Tuesday, 16 September 2008

September 20th: Stoke Anti-Fascist Activity

On the 20th September, thousands of activists will be mobilising in Manchester on the occasion of Labour's annual conference to protest against the continued occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. But down the road, in Stoke-on-Trent, another significant event is taking place.

Readers may recall that last summer, Stoke BNP activist Keith Brown was killed after a long running dispute with his Asian neighbour, Habib Khan. Unsurprisingly and distastefully, the BNP nationally and locally have opportunistically made racist hay with the subsequent court case, at which Khan was found guilt of manslaughter and sentenced to eight years. To protest this the BNP are parachuting in (they claim) around 400 activists this Saturday. They plan to deliver leaflets, attend a public rally (apparently, with the so-called Truth Truck) and go for a slap up meal afterward.

Characteristically the BNP have kept the location of their rally close to their chests. But they have obtained permission from the police to hold it. Also, the police have banned local anti-fascist group, NorSCARF (North Staffs Campaign Against Racism and Fascism) from holding any kind of counter-protest in Hanley, leading activists to believe the BNP's rally will be held somewhere in the vicinity of the city centre.

Chances are the BNP rally will be very heavily policed, so anyone looking to come to Stoke to "physically confront" the fascists are going to be disappointed.

Nevertheless there are two counter events taking place.

First, NorSCARF are holding what it calls a 'Unity and Peace' vigil at 10am, this Saturday, NORSACA car park, Cannon Place (off Broad Street/Victoria Square), Hanley (also supported by UAF and LMHR)

Second, from 12 onwards in Hanley Forest Park, north of the city centre, thousands of local young people will be coming together for the Jam It Unity Festival, organised by the Youth Arts Forum. Anti-fascists will have a series of stalls and meetings at the event, and will be organising large teams to go out and counter-leaflet the BNP in the afternoon and evening all across Stoke. Socialist Party members will be distributing our new anti-BNP leaflet and thousands will be available for those outside the area who want to give us a hand. Activists who don't fancy distributing SP material are more than welcome to bring their own and use them while still being part of the same leafleting teams.

You can pretty much guarantee it will be the BNP who grab the headlines after Saturday, given the increasing softness of the local paper, The Sentinel, toward them. But the simple fact is there will be many, many more in Stoke on the day showing their opposition to the BNP's racist lies. Why not come and join us?

4 comments:

Phil BC said...

Directions to the morning's vigil:

The venue for the Peace & Unity Vigil is NORSACA (North Staffordshire African Caribbean Association) , Lindsay Annexe, Cannon Place, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 4EP.

Cannon Place is just off Broad Street and Victoria Square, Hanley. Broad Street is the main road (A5006) from Stoke to Hanley (City Centre).

Look for the Victoria On The Square pub and Stratstone's Jaguar garage. Lindsay Annexe is an old school building (just to the left of the Jaguar garage) with a large car park in front.

The following bus services operate via Victoria Square: 21, 21A, 31, 33, 33A, 64, 94, 101, 350, X64.

DIRECTIONS BY ROAD:

NB: to avoid confusion, please note that Hanley is the City Centre of Stoke-on-Trent, and not Stoke.

From the North: leave M6 at J16, and follow A500 towards Stoke-on-Trent. At Etruria Interchange, do NOT follow 'City Centre/Hanley', but stay on A500. At next interchange (Stoke), go into left-hand lane, signposted A5006 to 'City Centre/Hanley'. At the lights, turn left under the railway bridge, and continue on A5006 for approx 3/4 mile. At
roundabout, go straight ahead, still following A5006 to 'City
Centre/Hanley. After 1/4 mile, see Stratstone's Garage on right. Turn right just past garage into Cannon Place.

From the South: leave M6 at J15, and follow A500 towards Stoke-on-Trent. Immediately after Sideway interchange, go into left-hand lane, signposted A5006 to 'City Centre/Hanley'. Go straight ahead through two traffic lights, and turn right at the third traffic lights under the railway bridge. Continue on A5006 for approx 3/4 mile. At roundabout, go straight ahead, still following A5006 to 'City Centre/Hanley. After
1/4 mile, see Stratstone's Garage on right. Turn right just past garage into Cannon Place.

From the East: take A50 towards Stoke-on-Trent. At Heron Cross
interchange, do NOT turn off for 'City Centre/Hanley', but stay on A50 following 'Newcastle'. At Sideway interchange, turn right on to the A500 North, towards 'City Centre/Hanley'. Stay in the left-hand lane, signposted A5006 to 'City Centre/Hanley'. Go straight ahead through two
traffic lights, and turn right at the third traffic lights under the railway bridge. Continue on A5006 for approx 3/4 mile. At roundabout, go straight ahead, still following A5006 to 'City Centre/Hanley. After 1/4 mile, see Stratstone's Garage on right. Turn right just past garage into Cannon Place.

DIRECTIONS BY RAIL:

Train to Stoke-on-Trent Station. On leaving the station, turn left along Station Street. At the end of Station Street (by railway bridge), turn right into Stoke Road. At the bus stop outside the garage, catch a 21 or 21A bus to Victoria Square. Alternatively, it is about a mile's walk to Victoria Square. If walking, go straight ahead at the roundabout into Snow Hill, and look for the Stratstone's Garage on your right. Turn right just past the garage into Cannon Place.

Unity Festival:

Via a Michelin map, zoom in once. You will see the train station at the bottom centre of the screen. Hanley Forest Park is by Chell Street to the north of ST1 (where the lake is pictured on the map).

ModernityBlog said...

great idea, I'll re-post, an increase in antifascist activity is what needed nowadays

Robert said...

Can somebody answer me this and it in no way anti social or BNP, because I hate these people with a vengeance.

But can anyone explain to me in 2008 why do we have a white Police federation and a Black police federation. I mean would a Police federation be the only way forward.

It's like having two unions like lets say white GMB and a black GMB, is this not a form of segregation of the worse type.

ModernityBlog said...

as I understand it there is not a "white Police federation and a Black police federation."

there is a Police Federation which functions as a basic trade union for Police officers in the lower ranks, below inspector

whereas the Black Police association functions as a PRESSURE group to influence policy, in a specific area, it is not the same.

different functions, different organisations

the following links explain it better,

http://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/units_and_departments/associations/bpa/index.aspx

http://www.nbpa.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=17&Itemid=31