EDL to hold new demonstration in Rotherham tomorrow

An EDL protest in Rotherham in September 2014
An EDL protest in Rotherham in September 2014
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The English Defence League is returning Rotherham on Easter Saturday – the 12th demonstration in the town in less than two years by far-right groups.

The organisation have announced plans to hold a demonstration tomorrow, with Unite Against Fascism planning a counter-demonstration.

Police have said the demonstrators will not be allowed to march through the town centre, with the EDL being kept on Greasbrough Road and UAF on Chapel Walk.

The protests will take place between 1.30pm and 3.30pm.

Concerns have been raised with police by Unite Against Fascism about the planned EDL demonstration following disorder after a Britain First march in September.

The march came just weeks after 81-year-old Muslim pensioner Mushin Ahmed was murdered in a racist attack.

A recent independent report ordered by Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings said there have been 11 protests in Rotherham since the publication of the Jay report, which revealed at least 1,400 children had been the victims of sexual exploitation, with the majority of offenders coming from the Pakistani community.

The ‘Police Protests in Rotherham’ review said ‘virtually all’ of the 20 protests across South Yorkshire since October 2012 have been organised by far-right groups.

It said: “The protests of recent years have levied a considerable cost - on traders, on relations in the wider community of Rotherham, and on the police (paid for out of public funds).”

The report said the cost of policing recent protests had reached £4 million, while traders in Rotherham town centre have suffered as a result of people staying away on days when marches have been taking place.