Lecture gatecrashed by EDL protesters

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Police were called to escort English Defence League protesters from a lecture after they interrupted the talk in Sheffield.

A group of about 10 people were escorted from The Showroom cinema in the city centre, where the talk entitled Defeating Fascism in European Elections was taking place, as they had been ‘verbally aggressive’ to people inside the venue.

A police spokesman said the group then dispersed from the area.

Anna Roberts, who was at the venue at the time, said the protesters were holding up an English flag and chanting ‘EDL’.

She added: “It was horrible, they were chanting very loudly and aggressively.

“It made me want to apologise to everyone going to the lecture.”

Sheffield Unite Against Fascism hosted the lecture, where speakers included Yorkshire MEP Linda McAvan.

Paul Scarrott, from SUAF, said it was ‘disappointing’ that the talk had been interrupted.

He added: “It’s important that the people of Sheffield are able to meet, discuss and debate with freedom of speech.

“That has got to be respected and unfortunately there are people who don’t respect that.”