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BBC Griffin protest: Jobs and homes, not racism!
PROTESTERS AGAINST the British National Party (BNP) gathered at the entrance to BBC headquarters from early in the morning of 22 October.
It was to protest at the BBC's decision to allow the BNP's leader Nick Griffin a platform for his racist ideology on the flagship TV programme, Question Time. By the early evening the number of protesters had swelled to over 1,000, who blocked the main road outside the Shepherd's Bush studios.
The majority of protesters were young people, with large turnouts from London universities.
As well as wanting to voice their anger at Griffin's presence and the BBC, they wanted to discuss the way forward for building an effective movement against the BNP and the far right. 20 wanted more information about the Socialist Party and over 70 copies of The Socialist were sold.
Workers exiting nearby tube stations and the BBC building on their way home to watch Question Time were attracted to Socialist Party stalls where the slogan "Unite and fight for jobs for all - Stop the BNP" stood out on our posters.
Many signed our petition "for jobs, homes and services not racism". There was some discussion and debate over whether Nick Griffin should have been allowed a platform on Question Time. All who signed the petition, including trade unionists from broadcasting union Bectu and the RMT transport union, and young people, agreed that the trade unions need to mobilise against the BNP.
Many were also interested in what we had to say about fighting for a new workers' party that could challenge the racism of the BNP in national political debate. This unfortunately was not reflected in the strategy put forward by the platform speakers at the rally organised by Unite Against Fascism.
In The Socialist 28 October 2009:
Youth fight for jobs
Socialist Party news and analysis
Workplace news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
Marxist analysis: history
Socialist Party reviews