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 10:46 - 7 September 2004 CLASSIFIEDS | MOTORS | JOBS | PROPERTY | the LIST | e SHOPPING 
 
 
 


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Indian charity takes stand against BNP

No! Joanna Harma puts an anti-BNP poster up at her Free Schools India shop in Carlisle She was inspired to act by a claim from BNP leader Nick Griffin that he would visit Carlisle this week in the run up the European election on June 10 JONATHAN BECKER
No! Joanna Harma puts an anti-BNP poster up at her Free Schools India shop in Carlisle She was inspired to act by a claim from BNP leader Nick Griffin that he would visit Carlisle this week in the run up the European election on June 10 JONATHAN BECKER

By Phil Coleman

A CUMBRIAN woman who is masterminding a project to help build a school for impoverished girls in India has pleaded with European election voters to reject the British National Party.

Joanna Harma has raised thousands of pounds to help build the school. She and her Indian husband Guarav were inspired to take on the project in 2002 after she visited the country and saw children forced to work in factories for as little as 20 pence per day.

Joanna, 26, has now put up a poster in her fundraising shop in Abbey Street, Carlisle, which tells voters: “Protect the north west from the BNP: use your vote for any other party.”

She was inspired to act by a claim from BNP leader Nick Griffin that he would visit Carlisle this week in the run up the European election on June 10.

He has been nominated as his party’s main candidate in the election. After a flurry of anti-BNP protest in the county, Griffin backtracked, saying his visit to Cumbria is now only a possibility.

Mrs Harma supports the view expressed by Cumbrian church leaders in recent weeks that the BNP’s policies are “ racist”.

She said: “I did a degree in modern history, and specialised in the rise of the Nazis in Germany so I know a lot about these things – how they can sneak in and grow and grow. The worst thing that rational people can do is be apathetic.

“Everybody who is against these people should use their vote rather than trusting other people to do it. My husband is Indian, and he wouldn’t be allowed to join me if they had their way.

“I’ve looked on the BNP website, and they want to pay people from ethnic minorities to go back to whatever country they’re supposed to have come from – it’s ridiculous.” Mr Griffin said his planned trip to Carlisle was thrown into doubt by the need to attend a court battle with the BBC over the broadcast of the BNP’s party political broadcast.

He said he still plans to visit the north west constituency, but he could not be sure when he would come.

n Letters: Page 6&7

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