EDL stages demo in Nottingham, hardly any supporters turn up (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Ready for speeches pic.twitter.com/R3JxS2Kzmd— englishdefenceleague (@EDLofficialpage) August 6, 2016
The beach in the city’s Old Market Square was closed for Saturday afternoon’s demonstration, with large crowds expected - but the event proved considerably less popular than organizers hoped.
In fact, counter demonstrators seemed to outnumber the far-right group, with some estimates saying that only around 60 EDL supporters showed up.
Have accidentally run into an EDL march in Nottingham. Happily, more people are in the opposing protest demo.— Ruth M (@scottishruth) August 6, 2016
In some instances, dozens of police officers appeared to outnumber the EDL while walking through Nottingham’s near-empty streets alongside the group.
Anti-EDL supporters lining Nottingham protest route. Police keeping both groups apart pic.twitter.com/F56pXk6W6E— Jeremy Ball (@jeremyball3) August 6, 2016
Some Twitter users criticized the cost of having a security presence at the protest, believing the police have more important things to do with their time.
20 different police forces are in Nottingham today due to an EDL protest— Kyle Evansッ © (@itsKapoow) August 6, 2016
What a waste of time and money
Policing far-right groups outside of London has cost taxpayers up to £6 million ($7.8 million) between 2014 and 2016, according to a Freedom of Information request.
Meanwhile, hundreds of anti-fascist counter demonstrators chanted “crush the EDL” and “there are many more of us than you” as the group marched through the city.
I go up north (Nottingham, pretty north) for one day and there's an EDL march— Will (@CaptainWilbo) August 6, 2016
Luckily way outnumbered pic.twitter.com/t3TEJSIzVR
While today’s protests were overall peaceful, police confirmed two arrests were made “on suspicion of failing to remove a face covering”.
TWO ARRESTS in line with todays operation. This is on suspicion of failing to remove a face covering. Details to follow. #KeepingYouInformed— Notts Police (@nottspolice) August 6, 2016
At one point, EDL marchers were captured throwing flares into a crowd of counter-demonstrators standing along their route.
The EDL claimed anti-racism protesters threw “needles” during the Nottingham event, but the statement has not been verified.
Ian: UaF threw used needles at us.— englishdefenceleague (@EDLofficialpage) August 6, 2016