List of English Defence League protests

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The page lists English Defence League protests and attempted protests. For protests in Scotland see the Scottish Defence League page.


Date Location Attendance Description of event
8 August 2009 Birmingham Unknown Counter protest by, and clashes with, Unite Against Fascism (UAF) supporters.[1][2]
5 September 2009 Birmingham Unknown Clashes with socialist protestors,[3] West Midlands police state the EDL "...had no intent to protest".[4] 45 arrested were from the EDL a similar number were arrested belonged to groups opposing them.[5]
13 September 2009 London Unknown Counter demonstration to pro-Palestinian rally.[6]
10 October 2009 Manchester 700[7] Counter-protest by 1,400 UAF supporters.[8] Riot police on hand to separate sides.[9][10]
31 October 2009 Leeds 900[11][12] Counter-protested by 1,500 UAF. Leeds council and West Yorkshire Police thanked the public and participants "for their patience and consideration".[13][14][15] The protest was controversial as a tree which had been erected in City Square with the intention to decorate it as a Christmas tree at a later date had to be taken down to accommodate the protest.
5 December 2009 Nottingham 500[16] Demonstration following Mercian Regiment homecoming parade, clashes with Asian students and UAF.[17]
23 January 2010 Stoke-on-Trent 1,500[18] EDL break through police lines. Police officers were injured and police vehicles damaged.[18] All arrests were linked to the EDL demonstration.[19][20] Approximately 300 supporters of Unite Against Fascism held a counter demonstration.[21]
5 March 2010 London 300[22] Rally in support of Geert Wilders' visit to the House of Lords. 100 UAF counter-demonstrators.[23]
20 March 2010 Bolton 2,000[24] Counter-protested by 1,500 UAF.[24][25] 9 arrested from EDL and around 55 from UAF.[24][26][27]
3 April 2010 Dudley 2,000[28] Several EDL supporters knocked down fencing and escaped the police cordon.[28][29][30] There were 1500 UAF counter-demonstrators.[31]
1 May 2010 Aylesbury 800 Protest against militant Islam. Eight of the arrests were on suspicion of carrying an offensive weapon.[32][33] About 75 UAF counter-demonstrators gathered in the town, but later left.[34]
29 May 2010 Newcastle 1,500-2,000[35] UAF hold counter demonstration of around 1,000. No arrests at either demonstration despite minor scuffles.[35]
17 July 2010 Dudley 500 [36][37] The UAF attendance of 350.[38]
28 August 2010 Bradford 300[39]–700[40] 1,300 police officers were involved in policing the protest.[41] Various missiles were thrown by EDL supporters during the protest.[42][40][43][44] Approximately 300 UAF supporters attended the counter-demonstration.[45]
11 September 2010 Oldham 120[46] EDL converged on Oldham around mid-day after telephoning police in advance at 8.45am[47] and laid a wreath at the war memorial.[46][47]
9 October 2010 Leicester 1000[48] After the Home secretary accepted Leicester City Council's application for a ban on all marches in the city on this date[49] the EDL held a static demonstration numbering 1,000,[48] while Unite Against Fascism (UAF) staged a counter-protest numbering 700.[48] One police officer was taken to hospital with a leg injury and two protesters were treated by paramedics for minor injuries.[50]
25 October 2010 London Unknown The EDL held a protest opposing "Islamification" of the United Kingdom and showing support for Israel outside the Israeli embassy. It was attended by Rabbi Nachum Shifren.[51]
27 November 2010 Preston, Lancashire 1000+ There was a counter demonstration attended by 150 supporters of UAF.[52]
27 November 2010 Nuneaton 500 [53] There was a counter demonstration by 150 local anti-fascists. Both sides threw missiles and fire works.[54]
11 December 2010 Peterborough 500[55] The protest was policed by roughly 1000 officers from 18 forces. A counter-protest by the Peterborough Trades Union Council took place in another location in the city and was attended by approximately 80 people. Police kept the two protests apart.[55]
5 February 2011 Luton 1500–3000[56][57][58] The EDL was joined by new "defence leagues" from Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands, as well as other more established groups from France, Germany and Denmark.[57][59] A counter-protest took place in another location in the city and was attended by approximately 1000 UAF supporters.[56] The protests were policed by officers from 14 forces.[56]
5 March 2011 Rochdale 500 Around 500 EDL protesters congregated at Rochdale town centre's war memorial. A counter-protest was held by Unite Against Fascism, with the two groups being kept 100 feet apart by police. 31 people were arrested.[60]
2 April 2011 Blackburn 2000[61]
28 May 2011 Blackpool 1500[62] No arrests
11 June 2011 Dewsbury, West Yorkshire 400[63]-600[64] Six people arrested[65]
9 July 2011 Cambridge 300[66] 1000 attended a counter-demonstration.[66] There were seven arrests in total.[67]
16 July 2011 Portsmouth 500 [68] The EDL marched through the city while 200 people attended a counter-demonstration by the UAF in Guildhall Square.[69] The two sides never came into direct contact as the EDL were not let into the square, but there were a few incidents where several EDL members tried to disrupt the counter-demonstration. 400 police officers were deployed - some mounted - and seven arrests were made (all of which being on EDL supporters).[70]
9 August 2011 Enfield 500[71] EDL vigilantes marched through Enfield during the 2011 England riots
13 August 2011 Telford, Shropshire 300-350[72] Static protest after march banned. Two people arrested en route, and three in various parts of Wellington.[73]
4 August 2012 Keighley, West Yorkshire 100[74] Around 100 protesters gathered in Keighley for a demonstration at Church Green off North Street and were shouting and chanting. Dozens of police officers were at the scene. Members of the EDL were described as trying to surge through police barriers, and someone let off a firework.[74]
29 June 2013 East London 2[75] EDL co-leaders Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll were arrested in east London during a planned walk to commemorate Lee Rigby, the soldier who was hacked to death in Woolwich by Islamist extremists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale.[75]
7 September 2013 Bermondsey, Greater London 300 [76] Several hundred EDL supporters assembled in Bermondsey to march across the river to Tower Hamlets.[76]
16 September 2013 Ipswich 200 [77] Members of the EDL’s East Anglian Division forced the cancellation of a Love Music, Hate Racism gig in Ipswich after they held a demonstration outside the venue. [77]
8 October 2013 London 1[78] Tommy Robinson quit as leader of the English Defence League because he said that he could no longer control extremists within the far-right group. [78]
4 December 2013 Southsea, Portsmouth 20[79] Around 20 members of the Portsmouth EDL staged a protest tonight outside the Jami mosque in Southsea. [79]
8 January 2014 Central Bristol 30[80] Central Bristol witnessed ugly scenes at night as right wing protesters who opposed plans to open a mosque in Stokes Croft were confronted by counter-demonstrators. About 30 EDL supporters turned out on College Green to stage what had been advertised as a 'peaceful' protest against the former Jesters comedy club in Cheltenham Road being turned into a mosque.[80]
29 March, 2014 Peterborough 300[81] Crowds gathered in the centre of Peterborough as the EDL marched through the city. The 300-plus members, who waved banners and chanted, marched from the Peacock Pub in London Road to outside Peterborough Magistrates’ Court in Bridge Street. [81]
10 May 2014 Rotherham 500 A march by 500 members of the English Defence League (EDL) in Rotherham on 10 May 2014 reportedly cost the town £1 million. The EDL supporters were met with a counter protest from around 200 people from the left-wing group Unite Against Fascism (UAF) who held placards saying “EDL go to hell” and “No to racism, fascism and Islamophobia”. Both groups were outnumbered by 1,000 police officers deployed at a cost of £500,000, according to South Yorkshire Police. [82]
23 August 2014 Bournemouth 200[83] Two hundred people gathered in Bournemouth for a march and a counter protest by its opponents.[83]
9 August 2014 Batley, West Yorkshire 350[84] EDL protesters in Batley received a lukewarm reception when they held their first national demonstration in the town in August 2014. Up to 350 people from across the town took part in the rally, which was held in Batley market place. Hundreds of police officers from Yorkshire, Humberside and beyond were drafted in to oversee the demonstration. [84]
13 September 2014 Rotherham 1000[85] Protestors attacked police in Rotherham while demonstrating over the recent revelations about child sexual exploitation in the town. Four men were arrested.


27 November 2014 University of Oxford, Oxford 1[86] EDL Founder Tommy Robinson spoke at the Oxford Union. It was said to be the third attempt to get Mr Robinson, real name Stephen Lennon, to talk at the union - the first having been cancelled amid security concerns and the second because he was sent back to prison. [86]
9 January 2015 N/A N/A The week commencing 5 January saw the final sentences handed down to EDL members for their part in the EDL Birmingham demonstration which descended into violence in July 2013. Members got a combined total of 75 years in prison.


9 January 2015 N/A N/A English Defence League supporters who brought terror to the streets of Birmingham have been jailed for more than 75 years after violence flared at a protest. Fifty men have appeared before Birmingham Crown Court to be sentenced for violent disorder after ugly scenes were witnessed by police and visitors in July 2013. [88]
13 January 2015 Newcastle 15[89] The EDL stormed into a book club thinking Russell Brand would turn up (he didn't). Around 15 EDL supporters disrupted the event held at Bar Loco in Newcastle by chanting Islamophobic slogans before shouting 'and now we're going for a curry'. [89]
25 January 2015 Hampshire N/A A man was arrested during a protest by members of the EDL in Chandler's Ford. [90]
8 February 2015 Dudley 600 Around 600 EDL marchers descended on the town of Dudley on Saturday to protest against the planned construction of a mosque in the West Midlands. Thirty people were arrested at the protest - 25 were later released without charge. [91]
Date Location Attendance Description of event
Date Location Attendance Description of event
Date Location Attendance Description of event
2 October 2016 Boston, UK N/A They marched through Boston town centre on Saturday afternoon.One EDL supported said:'We are here to make people aware that Article 50 needs to be invoked at the earliest opportunity'. There were counter-demonstrators. [92]


  1. Luton bans marches amid fears of protests, Telegraph, 21 August 2009.
  2. Mark Townsend,'Patriot' league plots more clashes with anti-fascist activists, The Guardian, 10 October 2009.
  3. Paul Bradley, English Defence League and socialist protesters in violent rampage through Birmingham streets, Sunday Mercury, 6 September 2009.
  4. File on Four, BBC Radio 4, 22 September 2009
  5. News: POLICE were today studying CCTV footage in a bid to identify more of the hooligans involved in the violent clashes.  Birmingham Mail.  Retrieved 2010-08-01.
  6. [Matthew Taylor, Far-right supporters confront pro-Palestinian protestors, The Guardian, 10 October 2009.
  7. Dozens arrested during protests, BBC News, 10 October 2009.
  8. Dozens arrested during protests, BBC News, 10 October 2009.
  9. Dozens arrested during protests, BBC News, 10 October 2009.
  10. BBC NEWS: Protest police cost was £200,000
  11. Protest policing hailed a success, BBC News, 1 November 2009.
  12. Leeds Demonstrations, West Yorkshire Police, 31 October 2009.
  13. Protest policing hailed a success, BBC News, 1 November 2009.
  14. Leeds Demonstrations, West Yorkshire Police, 31 October 2009.
  15. Bill for policing Bradford demonstrations 'could be £500,000', Yorkshire Evening Post, 31 August 2010.
  16. Mark Townsend, English Defence League marchers clash with police in Nottingham, The Guardian, 10 October 2009.
  17. Mark Townsend, English Defence League marchers clash with police in Nottingham, The Guardian, 10 October 2009.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Trouble at Stoke-on-Trent English Defence League rally. 24 January 2010.  BBC
  19. Trouble at Stoke-on-Trent English Defence League rally. 2010-01-24.  BBC News
  20. BBC News - EDL Stoke-on-Trent rally cost nearly £200,000 to police
  21. BBC News: "Trouble at Stoke-on-Trent English Defence League rally"
  22. "Geert Wilders anti-Islam film gets House of Lords screening", The Guardian
  23. Dutch MP Geert Wilders' anti-Islam film sparks protests. 5 March 2010. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 74 arrests in demo clash, The Belfast Telegraph, 21 March 2010.
  25. The ‘£300,000 price’ of policing protesters rallies. 23 March 2010.  The Bolton News
  26. Police battle to control EDL and UAF protest in Bolton. 20 March 2010.  BBC
  27. 55 arrests at protests.  The Bolton News.  Retrieved 26 March 2010.
  28. 28.0 28.1 English Defence League protesters clash with police | Mail Online. 3 April 2010.
  29. "Sunday Mercury unveils face of leader of EDL, whose group has cost taxpayers £2 million"
  30. BBC News: "Dudley rallies 'cost council an estimated £150,000'"
  31. Birmingham Mail: Black Country News - "EDL in Dudley: UAF bring 1,500 to town for counter protest"
  32. English Defence League protest leads to 12 arrests. 2010-05-01.  BBC News
  33. EDL demo in Aylesbury set to cost police £300,000 - News - Bucks Herald
  34. "Police clash with anti-Islamist protesters in Buckinghamshire", The Telegraph
  35. 35.0 35.1 No arrests at English Defence League Newcastle march.  Sunday Sun.  Retrieved 2010-08-01.
  36. LIVE UPDATE - Trouble flares at EDL rally (From Dudley News).  Retrieved 2010-08-01.
  37. EDL protest bill tops half-a-million pounds (From Stourbridge News).  Retrieved 2010-08-01.
  38. Unite Against Fascism: Racist EDL brings violence to Dudley
  39. Youtube, English Defence League riot in Bradford, Press TV London, 28 August 2010.
  40. 40.0 40.1 BBC News - Missiles thrown during Bradford EDL demonstration. 2010-08-20.
  41. Matthew Taylor and Martin Wainwright (28 August 2010) English Defence League supporters attack police at Bradford rally | UK news | The Observer.   Guardian
  42. Youtube, English Defence League riot in Bradford, Press TV London, 28 August 2010.
  43. The Muslim Weekly
  44. Riot police tackle missiles at English Defence League protest in Bradford. 28 August 2010. 
  45. Daily Star: "Missile 'war' in race-hate clash"
  46. 46.0 46.1 Eight arrests at English Defence League event in Oldham. 12 September 2010. 
  47. 47.0 47.1
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 Police.ukTemplate:Dead link
  49. Leicester marches banned by Theresa May. 4 October 2010. 
  53. Five held over Nuneaton EDL and anti-fascist protests. 28 November 2010. 
  55. 55.0 55.1 "Arrests at city protest marches in Peterborough", BBC News, Peterborough, 11 December.
  56. 56.0 56.1 56.2 "EDL and UAF stage rival protests in Luton", BBC News, 5 February 2011
  57. 57.0 57.1 Bent Skjærstad and Christian Sønsteby, Nordmenn deltar i omstridt anti-muslimsk nasjonalistmarsj, TV 2 (Norway), 5 February 2011.
  58. Toby Helm, Matthew Taylor and Rowenna David, David Cameron sparks fury from critics who say attack on multiculturalism has boosted English Defence League, The Guardian, 5 February 2011.
  59. Matthew Taylor and Rowenna Davis, EDL protest attracts European far-right activists,, 4 February 2011.
  60. 31 arrests at EDL protest.
  61. Blackburn protests: How the day unfolded. 2 April 2011. 
  62. BBC News - "Blackpool EDL and anti-fascist demos 'pass peacefully'"
  63. ‘Caged’ EDL leader vows to return to Dewsbury in thousands, Yorkshire Post, 13 June 2011.
  64. Sam Casey, Dewsbury: £172,000 bill for 40 minute EDL protest, Yorkshire Evening Post, 15 August 2011.
  65. ‘Caged’ EDL leader vows to return to Dewsbury in thousands, Yorkshire Post, 13 June 2011.
  66. 66.0 66.1 BBC News - Five arrests during Cambridge EDL and anti-fascist marches.  Retrieved 25 July 2011.
  67. Cambridge City News, Cambridge Local News Stories & Latest Headlines About Cambridge | Video: English Defence League march ends after failed bid to target mosque.  Retrieved 25 July 2011.
  68. BBC News - Portsmouth EDL march and counter-protests see seven arrests
  69. Anti-fascism protesters make their voices heard in the city. 16 July 2011. 
  70. Seven arrested after Portsmouth far right march. 16 July 2011. 
  71. Riots give rise to vigilantes
  72. EDL demonstrations go ahead,Sky News, 13 August 2011.
  73. EDL demonstrations go ahead,Sky News, 13 August 2011.
  74. 74.0 74.1 English Defence League protesters gather in Keighley,Telegraph & Argus, 4th August 2012, accessed 29 January 2015.
  75. 75.0 75.1 EDL leaders arrested over Woolwich walk 4 News, accessed 29 January 2015
  76. 76.0 76.1 English Defence League supporters march across Tower Bridge London SE1, accessed 27 January 2015
  77. 77.0 77.1 EDL EAST ANGLIA FORCE CANCELLATION OF ANTI RACISM GIG EDL News, accessed 29 January 2015
  78. 78.0 78.1 Tommy Robinson Stands Down From The EDL Sky News, accessed 29 January 2015
  79. 79.0 79.1 EDL stage protest outside mosque The Portsmouth News, accessed 29 January 2015
  80. 80.0 80.1 EDL and anti-fascist demonstrators clash in Bristol Bristol Post, accessed 29 January 2015
  81. 81.0 81.1 Hundreds gather as EDL marches through Peterborough Peterborough Telegraph, accessed 27 January 2015
  82. English Defence league march in Rotherham 'cost £1m' The Guardian, 12 May 2014, accessed 2 February 2015
  83. 83.0 83.1 Bournemouth EDL march attracts counter protest BBC News, 23rd August 2013, accessed 29 January 2015
  84. 84.0 84.1 National EDL demonstration in Batley: Two hundred protesters gather at market place for first ever event in town The Huddersfield Daily Examiner, accessed 29 January 2015
  85. 85.0 85.1 The English Defence League The Guardian, accessed 27 January 2015
  86. 86.0 86.1 EDL founder Tommy Robinson speaks at the Oxford Union BBC News, accessed 29 January 2015
  87. EDL News, accessed 27 January 2015
  88. Look: EDL rioters who terrorised Birmingham city centre jailed for more than 75 years Birmingham Mail, 9 January 2015, accessed 2 February 2015
  89. 89.0 89.1 EDL storms into book club thinking Russell Brand would turn up (he didn't) The Telegraph, accessed 29 January 2015
  90. Chandler's Ford EDL protest leads to man's arrest BBC News, accessed 29 January 2015
  91. Thirty people arrested at EDL anti-mosque march in Dudley The Independent, 8 February 2015, accessed 12 February 2015
  92. REACTION: English Defence League march through Boston, Boston Standard, 02 October 2016. Accessed 04 October 2016.