The United Kingdom appears to be turning into a police state faster than even the most alarmist analysts believed possible. In what sounds like it could have come from George Orwell's nightmares, anti-immigration activist Tommy Robinson, without even having access to his lawyer, was ordered to more than a year in prison after being caught reporting on the trial of an Islamic child-rape gang — and then, making matters worse, the judge gagged the press about the scandal, even forcing newspapers to delete their published articles. Unfortunately for British authorities, though, the news got out anyway. Now, the story is an international sensation. Growing domestic protests are demanding that the high-profile anti-Islamization activist be freed immediately. And supporters of the arrested activist around the world vowed to redouble their efforts.
Robinson's arrest (shown) outside a courthouse in Leeds came Friday on charges of “suspicion of breaching the peace.” His alleged crime: Reporting on a high-profile trial involving an Islamic gang in Britain accused of child rape, drugging children, and grooming children as young as 11 for sexual exploitation. It is an extremely sensitive subject in a nation where government criminalizes even criticism of Islam and homosexuality as “hate speech” and does not recognize free speech rights. It was not immediately clear how Robinson's live-streaming on social media constituted a breach of the peace. But the globalist, multiculturalism-promoting establishment in Britain has been seeking to destroy the activist for years. The main reason for its hatred of Robinson appears to be his hardcore opposition to open borders and his criticism of Islamism as incompatible with Britain's heritage of Christianity and liberty.
A video of the arrest, which involved a phalanx of officers, can be seen online here. “I'm being arrested for breach of the peace, for the content of what I'm streaming,” Robinson says after being told the charges by the officers. The activist, who founded the English Defense League before disavowing it, repeatedly asks what he did or said that constituted a “breach of the peace,” only being told that his words were the cause. It was not immediately clear which words specifically that he used formed the official basis for the charges. But Robinson did know one thing for sure. “You know when you do this, more people are going to watch this now than ever,” he told he officers. And he was exactly right, with the arrest and subsequent order prohibiting media coverage immediately catapulting Robinson and his cause into the international spotlight while making him a quasi-martyr.
What came next was even more bizarre. First, Robinson, 35, was hauled away in a police van to a secret judicial proceeding. There, he was reportedly denied access to a lawyer of his own choosing and instead was forced to use one appointed by the court. At that kangaroo tribunal, the judge ordered the activist jailed for 13 months. Initial reports suggested the sentence was a result of his reporting on the Islamic gang's child-grooming and child-rape operation outside the courthouse. Later accounts, though, said it was supposedly a "contempt of court" order for him to serve out the remainder of a sentence on previous charges of reporting on an Islamic rape trial, charges for which he had been released on a suspended sentence contingent on not being arrested again. Police and authorities refused to comment. And finally, even the media was barred from speaking about the case.
A leaked version of the media gag order, signed by “His Honour Judge Marson QC,” claims silencing the media about the secret proceedings “appears to be necessary for avoiding a substantial risk of prejudice to the administration of justice.” As such, the publication of “any report of these proceedings” must be “postponed until after the conclusion of the trial” of the Islamic grooming gang that was trafficking and sexually exploiting young British children. Incredibly, the court order somehow succeeded in getting even foreign media outlets with U.K. operations — including Breitbart News, Russia's RT, and other outlets — to delete their articles on the scandal. More than a few British newspapers and media outlets were also forced to delete their articles, with readers now simply getting error messages.
The arrest and sentence immediately sparked a furious backlash as word got out. By the next day, thousands of Robinson's supporters had amassed outside government headquarters at 10 Downing Street and later Parliament to demand his release. Flags waved and placards could be seen reading “Free Tommy” and “Free the truth teller.” Some of the protesters even tried to scale the fence, but were stopped by police. Nearly 100,000 people signed a petition demanding his release. And the left-wing media, apparently not prohibited from reporting on the protests at least, dishonestly characterized the protesters as “far right,” without even explaining what that means. Supporters of Robinson have expressed alarm about what could happen to him in jail. Last time he was put behind bars, Muslim prisoners reportedly plotted to murder him. And a man who was jailed in 2016 for putting bacon sandwiches outside a mosque died in his jail cell less than six months into his sentence.
Prominent European political figures have now come to Robinson's aid as well. “What happened in the United Kingdom last week is an absolute disgrace,” said powerful Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders in front of the British embassy in The Hague, adding that he was “shocked and outraged” by authorities' actions targeting “freedom fighter” Robinson. “Freedom of speech is being violated all over Europe and also in Britain. The lights of freedom are going out.... Britain used to be a bastion of freedom of speech. Today, its authorities are behaving like North Korea and Saudi Arabia. I am here on behalf of millions, in the Netherlands, in Europe, and also in Britain. And in their name, I say, We will no longer be silent. Our future is at stake. And we will protect it. Free Tommy Robinson. Release him from jail today! Restore freedom of speech! And stop gagging the people.”
Wilders, a leading European critic of Islam and what he describes as the ongoing “Islamization” of Europe, also took the opportunity to criticize the Islamic religion, which he views as a totalitarian ideology more than a genuine religion. “Islam critics are taken to court, jailed, or targeted with fatwas,” explained Wilder, leader of the Dutch Party of Freedom. “The authorities try to silence us. However, Islamists are pampered, protected, and defended. That is totally unacceptable. We will not accept this — never. We will continue speaking the truth about Islam and horrendous crimes like rape, genital mutilation, honor killings, and terrorism.” Indeed, despite his status as a leading elected official, Wilders himself has been the target of government speech police for his criticism of Islam and mass Islamic immigration into Europe.
The media blackout ordered by the judge appears to have backfired in spectacular fashion. For instance, the Drudge Report, perhaps the most influential media outlet in the world today, featured the story at the top of its page for hours and hours. But with the establishment press either silenced or deliberately trying to demonize the victim, the alternative media ensured that Robinson's story would be heard. And now, the proverbial cat is out of the bag, with the British government facing unprecedented global scrutiny over its increasingly totalitarian tactics. Caolan Robertson, a close associate of Robinson who was in the court when the kangaroo proceedings took place, went on the Alex Jones Show to give an update on the situation.
The New American actually warned in a series of articles more than five years ago that freedom of speech and the free press were in grave danger across the United Kingdom. Today, those warnings have become reality. But ironically, by seeking to suppress the news, the British judicial system has inadvertently caused an international scandal that turned Robinson into a global celebrity and a martyr. The government's actions may have built more support for Robinson's cause than anything he could have accomplished himself. Whether one agrees with him or not, everybody must have a right to speak their mind and to report on judicial proceedings. Only slaves do not have a right to speak their minds or report the truth. It is time for people around the world to recognize that free speech is in mortal danger — and to protect it at all costs.
Photo showing Tommy Robinson's arrest: screen-gab from YouTube video