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To think Anti-Nazi League etc. just make things worse

(52 Posts)
SomeGuy Fri 11-Sep-09 22:40:05

For some decades now they have turned up at BNP and National Front events, or places where neo-fascists have been speaking to cause disruption.

It very often ends up in violence, people getting stabbed, etc. Presumably many of them are going because they enjoy fighting and violent confrontation.

Why don't they leave the demonstrations to be policed by the police and realise that their actions do no good whatsoever?

(Background:
www.harrowtimes.co.uk/news/4625715.Mosque_protest_breaks_down_into_violence_and_disorder/

There was supposed to have been a protest against a new mosque in Harrow, but for various reasons nobody turned up, leaving only the anti-protest protestors:

"The violence broke out as thousands, lead by Unite Against Fascism (UAF), turned out to opposed a planned demonstration outside the mosque by a group called Stop the Islamisation of Europe.

However, the right-wing group failed to materialised, and with tensions high among the anti-fascist protesters, it soon became clear violence was not far away.

A group of six white men were spotted heading from the station to the mosque at around 5pm, but before they could make their intentions clear, they were chased by dozens of the protesters, some armed with sticks, through the civic centre car park. "
"“This was a worry throughout, and as the numbers started to grow, you could very clearly see a number of people entering with masks, people who did not appear to be from Harrow, and it only needed any kind of excuse for things to turn ugly. "

Similar incidents have been going on for decades, see for instance www.harrogateadvertiser.net/harrogatenews/EXPOSED-BNP-man39s-past-.5362613.jp

pooexplosions Sat 12-Sep-09 00:25:20

Oh good idea, lets leave facists completely unopposed and make no stand against them. hmm

SomeGuy Sat 12-Sep-09 00:29:56

What purpose does going out to fight with them serve? Do you suppose it lessens their numbers?

scottishmummy Sat 12-Sep-09 00:31:09

uphold right to agitate & demonstrate against perceived injustice.are you suggesting one cannot protest?

SomeGuy Sat 12-Sep-09 00:37:06

I believe that is the opinion of the anti-Nazi League. That is their aim. To stop the BNP types from protesting/speaking/whatever.

It very often ends in violence.

ravenAK Sat 12-Sep-09 00:37:43

Actually, from running a pub/music venue some years ago where we often had ANL connected events, there were some lairy buggers amongst them who were definitely motivated, at least partially, by quite liking a good ruck with the BNP.

Doesn't mean they shouldn't show a presence at a racist demonstration, but yes, there was always an element that possibly weren't the best ambassadors.

I imagine it's the same for any group taking a stand on emotive issues.

BitOfFun Sat 12-Sep-09 00:41:59

The vast majority of ANL gatherings are peaceful events- any rucks are your usual young men things, and not politically authorised. The philosophy behind it is mass action, not individual scraps. That is the raison d'etre of some other groups, but not the ANL, in my experience.

scottishmummy Sat 12-Sep-09 00:42:05

what is your beef here?people shouldn't agitate and protest?

do you recommend nicely composed,good grammar letters to stop those pesky racists

how bloody dare one protest without permission/licence/advance warning

what next people will think its a free country and they can mobilise/protest at will

Hando Sat 12-Sep-09 00:42:58

I agree that make this worse too. BNP are a legal political party, they are legally allowed to have their demonstrations. If ANL want to demonstate their views which go against what BNPs views are then they should do it on a different day!

I do not suggest one cannot protest, I suggest that we have one protest/demonstration at a time as two conflicting radical groups protesting at once = major brawl.

SomeGuy Sat 12-Sep-09 00:49:03

They do not go out to protest, they go out to fight, to prevent BNP (and the NF before them) from doing what is often quite mundane things.

I found this:

"Dear Unite Against Fascism (UAF),
Today, Tuesday 9 June for reference, Nick Griffin, I'm tempted to call him Nicholas for formalities, the leader of the British National Party (BNP), was giving a press conference outside Parliament in London. The press conference itself was of little interest, from what I saw it was merely Griffin giving a talk about voting figures for the BNP going up, in reality they polled less votes, in the words of Disraeli (maybe) 'there are lies, damn lies and statistics'. This will come up later.

The UAF decided to respond to this press conference of mind-numbingly exciting statistics by confronting the group of 3-5 BNP supporters about 2 minutes into the conference with what is estimated to be 50-100 people, with signs giving the usual anti-fascist rhetoric. Some of these supporters threw eggs, and some used open physical violence against the BNP supporters. Ultimately, Nick Griffin and his cronies were forced into a car after being pursued by the UAF protesters. As Griffin drove off, his car was kicked by some thuggish looking protester and then chased pathetically by some more UAF protesters.

In response to the incident a UAF protester and supporter called Donna Guthrie called in to BBC News to talk to them about it. Guthrie started the conversation by calling Nick Griffin a 'convicted' Holocaust denier. Now, as much as I believe that the Holocaust, and the fact of it's happening, is an in controvertible historical fact,, denying it's happening is not a crime I'm afraid. I can sit and deny the Roman Empire's existence all I want - all day. This made her sound like an absolute twonk is what I'm trying to say.

Then, Donna Guthrie made a series of fabulous statements. Firstly, when quizzed about her opinion of Free speech, she answered 'We don't believe in Free Speech for Fascists'. "

They are idiots.

SomeGuy Sat 12-Sep-09 00:52:36

Incidentally UAF counts David Cameron as one of its members, something which he really should retract, as they are a fundamentally undemocractic organisation.

Hando Sat 12-Sep-09 00:58:28

Some guy. I have had this discussion before. I found most people did not agree with what you have said (I do though).

I also believe that it is utterly stupid to say that not believing an historical event happened can be a crime?!? WTF! How can people be prosecuted for an opinion of an event that happened years ago? Like if I said I didn't believe the Titanic really sank and I wrote a book about it abd gace speaches about it (I know it's not death on anywhere near such a huge scale, but still) why on Earth would I then be prosecuted.

Nick Griffin can say what he likes about the Holocaust, we don't have to believe him or listen to him if we don't want to.

Perhaps I do not have the right Nickname to be verging on the edge of giving Nick Griffin the green light to talk crap though hmm

ravenAK Sat 12-Sep-09 01:03:17

I have an anecedotal example of a Uni mate of mine inadvertently wandering into a group of guys who had been part of an ANL demo that day.

Deciding that my friend was obviously on his way home from the BNP side of the demo as he was a DM'ed skinhead, they gave him some verbal grief before he managed to convey to them a) that he'd recently shaved off his Trustafarian dreads with a view to cultivating a mohawk, & b) that as a gay Jewish lad, he'd be unlikely to be welcomed by the BNP.

BOF is right: 'any rucks are your usual young men things, and not politically authorised'. I have a lot of time for the ANL.

But they do seem to attract the occasional character who behaves aggressively in their name.

None of which detracts from the validity of their role, but it does exist.

pooexplosions Sat 12-Sep-09 01:06:25

Its fine to deny the insanely massie genocide of an entire people?
Some things are us not ok to say or publish. Free speech is not a reality, there are all kinds of laws and rules about what people can and can't say.
Nick Griffin can't say what he likes about the Holocaust, same as he can't incite racial hatred legally, the same way I can't publicly slander and libel people.
FFS, some things are ust too much. There has to be someone to shout down the BNP. Standing around mumbling about free speech for all isn't going to help anybody at all.

Spineless liberals.

SomeGuy Sat 12-Sep-09 01:11:07

Incidentally Griffin was not convicted of holocaust denial. He was tried in relation to a magazine which did include a statement of holocaust denial, but I don't think that was the basis for his conviction.

For some reason it suits lazy journalists' purposes to describe him as 'convicted of denying the holocaust', rather than the actual convction which was for inciting racial hatred, on the basis of the following evidence:

'Counsel drew attention to the front cover, which displayed a drawing of a large white hangman's noose with the words "What has a rope got to do with WHITE UNITY?" (4) on a black background. The editorial to which the cover referred called for the unification of all "white nationalist" organisations into a single body with the purpose of achieving "final victory over those who wish to destroy us so that they can rule forever over a mass of mongrel slaves." Then "payback time" would come, and "we can put the rope to capital work". Miss Wass argued that the picture of the noose and the editorial were "the clearest possible call to arms to white supremacists" and that the whole magazine had a "blatant racist message". She read extracts from an article which called on readers to evoke "the spirit of the Northmen" and "unsheath the sword of war", another which reported the killing of a white policeman by a West Indian murderer, with photographs, and another which requested video footage of a white man being attacked by a group of blacks in South Africa. She said that an article entitled "Inconvenient facts", which claimed that Jews held positions in the media and Hollywood vastly disproportionate to their numbers, would lead to resentment against Jews. She pointed to a cartoon in which some hens with what she called "Jewish noses" were saying things like "Hens are special" and "Hens are chosen". The cartoon's caption referred to "greedy, pushy power-mad hens". She argued that this cartoon was likely to stir up racial hatred against Jews. She briefly mentioned Holocaust revisionism by arguing that it was generally accepted that anti-semitism had ultimately led to the Holocaust, and that the magazine's denial of the Holocaust, which it called the "Holohoax", was a means of expressing its editor's anti-semitism. '

I don't quite see that claiming someone is a convicted holocaust denier when the reality is in fact rather worse is sensible, but there you go.

pooexplosions Sat 12-Sep-09 01:18:25

He should have been convicted as a holocaust denier, because he is.

SomeGuy Sat 12-Sep-09 01:24:07

But holocaust denial is not a crime. Denying historical fact is not a crime. It's just stupid.

Hando Sat 12-Sep-09 01:26:30

Using free speech to incite racial hatred is illegal as it should be.

Pooexplosions - The whole point is that holocaust denial shouldn't be illegal so you shouldnt be convicted or prosecuted for it.

What if I - as a non BNP, non racist person was to decide that I do not believe the holocaust happened and gave an interview or wrote an article about my opinions. Would that be reason to have me prosecuted? Put in jail for a difference in opinion of an historical event. CRAZY!

Hando Sat 12-Sep-09 01:27:13

In fact is holocaust denial a crime in this country? I didn't think it was here, just in many other countries. Have I got that wrong?

SomeGuy Sat 12-Sep-09 01:29:31

Exactly.

If I were to tell my children 'The holocaust of the Jews never happened', that wouldn't in itself cause them to hate Jews, any more than they would stop being friends with black people if I said 'black people were never sold into slavery'.

ravenAK Sat 12-Sep-09 01:30:57

But his target audience are stupid. & consequently really rather persuadable.

Holocaust denial isn't something done neutrally. It's part of a hate crime.

& if it's done by a racist who has pretensions, however cynical & unrealistic, to present himself as a legitimate politician then it's certainly worthy of scrutiny.

SomeGuy Sat 12-Sep-09 01:31:44

It is not a crime in this country. It just so happens that an inflammatory magazine that was used as evidence to prosecute Griffin contained a reference to the 'holohoax' amongst much other stuff, and this has somehow been perverted into "Griffin was convicted of denying the holocaust".

it is a crime in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Switzerland.

SomeGuy Sat 12-Sep-09 01:37:01

Holocaust denial is worthy of scrutiny. But it's not a crime of itself. As you say, they are likely to use it as part of a larger rhetoric against a group. The sum total of that rhetoric may amount to incitement to racial hatred, but not the act in and of itself.

FWIW, I think the Neo-Nazis have largely moved on from the Jews, as they've found that Muslims are a better target.

ravenAK Sat 12-Sep-09 01:43:36

It's terribly sweet that you two both happen to be online, on the same forum & so much in agreement. At quarter to two on a Friday night too!

So what's the agenda? Nick Griffin, much maligned noted modern historian?

SomeGuy Sat 12-Sep-09 01:56:05

Oh FFS, if you're going to make claims of sockpuppeting you could at least use the search to see past posting histories to see if your claims are even slightly plausible.

If it makes you happy then yes, everyone who disagrees with you is actually the same person, even when they are posting at the same time and making cross posts. Glad that's clear.

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