Monday, 29 March 2010

Hastings Anti-BNP Protest a Huge Success

A PROTEST in Hastings against the British National Party, organised by South East Youth Fight for Jobs, dealt a serious blow to BNP aspirations in the area and showed in no uncertain terms that the people of Sussex reject racism in all its forms.

The protest, held on Thursday 25 March outside The Crown House pub, was called in response to the Confederation of Small Businesses inviting the racist BNP to take part in a hustings of the local general election candidates. Despite driving wind and rain for a lot of the night, the protest met with vociferous support from local activists, trade unionists, workers and students. Passing motorists honked horns in support of the 60 strong campaigners, who waved banners and placards, chanted anti-Fascist sentiments and delivered speeches to one another.

Youth Fight for Jobs was instrumental in attracting a number of young people to the demonstration, actively getting the word out to the local education institutions and in appealing to many young people’s sense of outrage at the current economic climate and proposals of vast cuts in services.

Socialist Party members and representatives of YFJ found their speeches particularly well received. They not only denounced the BNP as a racist party, they explicitly explained how the anti-working class policies of the main capitalist parties had contributed to the rise of the BNP. Socialist members made it clear that working people must unite and fight cuts and job losses, regardless of ethnic background. The BNP merely serve to undermine working class unity and make it easier for the politicians and bosses in forcing us to pay for their crises. One trade union activist remarked afterwards that he was delighted to hear a political alternative proposed at, wholeheartedly agreeing with the Socialist Party on the need for a new mass party to represent the interests of working people.

Fraser MacInnes (South East Socialist Party)