Petition calls for Britain First to cancel latest Rotherham march

Britain First march in Rotherham last year

Britain First march in Rotherham last year

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Britain First officials are being urged to cancel a planned march through Rotherham by hundreds of their supporters on Saturday.

An online petition has been set up asking the group, who describe themselves as a ‘patriotic political party and street defence organisation’, to call off their demonstration.

More than 1,500 people have indicated they plan to attend the march in relation to the child grooming scandal on the group’s Facebook page.

But a petition has been started by a group called Celebrate and Support Rotherham, asking for Britain First to reconsider their protest.

The petition has been signed by around 100 people online since being set up at the weekend, with around 150 signatures also being collected at local churches.

Liam Harron, founder of Celebrate and Support Rotherham, said his organisation wants to see ‘a Rotherham free of CSE and racism’.

Mr Harron was one of the co-authors of the recent ‘Voices of Hope, Voices of Despair’ report, which collated the experiences of abuse victims and their families.

The petition asks Britain First to ‘be the first group to show genuine respect and consideration for the people of Rotherham and especially for the victims, survivors, their family members and others adversely and directly affected by child sexual exploitation’ by cancelling their demonstration following a series of marches by different organisations through the town.

It is being supported by Reverend Jo Siddall on behalf of the Broom Methodist Church and Central Methodist Church in Aston. She said that following the recent death of 81-year-old Mushin Ahmed, which is being treated by police as a potential hate crime, the march is not appropriate.

She said: “There are many voluntary groups working exceedingly hard to bring harmony and hope to a town damaged by abuse, violence, lack of good leadership and appalling misuses of power and prestige. We do not need outsiders coming in on the warpath, stirring up trouble and further fracturing community relationships.

“Unfortunately I came across a previous march in the town centre some time ago - it was appalling to see such verbal crudity, loutish behaviour, drunkeness, spitting and general intimidation, all despite a police presence which I fear is no deterrent.”