Supporters of EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (a.k.a. Tommy Robinson) braved the bad weather on Saturday to demonstrate outside the prison where he is being held on remand.
The demonstrators chanted “E-E-EDL”. Some protesters wore T-shirts saying ‘Free Tommy Robinson’.
Protesters had travelled from as far away as places such as Teesside, in the northeast of England.
EDL Angel Debbie Lawson said “All right, thank you all for coming today in this horrible weather. (We) appreciate your support.”
She read out the following speech:
“Today we are here to support Tommy and his unfair imprisonment at the hands of a hostile establishment.
“His arrest raises many serious questions about freedoms in this country and the supposedly unbiased applications of the rules of the law.”
Comparison with the treatment of Abu Qatada released on bail
“The refusal of our authorities to grant bail to Tommy, raise even further questions given the government’s decision to grant bail to Abu Qatada.
“Abu Qatada is a recognised threat to the nation’s security of Great Britain. This same man is wanted abroad for serious crimes against non-Muslims around the world. His presence represents a clear and present danger to each and every one of us. Yet he is allowed to walk free and continue his campaign of hate and his incitement to non-Muslims.
“Tommy Robinson is not a threat to the public, nor is he a threat to national security. Yet he remains in prison. Is this justice? Is this fair application of the law?
“The principal of bail is there to prevent the authorities from using charges as a method of imprisoning someone before they have been found guilty.
“Yet this is exactly what they are doing with Tommy. They have refused bail on the grounds that he has re-offended whilst on bail. Yet he has not been found guilty of any crime, nor has he been proven to be a threat to the public.”
Comparison with the treatment of nine child groomers released on bail
“Nine men have been arrested for grooming and raping teenage girls. These men, all members of a certain religious persuasion are clearly a threat to the public and they are very likely to try to intimidate witnesses and their family. They are a threat to public safety, yet these same nine men have been given bail.”
A demonstrator shouts “Shame!”
Trumped up charges
“They are allowed to walk the streets. Tommy has been arrested and charged, but these charges are trumped up.
“He has been arrested on the basis that he was on his way to cause a public nuisance. He has been charged for an alleged assault on the say so of one man, a known Islamist Saiful Islam. The same man whose physical assault on Tommy was recorded and seen by millions around the world and yet this man has still not been arrested or charged.”
Treatment in prison and at the hands of the state
“Tommy is now having to be kept in solitary confinement in this prison for his own protection. Tommy has been denied his basic rights and privileges.
“He is incarcerated for twenty-three and a half hours of every day. He has been refused the use of the gymnasium and has only recently been allowed to receive and send letters from friends and family.
“Our government should hang their heads in shame at their disgraceful conduct. They are in breach of the UN Charter on Human Rights, which states all are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.”
A demonstrator shouts “Human rights for Tommy Robinson!”
“According to that same charter, the law and the judges must treat everybody by the same laws regardless of their gender, ethnicity, religion, social economic status, etc without privilege.
“We can see that this is not the case; certain ethnic and religious groups are treated differently within the law by the police and the judiciary. There is clear evidence that the state is acting against Tommy Robinson because he is raising awareness about a threat to Britain, its people and its institutions, that they would rather we did not know about.
“They would prefer we stay at home watching X-Factor and ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’. Despite the fact that behind our backs our country is being transformed from a freedom loving, tolerant place, into an intolerant country in which a person’s liberty and freedom mean nothing.”
The demonstrators then sing, “We want our Tommy back, we want our Tommy back!” to the tune of ‘we want our country back!
“It’s time we stood together and made our voices heard. It’s time to be loud and clear. Anyone of us can now be arrested on any charge the government chooses, simply because we oppose their particular views.
“They will come in the night and arrest you, without talking or consulting with your community leaders. They will smash up your home and assault your family. It’s the Russia of the 1930s. We are all Tommy Robinson. We are all targets of the state, because we are showing them up for the liars, the tyrants, the traitors and corrupt criminals that they are.”
We are all Tommy Robinson!
The protesters shout, “We are all Tommy Robinson!” in a Spartacus like display of loyalty and unity to the persecuted leader of the English Defence League.
“Stand up for Tommy. Stand up for freedom. Stand up for liberty and justice for all.”
The demonstrators then break into a unified chant of “Tommy! Tommy! Tommy! Tommy!”
“The line in the sand has been drawn. It’s the British people against the corrupt politicians, police and judges, who are using the law to protect their interests and not that of this country and its people.
All around Europe people are standing up for Tommy even as we speak. Let’s all shout out ‘Liberty and justice for the Luton one!’ ,’Bail for Tommy!’, ‘Jail for Qatada!’, ‘Bail for Tommy!’ Thank you EDL”
Following the speech the demonstrators chant “E-E-EDL!” and “Tommy!”
After the demo
Members of the ‘Stop the persecution of Tommy Robinson' Facebook group (which has 478 members) were jubilant.
One comment read “Big thank you from Tommy to all those that attended today. Prison was on lock down and the Muzzies didn't like hearing us chanting outside. Shame the Prison cut his call off whilst the demo was going on it would have been nice for him to say something to you all, but it was worth a go. They didn't let him ring me again until they knew the demo was over”
Dave Hedges explained the reason for demonstrating as “it no doubt put the biggest f***ing grin ever on tommys (sic) face when he heard us”
A ‘Free Tommy Robinson!’ petition on the British Freedom Party’s website has so far attracted 1,042 signatures.
'Free Tommy Robinson!' petition.
British Freedom Party - screenshot
Previous EDL Wandsworth Prison demonstration
About two weeks prior a smaller group of EDL supporters protested outside the prison. They broadcasted a song in support of Tommy Robinson over the megaphone.