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Lincoln Gaza demo runs peacefully despite EDL disruption

An anti-war protest in Lincoln city centre proceeded peacefully despite a counter ‘flash demo’ from the English Defence League (EDL).

The secretary of the Lincolnshire branch of the Socialist Party has described the anti-war demonstration on August 2 as a success amid the brief interference from the right-wing group.

Around 25 local campaigners held placards, did speeches, gathered petition signatures, and raised money for medical aid for those living in the Gaza strip.

It was the second time campaigners took to the streets to call for an end to the conflict in Israel and Palestine.

However, there was a police presence at the demonstration due to the Lincolnshire branch of the English Defence League holding a counter-protest.

Approximately six far-right activists turned up to counter-protest the Gaza campaign, before leaving after around 45 minutes.

The EDL posted a message on its Facebook page, praising the work of those who attended the event.

Nick Parker, Secretary of the Socialist Party’s Lincolnshire branch, said: “We were very pleased with the large amount of support that we once again received by passers-by on Saturday, with hundreds signing our petition and over £150 raised for the Medical Aid for Palestine cause.

“More and more innocent civilians are being killed by the vicious right-wing Israeli regime and it was vital that we continue to make people aware of what’s going on and support the global movement for a lasting peace in the Middle East.

“It was disappointing but not surprising to see the EDL opposing our activity. Disappointing because they were getting in our faces and shouting and filming members of our group in an intimidating manner. And unsurprising because the far-right use any opportunity they can find to try to whip up hatred towards members of our Muslim community.

“They’re silent on issues that really matter to working-class people, like zero-hours contracts, low pay and the impact of cuts and privatisation. A better name for them would be the English Distraction League.”