Thousands gathered Sunday afternoon at an event which saw Milo Yiannopoulos, Tommy Robinson and a host of censored political commentators take to the stage at Whitehall in defense of free speech.
Amidst a continuing purge of conservative, dissident and right-leaning commentators from social media platforms, the Day For Freedom event saw an estimated 5,000 people gather yards away from Prime Minister Theresa May’s residence (Number 10, Downing Street) in a festival atmosphere where irreverent comedy and the right to free expression were celebrated.
‘’We fight right now with our words, with our presence here outside Downing Street. You are the Rebellion!’’, Breitbart London’s editor-in-chief, Raheem Kassam, addressed the crowd as marchers continued to arrive from a related event at Speakers’ Corner (Hyde Park) under the banners of the Democratic Football Lads Alliance and Veterans Against Terrorism.
Organized by anti-Islam campaigner and citizen journalist Tommy Robinson in response to his ban from Twitter, the rally heard from multiple speakers including an ex-Muslim, Shazia Hobbs, and Scottish comedian ‘Count Dankula’ (Markus Meechan), recently fined in the courts for a YouTube prank. YouTuber Lauren Southern spoke via video link, having earlier this year been banned for life from the UK for criticizing Islam.
There was stinging criticism of London Mayor Sadiq Khan and rebuke for establishment conservatives for failing to hold the line on government censorship.
Anne Marie Waters, leader of the newly established For Britain political movement warned of an alliance between Islam and the communist left;
‘’The end game is to criminalize you, to criminalize me and to imprison and punish all political dissent to the political class and we have to understand that now!’’
Gerard Batten, the leader of the UK Independence Party attacked the enemies of free speech, criticizing marxist political correctness, no-platforming by universities, and nebulous and ‘’Orwellian’’ hate crime legislation. Echoing several other speakers, he cited the implantation of Islam across the west as a threat to free speech, or as he put it ”the literalist interpretation of Islam.”
YouTube commentator, Sargon of Assad (Carl Benjamin), a self-described classical liberal warned of encroaching totalitarianism from both the far-left and Islamists.
‘’All they can offer you is a share in their servitude…How much will you concede to these tyrants?’’, he asked, noting that the far left had a moral compulsion to eradicate dissent.
There were MAGA hats a’ plenty in the crowd and huge cheers at the mention of President Trump and the First Amendment. Likewise for Brexit; in spite of an EU flag in the crowd, this was Brexit territory, for one afternoon at least.
A drag interval act had some looking bemused. One woman thought it was Milo in disguise.
‘’Where were the comedians in Britain when a YouTuber was threatened with prison for telling a joke?!’’, demanded the real Milo Yiannopoulos, who had flown back to the UK for the event.
‘’Where has the Conservative Party in this country been when people expressing ordinary right-wing points of view – respectable, reasonable opinions – have become expelled from public life, chased from the BBC, invited on only as cranks and crackpots against three liberals including of course the host?!’’, he continued, excoriating Britain’s conservative establishment and journalists for having ‘’utterly capitulated’’ to the progressive left.
The dam was breaking, Yiannopoulos concluded, after delivering an irreverent speech unashamedly re-affirming western exceptionalism and the values of political free expression.
In spite of the power currently wielded by ’’sexless soy-boy bloggers, and frumpy, cat drenched, p*ss stained cardigan wearing lesbians’’, the self-styled internet super-villain predicted a ‘’bright, beautiful, fabulous future of people saying what they actually believe’’ instead of what they were supposed to believe.
Tommy Robinson, feted by the crowd as a folk hero and at times emotional, gave an impassioned plea as much for the future of his country as for freedom of speech. Britain was now in a ‘’post free-speech era’’, where counter terrorist legislation was routinely used against people for stating uncomfortable facts, he explained.
His recent ban from Twitter was a sign of what social media giants had in store for all with similar viewpoints, the #DayForFreedom organizer warned, with such censorship often at the behest of politicians. In this light, the rally – opposite Theresa May’s house in the very heart of London – was a great success, Robinson triumphed, announcing his intention to sue Twitter as much of the crowd broke into singing his name.
A significant deployment of police kept a small counter protest at distance earlier in the day. There were several reports Sunday evening of attacks by Antifa on #DayForFreedom participants, with bike locks and glass bottles being used as weapons.
Mainstream media largely chose to ignore the rally or went into Cassandra mode, warning of ”the rise of the far right”. The event itself ended peacefully after a rendition of ‘’God Save the Queen’’ followed by a victory lap on stage to the sound of David Bowie’s ‘’Rebel Rebel’’ amidst ticker tape explosions and a rock concert finale.
Photos: Shy Society, Westmonster