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11th Jun 2018

Five arrested at ‘Free Tommy Robinson’ March in London

Fights at the #FreeTommy march injured police officers and saw five men arrested

Oli Dugmore

Five people have been arrested after protesters at the ‘free Tommy Robinson’ march clashed with police

This weekend thousands of fully grown adults gathered in central London to protest the legal imprisonment of Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon.

Protesters blocked off the road around Trafalgar Square, before descending on Whitehall, after former EDL leader Robinson was jailed for breaking contempt of court laws.

He already had a suspended contempt of court sentence relating to a 2017 rape trial, but after he attempted to film the defendants outside Leeds Crown Court in another trial in May this year he was jailed for contempt of court (after pleading guilty).

If you’d like a comprehensive breakdown of this conviction, and why Tommy Robinson is neither a champion of free speech or criminally innocent, read this blog from the Secret Barrister.

In short, and the words of the judge sentencing, his actions could have impacted the defendants’ right to a fair trial, causing it to collapse and costing the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of pounds in the process.

Anyway, videos posted on Twitter show men surrounding police officers, throwing objects at them and chanting “we want Tommy out.”

Hundreds of supporters stormed an open-top sightseeing bus, one supporter posed on the roof in a Donald Trump mask.

By 6pm, officers had removed protesters from the bus and had kettled many of the remaining protesters.

Elsewhere, a man can be seen performing a Nazi salute, literal metres away from statues which commemorate the British soldiers who died fighting them in WW2.

Five police officers were hurt at the protest on Saturday, none seriously, the Met Police said.

Scotland Yard have confirmed that five arrests have been made. One person was arrested for possession of a flare while another was detained for possession of an offensive weapon, two others have been arrested for assaulting a police officer.

A fifth person was later arrested for criminal damage to a bus.

The Met Police said bottles, metal barriers and other objects were thrown at officers. Five officers suffered minor injuries. The Met’s public order investigations team has launched an investigation and are collating CCTV from the area. Enquiries continue.

More than 600,000 people have signed a petition calling for Tommy Robinson’s release.