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A day to remember in Codnor as anti-fascists drown out the BNP’s festival of rac

Ian | 16.08.2009 16:58 | Stop the BNP's Red White and Blue festival | Anti-racism | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements | Oxford

People from Oxford helped to peacefully but determinedly occupy one of the roads leading to the BNP's festival of hate for 5 hours on Saturday in Codnor, Derbyshire in spite of police efforts to clear the road and one very weak attempt by a group of BNP thugs to get through - the rest kept there distance and eventually turned back. So much for the master race. Below is a more report from the Unite Against Fascism website on the protest

From UAF website

Anti-fascists were jubilant on Saturday after over 2,000 protesters marched and rallied in Codnor, Derbyshire, against the British National Party's "Red, White & Blue" rally being held in area that weekend.

The main body of the protests involved a 1,500 strong march from Codnor Market Place up to the site of the BNP's festival of race hate. A separate group of 500 anti-fascists occupied road a junction in the nearby village of Denby, causing severe disruption to the fascist event and at some points blockading it completely.

The two groups of demonstrators joined together in the afternoon outside Crosshill Church in Codnor for a united march back to the market place.

One of the favourite chants on the day captured the spirit of unity against the BNP: "We are black, white, Asian and we're Jew / And they're many, many more of us than you."

Earlier in the day there were sets of protesters occupying both ends of Codnor-Denby Lane, thereby "kettling" the BNP rally and preventing any BNP members or their guests from getting to the event. Protesters came in coaches from across the country, from Glasgow to Portsmouth.

There were angry scenes at the entrance to the "Red, White & Blue" as the anti-fascist march was prevented from marching past the site by lines of police vans, officers and horses. But by and large the protesters were confident and good-humoured but resolute in their opposition to the fascists.

Unite Against Fascism is aware of around a dozen anti-fascists arrested on the day, mostly those involved in occupying road junctions. We believe that such tactics of non-violent direct action are a legitimate response to the BNP's racist thuggery and we do not believe anyone should be arrested for such actions.

Weyman Bennett, joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism, said:

"This was a great day for anti-fascists. We brought more protesters to Codnor this year than the numbers the BNP managed to attract to its 'festival' of race hatred. They had fewer people attending this year because the protests drove away their softer supporters.

"Protesters also managed to cause real disruption to the event by making it difficult if not impossible for the BNP's supporters and guest speakers to get into the event.

"Today we saw what can happen when black and white, young and old, Muslim and Jew, gay and straight, come together in unity to fight the fascist BNP. We now need to build this anti-fascist movement in every locality where the Nazis are active – and drive the BNP out of town."

We also like singing "You can't get to your fascist jamboree, your fascist jamboree, your fascist jamboree" to the tune of yellow submarine.

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