Published on Saturday, 16 February 2013 15:20 Written by Gerry Gable
After receiving a tip-off that Nazi bands were due to play at the Boleyn Tavern in Newham, east London, today, Searchlight’s intelligence team sprang into action. We immediately contacted the UAF and other anti-fascists to alert them, as well as people from the Asian community who live or work in Newham and Redbridge.
The editor of Searchlight, who is a member of the Metropolitan Police Service’s Independent Advisory Group (IAG), which was set up to tackle hate crime in the capital 14 years ago just before publication of the findings of the enquiry into the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence, informed the IAG police liaison officer that this Nazi invasion would be opposed and insisted that the local council took steps to stop it going ahead.
We attached a health warning to our information to anti-fascists, warning them to wait until the event and its timing were fully confirmed. However some anti-fascist groups jumped the gun and called a picket of the pub for 8pm tonight.
In fact the Nazis intended to set up at noon and play their first set between 2 and 3pm.
Last night we were told by a senior member of Newham council that the people running the pub were new licensees and that they were being told to cancel the booking. The council also said they had spoken to the police and had been promised an increased police presence and that the police would alert local shops, many of which are Asian, mainly Muslim, as well as other vulnerable local targets.
It was not until two hours ago we had it confirmed that the event was cancelled.
Some people mistakenly thought only one of the bands, IC1, had a Nazi connection. We think several of the bands have attracted the support of right-wing extremists. Judging by the profiles of Nazis posting on the event’s Facebook page, some wearing white power symbols, this was an attempt to bridge the gap between old Nazis and a new younger generation of boot-boys and girls.
We also believe that the growing Polish far-right outfits in the UK were involved in organising the event, with the possibility of bands coming in from Europe. Searchlight would like to hear from anti-fascists who have any reliable information about the activities and locations of Polish right-wing extremists in the UK.
Together we stopped the gig.