Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Peter Tierney faces court date for assaulting anti-fascists

In April, I reported on an attack perpetrated by Merseyside BNP activists Steve Greenhalgh and Peter Tierney, which took place in Liverpool City Centre on St George's Day. Greenhalgh and Tierney used an upended table and a folded camera tripod respectively as weapons against anti-fascists who had routed their leafleting with counter-leafleting in and around their location.

Despite Tierney's lies, which got one anti-fascist arrested for "assaulting" him, he was ultimately taken into custody and released on bail. The arrested anti-fascist was also bailed, but only after being held in the same station as Tierney and subsequently followed home by a car full of BNP activists threatening "we know where you live, we’re going to fucking kill you."

On Monday, Tierney answered his police bail at St Anne's Street police station. The bail conditions for both Tierney and the victim he claimed to be his assailant included a ban on entering the City Centre, and those conditions were reasserted. Tierney is set to face trial at the Liverpool Magistrates Court on the 5th of August and, as the Merseyside BNP blog reports, BNP activists "will be holding a 2nd Demo outside of the Magistrates Court as he attends." Their intent is to show that they "will not be intimidated and bullied by the state" who have "set a dangerous precedent that decent members of the public CAN NOT defend themselves against attackers." They are in fact demonstrating that their party stands in defence of savage violence by those who grab weapons when faced with non-violent opposition.

As of yet, no counter-demonstration has been arranged to face the fascist contingent outside the courthouse. Even if, as in countless prior Liverpool demonstrations, their numbers barely scrape fifty, they need to be opposed. Merseyside anti-fascists need to show that we will not accept fascist violence under the transparent pretext of "self-defence" against the non-violent, and Tierney needs to learn that the opposition and dissent he so hates will not simply fade away because he picks up a weapon.

Update: 24/07/2009

In response to Tierney's arrest, the main BNP website posted up a story claiming that he is the victim of "continued police harassment against himself and the party in that city" and launched the following appeal via its mailing list;
BNP hero persecuted:
YOUR chance to stand up for Peter Tierney!

Peter Tierney is a dedicated BNP super-activist who has endured arrest and harassment at the hands of the Merseyside Police. Nevertheless, he has always remained steadfast for the cause. Each time that the Merseyside Gestapo has tried to frame him, they have been forced to drop the charges. Now they are at their dirty tricks once again!
On St George's Day, Peter was distributing leaflets in Liverpool with an elderly crowd of BNP activists. As they were leaving, a hate-filled mob of Communist UAF thugs turned up and physically attacked Peter and his fellow activists. The police then arrested Peter - for defending himself! Other BNP activists in the group that day were also attacked, including an 80-year-old pensioner.
Peter was bailed to appear at Liverpool police station yesterday and to his astonishment he was charged with 'assault!' Everyone has the right to self-defence and Peter is no exception. This is perhaps one of the worst politically motivated outrages of recent times. Peter, a local businessman in Liverpool, was attacked by a gang of thugs while engaging in lawful, democratic activities and he now faces the prospect of prison for daring to defend himself!
We must and will stand by Peter, regardless of the cost - the BNP looks after all its members. It is time for Operation Fightback to get involved! We are calling on all our subscribers to email or phone the Crown Prosecution Service and demand to know why Peter Tierney has been charged for 'assault' when it was clearly self-defence:
- To view a complaints email template click here

- Tel: 0207 796 8500 (calls may be recorded)

The misinformation provided in the bulletin is obvious, but most contemptible is the BNP's hope that they can subvert the course of justice by bombarding the Crown Prosecution Service with the crank calls of countless armchair fascists. Also worrying is that the pitifully poor numbers the party can muster within Liverpool for his court date are likely to be bolstered by fascists bussed-in from elsewhere on the back of this appeal.

In response, Liverpool Antifascists are calling on every dedicated opponent of fascism to turn out in opposition on the morning of his arraignment;
Wednesday August 5th
Outside Dale St. Magistrates Court, Liverpool

The fascist British National Party have called on their members to support Peter Tierney, BNP lowlife and local ‘businessman’, who is on trial on August 5th. Tierney is charged with assault, following an attack on an anti-fascist protester in April.

Let’s show the BNP that we won’t tolerate their racism and violence in Liverpool or anywhere else.

Tell your friends and let’s have a really big turnout on August 5th.

Liverpool Anti-Fascists:
The BNP must know that they cannot use intimidation tactics to evade justice, and they cannot bully antifascists into silence. ¡No Parasan!