EDL Bradford protest meeting breaks up after just an hour of speeches (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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EDL Bradford protest meeting breaks up after just an hour of speeches
A protest meeting of about 600 EDL members in Bradford city centre has ended after barely an hour of speeches and chanting.
The resignation of EDL leader Tommy Robinson and poor weather seems to have combined to make the demonstration far smaller than the racist right-wing group had predicted.
EDL members and supporters began gathering at the Queen pub in Bridge Street from about 11am and speeches started at 1.30pm.
The protesters are now drifting away.
A heavy police presence cordoned off the protest area from the city centre while a counter-demonstration took place at Urban Gardens a few hundred yards away.
The counter-protest, organised by We Are Bradford, mainly made up of Unite Against Fascism members, started ahead of the EDL protest with a loud PA system booming out across the sparsely attended rally.
At its peak there were barely 200 in the audience listening to speakers including Bradford West MP, George Galloway.
Earlier community leaders praised Bradfordians for turning their back on both the EDL and the counter-protest and avoiding provocation.
The demonstrations were outnumbered by the total of more than 1,000 people of different races and religions who took part in the day-long Peace Vigil in Centenary Square yesterday.
More than 2,500 green ribbons were given out as a symbol of peace by Bradford Women for Peace at the event and "wall of peace" was created from thousands of messages by Bradfordians.