The March of Intolerance

Central London is poised to witness its first large-scale far-right racist demonstration in over two decades, driven by Tommy Robinson's strategic mobilisation and media influence. By Arnie Joahill.

 

London Sees First Large Scale Revival of an International Far-Right Racist Demonstration in over two Decade

In a disheartening turn of events, central London is set to witness its first large-scale far-right racist march in over two decades. On Saturday, June 1st, an estimated 50,000 individuals will descend upon the capital, spreading divisive, Islamophobic, and racist abuse, which is likely to lead to violence across central London. This demonstration marks a significant and troubling moment in the history of anti-racist solidarity, anti-fascist mobilisation, and the wider left movement, highlighting a resurgence of organised racism that many hoped was consigned to the past.

Resurgence of Far-Right Movements

The June 1st event is organised by Tommy Robinson, a notorious racist and fascist street hooligan turned far-right leader since 2009. In 2013, his organisation was significantly weakened by consistent and persistent anti-racist demonstrations, which united black, white, and Asian communities, along with targeted direct action by smaller, more militant groups inspired by the historical Jewish-led anti-Mosley organisation, Group 43.

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During his arrest on fraud charges related to his property and mortgage, Robinson was approached by the secret services, specifically the Metropolitan Police’s Intelligence Bureau. In 2018–2019, Robinson claimed that they unsuccessfully tried to turn him into a state agent for the police, leading an aligned far-right movement under his leadership in exchange for dropping his charges. It is likely that Robinson continues to liaise with, act on, and be directed by the security services when it is useful for them; this would not be unfamiliar in the history of policing in Britain.

Over the past few years, former leaders of now-defunct far-right organisations like the English Defence League have been working quietly underground, forging new alliances and uniting a broader far-right street movement against Muslims and migrants. They have leveraged platforms such as YouTube, Spotify, and Patreon, where the far-left has little presence.

“Robinson’s media reach is substantial, with his content achieving hundreds of millions of views across numerous platforms.”

Robinson’s media reach is substantial, with his content achieving hundreds of millions of views across numerous platforms. Notable examples within the past 12 months include:

– Paul Thorpe: “WHY are they SO AFRAID of Tommy Robinson?” – 163,000 subscribers and 127,000 views.

– Anything Goes With James English: “Tommy Robinson – How I Survived Prison After People Tried to Kill Me” – 662,000 subscribers and 661,000 views.

– The Taboo Room With Aaron S: “Tommy Robinson – The Untold Story” – 207,000 subscribers and 448,000 views.

– Liam Tuffs Channel: “Threats To Life, GB News, Two-Tier Policing: Tommy Robinson” – 52,000 subscribers and 260,000 views.

– Tankz: “Tommy Robinson – Challenging His Views” – 116,000 subscribers and 540,000 views.

– RTM Records by Rapper Young Spray: “Tommy Robinson ‘It’s not Islam…‘” – 54,000 subscribers and 27,000 views.

Tommy Robinson Revealing the Real Britain – 167,000 views.

Robinson’s Strategic Media Influence

This strategic media engagement has broadened his audience beyond white Britain, targeting Black Britain with anti-Islam narratives. Robinson’s improved strategy appears more coherent and appealing to a wider audience, encompassing millions. They push a growing narrative that sees immigrants and migrants from the Middle East fleeing conflict due to western imperialism as threats to jobs and society in the UK.

Moreover, Robinson has successfully linked reactive anti-Asian racism within middle-class black elements to his plight against Islam in the Black community. Robinson has identified these anomalies and taken advantage of the division sown across race and class lines. This ultra-dynamic method of operating and manoeuvring is most likely being fed by powerful think tanks or state security services, as these actions are far beyond Robinson’s insight, ability, strategy, and tactics.

His approach aims to build a united far-right movement, bolstered by alliances with supporters of Reform UK, anti vaxxers and disenchanted members of the Conservative Party. In February 2024, Independent MP Andrew Bridgen (who was suspended from the Tories for spreading Covid mininformation) hosted a meeting with Robinson and Christine Anderson, a far-right AfD MEP.

Current and former members of violent organisations such as the UVF, Combat 18, FLA, Britain First, EDL, and others are well-integrated with Robinson; his street ranks are fully formed and lie in wait for a wider movement. More alarmingly, disillusioned white working-class Britons, failed by successive governments and austerity measures, are flocking to this dangerous movement, risking its acceptance as mainstream.

Robinson’s international campaigning has forged links with far-right parties across Europe, including the AfD in Germany and various neo-Nazi groups in Poland, Switzerland, and Eastern Europe. Many of these organisations will join the June 1st demonstration, posing a significant threat.

Unbeknownst to much of the left, Robinson has been working in the shadows, navigating legal challenges and utilising his understanding of the law to evade serious repercussions, along with a well-funded legal defence team. Exposed by the Guardian in 2018 for receiving funding from large US anti-Muslim institutions, Robinson’s financial backing has likely increased, enabling him to employ a full-time social media team of 15.

While Robinson has been deplatformed by X (formerly Twitter), YouTube no longer blocks channels or provides warnings when posting images or video content of Robinson, denoting a conscious shift in YouTube policy over the past three years, while also banning pro-Palestine figures such as Shaun King, who isn’t even radical but has a mainstream audience in the United States.

His strategy, which has gained traction since COVID-19, involves extensive international platforming on YouTube and other channels, portraying himself as a victim of state oppression and a defender of freedom of speech. This narrative has resonated with many disillusioned Britons, who see immigrants and migrants as receiving undue benefits and housing rather than austerity and concurrent conservative governments as the cause of the state of living crisis in Britain.

“His strategy, which has gained traction since COVID-19, involves extensive international platforming on YouTube and other channels, portraying himself as a victim of state oppression and a defender of freedom of speech.”

Robinson has even been platformed on channels hosted and owned by ethnic minority personalities, rappers, and others alike, cunningly acting as a ‘politician’ to avoid inflammatory remarks while trying to put racist narratives forward to new audiences that are not white, sowing contradictions.

Unfortunately, his success has been in part due to the collapse or rupturing of the no-platforming position of the left seen back in the early 2000s, whereby the newer generation who are not in touch with these positions are giving air time to Robinson and convincing some parts of ethnic minority communities of their racist arguments.

This example shows how Robinson’s campaign aims to subtly spread racist myths, narratives, and far-right ideologies within ethnic minority communities. The goal is to create an alliance that appears non-racist but is actually united against Muslims.

The left now faces a far-right movement that could exceed its own power by tenfold, blindsided by Robinson’s unifying efforts among fragmented groups in England. Robinson’s appearances on ethnic minority-owned channels further complicate the landscape, presenting racist narratives to new audiences.

“The left now faces a far-right movement that exceeds its own power by tenfold, blindsided by Robinson’s unifying efforts among fragmented groups in England.”

This upcoming demonstration, facilitated by the Metropolitan Police, contrasts sharply with the state’s harsh treatment of pro-Palestine demonstrations. The government’s attempts to ban pro-Palestine marches due to “costs” and “threats” reveal a troubling double standard.

“This upcoming demonstration, facilitated by the Metropolitan Police, contrasts sharply with the state’s harsh treatment of pro-Palestine demonstrations.”

As the far-right mobilises, the left must reassess its strategies, moving towards the use of social media-driven activism in order to fuel a return to grassroots community organisation and direct action, not social personalities and careers. The battle against fascism is far from over, and the time to resist is now.


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