At the end of May this year, former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson was jailed for 13 months for breaking contempt of court laws.
Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was arrested outside Leeds Crown Court on Friday, May 25.
The 35-year-old was seen on video being searched and then led towards the back of a police van, which was eventually posted on his Facebook page.
His arrest sparked a huge protest outside 10 Downing Street with many supporters demanding he be released.
Police officers were sent out to monitor the crowd, many of whom could be seen holding #FreeTommy placards. One said: ‘Free the truth teller. Free Tommy’.
This weekend, June 9, hundreds of people gathered again in central London to protest Robinson’s incarceration.
Robinson did plead guilty to the crime, however, so while his supporters may want him out, the process of the law is fairly simple and, in this case, straightforward.
Still, as Vice reports, the protesters gathered in Trafalgar Square to shout ‘Free Tommy Robinson’, throw things at the police and generally show themselves to be the utterly irritating bunch of people we’ve unfortunately come to expect from situations like this.
A few of these people even thought it would be a good time to raise their hands in a Nazi salute, in Trafalgar Square, where there are various memorials in honour of all the British soldiers killed by Nazi forces in WW2 among other wars. Wow.
However, as South Asian news magazine Barfi Culture posted to Twitter, we can see one of those saluting getting detained by officers – at which point their true colours are shown.
You can watch the moment the detainee starts crying here:
Watch what happened to a Tommy Robinson supporter in London yesterday
(turn the audio up)
— Barfi Culture (@barfi_culture) June 10, 2018
As Leeds Live reported:
Robinson, or Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was jailed because he was found in contempt of court – an offence he was already serving a suspended sentence for.
A judge sentenced him to three months imprisonment suspended for 18 months last May, after he was found in contempt of court over a case in Canterbury.
He was warned that committing further offences would result in imprisonment – and that is what happened on Friday.
Contempt of Court legislation largely applies to media publications – but as Tommy Robinson was broadcasting live on Facebook to the 778,280 people who like his page, and his 848,100 followers – he can be deemed a publisher in his own right.
Robinson founded the English Defence League in Luton in 2009. He resigned in 2013.
Today, Robinson works for Rebel Media, a Canadian far-right online political and social commentary media website.
According to The Guardian, Rebel Media was founded by Ezra Levant, a Canadian broadcaster and political activist. Robinson was employed to present the Tommy Robinson Show.
They write on their website:
The fearless source of news, opinion, and activism that you won’t find anywhere else! TheRebel.media is different because of how you, our supporters, participate in shaping everything we do.
Through a mix of online engagement, commenting, advocacy, and events, we don’t just report the news, we participate in it.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.