This film is part of Free

Asian Alliance/National Front Demos

A rare behind the scenes film of the police, and both sides of the conflict, in action at anti-fascist demos in Dewsbury and Halifax, notable for Asian self-organisation.

Non-Fiction 1980 12 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


An early example of the Asian community organising themselves against the provocation and violence of the extreme right when they march in Dewsbury and Halifax in 1980. This police made film shows all three parties to the conflict: the National Front, those opposing them and the police themselves, giving an insight into police tactics and conveying the tension on all sides as the day’s events unfold.

This is one of a large collection of films made by West Yorkshire Police, mainly from the 1960s and 1970s, with demonstrations of one kind or another prominent. About a dozen of these cover demonstrations relating to anti-fascist activities in the 1970s, mainly in Bradford, but also in Huddersfield and Rotherham as well as here in Dewsbury and Halifax. The National Front used street marches throughout the 1970s to gain support, with the Anti-Nazi League being formed in 1977. In 1980 the National Front was in some disarray as Thatcher had stolen some of their thunder in the general election the previous year. In 1982 they split with John Tyndale forming the British National Party.