In the aftermath of his European election victory, BNP leader Nick Griffin called an impromptu press conference outside Westminister, surrounded by the untrained, undisciplined heavies the BNP recruits as "security." However, the meeting was soon disrupted by angry protesters with Unite Against Fascism who, according to BBC News, "marched towards him [Griffin] chanting slogans and throwing eggs" "before the BNP leader was bundled into the back seat of a waiting car by his security men."
The event has thrown the BNP into a feral rage over the "violent thugs from the Tory and Labour backed UAF organisation" who "have shown their hatred of free speech and democracy" by utilising their own free speech and democratic right to protest. This proves that the UK has "lipped down the road to Zimbabwe style politics," although of course the BNP "campaigned democratically," as shown by their continued insistence that "links to the Socialist Workers’ Party and the Communist Party of Great Britain," automatically discredits an organisation. I support neither fascism nor authoritarian communism, but if one has the legitimate right to exist so does the other. If one can be dismissed by its very nature, then so can the other. Both the NF-style obsession with "commies" and the utter lack of universality in the BNP's "principles" are very revealing.
As for the egg attack, this was not "assault," and certainly not "on democracy itself." This event is on the same level as when protesters gave George Bush II the same treatment at his inauguration, pelted John Prescott with eggs, threw slurry over Robert Kilroy-Silk, or threw green custard over Peter Mandelson. It can even be compared to the events in Luton, in the aftermath of fascist violence by BNP supporters, when the Muslim community routed their own far-right. Attention-grabbing direct action that hurts only pride.
Direct action has long been a part of protest and, no matter how the authorities may classify it as "illegitimate," the fact is that direct action got us everything from the eight-hour day to women's suffrage. Authoritarians bemoan any protest that isn't unseen, unheard, and as a result has no impact. But what, then, is the point of protest?
For real examples of assaults and thuggery, one might consider the tripod-camera attack by Peter Tierey and Steve Greenhalgh on anti-fascist leafleters on 23rd April. Or the February leaflets from Wirral BNP encouraging locals to "coach" Alec McFadden "in a certain direction" by visiting his home, address helpfully provided. Or the woman who "was caught up in the melee" and is filing assault charges against the BNP's hired goons.
But, of course, Griffin's party - in their guise as the defenders of democracy against "violence" - prefer to cry over the egg on their own faces.