About 400 people joined the peaceful celebration of multicultural Rotherham on Saturday 13 October organised by Unite Against Fascism.
Throughout the day, All Saints Square was filled with speeches and music celebrating multicultural Rotherham. Local MPs and Councillors, trade unionists, faith leaders and representatives of local communities spoke with one voice in support of multicultural Rotherham and against the fascist EDL’s racist violence and division.
The EDL’s support continues to decline. They only managed to bring about 200 of their supporters in a desperate attempt to divide the town.
After the EDL’s rally outside the Town Hall had ended, hundreds of people marched up to reclaim the place for the people of Rotherham.
Speaker after speaker explained why it was important to stand united and speak out when the EDL came to Rotherham.
Denis McShane MP congratulated UAF for organising the celebration and said he wanted “To give witness peacefully to Rotherham as one town, one community, and to say the EDL’s hate is not wanted.”
John Healey MP said he was at the event “to show EDL racists from elsewhere are not welcome in our town.”
Cllr Mahroof Hussain said, “I am here to unite communities across Rotherham under the ‘One Town, One Community’ banner
Cllr Jahangir Akhtar said, “I am here to show support for Rotherham’s proud history of multiculturalism and that we have one community in Rotherham.”
Steve Parkin from Rotherham UAF said, “By speaking out in public unity today, we show that fascist groups like the EDL will not succeed in their attempts to use racism to divide our towns and cities.”
Revd Eve Rose said, “The EDL cannot speak for Christians. Their
politics of hate have no place here.”
Pat Keenan Chair Rotherham TUC said he was present “To oppose the politics of hatred and division – they have no place in our town.”
“The overwhelming majority of people reject the EDL’s attempt to use racism to divide our society.
The EDL’s attempts to spread racist myths about sexual exploitation must be exposed and challenged. They seek to blame one community for society’s problems.
The EDL does nothing to protect the victims of sexual violence. Sexual predators and paedophiles exist in all communities, as do their victims.
Everyone has a responsibility and a duty to challenge such crimes and support the victims.”