Leeds Student, the Leeds University student newspaper has published an interview with Nick Griffin, leader of the fascist BNP. Below we’ve re-posted the open letter from two NUS officers which calls for the article’s removal. Add your name to the letter here.
We are appalled by the decision of ‘Leeds Student’ – an official student society of Leeds University Union – to publish an interview with Nick Griffin, leader of the fascist British National Party (BNP), on their website.
We demand that the Editor of ‘Leeds Student’ remove this offensive interview that gives a platform to a fascist immediately.
In the interview itself Nick Griffin defends the fact that he has shared a platform with the Ku Klux Klan – a white supremacist organisation responsible for attacks on and lynching of Black people in the US.
In describing his views on gay people, Nick Griffin says in the interview: “gay people have complained for years that the rest of society hasn’t understood how they feel, and has had to make allowances, has to be tolerant. So why can’t you people simply get over it and tolerate the fact that a lot of heterosexual people – we don’t want to persecute you – but we find the sight of two men kissing creepy. That’s just a fact. What’s the problem?”
He goes on to tell the interviewer that civil partnerships will mean that, “children will die over the next few years” because it undermines the institution of heterosexual marriage.
These abhorrent and utterly offensive views are just a snapshot of what the BNP represents.
The BNP is a fascist organisation which stands for an “all white Britain”, a goal which can only be achieved by violence, the annihilation of entire groups of people and the ending of democracy. Nick Griffin, leader of the fascist BNP is a convicted Holocaust denier.
In justifying the publication of this interview, the ‘Leeds Student’ states that the “paper is proud that we live in a democratic society, and that we can openly challenge and debate all manner of opinion and ideas.”
The BNP stands for the elimination of the democracy and all freedoms that the Leeds Student claims to support.
We should always remember that the millions of people who died at the hands of the Nazis’ slaughter – in the gas chambers and the concentration camps – did not die because their debating skills or arguments were not powerful enough. They died because once fascism had abused the democratic system to get its grip on power it soon closed down any freedoms to prevent any resistance. That is why we must never give a platform to fascists anywhere in the student movement.
In publishing this interview the ‘Leeds Student’ risks giving legitimacy to a fascist organisation, and boosts the BNP’s attempts to join the political mainstream when we should be isolating them.
We the undersigned demand the editor of the ‘Leeds Student’ to reconsider this grave error and remove the interview with fascist Nick Griffin from their website and newspaper immediately.
* Aaron Kiely, NUS Black Students’ Officer
* Malia Bouattia, NUS NEC (Black Students’ Campaign)
To add your name or organisation as a signatory please email [email protected]