Rotherham workers and youth unite against the National Front

Rotherham Socialist Party

In two weeks Rotherham has seen protests by far-right groups, first the English Defence League on 13 October followed by the National Front on 27 October.

Both groups claimed to be protesting against Asian ‘paedophilia cover-ups’ in the area in order to spread their fascist propaganda.

On both occasions they were met by stiff opposition from local residents at demonstrations also held in the town centre.

Socialist Party members from Sheffield and Rotherham took part in the counter demonstrations, campaigning for united working class action under the slogan ‘jobs, homes and services not racism’.

The protest against the National Front especially was a great victory for anti-racists. Only 40 NFers turned up for their rally.

This compared to 250 local residents, mainly Asian youth, at the counter-protest. This shows that, united as a community, we can defeat the racist views of the far right.

But now the community must unite again, this time against the spectre of savage cuts by our NHS Trust to local hospital services.

You can bet the far-right groups that claim to protect ‘our country’ will have no idea how to fight against the £50 million budget cut proposed in Rotherham by 2015.

These cuts, according to their proposer, trust chief executive Brian James, could result in “a smaller hospital, with substantially fewer beds”, 750 job losses, 20% of the total workforce, meaning “compulsory redundancies [are] inevitable”.

It is a massive and devastating attack on the local area which must be fought against by the entire community.

And with the Con-Dem government having only made around 15% of their cuts so far and public services already struggling to cope, you wonder what will remain after the remaining 85%.

Rotherham Socialist Party has already contacted the trade unions to offer our unlimited support for any action they wish to take, as well as starting a petition in opposition to these brutal cuts.