‘Griffin Must Go’ bid hits Liverpool

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Speakers on platform during ‘Griffin Must Go’ session at UAF North West conference

Eleven Liverpool city councillors and two Merseyside MPs have backed the campaign to oust BNP leader Nick Griffin at the next European elections.

The campaign, which also has the backing of trade unions, came to Liverpool on Sunday along with the Unite Against Fascism (UAF) North West conference.

Paul Jenkins of UAF North West told JMU Journalism that it was important for people to get a sense of the geography and the size of the North West constituency that Nick Griffin represents, and that the economic crisis has led to fascist organisations sitting in parliaments across Europe.

Mr Jenkins said: “BNP leader Nick Griffin won his seat as Member of the European Parliament for the North West Region in 2009 with only 8% of the vote – because of the particular form of proportional representation used in the European Elections.

“It is necessary to raise awareness now that the BNP only need 8% and are depending on a low voter turn-out to hold onto Griffin’s seat.

“If Griffin holds onto his seat for another five years, it will give fascist street-fighting organisations renewed confidence to demonstrate and carry out racist violence on our streets.”

The Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, councillor Paul Brant, opened the conference.

Cllr. Brant told JMU Journalism: “I was keen and proud to open the event because of the strong anti-fascist credentials of the Labour Party in the city of Liverpool.”

The conference had several sessions including one on The 43 Group, founded by anti-fascist campaigner Morris Beckman, a session on the far right in Europe and a session called ‘First They Came’ which looked at different targets of racism.

Councillor Louise Baldock, one of the Liverpool City councillors who signed the statement supporting the Griffin Must Go campaign, addressed the conference about racism in football with former Liverpool footballer Howard Gayle.

Cllr. Baldock, who also does local consultancy work for the Local Government Association around the country on Equality and Diversity, told JMU Journalism: “This is my third year running speaking at the UAF conference.

“I always try to speak and in future will continue to do so. I do this because I am a passionate believer in equality and diversity”

About Ian Bolland, JMU Journalism