English Defence League set to march through Cambridge

23 June 2011

The English Defence League (EDL) is to march through Cambridge on Saturday July 9th, Cambridgeshire Constabulary has confirmed.

A police spokeswoman said: “”We have been approached by a member of the English Defence League to inform us of a protest in Cambridge on July 9. Plans are underway to ensure an appropriate police response on the day. The force fully supports people’s right to peaceful protest, as well as ensuring minimal disruption to the people of Cambridge.”

The march will be the latest in a series of demonstrations organised by the right-wing group since its formation in 2009. Last December 1,000 officers from 18 different forces were deployed to police an EDL protest in Peterborough. Two months ago, when 2,000 EDL supporters gathered to march in Blackburn, 12 arrests were made for disruptive behaviour.

Like those demonstrations, the Cambridge event is expected to attract significant counter-protests. The Cambridge branch of Unite against Fascism has organised its own rally, which will start from Market Square at 11am.

Cambridge University Students’ Union Student Support Officer Morgan Wilde said: “The EDL is a vile and racist organisation that has no place on the streets of Cambridge. Cambridge, both as a University and as a city, has thrived on the diversity of thought, culture and background that a multicultural society brings. The diversity of our staff and students is testimony to the mutual respect and freedom of thought that are the founding principles of the University. We will remain committed to defending these values against these far-right organisations that seek to destroy them.”

Jess Touschek

Image: Naomi O’Leary