"We feel we have made a stand against the BNP and also defied management threats about disciplinary action"
POSTAL WORKERS have struck an important blow against the Nazi BNP. In several parts of Britain the workers' action has stopped the distribution of BNP election leaflets. In other areas the BNP has not even attempted to put its leaflets into postal offices for distribution for fear of an anti-racist response by the workers.
The BNP has tried to present itself as a "normal" right wing party during the Euro election campaign. The postal workers have helped to tear away that veil of lies and in so doing have exposed the BNP's Nazi reality.
In Huddersfield, where dozens of black and white workers refused to deliver BNP material, the time for delivery of the leaflets has now ended. Many of the leaflets have not been delivered, a massive victory for the workers who took a principled stand. Last week the workers who had refused to handle the material were asked to write down their reasons. They set their anti-Nazi views out clearly. Fearing that disciplinary measures would spark total chaos, management backed off and said the workers did not have to deliver. The BNP propaganda was collected up and put in management's office, from where it "disappeared". "We feel we have made a stand against the BNP and also defied management's threats about disciplinary action," one Huddersfield postal worker told Socialist Worker.
In many other areas such as Sheffield, south west England and East Anglia small groups of postal workers have also refused to take out Nazi leaflets. As postal workers continued their anti-Nazi stand there was a grim reminder from east London of the BNP's terror tactics.
A teacher, Miriam Scharf, was the subject of a vicious redbaiting article in the Evening Standard newspaper last year. The paper labelled her as a Trotskyist and printed a picture of her. On the same day that the BNP election leaflet was delivered to her house last week, a copy of the article was put through her door (not by the postman). "The BNP is backing up the election leaflet delivery with its own added intimidation. They are saying they know where we live and have not forgotten that article," Miriam told Socialist Worker. "This has been a very distressing experience for me, my partner and for other people living in the house. We are now on a police vulnerable persons list. The postal workers who have not delivered the leaflets should be congratulated."
|Picture: HANNAH DEE
ANTI-NAZIS picketed the BBC in protest at the recent BNP Euro election broadcast
NATIONAL leaders of the postal workers' CWU union said that the BNP had withdrawn its material from some offices in other parts of West Yorkshire because of the response in Huddersfield. CWU deputy general secretary John Keggie said, "This is very welcome news. We hope it will spread to other areas, not only to stop the circulation of the BNP's evil message but to take the pressure off our members."
Leaders of the CWU claimed that Huddersfield is an example of success for the strategy of staying inside the law and leaving it up to individuals to make their own stand against the Nazis. In fact it is an example of the strength of people sticking together and of how the authorities back off when confronted by mass resistance. If CWU leaders had sent a letter to every postal worker a month ago reminding them of the union's policy of opposition to Nazi mail deliveries, and of support for anyone who stood against delivering such material, they could have built an even larger movement than the one we have seen.
AT THE postal and telecom workers' CWU union conference last week delegates voted almost unanimously to call on the TUC to organise a day of action and national demonstration in the wake of the Nazi bombs in Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho. The motion added that if the TUC does not agree to such a protest the CWU should arrange it together with other unions. Disgracefully, the union executive opposed the motion but delegates brushed its objections aside. The conference also passed a motion affiliating to the Anti Nazi League. This means that Britain's sixth biggest union has backed the ANL.