Last night people from all over London attended a public rally, called by Unite Against Fascism and sponsored by the National Union of Teachers, to stop the fascist BNP gaining a electoral foothold in Britain. Hundreds of people from across London heard from trade unionists, Steve Chandra Savale (aka Chandrasonic from Asian Dub Foundation), Weyman Bennet (Joint Secretary of UAF), Wes Street (President of NUS), Martin Smith (Love Music Hate Racism), Glynn Ford MEP and Dr Abdul Bari (Muslim Council of Britain).
The rally begun on poignant note with the 30th Anniversary of the death of Blair Peach , with Jo Lang a close friend of Blair Peach describing the day he was murdered, and how police violence continue today. She fully endorsed the campaign to fight BNP and is actively doing so with The Friends of Blair Peach Committee.
The rally continued with stirring speeches from all members of the teaching trade unions including the acting General Secretary of NUT, Christine Blower. She encouraged local groups to seek funds from their local NUT branches, as the NUT now has a national political fund which is being used to fight the BNP.
Martin Smith from LMHR reminded the rally, that the next six weeks is crucial in the fight against fascists in this country, people need to be reminded that it is now immigrants that cause job losses and deprivation in their communities, but it is the incompetent bankers and businesses that continue to leave people destitute across the country. To rapturous applause, he also reminded the rally that fight against right wing media such as the Daily Express, The Mail, The Telegraph and the BBC that all offer a platform to the BNP, should be challenged.
Overall, the message was clear we have a lot of work to do over the next six weeks if we want to stop the BNP from gaining seats in the European parliament, an emphasis was placed on exposing the BNP for what they really are - Nazi thugs.
The rally was a chance for UAF groups across London to come together to share ideas, and to co-ordinate efforts for Unity Friday, 1st May, which will see local groups leaflet tube and train stations across London to raise awareness of the very serious threat the BNP poses in the forthcoming election. The electoral system used for European elections favours smaller parties and BNP need around 8.5% to get elected – so every vote counts. We must encourage people to register before 19th May and use their vote on June 4th.
The task ahead is monumental, all UAF groups and people who want to stop the BNP need to mobilise now in their workplaces, trade unions and local communities. To get involved in the campaign at this crucial time, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or for people in different areas contact www.uaf.org.uk direct.