Socialist Worker

Anti-racists step up the action against Tommy Robinson

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2654

Anti-racists outside the Old Bailey

Anti-racists outside the Old Bailey (Pic: Guy Smallman)


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

Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) supporters have been out almost every day for the last two weeks to make sure Robinson doesn’t become an MEP in North West England.

Around 40,000 leaflets were handed out across Liverpool, Lancaster, Barrow, Morecambe, Manchester, Prestwich, Stockport, and Bolton last weekend.

Around 100 SUTR supporters also gathered outside the Old Bailey in London on Tuesday as Robinson went into the court. Judges later 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.  

Battleground North West—the fight to stop Nazi Tommy Robinson
Battleground North West—the fight to stop Nazi Tommy Robinson
  Read More

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.

Celia, an SUTR activist, told Socialist Worker, “We had 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.

Celia 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.

Only a mass campaign can stop the far right—anti-racists need to ­mobilise large numbers for the days of action this weekend.

Join the weekend of opposition to Tommy Robinson in the North West. Activity across the region including Carlisle, Preston, Crewe, Liverpool and Manchester. For details go to bit.ly/StopTRinNW

A big rally in Wigan estate

Around 200 people joined a rally for Nazi Tommy Robinson on a housing estate in Wigan, Greater Manchester, on Monday.

The rally on Norley Hall Estate included people who came out of their houses to hear Robinson speak.

While it was a minority of the estate, it shows there’s no room for complacency.

Robinson is trying to present himself as an “anti?establishment” voice of working class people. He is a middle class businessman who pushes racism that divides working class people.

Stand Up To Racism supporters, including Labour members, leafleted against Robinson in the town but were heavily outnumbered.


The racism of The Brexit Party

A high-ranking member of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has defended Nazi Tommy Robinson.

Noel Matthews, the party’s national election agent, posted an article about Robinson with the comment, “THIS. Tommy Robinson Drew Attention to Grooming Gangs. Britain Has Persecuted Him.”

Matthews praised Robinson’s “free speech rally” last year. “Tommy’s no politician but it looks like he has the BBC bang to rights,” he said. “His rally is about corrupt media. It’s not about racism or fascism.”

He also said Islamophobia was a “silly, made up word”.


Groups reject Nazi money

Over 40 women’s organisations and charities dismissed Tommy Robinson’s promise of money for them as a “profound insult” last week.

The Nazi pledged to give “100 percent” of his salary to “child victims of sexual grooming” if he’s elected as an MEP for the North West.

An open letter, published last Friday, slams Robinson for trying to blame Muslims for sexual abuse.

It said, “Tommy doesn’t care about the rights of women and girls—he is exploiting the pain of survivors and their families to fuel racist hate for his own gain.”


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