Searchlight Magazine

Today's protest at the Oxford Union against the racist Tommy Robinson postponed

The protest planned for today (Thursday 23rd Oct) at the Oxford Union invitation to the racist Tommy Robinson to speak has been postponed due to Robinson's recall to prison. 

In spite of calls not to promote racist and Islamophobic speakers the Oxford Union will be inviting Robinson back once he is released. 

Oxford Unite Against Fascism will continue to campaign to get his invitation cancelled and will call a protest in the event Robinson does come to speak.  Tommy Robinson shouldn't be allowed to Pollute any such public platform, and should the Union invite him again,  Oxford UAF will campaign against such a move. Bigots like Robinson mustn't be given any credibility.

Robinson's unreformed views and his ongoing adherence to the racism he spouted while leader of the EDL were confirmed in a press release posted on his website on 20th October 2014 which stated "everything Tommy stated about Muslim extremists and Islam whilst Leader of the EDL is now being proven as fact and he is again highlighting this on Twitter by posting links to his various speeches and interviews"

This Saturday's "Oxford and the fight against fascism"mini-conference provides an excellent opportunity for anti-racist and anti-fascist campaigners in Oxford to meet to discuss what we can do to challenge the growth of the far-right and Islamophobia.


Saturday 25th October 2014

12 noon – 4pm

East Oxford Community Centre, 44 Princes St, Oxford OX4 1DD

Opening session:

  • The Holocaust a warning from history - Tom Kaye - Unite Against Fascism 


  • From Battling The Blackshirts at Carfax to Keeping the BNP Out - Ciaran Walsh radical historian
  • The Rise of the Far Right In Europe - Cathy Pound - Trade Union friends of Searchlight

Final session

  • How do we fight fascism today? - Des McDermott - Chair Ruskin UCU

All sessions include a floor discussion. All welcome.


Signatories to open letter to Oxford Union to cancel Tommy Robinson's invite

Billy Hayes General Secretary, CWU
Ken Loach
Film director / Former Alumni of Oxford
Zita Holbourne National Co-Chair BARAC UK
Avi Shlaim Emeritus Professor at Oxford
Gerry Gable
Editor/Publisher Searchlight
Zareen Islam Chair Muslim Women's Association of Edinburgh
Steve Bell Unison health SGE member (pc)
James Elliott OUSU Disabilities Officer
Sofiya Ahmed NUS London Womens' Officer
Shah Ahmed Oxford Muslim Society
Rickie Poppleton Oxford UAF committee
Pat Carmody Oxford UAF Secretary
Tracy Walsh Oxford UAF treasurer
Julie Simmons Oxford Love Music Hate Racism secretary
Dan Fearnley Oxford People's Assembly committee
Pol O'Ceallaigh Oxford TUC President
David Hillman Chair of Oxford Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Van Coulter Oxford Labour city councillor
Susanna Pressel Oxford Labour city councillor
John Tanner Oxford Labour city councillor
Bev Clack Oxford Labour city councillor
Mike Rowley Oxford Labour city councillor
Louise Upton Oxford Labour city councillor
Sam Hollick Oxfordshire Green Party city councillor
Ann Duncan Oxfordshire Green Party PPC 
David Thomas Oxfordshire Green Party city councillor
Ruthi Brandt Oxfordshire Green Party city councillor
Elise benjamin Oxfordshire Green Party city councillor
Steve Dawe Oxfordshire Green party county press officer
Larry Sanders Oxfordshire Green Party parliamentary candidate
Ann Duncan Oxfordshire Green Party parliamentary candidate 
Bill MacKeith Oxford TUC asst sec
Richard Burton CWU - South Central Postal Branch - Branch Editor
Paul Garraway CWU South Central Postal
Dr Chris Blakey Oxfordshire NUT
Jemma Fowler Oxfordshire NUT Equalities Officer
Gawain Little Oxfordshire NUT branch secretary
Corrine Jack Oxfordshire Unison Health Branch Treasurer
Trevor Gittens Oxon Unison Health branch Black SOG officer
Rosita Ellis Oxon Unison Health branch Chair
Ian Mckendrick Oxon Unison Health branch Comms officer
Sharon Akers Oxon Unison Health branch convenor
Olamide Oladejo Oxon Unison Health branch steward
Jane Lacey Oxon Unison Health branch Unison convenor
Giles Ungpakorn Oxon Unison Health branch Unison steward
SUSAN PARKINSON Oxon Unison Health branch Women's officer
David Radford Oxford City Unison International Officer (pc)
Kate Douglas PCS Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire DWP Branch
Des McDermott Chair of Ruskin College UCU
Caroline Holmes UCU Rep
Stevie Robertson GMB Banbury No1 Branch Secretary
Steve Leniec SE 6142 Unite Branch Sec
Dr John Parrington Oxford University
Cyril Chilson Oxford University Junior Research Fellow
Beth McMillan Oxford University, DPhil student
Ross Speer DPhil Student, University of Oxford
Aoife O'Higgins DPhil University of Oxford
Micah Reddy Oxford alumnus
Anne Alexander Oxford alumnus Pembroke
Madhiya Ahmed Oxford Gaza protest organiser
Dr Brian Parkin UCU University of Leeds
David Hughes Unison Senior Steward Birmingham
Sasha Simic USDAW Shop Steward C133 (pc)

plus 133 other others 

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Last Updated on Thursday, 23 October 2014 22:58

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Tommy Robinson, former EDL leader, recalled to prison

The founder and former leader of the English Defence League will not talk at the Oxford Union as he is back in jail. 

Stephen Lennon, who calls himself Tommy Robinson, was sentenced in January to 18 months in prison for mortgage fraud. 

He was released in June under licence and had been due to debate at the prestigious union on Thursday. 

A statement on Facebook from his supporters said: "Tommy Robinson has been recalled to prison for responding to a threat on Twitter."

'Police persecution'

His lawyers said the recall was for a fixed term of 28 days, according to a spokesman for the union. 

Mr Lennon tweeted: "I was going to speak this Thursday exposing police persecution and tactics.

"Police are at my house recalling me back to prison for my licence, reason given that I responded to a death threat targeting my family. 

"All this to prevent me exposing the facts on Thursday at Oxford Union."

An email was sent to students which said: "Tommy Robinson has recently been recalled into custody and so is unlikely to be able to speak."

Lennon had previously been due to talk at the Union in September last year but the event was cancelled amid security concerns. 

The institution said at the time it could not afford the security for the events. 

Mr Lennon co-founded the English Defence League in 2009 and left last year. 

He now works with the Quilliam Foundation, a counter-extremism think tank. 

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "We do not comment on individuals. 

"Offenders on Home Detention Curfew must comply with the conditions of their curfew or release licence. If they fail to do so, they can be immediately recalled to custody." 

The union hopes Mr Lennon will speak later this term.

Credit: BBC News

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 08:44

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Cumbrian BNP councillor cleared of harassment

A British National Party councillor has been found not guilty of causing religiously-aggravated harassment, alarm or distress during outbursts at political campaigners ahead of an election.

Dawn Charlton, 50, of Ewanrigg Road, Maryport, appeared at West Cumbria Magistrates' Court in Workington accused of two public order offences after shouting at Labour Party leaflet deliverers on May 4.

The court heard that Miss Charlton had reacted as councillors and activists posted leaflets in Ewanrigg, including to her house, for the national anti-BNP Hope Not Hate campaign.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 12 October 2014 17:35

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Read more: Cumbrian BNP councillor cleared of harassment

English Defence League supporter from Stockport asks to be put in jail after violent disorder conviction

A member of the English Defence League asked to be put in prison after he was convicted of violent disorder at a demonstration where police were pelted with missiles.

Andrew Edge, 44, of Wellington Road South, central Stockport, chanted ‘EDL, EDL’ as he was led away from the dock following his trial in Birmingham.

He was one of three men found guilty of violent disorder at a demonstration by 2,000 members of the far right group in which police were showered with bricks, bottles and cans.

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Teenage soldier who made nail bomb and owned terror handbook dressed in Ku Klux Klan costume for Facebook photo

A British soldier has admitted making a nail bomb after cops found the device and a copy of an explosives-making manual at his home.

Ryan McGee also pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey in London to a charge relating to the possession of bomb-making manual The Anarchist Cookbook.

McGee, who served with the 5th Battalion The Rifles, was detained at an Army base in Paderborn, Germany, late last year.

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