Tommy Robinson supporters gather ahead of BBC demonstration

Tommy Robinson protesters gather ahead of BBC demonstration

Tommy Robinson supporters outside BBC Media City ahead of the screening of 'Panodrama'. Image: Danny Lawson/PA.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Protesters are gathering near the BBC's Salford headquarters ahead of a planned Tommy Robinson demonstration.

On Saturday, a big screen had been erected on a car park in Media City where controversial activist Robinson's film ‘Panodrama’ is expected to be shown.

Protester in support of Tommy Robinson ahead of the screening of 'Panodrama'. Image: Danny Lawson/PA. 

Mr Robinson is holding the protest in response to BBC programme Panorama's investigations into him.

Some supporters had already gathered by 11am on Saturday, but 300m away, anti-fascist demonstrators held a counter-protest.

 

 

They held placards with slogans including "Stand up to racism" and "Stop the fascist Tommy Robinson".

A number of police officers and vehicles were in the area and temporary metal barriers had been placed around all of the BBC buildings.

 

'Intimidation, threats and violence' 

The counter protester near BBC Media City, in Salford. Image: Danny Lawson/PA. 

Several restaurants were closed, with some expressing concerns about customer safety.

The Media City branch of Prezzo had a sign on the door which said: "This restaurant is closed for the safety of our customers and staff due to high numbers being expected to the area."

Weyman Bennett, joint national secretary of Unite Against Fascism, said: "Robinson regularly consorts with far-right individuals like Steve Bannon who seek to divide Muslims and Jews, black and white, and often support violence to further their aims."

 

 

He added: "He is a far-right thug who looks to rip up our diverse society and promote dangerous divisions within it. It is important we stand together and defend our democracy against the far right."

Mr Robinson's protest was also condemned by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and BECTU, unions which represent BBC staff.

In a joint statement, the unions said: "Intimidation, threats and violence carried out by far-right protesters systematically targeting the media, especially photojournalists, are becoming more frequent and we will always call out this behaviour and report criminal activity to the police."

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