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Tommy Robinson charged after appearing at London march against anti-Semitism
27 November 2023, 15:36 | Updated: 27 November 2023, 16:00
Tommy Robinson has been charged with appearing at a march against anti-Semitism in London on Sunday.
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Robinson, also known as Stephen Lennon, was charged with not keeping to an order excluding him from the area of the march in central London.
The English Defence League founder, 40, was taken away from the march by over a dozen police officers, after he argued with them for ten minutes near the Royal Courts of Justice.
Officers sprayed Robinson with pepper spray and handcuffed him. He posted a video of himself with his eyes closed online after the arrest.
Robinson also said that his bail conditions that prevent him from entering London or taking part in protests were "a blatant abuse of... human rights".
Police said on Monday: "Stephen Lennon, of Bedfordshire, has been charged with failing to comply with a section 35 direction excluding a person from an area.
"He has been bailed to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 22 January."
The Met said earlier that organisers of the march had been concerned about Robinson taking part, without naming him.
"They have been clear about their concerns that the man's attendance, and that of those who were likely to accompany him, would cause fear for other participants. The same view has been voiced by others.
"As a result, he was spoken to and warned on more than one occasion that his continued presence in the area was likely to cause harassment, alarm and distress to others.
"He was directed to leave the area but refused to do so."
Thousands of people took part in the demonstration, which aimed to take a stand against the capital becoming "a no-go zone for Jews" in recent weeks.
Participants included Boris Johnson, Security minister Tom Tugendhat and celebrities including Tracy-Ann Oberman, Rachel Riley and Robert Rinder.
Half of British Jews have considered leaving the UK amid a "staggering" rise in discrimination against them, according to a survey by march organisers the Campaign for Antisemitism.
Nearly 70 per cent of Jews in the UK have also held back from showing visible signs of being Jewish, the findings showed.
Binyomin Gilbert said: "We have seen a 1300% increase in anti-Semitism.
"And this is staggering. And in fact I can release to you today the results of a survey of British Jews, which has shown us that 69%, nearly 70% of British Jews are saying that they are now less likely to show visible signs of their duties.
"It also shows us that half of British Jews have considered whether they need to leave the UK due to anti-Semitism."
He said "there's a lot of fear and concern" for British Jews at the moment.
Addressing the pro-Palestine marches through the capital, Mr Gilbert said: "What we've seen is large scale marches week after week.
"In fact, there were protests happening before Israel had retaliated in the streets of London.
"And we have seen in those marches, calls for intifada, we've seen support for organisations that want Jews dead."
He went on: "When we have racists turn up at our rallies, we pull them out.
"When we have people turn up in our rallies who want to try and manipulate and politicise anti-Semitism and cast one minority group against another, we have been unequivocal."
He said he is confident there will not be violence but "positive displays of the Jewish community and its allies standing up and saying this is what British values mean".