|The Press Association and BBC News have both reported on the arrest of far-right protesters in Rochdale following the conviction of nine men last week for involvement in the sexual exploitation of girls.|
From the PA:
“Three people were arrested as far right-groups were accused by police of using diversionary tactics to promote their message.
“The British National Party organised simultaneous protests in Rochdale and Heywood, Greater Manchester, over a child sex grooming case.
“Police said around 10 BNP supporters held a peaceful demonstration in Heywood town centre at around 5pm on Wednesday.
“But at the same time approximately 40 far-right protesters from groups including the Infidels of Britain and the National Front tried to force their way into a council function at Rochdale town hall. Police took "swift action" to stop the demonstrators from disrupting the gathering.
“Two men were arrested for a breach of the peace and another for a racially-aggravated public order offence.
“Superintendent Chris Hankinson of Greater Manchester Police said last night: "This evening's events show that far-right groups are now prepared to use different tactics in order to get their views across. On this occasion they appear to have planned a separate demonstration in Heywood to draw attention away from a larger event in Rochdale.
“"Thankfully they came up against our determined and professional officers who prevented them getting into the town hall where they were clearly intent on causing as much disruption as possible.
“"We took swift action to stop this and restored peace as quickly as possible.”
Muslim organisations have reported a surge in abusive phone calls and emails following the convictions of the nine men in Rochdale, with far right groups using the criminal prosecutions to disseminate anti-Muslim and anti-Islam sentiments.
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