BNP leader Nick Griffin urges supporters to ignore police ban on planned march at scene of Drummer Lee Rigby’s brutal murder

The leader of the far Right British National Party Nick Griffin has urged his followers to ignore a police ban on the organisation’s planned march near the scene of the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich. The call comes despite police warnings that any BNP members who try to demonstrate in south east London on Saturday risk arrest.

 

Mr Griffin posted on Twitter: “Ignore reports of march ban. See you there on Saturday.” He called the ban, which was issued under the Public Order Act, a “police abuse of power”.

 

“The right to protest is a fundamental part of our society, however, such an evocative mix of views being expressed in communities still hurting from Lee’s murder could have resulted in ugly scenes on our streets,” said Metropolitan Police Commander Simon Letchford.

 

The enforced change, if adhered to, raises the prospect of the two far Right rivals – the BNP and English Defence League – reaching the Cenotaph at the same time, along with anti-fascist groups. Speaking to The Independent tonight, Simon Letchford added that the Metropolitan Police was continuing to gather intelligence and would adapt its tactics in the event of any trouble.

 

Lee Rigby’s family call for calm as far-right groups plan day of protest

Relatives say murdered soldier had friends of different cultures and would not want his death used as excuse for violence. The family of Lee Rigby have urged people to “show their respect”, saying the murdered soldier would not want anyone to exploit the event to cause division.

 

Their call came as far-right groups prepared for what could be their biggest mass mobilisation in years, including dozens of planned protests by the English Defence League (EDL) and a British National party (BNP) rally on Saturday in central London.

 

There has been a sharp increase in reports of Islamophobic incidents since Rigby’s death; more than 200 were reported to a hotline in the week following his murder in Woolwich, south-east London, on 22 May.

 

Anti-racist campaigners say there could be as many as 60 EDL protests around England on Saturday, making it the largest far-right mobilisation in 30 years. Some of the biggest turnouts are expected in Birmingham, Luton and Leeds, and police forces have held emergency meetings to work out how to maintain order.

 

Groups opposed to the far right, such as Hope not Hate, and faith organisations have been organising their own activities. On Friday, representatives of Greenwich Islamic Centre, which has no links to the alleged attackers but became a focus because of its proximity to the murder site, hosted an event in which Muslim community leaders joined representatives from the Jewish, Anglican, Catholic and Sikh faiths to lay a wreath spelling “Peace” at Woolwich barracks, where Rigby was based.

 

It was preceded by a “tea and biscuits” event at the Greenwich centre, modelled on the much-praised impromptu efforts of a York mosque to charm a gathering of EDL would-be protesters earlier this week.

 

Woolwich attacks: BNP and anti-fascists in street clashes

Far-right groups march across UK in wake of Woolwich killing, while police in London arrest 58 during angry scenes yesterday after anti-fascist demonstrators clashed with British National Party members outside the Houses of Parliament. The far-right group’s march was one of around 60 planned across the country yesterday to mark the death of Drummer Lee Rigby, murdered in Woolwich last month.

 

Nick Griffin turned up around two hours later and, addressing reporters, said his supporters had come out to protest peacefully and to oppose any Islamic presence in Britain. And he claimed that the murder of Drummer Rigby would not be an isolated incident.

 

The Metropolitan Police said that the UAF faction numbered around 300 people and the BNP group around 150.

 

Far-Right National Front Gearing Up for Election Gains

23 April 2012

Britain’s notoriously Islamophobic and racist far-right party is working hard for the forthcoming local election to restore its power. Although the party gained unprecedented popularity among working-class Britons in 1970s, soon after it began to decline due to a series of internal feuds and the electoral success of the breakaway British National Party (BNP).

Now, with the rising tide of Islamophobia in Britain, the whites-only party is seeking to seize the opportunity and to restore its glory days.

Anti-Islam US Pastor is Banned from Britain

Terry Jones, the controversial American preacher who wanted to burn the Koran in public, has been banned from entering Britain. The Home Secretary, Theresa May, banned Mr Jones after he accepted an invitation to address England is Ours, a fringe anti-Islamic group with links to the British National Party.

A spokesman for the Home Office said: “The Government opposes extremism in all its forms which is why we have excluded Pastor Terry Jones from the UK. Numerous comments made by Pastor Jones are evidence of his unacceptable behaviour.”

The preacher had hoped to address demonstrations in the UK against Islam and said refusing him entry was a blow against free speech.

Tackling Islamophobia

5 December 2010
In this op-ed, Robert Lambert calls on the long-overdue proper debate on anti-Muslim violence and intimidation:
“The new all-party parliamentary group investigating Islamophobia will need to encourage the coalition government to tackle anti-Muslim violence and intimidation as a matter of urgency. Too many victims have suffered in silence and without remedy since the phenomenon became widespread after 9/11 to allow even a day’s delay.
The violence – ranging from murder, grievous bodily harm, petrol bombings, political violence through to death threats and vandalism – has remained largely hidden and unremarked outside of the communities where it occurs for the best part of a decade.
What motivates the violence? Just as a minority of journalists feel licensed to denigrate Muslims in a way they would not dream of doing to any other faith or ethnic minority community so too a minority of gangs and individuals commit violence against Muslims and their places of worship and congregation in the mistaken but often honestly held belief that they are attacking ‘Muslim terrorists’ or ‘extremists’. Invariably this motivation can be traced back to influential media commentators and politicians – not solely to the British National Party and the English Defence League. (…)”

Conservatives in Britain Backing Possible Full-Face Veil Ban in France

French Prime Minister François Fillon has asked the top court to help the government draft a law banning the face-veil after a parliamentary panel recommended a partial ban on the wear in hospitals, schools, public transport and government offices.

The anti-burqa camp is gaining grounds in Britain, with calls for a ban. For instance, Philip Hollobone, Conservative MP for Kettering, told the Daily Telegraph, “In my view, and the view of my constituents, wearing the burqa is not an acceptable form of dress and the banning of it should be seriously considered.” Hollobone said the face-veil “goes against the British way of life.” The far-right British National Party has also called for banning it in schools.

Sikh will be first non-white in far-right BNP to fight Islamic extremism

An Indian-born Sikh pensioner is hoping to become the first non-white member of the far-right British National Party (BNP) because he wants to fight Islamic extremism. Rajinder Singh, 78, is joining the BNP — whose policies include stopping immigration — after the party voted Sunday to change its constitution to admit ethnic minorities for the first time, following a court ruling.

Singh said he had seen the “potential of Islam”, witnessing extensive violence after partition in 1947, and wanted to “save” Britain by working to prevent similar scenes here. “Islam is global, it has zero loyalty to Britain,” he said. The BNP are sons of soil and they are standing up for their soil. I wish we had a counterpart of the BNP in India in 1946.”

This is an exceptional case of the transfer of a conflict (Indian-Pakistani) to the situation of contemporary Islam in Britain, and of a representative of an ethnic minority joining a far-right party.

Report on anti-Muslim hate crime published by new British research center

The University of Exeter has launched a new European Muslim Research Centre (EMRC). The center aims to shed light on Islamic issues that are in danger of being ignored because of negative media reports on Islam and “vociferous sections of the media and populist politicians”. Instead, the EMRC focuses on topics like anti-Muslim hate crime. Dr. Jonathan Githens-Mazer and Dr. Robert Lambert of the University of Exeter co-authored the center’s first report: “Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: a London Case Study”.

The report finds that Muslim Londoners face a threat of violence and intimidation from three groups. First from a small violent extremist nationalist milieu that has broadly the same political analysis as the British National Party (BNP). Second from London gangs who have no allegiance with or affinity to the BNP. Third from a small number of Londoners and visitors to London who appear to be acting on prejudices gained via negative media portrayals of Muslims as terrorists and security threats.

Socialists lose in European Parliament

With the lowest turnout figures in European Parliament elections since 1979, the fear that racist and far-right parties would sweep the European elections did not materialise, although in the Netherlands, Austria, Britain and Hungary, they were quite successful. In Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Poland and Bulgaria, racist and far-right parties did worse than expected. In the UK for the first time two members of the right wing British National Party (BNP) were elected.