Film ID:
YFA 4508

ASIAN ALLIANCE/NATIONAL FRONT DEMOS

1980

Visitor Tabs

Description

This film chronicles two police operations: The first concerns an Asian Alliance (Anti-National Front) protest in Dewsbury, while the second features a National Front demonstration in Halifax. Both are similar events, with protestors gathering on greens in more suburban areas, before the demonstrators march through their city centres. The police operations predominantly involve escorting the demonstrators, and there are some interesting shots inside the police headquarters.

The film opens in a police station where several rows of policemen stand before a senior officer, who leads the men through the operations, pointing to a blackboard. The protestors are then shown gathered on a green in Dewsbury; several officers walk through the crowd, who wave banners and are mostly of Asian descent. The next shot shows a row of protestors holding homemade placards and a banner that reads 'Dewsbury - Bately Asian youth organisation', while several constables stand watch. An officer then talks into a radio, before more shots show the protest and some of the messages written on the homemade placards: 'Black and white unite' and 'Smash Nazi N.F. now'.

The Anti-National Front supporters march down a street carrying banners and plaques, while children run along the pavement beside and officers form a defensive wall around the flanks. The procession of protestors moves into commercial districts of the Dewsbury City centre, where various shops can be seen in the background. From an elevated position, the filmmaker gets a shot of the procession passing by, and the early 1980s fashions are clearly visible. There is then a close up of a sign outside a building which reads 'Dewsbury Socialist club - Tetley'. Several shots show young children amongst the crowd and some views of mounted police units, who escort the procession. The protestors continue to walk down streets in Dewsbury; they move beneath an arching bridge, cross a closed off junction and finally head inside Dewsbury Town Hall.

The next sequence captures a National Front march in Halifax. A small gaggle of NF supporters have converged on a green, many of whom hold Union Jack flags while policeman on the pavements keep an eye on them. A group of officers on horseback charge across a road, fending off some Anti-NF protestors throwing rocks at the NF demonstrators. Canine units are then dispatched to keep the protestors in check, and shot captures police holding German Sheppard on leashes in front of protestors, while the NF demonstration can be seen in the background. A dog is then captured nipping a protestor, before the actions returns to the NF demonstrators who gather around holding plaques and flags. Later shots show that some of the homemade plaques read 'Put your shirts on us we buy British' & 'Ban foreign imports'. Mounted units move into the road as more constables lead NF demonstration off; a marching band can also briefly be seen.

The next sequence captures the NF demonstration as it moves through Huddersfield. A line of protestors, flanked by constables and lead by mounted units, continue through the roads past members of the public, who watch, bemused. A woman is then shown filming the procession using an industry style television camera. The filmmaker then gets amongst the protestors, to capture the supporters in more detail; first police officers lead the marching drummers, and there are supporters who hold a banner that reads 'National Front says ban textile imports'.

There is then a brief shot which shows the sign for the 'Halifax Civic Theatre', before the camera pulls back to reveal the NF procession moving past. A cameraman is briefly caught filming from a rooftop, before there are more shots of the procession moving past with policemen and canine units escorting. A great shot captures a young woman holding a leaflet which reads 'Why you should oppose the National Front'. A police van and motorbike pass the camera.

The next sequence returns to a green in Dewsbury, where Anti-NF protestors hold plaques and banners. A senior policeman addresses the protestors before their procession is lead down a street, and a banner reads 'Dewsbury and Batley Asian youth organisation'. Policeman then form a defensive line, blocking a particular street, as the protestors march past towards Dewsbury town hall. The procession halts outside the town hall and many of the protestors block the entrance. Constables are scattered in lines around the pavements by Dewsbury train station, before a shot shows a man in handcuffs being led past the camera.

The next sequence show activities in a police headquarters control room; some officers use radios while others point to a map of Dewsbury. There are then a shot of a cameraman on filming the protest scenes from a room, and the pictures are beamed to CCTV monitors in the control room. Nationalist supporters have gathered on a pavement and hold a banner that says 'British movement. Yorkshire'. Panning across, the filmmaker captures a line of the supporters who uniformly wear blue denim jeans and dark jackets; many have short haircuts. Some close ups show some plaques that read 'We whites also want jobs'. Officers then rest in the back of a police van, before a helicopter is captured flying overhead. The film concludes with people making Nazi salutes towards the camera.