Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Fury at BNP rally in community centre

EMOTIONS ran high as more than 60 people staged a protest against the BNP as the far right party held a rally at a Cleveleys community centre.
The protesters waved placards and shouted as BNP supporters went inside the Frank Townend Centre on Beach Road last night.

Police were drafted in to prevent trouble flaring outside as around 40 people arrived at the meeting to hear from James Clayton, BNP candidate in Wyre Council's forthcoming Jubilee ward by-election.

Four people were turned away at the door.

Stephen Howard, 32, from Cleveleys, who was one of those refused entry, said: "I wanted to go in just to see what their opinions were but I'm not allowed in.

"I was born here, I pay my taxes, I have a happy family – is there any reason I shouldn't be there? It's ignorance, they are uneducated."

Mr Clayton, who spoke in the meeting about forming a Wyre branch of the BNP, said non-members were turned away because the meeting room "was at full capacity".

He said: "The meeting is for supporters we have invited. With this being a new group, people who have enquired about the party have been invited."

Local protesters were joined by members of the North West Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and Lancaster Unity and unions.

Labour group leader Coun Clive Grunshaw, who last week called for Wyre Council to refuse the BNP permission to hold the rally at the council-owned centre, was also there.

He said: "They are a racist party. They should not be allowed to organise meetings in the centre."

And Jain Gawne, who runs Blackpool and Fleetwood UAF, said: "The community centre should be for the whole community, no matter what their colour or religion, and not for groups who are racist. "

But Mr Clayton defended the BNP and said they were now a legitimate political party.

He added: "The protesters have got a right to be there, but it's the same old lines and the same old hysteria. A lot of these people will not be from the local area, they will be from Manchester and Lancaster University."


Troobloo says:

Actually Mr Clayton, most of the protesters were from the local area unlike the majority of the fascists inside the hall who weren't. BTW since when was 40 people full capacity for the community centre???

ItzNotWotItWoz says:

The irony is laughable.
They call themselves "anti-facists" and yet they want to ban a legitimate political party from meeting.
They ARE the facists!

Frustrated says:

But a lot of Labour and Conservative party meetings wouldn't allow non-members in. And the public aren't allowed at all council meetings or to parts of public buildings either.
Whilst the BNP are a legitmate polticial party they should be allowed to hold meetings just like everyone else. Just how do you know those inside weren't local? Just how do you know they were facists? The allegations against them seem to be "well they don't actually say it, but it's what we know they are from our superior superpowers of thought reading". If any evidence of race-hate comes to light then I'm sure the police and CPS will deal with it.

By Julia Bennett - The Gazette

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