Tuesday 26 February 2019

Fascist ‘Tommy Robinson’ removed from Facebook & Instagram; anti fascists oppose Robinson in Salford/far right round up

Image result for tommy robinson

The far-right co founder of the English Defence League, ‘Tommy Robinson’,  has been permanently banned from Facebook and Instagram for repeatedly breaking the sites’ policies on hate speech.



Facebook said Robinson, aka Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, broke rules that ban public calls for violence against people based on protected characteristics; rules that ban supporting or appearing with organised hate groups; and policies that stop people from using Facebook to bully  individuals. One of Robinson’s aides eg ‘Danny Tommo’,  will no doubt facilitate an online status for Robinson, but this will hit Robinson hard, for now at least.



Robinson is already banned from Twitter and the decision to cut him off from Instagram and Facebook leaves him reliant on YouTube as the central online platform to gain an audience.



Facebook said: “When ideas and opinions cross the line and amount to hate speech that may create an environment of intimidation and exclusion for certain groups in society – in some cases with potentially dangerous offline implications – we take action.



“Robinson’s page has repeatedly broken these standards, posting material that uses dehumanizing language and calls for violence targeted at Muslims. He has also behaved in ways that violate our policies around organized hate.”



The ban comes after Facebook issued a final written warning against Robinson, warning him that if he continued to break company policies he would be removed from its platform permanently.



That warning was for breaches that included a post calling on people to terrorise and behead those who follow the Qur’an; a post… to “make war” on Muslims; and videos showing people being bullied.




Following that, Robinson did break Facebook’s policies again, it says, through:

  • Participating in events with recognised hate groups, such as Proud Boys
  • Public remarks that include hate speech targeted at a specific group in society
  • Calls for violence against people based on issues such as race, ethnicity or national origin.



Robinson, needless to say, has vowed, he will fight such “censorship”.


UAF’s Weyman Bennett said, “We welcome Facebook and Instagram’s decision to permanently remove
Stephen Yaxley Lennon aka Tommy Robinson, from using social media
platforms, for breaching their hate speech policies.
However, this decision should have been taken much earlier. Robinson
has a sordid history of instigating religious and racial hatred



His supporters on Saturday in Salford, railing against the BBC,
included open fascists from Generation Identity to ex EDL thugs (see below). As an
ex BNP member and co EDL founder, Robinson’s support base
internationally has been used to create divide and rule.

Social media has helped Robinson finance his vile racism. Facebook,
after pressure from many campaigners, has finally acted. He will no
doubt whinge about this decision, but the less of a platform for him,
the better.”


Manchester rallies against Robinson

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor
Stand up to Racism and Unite Against Fascism held a successful anti
fascist demonstration last Saturday in Salford, Greater Manchester, to
oppose fascist Tommy Robinson. Over 600 mainly locals gathered in the
Media City.

Robinson claimed up to 10 000 would attend his
supposed revelations about a forthcoming BBC documentary on him.. Less
than half of that number did, though the 3000 who did show to support
him were hardened, politically. Among Robinson supporters were supporters of Generation Identity, who talk of saving the white
race’. Ex EDL members from the North East  mingled among
the crowd. The notorious James Goddard, who faces charges arising from
his ‘yellow vest’ provocations and intimidation of public figures, was
also present.





Goddard kept a low profile and yellow vests thugs were perhaps in the
mind of one of Robinson’s organisers, who asked from the stage, ‘for
no trouble’, today’. (Yellow vests appeared in London, alongside nazis
from the National Front)





Robinson’s big day of exposing the BBC fell somewhat flat due to
technical mishaps with the expensive technology. Saturday had been
much hyped by Robinson and his online lapdogs. They had spent the week
preceding Saturday promising earth shattering revelations. In reality,
the world is still waiting. ‘Panodrama’, this
was not. As others have noted, Robinson’s wedding video and
an alt right singer’s appearance saw some supporters leaving, shaking
their heads at what was happening.



Online videos by Robinson on Sunday saw him trying to explain away Saturday’s problems  and promising to show the ‘whole story’ very
soon. A nation is not holding his breath. Robinson made a series of
allegations on Sunday, to which the BBC replied, “The BBC strongly
rejects any suggestion that our journalism is ‘faked’ or biased. Any
programme we broadcast will adhere to the BBC’s strict editorial
guidelines.BBC Panorama’s investigation will continue.”





Efforts were made by Robinson and current UKIP leader, Gerard Batten,
both to recruit to UKIP and to speeden the process for Robinson to be
a prospective UKIP MP. Under UKIP rules, Robinson still can’t join the
far right group, due to his previous membership of the fascist BNP.
Batten is depending on a rule change to make RobInson’s aims happen. Robinson, in a key passage, spoke of ” when we take their seats, then they’re have to listen”. This ambition of electoral representation fits the pattern of far right strategists internationally, who have focused on both street mobilisations and parliaments to popularise their poison.

Given the far right nature of UKIP, Robinson’s membership may be soon coming. However, given what
Panorama may have on Robinson, Batten may rue the day, he hitched UKIP
to Robinson.

Journalist’s were threatened by thugs on Saturday and marched away
from the stage by Robinson’s ‘security’. Robinson ludicrously claimed the BBC
had been targeting him for 10 year’s. Journalists would take an
interest in someone with a record as long as his, which includes
mortage fraud and convictions around football.He also challenged the
Attorney General to sort proceedings over his contempt of court
hearing. ‘Be careful what you wish for’, springs to mind as the air
turned blue with abuse.
Robinson announced that he was starting a new media venture with
Australian alt-right figure Avi Yemeni—who calls himself the “world’s
proudest Jewish Nazi.”



Cue UKIP leader Gerard Batten who ranted that far left, ‘black
propaganda’was to blame for Robinson’s current situation.
Robinson’s turnout for a national demo was less than the 5000 he
received last year in London in December. Some who travelled didn’t
ultimately attend Robinson’s rally. They stayed in a bar and got

Anti fascists meanwhile held an upbeat rally 300 yards away from the
far right. Delegations from Sheffield, Birmingham and Leeds joined
Manchester anti racists. Among them were Labour councillors, young
people and trades unionists alongside a Momentum delegation.
The postal workers CWU union, rail workers from RMT, lecturers from
UCU, civil servants from PCS, teachers from NEU and members of Unite
the Union and Unison were all represented. Manchester Trades Council
had backed the SUTR/UAF event, and a message of solidarity came from
the TUC. Solidarity messages were also read out from authors such as
Louise Raw. Mike Stuchberry, an anti fascist writer, was among

Kate Lewis, a Labour councillor from Salford, said it is critical that
people joined the counter-protest “because racism is growing in this


“The move to populism is helping the right wing and racism to grow,” she said.


And Lewis pointed to racist incidents in the run-up to the far right
rally, including “No blacks” being sprayed onto a Congolese family’s
door in Salford. “You’ve got racist graffiti that looks back to the
times of colonialism”.


“We have fought against racism and we have to stand up to it now.”


Anti fascists had a good counter protest and spirits were high. Coming
after weeks of yellow vest provocations in Manchester today showed the
sort of forces that can start to drive back the far right.


In total contrast, Robinson backers included football  hooligan
members of ‘firms’ from Chelsea, Spurs, Newcastle, Birmingham City,
West Bromwich, Hull City,
Aston Villa Stockport, Cardif and Leicester. Such groups are part of
the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA). London firms such as
Millwall and Spurs were also there.


However, many stayed away from the Robinson event. Beer and the sun
won out over ‘Panodrama’. Noticeably absent on the day were contingents
from Chelsea and West Ham’s  hooligans. Previously, the DFLA has been
built on the back of such club’s firms. Though on paper still
committed to the DFLA, their non appearance showed the trip north was
not an attractive proposition.



DFLA supporters mixed with Polish far right thugs, part of the Polish
DFLA, based from Manchester. Batten and Robinson posed for selfies
with some of the Polish group, below. Polish anti fascists had informed anti
fascists that among the Poles were some intent on attacking
anti racists. This did not materialise. However, in recent times,
there have been a number of Polish fascists resident in the UK who
have been part of fascist violence in Liverpool and Manchester.
Some have also been linked to the banned nazi, wannabe terrorists of
National Action.

poles salford


poles f right

The DFLA, though still on board with Robinson, are at one one remove
from the coterie surrounding Robinson and marginal to his organising.
They have shrunk in numbers clearly, and make up for it with venom
directed at anti racism activity and the left.



Anti fascists, as with last December’s march that outnumbered Robinson
in London, will be looking to pull in wider layers to our efforts.
Manchester SUTR and  UAF did sterling work in the run up to
today.People on the anti racist rally left determined and confident
that more can be won to our side.



However, extreme right elements, coalescing crucially around
Robinson/UKIP are developing their ideological  world view and such
mobilisations must continue to be resisted. On sale at Robinson’s
rally, alongside UKIP merchandise was T shirts bearing the logo, BBC =
British Bolshevik Corporation’.
Robinson’s lynch pin status on the British far right remains. Bravado
aside, Salford was not the big step forward he thought (or wished for)
Mancunians did not flock in numbers  to his hate, some attracted to
his grandstanding were frustrated by the day and ‘Watergate’, this
clearly wasn’t.
The BBC still stands and Robinson’s international networks did not
make up for the turnout. The decision by Facebook will also hit Robinson financially.



Once again Robinson’s high ambitions and schemes have not quite come
off. He remains someone whose ideas and following need to be
undermined and cut down.  #UNantiracism Day on #March16 is a
key date for our side. A big turnout can deepen and increase anti
fascists ability to stop the growth of the likes of Robinson. Details here, https://www.facebook.com/events/2013107605418593/

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