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Posted on 9 February 2015 at 16:16 GMT

Protest outside Ukip shop in Rotherham, Feb 2015, photo by A Tice

Protest outside Ukip shop in Rotherham, Feb 2015, photo by A Tice   (Click to enlarge)

Rotherham TUSC: 'Long campaigned against the rotten Labour council'

We heard that Farage was coming to Rotherham to launch UKIP's election campaign in the town - it seemed very cynical and opportunist that it was literally a day after the child sex exploitation scandal had blown up in the media again.

So Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) supporters joined the quickly called demonstration outside the UKIP shop to protest against the "more Tory than the Tories" party which promotes anti-immigrant feeling and division whilst wanting to carry out even more cuts in public spending.

Most people in Rotherham are disgusted by the cover-up and inaction of the council and police over the child sex abuse, but also fed up of right-wing groups trying to exploit it for racist ends.

TUSC, that will be standing candidates in Rotherham in the local and general elections in May, has long campaigned against the rotten Labour council which has carried out cuts to children's and other support services. We're glad to see the back of the Labour cabinet which resigned but are opposed to Eric Pickles sending in unelected Tory commissioners to run the town.

TUSC stands for justice and support for the victims and a united struggle against the austerity cuts that are impoverishing towns like Rotherham.

As well as the protesters on the demo, there seemed like at least as many press and media people. Farage was conducting interviews inside the shop and after over two hours waiting for him to appear, he was literally smuggled out by his minders into a 4x4 which sped off. Only later did we hear that he had cancelled a planned public appearance. Obviously not so much the "man of the people" that he likes to make out.

Alistair Tice

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 9 February 2015 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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