You can ban our people, but never our ideas

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Over the weekend, Austrian political activist Martin Sellner and his girlfriend, American conservative activist Brittany Pettibone were detained by the Home Office for three days and refused entry into the UK.

The Home Office has refused to comment on the reasons for their detention, however official documents seen by Tommy Robinson have exposed the reason for Sellner’s detention and refusal from entering the UK was because he is the co-founder of a “right wing organisation.”

The poorly worded and grammatically incorrect document given to Brittany Pettibone states: “Your boyfriend (Sellner) has admitted at the interview to being co-founder of the Austrian branch of ‘Generation Identity’ which is viewed in the UK as a right-wing organisation. Furthermore, your boyfriend have (sic) in his possession the (sic) leaflets with scenarios regarding possible violence at his speech.”

The leaflet in question was a code of conduct for GI supporters who were attending his speech at Speakers’ Corner. It requested:

  • An absolute ban on alcohol
  • For those with extremist views not to attend to behave peacefully and non-violently
  • For weapons to be prohibited
  • For masking up to be prohibited
  • For a well-groomed appearance.

This code of conduct, in addition to being “right wing”, was the justification for refusing their entry and a three-day detention. The “possible violence” was explicitly from Antifa, who opposed the speech and promised to “use any means necessary” to stop it going ahead. In Pettibone’s case, her reasons for entering the UK were “worse.” She had planned to interview Tommy Robinson, whom the Home Office state “is a far-right leader, whose materials and speeches incite racial hatred.” The Home Office told her directly this was actually worse than the reasons Sellner was being refused entry. They used a disgusting smear to link Robinson to far-right extremism and racial hatred, something that started with the deliberately inaccurate links made to the Finsbury Park attacker, Darren Osborne, during his trial.

The Home Office clearly know the difference between right wing and far-right, they use both examples in their letter. Therefore, we can only conclude that we’re now in a situation where those holding “right wing” views are no longer welcome in the UK. Their own wording states that Martin Sellner was refused entry for being the co-founder of a “right wing” organisation, not a “far-right” organisation. The speech he was due to deliver was ironically, about free speech.

This should be concerning for anyone who values freedom of speech, especially when you take into account the specific reasons in this case. We’re in a situation where Antifa are acting as moral arbiters of Britain and their threat of violence is enough for the government to shut down events, ban public speakers and deny entry into the UK. Because there is no universal definition, terror groups like Antifa can immediately determine any freedom of expression which is contrary to their own view as “hate speech.”

In addition to outright violence, they are armed with a list of criminal offences they can use against you to shut you down:

 

  • Section 4 of the Public Order Act 1986 (POA) make it an offence for a person to use threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour that causes, or is likely to cause, another person harassment, alarm or distress
  • Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 makes it an offence to send a message by means of a public electronic communications network which is grossly offensive, or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character
  • The Racial and Religious Hatred Act amended the POA to make it an offence punishable by up to seven years imprisonment, to use threatening words or behaviour intended to stir up religious hatred.

These laws can have serious implications on peaceful protestors and others exercising their freedom of expression. It can be used to shut down legitimate debate and when you add into the mix, the threat of violent unrest from Antifa, the government capitulate to their threats. 
Speakers’ Corner dates back to 1866, with historic figures such as Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and George Orwell known to have used the area to demonstrate free speech. It originates from the Tyburn Gallows, where everyone condemned to be hanged could make a final speech.

The 1872 Parks Regulation Act enshrines in law, the right to meet and speak freely in Hyde Park and this includes an area incorporating Speakers’ Corner. Anyone threatening violence to stop free speech taking place should be arrested. It is unacceptable for the threat of violence to succeed in shutting down freedom of expression and debate.

It is with this in mind, that Tommy Robinson has announced that he will deliver Sellner’s speech on his behalf in Hyde Park this Sunday (18th March) at 3pm. We urge anyone who values free speech to attend, to defy Antifa tyranny and government totalitarianism – you can ban our people, but you cannot ban our ideas… See you there!

Shy Society.
Standing up for those without a voice in Britain

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3 COMMENTS

  1. The British government is full of hypocrites it allows moslem hate preachers to spread their hate on the streets of Britain and in mosques and persecute and punish anyone who criticises islam.

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