After not attending the Veterans’ protest in Salford yesterday morning, Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, continued his campaign in support of his attempt to become an independent MEP with his own events, one of which was in the Limeside area of Oldham. Here, as groups confronted one another in the late afternoon, was the inevitable conclusion of all that Muslim-baiting.
Those groups were initially kept apart by a significant Police presence. But something caused it all to kick off; missiles were thrown, vehicles damaged. There were running skirmishes as front gardens were trampled. And then the blame game began.
As the BBC has reported, “Missiles were thrown and police vehicles damaged during a disturbance at a Tommy Robinson campaign event … Footage posted on social media showed clashes between his supporters and counter-demonstrators in Limeside … Greater Manchester Police said ‘objects including eggs and bricks’ were thrown and there was damage to two police vehicles”. So who started it?
Lennon was quick to get out his king-size onion and blame the Scary Muslims™. “I held a family-friendly campaign rally today in Oldham that was attacked by violent Muslims … We chose to hold our rally in the safest part of town … today, the Police encouraged and allowed us to be attacked … They actually escorted a large group of violent Muslim agitators wearing balaclavas towards us. They travelled miles with them”. Yeah, right.
There was more. “I personally witnessed women and children injured by rocks and bricks at the hands of these Muslim thugs. One of my cameramen was bleeding from his head after being hit by a stone.”. As so often with Lennon, it plays to his fans’ fears. But it is substantially untrue. He needs to look to his own side first.
The Tweeter known as Roblola told “Trouble started in Oldham today when neo nazi John Lawrence and his mob started throwing beer bottles and other missiles at @OfficialMDL protesters. Locals came out to support and now fash are spinning it as an attack on Tommygod. This was a calculated operation to start trouble”.
Louise Raw concurred. “Do NOT believe the Robinson camp monetising fake victimhood. Trouble was started by known neo-Nazis like John Lawrence of Britain First, seen coming out of his house with projectiles. Muslims were attacked & have every right to defend themselves”. There are images of Lawrence taken yesterday. With those projectiles.
And while those still undecided weigh up the conflicting accounts, consider this: Lennon’s supporters put about a rumour that The Other Lot had stabbed someone. But, as the BBC has confirmed, “The force [GMP] said there were no reported injuries and rumours someone had been stabbed were false”. That was another lie.
Also, given Lennon claims to have “personally witnessed” so much of what he alleges went on, this from the Beeb report is yet more interesting: “It is unclear where Mr Robinson - who is campaigning for the European elections as a candidate for north-west England - was during the trouble”. Had he been there, you’d think someone would have seen him.
Lennon’s pals started the melée and then played the victim. No change there, then.
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