Right-Wing Extremism in the Twenty-First Century

Right-Wing Extremism in the Twenty-First Century

Right-Wing Extremism in the Twenty-First Century

Right-Wing Extremism in the Twenty-First Century

Synopsis

Revising the 1997 first edition, this study now covers events that occurred in Oldham and Bradford after the year 2000. The rise of right-wing extremist groups is put under scrutiny in a number of states including Britain, Germany, Austria, Russia and France.

Excerpt

Bradford was the fourth northern English city to be racked by violence involving whites, South Asian immigrants and police in late May and early July of 2001. At the height of the clashes, several hundred youths-some say over a thousand-erected burning barricades, set cars on fire, and showered police with Molotov cocktails, bricks, bottles and other debris. They attacked each other, and the police, with bats, knives and other lethal weapons. Police helicopters were hovering overhead. Dozens of paddy wagons with officers in riot gear tried to patrol the streets of central Bradford. About 200 police officers were reported to have been injured by mobs of white, Pakistani, Indian, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi youths. Nineteen civilians had injuries too on first count. Thirty-six rioters were arrested, two-thirds of them South Asians. In earlier years of English racial violence, South Asians had tended to be mostly at the receiving end of 'Paki-bashing'.

Bradford is an industrial city with a population of about half a million, around one-fifth of South Asian origin. It is a part of the rustbelt north-a pocket of poverty and neglect in prosperous England. The confrontation began-as earlier in Oldham, Aylesbury (a town in Buckinghamshire), Leeds and Burnley, and later in Stoke-on-Trent-with ultra-right agitation by members of the National Front (NF) and the British National Party (BNP). In Oldham, a gritty, declining mill town with 10 per cent unemployment and a largely segregated population half of Bradford's size, it had been the mugging of a 76-year-old man, allegedly by Asian youths, that had brought in the ultra-right agents and set off four nights of rioting and destruction. Thirty-three whites and 16 South Asians were arrested. The decline and stagnation of Oldham's main industry hit everyone hard, but particularly the young South Asians whose unemployment rate is much higher and who hang around in the town's centre in large idle groups, divided by ethnic origin, region, caste and by the corresponding youth gangs they form. More than half of the 572 racial attacks reported by Oldham police for the year 2000 were attributed to such Asian gangs. White skinhead and neo-Nazi gangs, by contrast, show up in force on weekends in the town centre to accost the Asians, in defiance of a three-month ban on all political marches issued

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