Socialist Worker

BNP thugs cower behind police lines

Issue No. 2165

Hundreds of police officers, many on horses or with dogs, protected the Red, White and Blue event.

Surveillance teams, metal barriers, helicopters and even a low-flying “drone” backed them up.

This was the only reason the BNP was able to go ahead with its “festival”.

At least £500,000 of public money was ploughed into the police operation.

Yet heavy policing and threats of arrests failed to deter hundreds of anti-fascist protesters from taking direct action to block roads.

At the south blockade, the police were only able to open the road for a period by physically pushing or dragging people out the way.

Some protesters were grabbed by the neck and moved to the side.

Bizarrely this was followed by a police officer with a megaphone demanding to know if anyone needed medical attention.

Some protesters joked that this was the new face of “responsible” post-G20 policing – push people around and then offer them assistance.

Anti-fascists were not intimidated by the police or the Nazis, and continued their protests throughout the day.

Threats of mass arrests also failed to disperse people as protesters defiantly held their ground.

At two of the blockades, protesters held the road for several hours.

Some 19 protesters were arrested, with four charged with public order offences or obstructing a highway.

Some others have been bailed pending further police investigation.

A statement from Unite Against Fascism said, “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.”

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