Below we reproduce a statement made by the Rotherham 12 Defence Campaign following guilty verdicts on 15 December.
The convictions of four far-right defendants on 15 December at Sheffield Crown Court for violent disorder is a vindication for everything our campaign has stood for, especially the right of self-defence for a victimised community facing real and present danger from violent far right activists. This is in stark contrast to the acquittal of all ten Asian defendants in the previous trial arising from the same incident on 5 September 2015.
On that day the situation was made worse by the failure of the South Yorkshire Police, who left the vulnerable local Asian community without protection and led them into harm’s way. Had it not been for the bravery of local community, the day could have ended in the tragedy of another racist murder of a member of our community.
Given the verdicts delivered by a jury, our call for an Independent Inquiry and the immediate suspension of officers in charge of the policing operation (including Chief Inspector Butterworth, who held Silver Command that day) can no longer be ignored. It is in the interests of every Rotherham citizen in moving forward. The starting point would be for the authorities to begin listening to our legitimate concerns and stop ignoring our voices. The good people of Rotherham want peace restored to the town, they are acutely aware that real peace is not simply the absence of conflict but the presence of justice. They deserve nothing less.
Read the statement made by the Rotherham 12 Defence Campaign following their not guilty verdicts here.
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