The fallout from the violence at last Sunday’s so-called “Day for freedom”, which was claimed to be all about free speech, but turned out not to be about free speech if the person concerned was a Muslim, has continued, with Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, sacking his former pal Lucy Brown and continuing to insist that Ali Dawah had not been invited to speak, although it looked as if he had.
Indeed, running orders for the speeches handed out before the event, which took place in London’s Whitehall, clearly showed a time and “Ali Dawah Speaks”. The problem was that many of those who attended have a problem with Muslims. They believe the far-right propaganda which asserts, more or less, that followers of The Prophet are all extremists who are hell-bent on grooming and molesting under-age girls.
Into this febrile atmosphere have been pitched, on the one side, Lennon and his pals, and on the other, the so-called Democratic Football Lads Alliance, the modern equivalent of the People’s Front Of Judea. After trying to blame Ali Dawah and his pal Mohammed Hijab for the violence, and finding this did not work, the two sides are now blaming one another.
The problem for the DFLA is that it is not easy for them to blame anyone else for the violence, as it was one of their side who was clearly involved in meting it out. As Far Right Watch pointed out, a DFLA stalwart called Steve Guy has been identified as being at the centre of the melée surrounding Mohammed Hijab. He is otherwise known as “West Ham Steve”. He is closely connected with Stephen McCluney of Section 18 Clothing.
Section 18 is so called after Section 18 of the Offences Against The Person Act of 1861, where the term “Grievous Bodily Harm”, or GBH, was first codified. The merchandise on offer includes “Awaydays” T-shirts telling “see who has come dressed for a riot”, and a design that simply advertises “Section 18 … Ultra violence terrace style”.
McCluney explains “I would like to make it clear this label does not have any doings with racist movements and has no doings with the firms but I do have many mates who are. Section18 name comes from a police charge given out in the 80s to fighting firms. Last I would like to thank someone who has supported me from day one West Ham Steve a brother from another mother”. So what does the DFLA have to say to that?
“Steve Guy rushed in to aid the officers that came under attack … We would like to publicly commend Steve Guy for his selfless actions, in what could have been a possible terror attack. The DFLA salute you Sir”. Those who have already viewed video and still coverage from the incident may take a different view. But there was more.
“We feel that this situation is being used to undermine the good work that the DFLA is doing by certain elements. Our work on exposing and tackling grooming gangs is important for every human in our country. We feel that this is being used to undermine our successful and peaceful demonstrations and marches”.
That’s their excuse. It’s not their fault. Thus the fault line begins to open between Stephen Lennon and those who had been his supporters - until now.