This weekend, the BNP are holding their annual conference in the North West. In the run up to the event, it was largely assumed by anti-fascists that the event would be held in Manchester. However, on Friday it emerged that the conference would be held in Liverpool and locals called a demonstration.
The venue being used by the BNP is
the Wavertree Cricket Club The Cricketers. The venue has been suspected for a while as the location of Liverpool Branch meetings once the fascist party's previous haunt of the Aigburth People's Hall was exposed. In pictures on the Liverpool BNP blog, the party's banners are openly on display, and at a national conference with Nick Griffin present this would be even more the case. Therefore, we can presume that the Cricket Club is aware that they are playing host to fascists.
As I write this, about thirty people - including members of Liverpool Antifascists - are in attendance at a demonstration outside the venue, in opposition to the BNP.
Several members of the City Council, including Labour Leader Joe Anderson and Wavertree Labour Councillor Jake Morrisson, have also shown up at the protest as well. However, whilst they have gotten the press attention and the photo opportunity, it is important to note that the bulk of those protesting are doing so not in a political capacity but as working class people who oppose the divisive poison of the far-right.
Liverpool Antifascists has since its foundation, and will continue to, put the bulk of its efforts into leafleting on working class estates and organising physical opposition to fascists on our streets. This has seen the BNP's vote plummet substantially in the last two years, whilst every appearance they've made in the city centre has seen them run out by angry locals - only a fraction of whom are active anti-fascists.
A full report and pictures will hopefully follow once the demonstrations and the fascist conference have concluded.
Update: Wavertree Cricket Club have issued the following statement;
Wavertree Cricket Club wish to clarify they have no involvement whatsoever with the meeting of the BNP reported by the Liverpool Echo on Saturday 29 October 2011. We have complained to the Editor of the Liverpool Echo about its inaccurate statement. We have been incorrectly linked with a meeting held by the BNP at the premises of a separate organisation who are occupants on the same site as us. The site is owned by Wavertree Recreation Company (1921) Limited and has two tenants – Wavertree Cricket Club and B & I Leisure. The event was held by B & I Leisure who have no connection with Wavertree Cricket Club and we object to being incorrectly identified as the hosts for this event.The post above has been amended accordingly.