07 March, 2008

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06 November, 2007

The new BNP parish councillor

We are disappointed that the BNP have managed to gain a parish councillor in Broughton Moor.

While Nigel Williamson is only a parish councillor and he was not elected by anyone it is still a setback that the BNP have gained a small foothold.

However, it's important to remember what sort of person Nigel Williamson is. Not only is he a member of a racist political party but he is happy to use lies and deceit to win votes.

A few months ago in the run up to the local elections Maryport Against Racism recieved emails from Nigel Williamson saying he wanted to get involved in the group and in opposing the BNP and asked what activities we had planned for the Cockermouth area.This sounded a bit suspicious so we asked to meet him before giving him any information and he agreed to meet us straight away. Apparently, he was keen to get involved and gave us his mobile number so we could keep in touch.

Funnily enough though, he cancelled the meeting at the last moment and stopped answering our emails. A few days later the list of candidates for the local election were announced. Surprise, surprise, guess who the candidate for Great Broughton is? Nigel Williamson, someone in the running for the worst attempt at infilitration in the history of espionage.

This is apparently the kind of person the BNP thinks is fit to be a councillor and represent the people of Broughton. They should be ashamed.

22 September, 2007

BNP result in Whitehaven

Habour Ward

Labour 463 44.31%
Consevative 337 32.25%
BNP 245 23.44%

Total 1045

Though it was a low turnout the fact that the BNP managed to secure the vote of almost a quarter of the vote in this election should be a wake up call for anti-fascists in West Cumbria particularly as the party has not contested this ward before.

However, the BNP concentrated resources and supporters an achieving a good result holding regular stalls, stickering the town, distributing several leaflets and attempting to hold a public meeting and should be disappointed by the outcome.

The response by anti-fascists to this was not good enough, we should not avoid self-criticism, though we can learn from our mistakes to build a better campaign in future as the BNP will undoubtedly contest future byelections.

02 September, 2007

Whitehaven Leafleting

Today a few members of Maryport Against Racism along with several members of the public concerned about the presence on the racist BNP in Whitehaven leafleted Harbour Ward in Whitehaven in the run up to the by-election on the 20th September. We had a brilliant response from members of the public most of whom were elderly without any negative responses.

Much of the literature was aimed at national politics such as Europe, defence and foreign affairs which local councillors cannot possibly affect in their capacity as councillor. Other promises they made such as opposing the large scale mosque in Whitehaven is pure fantasy and scare mongering seen as there are no plans to build a large scale mosque in Whitehaven.

One of the high points of the day was hearing an announcement made at the nearby Rugby League grounds declaring that Whitehaven Town supports the "Say No To Racism" campaign.

This is only days after the BNP meeting was cancelled at the last minute in a local pub without the BNP being told after a modest number of local residents and anti-racism campaigners began protesting outside the venue.

Whitehaven has a proud working class history and Maryport Against Racism are positive that they will reject the anti-working class and racist agenda of the BNP.

27 August, 2007

Carlisle Against Racism

Some Maryport Against Racism members attended a stall hosted by Carlisle Against Racism in Carlisles continental market. The stall was extremely well organised and professionally run. There was a great deal of support from local people with none of the leaflets we handed out being thrown on the floor even though we distributed over 2,000 leaflets. There was also, despite the large amount of visitors to the stall, only one report of negative feedback from a man who refused to believe that immigrants are not the majority in Britain who was jeered off by a WW2 veteran. The day was a huge success and MAR members will be sure to continue working closely with CAR to combat the lies and mistruths spread by racist groups and fight against prejudices in and around our area.

18 August, 2007

Kicking racism out of football

A bit of advance notice for a couple of events down in South Cumbria, a bit far away from Maryport but worth a mention anyway.

On Saturday October 27th down at Barrow Soccer's Holker Street Ground there will be a 'Kick it Out Carnival' to celebrate anti-racism and the beautiful game.Apart from the Barrow v. Burscough game attractions include a soccer skittles competition, beat the keeper, food tasting from around the world, a climbing wall, a skate park, anti-racist DVD presentations, exhibitions and stalls, remote controlled cars, kick-up competition, spot the ball, the presentation of finanlists for the 'Kick it out' competition, dancers from Thailand and the Philipines.

Also as part of 'Kick it Out Fortnight' on Saturday October 20th between 12 and 2pm Ormsgill Community Centre is holding an anti-racist event, Kick it Out!, featuring most of the attractions mentioned above.

08 July, 2007

BNP meeting a wash-out

On Thursday July 5th members of Maryport Against Racism joined anti-racist campaigners from Carlisle and local residents on the Currock estate to protest against the BNP holding a public meeting in Currock house community centre.

Although we only found out about the meeting just over 24 hours before it started local residents managed to organise a protest of 25 people on a wet, weekday evening to picket the meeting. Those who joined the protest included a local WWII veteran who stated he opposed the BNP coming into the area because he had fought the Nazis over 60 years ago.

We had planned to leaflet members of the public who turned up to the meeting but only around 7 or 8 members of the public turned up anyway despite BNP members coming to the meeting from all over Cumbria. They had even got their key speaker, the failed fuel protestor Andrew Spence who managed to get almost two dozen people demonstrating at a national protest against high fuel prices in 2005, who is standing in Tony Blair’s ex-constituency in an upcoming by-election but this failed to draw in the crowds.

Despite the fact it was advertised as a public meeting the BNP refused to allow anyone in who had joined our protest and suddenly decided that it was a private meeting. Not that these lies should surprise anyone who is familiar with the BNP.

Thanks to the group of local kids and teenagers who joined our protest in the rain and livened it up with a few creative chants of “fight for what’s right, the BNP are sh*te!”

30 June, 2007

Racism probe in bus stop attack

An attack on two Lithuanians at a bus stop in Maryport is being treated as racially motivated, police have said.

The man, 34, and woman, 59, were waiting in Curzon Street, Maryport, when they were assaulted by a group of up to seven youths.

A Cumbria Police spokesman said the victims suffered minor facial injuries before escaping on a bus. The incident is being investigated as a "hate crime". Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

The attack happened on Saturday night on the 23/6/2007 and the youths were aged between 16 and 17.

Help to stop these thugs in our town.

21 May, 2007

Pub Bosses Take On BNP

THE NEW owners of a Maryport pub are preparing to take on the BNP.Andrew McLoughlin, who, with his brother Jonathan, bought the Bounty Inn a couple of months ago, is furious that the party’s election propaganda showed Ellenborough candidate Martin Wingfield standing outside it.

Although the name is partially obscured by Mr Wingfield’s head, Mr McLoughlin said the Bounty is a landmark building and nobody local could fail to recognise it.He is very angry because he has had people commenting on the pamphlet.“Nobody has yet suggested we have anything to do with the BNP but they have mentioned the pamphlet. And I wonder if there are people who have been put off coming into the place because we are featured on a BNP campaign leaflet,” he said.

Mr McLoughlin said neither he nor his brother have any affiliations with the BNP and nor do they want any.He said he would never allow his pub, on Victory Crescent, to be used in political campaigning nor would he ever welcome the BNP onto the premises. “Although I would not mind if it was the Monster Raving Looney Party,” Mr McLoughlin laughed.

He added: “We are demanding a public apology and an acknowledgement that neither we nor the pub’s former owners authorised these pictures.“It is not entirely clear whether the photo was taken from the street or from our car park. If Mr Wingfield was standing in our car park when the photo was taken we might have some legal rights.”

But the BNP claimed the Bounty may actually benefit from its association with the party.

The party’s West Cumbria spokesman Clive Jefferson said more than 600 townsfolk voted for the party. “If they decide they will pop into the Bounty because they saw it on a campaign leaflet, Mr McLoughlin will gain,” he said.BNP candidates had been told to have photos taken in local locations and the Bounty was regarded as a landmark.

He said there was no intention to offend but added that Mr McLoughlin had no evidence that his business had been damaged.

He said: “Nor did we break the law. When I last looked this country was still, just, a democracy and we are allowed to take photographs.”He said he would pop into the Bounty “and have a drink with Mr McLoughlin”.

Andrew, 30 and his brother Jonathan, 40, are originally from Egremont. Jonathan works as a planner on the London Underground and is a silent partner in the business.Andrew was manager of the Crown Inn at Blencow, near Penrith, before coming to Maryport. He has previously managed the Ship Launch in Egremont and worked at Sellafield. Andrew, who lives above the pub, said he would eventually like to extend the pub. He has introduced some new beers and the bar is being updated.

As well as his brother, Andrew also has plenty of help and advice from previous owners, Barry Hodgson and Sid Robinson. “Barry lives next door and is always there if I need him. Sid lives three houses down and pops in every night so I have people I can turn to if I need to,” he said.

Story from Times and Star published Friday 18th May 2007.

04 May, 2007

BNP Get Drubbing In Cumbria

In Allerdale all the seats that the BNP stood in, they came last. Mark Ashburner in Barrow came fourth out of four. In Carlisle the BNP did slightly better in SOME wards although still didn't get anywhere.

Congratulations to everyone in Maryport Against Racism who has worked hard to ensure that the BNP have not been allowed to spread their hatred in Cumbria. Thanks to all our comrades who have worked along side us from trades unions, political parties, UAF and individuals. The victory is ours.