While Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, continues his stay at the kind of hotel run on behalf of Her Majesty, events are not progressing so well for his support team, one of whom is self-confessed dispenser of gratuitous gun violence Avi Yemini. Already banned from entering the USA, his latest court appearance could hasten the end of his visits to the UK, to the relief of those who wished it had happened earlier.
Avi Yemini - big gun, but little man
As Zelo Street told in May this year, Yemini appeared before Moorabbin magistrates’ court on a knife crime charge and pleaded Not Guilty to eight charges including harassment. Now he’s been back to that same court to face the music. And this time he has ‘fessed up and pleaded Guilty to three charges. The headline does not make for comfortable reading.
“Right-wing activist and ‘online journalism personality’ Avi Yemini has admitted he threw a chopping board that hit his former wife on her forehead … pleading guilty to unlawful assault and two other charges at Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court yesterday”. Not even the loudmouth Yemini could gob his way out of that one. He will be sentenced later this month.
Jews Against Fascism picked up on a theme that Lennon watchers will find familiar: “Remember how he was raising all that money because of the persecution he was facing? His desperate pleas for support? This is that persecution”. Just like Stephen Lennon, Avi Yemini plays the victim, tells the world that They are out to get Him, and that he needs the help of his loyal followers - or rather, he wants their money.
JAF has gone further, telling “Avi Yemini is a useful idiot in the endless soap opera that is Australia’s far-right melodrama … As friend or foe to the various actors, Avi Yemini plays his part, cynically twisting and turning, whichever way the wind blows. Whichever way suits him at the time. But it is always the same story arc: the same movement, the same cause, the same united front, the same interrelated web of fascist activism”.
There is more: “Not all fascists are neo-Nazi, but all neo-Nazis are fascists. Avi Yemini is not a neo-Nazi, but he shares the broad fascist political milieu of neo-Nazis … Avi Yemini, as useful idiot of the far-right, consorts with Nazis”. Ring a bell, anyone? That’s the same idea as Stephen Lennon being pals with Martin Sellner, neo-Nazi Generation Identity figurehead. Sellner was linked to the Christchurch shooter.
Lennon claims all the while that he is not far-right, that he is not a racist. Yet he is drawn to racist tropes, especially the Great Replacement conspiracy theory. Like Lennon, Yemini is a gobby populist with a following who really, really believe in the paranoia, the bigotry, the playing of victimhood, the idea that They are out to get Him.
And both of them are prone to violence when it suits them. They deal in harassment and confrontation, the physical intimidation of those who call them out. That is what got Lennon imprisoned, and banned from both the USA and Australia. It is what got Yemini banned from the USA. And hopefully it will get him banned from the UK, too.
Another Stephen Lennon pal in trouble with the law. I’ll just leave that one there.
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