VIDEO AND PICTURES: EDL and anti-fascist groups demonstrate in Sheffield

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English Defence League protesters brought part of Sheffield city centre to a standstill today during a right-wing rally.

About 200 EDL supporters gathered in the city centre for their protest, which was organised following the revelations of child sexual exploitation in South Yorkshire.

The EDL protest in Sheffield and the counter protest plus the massive police precence in the city centre

The EDL protest in Sheffield and the counter protest plus the massive police precence in the city centre

At the same time, a counter-protest by Sheffield Unite Against Fascism and One Sheffield Many Cultures, with about 100 participants, was held at the top of Fargate.

South Yorkshire Police has confirmed there were no arrests during the protests.

EDL members, who were chanting and waving flags, gathered in Surrey Street and Tudor Square before they began their march to South Street Park.

Large numbers of police officers, including mounted officers, oversaw the demonstrations.

The EDL protest in Sheffield and the counter protest plus the massive police precence in the city centre

The EDL protest in Sheffield and the counter protest plus the massive police precence in the city centre

Ian Crossland, Yorkshire regional organiser for the EDL, said: “We have come down to highlight the failings in child protection, to protect the victims of sexual exploitation.

“It’s been hidden and swept under the carpet.”

Reports suggest that each EDL protest costs the taxpayer about £500,000 for policing, and diverts resources from other work.

Mr Crossland said: “We don’t want it to cost but the cost is inevitable.

The EDL protest in Sheffield and the counter protest plus the massive police precence in the city centre

The EDL protest in Sheffield and the counter protest plus the massive police precence in the city centre

“There’s a counter-demonstration and if there was no counter-demonstration the risk would be minimal.

“The fact that victims are suffering outweighs the cost of this demonstration.”

Paul Scarrott, secretary of Sheffield Unite Against Fascism, said: “We are here to show the unity of multicultural Sheffield.

“We are here to put out a positive message that the EDL is rejected by the overwhelming majority of people in Sheffield.

The EDL protest in Sheffield and the counter protest plus the massive police precence in the city centre

The EDL protest in Sheffield and the counter protest plus the massive police precence in the city centre

“We don’t want people to come from outside of town to divide us just for their own selfish needs.

“The city needs people to speak up for it.”

The EDL protest in Sheffield and the counter protest plus the massive police precence in the city centre

The EDL protest in Sheffield and the counter protest plus the massive police precence in the city centre

The EDL protest in Sheffield and the counter protest plus the massive police precence in the city centre

The EDL protest in Sheffield and the counter protest plus the massive police precence in the city centre

The EDL protest in Sheffield and the counter protest plus the massive police precence in the city centre

The EDL protest in Sheffield and the counter protest plus the massive police precence in the city centre

The EDL protest in Sheffield and the counter protest plus the massive police precence in the city centre

The EDL protest in Sheffield and the counter protest plus the massive police precence in the city centre

The EDL protest in Sheffield and the counter protest plus the massive police precence in the city centre

The EDL protest in Sheffield and the counter protest plus the massive police precence in the city centre

The EDL protest in Sheffield and the counter protest plus the massive police precence in the city centre

The EDL protest in Sheffield and the counter protest plus the massive police precence in the city centre

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