Britain First activists were reportedly threatened with a dawn raid and later arrested by police after they published a viral video which showed members of the group being confronted by Muslims in the town of Luton.
The original video, which attracted tens of millions of views on Facebook, shows Muslims embroiled in heated arguments with Britain First activists, vowing to “take over,” as well as making violent threats and at least one physical assault.
Luton police subsequently issued a statement saying they would investigate Britain First, seek to ban the group from entering Luton again and that, “no members of the local community,” ie the Muslims that hurled abuse, would be arrested.
According to Britain First leader Paul Golding and deputy Jayda Fransen, they received a phone call from Bedfordshire Police on Saturday night threatening the pair with an early morning raid if the two didn’t voluntarily surrender and be arrested on the charge of “wearing political uniforms” the following Monday. Bedfordshire Police deny that such a threat was made.
In the video, Golding and Fransen are told by DC Stone of Luton Police that they are required to be interviewed under caution. When the pair refuse to be interviewed, they are arrested.
Bedfordshire Police subsequently released a statement saying that Golding and Fransen had been arrested for a “public order offence” that occurred during the Britain First event in Luton and would need to report to Bromley police station every Saturday until the end of May.
“This means that both Paul and Jayda will be unable to attend any days of action, protests or activities on any Saturday for the next four months!” said Britain First in a statement.
Bedfordshire Police had previously failed to secure an injunction that would have prevented the group from publishing material “likely to stir up religious and/or racial hatred” or behaving in a way that would cause “harassment, alarm or distress” for a period of 12 months.
Although Britain FIrst is a provocative group and some of their tactics are questionable, for people to be arrested for speaking out against the religion of Islam is a chilling development, but not one without precedent.
Liberty GB party leader Paul Weston was arrested by police for criticizing Islam during a public speech in 2014. Weston’s “racially aggravated” hate crime consisted of him reading out Winston Churchill quotes.
Meanwhile in a related development, anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson was attacked and knocked unconscious by unknown assailants during an incident on Saturday night which also took place in Luton.
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