'Humilated' EDL say Doncaster march 'should never have been called' after protest flops

Members of the EDL in Hexthorpe.
Members of the EDL in Hexthorpe.

English Defence League supporters have said they were left 'humiliated' after a weekend protest march proved a flop.

The right-wing group marched through Hexthorpe on Saturday in protest at an influx of Roma migrants in the area and community tensions in recent years.

But they were outnumbered by anti-fascist and anti-racism campaigners and in messages posted on an EDL page on Facebook the group said they had been 'humiliated' and the march 'should never have been called.'

Writing on the the Yorkshire EDL Rotherham/Doncaster Division Facebook page, a posted called Gary Abbott wrote: "It was badly organised and poorly attended.

"I would guess around 50 they (anti-fascist and anti-racist campaigners) had around 200. Should never have been called."

Another poster wrote: "Bit of an embarrassment then mate," and Abbott replied: "I think so. They are claiming an overwhelming victory for the locals in Hexthorpe.

"I was humiliated today. Should never have have been called. Don't out a video on, so humiliated. It was bad."

The far-right group and members of Stand Up To Racism, Doncaster Unite Against Fascism and Doncaster Anti-Fascists were kept apart by police during Saturday's noon showdown on the streets of Hexthorpe.

No arrests were made.

Ant-fascist supporters were celebrating the failure of the march, claiming that just 37 "variously challenged" EDL members had shown up.

A spokesman for Unite Against Fascism said: The English Defence League’s latest attempt to make themselves relevant fell on deaf ears when their, “regional,” demonstration in Hexthorpe only managed a turnout of 37, variously challenged, members.

"In contrast, and despite the short notice, a counter demonstration was successfully held."

"This, alongside a strategy of leafleting/engaging with the local community meant that, together, about 150 people stood together in Hexthorpe to, “welcome,” and see off the ‘mouth-breathers’ of the EDL

"It was a brilliant turnout from the community which included a sizeable Roma contingent, together with a crowd representing the full diversity of Hexthorpe; every age, skin colour and community group!

"Hexthorpe locals and anti fascists vigorously turned away the EDL, in 2014, the last time the unwanted fascists visited the town."

"The popular feeling was, before today, ‘why did the swines think it would be any different, this time’, and so it proved."