Socialist Party and Socialist Students members joined hundreds of demonstrators on Saturday in a humiliating defeat for the neo-Nazi British People’s Party.
By Socialist Party reporters
The BPP (formerly the ‘White Nationalist Party’), who attempted to hold a protest in Leeds city centre against the sale of black rap music, pride themselves on their ‘racially-pure membership policy’ and call for a ‘racial holy war’ to rid society of Jews, homosexuals and any other minority they can shake a stick at.
They also attempt to pose themselves as the alternative to New Labour and the Tory’s fat cat privatisation policies in order to draw in members of a disaffected working class.
Their ‘protest’ was delayed by four hours while the police heavy-handedly cleared Lands Lane (where it was to be held) of all anti-racist demonstrators and smuggled the Nazis in through an alley.
The BPP, who prior to the day talked about how they were going to “smash the Reds” and “take back the streets of Leeds”, despite inviting fellow fascist groups, produced only a measly showing of around 15 people, which upsettingly included two children.
The counter-demonstration was a complete success, not one fascist leaflet was given out and the demoralised bigots slunk off after less than an hour under heavy police escort.
The most disturbing aspect of the whole event was not the sorry presence of the BPP but the role the police played in aiding them. In order to let the BPP distribute their racist propaganda they attempted to pen peaceful anti-fascist activists inside metal fences.
Throughout the day there were many incidents of police brutality, not least including punching teenage girls, one sixteen-year-old girl even being smashed in the face with a baton.
Despite the actions of the police, the counter demonstration was a decisive victory for working people.