Anti-racist campaigners in Essex were still feeling a warm glow today after winning hearts and minds against the fascist English Defence League.
Around 150 EDL supporters marched down Chelmsford's streets along with the Essex Infidels - a splinter group with neonazi links.
But another 300 counter-demonstrators were ready and waiting, a coalition ranging from Unite Against Fascism to the Traveller Solidarity Network, trade unionists and local faith groups.
EDL figureheads maintain it only opposes Islamic fundamentalism and religiously motivated violence but organisers yesterday's march said they were protesting against plans for a "mega-mosque" on Regina Road.
Chelmsford has only one mosque but supermarket chain Waitrose has offered to build a community centre on the site, to be run by Chelmsford's Muslim Association.
The march follows an incident last month in which EDL supporters marched down Duke Street chanting "You burn our poppy, we burn your mosque."
Several of the League's founding members including leader Tommy Robinson are former members of the neonazi British National Party and supporters are frequently photographed performing the "sieg heil" salute at events.
EDL demonstrations frequently also end in violence, although police today reported "minimal disruption" with no arrests.
Chelmsford TUC General Secretary Malcolm Wallace said it had been a "celebration of unity."
The reaction from members of the public had been "absolutely wonderful" with hundreds signing the campaign's statement against racism and fascism. "It hasn't been a hard sell or anything like that - it's been very heartwarming to get that kind of response," he said.