Around 600 protesters blocked the road outside BBC Television Centre in the run up to BNP leader Nick Griffin's controversial appearance on the Question Time show. A further 25 anti-fascist protesters broke into Television Centre. The BBC told its staff to stay in their offices. Griffin had to be smuggled in and out of the BBC through a back entrance. Protests also took place in other nationwide locations, including the BBC's offices in Northern Ireland. The protests resulted in six arrests and injuries to three police officers.
Why the protest?
Unite Against Fascism believes the BBC should not have given a platform for Griffin to express his views, because it will strengthen his support. In a press release, the group said: 'The BBC's public duty to protect our multi-racial society should take precedence over its hunt for ratings and fake controversy.'
How did the media cover it?
The BBC broadcast the protest live on news bulletins as the show was about to air. It was also featured on other broadcast news, and the pictures were used in most UK newspapers the following day. The build-up to the protest featured in Time magazine, under the headline: 'Should bigoted speech be free? A debate in Britain.'