
LMHR show striking posties some solidarity
Protest at the Red White and Blue, 15th August 2009
A coachload of people from Cambridge was part of the very successful blockade of the BNP's Hate Fest in Codnor on August 15th. Armed only with our bodies, our ideas and our commitment, we were able to blockade the festival for most of the day, preventing many Nazis and their guest speakers from getting in. After that we had a joyous, exuberant and triumphant march into Codnor market place, where we received a welcome from many of the locals.
Cambridge Big Day Out, July 11th 2009
of Diversity and Unity against the Fascist BNP in Cambridge
Up to 30 musicians, poets and activists took part in a lively street celebration of diversity and unity, called by Cambridge Unite Against Fascism and Love Music Hate Racism, against the Nazi BNP on Saturday. A large number of people signed the petition calling for an end to local meetings for the Fascists, and others signed up to become active in the campaigns. After the event, campaigners rushed to run a stall at Arbury Carnival before hosting a Love Music Hate Racism gig. Such levels of activity need to continue if we are to reduce the BNP's share of the vote of 723 (2.27%) in the City and prevent them from trying to build in the surrounding areas.
on the Euros
Want to get involved?
Opposing THE BNP in Cambridge, Euros 2009
In the run up to the Euro elections, Cambridge Unite Against Fascism and Love Music Hate Racism
* distributed over 20,000 leaflets, covering many wards
* were called upon to help in areas as far apart as Huntingdon, Yarmouth, Letchworth and beyond
* held gigs involving hundreds of people, and run an art exhibition
* spread the anti Fascist word through many stalls in various towns and cities, as well as by writing to the papers, making speeches, pulling stunts etc etc
The BNP vote in Cambridge of 2.27%, while being 723 votes too many, was far below the national average and this must be largely due to the hard work of anti Nazis and anti racists in the area.
The elections were never going to be the end, we fight racism and bigotry wherever and whenever we witness it.
Art Hate Discrimination
SKA - HATE RACISM !
near sell out crowd of over 150 people gathered in the Community
Our Unite Against Fascism stall got a very positive response (again) in Huntingdon today, we even had some live music. I think our little half trip got a bigger turn out than a regional mobilisation of the whole BNP... Nonetheless it is a sobering truth that in the current climate, the BNP think they can come to places like this and recruit; the danger is that people will be so turned off by the sell outs and corruption of the conventional parties that they don't vote in the Euro elections, so allowing the BNP to win MEPs due to the low turn out.
So, what about a Love Music Hate Racism gig in Huntingdon? Is there anyone out there that knows who the bands are that Huntingdon people like, and where the venues are?
If you can help with either of these activities please get in touch here
Nazis see off the BNP in Cambridge
The mixed group of protesters met with a warm reception from locals, some of whom voiced their concerns over what they suspected to be going on in the pub where the BNP were said to be meeting. The pub denied that their premises were being used for any meetings, but then forced the anti racists to leave for no apparent reason. The protesters then heard that the BNP had cancelled the meeting, which was to have been addressed by the party's candidate for the Eastern Region Eddy Butler, due to the actions of the demonstrators.
Unite Against Fascism see this as a victory for the anti racists and are delighted that their actions means that the BNP will be less likely to be able to hold future public meetings to spread their race hate in the area. We intend to step up the campaign to ensure that they don't come back!
Let's Keep Cambridgeshire BNP Free!
30 people attended this meeting, aimed at laying the foundations of
discussion was positive as to how we could lift the level of
are aware that we now need to seek to deepen our links with other
hold regular activists meetings - all welcome!
Whatever problems people maybe experiencing at the moment, we have to show them that the BNP are not the answer!
Please spread the word
BNP Membership List Leaked
I guess a lot of
you will have seen the news that the BNP membership list has been leaked.
I've had a brief look at it and there's several members on the list
in places like Peterborough, Ely,
the lessons are
Music Hate Racism Gigs
The Hope and more, Portland Arms
needed with LMHR and UAF stalls
Indie Stars in Waiting assemble to Rock Against the BNP
Cambridge label R*E*P*E*A*T Records has released a 23 track CD aimed to raise support for (and maybe a bit of money for) Love Music Hate Racism. The compilation features some of the most exciting new bands in the country (and one or two old favourites) and is being promoted by a series of gigs at The Man on the Moon and in London.
More details of the compilation here
Take a look here
Love Music Hate Racism Gig
ANNIVERSARY OF ROCK AGAINST RACISM
Read a great review from The Independent here,
thousands of photos
Man on the Moon, 8.3.08
Exciting Love Music Hate Racism Events coming up in Cambridge get involved!
The Gig at The Bar Fly on 31st January made a magnificent £2000+ towards funding April's carnival (see below), thanks to all the bands, the Bar Fly and Dylan for organising the whole shebang!
With the Nazi BNP hoping to make a significant breakthrough at the forthcoming assembly and local elections, its important that we make a stand against intolerance and in support of multiculturalism.
Pop music has always evolved out of a mixture of voices, cultures and influences. Britain has such a strong and influential music scene mainly because it embraces the diversity present here and celebrates it. The 'Love Music Hate Racism' project is the latest in a long line of events that attempts to bring people together through music of all kinds, in order to show up those who wish to destroy our pop culture as the liars and frauds they truly are. There is no such thing as fascist pop. Go figure." The Exiles
We write as active members of the underground music scene in Cambridge. Many of us have been inspired by your work in the past, others of us are certainly in awe of your achievements. But we are all very concerned and alarmed by the recent comments you seem to have made to the NME.
Along with the wealth of knowledge and cultures traditionally brought to Cambridge by visiting students and academics, there is also a thriving immigrant community in the outskirts of the City; people of Asian and African origin mix with locals and students in very popular areas like Mill Road, and this can only bring diversity, creativity and new things to discover. They bring with them more variety of music, food, beliefs, traditions, opinions and accents that massively brighten the outlook of what might otherwise be a rather dull, monocultural town. There's only one group of people who consistently resent, snarl at and sometimes physically attack this new ethnic enrichment - the Nazis, such as the British National Party.
This is not to say that everything is rosey in our town. Recently gone are the independent record shops and alternative bookstores, where in the past you could track down some obscure vinyl or an underground pamphlet. Even the health of small, independent live music venues is under threat. In fact, if you ignore the colleges, the town centre has become much like any other one, chain stores, theme pubs and burger bars replacing anything truly different and distinctive. This globalisation is the true erosion of identity that you talk about, the true blurring of distinctions. One that immigrants are certainly not to blame for. Unless you were including the owners of Starbucks, Burger King, HMV and Borders in your list of villains 'flooding' the country. Which I very much doubt you were.
So come on Morrissey. You've had a very good living from a culture which, from the very first time some piece of white trash adapted those 3 chords honed to perfection by black plantation gangs, has thrived on diversity, fusion and crossover. Many people of us in the past have with hung on your every word; many of the young bands in our City now cite you as a major inspiration. To all of these people, you owe an explanation.
We welcome your recent comments on the Love Music Hate Racism website, and your desire to work with the campaign in the future. In these very sensitive times we also need you to distance yourself from the comments attributed to you in NME, claim you were misquoted if it makes things easier for you, but you've got to make a stand, do something to prove that you really do Love Music and Hate Racism.
Otherwise people are bound to be asking
Who played at the National Front Disco Morrissey? We need to know that it sure as hell wasn't you
to add your name
The local branch of Love Music Hate Racism has had a busy time lately and has also received some national recognition. We were invited by East Anglia's premiere Drum'n'Bass night, Warning, to provide a stall and banner at this month's event. After the way we were received and welcomed by the punters and staff, we were delighted to be welcomed back to all future Warning nights; the next one is at The Junction on December 1st - mail us here you'd like to work the stall at this gig. Visit Warning here.
The week before saw us at a rather different gig, but our intervention at The Gallows and Lethal Bizzle's show was just as successful. The collaboration between these white and black bands is a proof (if it were needed) that we do indeed live in a vibrant multicultural society; the fact that white indie kids mosh so enthusiastically to Bizzle's set may begin to explain why the racists hate him so much. A piece in the Independent pointed out the positive energy emanating from the gig and included our stall in its review, saying
Cambridge's young punks are clean and well-groomed. One has a red top
decorated with slogans learned from the Sex Pistols and Joe Strummer
"Know Your Rights", "The Future is Unwritten",
"No Future". A "Love Music, Hate Racism" stall
has been set up at the back, also giving away a local photocopied fanzine,
more tangible signs of punk's enduringly idealistic spirit. A rapturously
received support slot from Lethal Bizzle currently building bridges
from London's inner-city grime scene to any rock fan that will listen,
and guest rapper on the new Gallows single, "Staring at the Rude
Boys" shows the open minds here. His brilliant sampling
of the neurotic bassline of The Ruts' punk classic "Babylon's Burning"
gives Cambridge's security, looking shell-shocked already, their first
wave of stage-divers to catch."
A photo from the gig (above) has also been used nationally.
Anyone wanting to get involved with Love Music Hate Racism in Cambridge should contact us here
Neots Unite Against Fascism Launch Meeting a 'Big Success'
The St Neots branch of Unite Against Fascism held a successful launch meeting on Thursday last week at the Priory Centre. The audience of around 30 people of mixed ages, backgrounds and interests, heard a messages of support from the Mayor and local MEP Richard Howtitt along with messages from other local MPs, before listening to contributions from local political parties, Trade Unions and community groups about the importance of stopping the race of the British National Party in the area. After watching Who Shot the Sherriff, a film about Rock Against Racism and Love Music Hate Racism, the group decided to organise its own musical events, to set up a website and to apply for funding from local trade unions and political parties to help spread the word of tolerance and anti racism. The evening finished with a speech by a national speaker from Love Music Hate Racism who stressed that it is possible to stop the rise of racism and fascism, all it takes is for a few people to get the ball rolling in order for the mass of people to get involved. Richard Rose, coordinator of the Cambridge Branch of Unite Against fascism, said "this is a very encouraging first step in stopping the rise of the politics of hate in St Neots"
Unite website here
St Neots Election Results - A Warning We Can't Ignore
Though I feel sure that the BNP themselves will be disappointed with their 13% share of the vote in the Eynesbury Ward of St Neots, I am sure we all agree that 299 votes is 299 too many! If we want to keep St Neots Nazi free, we have to act now - building an active Unite group in St Neots itself seems the most urgent task, along with setting up some more Love Music Hate Racism gigs.
To this end, we want everyone who is interested in helping build Unite in St Neots to kick start the launch of a Unite Against Fascism group in St Neots. More information here!
electoral rise halted by head-on anti-fascist campaigning
Anti-fascist campaigners today welcomed the failure of the BNP to win significantly more council seats, but warned against any complacency. They called on all anti-racists and democrats who oppose fascism to unite in a renewed effort to drive the BNP back. Despite standing more than double the number of candidates and anticipating a massive breakthrough, results so far show the BNP has only gained one net seat - from 49 to 50 seats.
The BNP lost eight of its nine council seats up for re-election three in Burnley, and one in Calderdale, Stoke on Trent, Bradford, South Holland and Broxbourne. It gained three new seats in both Leicestershire and Stoke on Trent and one in Staffordshire, Bradford and Broxtowe.
In key BNP target areas such as Thurrock in Essex, Wakefield in Yorkshire and Dudley and Sandwell in the West Midlands amongst others, the BNP was blocked from winning seats. This was in large part due to campaigns that challenged head-on the BNPs racist lies about multiculturalism, immigrants, asylum seekers and Muslims and encouraged a vote instead for legitimate political parties.
The climate of heightened racism has allowed the BNP to win votes in a wider geographical area than ever before. Alarmingly, in Wales, the BNP polled high votes in some regions as a result of a particularly vicious campaign including a party political broadcast whipping up racism against migrants and refugees.
The BNP are anticipated to be defeated in Scotland. There was a cross-party campaign that was supported by trade unionists and community groups, to defend multiculturalism and challenge their targeting of asylum seekers and migrants.
Campaigners warned against complacency. The BNP will seek to advance onto the national political stage in the next couple of years. They will target the London assembly in 2008 and the 2009 European Parliamentary elections.
Brendan Barber , TUC General Secretary said:
"It looks like the BNP has failed to make the breakthrough that was feared and this is down in part to all the hard work undertaken by trade union members and anti-far right campaigners over the past few months. But one BNP councillor is a BNP councillor too many. We must continue to campaign against parties of the far right who seek to spread fear and intimidation and disrupt our many diverse communities across the UK ."
Richard Archer, Lead Singer of Hard-Fi said:
"The BNP have once again tried to use misinformation and distortion in an attempt to deceive the British public. Hard-Fi wish to state our continued opposition to the BNP and continued support for Love Music Hate Racism and the fight against racism and fascism."
Glyn Ford MEP said:
We have won this battle against the fascist BNP. The war against the poison of the BNP will to continue.
Bari, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said:
Grahame Smith, General Secretary of the Scottish TUC said:
"The people of Scotland have given a clear message today that they reject racism and fascism. The BNP and their vile politics of hatred, lies and misinformation, has not been allowed to infect Scottish politics".
Williams, Wales TUC General Secretary said:
Weyman Bennett, Joint National Secretary Unite Against Fascism said:
The BNP was halted by the thousands of anti fascist activist, trade unionists, and faith groups who fought against the lies of the Nazis. We cannot be complacent or rest on our laurels of victory. The fascist BNP stood on such a large geographical area to establish themselves in preparation for the euro elections. We now need a huge national campaign backed by local activity to make sure we continue to prevent the fascists from making a breakthrough.
Denis Fernando, Joint National Secretary of Unite Against Fascism said:
result shows that when the BNP is strongly opposed in a united broad
campaign, it can be stopped. It has failed to make the breakthrough
it craved in these elections, but along the way it has whipped up racism
and division. It is no surprise that its largest vote in Wales was in
Wrexham, where it ran a campaign attacking refugees and migrants, off
the back of the riots of 2003 when asylum seekers were assaulted and
racists were convicted for violence. The BNP's electoral failure this
May must be used by all those who oppose fascism as a springboard to
drive the fascist party back in the 2008 elections.
Cambridge Day of Action March 31st, Ely Leafletting April 4th
Cambridge Unite and Love Music Hate Racism held a lively and popular stalls in Arbury Court and Ely shopping centres . There was a good and varied turnout to staff the stall, and the reaction from shoppers was very positive. We hope that by being prominent and active in our opposition to the BNP, we can ensure that the Nazis dont try to grow in Cambridgeshire.
Cambridge Love Music Hate Racism visit The Woodcraft Folk
Members of the Cambridge branch of Love Music Hate Racism were recently invited to speak at a meeting of the Woodcraft Folk. The twenty teenagers listened to a brief talk from local a Unite organiser before watching and discussing the shorter version of Who Shot The Sheriff. Some intelligent questions were asked before the kids were treated to a rare acoustic performance from local loud and dirty rock band and firm LMHR supporters, The Hope (http://www.myspace.com/thehope). The meeting ended with a spontaneous round of applause for Love Music Hate Racism and a commitment from the Woodcraft Folk to promote local LMHR gigs and possibly organise their own.
Pic Girdie of The Hope performs to the Woodcraft Folk
The conference marked the launch of UAF's campaign against the fascist BNP in the run-up to the local, Scottish Parliament and Wales Assembly elections. The BNP will attempt to win significantly more council seats and it is likely that they will stand four candidates in each region in Scotland and Wales which will be enough to qualify for party political broadcasts and publicity funded by the tax-payer.
The UAF highlighted to the conference that in the May elections, there are 60 wards where a swing to the BNP of 5 per cent or less could see them gaining seats.
In the last six years the BNP vote has increased more than 75-fold from 3,000 votes in 2000 to 238,000 in 2006. Before the local elections in 2006, the BNP had 20 council seats, now it has 49.
Projections into next year's London Assembly elections indicate a real threat of the BNP gaining seats on the Assembly aided by the climate of racism and the proportional representation system. The BNP missed getting elected by 0.1% in 2004. In 2009 the BNP will seek to gain seats on the European Parliament and join the new coalition of fascist parties there. At the previous elections in 2004 the BNP polled over 800,000 votes.
The conference sent a very strong message that there is still an opportunity to prevent the BNP from entering the mainstream of British politics and poisoning our society, but that this can only be achieved by refusing to concede to their politics of hate particularly targeted at Muslim communities, asylum seekers and attacks on multiculturalism.
Speakers highlighted that such attacks are creating fertile ground for the BNP.
Opening the conference, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber recalled the critical role played by the trade union movement in defeating the BNP in Tower Hamlets in the early 1990s. He also highlighted the TUC's important joint work with the Muslim Council of Britain to promote unity in the face of growing Islamophobia.
Peter Hain MP said: "Progressives have a moral duty to fight fascism wherever it rears its ugly head. The Anti-Nazi League played a leading role in helping end the evil of the National Front. Now we must unite to combat the BNP racists and their ideology of hate - that's why it's important that we build Unite Against Fascism today."
Jerry Dammers, who wrote the anti-racist song Free Nelson Mandela said the BNP were like Daleks, because "no matter how many times they're defeated, they don't get the message" urging people not to be complacent and do everything they can to campaign against the fascists.
Refugee from the Holocaust Henry Guterman spoke movingly of how fast the Nazis destroyed all democracy after coming to power in 1933 and why we must oppose today's fascists.
UNISON Deputy General Secretary Keith Sonnet and PCS Deputy General Secretary both warned of the BNPs attempts to set up a front trade union Solidarity. Keith Sonnet added the BNPs presence throws a shadow over our democracy. It masquerades as a legitimate political party, but it preys on fear and ignorance and promotes hate. We must reject those politics of hate and division. The fascists and their parties have to be stopped in their tracks. As a nation, we should be ashamed of the growth of far right politics. It should never have been allowed to happen. And we must shake the mainstream political parties out of their complacency.
National Assembly Against Racism Secretary Lee Jasper said that society must wake up and stop sleepwalking into more and more BNP victories. He urged the government to raise its game: to understand that defending multiculturalism and opposing racism was crucial to defending the anti-racist gains made of the past decades and to defeating the BNP. He also challenged sections of the media for giving the BNP a platform and presenting them and some of the myths they spread as legitimate.
Weyman Bennett, Joint Secretary of UAF identified the next twelve months as being critical for our movement's ability to hold back the growth of the fascists and prevent them gaining the seats and prominence of European fascists.
Soumaya Ghanoushi from Islam Expo noted how the so-called debate on the Veil and attacks on Muslims is legitimising the BNP.
General Secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, Mohammed Abdul Bari, condemned Conservative Party's comparison of some Muslim communities with the BNP as trivialising the fascist party and the grave danger it poses to Muslims and the unity of the whole society.
Jewish Council for Racial Equality director Edie Friedman told conference that the BNP had had the audacity and duplicity to write to the Jewish Chronicle to announce that it was now Muslims and asylum seekers that were in their sights. She highlighted the historic lessons of scapegoating one community, and quoted a recent Jonathan Freedland article where he noted that if the current barrage of attacks in the media were directed at Jewish, rather than Muslim people, he would be reaching for his passport.
Alan Wardle Stonewall Director of Parliamentary & Public Affairs emphasised the BNPs homophobia and said: "The BNP routinely incites hatred towards lesbian, gay and bisexual people, as well as targeting people on racial and religious grounds. We welcome this conference as an opportunity to bring minority communities together, to challenge the politics of hatred whatever their motivation."
Glyn Ford MEP described how fascism has infiltrated society in other European countries and the lessons to be drawn from this. Fascist and far right groups have formally set up the Identity, Sovereignty and Tradition caucus on the European Parliament, entitling them to extra resources and funding.
In a poignant and powerful speech, David Okoro from the Anthony Walker Foundation brought home the reality of racism for black people in Britain; David told the conference that, since Stephen Lawrence was killed, there have been 70 further racist murders in Britain. Unless the daily institutional and violent racism that black people face is challenged this number would continue to rise and the BNP would continue to gather support.
Barking and Dagenham Councillor Milton McKenzie highlighted what happens when the BNP gains seats on a local council and how the spreading of the Africans for Essex myth allowed the BNP to grow in the area. The BNP claimed that Africans were given grants to move into Barking and Dagenham, which of course is a total lie.
Five workshops gave attendees the opportunity to focus on key areas of interest and to discuss ideas and share experiences.
A busy session run by Love Music Hate Racism heard from Get Cape, Wear Cape Fly, Asian woman rapper DJ Hard Kaur, pianist Ian Pace and others on the importance of communicating the anti-racist message through popular culture to inspire a new generation to actively oppose the BNP.
Other sessions including challenging racist myths which heard from speakers from across the country about the myths perpetrated by the BNP which are being challenged; opposing homophobia tackled necessity of uniting against the BNP with all communities and not pandering to the fascists agenda by singling out any community as uniquely homophobic.
A session on students and education heard how the BNP is increasing its presence on university campuses, the need to uphold the No platform for fascists policy and the difficulty in implementing the Race Relations Amendment Act when BNP members working in the public sector are exposed. A BNP teacher is currently working for the Derby Pupil Referral Unit despite concerns raised by the UAF group.
Another session on What happens when the BNP get elected noted how the BNP become a normalised part of local politics in areas where they make a breakthrough, such as Burnley and Stoke-on-Trent and the failure to robustly challenge racist myths is allowing them to grow.
UAF has called three national days of action: Saturday 3rd March, Saturday 31 March and Saturday 28 April during which supporters are encouraged to coordinate door to door leafleting in key target areas, contact the local media and organise awareness raising events. The UAF has produced a national leaflet to distribute, which can be ordered from the UAF office. UAF will also be re-launching the Pull the plug on fascist thugs campaign in the run up to the elections.
Thanks to everyone who came to our 6 gigs over Christmas; in all we put on 23 bands, entertained several hundred punters and gave out 63 million sweets and almost as many badges. Also, The Moon gigs raised £160 for War Child and Love Music Hate Racism.
BNP Leaflets Romsey - our response
In response to some leaflets put through a few doors in the dead of night (4am!) in Romsey, Unite has been active in the area stickering and fliering.
Here is a well thought out letter in reply to the claims one of the BNP's leaflets, submitted by a local residentto his local paper.
It underlines the point that all residents, black and white, need to be involved in the campaign to improve council housing and welfare provision, rather than scapegoating one part of the community...
Cambridge Unite Against Fascism and the Evening News.
Unite Against Fascism and the Cambridge Evening News
On October 24th several members of Cambridge Unite Against Fascism took a trip to Smithy Fen, Cottenham. Their view of the Evening News' 'Action on Travellers' campaign was best summed up by one resident who said "They should have called it 'War on Travellers'!"
The fact that your campaign is entitled 'Action on Travellers' frames the travelling communities as the problem in many of your stories. Although we appreciate that some of your coverage of Traveller Issues has been well balanced you often highlight negative aspects or inflammatory points of view in your headlines and strap lines. The large number of articles that you print under this campaign banner paints an unwelcoming and counter inclusive image of the whole Travelling community. Further to this you often report unrelated or complex issues as 'Action on Travellers'. Recent examples of this are traffic and access issues on Fen Road and the particularly inflammatory story about taxis to schools. Neither of these stories are Traveller issues, they relate to much wider concerns about public planning, funding, education and infrastructure; in short, issues which involve the whole community and which deserve a wider and more critical debate.
Our concern is that, through your persistence in reporting stories under the same campaign, you run the risk of seriously alienating one section of our community.
We are requesting that you cease to publish stories under the 'Action on Travellers' campaign and that you favour a more inclusive and responsible approach to the issues you raise in our local newspaper.
Rose, Co-ordinator, Cambridge Unite Against Fascism
Activity After the Election... A report from the Steering Committee, June 30th.
was lucky enough to be asked to the Extended Steering Committee of Unite
Against Fascism which was held today. Here's a fairly quick summary of
what was talked about and what I feel we should be doing as a result.
I have lots of handouts particularly about the BNP's performance in the
general election, which I'm happy to pass on to anyone.
Cambridge Unite Against Fascism during the election
Unite Against Fascism sent a car load of people to the mass leafleting
in Daggenham and Barking on the first day of action. The weekend after
we went to Peterborough during the day to counteract the National Front
and received a very warm welcome, apart from by the City Rangers who eventually
asked us to move on. The same evening we returned to meet with the Turkish
community who are feeling threatened, and we hope to maintain these links.
Richard Howitt, the MEP for Cambridgeshire, also took a box of leaflets
for his campaigning in the City. Local Labour Party activists delivered
4000 leaflets in Cambridge, and the Greens took some as well, following
an abusive letter they received by someone claiming to represent the BNP.
We have also leafleted two Cambridge United home matches, getting a good
response from home and away fans, apart from a few Darlington supporters
who claimed that they were voting BNP. We provided leaflets for Norwich's
trip to Basildon, and have been ever present at local gigs.
Hey Ho Let's Go! Ramones night raises nearly £300!
R*E*P*E*A*T's Ramones anti Christmas party raised more than £280 for Love Music Hate Racism and The Leukemia Research Foundation. The gig was in memory of Daniel Ansell who died of the disease in October. R*E*P*E*A*T can also send an extra £100 to Love Music Hate Racism as a result of singles sold, thank you everyone.
Thanks to everyone who played, paid, did sound or compered on a top night - Dan would have loved it! .
Nazis Remain in the Gutter
join us click here
Some more good news to come out of June 10th is that Cambridge's 400 BNP votes (still 400 too many!) represented their lowest vote in all the Eastern Region, both in real terms and as a proportion of the vote (1.28%). Hopefully this lack of a result will make them think twice about standing here again. Well done to everyone who campaigned against them!
Far right's election setback
Although we should not be complacent, anti fascists must be pleased with the failure of the BNP to achieve their major aims at both the local and Euro elections. Below Helen Shooter analyses the national picture; in our region the BNP got only 2.9% of the vote and failed to make an impression with their publicity or lies. While the reasons for this maybe varied, I'd like to think that the 14,000 leaflets we gave out around Cambridge urging people to vote against the Nazis had some effect - the turnout in the wards we targeted was up on the national average!
I'd like to thank everyone for their efforts over the past weeks, and look forward to seeing you all again soon. As I said at the top, what happened in Epping Forest shows that we can not afford to be complacent, so any ideas for activities to keep anti Fascism in the spotlight will be gratefully accepted here
All the best
Against Fascism Launch Meeting in Cambridge
- please get involved!
Love Music Hate Racism
The Kurt Cobain memorial gig raised £200 for Love Music Hate Racism and £180 for Granta Housing, a big thank you to everyone who supported it.
Cambridge based R*E*P*E*AT records have put out a benefit compilation album called "Fear of a Black Kennett" featuring 21 tracks by the likes of Kinesis, ADF, Miss Black America, King Adora, The Dawn Parade and many more. Read further details here.