The EDL marched through Chelmsford in Essex on Saturday, 18 August to protest against the construction of a mosque in the city.
According to a post on the EDL Forum the EDL had “been asked to return to Chelmsford to hold a demo against the 4 story mega mosque that is in the planning stage in the city.”
The EDL Support Group on Facebook reported that a minute’s silence for the fallen soldiers had been disrespected by the UAF and thanked Essex Police for handing out bottles of water due to the heat.
The EDL Support Group estimated attendance to be about 150 people with more arriving at the time of the post, whilst Casuals United reported, “A few hundred EDL are wandering around unhindered”.
This Is Total Essex reports that Muslim association Jamaat of Essex has knocked down a tiny central Chelmsford house that they have used for more than 20 years and now plan to build a four-storey ‘community centre’. Sajjad Manji, president of the Jamaat said “We’re a small community and we’ve been here a long time – we’ve never had a problem with anyone.”
Essex police reported minimal disruption and issued the following statement on their website:
Protest marches in Chelmsford City Centre have concluded causing minimal disruption.
The marches held by the English Defence League (EDL) and Unite Against Fascism (UAF) in the city centre on the afternoon of August 18, 2012 began at around 1pm and had dispersed by 3pm.
Essex Police and partners engaged with the organisers from both groups prior to the marches and agreements were reached regarding their plans and route.
These arrangements have proven to be successful with both agreements adhered to resulting in minimal disruption to normal weekend activities in the centre of Chelmsford.
A counter protest by UAF and TUC also took place.