Greene King in warning over EDL meetings at Cambridge pub

 The Green Dragon pub in Chesterton   The Green Dragon pub in Chesterton

A pub owner and brewery has issued a warning after it was revealed the English Defence League (EDL) is holding meetings in one of its Cambridge watering holes.Members of the controversial anti-Islamic extremism group have been promoting gatherings in the Green Dragon pub in Water Street, Chesterton.The ‘meet and greet’ at the Greene King-owned pub was posted on social networking website Facebook by the EDL Cambridge Division.

Greene King has distanced itself from the meetings of the group and gave a stark message to potential troublemakers.

A spokeswoman said: “We would like to reassure our customers that we do not align ourselves with any political party or pressure group.

“We pride ourselves on providing a safe, welcoming environment and to that end do not tolerate any behaviour in our pubs that would affect the enjoyment of other customers.”

The EDL also boasts a website on which they claim Cambridge is awash with terrorists.

It says: “The EDL Cambridge Division is a group of lads who have had enough of the Islamic extremists that are so pervasive in Cambridge. We are saying enough is enough and are making a stand.

“For too long the Islamic terrorists have had Cambridge under their thumb, but no longer.”

Members of the group took part in a 30-strong rally in Christ’s Pieces in February but there was also a march by 500 counter-demonstrators.

When the group held a march in Cambridge in 2011 it was banned from The Regal in St Andrew’s Street after they tried to book a huge number of breakfasts. The pub closed during the demonstration on July 9.

The group, which is protesting against the building of a new mosque in Mill Road, has previously used other pubs in the JD Wetherspoon chain as meeting points.

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert said: “This is a matter for Greene King. A pub should be a welcoming place for everyone regardless of views or politics but ultimately it is right that the decision should rest with the brewery or landlord. They should consider what their customers might think, however.”

Richard Rose, an organiser of Cambridge Unite Against Fascism, said: “I’m sure the people of multicultural Cambridge would not want to drink with them and would expect Greene King to end these meet and greet gatherings – gatherings whose financial benefit to the pubs must be much smaller than losses that would occur due to locals staying away if these tiny gatherings became more regular and larger.”

From The Cambridge News . Report by Raymond Brown. 12.04.2013

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