Around 150 far right anti-Islamic protesters descended on Rotherham today to ‘silent march’ through the town.
The Pegida group, led by English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson, marched from Rotherham train station to the Town Hall this afternoon.
Despite some chatter, the far right protesters did remain largely silent as they walked.
A counter-protest, attended by around 100 people, gathered in the town centre to condemn the anti-Islamisic march.
Outside the town hall Tommy Robinson addressed his followers, who waved Union flags, England flags – and Israeli flags.
The Pegida leader threatened to rip-up the Koran on his next visit to Rotherham. He also said it was unfair that his protest was not allowed in the town centre.
He further threatened that the group would return to the town – which has already had 15 far right protests in the last two years – every month.
The counter-protest condemned the Pegida group, insisting the ‘fascists’ were not welcome in Rotherham.
Both protests passed peacefully. Pegida followers were escorted by police to the train station at around 2.30pm, where most boarded trains and others walked to cars.
Counter-protestors dispersed peacefully at roughly the same time.
Assistant Chief Constable Jason Harwin said: “At the height of the protests we saw around 150 people in one group and 100 in the other. Both groups protested peacefully.
“Two men were ordered to leave the town centre (under section 35 of ASB, Crime and Policing Act). This means they cannot return to the town centre until after 6pm or they could be arrested.
“As I’ve said before I know how frustrating this is for people living and working locally. We’re working closely with the council to do everything possible to limit the impact on you.
“We’ll have extra police officers in the town centre late into the evening to provide further reassurance.
“I’d like to offer my personal thanks to the local communities for the patience and understanding they have shown today.”