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Should we vote against the BNP?

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butchersapron
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Joined: 25-07-05
Jan 4 2004 10:50
solitage wrote:
I think maybe one way of fighting the fascists is to campaign within the community, spreading some hard hitting propaganda showing up the bnp for the thugs and gangsters they really are. - naming them and their histories. That doesn't necessarily mean endorsing other political candidates. There was a good article in Class War no. 85 about such a campaign in Yorkshire - Mixenden by-election. It started with a meeting of anarchists, socialists, trade unionists and concerned locals. Haven't got the full article to hand, although someone else may have - Paul M?. If not I'll find it later today and type it up. Lots of positive, and some negative lessons to be learnt.

That's precisely the current ANL strategy though - the one that's had disasterous results over the last five years - frankly i think in many working class communities (esp in the areas the BNP are specifically targetting) having a criminal record is not that much of a big deal - and may even be viewed as a marker or sign that you're genuinely outside of the mainstream political establishment and stich ups that have led to people deciding to give the BNP a go - so there is a possibilty that it might even be counter-productive.

What's needed is more 'constructive' local work rather than 'destructive' work - i'm not arguing that the two are incompatible, but that without the constructive component all we'd be doing is temporarily pushing the tide back for a short time and preparing the ground for going through the same motions at a later date.

I'm thinking in particular here of the taking the best 'elements' of the IWCAs approach (or other effective local initiatives), and adapting them to fit the needs of our own communities (and by that i don't mean the social centre/sub-culture type stuff - i mean our workmates and neighbours etc). And by those 'needs' i do mean the communities needs - not ours - which involves becoming part of our local communities rather than cutting ourselves off in pure ghettos - i mean simple things like drinking in local pubs, joing local football teams, organising gigs and events outside of punk bands etc, talking to people etc

solitage
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Joined: 21-09-03
Jan 4 2004 18:42

butchers I'm not talking about parachuting into communities with yellow lollipops. I agree we have to be active in our communities. If we're not known then how can we expect to be taken seriously. If we try to set up a meeting within the community to combat the fascists why should people come along if they haven't got a clue who we are.

In the long term creating and building links within the community by doing the practical day-to-day stuff is the way forward. Problem is as I see it there's a whole lot of talk about community action but too little action. I can see the positives of iwca's community approach but I don't agree with their electoral goals. Maybe you're right, we need to learn from their community approach and be flexible enough to take what we've learnt and adapt it to goals of community self-management instead of just reinforcing the electoral system.