August 20, 2008
Posted by Antifascist
Hundreds of people marched from Codnor to protest against the event causing road closures and residents say they were verbally abused by party members as they drove to the festival.
John Lumsden of Codnor Denby Lane said: "We had some verbal abuse from BNP members as they drove past but I don't think they'll be back here next year. Despite what the party says about the attendance we only counted 75 cars in the car park on Saturday. If they do try and hold the event here again the residents will do what they did before, object to it and try to stop it taking place."
A retired couple on Codnor Denby Lane who did not wish to be named said they did not want the festival to return to the area next year.
The woman said:"We'd rather it wasn't here next year. The BNP seem to have come out of it all a lot better than the protesters but we don't agree with fascism and would rather the festival take place somewhere else."
Becky Williams, from Notts Stop the BNP, said: "The BNP has chosen for another year to hold the festival in an area where it is not wanted. The people who live in this area are intimidated by the narrow views of the party, they don't represent the views of the majority of the people. It isn't what they want for their families."
Mark Longden, from Unite Against Fascism, said: "The views of the BNP are not credible, they encourage racism and hate and stand for fascist values. It's not right they have been allowed to get a base anywhere which attributes them credibility."
Labour MP for Amber Valley Judy Mallaber said she agreed with the group's right to a peaceful protest.
However on Friday British National Party leader Nick Griffin told The News that the party was grateful for the support of people in the local area that enabled them to stage the event.
Mr Griffin said: "We're very grateful to Alan for letting us hold the event here. We're looking at a number of sites potentially for next year and haven't decided where we want to go but this is a very central location, very convenient, the local people are very supportive and helpful so we may be back, we'll see. The Labour party and its supporters are quite entitled to demonstrate and we are entitled to be here with our families enjoying ourselves as well."
Ripley and Heanor News