Demonstrators march on Rotherham as police keep them apart

Protesters Jack and Callum said it was the right time to get involved
Protesters Jack and Callum said it was the right time to get involved
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English Defence League and counter demonstrators have taken to the Rotherham streets to make their views heard, as hordes of police keep them apart.

English Defence League and counter demonstrators took to the Rotherham streets to make their views heard on Saturday, as hordes of police kept them apart.

More than 500 police from as far as North Yorkshire and Merseyside kept far-right group the English Defence League and Rotherham Unite Against Fascism from facing each other.

The EDL supporters met outside the police station and marched to Rotherham Town Hall, while the other group gathered in the Minster Gardens.

More than 200 anti-fascism supporters came together quickly from 1pm, while the EDL supporter base took longer to build its numbers.

Young Sheffield University graduates Jack and Callum, who didn't want their last names to be used, were among those supporting the anti-fascism cause.

Both wore the red felt squares - the symbol of the 2012 protests for free education in Quebec, Canada - pinned to their coats.

Callum, 21, said he felt it was important to get involved.

"It seems like an important time," he said.

"Things are pretty intense at the moment, and they have been for some time."

Jack, 22, said he wanted to be part of taking a stand against fascism.

"Whenever fascism turns up, you've got to march against it, otherwise it normalises it," he said.

The police presence prevented The Star from moving from one group of protesters to the other.

A man who only wanted to be known as John said the EDL weren't racists. He spoke at the train station.

"We care about this country and what's happening to it," he said.