Britain First holds 'Muslim grooming' protest in Rotherham
Categories: Latest News
Monday October 06 2014
BBC News and local paper, The Star, both report on the far right group, Britain First’s protest in Rotherham at the weekend and the launch of a petition by local businesses to prevent future disruption to trade.
It is the third time a demonstration has been held in the city since the publication of the report by Professor Alexis Jay into child grooming and sexual exploitation. On the first occasion an English Defence League demo brought almost 1500 police officers to the city to police the protest. The following week a counter demonstration by British Muslim Youth was organised and this past week, Rotherham saw the arrival of Britain First and its supporters.
Tradesmen and shop owners in the city have now launched a petition to deter future protests citing loss of earnings and social strife. Rotherham Council’s Strategic Director for Environment and Development Services, Karl Battersby, said:
“On the whole, the people who attend these marches are not local to the area and have no stake or interest in the town. Instead they force ordinary members of the public to change their plans, leaving traders and businesses out of pocket.
“We acknowledge that any group has the right to peaceful assembly or protest and that only the Home Secretary has the powers to ban marches or processions. But there is also a limit to how a town of this size can cope with so many repeated marches.”
Britain First has initiated a number of anti-Muslim campaigns in recent months including ‘mega-mosque invasions’ and ‘Christian patrols’ as well as the distribution of ‘Muslim grooming literature’.
Discussion about the impact on local areas of demonstrations organised by far right groups at huge public expense has previously been raised by the MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, Jonathan Reynolds and by the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire police force, David Crompton.
As with the EDL demonstration some weeks ago, there were some arrests at the Britain First protest at the weekend. A 23-year-old man was arrested and charged with a public order offence and possession of cannabis. He is due at Rotherham Magistrates’ Court on October 20.
A second man, 55, was arrested for breaching a dispersal order and was issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice, according to The Star.