The demo arrives...Well over two hundred anti-fascists attended an enthusiastic and lively demonstration outside the wretched New Kimberley Hotel in Blackpool yesterday, in a protest at the British National Party bringing its conference to Blackpool for the third year in a row. Demonstrators and speakers came from as far away as Oxford and speakers for the day represented numerous organisations including Blackpool and Fleetwood UAF, UNISON, Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre TUC, Barrow and South Cumbria UAF, Lancaster University SAAR, North-West UAF, the NUT, national UAF, Manchester UAF, Gay Activist's Alliance International and the CWU.
The demo began with us gathering outside the rear entrance to the Winter Gardens, where a couple of pro-BNP louts shouted abuse for no apparent reason. We heard a number of speakers there, then marched briskly along the prom, giving out hundreds of leaflets and receiving many supporting cheers on the way to South Shore, where we gathered for the demo proper outside the tatty New Kimberley Hotel, a hazard to humans though not, apparently, to members of the BNP, which tells us quite a lot about the party.
There is a reasonable report on the demo (that sadly includes a moment of Nick Griffin) which you can access by going here and clicking on Latest News Bulletins over on the right. Just select the one for Saturday and there we are.
According to our man in the BNP's security team, they spent most of the day concerned with the seating arrangements for lunch and dinner - at least until someone asked for a glass of water and nobody could find any. Headless chickens, was the phrase used. Here's a tip for future members of possibly the most idiotic security team the BNP has ever put together - use the tap.
Security spent a good deal of Saturday worrying about someone who was round the rear of the Kimberley, apparently taking photographs of the hell-hole from the back. This caused major panic, mostly because with the police in close proximity the heavies couldn't just go out and beat the crap out of the guy and nick his camera. Jefferson was eventually forced to order the bovine Martin Reynolds to go and speak to the police while his mates took a note of the photographer's vehicle registration number - no doubt soon to appear on Redwatch. Reynolds had no idea how to do this and was humiliatingly lectured by the appallingly arrogant Jefferson on what he should say, how to say it and told in no uncertain terms to get on with it.
Thank you to everyone who made the effort to turn out, particularly to our many friends who travelled from well out of the area. Many thanks also to our speakers who all did a sterling job and our great thanks to the many members of the Blackpool public who stopped to chat or who were driving past but gave us the thumbs-up. Even the weather behaved itself (for a change).
Remember, this 'conference' was the starting point for Nick Griffin's attempt to heave himself on to the European Parliament. They started their campaign for Europe at Blackpool - for no reason other than that the New Kimberley is the only rancid shithole in the country that will take the scum of the BNP for a whole three days. Saturday's demonstration should be seen as the beginning of a massive and unrelenting campaign to keep Griffin and the rest of his party out of Europe. Let's keep them out!