By Asish Samson
Tommy Robinson, the founder of European Defence League and political activist/commentator has been arrested by the British police outside the Leeds Crown Court on Friday morning. He was reporting on the hearing on the child grooming case when police grouped up on him and took him into custody under “suspicion of causing breach to peace”. In fact, Tommy Robinson was doing nothing provocative or violent when he was arrested.
In the video recorded of the incident he can be seen arguing and reasoning with police who seem hell bent on arresting him. “How have I incited people? This is free speech!” Robinson claims even as the police surround him. One officer demands that he stop his live feed as Robinson asks for a solicitor. In the video, he can be seen explaining what’s happening inside the court to his viewers. Nobody seems to understand how he was breaching the peace by taking a video. As the police group around him, he is forced into the van. Lauren Southern, another activist has revealed in her tweet that Robinson was sentenced to 13 months in prison within hours of arrest! Yes, 13 months for filming a video. There is no clear reason for why he was given such a harsh sentence other than as a revenge politics by the UK police system. Robinson and his EDF has previously clashed with the police multiple times during marches and protests.
Katie Hopkins, Gavin McInnes along with Lauren Southern have condemned the arrest and sentencing on twitter. Lauren Southern also claimed that there was a UK reporting ban on reporting this incident in the media and to support her claim several articles reporting this were soon taken down from the internet. There is a widespread fear that Tommy Robinson would be attacked during his jail time and this was also acknowledged in the court. Southern claims that this was nothing short of a death sentence.
Despite several efforts by the media and the government to keep this news under wraps, the news spread rapidly in social media. There have been several calls for protests since.