Thursday, 13 August 2009


A tense weekend lies in store for residents of Codnor, Loscoe and Denby as the annual British National Party Festival takes place, with campaigners vowing to stage a massive protest against the event.

Protesters against the Red, White and Blue festival have promised a bigger turn out than ever and say they are angry at police plans to restrict their rally to Codnor and a designated protest point near the site only.

Festival host and party member Alan Warner has said any trouble will come from opponents of his party rather than people attending the festival.

Acting Assistant Chief Constable of Derbyshire Police Steve Cotterill said: "Our main aim for this weekend is that it passes off peacefully and any disruption is kept to a minimum. We will not tolerate violent
or aggressive behaviour or criminal acts.

"We are asking people involved in the procession and protests to follow instructions of police officers in relation to orders that are in place. We will warn people if we feel they are breaking the orders and if they ignore us they face the possibility of arrest."

The police and Amber Valley Borough Council have succeeded in getting trespass assembly orders made in relation to the site of the festival, preventing groups of protesters going on the land.

The protesters have been told they will be allowed to march from Codnor Market Place down Codnor Denby Lane to a pre-designated protest site near the festival.

Protest organisers have expressed anger at the plans, saying people will be able to arrive at the festival through Denby without even being aware a protest against it is taking place.

One of the protest organisers, trade unionist Pete Radcliff, said: "Our initial objective was to be visible to the BNP members coming into the area and to make clear they are not welcome here.

"We are not happy about being corralled into one area of the borough and still hope to meet with the police where we will again give our reasons for being allowed to congregate in more than one area.

"We understand some major international fascist figures are coming in and it is wrong that they can swan into this area of the country and think they are welcome when that is not the case."

Mr Warner said: "I know the police have cameras down the lane and are going to be sending the helicopter up to film. They do not really tell us what they are doing.

"None of it will affect us on the site. It is members only, it is not open to members of the public, and it is a private do – I do not understand why the council feel they can get involved.

"I will be targeted afterwards as I have been for the last three years, but the show goes on. I am expecting a bigger turnout this year as it is the tenth one and we have just got two MEPs elected."

• Alfreton Road will be closed at its junction with High Holborn Road between 8am and 6pm on Saturday and a diversion will be in place via High Holborn Road and the A610. There will be vehicular access for residents.

Several footpaths in the Codnor Denby Lane area will also be closed over the weekend.

Section 12 of the Public Order Act 1986 has been used to impose conditions on the public procession, which will take place between Codnor Market Place and Codnor Denby Lane.

The protest march will set off from Codnor Market Place at around 11:45am on Saturday, and will follow the A6007 Heanor Road, Codnor to its junction with Codnor Denby Lane where it will turn right into Codnor Denby Lane adjacent to Crosshill Church. It will then continue along Codnor Denby Lane, to the area identified as the designated protest point, where it will halt.

At this location, a further public assembly may take place until 2pm, at which time the procession will turn around and return to the Market Place in Codnor via the same route.

The procession will be marshalled by the event organisers and accompanied by police officers.

Section 14 of the act has also been utilised to identify Codnor Market Place as a designated area for public assembly prior to and following the procession between 9am and 5pm.

Finally section 14a of the act has been invoked to prevent trespassory assemblies around the area known as The Bungalow in Codnor Denby Lane and the adjacent lands to an area that does not exceed a radius of five miles.

This part of the act prevents anyone trespassing on private land because of police fears that there may be disruption to the event and disruption to the community.

All the legislation has been used to prevent serious public disorder, damage to property and serious disruption to the life of the community.

All the orders run from 9am Friday August 14th to 4pm Sunday August 16th 2008. Anyone not abiding by the legislation may be liable to arrest.

Ripley & Heanor News

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