Campaigners to take part in city ‘justice’ event

Rotherham town centre split by a wall of riot vans
Rotherham town centre split by a wall of riot vans

Hillsborough and Orgreave campaigners are set to take part in a ‘justice’ convention in Sheffield this weekend.

The event at Sheffield Hallam University on Saturday has been organised in support of the ‘Rotherham 12 Defence Campaign’ – which is calling for criminal charges to be dropped against a group of Pakistani men allegedly involved in violent disorder after a Britain First demonstration in the town last year.

Among those due to attend are Civil rights advocate Suresh Grover, who has previously been involved in campaigning for the family of Stephen Lawrence, and Imran Khan, the barrister for the Lawrence family.

Also in attendance will be representatives of the British Muslim Youth group and Tell Mama, an organisation that records hate crimes against Muslims.

A spokesman said the convention will ‘discuss the systemic existence of institutional racism and injustice in the state, the criminal justice system and in particular, the growth of the far right in British society, as well as the spike in hate crimes currently’.

The spokesman said the ‘Rotherham 12 Defence Campaign’ believes that the men should not have been charged due to the number of far-right marches that have taken place in the town.

He said: “The event intends to promote and build on the existing campaign by inviting both local and national speakers to not only support the campaign but to also provide their campaign experiences.”

One of the 12 accused men has already pleaded guilty to a charge of violent disorder in a court appearance in December.

The remaining 11 defendants face a potential trial in October after entering not guilty pleas.

A separate trial of seven other men from Rotherham and West Yorkshire alleged to have been involved in the disorder is scheduled to follow in November.

The Crown Prosecution Service said earlier this year that they intend to proceed with the case against the men.