Saturday, 21 June 2008

Stop the BNP

I attended part of the "Stop the Fascist BNP" (British National Party) demonstration this afternoon before running off to West End Live where I was singing with the Chorus (for the fourth year I think).

FrontAlthough I have attended a few demonstrations, this was my first of this type and I have to say that I was left a little dubious. I think about 3000 people were in attendance of what seemed to be organised mainly by unions and as is all too often the case, irrelevant "causes" found themselves grafted onto the main theme of the event.

I was pleased to spot a few (not many, sadly) rainbow flags. The photograph of the Pink Paper was in attendance but left with very little material of relevance. There was also a reference to sexism and homophobia on a particular set of placards and the leading float was also (rather incongruously) festooned the rainbow flags, reference to IDAHO and the pink triangle (see pictures).

While I completely agree that it is important to fight the BNP and their narrow minded ideas, I was also taken aback by the systematic links made between this party and the fascist and Nazi ideologies. I have to say that my ideals of fairness rebelled against this and that I felt a skeptical (I will not even mention Godwin's Law) but having now done some very quick reading up on Wikipedia, I must admit that there is probably some truth in this.

What particularly took me aback though was the calling out of the names of certain concentration camps by someone on the leading float (in answer to which the crowd lustily chanted "never again!"). I found that distasteful and belittling of what happened in the camps as nothing even remotely similar is likely to ever take place by the doing of what is after all a very marginal party.

The crowds used the same "never again" when the BNP's name was called which I thought particularly idiotic since the party is still in existence...

Mixed feelings.

You can view the very few pictures I took of the event here.

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