REACTION: English Defence League march through Boston

Crowds gather at the end of the EDL march.
Crowds gather at the end of the EDL march.

The English Defence League (EDL) marched through Boston town centre this afternoon - but what reaction did they receive?

Before the march EDL supporter Andrew Edge, from Manchester, told The Standard: “We are here to make people aware that Article 50 needs to be invoked at the earliest opportunity.

“I think the Government at the minute seem to be putting it off, and people have had enough.

“We voted, and we won the vote - 76 per cent of this town have said enough is enough - and the MPs and councillors have now got to start listening.”

Another EDL supporter called Stuart, from Skegness, said that he was protesting against ‘influx of immigrants’.

When asked about Article 50 - which would trigger the UK’s officially withdrawal from the European Union - Stuart said: “It should have been [invoked] the next day, after the referendum.”

There was some support from local residents as the EDL marched through the town, with one man - Phillip - saying that he would have joined the march if he had realised it was taking place.

However, during the speeches, some counter-protesters shouted out to voice their opposition to the EDL.

One counter-protester, Ashlyn, 20, from Boston, said that it was ‘disgusting’ and that she objected to the ‘aggressive means of protesting’.

She said: “They don’t have any actual point, they’re just saying ‘get the immigrants out’ and ‘invoke Article 50’ but it means nothing.

“The EDL are dividing us more than any Eastern European immigrant ever has.”

Another counter-protester, called Lee, repeatedly shouted that refugees should be welcomed in the UK and that he had helped refugees in Calais.

He said: “Muslims, black people, Africans, Arabs - they all belong here.”

Beth McErlean, who was visiting the town, added: “I think they are spreading hate, and shouting stupid accusations like ‘rapist’ at people doesn’t do anything except spread more hate.”

Following the march, one of the main EDL speakers - John Banks, from South Yorkshire - told The Standard that he thought the march and demonstration was ‘excellent’ and ‘balanced’.

He said: “There was a good debate, and probaby as many on the indoctrinated ‘extreme left’ as there were of us, although I don’t think either side received rapturous applause.”

You can watch a video from the march.

You can watch a photo gallery from the march.