Stephen Lennon’s “You Can’t Hide the Truth” Speech Delivered To The ICLA Conference In The European Parliament
Powerful testimony from Stephen Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson, watch his video below
I’ll stand up. I’m far from my comfort zone. I’m used to — I’m used to standing on the street corners and speaking to my fellow countrymen. I’ve been involved in the Counterjihad movement for three years. I was unaware there was a Counterjihad movement prior to that. And I want to thank every one of you that have been fighting the fight for a lot longer than myself. It first come to my light, growing up in Luton, Luton is known as the heart of militant Islam.
The birthplace of militant Islam. The place where the 7/7 bombers boarded their trains, the fertilizer bomber, the Stockholm bomber. Our soldiers [Scott Mumbridge from our estate, he dies in Afghanistan. Michael Swain lost his legs in that war. When my troops were returning to our town, they were met by this man. Al-Mujadeen [PH] Islam4theUK, Muslims Against Crusades. They were met with hatred, they were called baby-killers, they were called murderers. The police — I was there that day — I watched the police’s response. They didn’t search them. They didn’t stop them. They didn’t stick hands in their faces. And they didn’t draw their batons on them. They drew their batons on us. They turned on us. In response to that, we decided — yeah, you do that. [WOMAN ADJUSTS MICROPHONE] [APPLAUSE] In response to that, we decided to organize a demonstration as Lutonians.
Being from Luton, having our friends lose their legs and our friends die, it meant so much. That day, my friend’s mum was there, their families were there. To us, that was a terrorist attack. That’s what they done that day, to our soldiers’ homecoming parade. Now when we turned up, which was a community — it was a community. It was my aunty’s, it was my uncle’s, it was men, it was women. When we turned up, we were stopped, we were searched. We had police put their hands in our pockets. We had cameras in our faces. We had police on horseback. We had coshes. We were treated like the criminals. A complete, two-tier system to the way the Islamist group were treated. If that wasn’t bad enough, we knew that certain factions, Nazi factions, such as the National Front, backed with scum, were trying to attach themselves to our movement. So we held placards and banners that read “National Front Scum: Go To Hell”. Islamism, Nazism, opposite sides of the same coin to us. It’s not welcome in our town. One of the — [APPLAUSE] one of my best friends, a little black lad, West Indian lad, Craig, he lost his teeth. A police officer come past him on a horse and knocked his teeth out with a cosh.
Now, if we weren’t already furious enough, you could have lit a match in Luton, it would have blown up at the response of what was going on. We were fighting for equal rights, we were being treated completely unfairly. Then, this same Islamist group, we was on the — I was on the computer and six weeks after they done this to our troops, they held an Islamic rally in Birmingham, which is England’s second city. They had a big banner which read “Jesus Was a Muslim”. They stopped a young boy called Sean, who’s eleven years old, without his parents’ permission, they stopped him in the shopping center, they’ve got him up on the stage and they made him repeat after them, they converted him to Islam. In the city center, with police officers, counselors, everybody watching him. And we all know the consequences of being an apostate from Islam. And nobody said anything. Nobody criticized it.
So we then made a decision to leave Luton and go to Birmingham. Now when we went to Birmingham, we were met with Islamic politicians, clenched fists, saying, smash them, smash them, smash them. They got down on their knees, they prayed, and then they run through the streets and they beat every non-Muslim senseless. We were kicked and battered off the streets in our first demonstration. But the pictures were across national newspapers, this is when I realized what we’re up against, of English lads on the floor with Muslims in the air, two feet on their heads. And under that picture, it read, “a fascist is attacked by anti-fascists”. [CROWD REACTION] And that’s when I thought, what are we up against? I didn’t — three years ago, I was a working class lad from a working class town, left wing, right wing, didn’t care. Politics, didn’t care. Getting on with my life, I didn’t actually have any interest in it. I couldn’t believe the media’s response from what had happened there. And from that, the whole country read the newspapers, we launched the English Defence League, we then looked on the internet and we saw a Christian graveyard being bulldozed. Desecration of Christian graves to make way for a mosque. Okay? Nobody is saying anything. So we then made — we said, when we leave Birmingham, we tried three times to highlight the issue of the young lad called Sean.
We left Birmingham, we went to Manchester. Now after everybody seen the consequences of standing up against Islam, how many middle-aged female schoolteachers are going to come out in the street and oppose militant Islam? You’re going to get your head kicked in. That’s what’s going to happen. That’s the standard. That’s what’s happening across Europe. They beat you, they [UNCLEAR] fear and intimidation, they will attack you. So what happened then, we left Birmingham, sixty or seventy of us in Birmingham, we went to Manchester, and two thousand Englishmen turned up. Two thousand Englishmen turned up with the attitude that, you’re not beating us into submission, you are not silencing us. We sometimes get criticized for our, I don’t know, it’s our image problem. We have a bit of an image problem. [LAUGHTER] [APPLAUSE] So what person turned up in Manchester, and I’ll never condemn him, is a man who’s prepared to stand up. And a man who’s prepared to stand up for what he believes in and not be beaten off the street. It was never going to — to me, it was never going to be doctors and nurses that takes on militant Islam. Okay? The certain sort of person that will go in the street and oppose it, is a certain sort of person that stands on the frontline for our country in our armed forces. Someone who’s not going to back down to them. Now, what has come with this and it’s been a complete three years in making, which has shocked me, is the persecution from the police and the authorities.
The political police — it started off with myself. It started off, what they do is, they — after our first demonstration in Luton, they kicked my doors off, they chose one person from each estate. And they kicked their doors off. ‘Cause that installs fear into all the other kids on the estate, and all the other people in the estate, that you can’t do that cause you’ll have your doors kicked off. You’ll be arrested. No charges are brought. From that, I was flying out to Edinburgh, I was at Luton Airport, I was stopped by Special Branch. I was brought in by Special Branch. Fifteen police were dispersed to my mum’s house. Fifteen went to my wife’s house. They went there — I was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage. Thirty pound criminal damage. Thirty pounds! Thirty police officers from Special Branch for thirty pounds worth of damage in a hotel room. And they seized all my mum and dad’s computers. They seized all of our phones. Okay? And after three weeks, they dropped all charges. Now, the persecution continued and it was enabled to break, I believe, break me. Silence me.
When that didn’t work, they turned up three months later. And they were local police officers who come into my house and the first thing he said was, “Sorry, Stephen, I’m sorry.” I said, “What do you mean, you’re sorry?” “Arresting you and we’re arresting the wife. In front of your children.” So I was arrested, my wife was arrested, and basically we were arrested on suspicion of money laundering, financial irregularities, in front of our children. And that’s when I thought that, it’s not working for me, so now they go to my family. They go to my mum. They’ve been to my nan’s. They’ve been to my cousin’s. And it continues on. And the persecution, which has been shocking to me, which is political policing, is just — I’ve had a financial restraint for two years. I’ve had all my assets and all my money frozen. I have not been before a judge. These are the tactics that they will use to silence us for standing up against fascism and extremism. We have an Osman warning. Some of you may know an Osman warning.
An Osman warning is an official government warning that you are going to be killed. Okay? The first one I got, they gave me mine. They come into a police station and in it, it said, we advise you to leave Luton for the foreseeable future. Take your family. They they said, “I need to see your wife.” I said, “Why?” They said I need to get my wife one. So my wife, who was pregnant at the time. So then the officer come round my house, he’s telling my wife, who’s pregnant, that Muslims want to kill her. And I said, “How long have you been a police officer?” “Twenty years.” “You ever told a pregnant Muslim woman that Christians want to kill her? For what? This is the problem. No, you haven’t.” This is the Osman warning. And Islam rules, to me, with fear and intimidation. You show any weakness and they will run all over you. The first time I got off from an Osman warning was walk straight to Luton Town Centre and I walk into Luton Town Centre every single day since. ‘Cause we will not be scared into intimidation, which is what they do. And men and women follow courage, to me, that’s the way I see it. They follow courage. Our politicians, I don’t see any courage. I see courage in Geert Wilders. I see courage in everyone that stood here today. And I see your countrymen and women will follow you. Our countrymen and women have followed us. The English Defence League, I believe, and now the British Freedom Party, has written its name in history. It’s written its name in history. We may be demonized, slandered at present. But everything that’s happening now, we’ll look back upon it in history.
I believe the next generation of youth will never forgive us if we stand by and do nothing. [APPLAUSE] Never forgive us. I don’t know how many people have seen the recent story about a lady who’s pregnant in Britain. Her husband is a serving soldier in Afghanistan and when her baby is born in four weeks, the authorities are going to take it off her. They’re going to take it off her ‘cause of the fear it’s going to be radicalized by the English Defence League. They’re going to take her child, because of her political belief. We have Abu Qatada [PH], we have Anjem Choudary. We have terrorists, convicted terrorists. They would not dare talk about taking their children. Do I think they’ll take her child? To be fair, she’s fled the country. A lady, a mother, has had to flee the country for fear of having her child taken off her. The point is, whether they take her child or not, their objective has worked. How many other mothers who stand on the street with us will now stand on the street with us?
They’ve installed the fear, the worry of losing your child, that’s what all this is about. Installing the fear that you can’t speak up, you can’t say anything, because look at the consequences. Look at what will happen. They will kill you, they will attack you. I don’t know if you saw it last — we had a demonstration in Dewsbury last Saturday and three hours before the demonstration, a car was stopped. It had a Taliban IED in the boot. It had guns and ammunition and they were on their way to our demonstration to attack, maim, and kill our supporters. They’ve been arrested this week and another seven have been arrested. That is, to me, defining moments in history change the direction of a country. Bloody Sunday changed the whole direction of Northern Ireland. I would not like to lose supporters or lose my life myself, but I believe that if an attack was made in Britain on our demonstration or on myself, I believe England would rise up. I believe there will be a moment like this. If we don’t change what’s happening, in twenty to thirty years, there’ll be millions getting killed. There’ll be millions getting killed. [APPLAUSE] I met with a vicar, he told me, I believe you’ll be a sacrificial lamb. I believe maybe we will be a sacrificial lamb. But what we do at the same time is nothing in comparison to what our armed forces do, every day. They go out and face it every day, guns, bullets, every single day. Fighting for our freedom, our freedom of speech, for democracy. So it is our duty, every man’s duty, every woman’s duty, to stand up and stand up for what we believe in.
Some people may see, I’ve been — I’m a convicted football hooligan. Yeah? Apparently. I was arrested for swearing outside a football stadium. Okay? Two police officers said I swore. I said I didn’t. I went to court. I get convicted for swearing. Then it comes into light the reason why. Then this story goes across the media, I’m a convicted football hooligan now. That demonizes our movement straightaway. Their leader’s a football hooligan. And I don’t claim to be the moral compass for Britain or for Europe or to be polishing my halo. I’ve never been an angel and I probably never will be an angel. But I’m a normal working class lad from my town. But then it come into light the football team I follow, Luton Town, rubbish as they are, yeah? [LAUGHTER] They are — our football stadium is in the heart of Bury Park. Bury Park is the Islamic ghetto of Luton. I’ve been going there for twenty years.
Now that it’s common knowledge that I’m the leader of the English Defence League and the deputy vice-chairman of the British Freedom Party, the police have a dilemma. How do they police me attending the football match? I’ll tell you how. They take away my freedom to go to a football match. Rather than deal with the potential riot of the local extremist Islamist violent community, they’ll ban me for swearing. Did I swear? No, I didn’t. Now I’m banned for three years. Part of my ban is I’m not allowed into the Islamic area every Saturday. I’m not allowed into the Town Centre. And I’m never allowed to go to football. I have to surrender my passport every single game. And I have — we have a police officer called Muhammad Hussein. He’s a Muslim police officer. They solely work for their community, that’s it. Every time — I’ve moved three times. I’ve had armed police at my house. My wife, I’ve changed my kids’ school. And each time I move and the police get my address, then it’s happened. So then they’re leaking my address. So then I refuse to give them my address.
When I was in court, I said, “I’m not giving you my address. Because whenever I give you my address, people turn up at my house. My house gets attacked and I get attacked. And it’s coming from you. And someone within your police force.” Then they — this was — in the last two weeks, three weeks, we was at a meeting in the Southwest, came out of the meeting, I was walking, police officer pulled up. “I’m arresting you on suspicion of drunk and disorderly.” “I’m not drunk. Okay? You can’t arrest me for drunk and disorderly.” We get down to the police station, I start my breathalyzer. I’m not drunk. Eleven o’clock in the morning, the next day comes, they then rearrest me on suspicion of racially-aggravated public order. I’m held for another twelve hours. I said, “Why are you arresting me?” They said, “Did you go to the Muslim kebab shop? Did you go in that Muslim kebab shop?” I said, “Yeah. I went in there. My mate was in there.” “Well, what happened in there?” “Nothing happened in there.” “Well, we need to investigate whether something happened in there.” I said, “So no one’s actually telling you something happened.” They held me for twelve hours until they could contact the kebab shop owner to see if I’d done anything. This is all in a two week period. I spent twenty-four hours in the cells. I’m then released. Then, they turn up at my wife’s house, my mum’s house, to do with my football banning order for swearing because I didn’t hand in my passport in time. It was an hour late. So this is what they do. They persecute you, they try to break you. Their call for jihad has been answered. It’s been answered in England and it’s being answered across Europe. People are standing up and ready to battle it. This is an ideological war, one that I try and tell our followers, “You will not beat it with petrol bombs. You will not beat it with punches. You will not beat it with bullets. It’s a war with the hearts and the minds of the people.” And we will win the hearts and minds of our people in all of our countries by leading with inspiration, by being fearless, by being brave, and people sit there and watch us and think, if he can do it, I can do it. She can do it, I can do it. And we will give inspiration. [APPLAUSE] Freedom of speech, we’re talking about freedom of speech. The poppy, the remembrance symbol for all our armed forces. I completely condemn and disagree with Islam, but we’ve never held a protest on Muhammad’s birthday. We never took it to a day that’s quite sacred to them. They only take it to our sacred days. Only.
They take it to Armistice Day. When the whole country tradition, for twenty years, falls silent to remember our fallen, our previous generation, who gave everything for our freedoms. I was there and they start shouting, “Your soldiers are burning in hell.” Through the two minutes’ silence. They then get large poppies and they start setting fire to them. Now I asked the police officer, “Are you going to stop this? Are you going to really let this happen right? Are members of the public going to have to watch this on Armistice Day?” He says, “Freedom of speech.” No, that’s not freedom of speech. That is not freedom of speech. And at that point, which I was well justified to do, I jumped the fence and tried to stop them burning the poppy, ‘cause they were committing a crime in my eyes. And it had to be stopped. Now they were given fifty pound fines for burning the poppy. I was given a three hundred and fifty pound fine for trying to stop them. [LAUGHTER] So how is it seven times worse to try and stop them burning a poppy when they’re burning a poppy? That causes whole outrage and disgust to our entire nation, but yet I’m — what they’ve done is — when I was arrested, they charged me with assaulting a police officer. You can watch the video. Go on YouTube, print “Tommy Robinson poppy”, I jump over a fence. Now they didn’t know there was a video. So there’s the police officer’s statement, saying I was assaulting him. And then ITV contacts me and give me the video. So I produced the video in court which clearly shows I didn’t assault him. And the news that they burned our poppies didn’t go across any of the BBC. The BBC News didn’t actually report that they burned our poppies. The BBC News headline was “Tommy Robinson Arrested for Assaulting a Police Officer”. This is the demonization, the continued demonization. When I hear about — I’m a proud supporter of Israel. I believe in the state of Israel. [APPLAUSE]
The Stockholm bomber from Luton was radicalized in the Islamic Centre, which used to be a synagogue. Until they were beaten and drove out of town. I saw, seven or eight years ago, Orthodox Jews walking through Luton with about six police officers around them. And I’m thinking, what’s all that about? That was a police protection to walk down the street. In 2006. In Britain. Orthodox Jews needed police protection to walk through Luton. In Britain. And the Jews, I can tell you, there’s not a Jew in Luton. There’s not one left in Luton. They’ve all gone. They’ve all gone. And there has to come a time — everyone I know, every one of my friends, every one of my family, whenever you make your money, you get out of Luton. But there has to be a time when we say, enough is enough. We can’t keep running. We have to dig our heels in. And stop — you can’t keep running. And it’s for the next generation. I’ve got three children who are in Luton. I’m terrified for the future for my kids. Terrified for them. And it’s about standing up and waking up. The truth is not a lie. You can’t hide the truth. The truth will prevail. The truth is: Islam is a fascist backward ideology. It’s not a religion of peace. [APPLAUSE]