Notts IMC + Antifascists | 01.03.2010 19:24 | Anti-racism
Following the effective takeover of the National Front by suspected state asset Eddie Morrison, the NF have sought to capitalise on the perception amongst many hardcore racists that the BNP is now too mainstream, describing the larger organisations decision to "allow" non-white members a "sell-out" and explicitly calling for BNP members to jump ship. Unfortunately, the Front's credibility in the eyes of fellow members of the master race cannot have been helped by news that they have been chased out of Ripley in Derbyshire without even offering token resistance.
Hoping to create a bit of a stir, the Front had said they would be selling papers in Heanor, Ripley and Ilkeston as part of a so-called "day of action". They didn't even bother showing up in Heanor and only five 'warriors' of the 'master race' actually made it to Ripley town centre. There, anti-fascists confronted the tiny group and, without any struggle, they gave up their flag and large stacks of racist literature before legging it out of town, followed by taunts and abuse. They made a brief trip to Ilkeston later on but had turned tail and run home before anti-fascists were able to catch up with them.
On the newswire: National Front lose their flag and chased out of Ripley | NF Gaffe! | Eddy Morrison & The NF Split by Malatesta | 2010: The BNP, NF & EDL by ‘Malatesta’ | Fuhrer Eddy Morrison Takes Over NF by ‘Malatesta’
Previous features: BNP difficulties in Notts | EDL riot in Stoke | Fascists rally in Nottingham | Anti-fascists challenge BNP's return to Derbyshire | BNP candidate "would revel at causing some havoc"
The National Front emerged in 1967 out of a merger between the League of Empire Loyalists and an earlier party calling itself the British National Party. In the 1970s it became increasingly successful, attaining electoral results which wouldn't be matched on the far-right until the BNP's recent results. Alongside its electoral strategy, the Front also organised regular protests which were often challenged by anti-fascists, most famously at the "Battle of Lewisham" in 1977. Weakened by constant attacks from anti-fascists and with Margaret Thatcher echoing much of their rhetoric about immigration and law and order, the NF began to fade in the late 1970s, although it was still able to stand its largest number of candidates in the 1979 General Election.
In the 1980s the Front's influenced waned, this wasn't helped by its effective division into two organisations, the so-called "Political Soldiers" which included future BNP leader Nick Griffin and the "Flag Group." Members of the Front who left during this disagreement would go on to form the modern British National Party. As the BNP became increasingly successful through the 1990s and into the 21st century, the NF found itself in the shadow of the larger party, becoming increasingly irrelevant. It continued to organise national mobilisations, but these rarely drew more than a handful of activists. When they called a protest in Nottingham, outside the prison on Perry Road, 19 Nazis were opposed by some 400 anti-fascists, with one NF member ending up in hospital.
In recent months, former leader Tom Holmes has been replaced as party leader by Ian Edward. However, Eddie Morrison, a former member of any number of Nazi sects, has taken control of the party's website and finances. Anti-fascists are watching the NF's current political strategy with interest. The Front has sought to get disillusioned BNP members to jump ship and also threatened to stand candidates against the BNP, inevitably splitting the already small far-right vote. This has resulted in the internecine squabbling for which the British fascist scene is so famous. While the NF may pick up some votes and members as the BNP reconciles itself with mainstream success, Saturday's demonstration indicates that anti-fascists don't have much to fear from this particular wing of the "master race."
Notts IMC + Antifascists