Ouch

BNP member attacked with hammer
BBC
March 14, 2009


Violence broke out in Leigh where a BNP event was being held

A British National Party (BNP) member was attacked with a hammer when protesters arrived at a campaign event in Greater Manchester.

Violence broke out as 30 people surrounded a BNP vehicle outside the Ellesmere Pub in St Helens Road in Leigh on Friday evening, said police.

Tony Ward, 48, was hit with a hammer and later treated in hospital.

A 25-year-old man arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm has since been given police bail.

Officers arrived at the pub to discover the BNP’s trailer had been overturned, said a police spokesman.

A traffic diversion was put in place on St Helen’s Road, while the trailer was removed and the road was closed. It has since reopened.

One witness told BBC News: “They had hammers and they smacked the vehicle to pieces, smashed all the windows and tore off the bumper, completely decimated it.

“I was shocked at what I saw.”

A BNP fundraising event had been due to take place at Pure nightclub in Leigh, but it was cancelled at the last minute.

Simon Darby, the party’s deputy leader said: “This was a violent attack by a group of thugs in which one of our members was badly injured.

“But we will not be put off.”

The BNP’s Nick Griffin has been in the area to host the event, said Mr Darby.

The attack has been blamed on a “racially mixed group of Labour Party thugs” (BNP); “a group of Searchlight and UAF inspired thugs”; “SWP thugs” and who-knows what-else. (I suspect the involvement of 20–40 Kiwi anarchists.) Antifa England provide the following headline: “BNP’s Tony Ward Gets The Message Hammered Home–Fuck Off BNP!”

Hammer horror
Chris Wilkinson
Wigan Today
March 16, 2009

Violence erupted when BNP supporters and protesters clashed outside a Wigan pub.

One man – BNP member Tony Ward, 48, – was hit on the head with a hammer during the incident outside the Bridgewater Arms in St Helens Road, Leigh.

Eyewitnesses claim that BNP supporters and anti-BNP activists fought during what had begun as a peaceful protest against the party’s plan to hold a meeting at a town centre nightclub.

Community Action Party founder Peter Franzen joined the protesters who were chanting anti-BNP slogans shortly after the violence erupted.

He said: “The peaceful demonstrators were terrified. There were some youngsters and women among the group, some of them were clearly scared and fled.”

Accounts differ but eyewitness reports suggest that a number of BNP activists, travelling in a four-wheel-drive and towing a trailer, confronted the protesters who had gathered on St Helens Road.

It is believed that they were, in turn, confronted by anti-BNP activists, some of whom were armed, and who were apparently separate from the protest group.

Police were called to the scene shortly before 6.30pm following reports of a fight and discovered a trailer had been overturned.

During the incident Mr Ward was hit with a hammer. He attended hospital for treatment, but was not seriously injured.

A 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and bailed until May 26.

The protesters had gathered in Leigh after it emerged towards the end of last week that party members intended to hold a meeting at the Pure Club in West Bridgewater Street.

It is believed some were students and others were members of various political parties, including Respect and the Socialist Workers Party.

BNP leader Nick Griffin had been scheduled to speak at the Battle for Britain road show meeting.

But it was cancelled at the last minute when, according to police, the venue’s owner changed his mind, fearing negative publicity and public order trouble for him and other businesses. Mr Franzen, who joined the protesters just after the incident erupted, said the BNP are not welcome in Wigan.

He said: “They are not welcome anywhere. We know who they are and what they stand for and we know that their new found respectability is just a façade.”

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2021 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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23 Responses to Ouch

  1. Tristan says:

    As much as I despise the BNP this is wrong.

    Peaceful protest is fine, even to be encouraged, but violent attacks make you as bad as they are. Responding to thuggery with thuggery just breeds more hate and violence.

    The cause of anarchy does not need more violence, it needs to show it is actually based upon peace and tolerance, not nihilism and violence.

    Accept the right of free speech which belongs to all of us and attack the BNP with your right to free speech. Expose their intolerance and bigotry, don’t replace it with yours…

  2. uni twat says:

    No consistent anarchist should show any ‘peace’ nor ‘tolerance’ to fascists.

    BASH THE FASH
    ORGANISE! for revolutionary anarchism – Magazine of the Anarchist Federation – Summer 2008 – Issue 70

    “Some will argue that this ideological struggle must be waged against the fascist themselves, that a direct debate is the most effective way of undermining their ideals. But debate with a fascist is not only futile but impossible. It is an academic fantasy born of no real experience of what the threat of fascism means on your street and in your neighbourhood. It is, after all, difficult to discuss dialectics with a jackboot to your face. Debate represents progress. Fascists are not interested in this. Their ideas are inherently irrational and romanticised, they should not be considered as equal. As has been demonstrated repeatedly, to fascists like Nick Griffin public debate is merely a PR stunt. It is a media spectacle for them to spout their ideological trash.”

    In the words of Durruti: “fascism is to be smashed not debated”.

  3. uni twat says:

    And on the topic of the legitimacy of the use of violence for the cause of anarchist/radical anti-capitalist/anti-fascist/in the context of revolution a lot has been written, but Ken Knabb expresses a consistent and succinct overview of the limitations and impracticalities of dogmatic non-violence, which may interest you. It has been reproduced online here:

    [Advantages and limits of nonviolence

    “The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of struggle. . . . If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

    —Frederick Douglass]

  4. Lumpen says:

    When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Amiright?

    I don’t think there’s a suggestion that anarchists actually did this (not every antifa is an anarchist). That said, I think most anarchists recognise that some violence is justified. Comparing the bashing of a neonazi to the violence perpetrated by neonazis doesn’t hold up to any serious examination. Comparing the violence involved in self-defense to the violence that is perpetrated by the State demonstrates , to me at least, that looking at actions through a prism of “violence” and “peace” is fairly useless. Freedom and authority are much better measurements of justification. Violence can be used to expand freedom and destroy authority, so if you have a real dedication to freedom, in my opinion, you shouldn’t discount violence as justifiable. It does need to meet fairly stringent criteria to be justified, though, as violence is widely used to cement authority.

    Whether that applies in this particular incident, I’ll leave to people who are more aware of the situation. Pretty full on to smash a dude in the face with a hammer though, even BNP scum.

  5. Lanklan says:

    Arguments for/against the use of violence in the revolutionary struggle aside, can’t we all just appreciate the beauty of an image of a BNP bonehead with their head split open?

  6. Luke Connors says:

    Love all the justification for thuggery here. Nice to know all humans of whatever political stripe or ethnic background are equally eager to excuse their own actions with a little moral cover up.

    So the BNP must be physically assaulted to restrict their right to free speech because they would restrict this right for others, including “left wing” activists? Correct? That is the standard line is it not?

    So by that same justification BNP members could then smash hammers into the heads of anyone belonging to any group that wishes to deprive them of free speech?

    Stopping free speech on the grounds that the speakers would stop free speech is an argument that could only be born on a university.

    Since communists and anarchists would restrict the right of free speech for the capitalist elite does that mean the capitalist elite is morally justified in rounding up and killing all communists and anarchists?

    Using violence against people is justified because the victims of said violence use violence themselves IS the same moral justification used for the death penalty is it not?

    Or is there one moral rule for left wingers who like to put people in hospital and another rule for “racists”?

    Certainly seems that way, most of the news coverage of this event (check the BBC’s for a fine example) seems to indicate that this was just a “fight” rather than 30-40 armed people attacking a 4WD with a handful of other people in it.

    Better be careful with these moral equations @ndy, one day someone might start using them on you.

  7. @ndy says:

    Er…

    Love all the justification for thuggery here. Nice to know all humans of whatever political stripe or ethnic background are equally eager to excuse their own actions with a little moral cover up.

    That’s not my reading.

    Tristan reckons violent attacks on the BNP are wrong, immoral, and counter-productive; the use of violence does not advance the cause of anarchy. uni twat believes that fascist activity should not be tolerated by anarchists, and that a non-violent approach raises all sorts of questions, questions usefully examined by Ken Knabb in an essay. (“Anyone with any knowledge of history is aware that societies do not change without stubborn and often savage resistance by those in power. If our ancestors had not resorted to violent revolt, most of those who now self-righteously deplore it would still be serfs or slaves…”)

    Two others left comments: Lumpen and Lanklan. Lumpen notes that it would be mistaken to assume that the attacks were performed by anarchists, but that the use of violence by anarchists, including in the struggle against fascism, may sometimes be justified, with various provisos. Lumpen expresses uncertainty as to whether or not this particular act may be justified.

    Lanklan suggests that we should put aside arguments regarding political legitimacy for a moment to admire the aesthetic properties of an image of a bonehead with his head split open and claret pouring down his face.

    So: the first problem with your observation is its inaccuracy. Secondly, you appear to believe that the comments are self-referential. That is, the four commenters are reflecting on their own actions, not those of an unknown group on the other side of the world. Thirdly, your conclusion — “all humans of whatever political stripe or ethnic background are equally eager to excuse their own actions with a little moral cover up” — does not follow from the premises of your argument.

    So the BNP must be physically assaulted to restrict their right to free speech because they would restrict this right for others, including “left wing” activists? Correct? That is the standard line is it not?

    One of the moral justifications for any act is that refraining from performing it would result in greater harm or evil. This might loosely be called adopting a utilitarian moral framework. That is, the morality — or moral utility — of any act may be measured by its likelihood of contributing to or detracting from a greater good (however defined). Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism:

    Consequentialism, as its name suggests, is the view that normative properties depend only on consequences. This general approach can be applied at different levels to different normative properties of different kinds of things, but the most prominent example is consequentialism about the moral rightness of acts, which holds that whether an act is morally right depends only on the consequences of that act or of something related to that act, such as the motive behind the act or a general rule requiring acts of the same kind.

    So, from a utilitarian perspective, hitting someone on the head with a hammer may be judged as being ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ according to whether or not this action contributes to some notion of the greater good. If it adds to the sum of goodness, it is a ‘morally correct’ action.

    This approach has problems, both specific and general.

    Another approach is to adopt a ‘rights’ framework. In this instance, you invoke the ‘right’ to ‘free speech’. Insofar as hitting someone on the head with a hammer has the effect of impeding the free exercise of this right, this action is wrong. In my opinion, launching a violent attack upon individuals attending a fundraising event is intended precisely to disrupt the exercise of this right (it is repressive)… Although, the ‘right’ to ‘free assembly’ may be more germane in this instance.

    Presumably, whoever engaged in this repressive act maintains that this right (to speech/to assembly) should not be extended to the BNP membership, or at least not in the form of a (presumably) public fund-raising event. It may also be the case that the justification for denying this ‘right’ is based upon a belief that allowing the BNP to organise in this fashion contributes to the likelihood of it at some point being in a position to deny “left-wing” groups the ability to enjoy similar rights in future. At this point, the BNP is blaming the attack on their meeting on a “racially mixed group of Labour Party thugs”, whether ‘left-wing’ or ‘right-wing’.

    So by that same justification BNP members could then smash hammers into the heads of anyone belonging to any group that wishes to deprive them of free speech?

    If one accepts the same logic and premises. That is, if the attack was motivated by a desire to help avert the possibility of the BNP at some point in the future denying ‘left-wing’ groups and individuals their ‘right’ to ‘free speech’, and if the attack was successful on this count, then the BNP would be justified in engaging in similar attacks on those likely to be in a similar position in future.

    As for what the BNP can or cannot do: all things being equal, its membership is free to do whatever it likes. An attack upon a fundraising event held by a group which the BNP believes is going to at some point restrict its right to free speech would, on the above basis, be justifiable. Whether or not this would apply in the case of any member of any such group being attacked at any (other) time by any (other) means is another question. Further, while a particular act may in some sense be justifiable, on one level, this does not necessarily mean it is advisable, especially from a more-properly ‘political’ perspective. For example, it could be argued — and frequently is — that violent attacks such as the one launched at the BNP fundraising event are counter-productive.

    Generally speaking, the argument is as follows: while groups like the BNP may be politically-repugnant, such attacks merely generate sympathy for the party; when the aim is to generate antipathy towards the BNP and its policies, generating sympathy is obviously counter-productive.

    Stopping free speech on the grounds that the speakers would stop free speech is an argument that could only be born on a university.

    Or, alternatively, several centuries — if not millenia — of philosophical thought. Kids these days need to learn more about the history of Western civilization and the works of its great thinkers.

    Since communists and anarchists would restrict the right of free speech for the capitalist elite does that mean the capitalist elite is morally justified in rounding up and killing all communists and anarchists?

    No. Self-evidently. (The argument does not follow.)

    Using violence against people is justified because the victims of said violence use violence themselves IS the same moral justification used for the death penalty is it not?

    Perhaps… that really depends on your understanding of the “moral justification used for the death penalty”. The death penalty is applied to a wide range of crimes. For example, “Parwiz Kambakhsh, 24, from northern Afghanistan, was arrested in 2007 and sentenced to death for blasphemy after accusations that he had written and distributed an article about the role of women in Islam.” The crime here is blasphemy, not murder or ‘violence’. Australia, on the other hand, abolished the death penalty decades ago, while in the United States, my understanding is that those states in which the death penalty is an option apply it only to murderers (but not all murderers). The justification for this policy varies.

    Or is there one moral rule for left wingers who like to put people in hospital and another rule for “racists”?

    What there is is a whole bunch of stuff. But the application of a rule may produce different results according to the circumstances — and does, in fact. That is, unless ‘violence’ is subject to blanket condemnation, it’s possible to distinguish between its rightful and wrongful application. According to one’s perspective, this may mean that ‘violence’ is justifiable in one case, but not another; further, that different parties may — in fact, do — express disagreement with reference to the same action. Thus, ‘hitting BNP member on the head with hammer’ GOOD/RIGHT; ‘hitting BNP member on the head with hammer’ BAD/WRONG.

    Certainly seems that way, most of the news coverage of this event (check the BBC’s for a fine example) seems to indicate that this was just a “fight” rather than 30-40 armed people attacking a 4WD with a handful of other people in it.

    I’ve read the BBC report; it’s above. It contradicts your assertion, quite clearly.

    Better be careful with these moral equations @ndy, one day someone might start using them on you.

    I’ve made no ‘moral equations’ until now. What other people do is their responsibility — obviously.

  8. @ndy says:

    Btw, you still haven’t answered my question.

      Luke : “I liked how your sympathies for Tyler changed as soon as you found out he had differing politics to you. I guess I can’t blame you for that. It’s only natural.”

      @ndy : Evidence?

  9. Run to Paradise says:

    Luke and Tristan I think in your confused liberal or perhaps social democrat brains freedom of speech and freedom of hate speech are the same thing.

  10. @ndy says:

    Run to Paradise,

    I’ve no idea who Tristan is — some kinda anarchist, perhaps? As for Luke Connors, he is a fascist and a racist, a former member of Stormfront and a former leader of the ‘Patriotic Youth League’, the junior wing of the Australia First Party. AF is lead by Dr James Saleam; the PYL by and comprising of 50-something Queenslander John Drew. Since departing SF and the PYL, Luke has attached himself to the Australian Protectionist Party. In the eyes of AF, The Jew is Teh Enimy; in the eyes of APP, it is The Muslim. Both despise Asians, blacks, queers, Reds and so on; both seek a return to a White Australia.

    December 2005:

    A spokesman, Luke Connors, said: “None of our members sympathises with Nazis. We’re just young blokes standing up for our own sort.”

    Meanwhile, groups such as the PYL are enjoying the publicity. Mr Connors explains: “Mate, I’m going to get brain cancer from having the mobile phone pressed to me ear all day and all night. Answering membership and media inquiries.”

  11. Run to Paradise says:

    Oh, so one of them is an idiot… I get it now.

  12. Lumpen says:

    Just to clarify my position, I think it would be difficult to justify the application of a hammer to any forehead, which is not to say it is impossible. The BNP victim might be a particularly vicious thug himself, etc, etc. There is a danger in alienating people through such extreme action, but there is also a similar possibility of people admiring you for it. That’s why I put the caveats on it; I have no idea of the background of the story. I’ll admit that I find it impossible to feel any sympathy for anyone who takes the step of organising for the BNP and I’m amused at any misfortune that befalls any fascist, no matter where it comes from.

    Luke: considering the whacky company you keep, I’ll take your moaning about freedom of speech with a sack of salt. Please stay on the phone for as long as possible. As far as the death penalty goes, I do not believe anyone or organisation, State or otherwise, has the right to decide life or death as a penalty. In certain situations, killing someone might be justified. It’s a view held by many, and not particularly controversial.

  13. LHMcalindon says:

    Hey, thanks for publishing my video. The BNP will become increasingly active within the new few weeks, it’s of the highest priority that its opponents rise asap.

  14. Darrin Hodges says:

    Well you just keep hammering away LHMcalindon, you’ve done more to promote the BNP than anybody, congratulations and thanks.

  15. professor rat says:

    Whoever did it should face a trial by jury with due process. Two famous assassins were found not guilty relatively recently. One an Armenian and one Ukrainian – see Wikipedia for details.
    If I was on the jury I would probably find them not guilty on the face of it – but if anarchism is about global justice then we need a system of justice at least as good as the jury system.
    Finally I believe that past a certain point the law of diminishing rewards sets in and so no anarchist can ever promise a violence free society. The best shot we have is at minimizing violence and that’s why we are so keen on abolishing the state.
    The world’s biggest state should get a hammer in the face until they get this point driven home to them.

  16. Lumpen says:

    Hey Darrin, you can’t be a nationalist for more than one country. Or is it possible to be bi-nationalist? Or are you a pan-aryan pro-Commonwealth internationalist these days? I suppose when you’re such a shining example of whiteness you can pretty much call the shots. So for the record, that’d now be “pan-aryan-nationalist-anarchist-who-hates-jews-but-only-when-no-one-is-watching-also-purer-fascist-but-just-proud-of-being-Aussie-and-hearts-the-BNP”? I know I should include “fugly” somewhere in there but that’d just be ridiculous. I’ll just put you down as a ‘fairweather racist’ in my files for the sake of brevity.

    I look forward to hearing how you are able to receive thanks on behalf of the BNP with your clever and subtle suggestion that you are somehow connected and not the isolated crank all evidence would point toward. Perhaps for those sitting on the fence, you can tell the story of how the Northern League were going to come to your birthday and would have except they were busy. I would like to keep your phone running hot with calls from recruits and the media, so I’ll try to keep these suggestions coming.

    Also, this. Or this. Depending on your tastes.

  17. @ndy says:

    Lumpen.

    Message received and understood.

    Over.

  18. Darrin Hodges says:

    Being a member of the Anglo-Saxon diaspora means I will always take an interest in what is happening in my ethnic homeland.

    As for the media, the phone has been running hot lately, thanks anyway.

    And don’t worry Lumpen, we’ll let you graffiti the wall before putting you against it, it’s the least we can do.

  19. LHMcalindon says:

    “Well you just keep hammering away LHMcalindon, you’ve done more to promote the BNP than anybody, congratulations and thanks.”

    I don’t think I need to do too much, the actions of the BNP and other like-minded fascist parties speak for themselves.

  20. Liam says:

    “Being a member of the Anglo-Saxon diaspora means I will always take an interest in what is happening in my ethnic homeland.”

    Fucking whities come over ‘ere, bang on about their ethnic homeland. If you love it so much, why don’t you go back? Hahaha.

    But seriously, you believe that Aborigines weren’t the first Australians because the concept of “Australia” as a nation didn’t exist. You obviously do believe “Australia” exists now, meaning you believe that homeland is not a static idea and can change over time.

    So the process that has made you an “Australian” has not ceased. People are still moving about the globe as they have for thousands of years and places become homes to different people. This is changing what it is to be “Australian”, just as it had created what it was to be “Australian”.

    Btw Dazza, i have to say you guys did a really shit job of manipulating the Q&A Footage for YouTube. It still looked like you had no conviction in what you were saying, trembling etc. Bad form for an aspiring politician.

  21. For the record:

    The BBC report was a publicity stunt in the run up to the European elections in which the Nazi BNP hope to gain some seats.

    It seems that even though they claim they are against the EU the Nazi BNP are not averse to getting on the EU gravy train and taking the money.

    (1)There was never going to be a Nazi BNP meeting at the Pure nightclub in Leigh on Friday 13th March 2009 since according to its owner the club was under refurbishment at the time.

    (2)A secret venue had been arranged five miles away in St. Helens where Nazi BNP leader Nick Griffin regaled his supporters with plenty of food and drink and racist, islamophobic and homophobic rhetoric.

    (3)In spite of the fact that they had no meeting in Leigh a Landrover towing a trailer with an A Frame hoarding advertising the Liverpool Nazi BNP turned up in Leigh an hour before their meeting in nearby St. Helens to taunt and confront the peaceful anti-fascist demonstrators, many of whom were women and children, clergymen, and members of the public. Surprisingly, even one of the forty one Wigan Labour Councillors turned up.

    (4)The Nazi BNP were backed up by several car loads of Nazi BNP thugs armed with extendable truncheons, baseball bats and hammers and with German Shepherd dogs.

    (5)When the Nazi BNP launched their premeditated violent attack on the peaceful demonstrators a group of unidentified anti fascists came to their defence.

    (6)During the confrontation a Nazi BNP member claims to have been hit on the head with a claw hammer.

    (7)However this claim although repeated by the media has not been substantiated by police and media reports.

    (8)Also it seems that in spite of graphic Nazi BNP photos showing lots of blood the alleged victim did not have any serious injury and was not kept in hospital.

    Peter Franzen
    Leader of the Community Action Party

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