Warwick Town Bonfire Ignore Fear of Protesters

Warwick Town Bonfire organisers are presistent that organised firework nights are completely acceptable, after a petition to ban the public use of fireworks continues to gain more attention.

The petition, which launched last month now has over 30,000 signatures and the figure is expected to rise after the attention of bonfire night.

The West Midlands, home to various bonfire nights have responded to the concerns raised by protesters and say they remain confident that organised bonfires don’t cause the same issues.

On Saturday night around 6000 people attended the Warwick Town Bonfire event, which was held at Warwick Racecourse. The organiser of the night, Jackie Crampton explained why she isn’t concerned about the use of fireworks “over the last five years we’ve been subject to a lot of scrutiny from the district council. Their health and safety team have taken a great deal of interest in what we do and helped to make sure we run a safe event. I was actually not aware of any issues.” However, she went on to say “It does concern me that people can pick up fireworks from a supermarket and set them off on the street.”

Jackie advises people to go to organised bonfire nights, where the safety of everyone has been considered.

However, this isn’t enough for Julie Doorne, who started the petition back in October. She explained what she hopes the campaign will achieve ”the government doesn’t seem to understand the real problem with fireworks. The real problem is random fireworks, the fireworks people just set off randomly throughout the year.”

Julie argues that the problem isn’t fireworks themselves but the fact that they are set off for months surrounding bonfire night. She believes that these random fireworks cause stress to terrified animals but also to people who are hypersensitive to them. Julie has heard countless accounts from people where fireworks have caused nothing but trouble. She tells the account of one story that really pulled on her heartstrings.

Organised bonfire nights continue to promote the use of fireworks but the organisers of Warwick Town Bonfire feel that they aren’t just about the celebration of Guy Fawkes but are an important part of the education system. They believe they teach children about the start of terrorism, as Jackie explained how she got schools involved in the organisation of the event “we got the local schools to make a couple of Guy Fawkes for us so they learnt about the history of the event.” She continued “he was actually one of the original terrorists, he was trying to change the government and the ruling parties so there’s nothing new about bombing. It’s helpful for children to understand that there were bad people around even then, who got punished for their actions.”

It’s clear that the public use of fireworks is becoming an increasing concern and that organised bonfire nights encourage the use of them. Fireworks might be used for fun but how long will it be until the fear they bring can’t be ignored.

Jemma Cullum

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