The Liverpool echo and BBC report today that a mother and three children were attacked by Racists in Stockbridge village on Friday night. The main acts appear to include throwing rocks leading to the breaking of windows in the family’s home. Racist attacks of any type are to be wholly condemned and it is hoped that Merseyside police swiftly find and charge the perpetrators of this act.
Whilst condemning the violence incident we must also look at the factors which have led people to believe that this behaviour is acceptable. In recent weeks there has been a renewal of BNP activity on Merseyside, with their party leader and Euro MEP for the North West Nick Griffin appearing in South Liverpool and giving a speech outside the Jaguar plant at Halewood. Behind their pseudo-legitimate politics lies a web of hatred, as demonstrated by Griffin claiming recently that he would like to see boatloads of immigrants sunk by the navy. This type of activity and their recent poll success, which was aided by the inertia of much of the electorate, has given racists and violent extremists a feeling of legitimacy. This is clearly visible in the appearance of the BNP-linked English Defence League who held an anti-Muslin rally in Manchester on Saturday. Racists feel that their shameful feelings, which they have for a long time kept bottled up, now have an outlet. When the BNP can visibly be seen campaigning and militant racist groups such as the EDL hold demonstrations on north west streets people are influenced and feel that they are able to get away with such crimes.
We must act as one community and show that such attacks are not acceptable on Merseyside. We live in an ethnically diverse city region, which boasts many different communities who have lived side by side and together for centuries. The BNP and their right wing racist allies, such as the paramilitary British Freedom Fighters and the EDL, would love to tear the community apart and set people against each other based on religious belief or skin colour, but we must not let this happen.