Letter: Bradford bravery

July 20, 2001

It is a matter of concern to see the theory developing that the violence and rioting in Bradford were caused by anti-racist demonstrators who attended a peaceful rally in Centenary Square.

This rally was making an important anti-racist statement rejecting the British National Party and the National Front when the council's decision to cancel the final day of Bradford Festival sent a message to the extreme right that the city could be brought to a standstill by the mere threat of their presence.

The police's concentration on a peaceful demonstration while allowing more than 100 BNP/NF supporters to drink and behave provocatively in Bradford pubs was a disastrous strategy.

It is wrong to blame those who were brave enough to be visible in a hostile environment. It is racists, not anti-racists, who should be denied a platform in Bradford since the far right came to Bradford determined to cause trouble for the black people there.

Paul Mackney
General secretary

Tina Downes
President

Gerard Kelly
Vice-president, Natfhe.

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