Between 15 and 17 August, the British National Party will be holding its annual Red, White and Blue "festival" at Codnor-Denby in Derbyshire on land owned by former BNP councillor Alan Warner. For months now, local anti-fascist groups and trade unions have been working to organise a protest on 16 August.
This protest was initiated by Nottinghamshire Stop the BNP, a campaign launched in January by a conference of one hundred labour movement, student and anti-fascist activists sponsored by local unions including FBU, UCU, Unison and the NUT. Notts Stop the BNP aims to build an anti-fascist movement on a working-class basis - mobilising mass action to physically confront the fascists and raising social demands around issues like jobs, homes and services to undercut their base.
The protest also involves Derby Unite Against Fascism, other local anti-fascist groups and a multitude of trade union organisations. East Midlands Unison, East Midlands TUC and the rail union RMT are sponsoring it, and RMT general secretary Bob Crow will be speaking.
Unfortunately, the national Unite Against Fascism organisation has been less keen to support the protest. After months of refusing to acknowledge the issue at all - ignoring repeated invitations to come and get involved in the organisation of the protest, and refusing to announce it from the platform at various national events - UAF has now called its own protest, taking place just down the road and at a different time from where and when the main protest is taking place!! (The UAF website implies that theirs is the only protest and supported by all the sponsors, but this is simply not true.)
UAF leader Weyman Bennett met representatives of the local campaign - including the chair of Derby UAF and a representative of East Midlands TUC - on Friday 25 July, but refused to agree to the amalgamation of the protests.
This is bizarre and outrageous behaviour.
UAF is dominated by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP); it may be that its leadership are reluctant to support a protest that they do not control, and one organised with the involvement of other socialist groups. If so, they should sober up! This protest is far too important to let sectarianism get in the way. We call on UAF to enter negotiations with the local campaign for the amalgamation of their protest into the main one, so that we can strike at the BNP and their racist "festival" with a single fist.
Meanwhile, we urge the labour movement and anti-fascists to mobilise for the protest.
For more details, including a contact email for transport, how to support the campaign and where to go on 16 August, see
For the Facebook group for the protest, see