Tuesday, 28 April 2009
straight. These recent press stories have also made Luton attractive to national groups who want to make this Town a focus for their own objectives. Enough is enough. Luton is our town and the people who live here work hard to co-exist, ensuring community cohesion. We don’t need people using our town as an excuse to stir up ill feeling or suggest that we are not patriotic.
The Second Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, known as The Poachers, has the freedom of the borough. Its members – whether White, Black or Asian – include young men and women from our town and we are proud of them all. Whether or not you agree with them being sent to war zones, that is no reason to harrass brave men and women who are simply doing their job. The recent protest by the handful of people who subjected the Poachers to ignorant and unacceptable abuse was not authorised by Luton Borough Council or the Police. Groups of all faiths, shapes and sizes across the borough condemned the action. Some groups, not necessarily connected to Luton, reacted by trying to arrange a march in support of the troops at very short notice. Their recent claims that we have banned such action are without foundation. Democracy and freedom of speech are fundamental rights of our community and this allows anyone to apply to hold a march. But the Council, and the Police, have a duty to keep people safe.
To ensure public safety there are clear rules forassessing any such application, beginning with prior notice of six weeks and a risk assessment to ensure the safety of the public and those who intend to march. There is however no license to say anything you want. Freedom of speech needs to be used properly and responsibly. Marches which break the law, such as inciting riot or fuelling racial hatred, will not be considered under any circumstances. We will not have our Town and community threatened by such action. We will however do what we can to ensure those seeking to express their view within the law can have that opportunity. The Council and its partners in the Town are committed to supporting and sustaining all communities in this Town and promoting community cohesion. This takes time, patience, goodwill, compromise and understanding from us all.
Luton is certainly not perfect and like many other towns we have to work hard at living in harmony which we do - anyone who was with Luton Town FC at Wembley would have seen the diversity of this Town standing together celebrating their victory. All we ask is that people, and in particular some members of the media, focus on the many positive aspects of life in Luton.
Friday, 24 April 2009
Last year’s council elections saw the BNP win record numbers of seats, to take us to over 50 elected representatives in England and Wales. This year’s council elections will hopefully see us make an even bigger advance and to do that we ask for all branch members and supporters to get involved. In Beds & Bucks we hope to have a number of candidates and would welcome even more.
We have been extensively leafleting and campaigning in Luton, Biggleswade, Milton Keynes, Leighton Buzzard and Aylesbury towards this goal. We also need more leafleters to come forward and help not only in our own area but possibly others as well. There are many other ways to help the party move forward, addressing envelopes, office duties etc so please get involved. There will be regular meetings and activities throughout 2007.
We have established a new group in Aylesbury Vale, under organiser Mellissa Hayles. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and is very keen to build up support in the town as well as the surrounding villages. Luton Group continues to grow, mainly due to the hard work put in by organiser Peter Fehr and his dedicated team of activists. Membership has doubled in the town over the last twelve months. We have held three excellent meetings in Luton over the past few months and leafleting teams have been out regularly.
Meetings have also been held in Milton Keynes, while we continue to encourage our members to support our colleagues in Northants BNP, by attending their meetings and activities, while
they in turn support ours. Many thanks to Dave Robinson, the Northampton Organizer for his support during 2006. In Biggleswade, the entire town has been leafleted as a prelude to standing candidates in May. We have a number of new members in the area as a result of this. Mention must also be made of the newly appointed Young BNP Organizer for Beds & Bucks, Chris Mitchell, who has plans to develop the youth wing of the party in our region. But as usual we needmore people to get active. Then we can increase dramatically our presence on the political scene in the two counties. For the first time we will be standing a number of regional candidates, so please SUPPORT AND HELP THEM!
MAJOR REGIONAL MEETING
THERE IS A MAJOR REGIONAL MEETING IN SOUTH NORTHAMPTON ON TUESDAY, 20 FEBRUARY AT 7.30PM TO BE ADDRESSED BY PARTY CHAIRMAN NICK GRIFFIN. WE HOPE TO HAVE IN EXCESS OF 100 PEOPLE AT THIS MEETING. ALL BEDS AND BUCKS MEMBERS ARE REQUESTED TO ATTEND AS THIS WILL BE THE MAJOR PRE-ELECTION MEETING IN 2007.
Full details are available from Jim Wood (Beds & Bucks), Dave Robinson (Northampton) and other local organizers.
Saturday, 18 April 2009
The framework for this region was provided by activists in Milton Keynes, lead by the trio of fundholder Steve Sherwood, Barry Taylor and Anna Seymour. Between them, these three ran the Luton BNP website, organised leafletting campaigns and supported local candidates at count night in the May elections.
Ricky Fawcus (left), Steve Smith (right)
Local attention was drawn however, by the content of the leaflets, which railed against translation costs, an "influx immigrants and asylum seekers" and a school that dared to have children speaking 32 languages. The local contact number for the EFP was a mobile number belonging to Barry, identical to that found on a website that registers his involvement as a UK Honeybee Swarm Co-ordinator. In fact, the website of the North Bucks Beekeeping Association appears to be hosted by Taylor and with alarmist talk on its pages of "imported bee parasites as a result of Global Capitalist exploitation" it appears he is writing more than his fair share of the content too.
Left to right : Bert Leech, Anna Seymour, Steve Smith, Les Andrews
In the election Seymour gained 8% of the votes and contributors on the nazi-web forum Stormfront purred about the way that UKIP were relegated far down the poll. These comments took on more of a hostile tone when local anti-fascists seized their moment and informed the local press about the candidate’s membership of the BNP, active involvement with Tyr Services and her fulsome praise of a deceased John Tyndall in the online book of condolence for the openly-Nazi British People’s Party :
"Sadly I was only able to meet John on two occasions at recent meetings here in Milton Keynes, and I must say on both occasions i was moved by his noble love and patriotism of this once great land, which sadly no longer belongs to us the indigenous natives."
A front page story in the Milton Keynes News caught many of the characters unawares. Roger Robertson was forced to expel both Taylor and Seymour from the BNP on account of the fact that they campaigned openly for the EFP, a proscribed organisation. Seymour spluttered out that she had left the BNP "because they were too racist." This sits uneasily alongside the fact that two weeks later, she was pouring coffees for Richard Edmonds and 50 members of the BPP at a local John Tyndall Memorial Meeting, where nazi flags and paramilitary merchandise were openly on sale.
The aftermath of this episode features personal setbacks for many local activists on the far-right :
- The leadership of the EFP is being ridiculed by nationalists for failing to check on the credentials of one of its candidates;
- Taylor and Seymour have been expelled from the BNP;
- Milton Keynes BNP organiser Steve Sherwood has apparently left the party;
- South East BNP regional organiser Roger Robertson is being questioned for his inability to influence activists in the Home Counties;
Local BNP activists in Luton and Biggleswade are now cast adrift from the support provided by the "mother group" in Milton Keynes.
For anti-fascists this represents an opportunity to press home our advantage, having put the opposition on the back foot. Fortunately, the activities of Taylor and Seymour, both past and present, have the potential to create many more embarrassing local headlines in the months ahead ......
Thursday, 16 April 2009
We've been aware of some partial deliveries of old BNP material in Abbots Langley and Oxhey Park (Moor Park, Carpenders Park and Oxhey Hall) in recent weeks, but this is sporadic and inconsistent.
This was a very sensible decision by virtue of the wealth of out-of-town troublemakers that follow in Ray's wake. By reading the variety of placards present on the day (above), the council, police and MP Margaret Moran all received some blame. The police tactic of "kettling" received another outing, with officers surrounding the demonstrators and hemming them in to a small area. No permission had officially been given to march, so movement down the town precinct was not permitted.
In total, six people were arrested after dispersal. The local press wrote balanced accounts of the events, but the Daily Star chose to stay true to their Islamophobic stance, giving the demonstrators free rein to say that they were "reclaiming the streets" from the extremist demonstrators.
Local anti-fascists hope that this event will lance the boil of street-level dissent over that fateful day in March. Paul Ray has signalled his determination to stage a "March for England"-style demonstration in Luton for early June, but his ham-fisted attempts at public relations will hopefully cause this venture to come off the rails. We are also mindful of the need to use language that accurately describes the nature of those taking part. Those taking part on Monday were not "BNP" and some would bristle at any "far-right" label. Negative coverage of the troop parade has clearly mobilised a number of locals to act in this manner, but it would be counterproductive to brush these individuals into the same camp as the BNP.
Saturday, 11 April 2009
We are holding a vital regional council meeting on saturday 11th april.Meet at 12.30 at birchanger green services on the M11 (the stanstead airport and bishops stortford turnoff)This is short notice but we have vital things to discuss before the elections get under way in earnest and this is the only free date. Every unit must be represented.
Eddy Butler, Eastern Regional Organiser
Friday, 10 April 2009
On Tuesday 10th March the Royal Anglian Regiment were heckled by a fringe group of extremist Muslim demonstrators as the soldiers marched through Luton Town Centre. This predictable action frustrated and angered nearly every section of the community - above all the local mosques who had already banned the fifteen individuals. The blaze of negative publicity produced strong comment both locally and nationally, with strong condemnations from town hall politicians and a forthright debate in the letters column of local papers.
Soon afterwards it was possible to discern the comments intended to heal from those that sought to open up division and forward an entirely different agenda.
One ex-soldier, James Yeomans, started to organise a "Respect the Troops" march to take place three weeks after the original incident . Far from being a troublemaker, Yeomans intended this to be a genuine gesture to express regret at the incidents on 10th March and thus go someway towards repairing the reputation of the town. Unfortunately, individuals started to emerge from the darker corners of Facebook and other sites, chewing over the possibility of using the occasion to create a confrontation with the town’s sizeable Pakistani and Bangladeshi population. Keyboard warriors encouraged fellow group members to "bring their tools," going on to say "its going to be messy." Momentum was gathering to the extent that coaches were being booked to carry protestors from as far away from Chester and Portsmouth. Even "The Welsh Defence League" pledged attendance, although you get the feeling that their entire membership would fit snugly into a single Ford Mondeo.
Alert at every opportunity to create division the BNP hauled Peter Fehr back from retirement to do what he does best – leading the branch into oblivion. Despite telling a supporter in 2008
Sensing events were running out of his control, James Yeomans cancelled the march. In an attack destined to feature in our leaflets for months to come, he cornered on the fascists :
"How do people make the link between respecting our troops and a fascist parade ? Its pitiful. We had invited people from all corners of the community. Including muslim leaders. These people call themselves patriotic and proud to be British but I wonder what they have ever really done for our country ? It makes me sad that they seem to have a copyright on the Union Jack. If they want to come to Luton to have a fight they need to have a look at their sad lives."
Despite being told that the march was off, much online sabre-rattling could be heard and pledges were made by local hooligans to ignore the police and carry on regardless. In response, Three Counties UAF decided to mobilise around our usual weekly stall in the town centre. On the day we had a good number of supporters from the trades council, Labour Party, Asian community, UAF and an elderly couple inspired by the Hope not Hate website to start their own local campaign. In a 90 minute operation we maintained a lively presence, gave out a good deal of literature and managed to deal with the few dozen football hooligans that skulked around before being moved on by police.
In the aftermath, the motley online crew of BNP supporters (and those simply up for a fight) were apoplectic. Who could blame them. In a single week the local freesheet had a banner headline "Fascists Stealing a March," the BNP meeting the next day was cancelled and their patriotic mass parade was turned into an anti-fascist rally with report on Anglia TV thrown in for good measure.
In desperation, they turned to Paul Ray aka "Lionheart" to leave his fantasy world of dragon-slaying and put together a march of their own on St George’s Day that no-one would pull at the last moment. To be fair, this idea had its merits. Ray was committed to the cause and had notoriety for producing his own long-running anti-Islamic blog. Secondly he was local – living in Dunstable, this was close enough to have influence but sufficiently far away to not have to live with the consequences. Thirdly, he acted as a lynch-pin for the various strands of nationalism in the area – from the football-orientated Luton MIGs (Men in Gear) to those drawn into BNP membership.
Thankfully, that’s where it all started to go wrong.
Mistake 1 – put the wrong people in charge
To apply for a parade, you need to make the case before a sub-group of the borough council, with representation from Community Cohesion and the police. Bad idea therefore to have the person in charge (ie Ray,) currently being investigated by the CPS for inciting racial hatred from articles on his blog. Worse still to have the number 2 in your organisation, one Laurence Jones, a declared supporter of the BNP. Final nail in the coffin to have the support of the "March for England" organisation with its links to the Portsmouth 657 hooligan element.
Mistake 2 – get everyone confused over dates
In wades Peter Fehr to announce another march on Bank Holiday Monday, 16th April. In an email to supporters he does a reasonable job of organising the event, saying :
"This Demo is being well publicised all over Great Britain and over 20,000 people are expected to descend to Luton on the 13th April to show their disgust towards Muslim extremists. So please attend and bring friends, relatives and work colleges, and show your support by bringing along a Union Jack flag. The 13th is on Easter Monday, so this is a bank holiday, so no excuses, turn-up and show your support."
On the other hand, later in the email he goes to lengths to distance the BNP from the event, saying :
"I MUST STRESS THAT THIS DEMO IS NOT BEING ORGANIZED BY THE BNP. Please do not wear any BNP badges if you plan on going to this event."
Hiding behind the false name of "Peter Fisher" in the letters column of The Luton News, Fehr is given space to state, ludicrously:
"Many of your readers will be aware that a demonstration is going to take place in Luton on Monday April 13th.... The British National Party wishes to make it clear that we will not be attending in any way, shape or form."
Who you kidding Peter.
Furthermore, a flyer for the march on the 16th was sent to the Searchlight offices on Blood and Honour notepaper. On it was a phone number, which turned out to be that of NF activist Stuart Hollingdale, the person who was jailed for 3 months in 1999 for daubing the Stephen Lawrence memorial with white paint.
Thankfully, Ray’s application for a march on St George’s Day appears to have hit the buffers. A few individuals will probably try to stir up trouble on both the 16th and the 23rd, but the police undoubtedly have contingency plans up their sleeves.
Three Counties UAF aim now to move from a defensive to offensive posture, mindful that the European and County elections are a matter of 8 weeks away. Unity between different strands of anti-fascist support in the town has been a distinct feature of our success to date and this pooling of expertise and resources gives us good reason for looking to the future with confidence.
Saturday, 4 April 2009
Dunstable blogger Paul Ray ( http://lionheartuk.blogspot.com/ ) was arrested last year by Bedfordshire Police for inciting racial hatred by the extreme anti-Islamic writings.
Recently he was in the forefront of a campaign to have a march in Luton Town centre on March 28th, when the organiser, James Yeomans, called it off given the evidence of far-right activists hi-jacking the event.
This time, Ray has put in a request himself for the march to take place on St Georges Day. Helping him according to the dedicated Facebook page is Dunstable BNP activist Laurence Jones.
There has been a very polite exchange of messages between police, town hall and Ray. The next move is on this coming Tuesday when Ray appears at the Safety Advisory Group - a Town Hall body with multi-agency respresentation. This body can advise on various organisational matters, but is unlikely to intervene on the wider political question of whether the march should take place.
1) This march is coming at the wrong time - given that the community needs time to return to normality after the Poachers March on March 10th
2) It is a strange situation when Dunstable activists are seeking to organise a march in Luton. Dunstable has no such event - why do they not organise one for there ? They will leave with no thought to the consequences left behind.
3) If it happens once, it is likely to become an annual event
4) The wrong people are taking the reins. If you truly wanted a family-friendly St George's Day march in Luton you don't want it being organised by a anti-muslim activist arrested for incitement backed up by the BNP.
5) It is unnecessary given the fact that Luton already has a full programme of St George's Day CULTURAL events planned for 25th of this month.
6) It is not necessary to introduce overtly extreme POLITICAL themes of terrorism and immigration into what should be a pleasant cultural celebration.
7) Of course what overrides is the fact that the organisers have the wrong motives. Using the trojan horse of St George's Day, far-right forces are instead trying once again to destabilise our community by focusing on extremely divise themes.
Thursday, 2 April 2009
If Lionheart is so keen on a march, why does he not hold it in his own town of Dunstable ? Obviously he is looking to stir up trouble on our patch.
We believe it is fine to be proud of your country and to give support to local soldiers. A march organised by these people with a sinister alternative agenda would do more much more harm than good. Anyway, here's the letter ...
Dear Chief Superintendant Andy Frost (Divisional Commander for Luton)
I am writing to you concerning a St George’s day parade in Luton town centre that a group I am involved with are hoping to put on, to mark this special day in the calendar of the English people.As you are well aware, there was a recent demonstration in the town centre that was cancelled by many people out of respect to Luton police, a demonstration the media falsely accused of being hijacked by fascists.The paper stated that it is your responsibility to keep harmony in the town, which you achieved on Saturday 28th March. However, no disrespect to you, but you didn’t do a very good job of keeping harmony during the Poachers homecoming parade through the town on March 10th.
It seems that Luton police, of which you are divisional commander, would rather a group of Islamic militants who are aligned to Osama Bin Laden, Abu Hamza, Omar Bakri and Anjem Choudry disrupt the town and Nations harmony at will, and then persecute normal citizens who complain about this. When we, as normal citizens, seek to demonstrate against this Al Qaeda terrorist supporting group’s disgusting behaviour in Luton, you come out in force pleading for calm, with a media campaign labelling us all fascists.If you will not keep the peace and enforce the law upon Islamic militants as the police, who are paid to uphold law and order, then who will?
I hope that yourself and whoever else gets to read this, will agree that there is something seriously wrong here. If we, the common people, cannot voice our concerns on our streets about terrorists and their aims yet the Islamic militants can, it begs the question; "what has happened to our country to have sunk so low? And what does the future now hold for us?"I know that the majority of people involved in the March 28th demo in Luton were not descending on the town to cause civil disorder. They were descending from all over the country, to show their support to our armed services, to protest against Al Qaeda in Britain, and to stand in solidarity with the people of Bedfordshire over what is happening in our communities.Harmony was preserved this day in Luton because once again, we all had to stay silent about what is happening in our country and community, but next time things could turn out very differently. Not for any other reason than because the English people now have their backs firmly against the wall by the State, and are being abused and terrorised by militant Islam so there is no where else for us to turn other than to each other, and than spill out onto the streets in protest together.I hope I can safely say that that is not what the State wants, and I could also safely say that that is not what the majority of the silent majority want either.
Those who sit back watching the news with their wives and children as current events unfold outside their front doors and know they need to do something about what is going on so that their voices can be heard within society.Our forefathers fought and died for the freedoms we once enjoyed in this land that have slowly and systematically been removed from us by today’s ruling powers, but joining together on the streets is one freedom that is a God given right as English men/women in our own country that cannot be removed from us by anyone.The plea to you now is, will you give your permission and support to an organised St George’s day parade through Luton town centre this April 23rd?A day when the people of Luton can join together in unity with others from far and wide peacefully, where for a day there will be no politics within this arena that hampers modern society, or territorial differences between people. A day where we can leave all those differences behind and become one behind our national flag in honour of our patron saint St George.Every other nationality within our land is allowed to celebrate their identity as a part of the equality and multiculturalism agenda that has been enforced upon us by today’s government. However, we as the English, whose country this is, are continually refused to celebrate who we are, by these same people. We are called racists and fascists by the media if we try to.
I believe everyone reading this will agree that those words have been worn very thin now in the eyes of just about everyone. So now is the time for the State to support us as we emerge from the silent peaceful majority into the forefront of society once again, where our voices are heard.We, and you, have no other choice! Moslems are allowed to celebrate their historical religious leaders every year, sometimes with them cutting themselves to shreds with knives and bleeding profusely in our towns and cities. They are allowed to take to the streets to demonstrate against everything that offends them about British life, and her national and international policies, and they are not called racists by the media for doing so. Then when we want to unite as English men/women behind our national flag, shedding no blood upon the streets, we are labelled as racists and fascists.
Things have to change, and the hope is that Bedfordshire police will grant permission for that change to happen peacefully and within the law. If not the silent majority will have no other choice but to protest illegally. That is just the basic facts of the matter based upon the reality that now surrounds us, that cannot be changed unless people work together to bring about change.
Time is of the essence now because St George’s day is only 3 weeks away, so a swift reply would be very much appreciated and then we can present you with an outlay for the day. We have a well respected, professional organisation that are helping and advising us on how to run the parade successfully, but we just need to have your permission as the first step. There are also several guest speakers we would like to invite to speak to any people who will have gathered on the day, and being the Divisional Commander for Luton it might be nice for you to join them too if you grant permission.
This letter is coming to you on behalf of everyone already joined with the "Luton St George’s day" group who would like to celebrate this their national day for them and their families, and a hard copy will be in the post to you.We look forward to your reply.