SPEAKERS CORNER: A Movement Is Born
I thought it was quite apt that the Speakers Corner event with Tommy Robinson was held in bitingly cold winds. It is those winds of an authoritarian clampdown on its own people that the British government is beginning to blow across the whole UK. Antifa, the states freedom-hating fifth column, was in attendance but they were totally drowned out by the sheer number of people who had come to hear Tommy Robinson speak. Despite persistent goading, there was no violence at all from the freedom-loving patriots. A small stall trying to swim against the tide by offering the Quran in English went unmolested – people did wander across to talk but that was literally it. Contrast this with the fact that Muslim protestors on the other side of the rally attacked those gathered with sticks.
People climbed into trees to get a glimpse of Mr Robinson. He came to deliver Martin Sellner’s speech, the one he was banned from making. Beforehand he put out a statement on Twitter:
— Tommy Robinson 🇬🇧 (@TRobinsonNewEra) 18 March 2018
Opening the speech, he laconically asked if the Home Office had expected this when they banned Martin Sellner. Probably not. Martin Sellner, writing from Colebrook detention centre, speaking through Mr Robinson, declared that his “crime” was wanting to speak at Speakers Corner. He detailed how his opportunity to speak to Young Independence detailed how the “terror of the left” had denied him that opportunity.
Speakers Corner was Mr Sellners’ last refuge. He came to see if the tradition of freedom in speech in the UK is “dead”. A war is going on, a war for “freedom of speech”. He declared that the Brexit vote “stunned the world” and showed that the “will for the life of the British nation is alive.” Those gathered were the “lively tradition of the nation”. Speakers Corner will become a “symbolic place” in the battle for freedom of speech.
Mr Robinson departed flanked by a massed throng of supporters. Certainly, it felt like something had begun. Peter Hitchens wrote in the Sunday Mail yesterday:
In the past few days, I have begun to sense a dangerous and dark new intolerance in the air, which I have never experienced before.
While this is undoubtedly true there was also a counterpoint at Speakers Corner yesterday in a mass gathering of freedom-loving patriots who have simply had enough and won’t lie down and be beaten.