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19th Nov 2018

London charity cancels alt-right linked speaking event after online backlash

James Dawson

Carl Benjamin and Markus Meechan – better known as Sargon of Akkad and Count Dankula – were due to speak at the event this month

A London-based Irish charity has cancelled a speaking event featuring prominent members of the so-called British alt-right that was due to take place next week.

Carl Benjamin and Markus Meechan, better known under their online aliases Sargon of Akkad and Count Dankula, were due to speak at a £25-a-ticket “night of intellectual stimulation” and audience Q&A at London Irish Centre in Camden, north London on the 23 November.

However, the charity – which serves the Irish community living in the capital and hosted Ireland’s president Michael D. Higgin in 2012 – has now cancelled the event following concerns being raised on Twitter.

A spokesperson for the London Irish Centre told JOE.co.uk in a statement: “Following further clarification on event content, which conflicts with the The London Irish Centre Charity’s objectives and ethos, plus significant concerns raised by charity stakeholders, clients and the general publics, ‘An Evening with Sargon’ has been cancelled by Sliced Events, the operator of the London Irish Centre venue.”

Meechan rose to fame after posting YouTube video of his girlfriend’s pug performing a Nazi salute and reacting to the phrase “gas the Jews?”, which resulted in him being fined £800 and convicted under the Communications Act 2003 in April this year. The trial saw him receive public support from comedians such as Ricky Gervais and David Baddiel.

While Benjamin came to public prominence during Gamergate and has become heavily associated with the alt-right, though claims he is a “classical liberal” and has rejected the alt-right movement as “authoritarian”. He has over 850,00 subscribers to his antifeminist YouTube channel and previously made headlines in 2016 for telling Labour MP Jess Phillip “I wouldn’t even rape you” after she described the extent of threats of sexual violence she receives on social media.

Both men have been also been vocal supporters of the “Free Tommy Robinson” movement and joined UKIP earlier this year following the party’s move to the right under current leader Gerard Batten.

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