A YORKSHIRE pub licensee confirmed yesterday that he would not serve right-wing thugs who regularly descend on Rotherham to spread their hateful message.
The decision is a victory for local anti-racists who called on Bridge Inn licensee Tony Watson and the Old Mill Brewery to close the doors to fascists.
Fascist and racist groups have staged 15 demonstrations in Rotherham in the last two years in a bid to exploit a child sex abuse scandal to stir up hatred and division.
The Bridge Inn is close to Rotherham railway station, and right-wing extremists including the EDL habitually gather there to get tanked up before heading to the town centre for their provocative protests.
The notorious EDL gathered at the pub last Saturday before their latest poorly attended rally.
Some regular customers began to boycott the pub, which ironically is used by trade union branches and left campaign groups for meetings.
Mr Watson has now decided that when the EDL descends on the town the Bridge will remain closed.
He told the Morning Star: “I have decided I am just not going to serve them any more. It is just too much hassle. I am not politically motivated. It is my choice. It is ridiculous what has been happening.”
Seven EDL fascists were arrested nearby at Rotherham railway station after the most recent rally on Saturday.
Robin Symonds of Rotherham Unite Against Fascism and the union Unison said the pressure campaigners brought to bear had “paid off.”
Local radio station BBC Sheffield described the licensee’s decision as “a victory for people power.”
Previous EDL rallies have erupted into violence, including attacks by fascists on counter-demonstrators and by-standers.
Local businesses have complained of loss of trade and policing the events has cost taxpayers £4 million.