The sorry saga of Peter Tierney
Peter Tierney, 52, was once the owner of the Quiggins alternative shopping mall in Liverpool City Centre. He now owns the Quiggins AttiQue on Augburth Road in South Liverpool. He is also a fascist and self-styled “super activist” of Merseyside BNP.
As such, the story of his assault on an anti-fascist activist and the subsequent court hearings is an enlightening one. Contained within are the violent tendencies, bigotry, political illiteracy, paranoid fantasism, and outright lies that that the local branch of the British National Party exemplify.
What follows is a recap of the Tierney saga up to November 2009. Everything that follows can be found under the tag Peter Tierney.
23/01/2009 – BNP activists assault antifascists in Liverpool City Centre
From the original Indymedia Liverpool report:
Yesterday, April 23rd, saw fifteen members of Liverpool BNP members take to the streets of our city again. As word got around that they were leafleting on Church Street, around 12.30pm, local anti-fascists did what they could to mobilise people (not the easiest thing to do mid-week, mid afternoon!). By 1pm there was around twenty anti-fascists leafleting in and around the BNP, making it loud and clear what the BNP stood for, and why people shouldn’t tolerate their presence. This was met by the standard bellowing of ‘get a wash’ and ‘get a job’ from the BNP only serving to further alienate members of the public, from whom they were already getting short shrift.
Before long it became clear that as well as their suited and booted ‘activists’, the BNP had a number of thugs dispersed in the crowd who were taking it in turns to try and intimidate both anti-fascists and uninvolved passers by. This was on top of their standard motley crew of camera men who were systematically patrolling the crowd and filming anybody who showed opposition to their presence.
At around 1.30pm the BNP realised that they were getting nowhere, packed up their stall and moved of towards St. Georges Hall, the site of recent BNP rallies in the city. By the time anti-fascist activists arrived they had set up their stall in St. Johns Garden to the rear of the hall, and once again began leafleting. Anti-fascists responded by striking up conversations with other people in the Gardens and handing out our leaflets. After five minutes the BNP decided they had been beaten once again and got together to leave the gardens. Two anti-fascists ran ahead to get out on to the road in front where they could continue ensuring that the public knew the truth about the fascist organisation.
At this point three of the BNP members, Peter Tierney, Steve Greenhalgh and an as yet unidentified man, decided that they’d had enough of being routed from their chosen leafleting spots, and unleashed a vicious assault on the two who had run in front. Peter Tierney, armed with a folded camera tripod, used his weapon to hit one man around the head, splitting it open. Steve Greenhalgh turned his paste table on its edge and began to use it as a weapon in much the same way that riot police were doing with their shields at the G20 protests, and the third man went in with fists and boots narrowly missing one activists face. On realising the seriousness of the assault Steve Greenhalgh (thought to be Liverpool BNP’s local organiser) then quickly began ushering his minions, some whom clearly hadn’t quenched their blood-thirst, out of the gardens. The group were followed closely by anti-fascists until they left the gardens, ensuring no repeat attack could take place.
In the aftermath of the attack three anti-fascists left the scene together, deliberately going in the opposite direction to the BNP. However, as they rounded a corner they saw the fascists talking to a group of police. Not wishing a further confrontation, the activists walked past, only for the police to run towards them and inform one of them that Peter Tierney (the perpetrator of the armed attack, left) had made a complaint of assault against him. Without any chance to defend himself, the activist, who was showing no sign of resistance, was cuffed and arrested on suspicion of assault. Police then took over half an hour to take seriously the report that it was in fact the BNP who had launched a vicious attack on anti-fascists. The falsely imprisoned anti-fascist then spent nine hours in custody in the same police station as Tierney, with police telling other comrades that he was in a different station. As a result when the man was released from custody , wearing only distinctive custody issue tracksuit clothing, he was followed by a car full of BNP activists who threatened ‘we know where you live, we’re going to fucking kill you’.
Despite the attack, the day was on the whole successful. Anti-fascists prevented the BNP from having free reign on the streets of Liverpool, seeing that the BNP’s vile politics did not go unchallenged. In the end the BNP were unable to control themselves and showed the public what they are really about: ‘defending rights for whites with well placed boots and fists’ in the words of their chairman Nick Griffin. Once again, Merseyside Police showed themselves to be entirely biased towards the BNP, not only responding to a false claim only made to deflect attention from the fascist attacks, but putting an activist in serious danger by holding him at the same station as Tierney and failing to ensure his safety upon being released.
This is the clearest example yet in Merseyside that the BNP are not simply an far-right racist party, but a fascist organisation who rely on violence when all the cards down. This story must be publicised to its full extent in the run up to the June 4th Euro-Elections in which Griffin is standing as candidate for the North-West. The activist who was injured is now recovering following hospital treatment, and the activist who was arrested has been bailed until July 21st and banned from the city centre.
20/07/2009 – Peter Tierney answers his bail and faces court date
On Monday 20th July, Tierney answered his police bail at St Anne’s Street police station. The bailconditions for both Tierney and the victim he claimed to be his assailant included a ban on entering the City Centre, and those conditions were reasserted. Tierney is set to face trial at the Liverpool Magistrates Court on the 5th of August and, as the Merseyside BNP blog reports, BNP activists “will be holding a 2nd Demo outside of the Magistrates Court as he attends.” Their intent is to show that they “will not be intimidated and bullied by the state” who have “set a dangerous precedent that decent members of the public CAN NOT defend themselves against attackers.” They are in fact demonstrating that their party stands in defence of savage violence by those who grap weapons when faced with non-violent opposition.
In response to Tierney’s arrest, the main BNP website posted up a story claiming that he is the victim of “continued police harassment against himself and the party in that city” and launched the following appeal via its mailing list;
Peter Tierney is a dedicated BNP super-activist who has endured arrest and harassment at the hands of the Merseyside Police. Nevertheless, he has always remained steadfast for the cause. Each time that the Merseyside Gestapo has tried to frame him, they have been forced to drop the charges. Now they are at their dirty tricks once again!
On St George’s Day, Peter was distributing leaflets in Liverpool with an elderly crowd of BNP activists. As they were leaving, a hate-filled mob of Communist UAF thugs turned up and physically attacked Peter and his fellow activists. The police then arrested Peter – for defending himself! Other BNP activists in the group that day were also attacked, including an 80-year-old pensioner.
Peter was bailed to appear at Liverpool police station yesterday and to his astonishment he was charged with ‘assault!’ Everyone has the right to self-defence and Peter is no exception. This is perhaps one of the worst politically motivated outrages of recent times. Peter, a local businessman in Liverpool, was attacked by a gang of thugs while engaging in lawful, democratic activities and he now faces the prospect of prison for daring to defend himself!
We must and will stand by Peter, regardless of the cost – the BNP looks after all its members. It is time for Operation Fightback to get involved! We are calling on all our subscribers to email or phone the Crown Prosecution Service and demand to know why Peter Tierney has been charged for ‘assault’ when it was clearly self-defence.
The misinformation provided in the bulletin is obvious, but most contemptible is the BNP’s hope that they can subvert the course of justice by bombarding the Crown Prosecution Service with the crank calls of countless armchair fascists. Also worrying is that the pitifully poor numbers the party can muster within Liverpool for his court date are likely to be bolstered by fascists bussed-in from elsewhere on the back of this appeal.
In response, Liverpool Antifascists are calling on every dedicated opponent of fascism to turn out in opposition on the morning of his arraignment;
DEMONSTRATE AGAINST THE BNP
Wednesday August 5th
Outside Dale St. Magistrates Court, Liverpool
The fascist British National Party have called on their members to support Peter Tierney, BNP lowlife and local ‘businessman’, who is on trial on August 5th. Tierney is charged with assault, following an attack on an anti-fascist protester in April.
Let’s show the BNP that we won’t tolerate their racism and violence in Liverpool or anywhere else.
Tell your friends and let’s have a really big turnout on August 5th.
STAND UP TO FASCISM! JOIN US ON AUGUST 5th
The BNP must know that they cannot use intimidation tactics to evade justice, and they cannot bully antifascists into silence.
05/08/2009 – Tierney faces arraignment and antifascist protests
In the run up to the court-date, the BNP mailing list urged armchair fascists to “email or phone the Crown Prosecution service,” in an attempt to subvert the course of justice with a flood of crank calls. Merseyside BNP also called on “all democratic, peace loving Nationalists” to show “support” for Tierney by protesting outside the court.
However, after Liverpool Antifascists organised an opposition rally to “show the BNP that we won’t tolerate their racism and violence in Liverpool or anywhere else,” the story was somewhat different. Around fifty anti-fascists turned up at the Magistrates Court to protest both the fascist gathering and Tierney’s violence, but the BNP were nowhere to be seen.
On the other side of the road from the antifascist gathering, however, four known local fascists – believed to be of the British Freedom Fighters (BFF) rather than the BNP – gathered to jeer at the protesters and take pictures. In response, many in the crowd produced their phones to photograph the snoops whilst a chant of “I’m on Redwatch and I don’t care” started up. Eventually, the four slipped away to massive jeering, though not before skulking under the nearby motorway bridge to take a few more photographs.
Inside the court, meanwhile, Tierney was decidedly the worse for wear, looking as though he was “off his face on some or other substance” and being unable to remember his own address. His bail conditions, namely a ban from Liverpool city centre, were reimposed, and he will enter a plea on September 3rd. It is vital that anti-fascists come out to demonstrate their opposition to Tierney’s violent thuggery once again.
In response to Tierney’s arraignment,the BNP propaganda machine went into overdrive.
The excuses on the Merseyside BNP blog were painfully transparent, claiming that the party “decided in the interests of public safety to cancel our protest last week” when in fact the national website issued an “urget” appeal for people to attend only a few days before. Accusations that “McFaddens [sic] “hired UAF criminals” [were] doing their best to intimidate Peter Tierney with “whispered threats” of violence in the waiting area” and that the protest consisted of “fifteen protesters who turned up with the intention as usual of acting unlawful” are so facile as to not deserve comment.
On the main website, however, there was no mention of “whispered threats,” and the party instead claimed that “Peter was already inside the building” when the protesters arrived and that “a short time later when the BNP contingent left the courts there was not a “protester” in sight.” They are now insisting that “this case is yet another example of who the real troublemakers are – the UAF and other unsavoury left wing Labour Party groups staging violent and pointless attacks.” However, they are reduced to vague polemicism because the specific accusations they have made about the original incident are now unravelling before their eyes.
After the attack in April, the BNP said that Tierney “was engaging in perfectly legal political activity” when “mob of violent Tory and Labour-supported UAF thugs started harassing him and the other BNP members, including women and elderly folk.” According to this version of events, Tierney “defended the women and the elderly members against the deranged leftists” who had “suddenly physically attacked the BNP people.”
One anti-fascist was arrested on an assault charge only once Tierney sought out the police to make the accusation, despite the BNP assertion that two “were immediately arrested by the police and dragged away.” The second man, of course, was the anti-fascist who had to be taken to hospital with head injuries after Tierney’s use of a camera tripod as a weapon. It now emerges that the accused anti-fascist is no longer faced with assault charges. He was arraigned a day after Tierney on one count of “criminal damage” for allegedly smashing on of the BNP’s cameras and will be tried for such at a later date. Clearly, the accusation that he “suddenly physically attacked” Tierney had no weight, given that the charge was dropped even before his arraignment.
03/09/2009 – Tierney enters a plea of “not guilty”
From a report on Truth, Reason & Liberty;
Unlike at the arraignment, three local BNP members – including Steve Greenhalgh, who was also involved in the St George’s Day incident – were at the court to greet him. Also there were contingents of Liverpool Antifascists and Merseyside Coalition Against Racism and Fascism (MCARF), who were handing out leaflets and letting the public know the true face of the BNP as well as some picketing and chanting.
At the same time Tierney’s brother Andrew, also a local BNP member, set up a camera tripod and began to film and take pictures of the antifascists, as well as of the Liverpool Echo photographer there to take pictures of the event for the paper. Whether he thought the photographer was a “red” or not, given the local party’s disdain for the paper due to its belief that only praise for the BNP qualifies as free speech, is unclear.
Throughout the course of the morning, the anti-fascists reported getting an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the general public, being able to give out over a thousand leaflets and stopping to engage with more than a few passers-by who wished us good luck or were curious to know more.
Meanwhile, Andrew Tierney continued filming and photographing, at one point crossing over the road so that he was on the same side as the leafleters. When asked by one whether he was with the BNP, he answered affirmatively before adding that he was also “in the media,” offering the man a business card for BBCollective Radio, essentially a radio mouthpiece for the BNP on Merseyside, which warns that “while our systems are being tested, these broadcasts will be short and without regularity.” What taking pictures and videos of “reds” that will no doubt make an appearance on Stormfront soon enough has to do with “the media” is anyone’s guess.
Eventually, Tierney attended his hearing and put in a plea of “not guilty.” He is due to attend a committal hearing at the Magistrates Court on October the 29th before facing trial at Liverpool Crown Court, most likely to take place in the new year. Afterwards, he left the court to jeers and heckling from anti-fascists before he was picked up by a black 4×4 and quickly left the scene.
Peter Tierney is not only a compulisve liar and deluded fantasist, but he is also a fascist who backs up his views with extreme violence against those who disagree. Liverpool Antifascists will not back down in the face of such violence or intimidation from him or any of his fellow suited-and-booted BNP thugs.
Our goal is simple;