Film ID:
YFA 4502



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This film shows the policing of a National Front meet at a Bradford school in 1979. Not only documenting the procedures employed to keep peace between protesters and the National Front, the film also severs as an interesting example of how South Yorkshire police integrated there operations into foreign environments, as the school classrooms are transformed into surveillance and medical facilities.

On a school sports field a policeman walks past the camera with a German Sheppard, and there are shots of the school car park, where many police vans are parked. Officers enter the school grounds preparing for the meet, while civilians watch from a nearby window. Policemen stand in a line on a street just outside the school, and there are views of the street which show many of the houses boarded up in anticipation. This sequence closes with various close ups of police emblems on the panels of different vehicles.

A group of constables then wait around the mouth of a lane by the school, and this is followed by various close ups of officers who stand in a line blocking another street. An ambulance and other police vehicles are then shown stationary in the school car park, before there are shots that show a first aid room, which has been set up in a classroom. The filmmaker then gets a close up of a CCTV monitor: a large group of constables are gathered on a street, while a small group of Anti-National Front supporters stand in the road. The filmmaker then captures the communication room set up in another classroom; several radios are mounted on desks, a map of the area is pinned to a board and senior officers discuss the operation.

A camera man is then captured filming the Anti-National Front supporters who have converged outside the school, and there are more shots of the supporters standing on the nearby streets. A street sign that reads 'Wellington RD' is briefly shown. Television crews, with equipment such as boom microphones and tripods, are then shown setting up. Policeman march in tight formation down a road and a police aerial can be made out above the rooftops. A mounted police unit is then captured arriving on the scene, and the filmmaker captures the unit as they wait. Some Anti-National Front supporters are then shown hemmed along the pavement by a line of policeman, and some of their banners read 'Asian youth movement Bradford' and 'Indian workers association'.

Policemen are filmed having cups of tea, while inside a school hall wooden chairs are laid out by a man for the National Front meet.

A horde of police officers are then captured in the school grounds, some of which form a wall at the school entrance. The first few National Front members arrive at the school entrance, and they are promptly searched by constables. More shots show the Anti-National Front supporters being held back by police in tight lines as the atmosphere grows tenser. A large procession of National front supporters, many of whom carry Union Jacks, are led past the protestors by mounted officers towards the school, however this sequence is incredibly short.

Police vehicles then drive past the Anti-National Front supporters, who line both sides of the pavement, and some shots capture protestors heaving against the police blockade. Some men are then lead down a street by officers to a lane, where the men are searched by a plain clothes officer. A young mixed race boy is then lead away by two officers who grasp his arms. A brief glimpse inside the school shows officers standing round a desk taking details from an offender. A shot from midst of the Anti-National Front supporters show some of the fashions, which include sports jackets and woollen jumpers.

The Policemen again march past the camera and there are more views of the protesters - many of whom are adolescents. A small scuffle then breaks out, but the cameras view is obscured by a crowd of police office surrounding the incident. Several protestors are then physically hauled way; a woman wearing a leather jacket is dragged across the road, while others struggle and have be literally carried away. The offenders are then marched through the school playground, and many of the offenders are of diverse ethnicities. The last few shots in this sequence show officers huddling in the school grounds.

An arrested protester is then led through the school by officers, before the filmmaker captures exterior views of the school building itself. Thick rows of policeman continue to hem in the protesters as the light begins to fade, and there are more shots of officers taking a break in the school grounds, drinking cups of tea. Inside a classroom, a row of officers sit at school desks and work the radios, before the filmmaker captures a shot of a white board that has many markings detailing the police operation. There are then several close up shots of older senior officers sitting, discussing the events, before the action moves outside again to show the darkened streets faintly illuminated by street lamps. The film closes with policemen playing cards in classroom.