Thursday 16 May 2019

Anti fascists turn heat on ‘Tommy Robinson’ in North West as Robinson faces courts

Anti-racists outside the Old Bailey

pic – Guy Smallman

 

Anti-racists are gearing up for big days of action this weekend to stop fascist and Ukip’s far right candidates in the European elections

Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) and Unite against Fascism supporters have been out almost every day for the last fortnight to try to make sure Robinson doesn’t become an MEP.

Around 40,000 leaflets were handed out across Liverpool, Lancaster, Barrow, Morecambe, Manchester, Prestwich, Stockport, and Bolton last weekend. Both Mayors of Liverpool and Greater Manchester, Joe Anderson and Andy Burnham, are speaking at rallies in the cities this weekend.

 

 

Nearly 100 SUTR/UAF supporters also gathered outside the Old Bailey in London on Tuesday as Robinson went into court. Judges  ruled that Robinson will face new contempt of court proceedings in July over claims he filmed people in a criminal trial and broadcast the footage on social media.

 

 

Around 350 supporters of Robinson turned up to hear him deliver a short, paranoid speech. They included ex Combat 18 thugs, UKIP and For Britain, members. Anne Marie Waters, ex UKIP leadership candidate also attended, unlike UKIP  leader Gerard Batten. There are rumours of a rift between Batten and Robinson, but these so far are unconfirmed.

 

 

Robinson also is to be sued by the Syrian schoolboy the ex EDL leader accused of assault.

Jamal Hijazi has issued libel action over Robinson’s maliciious claim the former attacked white schoolgirls. Footage of the refugee student being pushed to the ground and having water poured on his face was watched millions of times on YouTube and saw huge sympathy turned into solidarity. Thousands of pounds was raised by anti fascists in support of the family.

 

 

In March this year a 16-year-old boy, who cannot be identified, was given a caution for racially aggravated assault on Jamal.

Resisting Robinson

Around 100 people joined a rally against Robinson in Bolton, Greater Manchester, last Saturday. Laila Hasan from Bolton SUTR said, “This has been a show of unity and solidarity in the face of hatred and division.

“People have been taking away leaflets to distribute in their ­workplaces and areas.”

The following day SUTR ­supporters, including two Labour councillors, leafleted Manchester United’s Old Trafford football ground.

Anti fascists report an ­overwhelmingly positive response.

“We got rid of a lot of leaflets and a couple of people wanted a whole bundle to take away.”

 

 

Voting

There is a real danger that Robinson could win a seat due to low turnout and the proportional ­representation voting system.

One North West anti racist said, “Around this time last year we leafleted Old Trafford ahead of the Football Lads Alliance coming to Manchester.

“I sense there was more support for the far right this time around. Tommy Robinson’s profile has increased since then and it’s more of a focus because he’s standing in the election.”

Meanwhile, Ukip’s campaign has been floundering. Party leader Gerard Batten’s battle bus didn’t show up as planned to the Westminster launch last Friday or in Swindon and Bristol last Tuesday.

 

 

SUTR activists and others held protests anyway.

And in the South West of England activists are campaigning against alt right YouTube personality Carl Benjamin—known as “Sargon of Akkad”—who is one of Ukip’s ­candidates in the region.

Protesters threw a milkshake—and fish—at Benjamin in Truro last week after a similar action against Robinson went viral earlier this month.

Afterwards another one of Ukip’s alt right candidates Mark Meechan—known online as “Count Dankula”—threatened protesters with violence.

 

 

He was fined last year for ­teaching a dog to do the Nazi salute on hearing “gas the Jews”. Meechan said, “Just to be clear, anyone that comes at me with a milkshake will need the straw to eat their meals for the next few months.

“I don’t care how many cameras are rolling, you’ll be getting booted up and down the street.”

 

 

His threat of violence follows an assault by Robinson supporters on activist Alice Edwards in Warrington, Cheshire, last week.

A mass campaign can stop the far right/Robinson—anti-racists are looking to ­mobilise large numbers for the days of action this weekend.


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