Members of the English Defence League (EDL) have claimed that they patrolled the streets of Cambridge to prevent “rioting”. They say they “cleared” Mill Road of up to 100 people – but traders say the group was unwelcome and there was no sign of any violent disorder erupting.
About a dozen members of the Cambridge division of the EDL marched down the road on Tuesday night chanting: “These are our streets; you are not going to wreck them” and “EDL, EDL”.
A member of the EDL, who did not wish to be named, said: “We cleared 100 people from Mill Road without any violence. We don’t want rioters on our streets and we went to Mill Road to stop them. We chanted and patrolled the road and moved on one group of about 50 and another about the same number. We have the right to protect the community. We were there from about 9.30pm to 11.30pm to stop any rioters.”
Foudil Rerizani, owner of Algerian restaurant Al Casbah in Mill Road, was confronted by the group. He said: “There was a group of about 10 or so people who were very loud and aggressive shouting ‘EDL, EDL’. They looked at me and said ‘You are open tonight, you won’t be tomorrow’. They weren’t stopping anyone from rioting. There was no-one on the street who was rioting. It’s total rubbish.”