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Rotherham businesses suffer after second protest in town

Rotherham Town Centre in lock down as the National Front threaten to cause disruption in the town

Rotherham Town Centre in lock down as the National Front threaten to cause disruption in the town

ANGRY traders have hit out at far right extremist groups demonstrating in their town after a second protest took place in Rotherham at the weekend.

Shop keepers and business owners said trade was being damaged because members of the public were chosing to stay away from the town centre on protest days.

For the second time in a fortnight the normally busy town was empty as around 40 members of the National Front staged a protest outside the former library and civic buildings in Drummond Street.

Police were prepared for trouble to break out and leave was cancelled as around 850 officers took to the streets.

The demonstrations passed off peacefully and no arrests were made.

A ring of steel was thrown around All Saints Square where 700 members of the Unite Against Facism gathered to oppose the protest.

The police operation came just two weeks after a march by the English Defence League and a counter protest by Unite Against Facsism.

General Store owner Richard Nutt said: “I have never seen anything like it. I just wish these people would do this somewhere else.

Another trader said: “Why do they keep coming here? Most people are totally against them and are staying away from town because they fear trouble. I have had just three customers through the door this morning - it’s ruining us.”

Former miner Steve Arno, 52, said: “This is costing Rotherham a fortune, not only in paying for the extra police and in lost trade, but it’s costing the town its reputation.

“Why do they keep coming here? Rotherham is not a racist place and we have no real problems with it.”

 

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