May 08, 2009
Posted by Antifascist
Thirty police officers, including four on horseback, kept the protesters away from The Fleets as party members turned up to chants of 'scum' and 'smash the BNP'.
George Arthur was one of the protest's organisers. He said Mr Griffin had been convicted for Holocaust denial and was not welcome in Barnsley. "The policies of Griffin's party are homophobic and racist. We want to see greater social cohesion in Barnsley not the hatred this man is going to bring."
Fleets owner Steve Dutton told the Chronicle he was not political and the decision to hire out the room was purely a business one. He said: "It might seem mercenary but I cannot afford to lose custom."
The BNP had held meetings at the pub for about a year, without any cause for concern, he said and added the pub was open to the whole community.
Council leader Steve Houghton was in London yesterday and unable to attend the protest but said he supported it. "I find it very disturbing that people with extremist views like Nick Griffin feel they can find a home in Barnsley. The BNP stands for racism and the far right - it does not represent the views of ordinary working people no matter how they dress it up."