English Defence League leaders are meeting police to “reduce disruption” during a demonstration in Cambridge.
The right-wing group, which disputes claims from supporters of Cambridge Unite Against Fascism that it was forced to call off a march, told the News the group had decided to hold a “static protest” to reduce disruption in the city centre.
A spokesman said: “All I can say at the moment is that it’s an awareness demo until I have my next meeting with police within the next seven to 10 days to finalise the rest.”
Police are planning their strategy to deal with the EDL demonstration on February 23. The EDL has previously protested against the building of a new mosque off Mill Road.
Almost 750 people have signed up to a counter-demonstration under the banner of Cambridge Unite Against Fascism (CUAF).
CUAF is holding a meeting on February 11 at the Squeaky Gate, Norfolk Street, Cambridge, to discuss plans for its counter-rally. Muslim leaders and local politicians have signed a list on the CUAF website opposing the EDL’s demonstration.
Richard Rose, of CUAF, previously told the News he wanted the EDL to gather outside the city centre. But the EDL spokesman said: “Our demo will be in a central area. I can’t say the exact location as I’m still in talks with the police, but I will say all the talk going around on Facebook at present about us not being allowed to march is total rubbish.
“I approached the police a few weeks back stating that we only wanted a static awareness demo because it’s only a local demo so we are not expecting huge numbers. And if only a few turn up it’s really not worth marching and causing a lot of disruption for the city of Cambridge, which is the last thing we want to do.”
“If only a few turn up”! Whatever happened to the “biggest street movement in history”? Even some of its own spokespeople are now openly admitting that the organisation has hit the skids. Meanwhile, over in some parallel universe, the EDL is growing.