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Television workers union backs anti-BNP protest

category antrim | worker & community struggles and protests | news report author Wednesday October 07, 2009 12:57author by p - Youth Against Racismauthor email youthagainstracism at hotmail dot com Report this post to the editors

The union representing workers at the BBC has backed a protest to be held next Thursday 15th October outside BBC Broadcasting House in Belfast against the decision to invite the BNP on to the Question Time programme.

BECTU (Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union) which represents 26,500 workers across the UK today revealed that they could not support a far-right party like the BNP being given a platform to spread racist lies.

The union has also pledged to support any member who decides, as a matter of conscience, not to work on the broadcast because of the involvement of the BNP.

Welcoming BECTU’s support, Paddy Meehan of Youth Against Racism added
“All trade unions need to take a stand against the BNP, a far-right anti-union party, being given such a platform. We want workers to come down to BBC Broadcasting House on Ormeau Avenue in Belfast at 5.30pm on Thursday 15th October to express their opposition to this decision. The BNP is about taking away all democratic rights which have been won by ordinary people down the years. They must be opposed wherever they try to organise.”

author by Michellepublication date Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What about the rest of the unions? Have they got behind the protest?

author by Séamuspublication date Wed Oct 07, 2009 16:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The BECTU statement on the issue, which was released on September 28 and can be read at the link below, makes no mention of either of the SP- and SWP-organised protests in Belfast.

The title of this article is very misleading as a result.

But fair play to all who will protest this decision by the BBC, at either picket (or both).

Related Link: http://www.bectu.org.uk/news/449
author by Mike - Judean Popular Peoples Frontpublication date Wed Oct 07, 2009 21:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What about getting the unions at National Grid Wireless and Merlin Communications (the companies which operate the BBC transmitters) involved ?

Blank screens all around !

Related Link: http://www.metafilter.com/55779/BNP-bombmakers-not-newsworthy
author by Paddy - Youth Against Racismpublication date Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Seamus is wrong and obviously has a political agenda by stating that the protest on the 15th October is being organised by the Socialist Party.

Youth Against Racism, which was launched by Socialist Youth, is a broad campaign involving socialists and non-socialists which are united in combating racism.

BECTU have officially backed the protest. Seamus should stop lying and cease his sectarian attacks on people who are fighting the BNP and fascists.

author by Davy Carlin - Belfast WSM {PC}publication date Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hello, paddy

No need to bite to above, {rise above it} the same type of stuff hinted at was circulated around other networks – this comes simply from a mindset.

People know the criac, who is behind it and the reasoning for such sectarianism, and later a record will of course be written by some.

Both yourself {and your organisation} and then the launch of broad based YAR which has and will get support from many, have been invaluable in recent times in calling initiatives from the south Belfast rally through to now this stand against the BNP

By putting words into deeds and action - YAR has once again taken the initiative and while lending solidarity or standing firm against the BNP and such, this may once again move others into action and momentum

This is a good thing, but of course may receive such sectarianism {by a SMALL few} as it is YAR who have taken the initiative

I know that the call for the YAR protest has already went around 3 or 4 more solidarity networks, and so we need to concentrate on that stand and to mobilise.

So those interested please support and mobilise for this call, and if momentum is once again created for others to do something then support that to.

In the meantime let’s build for the protest and let other’s sectarianism ascend above the fight against racism and fascism if they so wish – as it will be seen in that light, and they will find little support by continuing down that path

As Always

In Solidarity

Davy Carlin

Signing off

author by Jimpublication date Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The naked racism and fascism of the BNP is clear for all to see.

Let these scumbags speak and people will see them for what they are.

Silencing them gives them legitimacy as martyrs.

author by Marcaspublication date Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Jim, unfortunately the BNP have become adept at PR and their brand of right wing populism combined with their manipulation of prejudice can find an echo among people looking for an alternative to the establishment. While the main way the left can combat this is by offering an alternative, it is also important to combat the spread of racist bile and "easy answers" by the likes of the BNP that will only serve to divide workers and protect the capitalist class from workers struggles.

author by choccypublication date Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

12 fash showed up before the anti-BNP protestors
http://libcom.org/news/belfast-anti-bnp-protest-confron...02009

author by Kevin The Teenager - Youth Against Whateverpublication date Sat Oct 17, 2009 13:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yeah, Paddy, right-an organisation launched by Socialist Youth ( youth wing of the Socialist Party), which holds its meetings at Socialist Party HQ, has the same address as the Socialist Party HQ , is fronted by one Paddy Meehan of the Socialist Party and is described as a campaign on the Socialist Party website, is actually nothing to do with the Socialist Party at all but is " a broad-based group including socialists and non-socialists." You wish!

The BNP is a repulsive organisation but it has only a few dozen members in Northern Ireland, less than half of the membership of the equally politically irrelevant Socialist Party and has been unable to find anyone here willing to stand in elections for them. At least the Trots usually contribute a couple of lost deposits and give us all a laugh. Tell you what-why don't you and the fascists have a punch-up, sell a few tickets for it? You should be able to hire a telephone kiosk for the occasion.

author by Lughpublication date Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What benefit is there in Section 31'ing them. These people have sizeable support in Working class areas in England, much so more than any party on the left. If you want to defeat them, you have to adress the reasons that people are voting for them. Having BBC workers protest alongside a couple thousand mostly middle and upper class kids in a UAF rally, is only going to further entrench them in the working class.

author by Royston Vasey - Local Jobs For Local Peoplepublication date Sat Oct 24, 2009 13:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I saw the Belfast protest, about sixty at it, mostly middle aged and middle class " youth" from what I observed, with half a dozen or so lumpen Prods helpfully turning up as well to trade insults. ' Question Time' was much better theatre, even if cringingly reminiscent of a stupid fat boy being ganged up on and bullied in a school playground.

When are the Trots going to realise that gagging people is not only a tactic beloved of the very fascists they are fond of berating, but also one that doesn't work? Look how Sinn Fein's vote kept rocketing up when it was done on them; now they're in Government. The BNP's million odd working class votes cannot be wished away, they have to be defeated politically and exposing the madness, cruelty and absurdity of their politics on prime time TV was a useful start.

author by .:. % - (iosaf)publication date Sat Oct 24, 2009 13:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I really have to correct the last commentator who seems to think that the SF vote rocketed because of censorship. Sinn Fein's electoral success is undoubtedly connected to its media space. That is the way with liberal democracy. telly wins votes. & I dont want to get into the dropping the SF comparison, after all Mr Griffin mentioned the party once and the IRA once in his QT performance.

So let's correct the misconception.

some hard facts :-

the Irish state's censorship of Irish republicanism lasted for over 20 years. The increase of first preference votes cast in the Irish republic in that period from the 20th dail to the 1993 abolition of censorship was at less than 0.5% of votes cast per year. From approx 0.25% of the vote to 2% of the vote in 20 years is hardly rocketing.

in the northern Ireland statelet SF's share of the vote fluctuated through the period of the Irish state's section 31 and the shorter application of censorship in the UK.

n the 1982 Assembly elections, Sinn Féin won five seats with 64,191 votes (10.1%).

In the 1983 Westminster elections eight months later saw an increase in Sinn Féin support with the party breaking the hundred thousand vote barrier for the first time by polling 102,701 votes (13.4%).

In the 1985 local government elections, vote sfor SF declined from the peak of 1983 & the party won 75,686 votes (11.8%).

the 1987 election SF overall polled 83,389 votes (11.4%) & also contested in the Irish state with 2% of turnout.

1989 local elections saw SF enter northern elections with 85 seats and lose 15.

the 1992 elections just as censorship was entering its final phase saw the SF vote drop again & Gerry Adams lost his seat.

ergo .:. telly times gets you votes.

“Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.” as they say in dog latin circles. (happy the bloke who can understand the causes)

author by Tobias J Wolfburger - Mimers' Unionpublication date Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well, you can confront political opponents in the open or you can drive them underground. The latter approach never beat Sinn Fein, whose military wing was already underground anyway, and Nick Griffin's performance on 'Question Time' will not have impressed too many outside of his target audience of braindead morons. I personally do not think censoring jackasses of Griffin's ilk, who have a crippling load of baggage to carry in terms of on-the-record quotes, is wise or even feasible in this day and age. What do the gagging brigade want-an actor sounding identical to Griffin miming his voice, and even doing the lip synch, like what happened with Gerry Adams?

author by Zachariah Zanzibar - Youth Against Bad Things Generally, Actuallypublication date Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair point. No advantage in making martyrs, as the late Bobby Sands MP would no doubt concur if he were alive to do so. Don't forget that the BNP is still a fringe party and likely to remain so, despite having a working class support base that the wee Trot parties who want to ban them can only fantasise about. Prediction: they'll implode sooner or later, like the even more popular National Front did in the 70s.

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