OPINION: Your Star Your Say! The cost of a free country

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What price democracy? Well this weekend it is around £500,000.

That will be massive cost of policing the English Defence League’s demonstration in Rotherham town centre tomorrow.

Officers have had leave cancelled by police chiefs concerned at the number of EDL supporters from across the country set to travel to South Yorkshire.

Of course it won’t just be the EDL demonstrating.

Wherever they turn up there is usually a counter-protest and that is why there has to be such a big police presence to prevent trouble between the two groups.

MPs and civic leaders have told the EDL they are not welcome in Rotherham.

However, no matter whether you agree or disagree with someone’s views they have the right to demonstrate and protest peacefully.

Last year, police spent more than £1.2m policing two EDL events in Sheffield and here’s another half a million going in the same direction.

It is bound to be a tense atmosphere in Rotherham tomorrow.

The police have plenty of experience in dealing with these sorts of events so let’s hope it passes without incident and the only cost we are left counting is a financial one.