The English Defence League (EDL) has made bizarre accusations that counter demonstrators used “violent language” and “terrified children”.
Leaders of the anti-Islamic group also claim 85 of its members turned up at a rally in Cambridge’s Christ’s Pieces and not the 30 estimated by Cambridgeshire police. They also turned on members of Cambridge Unite Against Fascism (CUAF) for holding a counter-demonstration on Saturday, February 23.
The group says it has now formed a Cambridgeshire Division after the rally claiming they had increased support from residents.
A spokesman said: “After speaking to residents on the day, we had many members of the public showing their support for us being there and have had many Cambridgeshire residents wishing to join in our campaign since visiting and have since set up a new EDL Cambridgeshire Facebook page for them to join. It was a local demo, of which, despite contrary reports we had 85 members who arrived and protested peacefully.”
He criticised the CUAF for its “long march around the city centre causing streets to be closed off with a huge police presence throughout”. The spokesman claimed he had received “many reports” of people being unhappy about the CUAF and of “children being terrified by them and the disruption they caused”.
It is of course likely that more EDL supporters turned up in Cambridge than actually joined the rally. Some of them reportedly stayed in the pub, embarrassed by the low turnout – and also no doubt by the antics of the few dozen drunken idiots who did participate in the protest.