- 2002 National Black Members' Conference
- 6 June 2002
Conference applauds the contributions made by the black community leaders in bringing peace and harmony to the race riot torn cities in Britain last summer 2001.
Britain saw some of the worse forms of race riots in cities like Oldham, Burnley and Bradford due to the weak local political leadership, poor regeneration initiatives and inequitable access to social housing. Reports and enquiries have highlighted how the failures in the public service provision had left parts of these cities deeply divided along racial lines. But the biggest factor of the unrest that led to the riots in Bradford, Burnley and Oldham was the growth of the activities of the extreme right-wing British National Party (BNP).
The question should be asked, why was the BNP allowed to orchestrate their right wing activities and stir racial hatred against black communities where racial tensions were already high? Why were they allowed to win seats in the last local elections? Why didn’t the local political leaders take action against the sub divisions within the community and stop the movement of the far right? Why was there lack of leadership in the community which allowed a vacuum to develop for extremist groups to exploit racial hatred?
Conference celebrates the contributions of all black communities and their leaders over many generations in Britain who have made it possible for us to live peacefully in our communities, and therefore we call on the National Black Members’ Committee to seek to work with the National Executive Council and Affiliated Political Fund to:
1)Ensure the use of moderate and temperate language when discussing issues on race in order to avoid giving any help to unacceptable views of the racist BNP and avoid any further racial upheaval in Britain;
2)Work together to drive out the BNP at local and national levels;
3)Hold dialogue with black community leaders in developing strategies for improving community cohesion and ways to drive out the BNP;
4)Lobby the Government to amend the Representation of the People Act to
stop the distribution of racist election materials by the right wing activists.