I was queuing at a café when two older men cut the queue ahead of me. I believe it was a genuine mistake - the room was cramped with people, and a space appeared when a woman missed that the queue was moving ahead (she was reading a menu), where they jumped in.
Me and some other queuers noticed this - we went ahead and tapped their shoulders and told them they had to move back. They did not like this - they refused to believe the queue had extended that far, and accused us of trying to cut. They even implied that I had threatened violence (No one had done anything of the sort - I was slightly frightened by this). Eventually, we were six people asking them to move but they flat out refused.
I specifically brought up how the gap appeared and that the queue hadn't ended where they entered, but they insisted that we were in the wrong - they claimed the woman had been reading the menu without standing in line (as if it's impossible to do both).
In the end I went ahead and tried to get a member of staff to join us in sorting out the situation - but they were overworked summer workers who didn't know/care enough to handle the situation. I slinked back to my position in the queue, where the discussion had died down and the cutters were still ahead, eventually getting served before us.
Question: How could I/we have handled the situation differently, to get the cutters to move back in the queue?
I could've dropped the whole thing, not joining the confronters, but that wasn't likely to reach the results I wanted. I hear "it's not your job to enforce the rules" as a possible rebuttal to my question, but none of us enforced anything - if we had physically removed them from the queue, or refused to serve them until they took their correct position (which we obviously couldn't), that would've been enforcing. Right now, we just informed them, and then the staff (who could've enforced the rules), of their behavior.
Their justification for refusing (we were six strangers who had, on the spot, conspired to jump ahead two queue positions) was so bizarre that I feel there must've been a way around their absurd levels of denial. Of course, I might be wrong in the assumption that it was a genuine mistake - then their counter-accusations take a very different meaning.
For the record, this situation occurred in Sweden, which has a queuing culture similar to the UK.