Socialist Worker

Anti-racists prepare to take on Nazi threat after Tommy Robinson’s retrial is put back

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2624

All the different groups of the British far right were outside the court

All the different groups of the British far right were outside the court (Pic: Guy Smallman)


A baying crowd of Nazis gathered outside the Old Bailey in central London to greet their fuhrer Tommy Robinson on Thursday.

Chants of “Free Tommy” and “Whose streets? Our streets” rang out from the mob, which had swelled to over 300 by the time he walked into the court.

Every fascist and racist was hoping to see the Nazi figurehead freed after the beginning the retrial at the Old Bailey. 

But the retrial has now been adjourned until 23 October to give lawyers more time to make written submissions of their legal arguments. The judge will then decide whether to have a full hearing of the case.

Robinson remains free on bail.

He walked to court flanked by Kevin Carroll—his cousin with whom he co-founded the fascist English Defence League (EDL) in 2009.

Organisers and stewards had been trying to keep the crowd on best behaviour, but violence broke out. Some of the mob attacked journalists while Robinson was speaking outside the court.

And after Robinson went inside, the fascists shoved their way into the middle of the road and tried to attack anti-racists. Around 30 people joined a counter-protest organised by Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) and Unite Against Fascism (UAF).

All the different groups of the British far right were outside the court hoping to gain out of the “Free Tommy” movement.

It included open Nazis—some of whom did the “Sieg Heil salute—and supporters of the fascist rump of the EDL. And Alan Lake, the rich far right ideologue who bankrolled the EDL, also made an appearance. 

The Nazis tried to attack an anti-racist counter-protest

The Nazis tried to attack an anti-racist counter-protest (Pic: Guy Smallman)


One of the flags in the crowd was from white supremacist Generation Identity, a group of young people that looks to Donald Trump and the US alt right.

A significant section of the crowd included supporters of the racist Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) street movement. They have called a march in London on 13 October, hoping to place themselves in the leadership of the “Free Tommy” movement.

There were flags of the racist populist Ukip party in the crowd. And it included young members of the party, who have previously been on the thousands-strong “Free Tommy” rallies in London.

SUTR and UAF have called a counter-protest against the DFLA on 13 October.

Despite Robinson’s case being unresolved, the march still has the potential to be a flashpoint for the far right, who are seeking new opportunities to grow.

“We’ll see you on the 13th,” one thug shouted at anti-racists.

This mix in the crowd confirmed the growing links between the Nazi, racist populist and traditional conservative forces. Their rise is being fuelled by the racism pushed by politicians and the press against Muslims, migrants and refugees.

This makes the national demonstration against racism and fascism on 17 November a key opportunity to push back the fascists and the racists helps them grow.

Join the Stand Up To Racism and Unite Against Fascismprotest against the Democratic Football Lads Alliance on 13 October in London. And go all out to build thenational demonstration against racism and fascismon 17 November. The SUTR conference is on 20 October. Register now here

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