August 16, 2008
Posted by Antifascist
They may well have got their way. Around two hundred and fifty police officers, some in riot gear, were deployed, plus a helicopter was keeping an eye on things from above for most of the day. The cost must have been astronomical - and all to protect a load of fascists, their minders and scum like Petra Edelmannova, chair of the far-right Czech National Party, who is a guest of the BNP this weekend.
The march from the village to the site was marred by a brief fracas between anti-fascists and BNP members after the former were attacked by the latter. The groups were separated by police. On several occasions, anti-fascists tried to break through police lines to enter the RWB site itself but were beaten back by riot police and officers with dogs. Apart from these brief interludes, the event went off peacably, with the assistant chief constable of Derbyshire Police Peter Goodman stating: 'We did have an incident which took place with a small number of people, but the majority of people who have come here today behaved impeccably.'
Six arrests were made during the attempts to break through police lines (including across the fields behind the site) but a further twenty-seven occurred as the groups began to disperse and return to their homes or vehicles, when they were in many cases set upon by BNP supporters.
Once back on the radio, one of our group pointed out that the police referred to us as 'reds' all the way through the day, including the anarchists - described as a 'bunch of reds' even though they were dressed all in black. Nice to know the police aren't biased in any way.
At 1214 a message was sent to BNP security stating, 'security on the front gate, be aware the reds are on their way up'. There were a number of delays which led to the BNP's Head of Security Martin Reynolds getting in a major panic and yelling for help from the police and anyone else in the vicinity, leading to the police having to tell him (at 1310) to 'breathe deep and calm down...there's too many security on the main gate and it's starting to look a bit shabby'.