- Thursday, 02 August 2012
- Written by Rab Paterson Midlothian Trades Union Council
The following message has been sent out by Midlothian TUC following the attempt by the BNP to rally in the town of Dalkeith, Scotland:
On behalf of Midlothian Trades Union Council I would like to thank those who responded to the call to come to Dalkeith on the afternoon of Saturday, 28th July to confront Nick Griffen and to those unable to attend but who sent messages of support.
Initially it was not clear whether the BNP call to Dalkeith was a genuine one or a ploy to divert anti fascists from attending the rally in Glasgow . But Griffen and a few of his supporters did in fact arrive.
Dalkeith County Estate had contacted them to say they would be denied access to the Estate (their intended rallying point). The Police informed me that they would not be allowed to march to the town centre as they intended.
Police initially attempted to move anti fascist protesters to a cordoned off area several hundred yards from where the fascists were gathering. A group refused to be moved back. They informed the police they would rather be peaceably arrested and argue their case in court than concede the streets to the BNP. After a discussion among senior officers , the Police allowed the protesters to continue their vocal opposition from where they stood. Two rings of police surrounded the area designated to the fascists.
A member of the public had been walking his dog as Griffen arrived , after finding out from the police what 'all the fuss was about' joined the protest. As a result Griffen didn't even have an audience of one man and his dog in Dalkeith.
Griffen arrived with his driver and 4 minders . After they got out their cars , three anti fascists who had managed to elude the police cordon rushed towards them. A visibly shaken Griffen looked on as his minders intercepted the attackers. Police intervened and removed the protesters from the immediate vicinity.
Griffen spent an anxious half hour consulting his watch and his mobile before his few supporters arrived by car. In all, including Griffen, his driver and minders, 17 fascists arrived. All attempts by them to use their megaphone were drowned out by chants of 'fascist scum - off our streets.'
The fascists gathered under their 'Pro Fam ' banner. A sizeable number of 'Da Vinci Rapist' protesters made clear to the fascists that their attempts to hijack that particular campaign were unwanted and that they were not welcome in Midlothian .
Eventually Griffen and his crew gave up any further attempts at a rally and left in their cars.
Midlothian Trades Union Council
Tam Burke ( Edinburgh South West Labour Party and Prospect Trade Union, both in a personal capacity) adds: It was encouraging to have a good number of young people out actively opposing the fascists. Two of them had their” No Nazis in Dalkeith” banner displayed from a top floor tenement house by a resident. Student leaders from the local college were also to the fore in barracking Griffen and provoking the fascist’s withdrawal.