Saturday, August 15, 2009


Protesters at the rally
Hundreds of anti-fascists voiced their opposition to the event

About 1,500 protesters gathered in Derbyshire to oppose the BNP's 10th annual Red, White and Blue festival.

The march in and around Codnor passed off mostly peacefully, but a few people were arrested after efforts were made to push past a designated protest area.

At least four men were led away in handcuffs after scuffles broke out, and missiles, including bags of flower, eggs and fruit, were thrown at police.

Most of the demonstrators were watched by an aerial camera mounted on a drone.

About 200 officers with eight police horses were on duty.

Earlier a "small number" of arrests were made near Codnor after protesters "acted unlawfully" near the site of the festival, police said.

The number of people arrested throughout the day has not been specified by police.

Demonstrators from United Against Fascism joined forces with the TUC and Amber Valley Campaign against Racism.

A letter condemning the event was published on Friday on United Against Fascism's website, with signatories including former London Mayor Ken Livingstone and children's author Michael Rosen.

The letter said: "We condemn the BNP and its festival of race hate, and we urge people to reject this party's poisonous and anti-democratic agenda."

Earlier this week the BNP's deputy leader Simon Darby said: "It's not in our interests to cause trouble.

"We're up there with our wives, girlfriends and children."

Last year more than 30 protesters were arrested near the site, but no-one was charged with an offence.




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