"We don’t want you here!" spat one of the so-called "Unite against Fascism" protestors as the English Defence League silent procession approached the war memorial to lay flowers in memory of Gunner Lee Rigby.
The woman wasn’t shouting at us, though, but at a pensioner who had come independently to meditate on the short life and brutal death of the off-duty soldier.
On Thursday 30 and Friday 31 May the Cambridge News published stories attempting to raise concerns about the EDL to the level of hysteria. We’re used to its being biased, but on those two days it surpassed itself, presenting UAF opinions as fact in an exercise in disinformation that I’m sure will provide future cub reporters with plenty of material when learning how not to write articles.
Because of the News’ venom, our facilitators decided it would be prudent to process from a different place from the one advertised. There were about 30 of us, all of us uninterested in the 4 seated UAF protestors engaging in a silent protest (silent, that is, unless a pensioner happens to express an opinion they dislike).
After we’d laid our floral tributes we left, as the main body of the UAF counter-protest had seen us and was coming up the road: there were rather a lot of them. The News had quoted Richard Rose of Cambridge UAF as predicting that we were going to be "goose-stepping" – no wonder his flock were fired up.
I agree with what the woman who shouted at the pensioner wrote on her placard – "no place for racism here". That is why the English Defence League continues to oppose those who seek to trade genuine multiculturalism for a system that listens to the grievances of one religion’s abusive wing at the expense of all other groups within our shores.
Police prepared for EDL war memorial rally - 31 May - contains remark about EDL "goose-stepping"
Confronting the rise of the far right - 31 May: "If there were just three old men putting a wreath on a war memorial we would probably not oppose it but the organised hard right has to be opposed"