How socialists and the local community fought back against racism and the BNP
Youth Against Racism in Europe (YRE) and Panther platform in Welling campaign to drive the racists out after the murder of Stephen Lawrence, photo R. Newton (Click to enlarge)
On 3 January 2012 Gary Dobson and David Norris were found guilty of the horrific murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence and sentenced to life imprisonment. Stephen was murdered almost 19 years ago in a racist attack by a white gang in south London.
Media coverage after the trial has focussed on the issues which emerged after the murder - such as institutionalised police racism and police incompetence, and how much has changed since. But there has been little mention of the presence of the far-right racist British National Party (BNP) in the area at the time and also the united community and trade union anti-racist campaign to drive them out.
Lois Austin, (pictured above, speaking) then a leading activist in Youth Against Racism in Europe (YRE) and the Labour Party Young Socialists, whose branches initiated the campaign, spoke to the Socialist: