March 04, 2008

Move to fight Amber Valley BNP festival

Battle lines are already being drawn over plans to hold the British National Party's annual Red, White and Blue festival in Amber Valley again this summer.

Party member and former Heanor councillor Alan Warner hosted the event on his land near Denby last summer and despite major complaints from nearby residents says he plans to do so again this year.

Mr Warner said: "The application for a liquor and entertainment licence has already gone in and we're waiting for the outcome of that. We wanted to get it banged in early because there will be more things going on here this year and more people. We've got another 14 acres to use this year thanks to a neighbour of mine opening up his fields. He was put off last year but everything went off all right so he says he's not going to be dictated to by the protesters and we can use his land. There was no trouble last time according to the police. They came onto the site four times a day and were quite happy."

Mr Warner promises the festival will be bigger and better than last year with a big wheel, dodgems, children's rides and even a massive blimp bearing the BNP logo hovering overhead.

A website has been set up to call for more organised opposition than last year when a lone protester with a placard saying "no to racism" picketed the site.

A spokesman for the nobnpfestival website said: "The BNP is a far right nationalist party. Its politics are divisive and designed to stir up hysteria around immigration. The RWB festival is intended to draw new recruits into the party and consolidate these disgraceful politics. In 2007, Amber Valley Council granted the organisers entertainment licenses in spite of widespread local protest. Anti-fascists did not mobilise in time to help stop the festival. We are determined that will not happen this year."

The site's organisers say they intend to draw together thousands of people who oppose the BNP and protest against the festival.

Mr Warner said: "If we're going to have thousands here protesting then let them come. This is a family festival and there'll be no trouble from us. I don't know where they're all going to park because they can't park on the road - we have on site parking for BNP members."

Belper News

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