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April 9, 2011
A senior member of the BNP who burned a copy of the Qur’an in his garden has been arrested following an investigation by the Observer. Footage of the burning shows Sion Owens, 40, from south Wales and a candidate for the forthcoming Welsh Assembly elections, soaking the Qur’an in kerosene and setting fire to it. A video clip of the act, leaked to the Observer and passed immediately to South Wales police, provoked fierce criticism from the government. A statement from the Home Office said: “The government absolutely condemns the burning of the Qur’an. It is fundamentally offensive to the values of our pluralist and tolerant society.
“We equally condemn any attempts to create divisions between communities and are committed to ensuring that everyone has the freedom to live their lives free from fear of targeted hostility or harassment on the grounds of a particular characteristic, such as religion.” Owens, who has previously stood for a council seat, was last Tuesday unveiled by the BNP as a candidate for next month’s assembly elections. Several photographs place him alongside party leader Nick Griffin, including one showing the pair embracing during a party conference.
The footage comes at a time of heightened tensions. Internationally, protests continued in Afghanistan last week against the recent Qur’an burning by the US pastor Terry Jones in his Florida church. Jones’s act triggered a wave of global violence that nine days ago led to protesters storming a UN Afghan compound, killing three UN staff members and four Nepalese guards. Police had feared that far-right British extremists might attempt to stir tensions here by replicating Jones’s stunt.
Superintendent Phil Davies of South Wales police, who led the investigation, said: “We always adopt an extremely robust approach to allegations of this sort and find this sort of intolerance unacceptable in our society.” Owens was arrested within hours of police receiving the video. A second person, believed to have filmed the Qur’an burning, is also in police custody. It is unclear when the incident took place, but the five-minute footage is already understood to have been circulated to extremists. There is no evidence that Griffin was aware of the film.
April 10, 2011
A BNP candidate for next month’s Welsh assembly elections has been charged with a public order offence, after police were passed a video appearing to show him burning a copy of the Koran. Sion Owens, 41, was named as a party candidate for the South Wales West regional list last week. He is due to appear at Swansea magistrates’ court on Monday. A second BNP election candidate has been arrested in connection with the incident, and released on bail.
A BNP spokesperson said both would still be candidates in the assembly election on 5 May. On Friday, police were given a video which appeared to show Mr Owens dousing a copy of the Koran with a highly flammable fluid, before setting it alight and watching it burn. Later that day he and another of the party’s candidates for the assembly election, Swansea East candidate Joanne Shannon, were arrested. Mr Owens was charged on Saturday night. He is in custody in Swansea, and due to appear in court on Monday. Ms Shannon has been bailed pending further inquiries.
Nick Griffin BNP Leader Exposed on Question Time
BNP Exposed – The Secret Agent BBC part 1 of 7
BNP in high court showdown over ‘racist’ party constitution
Monday 8 November 2010 13.27 GMT
The British National party faces having some or all of its assets seized in the high court today as part of a showdown with the equality and human rights watchdog. Party leader Nick Griffin had been due to appear alongside two of the BNP’s senior officials in the latest instalment of a legal battle that began last year when the BNP was ordered to remove a clause from its constitution banning non-white members. But Griffin did not turn up for the hearing because he was unwell, although it was thought the court case was likely to proceed in his absence.
Griffin redrafted the BNP constitution again, something the party’s rules allow him to do without consulting members. But the new version showed that the offending clauses had been slightly amended rather than removed. Griffin, whose party is already mired in debt, faces a large financial penalty or even jail if the court rules in favour of the equality watchdog, which is bringing the case. The hearing comes amid a series of setbacks for the BNP, which has been beset by infighting and resignations since its poor performance in May’s general and local elections. In September, its sole representative on the London Assembly, Richard Barnbrook, became the latest figure to split publicly with Griffin when he was expelled by the party.
Equalities watchdog takes BNP to court
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
The British National Party is to be taken to court by the Government’s equalities watchdog for refusing to change rules that bar membership to blacks, Asians and Jews. The Equality and Human Rights Commission launched the legal action because it suspects that the BNP’s constitution and membership criteria, which limits membership to ethnic groups emanating from the “indigenous Caucasian” race, break the Race Relations Act. The BNP leader, Nick Griffin, and two other party officials are named in the county court proceedings, which begin in London next week. Harriet Harman, the Equalities Minister, welcomed the legal action, saying: “No party should be allowed to have an apartheid constitution in 21st- century Britain.” The commission wrote to the BNP two months ago, raising its concerns about the potential legal breaches and stating that it believed the BNP’s rules would “continue to discriminate against potential or actual members on racial grounds”, despite a pledge from the party to clarify the word “white” on its website.
“They cannot beat us through the democratic process, so they are trying the legal process as an alternative.” Mr Darby said the party leadership could not change the rules without the consent of its members, who overwhelmingly wanted the current restrictions to stay in place.
BNP and the Barking and Dagenham seat
By James Newman
The BNP look set to win a seat at Barking and Dagenham which could pave the way for a BNP member of Parliament. This would present very real dangers for people of Barking and Dagenham if they decide on the 6tm May to give their vote to the BNP who have proven links with Combat 18, The National Front and share simular views with the KKK (Klu Klux Klan).
The BNP are presenting for the Dagenham seat their leader Nick Griffen who is also in the European Parliament. Since Mr Griffen will be spending a majority of his time in Europe the people of Barking and Dagenham should be aware that should Griffen be elected then the people of Barking and Dagenham will find themselves short of proper representation.
At present the BNP do hold seats within the council as its official opposition and during the last year the BNP had voted against a law aimed at preventing children from getting knifes. Furthermore, the BNP official for Dagenham made false statements relating to crime within the area. With this and all the BNP stand for along with their senior members who all have criminal records why would anyone trust the BNP?
A win for the BNP in Barking and Dagenham would hurt the people of Barking and Dagenham because the BNP (Nick Griffen) have promised to break the law of this land in order to ensure the views of BNP members are maintained. Maybe Nick Griffen and his BNP plan a kristallnacht for Barking and Dagenham has Nick stated “Quite simply, people from outside may not want to come to the borough. People who want to embrace diversity can find other places to go, like Newham,”. The fact that Nick Griffen himself has never been born in Barking and Dagenham and does not even live in the area its safe to assume his statement referes to people of a different ethnic origin and/or skin colour.
Whatever the outcome from the 6th May election’s one thing should remain very clear. If the BNP do gain power in Barking and Dagenham those elected representatives will have a duty to uphold the law and treat all residents of Barking and Dagenham with equal respect.
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