Wednesday 1 August 2018

After fascist Tommy Robinson is released from prison: Four steps to take on the far right

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Fascist thug Tommy Robinson has won his appeal against his conviction for contempt of court and is set to be released on bail.




Robinson  was jailed for 13 months in May after broadcasting on Facebook outside Leeds Crown Court regarding a highly sensitive, ongoing criminal trial. He pleaded guilty on the day of his arrest and was sentenced immediately.




However, he will soon be released from prison after judges found his conviction was ‘flawed’.  There will be a re-hearing on the charge of contempt of court. The judges considered not sending Robinson for a new hearing given that he already served four months behind bars. However, this was rejected because the alleged contempt “was serious and the sentence might be longer” than four months.




Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett and two other judges in London quashed a finding of contempt made in May at Leeds Crown Court and ordered a fresh hearing of the allegation. The court agreed with Robinson’s barrister that the judge should not have commenced contempt of court proceedings the same day he was arrested.


In a summary of the judgement they wrote: “Once the appellant had removed the video from Facebook, there was no longer sufficient urgency to justify immediate proceedings”. Robinson was also in breach of a suspended sentence for a similar offence in Canterbury, with the appeal against that conviction thrown out.



One commentator noted, ‘Robinson is under bail conditions – his movements and actions are both restricted and monitored. He’s also failed to have either of the charges dropped, and he’s going back to court. He could, conceivably, be jailed again’.
True, but internationally, the far right have of course, welcomed the decision today. Notorious islamophobic MEP Geert Wilders was just one who tweeted his congratulations, as did members of UKIP and the thugs of the so called Democratic Football Lads Alliance.
Around 40 fascists were at the Royal Courts of Justice where they were met by anti fascists from Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) and Unite Against Fascism (UAF)
UKIP spokesperson for Children and families Alan Craig, joined thugs from the DFLA at the appeal.
Robinson’s jailing led to racist marches in Leeds and London. Thousands, including known fascists, rallied to his cause. In Leeds, following a march in his support, a mosque and a Gurdwara were attacked. UAF and SUTR have held several demonstrations opposing Robinson’s far right thugs.
Three thousand marched and rallied in Westminster last month, which saw a group of far right football hooligans from London attack trades unionists, in an unprovoked attack,
Clearly, the far right are boosted by this result, albeit Robinson is not off the hook, yet. Anti fascists have to redouble our efforts and ensure that recent successes in London, Cambridge and Scotland are built on. Most people in the UK detest Robinson and what he stands for and it’s very encouraging that major unions like Unite are mobilising and organising with anti fascists against Robinson and his ilk.
Several Trump supporters from the fake news, far right, Rebel Media, were in London, cheer
leading for Robinson. As SUTR and UAF have recently revealed, money for Robinson is coming from the rich and powerful, internationally. The UK is witnessing what anti fascists across Europe have been experiencing for some time.
Weyman Bennett, joint Secretary of UAF said, ““There is a danger that Tommy Robinson’s release on bail will embolden the far right and racists across Britain. We have no confidence in the judgement. Robinson pleaded guilty and should pay the price. We must unite against everything Robinson and his far right and fascist supporters stand for.
The language Robinson uses about Muslims echoes that used against Jewish people in the 1930’s. During his trial Finsbury Park terrorist Darren Osborne was said to be inspired by Robinson, before he attacked Muslims. After the Second World War and Holocaust the whole world said “never again. We must live up to this sentiment and stand up to racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and fascism”.
Together with SUTR, UAF is urgently promoting the following.
There are four steps we can take to push back the rise of the far right in Britain:


  • Hold an anti-racist forum in your town or city to discuss the rise of the far right. Invite anti-racist activists, students, trade unions and anyone else who wants to sop the likes of Robinson. Local Stand Up to Racism groups are already doing this, so get in touch. A template leaflet here


  • Sign our petition saying Tommy and his racist friends aren’t welcome in your local area.


  • Leaflet your local football ground with our factsheet on the far right (see here). The far right are targeting football fans, so get an anti-racist message into your local club. The season starts on Saturday.


  • Join our international conference against racism and fascism on Saturday 20 October (see facebook event here, book tickets here). Anti-racist activists from around Europe will be coming to London to discuss how we can push back against the far right. Be there.

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