Counter-demo announced against Lincoln EDL anti-Islam protest

A Lincoln campaign group has announced that it will hold a counter-demonstration to the English Defence League Lincolnshire Division’s planned anti-Islam protest in July.

As previously reported, the EDL group is set to travel to Lincoln city centre on July 25 for an anti-Islam protest in what they say is a reaction to concerns raised by local residents over the building of the city’s first mosque.

It’s not the first time protests and counter-protests have been staged in Lincoln on the topic. Activists clashed in Lincoln in 2014, with speeches and rallies dominating the High Street.

The Lincoln Against Racism and Fascism group is calling for people to ‘unite against hatred’ on July 25.

Signs at the anti-racism demo in Cornhill. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Signs at the anti-racism demo in Cornhill. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Nick Parker, spokesperson for the group, said: “We would rather not be having to organise this event at all. We would rather be out there campaigning on issues that really matter to people like protecting our NHS and other public services from cuts.

“Nevertheless, we believe that the poisonous ideas of the far-right must not go unchecked, and so Lincoln Against Racism and Fascism has unanimously agreed to call a counter-demonstration to give people the opportunity to unite against hatred and publicly oppose the far-right on the streets.

Supporters at the anti-racism demo in Lincoln. Photo: Emily Norton

Supporters at the anti-racism demo in Lincoln. Photo: Emily Norton

“We believe that what unites is far more than what divides us. Rather than let the EDL roam around Lincoln without opposition, Lincoln Against Racism and Fascism urges people to join us in publicly demonstrating that the EDL does not speak for us and that the EDL does not offer any solutions to the problems facing ordinary people.”

Lincoln Against Racism and Fascism was set up in 2006 to oppose the BNP and relaunched in June 2013 following a counter-demonstration in Lincoln against the East Anglian Patriots group.

Supporters at the anti-mosque protest in 2014. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Supporters at the anti-mosque protest in 2014. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

EDL regional organiser Darryl (no last name provided) said: “The English Defence League are coming to the city of Lincoln in July because of some concerns that have arisen by local residents in the last few weeks.

“They are asking if Lincoln will now end up like Rotherham, Sheffield, Rochdale and Manchester now the mosque is being built.

“The main concern with this is the grooming gangs that have plagued these cities. Also are their children now safe to walk home from school in the winter months when the nights draw in?

East Anglian Patriots anti-mosque protesters in Lincoln on June 8, 2013. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

East Anglian Patriots anti-mosque protesters in Lincoln on June 8, 2013. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

“These are just a few questions that have been bought to our attention, on the day of the demo we will be answering more questions with answers.

“Lincoln is a historical city with a great Christian background and with this we don’t want an ideology that has ruined lots of lives and cities England to ruin ours.”

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite