Below we publish an eyewitness account of events on Saturday when the EDL planned to hold a static demo in Dewsbury.
“Arriving in Dewsbury on the day of the planned EDL march, I was immediately met with an incredibly tense atmosphere: police and video vans patrolled round the centre, many shops even large chains like Subway were closed and those that were open had only a few customers visiting, far from a typical Saturday morning, even in a small town!
“The level of disorganization did certainly not help the tension from the EDL. Small gangs of EDL members wandered around and could easily be heard asking each other where they were supposed to be and that time the event was going to begin.
“Around noon the centre was flooded with sirens as, apparently, a large group of EDL tried to gather outside of their pre-planned location but were quickly rounded up by the police. Stories of the EDL trying similar tactics in Batley (and being met with the same response) also began to drift around the centre. As these stories spread it became more and more obvious how nervous the people of Dewsbury were: the group of people I was with were even asked if we were undercover police monitoring things!
“When the EDL finally arrived in Dewsbury, instead of being met with support the people of Dewsbury instead greeted them with jeers and insults before they moved down to the United Against Fascism (UAF) demo. While there, the EDL continually tried break their kettle and instigate a fight. Thankfully they were met with the cooler heads of locals, including Muslim youth, and so the EDL were sent packing by the police back to their
“Following both rallies ending, I made my way back to Leeds. There, by sheer chance I got off my bus right next to where the EDL buses were emptying and immediately heading to pubs in Leeds as the centre swarmed with police. And the EDL were AGAIN met with contempt and insults by the locals: people even ran out of shops and pubs the EDL entered to let the police know ‘they’ve all gone in there when you want them.’ It seems, happily, that despite their best efforts on 11th June, the majority of people in West Yorkshire showed that they weren’t interested in the divisive, racist views of the EDL.”