Coun Lauren Mitchell branded the group a ‘disgusting, fascist organisation’ during speeches at the Nottingham United Against the EDL rally in the city centre.
Around 160 members of the EDL converged on Nottingham from Leicester, Grimsby, the North West and other parts of the country for a march which saw them confronted by over 400 anti-fascist demonstrators.
Lauren told supporters: “I am proud at the home and shelter Nottingham has rightly provided over centuries for those in need.
“However, that welcome is not infinite.
“I’m absolutely appalled that today, we have such a disgusting, fascist organisation entering our wonderfully diverse city.
“I do however think it says a lot about the EDL and what they stand for when there’s more press and police at their rallies than there are supporters.
“The EDL is riddled with hate. The EDL calls for integration but at the same time tries to turn communities against each other. Well the EDL is not welcome here in our communities. They spread their hatred, and they spread their lies. We will spread love and we will spread peace.”
The march began at 1.30pm and traffic in the city centre was stopped while they processed from the canal area, to the castle before ending up at Market Square.
Along the way there were strong exchanges of words between the different supporters, a lot of pushing and shoving, and police worked hard to separate the protesters.
EDL members gave speeches condemning FGM, denying claims of racism and claiming their right to peaceful protest.
Chief Inspector Andy Hall said the majority of demonstrators behaved responsibly. Five arrests were made, but injuries or assaults were reported.
Speaking after the demonstration, Lauren said: “The EDL threw a lot of coins. They also threw smoke bombs. They were drunk. I think they just wanted to fight. They were literally asking people to fight. They called the woman slags. They had no argument.”