Saturday, 21 November 2009

More intimidation tactics by Peter Tierney and Merseyside BNP

Today, activists from Liverpool Antifascists delivered leaflets in Halewood. These leaflets, titled British Jobs for British Workers? Don't be fooled by BNP lies, warned of the BNP's attempts to portray themselves as a working class family when, in fact, their leadership comes from the upper middle class and business sectors and they think of the white working class as "scum."

As they set off, from the Summerfield on Hillfoot Avenue, there was a brief encounter with a BNP supporter. Mistaking the antifascists for the BNP, he had joined them and asked whether Peter Tierney would be turning up soon. One activist explained to him that he was in the wrong group, whilst grabbing the opportunity to offer him a leaflet and explain why the BNP were not the party for anybody genuinely concerned with the plight of the working class. Events later in the day suggested that an antifascist making a similar mistake would have gotten more than a leaflet.

Despite the gloomy weather, there was a good turnout of activists, who managed to cover a significant area and deliver 500 leaflets in the surrounding working class estates. The event was extremely succesful and, as with a leafleting session around the shops the previous week, the response from the public was an overwhelmingly positive one.

On the way back to the original meeting point, however, the group encountered Peter and Andrew Tierney. The brothers, along with an unidentified third fascist, had been delivering leaflets of their own and were just about to leave in Peter's Landrover. When they recognised several of the antifascists, however, they were quick to grab their cameras and start taking pictures.

Within moments, they were circling around the tired group of leafleters, taking photos as close as they could and chasing around those who tried to turn their face away. Their clear aim was to intimidate and provoke a small group of passers-by (at this point, they had distributed all their material and had nothing on them to identify their allegiances) which included two women, one of them elderly. At one point Peter, still awaiting trial for assaulting an antifascist back in April, referred to one man as a "shithouse" for not rising to the provocation. His brother Andrew, whose photographs and videos have emerged on Redwatch and various other neo-Nazi hate sites, suggested instigating a third-party assault. "Let's get some local lads in, nothing to do with us, of course," were his exact words, after feigning gangster-status by declaring that the leafleters should leave because "this is our territory."

However, the antifascists held their ground. If they had left, they risked being followed, which left them particularly vulnerable once they had to part ways. And if they had arisen to the provocation, it looked as though more BNP supporters would have emerged from the nearby pub to support the Tierney brothers. Instead, they stayed where they were until the two thugs got bored, seeing they weren't getting a rise, and scuttled off.

To those familiar with the BNP, or indeed the Tierneys, this incident will come as no surprise. It also serves as a timely reinder that the party remain, despite their propaganda line, violent goons willing to threaten and intimidate anybody who dares oppose their fascist politics.