Ten arrests have been made at a right wing march in Rotherham town centre.
More than 150 members of 20 right wing groups are protesting against Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council’s attempts to get further marches banned and restrictions imposed. A number of left wing groups staged a counter protest in All Saints’ Square at the same time.
The arrests include a range of offences including breach of the peace, drunk and disorderly and possession with intent to supply class B drugs. They are currently in custody.
A number of dispersal notices were also issued.
There was no damage and no injuries however two people attended hospital with breathing difficulties.
Gold Commander Chief Superintendent Jason Harwin said:
”It has been another challenging day for Rotherham and a challenging day for all of the officers involved.
“We are acutely aware of the impact such marches have on the residents of Rotherham. Whilst we will respect everyone’s right to a peaceful protest, today demonstrates that when that protest stops being peaceful and moves into criminal activity we will take the necessary action.
Chris Livingstone, the head of Misanthropic Division’s UK branch who spoke outside Rotherham Town hall after the march said: “We’re here to demonstrate against the councils decision to try and stop our deomnstrations in in Rotherham. We want to make sure that our rights are continued throughout Britain and we should never be allowed to be silenced or told to go away.”
Around 40 people took part in a unity vigil before the protesters arrived at the town hall.
Liam Harron from Celebrate and Support Rotherham said: “We’re offering a voice of hope and not a voice of despair, which is what this group that have come to Rotherham today are offering. So we are rejecting their hate and standing up for the people of Rotherham.”