Film ID:
YFA 4509



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This film documents a CND protest at RAF Finningley, which was a Royal Air Force station near Doncaster, South Yorkshire. The protest took place on the 30th of July, 1970, and involved both men and women demonstrating against the Nuclear weapons storage facility housed at the base. There are some fascinating scenes that show a number of protestors attempting to block the base gates. The film was made by the West Riding Metropolitan Police, and was commissioned to document the operations, whilst also fulfilling surveillance requirements, and as a result, some portions of the film are clearly edited for this purpose

The film opens with a title designed like a West Riding Constabulary calendar, and the month is set to July and there are several lines that lead from the month heading the date: 30th. There is then a shot of fence which has a sign that reads 'Royal Air Force - Finningley'. On a street near the RAF base, a man wearing an air-force style jacket holds one end of a banner that reads 'Operation Finningley', while a woman in dark baggy trousers holds the other. The banner holding couple are followed by a steady stream of protestors, mostly dressed in suits, while women wear skirts and cardigans.

The protestors then squat in front of the RAF base gates, and officers stand behind the gates accessing the situation. The gates are opened and a truck roles forward towards the protestors, stopping only feet away. The protestors, comprising of men, women and children, are asked to move by the officers, but they refuse to budge. The male protestors put up no resistance as they are picked by policeman and put into the back of truck, while photographers take pictures and a large crowd watch in the background. The female protestors are also carried away, this time by female police officers.

A shot of a large crowd is then captured; some stand by their bicycles watching as the RAF trucks role past. A procession of protesters is then captured by the filmmaker using quick shots to capture their banners, some of which read 'Birmingham youth C.N.D', 'Leicester campaign for disbarment', 'Doncaster wake up', 'Keep death from the dales' and 'operation foulness'. There are again quick shots of some cars that are involved in the protest, and one car has a rocket strapped to its roof with a message that reads 'Ban the bomb'.

The procession moves down a street past the camera, and many ages and genders are represented. More banners show what groups are represented in the march: 'Doncaster Nuclear disarmament' and 'Leeds for nuclear disarmament'. The film closes with the protestors walking down a street with a sign in the foreground that reads 'Armthorpe'.