Sunday, 15 November 2009

BNP ditches Blackpool

THE British National Party has moved away from Blackpool for its annual conference, which takes place today.
The controversial far-right party has held the event at the New Kimberley Hotel, on South Promenade, for the past three years.

But sources revealed today's conference is taking place in Hindley Green, near Wigan.

BNP bosses have been tight-lipped about where this year's event would be held - saying only it would be in "the North West" and they were unable to confirm whether or not it would be in Blackpool.

Earlier this year the party held a celebration event in Blackpool after its leader Nick Griffin was successfully voted in as North West MEP in June.

At the time, the BNP said it would be holding its annual conference in the resort.

However, Paul Jenkins, from the protest group Unite Against Fascism, said: "We've had it confirmed from a number of sources, including the police the event will take place near Wigan.

"The UAF will be protesting at 12pm, outside The Body Image Fitness Centre, on Swan Lane, Hindley Green."

Blackpool Gazette
14 November 2009

Friday, 13 November 2009

Demonstrate against the fascist BNP's 'conference' in Wigan

Demonstrate against the fascist BNP's 'conference' in Wigan
Saturday 14th November, 12noon
Meet outside the Swan Hotel 737 Atherton Road, Hindley Green, Wigan, WN2 4SB
Click on image to see it full-size
We have been informed that the BNP's conference will take place this year in Hindley Green, near Wigan at the Body Image Fitness Centre on Swan Lane. This confirms other reports we have had.

North West UAF is calling a demonstration tomorrow - Saturday 14th November at Hindley Green. Please meet 12.00 noon, Saturday 14th November outside the Swan Hotel, Atherton Road, Hindley Green.

It is very important that the fascist BNP do not get away with holding this conference with no protest outside. Please do your very best to attend, and bring members of your local anti-fascist group/trade union/faith group etc. Please bring banners, placards and whistles and be sensible going to and from the demo.

Mystery of BNP venue

THE BNP has refused to release details of where its conference will begin tomorrow.
It is believed the event will be staged in Blackpool, but the party will only confirm the date and that it will be held in the North West.

The event has been hosted by the New Kimberley Hotel, South Promenade, for the past three years.

Hotel bosses have refused to say if it will be held there tomorrow, but earlier this year management did say they would be prepared to cater for the event.

Police say they have not been made aware of the location of the conference – which will be taking place on the same day as soldiers from 12 Regiment Royal Artillery are welcomed home to the resort from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, with a special parade and service.

A spokeswoman for Lancashire Police said: "Our events and planning department has not been made aware of the location of the BNP conference this weekend."

The Unite Against Fascism North West group said it believed the conference was due to take place in Blackpool, but was not aware of the exact location.

Paul Jenkins, regional organiser, said: "In previous years, it has been held at the New Kimberley but we do not know if this is the case again this time.

"We have heard a few rumours, but nothing substantial at the moment."

Local BNP organiser James Clayton told The Gazette the venue was being 'kept under wraps'.

He said: "The conference is this weekend, but I cannot confirm whether it is in Blackpool or not.

"As far as I know, it will be held somewhere in the North West. I don't even know where it is being held yet."

Earlier this year, the BNP said it would definitely be holding its next conference in the resort, after its 'victory rally' took place at the New Kimberley in June.

The controversial right wing party was celebrating its success at the European Parliament elections.

Extra police were drafted in as anti-fascist groups held a protest outside the South Promenade hotel.

BNP leader Nick Griffin was elected as North West MEP in June.

Blackpool Gazette
13 November 2009

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Twin town racism row

A FYLDE councillor has been branded "racist" after voicing opposition to plans to twin Lytham and St Annes with a town in Japan.
Coun Barbara Pagett is furious at the proposal by Lytham St Annes Twinning Association to form a link with the town of Hayashima.

In a widely circulated email, she urged backers of the scheme to be "sensitive to the feelings of those with longer memories".

Coun Pagett wrote: "I realise that by voicing my opinion in public regarding twinning that I lay myself open to being labelled bigot or racist by some people. However, I do have the right to say what I think and I'm neither being racist nor bigoted.

"It might be 63 years since the theatre of operations in the Far East during the Second World War ended, but I believe it's not yet long to forget what happened there.

"I would urge those promoting twinning with a Japanese town to sensitive to the feelings of those with longer memories."

She said her stance stemmed from the experience of a family friend who she claims was tortured in Burma by the Japanese.

Coun Pagett added: "In some years time, will the families and friends of those serving in present conflicts want to twin with somewhere in Iraq or Afghanistan? I think not."

But Coun Barbara MacKenzie, chairman of the Lytham St Annes Twinning Association, who recently visited Hiyashima with her husband and has hosted the town's mayor in St Annes, said the claims made her "ashamed to be British".

"It's ridiculous," she said. "The people in Japan made my husband and I so welcome and are so polite, friendly and lovely.

"They would like students to be able to come over and get a taste of English culture as well has having the chance to speak with people who have English as their first language to help their studies.

"I didn't realise there would be such opposition and to be honest it makes me ashamed to be British.

"I think it's un-Christian, racist and if Britain was to fall out with every country they had ever been at war with we would not be friends with any countries."

Coun MacKenzie pointed out St Annes is already twinned with Werne in Germany.

Coun Susan Fazackerley, cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said: "The opinion provided by the councillor about the proposal for St Annes is a personal opinion and does not represent the opinion of Fylde Council."

The proposals are at a very early stage. The Lytham St Annes Twinning Association is in initial discussions with their opposites in Hayashima.

Blackpool Gazette
12 November 2009