Film ID:
YFA 4500

NATIONAL FRONT MARCH, ROTHERHAM

1976

Visitor Tabs

Description

This film documents a National Front demonstration in the heart of Rotherham. The filmmaker gets a street level view of the event, which also involves a large number of Anti-National Front protestors.

The film opens with police officers walking through a street in Rotherham. A large group of Anti-National Front protesters move down a hill, holding signs with slogans such as 'black and white unite' and 'Unity is strength racism divides'. The procession of Anti-NF supporters are flanked by several police officers, and some banners pass the camera for the 'Communist Party', 'Firth Brown Shop Stewards Committee', Ambrose Shardlow Shop Stewards Committee, Nottingham University Labour Clubs, Easterbrook Allcard Joint Shop Stewards Committee, Hull University, UCATT, Yorkshire Region, Sheffield AUEW Joint Shop Stewards Committee and 'Sheffield branch Young Community League'.

Parked police vans are briefly shown as the protesters are lead up a hill. A police car and a group of constables lead the procession, which, in one particular shot, stretches across the entire street.  Four helicopters in formation fly overhead, before officers stand at a top of a street watching as National Front supporters arrive in the distance.

The National Front supporters carry Union Jack flags and some close ups show their banners, which state the city where their National Front group is based: 'Leicester', 'Manchester' and 'Wolverhampton' are among the few. The NF supporters are lead through a channel of policemen, with Martin Webster carrying a megaphone.  Anti-National Front supporters walk past a BP petrol station, and many of the protestors are of Asian and Caribbean backgrounds. Several men are then put into the back of a police van and the final shots of this sequence show several coaches parked along a street.

The next sequence is of an Anti-National Front protest in Bradford (this is the same film as part of 4562, beginning at the gates of Oak Lane Park).  Protesters, some of which are dressed in fancy dress costumes, talking to policemen and handing out leaflets. The protestors then parade some paper-mache figures, using wooden rods to operate their arms, and some of the figures appear to be infamous fascists. The protesters then gather in a semi-circle facing the camera and there are good shots of the various costumes. The Anti-National Front supporters are then lead out of the park gates by several policemen, and one of the protesters is wearing a teddy bear suit.

The film returns to Rotherham, going back to the beginning of the day where anti-fascist protesters are congregating in a park.  They are led through several streets in Rotherham; some of the protesters dance, hold banners and one man plays a guitar. This sequence closes with the protesters walking down another street completely enveloped by police officers.

The next sequence begins in a square, where, outside a shop called 'Harts', protesters have converged in their hundreds as they wait for the NF supporters to pass by. The National Front supporters move into the immediate area, and a line of policeman is all that separates the two sides. There are then shots of a minor scuffle that breaks out, and police are filmed surrounding the offending parties.

The NF supporters continue to march through the city lead by police officers, again with Webster visible, and there are scenes of the police physically moving on Anti-National Front protesters who attempt to block the march. Now on 'Denmark Street, the anti-NF supporters are blocked by police as they chant at the NF supporters, one of them Sheffield Polytechnic student activist Johnny Donachie. The NF supporters continue on with thick walls of policemen ensuring their safe passage through the city, and as they pass by the filmmaker captures more shots of their signs: one of which reads, 'Kill the race bill'.

This sequence opens with many police vans parked along a street before there is a shot of a group of police man gathered round, talking. NF supporters then disembark from a bus carrying Union Jack flags. The protest then takes place on a large green and there are various shots of the NF supporters holding their banners as their protest moves off again,.  John Tyndale walks behind a van which has a loudhailer. Policemen lead the Nation Front supporters to the square where the shop 'Harts' is situated, and the Anti-National Front protesters can be seen waiting there.

The final passage opens with several police vehicles parked in a car park. There are then dark shots of people drinking tea and eating snacks in a room. Anti-NF protestors are then captured converging on a green and the filmmaker gets many shots of the crowd; showing people of various ethnicities. The protesters are led by police through the city centre of Rotherham and many of the crowd have megaphones.

Title - Rotherham June 1976.