Calum Watt also contributed to this article.
Over 200 protesters took to the streets of Lincoln today in a demonstrations against the building of a mosque on the site of the old Boultham dairy.
The East Anglian Patriots [EAP], a splinter group from the EDL [English Defence League] organised the protest in Lincoln to air their views against the construction of the mosque, which has recently been approved by Lincolnshire County Council.
Protesters were escorted by a heavy police presence on their march, which started at the George and Dragon pub on the High Street, up to City Square in the city centre.
Once everyone had gathered, the crowd starting chanting a vast amount of songs, both promoting their English heritage as well as mocking Islam.
This continued for around 15 minutes before the crowd tried to move their protest to the site of the new mosque, but police stopped them, making the protest stay on Sincil Street and in City Square.
Once everyone was back in the square, the EAP had a number of people speak to the crowd via a bullhorn, with anti-Islamic messages at the forefront of their speeches.
One member who spoke, named “Wolfie” said “Muslims want to take over the world.”
Another member said “We will bring this town to a standstill.”
One of the biggest claims the group made however was through their opening speaker, who said “we’re not racist”, contrary to the public’s opinion of the group.
After the talks, the protesters seemed to disperse, but were involved in a shouting match with the counter protest that was taking place, which resulted in police moving both sets of demonstrators on to different locations.
Other than this small disruption, the main protest of the day went well, with no major incidents.
Calum Watt attended the counter protest.
“EDL, off our streets!” – The chant of a young girl holding her father’s hand at the Counter Protest in Lincoln’s city centre on Saturday.
At the same time as the East Anglian Patriot’s demonstration, local people of all ages and walks of life, including many students, assembled on the Cornhill under the banner of “Unity Against Racism” to voice their anger against the protest just around the corner.
The first speaker after this reporter arrived was Ric Metcalfe, Leader of the City Council, followed by Former Leader of the Labour Party on Lincolnshire County Council Rob Parker and Harry Zeigler, President of Trades Union Council of Lincoln (both lecturers at the University).
Taking to the megaphone next were Lincoln students Jamil Ahmed of the University of Lincoln Islamic Society and Natasha Chapman, Chair of Lincoln Liberal Youth who said “We were here to make sure that the [EAP] protest did not go unchallenged…and demonstrate our support for the local Muslim community”.
The Counter protest was very well attended with an attendance of roughly 150 people; colourfully equipped with banners and placards adorned with slogans such as “Love Lincoln, Hate Islamophobia”, “Fight Poverty, Not Each Other” and “The EAP don’t Speak for Me”.
The atmosphere was jovial throughout, with no known arrests or injuries and despite the heavy police presence only a couple of disturbances occurred, mostly as EAP members, quickly spotted by Stewards and moved on by police, attempted to infiltrate and heckle the protesters in the square.
Only one open confrontation occurred as EAP members were heckled while retreating to the train station.Tweet