Racist former Coventry BNP candidate convicted of racial harassment

Racist former Coventry BNP candidate convicted of racially aggravated harassment

Mark Graham, from Coventry, jailed for race hate crimes

Mark Graham – pic from Coventry Telegraph

The following was sent to us by a local socialist following the news that Coventry racist and former BNP candidate Mark Graham was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court last week to 4 and a half years imprisonment for a campaign of race hate letters over a period of several years.

Letters were sent to high profile black, Asian and some white people including the mother of Stephen Lawrence and the Archbishop of York.

Over a period of 13 years Graham sent over 400 letters to more than 100 people.

Many letters were also sent to black workers in Coventry. The letters were the most vile, threatening and abusive letters imaginable oozing hate. The affect of these anonymous letters on local workers should not be underestimated.

I was line manager to two black workers who received letters at their work place for a period of years. I can personally testify to the blind hate that oozed from them.

It is of great credit to those workers that they were able to dismiss them as the work of an unbalanced racist and continue to attend work.

Anyone receiving these letters would be in fear of personal attack, as we saw with the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox where another racist was responsible.

In one instance Graham sent a letter containing talcum powder to a local gym owner claiming it was anthrax, causing the evacuation of an area of the city.

Graham, of Everdon Road in Holbrooks, had previously stood for the city council as a candidate for the racist British National Party.

Although like the killer of Jo Cox he undoubtedly has personal issues, he has also clearly been influenced by the racist propaganda of fascist organisations.

We must be clear. In our Two Tone city – the city of peace and reconciliation – there is no place for racism. Whilst Trump targets Muslims in the US we can expect racists to rear their heads here as well.

We must oppose Trump and also the likes of the BNP and EDL here who attempt to sow division. Black, White and Asian people are all suffering from the austerity and the widening gap in wealth.

Socialists fight for united action to defeat the racists and to create a socialist world where all have a decent life.

Hundreds rally at Warwick University against racism and fascism

Hundreds rally at Warwick University against racism and fascism

UCU banner on the protest

UCU banner on the protest

Over 200 students rallied today at Warwick University against racism and fascism in a fantastic show of unity and solidarity. The protest was prompted by the presence on campus of a student member of the openly fascist National Action group which featured in a recent article in the Mirror newspaper (see link here)

Students from a wide variety of backgrounds were mobilised by the Warwick Anti-Racism Society, with support coming from members of trade unions based in Coventry such as Unison, PCS and NUT, as well as the UCU branch at the university.

Members of Socialist Students from Coventry University were present with Socialist Students at Warwick. Kristian Sucilla O’Sullivan, recently elected student councillor and President of Coventry Socialist Students spoke to the rally and brought the solidarity of Coventry students. He also called for the building of a movement against austerity armed with a socialist programme to beat the fascists and the capitalist system.

Kristian from Coventry Socialist Students addresses the crowd

Kristian from Coventry Socialist Students addresses the crowd

Dan Crowter, a member of the National Union of Teachers (in a personal capacity) and the Socialist Party brought greetings from his union, and called for a united fight for decent jobs, homes and education, which was met with applause.

Dan Crowter of the NUT

Dan Crowter of the NUT (personal capacity)

All of those involved in the organisation of this protest and everyone who attended should take massive credit for an excellent event. Many speakers rightly said that this can’t be a one off and discussions will take place about how we can build a movement against the far right. Socialist Students will continue to put forward the idea of unity between students and workers, and for a socialist programme that can lead the way out of this barbarous capitalism system that blights the lives of the 99 per cent.