EDL call for Cambridge march in support of student accommodation near mosque

Joseph Winters 25 March 2014

Members of the English Defence League (EDL) have called for a national demonstration in Cambridge after the Cambridge Muslim Academic Trust objected to student accommodation being built next to a planned mosque.

Comments on the EDL Facebook page have called for a march or rally in the city. One supporter said, “We do not want a super mosque in Cambridge. They are now demanding that students can’t live next to the new mosque, what’s next shut down Mill Road? Enough is enough. EDL please demo in Cambridge. We need you.”

Graham Clark added, “I agree. We should make Cambridge next national demo. We go where needed so put it to an RO (Regional Officer) and I will be there with my boys.”

“We’ll be there to support as well,” wrote Perry Andrews. “Deffo speak to your local RO get them to get it out there."

This comes after the Cambridge Muslim Academic Trust objected to proposals for 331 student flats to be built on the former Priority Motors site on Mill Road, next door to the land set aside for a new mosque. The proposal includes 42 one-bedroom studios, 11 studios for disabled residents, 98 ensuite self-contained study rooms and 180 study rooms in shared study rooms in townhouses.

In a statement, Cambridge Muslim Academic Trust said a “concentration” of students flats on the site “would not represent the best amenity value and is unlikely to be the development option most beneficial to local residents or mosque users.”

Yet Stuart Black, development director for McLaren Property, the company responsible for the plans, said, feedback had been “generally positive”.

A spokesman for Cambridge Unite Against Fascism, which recently held two anti-EDL demonstrations, stated “The EDL returning to Cambridge is almost laughable. Last time they came they embarrassed themselves. They were humiliated, massively outnumbered about 20-1, penned drunkenly in a cage for their own protection.

“The magnificent 1,000-plus counter protest showed the true face of Cambridge – diverse and united. If they do return we will of course do the same again.”