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.

Coventry celebrates May Day

Coventry celebrates May Day

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, addresses Coventry rally

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, addresses Coventry rally

A lively rally was held in Coventry city centre earlier today to mark May Day – International Workers’ Day. The gathering, which was entitled ‘Shout out against austerity’ and linked the battle against the cuts with the fight to defeat racism, gained support from many unions and organisations in the city. It also attracted attention from Coventry shoppers who stopped to listen to the many excellent speeches.

Emma from the junior doctors

Emma from the junior doctors

Speakers included Matt Wrack, the general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), Emma from the junior doctors, Sarah Smith from Save Coventry Libraries, David Kersey from UNISON, Kris O’Sullivan from Youth Fight for Jobs and suspended Labour Party member Darrall Cozens speaking for Momentum.

Kris addressing the crowd

Kris addressing the crowd

Young worker and student Kris O’Sullivan, in bringing solidarity from Youth Fight for Jobs and Socialist Students, outlined how workers and students need to unite against the attacks, whether it be around wages, housing or jobs, in a common fightback.

Coventry against Racism and Fascism

Coventry against Racism and Fascism

A major protest against the plans of the English Defence League to march in Coventry on Saturday 21st May is planned and speakers urged maximum attendance at this event, to show opposition to those that seek to divide working class people.

Jane Nellist, secretary of Coventry TUC with Sarah Smith

Jane Nellist, secretary of Coventry TUC with Sarah Smith

Many speakers made the link between the cuts taking place in our city with the need to fight not only austerity, but the capitalist system that breeds unemployment, racism, homelessness, environmental destruction and an uncertain future for working class people. May Day gives us an opportunity to redouble our efforts to fight for a socialist future across the planet. Socialist Party members gave out hundreds of leaflets advertising the election campaign of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and sold 40 copies of the May Day special issue of our weekly newspaper, The Socialist.