Convicted violent nazi ‘Tommy Robinson’ no ‘free spech martyr’

This video from England says about itself:

UK: Nazi salutes as EDL march through Newcastle

17 May 2014

Around four hundred EDL supporters marched through the streets of Newcastle’s West End flanked by police and the ‘EDL steward team’ Saturday, despite local opposition to the pre-planned event. Some members of the march are seen pulling Nazi salutes.

By Laura Tiernan in Britain:

Far right promotes UK fascist Tommy Robinson as free-speech “martyr”

2 June 2018

English Defence League (EDL) founder Tommy Robinson

‘Tommy Robinson‘ is NOT the real name of that racist. This former member of the neonazi BNP, sentenced for violent crime and later for fraud, is called Stephen Yaxley-Lennon … err … that sounds too Irish, as neonazis hate not only Muslims, Jews, Africans, etc. etc. but Irish people as well. So, he prefers calling himself the more Germanic “Tommy Robinson“.

Recently, ‘Robinson’ launched a racist attack on the victims and survivors of the London Grenfell Tower fire disaster.

This video is called Tommy Robinson Attacks Grenfell Victims – Disgusting!!

The Laura Tiernan article continues:

has been hailed as a free speech martyr by the far-right, after he was jailed on May 25 for contempt of court. He was arrested outside Leeds Crown Court for live-streaming a fascistic rant against “Muslim paedophiles” and “Muslim rapists” during the concluding stage of a child-grooming trial.

Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) and Donald Trump Jr. are among those to have issued statements in Robinson’s defence. Wilders spoke outside the British Embassy at The Hague Tuesday, saying Robinson was “a freedom fighter” whose jailing showed “the authorities are trying to silence us, while Islamists are pampered, protected and defended.”

Alternative for Germany (AfD) MP Petr Bystron described him as a “political prisoner”, telling Breitbart London he would help Robinson apply for asylum in Germany.

Robinson’s stunt was a calculated provocation—his arrest and subsequent jailing a guaranteed outcome.

During more than an hour of live-streamed footage to an estimated 12,000 viewers, Robinson verbally attacked those of Asian appearance as they entered the court, demanding, “Got your prison bag with you?” and “Got any guilt?” “Thirty percent of them are called Mohammed”, he told viewers, “and they are English girls.” He filmed outside the court while on a suspended three-month sentence for a previous contempt of court conviction. On that occasion, he had also filmed during a live criminal trial, at Canterbury Crown Court, attacking defendants as “Muslim paedophiles.”

At his sentencing hearing in May 2017, Judge Norton had warned he would face a custodial sentence, with added time, in the event of any further breach. He explained that Robinson’s conviction was because his actions infringed the right to a fair trial:

“This contempt hearing is not about free speech. This is not about the freedom of the press. This is not about legitimate journalism; this is not about political correctness; this is not about whether one political viewpoint is right or another. It is about justice, and it is about ensuring that a trial can be carried out justly and fairly. It is about ensuring that a jury are not in any way inhibited from carrying out their important function. It is about being innocent until proven guilty.”

Far from Robinson being “victimised,” he received leniency at that hearing. The judge agreed to suspend a custodial sentence based on arguments by Robinson’s defence team that he would face “dangers” in prison.

Fully aware that his subsequent actions outside Leeds Crown Court were illegal, Robinson told viewers while filming, “There is a reporting restriction on this case.” Judge Marson QC imposed a 13-month prison sentence later that day after Robinson pleaded guilty to contempt of court.

Robinson’s livestream during an ongoing trial was an attack on the basic democratic rights of the defendants to the presumption of innocence. Despite his depraved claims to be representing the victims of child grooming, his filming threatened to expose the identities of alleged victims and witnesses, including minors. Leeds Live reporter Stephanie Finnegan saw Robinson filming in front of jurors.

But according to the fascists, it is Robinson whose rights have been violated.

Within minutes of his arrest, far-right supporters in the UK and internationally claimed Robinson was the victim of a political witch-hunt and called for action. The following day, hundreds of far-right supporters, including UK Independence Party (UKIP), Football Lads Alliance and Generation Identity members, protested outside Downing Street. Banners included “Free the truth teller” and “White Lives Matter”, amid Union Jack and St. George flags. A petition to free Robinson has gained more than 500,000 signatures, with a further demonstration planned for June 9.

Writing last Saturday, Zero Edge said Robinson was being targeted by “an Orwellian media blackout—which resulted in several publications deleting their articles from the web covering Robinson’s arrest”.

Temporary reporting restrictions—known as a “postponement order”—were imposed at Robinson’s sentencing hearing to stop the ongoing trial at Leeds Crown Court from being prejudiced. The order was lifted on May 29, after the judge upheld an appeal by Leeds Live and the Independent arguing the media ban had been rendered ineffective by extensive and inaccurate reporting by international news outlets and on social media, including alt-right networks.

The far-right’s “Asian grooming” narrative

The Leeds Crown Court case (R v Akhtar and others) is one of a series of high profile grooming trials seized on by the far-right to promote anti-Islamic and race hatred. On March 7, Britain First leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen were jailed for 18 and 36 weeks respectively over the same Canterbury Crown Court trial Robinson latched onto last May. The pair were convicted of religiously-aggravated harassment after filming repeated confrontations at the homes and workplaces of four men they described as “the Ramsgate migrant rapists.”

In one of three incidents for which she was convicted, Fransen leafleted streets surrounding the former home of Faiz Rahmani while he was remanded in custody awaiting trial for the alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl. The leaflets displayed his address and listed the charges against him, in a clear attempt to incite a lynch-mob. Fransen then bashed at the front door and windows where Rahmani’s pregnant former-partner, Kelli Best, lived alone with her two young children. The Britain First leader yelled racist obscenities, demanding those inside show their face. Best was so traumatised that she later miscarried.

The campaign against “Asian grooming” and the racialisation of sex crime was not invented by the fascists. It is a staple of the mainstream media, ushered in by a 2011 front page article published by Rupert Murdoch’s Times that singled out, based on highly selective data, an Asian model of “on-street grooming.”

The Times piece, with its insinuation that Asian sex gangs were being protected by political correctness, was quickly amplified by the tabloids.

Claims of an Asian sex crime wave sweeping England’s north have been repeatedly contested by leading academics and charities. In a 2014 paper, “Grooming and the ‘Asian sex gang predator’: the construction of a racial crime threat”, criminologist Ella Cockbain called out the Times for its use of “spurious statistics.” The 50 Muslims cited by the Times in its initial report formed part of 17 “grooming” cases: “Despite the severity of the offences, 17 cases hardly constitute the alleged ‘tidal wave of offending’, a clear example of the disproportionality of the original threat, a key ingredient for any moral panic.”

As Cockbain explained, “grooming is not a distinct criminal offence. [It] is better understood as a subset of CSE (child sexual exploitation), itself a broad, umbrella-type phenomenon encompassing diverse offences—ranging from rape to sexual activity with a child, to false imprisonment.”

Once this contextualised approach is taken, the racial narrative of the Times falls apart. According to Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) figures cited by FullFact (covering the period of the Times investigation), “Almost 85% of offenders found guilty of sexual activity with a minor in England and Wales in 2011 were white. 3% were black and 4% were Asian and the rest were either listed as ‘other’ or unknown.”

Political censorship

Robinson’s media stunt is an attempt on his part to stake a leading role in an ongoing regroupment of Britain’s far-right that reflects broader international processes. With UKIP on the verge of collapse since the June 2016 Brexit referendum—its platform largely adopted by the Conservatives—Robinson and others are hoping to emulate the rise of the AfD, PVV and France’s National Front (FN).

The rise of such parties has been possible only due to the rottenness of the official left parties …which have enforced brutal social inequality, censorship and war.

FN leader Marine Le Pen claims to represent “the France of the people,” against “the moneyed right, and the moneyed left”, while denouncing “a globalization from below, via mass immigration” …

Robinson has been at a loose end since his resignation from the EDL in 2013. He briefly joined the anti-Islamic extremism Quilliam think-tank that has close state connections (a role for which he reportedly received £2,000 per month), before presiding over an abortive re-launch of the British wing of Pegida in 2016 with Ann Marie Waters. Waters later failed in her bid to become UKIP leader (in June 2017), founding a new party, For Britain, in December. Robinson was employed as a journalist by Canadian alt-right site Rebel News before launching his own news site.

The viral social media campaigns that have followed Robinson’s arrest and jailing must serve as a warning to the working class. These groups do not presently enjoy mass support, but their influence is growing. By November 2017, Britain First had two million Facebook likes, with a surge in support after US President Donald Trump retweeted anti-Muslim videos shared by Fransen. By the end of the year the group had the “second most liked Facebook page in the politics and society category in the UK—after the royal family”, according to anti-fascist think-tank Hope Not Hate.

… Under conditions of a global resurgence of the class struggle, the past year has seen a state-orchestrated suppression of left-wing, socialist and anti-war websites by social media giants Google, Facebook and Twitter. The World Socialist Web Site is leading an international campaign against these efforts as part of the struggle to unite the international working class against the resurgence of nationalism, militarism and war.

The only social force that can oppose the growth of the far-right is the working class. The fight to unite all sections of the working class—black, white and Asian—in opposition to social inequality and war, and for socialism, provides the only genuine answer to the growth of the far-right.

Britain First’s Paul Golding Charged Under The Terrorism Act. [HuffPost UK]

13 thoughts on “Convicted violent nazi ‘Tommy Robinson’ no ‘free spech martyr’

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