Tommy Robinson: A Patriot and a Martyr

Tommy Robinson: A Patriot and a Martyr

A martyr is someone who suffers for a cause. And Tommy is most definitely someone who has suffered for his.

He is currently in a cell in Bedford Prison, having broken his bail conditions in order to attend the EDL demonstration in Tower Hamlets. There were many good reasons why we chose to demonstrate in Tower Hamlets, and Tommy simply felt that he could not sit idly by whilst the movement he founded took to the streets to protest against the formation of Britain’s ‘Islamic Republic’ (not our words, but those of a “very senior figure in the Tower Hamlets Labour Party”).

Ever since the EDL was founded we have found ourselves battling against politicians, but we have also sought to maintain a commitment to peaceful protest, respect the role played by the police, and never seek to undermine the law of the land. Tommy’s decision to break his bail conditions was, therefore, far from an easy one. It was not a reckless decision, but one made with a full appreciation of the likely consequences.

Tommy judged that the right to free speech, the right to peaceful protest, and his duty to speak out against the tyrannical influence of radical Islam, outweighed the court’s decision to place such strict limitations on his freedoms; a decision lent weight by the European Court of Human Rights’ rulings on the right to freedom of assembly.

He judged, quite rightly, that in breaking his bail conditions he would treated far more harshly than we have seen radical Muslims treated. He was certain this would send a clear signal to anyone concerned about freedom of speech or about the influence of radical Islam in this country, that our freedoms are under attack, and the government, the courts, and the media are yet to wake up to the threat. In the worst cases, they’re even complicit in this attack on freedom.

If anything, the fact that Tommy will spend the rest of the week in prison just confirms what many of us will have suspected for a long time: the charges against him are motivated more by politics than they are by the desire to see justice done. That makes them all the more suspect.

On June 24th, Blackburn Magistrates Court heard that on April 2nd 2011 Tommy had assaulted a man at a demonstration in Luton – a charge he denies. The court granted bail, but subject to the following conditions:

  • He must not knowingly organise, travel to, or participate in any march, demonstration, protest or similar.
  • He must not send any article, letter, fax or email that seeks to promote or publicise any match, demonstration or protest in the open air.
  • He must report to Luton Police station every Saturday between midday and 2pm.

Until the Tower Hamlets demonstration on September 3rd, he had dutifully complied with these restrictions – restrictions that are far more extensive than the ‘control orders’ placed on suspected ‘hate preachers’ or other Muslim radicals. Added to the threats he and his family have received (threats that the police thought serious enough to issue Osman warnings), the suffering that he has had to endure over the last few months may be easily imagined. It is hardly surprising that he feels let down by the legal system that the EDL have pledged to protect from radical Islam and from the creeping influence of Sharia Law.

In Tower Hamlets Tommy made a very clear statement:

“When you let me out of court with any bail conditions that restrict my democratic right to oppose militant Islam, I will break them the minute I walk out of that court room.”

The question then becomes: is Tommy Robinson being held captive because he has dared to challenge the authority of the court (in the way that radical Muslims and supporters of Sharia Law do every day), or because he dared to challenge the government’s view that we should engage with, appease, and even fund militant Islam?

What is more dangerous, the possibility that Tommy Robinson may inspire people with similar restrictions on their freedoms to violate their bail conditions or that his example will once again underline the fact that the government’s counter-extremism strategies just don’t work?

Tommy handed himself in to Luton police after the Tower Hamlets demonstration, but soon after was re-arrested on orders from Scotland Yard: a clear sign the government has played a role in deciding how the law ought to be applied.

Tommy has been targeted not for what he has done, but for what he represents. He represents thousands of ordinary people who know they’ve been lied to. They don’t suspect, they know. They know that radical Islam isn’t restricted to a few fanatics. They know that radical views are a problem across the Muslim community in Britain, and across the Muslim world. They know that in order to put an end to Islamic extremism we need to look at the causes, to take robust action, and to engage in an open public debate about what those causes are and what those actions should be.

They know that it is ridiculous to refer to Islam as ‘the religion of peace’, given that an overwhelmingly disproportionate number of terrorist acts are committed not just by Muslims, but by Muslims who justify their actions with verses from the Qu’ran, and who cite the example of Mohammed as their inspiration.

They know that they have been fed a politically correct understanding of Islam that is designed to silence dissenting voices and prevent what we believe to be much-needed criticism of the Muslim Community’s continued inability to tackle radical Islam.

At times this can lead to frustration, and tempers flare on either side. But there’s one thing we do know about the people of this country: together we actually form a remarkably tolerant society. We have a proud history of respecting the rights and freedoms of individuals, and whilst safeguards must always be put in place, there should be no reason to suspect that even the most vitriolic criticism of the causes of radical Islam would result in unfair discrimination or divided communities.

But treating people like idiots, and demonising the dissenting voices, will lead to division. When the debate is reduced to nothing but a constant exchange of insults, it’s time to consider what action can be taken to change the way we go about things.

This is not the state of play today, it is how things were two years ago, when the EDL first formed. We were fed up of radical Islam and we were fed up of inaction. But we were also fed up of how the criticism of radical Islam was suppressed, and how only someone educated at the right university, or with the right qualifications in ‘community cohesion’, or with a job at the BBC, was allowed to criticise Islam.

We began giving a voice to legitimate criticism. We were quick to make clear that we reject all forms of extremism, and we worked tirelessly to ensure that the EDL attracted only decent, well-meaning supporters by taking every opportunity to explain what we stand for. At every stage, Tommy has led from the front.

We have worked hard to disprove those critics who would call us ‘racists’ or ‘fascists’, but these criticisms keep coming. At some point you have to consider that these repeated accusations (or insults, as they have become), say more about the name-callers than they do the accused. But it would not be fair only to lay the blame at the opportunistic agitators of the far Left. Beyond the obvious falsehoods, (the accusations of ‘Islamophobia’ or Nazism, for example) there are slightly more subtle slurs that are employed by far more respectable members of the political and media establishments.

Recently, Scotland Yard’s National Co-ordinator for Domestic Extremism, Adrian Tudway, wrote in an email to an as-yet-unnamed Muslim group:

“In terms of the position with EDL, the original stance stands, they are not extreme right wing as a group, indeed if you look at their published material on their web-site, they are actively moving away from the right and violence with their mission statement etc.”

This is not the first time, he has made similar points, and yet we’re willing to bet that most of the country’s national newspapers and television channels will ignore the words of one of the country’s foremost experts in domestic extremism. We’ll continue to see the EDL referred to as a ‘far right’ movement, without there being any explanation of what this means, or any evidence for the views that might be ascribed to us.

But perhaps the most important piece of advice given by Adrian Tudway was as follows:

“I really think you need to open a direct line of dialogue with them that might be the best way to engage them and re-direct their activity”

Dialogue is exactly what we have been hoping for, but not dialogue that will only be permitted on politically correct terms. We want to represent the legitimate concerns of our supporters, and we want them to be listened to. If legitimate concerns exist outside of what is considered to be politically correct, then the problem is with the political establishment, not with the ordinary people who we represent.

In his now infamous ‘multiculturalism has failed’ speech, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, seemed to recognise this. But what has he done to distinguish the coalition government from the previous government? The same old stratagem that saw criticism of radical Islam restricted, presumably in a naive effort to win over ‘moderate’ Muslims, is still in full force. Rather than winning over what the government presumably sees as ‘potential radicals’, continuing with Labour’s failed approach is just emboldening radical Islam by effectively outlawing the only effective means of changing a whole community’s outlook: gradual, pervasive, peaceful, and effective social pressure.

To defeat radical Islam we need would-be radicals to realise that they have little hope of success. When their most effective critics are imprisoned by the state, it is not difficult to see why radical Muslims flock to ‘soft touch Britain’.

The answer (or at least the start) should be simple: support freedom of speech, and permit and encourage legitimate, fair-minded criticism. British Muslims must feel the need to change their community: to root out and destroy the extremism that continues to give them a bad name. This must be achieved not through intimidation or violence, or as a result of prejudice, but by dialogue, and by mutual understanding. But it must be a discussion that proceeds on the shared understanding that we live in a liberal democracy where everyone’s freedoms should be respected, not in an authoritarian state all must repeat the party line or face being demonised or even deprived of their freedom.

Only the Prime Minister can really set the agenda for addressing the threat posed by radical Islam, and that is why Tommy Robinson recently challenged David Cameron to a live debate. So far, David Cameron has failed to articulate a confident anti-extremism strategy. He should listen to Adrian Tudway, and he should listen to the people of Britain – people who know that Islamic extremism is by far the most dangerous form of extremism we face, and that attempts to make it ‘just another form of extremism’ are counterproductive and dangerous. But he should start by recognising that Tommy Robinson is a political prisoner.

Perhaps Mr Cameron would care to visit Tommy in Bedford Prison, or perhaps he’ll wait until he is freed. Either way, if he recognises that at the root of the Labour government’s failures was the refusal to speak with what he loves to call ‘the Big Society, then he would be incredibly foolish not to accept the offer to engage with this country’s leading anti-extremism organisation.

In the meantime, Tommy has begun a hunger strike to protest against his treatment. When he is finally released, he faces another court appearance on September 29th, where it is possible that he will be served with an ASBO preventing him from joining a protest for three years. Evidently the government does not want the EDL led by a man who has done so much to safeguard our movement’s commitment to peaceful protest and just criticism of radical Islam.

In support of Tommy, the EDL will be conducting ‘flash demos’ up and down the country calling for his release. Tommy has asked for all demonstrations to abide by the following rules:

  • We must maintain our commitment to peaceful and lawful protest. Tommy’s rights may have been taken from him, but for now at least the rest of us are free to peacefully protest. There should be no need for the police to make any arrests.
  • We must ensure that demonstrations do not cause any disruption or inconvenience to the general public. Their support is critical, and we must not forget why it is that we demonstrate – to help safeguard our communities.
  • We must make sure that the public are aware of why we are protesting, and not be afraid to engage with critics. Anything you can do to spread the message is of great help. The more people we speak to, the more realise that EDL supporters are just ordinary people trying to do the decent thing.

It may be worth considering focusing your demonstrations around police stations or government buildings, but we’ll leave that up to each division and to each individual who wants to help make a difference.

If the government and the media continue to throw insults rather than allow for a public debate, if they continue to refer to the EDL as a ‘far right’ organisation, in spite of the evidence and in spite of the expert opinion to the contrary, then they will have contributed to divisions and to the breakdown of community cohesion. An open and honest debate is needed not only to help formulate the means by which Islam in Britain can be reformed, but to prevent frustrations (on either side) from spilling over into violence.

Given the past failures, the government, the media, the police, and the Muslim community all need to prove that they are committed to protecting freedom of speech and defeating radical Islam. To do so they should join us in calling for the release of Tommy Robinson. Until they do, their silence will continue to reverberate through the patriotic blood of this nation, and fuel our calls for continued peaceful protests.

We are not all martyrs to the cause, but the government will soon learn that we are all Tommy Robinson.

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23 comments

  1. Ste Smoggy

    TR has my full support and the backing of the Teesside division

    I`ve mentioned the possibility of a flash in Middlesbrough and I`m waiting for the RO to comment and set things in motion

    Keep your chin up Tommy, We`re all thinking of you and all wish you well, you`re a true modern day working class hero and we all owe you bigtime for what you have done for our country, keep up the good work

    NS

  2. john reflex

    Hi guys. You might not agree on what I am going to say but Tommy should have better councillors around him. I don’t think breaking the law by going to the march it is going to make the cause looking better but it will actually damage it forever. We already are labelled as racists, extremists, far right and bla bla bla, now the media can certainly add to the EDL image also that the EDL leader is a convict that has not respect for the law and the British institutions. Tommy could’ve spoke from home confortably from a PC and directly to the people ready to march, we all understand his position, he does not need to prove us anything, he has to convince the public that he is respectful and truthful to his own people and also the existing legal system (regime pardon me). That was a really bad move guys, sorry.
    I do suggest we change the EDL name into something more marketable and likeble that include the word “freedom”, get rid of the EDL sumbol especially the cross in the middle which will eventually license islamic terrorist attacks to christians that live in islamic countries such all the north africa and middle east.
    Next step you got to get into politics, have a newspaper yourself to be read starting maybe online which will help you challenge and reply to all the people that attacks you, starting from the media. Give yourself a voice, thats a good start.
    If you don’t go into politics, EDL will be destroyed by the current politicians. Because you can either DO OR BE SUBMITTED to politics.
    Recall yourself something like “Freedom Movement”, “Freedom Defence League”, I dont f…know..
    In any case, we will be destroyed soon if leaders will continue to break the law, clever politician and statists work around it but they never break it…..
    Good luck Tommy, I am with you anyway.

      1. john reflex

        Totally agree, don’t get me wrong. Sir Churchill was talking in times where English people supported English people and him. Sir Churchill, with today’s legal system, will be arrested himself. But, but but but, Sir Churchill would have nice councillors to help him out on the big decicsions. He always did. He would be gone the long way, but the legal way.

        “Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, PC, DL, FRS, Hon. RA (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the great wartime leaders and served as Prime Minister twice (1940–45 and 1951–55). A noted statesman and orator, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer, and an artist. To date, he is the only British prime minister to have received the Nobel Prize in Literature, and he was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_churchill

        In today’s (as UK, Septmber 2011) climate, Sir Winston Churchill will be called nationalist and racist. He will not be able to achieve what he did. He would not be able to call a member of the German National Socialist Party a Nazi racist to fight and defeat, he will be arrested. But, if Sir Churchill was with us today, he would find a way to fight back without necessarily being arrested.

  3. RM1

    Tommy Robinson is an inspiration to us all, who would of thought that a man with his political views would be locked up, disgraceful and against his human rights, this should be taken further to make the ever sickening Cameron to have to tell the truth for once, that the EDL is not right winged or I would not be on here. Its so third world, where are we Pakistan where even being a christian you can loose your life and here are the same people on our doorstep. SLAM THE DOOR SHUT.

    WELL DONE TOMMY, we will support you all the way.

  4. Bedford Forrest Carter

    For Tommy; a Man of Pure Guts and Pure Faith:

    If you can keep your head, when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
    If you can trust yourself, when all men doubt you,
    But make allowances for their doubting too:
    If you can wait, and not be tired of waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet, don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

    If you can dream, and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think, and not make thoughts your aim,
    If you can meet with triumph and disaster
    And treat those two imposters just the same:
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools;

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
    And never breathe a word about your loss:
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

    If you can talk with crowds, and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with kings, nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much:
    If you can give the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds worth of distance run;
    Yours is the Earth, and everything that’s in it,
    And– which is more– you’ll be a man my Son.

    Rudyard Kipling

    Tommy is the Man and then some……………………………………………………….

  5. john kilshaw

    SO TOMMY HAS BEEN REMANDED IN CUSTODY FOR BREAKING HIS BAIL CONDITIONS. THAT IS NOT A SURPRISE. TOMMY KNEW THE SCORE, AND ALTHOUGH I DO NOT KNOW HIM, I HAVE A STRONG FEELING HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING. HE,S UPPED THE ANTE, AND LEFT THE ESTABLISHMENT WITH A PROBLEM. MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF HIM AND THROW THE BOOK AT HIM THUS MAKING HIM A MARTYR, OR SLAP HIM ON THE WRISTS AND ENRAGE OUR ENEMIES. IN ONE OF MY PREVIOUS COMMENTS I SAID I WOULD FOLLOW TOMMY AND HIS LIKE DOWN THE BARREL OF A GUN. I HAVE NEVER BROKE THE LAW IN MY LIFE, BUT WHAT I AM GOING TO DO IS GO TO MY LOCAL POLICE STATION HERE IN ST.HELENS, AND TELL THEM I SUPPORT THE E.D.L. AND THAT I WILL ACTIVELY CHALLENGE RADICAL ISLAM WHERE EVER I SEE IT IN MY COMMUNITY. I KNOW, NOT A PATCH ON WHAT TOMMY AS DONE, BUT THAT,S MY BIT. THE E.D.L. IS AS GOOD AS IT GETS, AFTER US IT,S CHAOS.

  6. lisa jones

    What we need to do is find Tommy at top solicitor and help him that is what he needs! We should start a fund soon as we can now, that you can pay in to online here if possible.
    To set him free and then get solictors to challenge the government on our behalf of all of us the right to be heard and not the unfairness of the likes of Chaudrey saying what he likes that is treason to wards the Queen.
    How do we do this? Is the part of this site where can post idea’ s to the EDL leaders.

    Thanks all. :-)

  7. morticiaa

    Yes, hopefully this will bring out more and more people to support the EDL
    and anger those who have been sitting at home too lazy to come out in support
    Hugs to you Tommy/Steven a brave soldier, a true hero!
    Too bad we have no one like you in Canada, a few voices here in the wilderness, not enough to stop islamic immigration to our great nation.
    Keep strong, I wish you hadn’t gone on a hunger strike but I support whatever method you choose to fight those imbicles, cockroaches and traitors to England and what once was a ‘Great’ Britain.

  8. morticiaa

    Further to the last comment, I found this video on a Canadian blog that I read and it put me in mind of Steven/Tommy, he really is a Robin Hood. When I was a kid I used to read about and listened to this song about Robin Hood, it is from the 50′s but the words suit this modern day hero perfectly…..Not trying to make light of this horrific clash of cultures, but I hope it gives some stregnth to Steven/Tommy/Robin during the days he is in prison and on the hunger strike……..sending you strength from Canada. Hooligan/smooligan, I hope many of your supporters hear it and think about the words…..From Canada With Love
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w7ALMIUy74&feature=player_embedded

  9. Philip

    They can’t silence everyone, we have a legitimate right to protest. The government has a “head in the sand” policy, but they can’t force their policy on the British population. Sooner or later they’ll have to start listening to us.

    There are around 85 Shariah law courts operating within our borders that our government secretly allowed and still the Muslim community are not happy, they’re trying to impose Shariah zones in different parts of our country.

    I don’t feel as though we should be angry with the Islamic community for this because it’s our government that’s at fault. By allowing Shariah courts, they have sent a message to the Muslims and that message is “You can beat us!” But the EDL is here to say “No you can’t!” Our government may be weak but we are not!

    Our thoughts go out to Tommy Robinson!

  10. ferdinand

    truly tommy is a hero not only to england but to all people who loves freedom and he good tidings that it brings, i hope someday that polticians in your country would wake up the sooner the better to see for themselves what are they doing which is not best for the interest of people who loves freedom,tommy i know would have many difficulties but i am certain that he will one day prevail and win the battle, LONG LIVE TOMMY ROBINSON you’re the light that shines in the midst of an unchartered and unstable seas being created by your APPEASING POLITICIANS who were not aware of what neville chamberlain once did when hitler is overtaking europe. MABUHAY!!!!

  11. infidelis

    message of support to ‘Tommy’ now and when he is released,, we are all behind you and will walk in front of you to protect against any threat anytime anywhere.

  12. BABS DAVIS

    Hope Tommy keeps his chin up and knows we are all gunning for him. No wonder he’s on hunger strike most of the prison food is halal anyway. I feel gutted for him and his family. Prison is for criminals not patriots..NSE!

  13. andrewwilson

    great speach but should have herd it at a demo but stll great anyway it took one man to stand up and then a army stood up behind him were was Tommey 10 years ago we have let them take the piss out of our once Great Briton for to long so lets take it back i fell like im the forighner when i walk down the rood every person thats walks past me speks every other langue its very rear that i here a English couple talking or a English person shouting in to there phone this should have been started years agobut atlast it has so let stand up and take it back and to all you keybord worriors get of your arse and do somethingmore NFS

  14. david krieg

    We respect you for standing up for righteousnessTommy! You ARE a political prisoner and your being jailed is un-just but it is bound to call attention to a warped legal system. We’re with you here in America! Wish you were free to speak at the 9/11 remembrance in New York! God bless!

  15. Tom Gardiner

    Re: Posting from John Reflex, Tommy Robinson knows what he is doing! many people over the ages have had to go to prison, or suffer in other ways if they want to triumph in the struggle for their Country or their beliefs, Tommy knows and accepts this. People must know that the EDL is headed by men of principle who are prepared to sacrifice themselves for these beliefs, and when those beliefs threaten the establishment they will lock you up, simples!!. But how can Tommy Robinson be wrong to fight a “POLITICAL” court order? when Mandela did it, Jesus Christ did it, Hitler did it, Ghandi did it, many people in China do it every day, Aung San Su Chi the darling of the United Nations did it, IRA voluteers did it, and many many more, but Tommy is wrong to do it, so tell me how come? but still with some notable exceptions he’s in pretty good company right! the one thing they all have in common though, is they either won, or they will win in the end.
    You can’t make an omellette without breaking eggs, so sometimes you have to break bad laws to get them changed, and sometimes you have to take the flack! Tommy knows that if he and the EDL abide by all the court orders and bail conditions, then the self serving system that we have will just legislate him and the EDL clear out of existence, to maintain their control.
    Bad systems and bad laws are there simply to be broken or ignored, just ask the Libyans, while our two faced British socialist politicians were cosying up to Gaddaffi he was busy putting lots of Tommies in prison..NEVER FORGET PATRIOTS, WE THE PEOPLE ARE THE LAW! we fought and died for, and we pay for everything, so let’s remind parliament of that simple truth ok guys!.

    Re: Posting from P.Freeman, we do NOT live in a multicultural society, we live in a society of many different cultures, theres a not so subtle difference, multiculuralism can only come about when all the cultures are “INTEGRATED” as one Nation speaking the one language, as in the USA. This is unlikely to happen though, as so many (mainly muslim groups) do not wish to integrate with their hosts, but rather see us as non-clean, non-believers whose sole purpose is to be exploited and reviled, until we all become proper humans by converting to Islam.

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