RALLY CALL: “Don’t let Tommy Robinson divide us”
"Don’t let Tommy Robinson divide us" - anti-racists call protest outside Robinson trial this Thursday.
On Thursday 27 September the ex English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson is at the Old Bailey for a re-trial following his release on bail after imprisonment for contempt of court during a grooming trial.
Robinson’s far right supporters are expected to be outside the court. Stand Up To Racism will be organising an anti-racist presence.
Previous “Free Tommy Robinson” demonstrations saw police officers and anti-racists physically attacked and giving the Hitler salute. These protests have received funding and support from international far right figures like ex Trump Chief of Staff Steve Bannon and Islamophobic politician Geert Wilders.
UKIP’s leader Gerard Batten has been at the centre of the campaign backing Robinson. UKIP were set to debate the admission of Robinson as a member of the party at their recent conference but the move was blocked on a technicality.
Anti-racists argue that justice for survivors means due process and trials for sexual abuse, exploitation and grooming must be respected, and the “free Tommy Robinson” movement is using the issue to build support.
Sabby Dhalu, Stand up to Racism Co-Convenor said: “It is a profound irony that those who claim to support women and children subjected to rape, sexual abuse and exploitation, do not stay away from these trials. Justice for survivors means due process and trials for sexual abuse, exploitation and grooming must be respected.”
Weyman Bennett Stand up to Racism Co-Convenor said: “The far right believe they can build support off the back of the campaign to ‘free Tommy’. They look at the success of racist and fascist forces across Europe and want to do the same here.
"We will not allow racist and fascist extremists to use the retrial to build support and put across their message of hate. That’s why we will be at the Old Bailey opposing Robinson’s message of racism, Islamophobia and hate.”