Activism and... Trauma

IssueNovember 2007

The British National Party came to have their annual meeting in our patch last November.

I got stopped by the police for having a scarf round my face and was held down an alley way, shouted at and pushed and threatened until I took it off and gave my details - right by the BNP security men.

I felt the police put my life in danger by asking me to unmask in front of the BNP while the fascists took photos. And the police made me shout out my name and address.

Over the 40 minutes I was held by the BNP security men - who were on first name terms with the copper taking my details - came up and had cosy chats with the cops while my details were being taken down.

I seriously thought my details were going to be passed on.

I felt so traumatised when I got home that I sent my son to live somewhere else for a while.

Someone in Liverpool [Alex McFadden, president of Liverpool Trades Council] had been stabbed [in the face, in July 2006] in front of his kid not long before, and two of my mates are on the fascist website Redwatch [which incites violence against individuals including MPs, councillors, trade unionists and journalists] with their names and addresses.

I did manage to sort myself out in a week or so but for a few days I really thought I was going to die.

It's not rational I know, but then trauma isn't always. I've been following a complaints procedure for a year, which has finally come to resolution by having several meetings with the inspector in charge of policing the BNP and making him aware of Redwatch.

He's agreed to brief every officer who will be policing on the day to not unmask us in view of fascists and their cameras and to be sensitive that we really don't want our photos to end up on a website with a death threat.

It remains to be seen whether they change their ways or not when the BNP are back in November. I feel sick when I think about how scared I was last year but nothing will stop me from being there again this year.

Topics: Activism
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