EDL Falls Flat
Hundreds of Cambridge UAF protesters march in opposition to a drunken and depleted EDL.
The EDL were heavily outnumbered in their protest today as UAF took to the streets in opposition to the far-right movement. The EDL were gathered in a pen on Christ’s Pieces from noon onwards. There were about forty taking part in their demonstration, but people turned up in their hundreds to march with UAF.
Several members of the EDL struggled to stand upright, but they managed to hold up a giant English flag and sing: “No surrender, no surrender, no surrender to the Taliban.” A man holding a poster of Winston Churchill shouted: “Where’s the freedom of speech in this state? Say what you like, but don’t criticise Islam.”
They also accused Muslims of raping children: “They are abusing your children,” one man declared. “They’re raping our English children, raping our English kids, our sisters, and our mothers…our English children are allowed to be groomed by Muslims.” The group frequently chanted “Muhammad is a paedophile.”
“The Famous EDL”
Carol Fitzpatrick, a Cambridge resident, was arguing with members of the group. She told The Tab, “I don’t like rascism…I hate rascism and I want to get over that fence and punch one of them now.”
Francis Pullem, a freelance professional photographer, also turned up to observe the EDL. He said: “I’m here primarily to observe the protest march and the behaviour of these people and also to take photographs for archival use…the EDL have, like anybody in a democracy, a point of view and they are allowed to state that. In a lot of countries they wouldn’t be allowed to. I have no problem with them stating their point of view, the problem I have is with their policies.”
Meanwhile, the members of UAF were dancing to ‘Night Fever’ and ‘Love Train’ booming from speakers loaded on a bicycle. UAF passed the EDL on the other side of Christ’s Pieces, separated by an area guarded by a large number of police officers. Led by those with megaphones, they shouted across the park, “EDL, go to hell, take your Nazi friends as well”, “Whose streets? Our streets” and “Can you hear fascists sing? No, no – I can’t hear a bloody thing.”
Tony Ruffield, a UAF supporter, said they wanted to “educate the young people” about the EDL. A woman leading the ‘English Disco League’ faction of the UAF march was pleased with the turn-out and excited for future events. “We’re getting a huge following and we’re spreading the word,” she said. “One love, one race, one disco – one world. Watch this space with us, there’s gonna be more to come. This is the Cambridge one’s first day out.”
The protest, however, was not universally carried out so peacefully. One anti-fascist protester was arrested for throwing a missile at a police officer, and three other arrests were made in relation to the day’s events.
Police reaction to the day’s proceedings was generally positive.
Supt Vicky Skeels, Cambridge City Police Commander, said: “The policing plans put in place to effectively manage both demonstrations worked well.
“Protesters in Cambridge City today have expressed their views in a way that was lawful and reasonable.”
Photos couresty of Tom Porteous.