Socialist Worker

Local people don’t want the Nazis in their area

Issue No. 2165

Residents of Codnor and Denby Village in Derbyshire’s Amber Valley have had to put up with the Nazis’ festival coming to town for three years now.

This is an ex-mining area, but most of the mining families – and the railway – left years ago when the collieries shut down.

BNP member Alan Warner was able to buy up some farmland here to hold the festival on after the BNP was chased off its previous site in Wales.

In Codnor some local people were angry at protesters for blocking the roads and causing disruption.

But most were on the anti-fascists’ side – they didn’t want the Nazis there either.

Jim, who was stuck in traffic for hours, said, “It’s holding us up obviously. But we’re just as against the BNP as you all are. So it’s fine.”

Patricia, another local stuck in the tailback, said, “I’m anti-BNP so I’m very happy to see this.

“I’m glad to sit in my car here for a while if it helps stop them.”

The protest was happening in a residential lane, right next to people’s houses.

But protesters were respectful, keeping off people’s gardens and not doing any damage.

One woman who lives on the blocked road told protest stewards that she wanted to get past as it was her birthday – so the protesters allowed her through and sang “happy birthday” to her as she walked by.

“That was very nice,” she said. “It’s made my day.”

Some people on the road allowed the protesters in to use their toilets and even gave them snacks and drinks.

Joe, who lives in the village, joined the rally in the market square.

“I thought, not on my effing doorstep,” he said. “Well done to all of you for organising this.”

As protesters marched down the road at the end of the day, people came out of their houses and leaned out of windows to clap and cheer.

“Thank you!” one shouted.

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