Thursday, 29 October 2009

Merseyside BNP's lies shatter at the trial of accused anti-fascist

On April 23rd, Peter Tierney and Steve Greenhalgh of the Merseyside BNP were among the thugs who attacked antifascist leafleters in Liverpool City Centre. Despite their claims of self-defence, assault charges against their chosen anti-fascist fall guy were dropped months ago as utterly untenable. Today, at the antifascist's trial, even the flimst criminal damage charges would not stick.

At the Dale Street Magistrates Court, Steve Greenhalgh and a couple of other fascists were already on site waiting for Peter Tierney when antifascists arrived. Tierney today faced a committal hearing so that his case can go to a jury trial at the Crown Court. More news on that will follow when it is available.

In the meantime, antifascists were not there for Tierney and his ramshackle crew. We were there to show solidarity with one of our own, originally falsely accused by Tierney of assaulting him back in April. According to the lie that appeared on the BNP mailing list in July;
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.
However, since then the assault charges disappeared, with only a criminal damage charge - against a camera which continued to film after the alleged incident took place - in its stead. Greenhalgh was apparently not aware of this, "taunting" our comrade by saying (in reference to his wearing a suit) "you didn't look that respectable when you were assaulting someone."

As the antifascist himself pointed out, however, "last time I saw him, he was trying to attack me with an upturned stall table."

The roadshow of calamity that is organised fascism on Merseyside continued with the appearence of Tierney's brother Andrew, who immediately began taking pictures of those assembled. Of course, with the BNP's new "respectable" image this will have nothing to do with intimidation tactics, one can only wonder why Andrew might need lots of pictures of men.

When one of the crowd objected to having his picture taken and shoved the camera down Andrew, who almost looks like a bruiser, showed his true colours by whining that he had been "touched," "insulted," and "assaulted" by the antifascist in question. The police are, perhaps, lucky that they no longer need to employ fascists as strikebreakers anymore if that's what they're made of.

In court, the criminal damage charge against the accused antifascist was dropped, making all BNP claims to self-defence meaningless. A public order charge was upheld, the crime there being to say "get that fucking camera out of my face" and to cover the lens. In recognition that this was a response to fascist intimidation tactics, the charge of breaching public order under duress came with a small fine and no conditions.

We now await Merseyside BNP's claims of a police conspiracy when a jury trial convicts Peter Tierney of assault. Few beyond the ranks of fascists, I imagine, would see smashing someone's head in with a camera tripod as a justifiable "self-defence" against having your camera lens covered up because you were only filming people as an intimidation tactic.

Update: 30/10/09

As is to be expected, the Merseyside BNP blog has their own take on the affair, insisting that the final charge was that of "a major public order offence." We can see, given Andrew Tierney's fevered panic when an antifascist merely forced him to remove the camera from their face, why they might think so. However, it must be stated again that saying "switch that fucking camera off" and covering a lens with your hand is hardly "major" in anyone's books.

The group, throwing aside all pretence of respectability, also tried to "do a Redwatch" by publishing the antifascist in question's name and address. Given that, apart from antifascists checking up on their deranged opponents, only cranks and armchair warriors visit the site, his response was not one of fear but "ha ha" in text messages urging friends to "check the Merseyside BNP blog." Only Redwatch itself is a less-threatening "threat."

That the rest of the "article" looks to have been written by an angry, illiterate fantasist who makes things up as he goes along is all the further comment needed.