Stand up to Racism (SUTR) Scarborough has urged Sheffield International Venues, the subsidiary of Labour-controlled Sheffield City Council that manages Scarborough Spa, to cancel the ‘Sargon of Akkad’ (Carl Benjamin) show scheduled for 16 June.
Using his stage name, Benjamin recently shared a platform with incarcerated former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) and Ann-Marie Waters, a person deemed too right-wing for the UK Independence Party (UKIP).
Benjamin is a mouthpiece for the far right, which is once again trying to mobilise a street movement, as witnessed by the rallies being held nationally to protest Robinson’s imprisonment for contempt of court and breaching a suspended sentence.
Kim Hunter of Scarborough SUTR, said, ‘It is unacceptable that Benjamin should be allowed to host a show at a family venue owned by the people of multicultural Scarborough, which recently opened its arms to families fleeing war in Syria.’
Peter Haigh, chairman of Grimethorpe Colliery Band, who also appear at the Spa this summer, said he was concerned Benjamin’s appearance would attract fascists and members of the far right to the town. He said (speaking in a personal capacity), ‘We don’t want people of this nature appearing in a family-run venue like this.’
‘Sargon’ spoke on the same platform as Tommy Robinson at the supposed ‘free speech’ rally in Whitehall called by Robinson on Sunday 6 May. He claims to be against extremism, but speeches at that rally demonised Islam while the audience shouted for Muslims to be expelled. It was a far-right event with a significant fascist element.
Benjamin himself is a regular mouthpiece for the far right, booked to speak at events such as the Patriots Day rally in Boston organised by the ‘Proud Boys’, a so-called ‘western chauvinist’ fraternity recently named a hate group by the American anti-racist Southern Poverty Law Center.
Benjamin has previously been suspended from online accounts and social media platforms, including Google and thereby his own Youtube channel.
Scarborough SUTR is urgently awaiting a response to its request to Scarborough Spa and managers at SIV. If Benjamin is not cancelled the group will protest against the show.