The protest against the Trafalgar Club Dinner at the Chase Hotel was different to recent protests in that it was a home grown affair. Homemade banners and posters, very clearly local people unhappy that not just had the BNP had chosen their part of the world to defecate in, but that a local hotel, used by the community was hosting it.
As I arrived shortly before 6, the Police seemed to be setting a rendezvous point to the north of the town and that was the direction a number of partially-filled minibuses arrived later on. The police presence was heavy, although there were only about 30 on the gate (significant numbers in reserve) – there were 50-100 of us – and as the mugs/guests arrived in minibuses or cars they were greeted with cries of ‘Shame On You’ and the Police line pushed. At one point a member of Antifa was taken off for a chat.
One car (with dress shirt hanging in the back) pulled up as if to turn in and then drove off not to return – did they see the light? A highlight was a Volvo estate – the sudden jerky reversing skills amused us (but not the police) and seeing it get egged was a nice touch. Also we felt privileged to get a two fingered salute from the passenger of one minibus – rather fat and a Brons lookalike, but then all fascists look the same in the dark.
On my way back to my home in a place even more remote than Llanerfyl I mulled over the winners and losers;
- The BNP were reminded yet again that they and their ideas provoke revulsion, it must have been like eating in the hotel in ‘The Shining’ – you were the only people in the hotel, so you, real Billy No Mates LOSE!!
- The Taxpayer – I believe that 150 police were involved that night to protect Gri££in and the Trafalgar Club – we have to pay for it, so We the people LOSE.
- The Hotel - the story seemed to be that you were allegedly hoodwinked into the booking and that you couldn’t cancel it. If this is the case, it really doesn’t wash, the law covering hotels and licensed premises gives ample methods to cancel, particularly if there was deception as to the real purpose of the event.
Hosting the BNP you will discover is a good way of losing business and we have an economic downturn; you are now in the same league as the New Kimberley Hotel in Blackpool! Haven’t they have just gone out of business? So Chase Hotel Ross-on-Wye, you LOSE!
However, for the community of Ross-on-Wye it was a protest where many local people who had never protested about anything before (and indeed had never met before) came together to show their disgust and disapproval of the BNP and the hotel for its support of fascism and its disregard for the community by hosting the event. Build on it and keep on working together – if there is a winner, as a community, You WIN!