A family trip to an anti-fascist march

21st May, 2009 9:45 am

By Tim Cheetham / @CllrTim

Me, the wife and kids, all went into Barnsley on Saturday morning. Nothing unusual about that you might think. We weren’t shopping or anything though, or visiting one of our many fantastic town centre market events. We were there for the Unite against Fascism march to oppose the presence of the BNP in the town centre where they peddle their lies and hate every week.

There were a good number there, from all types of organisations, political, trade unionist, church, student and other were all united in our fear and loathing of the extreme right and their policies of hatred and division.

I was proud to have my kids there. I was prouder still that they really understood why.

We all had our reasons for being there on Saturday and for our commitment to oppose the rise of Nazi parties which is so sadly occuring across the world again. Just as the memory fades so the human race makes the same mistakes again.

My reason for being there was simple. My grandfather fought for this country in the war. He risked his life to fight the German Nazis in North Africa and he did the same alongside Montgomery against the Italian Fascists at places like Montecassino. It was here he earned one of his many medals for bravery. Last month the leadership of the BNP were in Italy shaking hands and swapping Nazi salutes with the ancestors of Mussolini and his extreme right wing thugs.

It made me furious. It made me more angry on Saturday that the uneducated skin headed yobs of the BNP were waving the flag, my flag, the flag my grandfather fought for and wore so proudly on his sleeve while they were secretly conspiring with the forces that sought for so long to undermine everything it stands for.

It dishonours his memory and the memory of all the heroes like him to see Nazis waving that flag. It would shame me to stand idly by while they get away with it. And, if they secure a seat in the forthcoming elections, it will shame us all that we didn’t do enough to stop it.

I won’t be partisan, I’ll be voting Labour because that’s who I am, but for anyone reading this who can’t do that I just ask that you get out and you vote for anyone but the BNP. That is the very least you can do and it will, no matter what else you disagree with me on, bring us together in a common cause. Exactly what Fascism seeks to destroy. Don’t let it happen.

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