Report to THE EVENING STANDARD of Antifa Efforts to Shut Down London Forum, Feb. 4
Whilst in Central London on Saturday anti-Trump protesters were making full use of their liberty of expression by demonstrating against President Trump, another set of demonstrators dressed in black and wearing balaclavas have received much less attention; they were trying to deny the liberty of expression to those they didn’t agree with, by trying to close down a legal, peaceful, orderly meeting of British and European nationalists, identitarians and independent thinkers – often bracketed as ‘alt-right’, which was being held at The Holiday Inn. Speakers came to ‘The London Forum’ meeting from across Europe and as far afield as Canada and Iran.
Unbeknownst to most of those at the meeting the antitfa movement, with the usual sprinkling of ‘Hope Not Hate’ supporters, were putting intense pressure on the Hotel management to close the meeting down; the pressure was applied by blockading the hotel entrance, harassing hotel staff and prospective patrons of the hotel, letting off smoke bombs, chanting and generally disrupting and terrorizing anyone who wasn’t wearing a balaclava. (See Ruptly TV news clip on youtube below) It was made clear to management that if it wanted the disruption to stop it had better break up the meeting.
Around 2pm the hotel manager, police and the meeting chairman met to discuss the situation and to raise concerns regarding the safety of hotel patrons and other members of the public. After some discussion, and to the credit of the Hotel Management an agreement was reached to allow the meeting to continue and for it to finish at its scheduled time. The police eventually issued a Dispersal Order to the demonstrators and once the meeting had finished were again on hand to provide security as the meeting attendees left. I have nothing but the highest praise for the actions and conduct of the police and hotel staff, for without ‘safe spaces’ to hold political meetings of all persuasions of what use is democracy?
As for the masked demonstrators it will be recalled that in early January the Home Secretary banned ‘National Action’ labelling them a terrorist group for doing nothing more than wearing balaclavas whilst carrying out public protests. The law should be applied justly, evenly and fairly, is it therefore not time that the Government also banned the masked thugs of ‘antifa’?