Very often happy to be an American, especially with things like this happening across the pond.

Sunday, Fuzzy Slippers blogged about the Tommy Robinson case. Robinson, an activist, “was arrested Friday while filming alleged child sex grooming gang members entering court for trial,” Fuzzy blogged.

Tommy Robinson, the outspoken English activist who founded the English Defence League (EDL) only to later leave when it became too extreme, was arrested Friday while filming alleged child sex grooming gang members entering court for trial.

One of the arresting officers told Robinson that he was being arrested for “suspicion of breach of peace.”

That same day, Robinson, who was on a suspended sentence from a contempt of court arrest last year, had his suspended sentence revoked and was apparently immediately jailed.

Details are sketchy because the judge ordered a complete blackout on reporting of the incident, and as a result, news media—including Breitbart News—were required to remove their stories.

The resulting confusion about Robinson’s arrest, freedom of speech and of the press in the UK, varying reports of Robinson’s 13-, 14-, or 18-month prison term, and concerns about his safety in prison have flooded the internet with outrage and indignation, some righteous, some not.

…The list goes on.

The deep and abiding irony is that the judge’s decision to instate a news blackout has brought far more attention to the case than had it been treated with transparency.

Tuesday morning, the judge lifted the news blackout on Robinson’s arrest.

With the news blackout lifted, outlets were able to confirm Robinson was sentenced to 13 months for contempt of court:

Bruce Bawer writing for the Gatestone Institute, a portion of which was republished by Powerline, discusses the genuine concern coming from onlookers in England and Canada:

Carl Benjamin, who produces video commentary under the name “Sargon of Akkad,” is a popular British YouTuber who has somewhere around a million subscribers, and who routinely criticizes Islam, identity politics, and political correctness with wit and panache. He is generally a lively, free-wheeling, sardonic fellow, but in the two-hour-plus video he posted on Saturday about the Robinson case, he was uncharacteristically sober, exceedingly cautious, and at times even sounded mournful.

“I did tell you that Britain isn’t a free country, didn’t I?” he said a minute or so into his video. “I’ve been saying it for ages… and nobody listens.” He made it clear he was not about to violate the gag order — not, as he put it, about to “blunder into the jaws of the beast, in much the same way as I guess Tommy has,” and thus “deliberately put myself in the line of fire with the UK government, giving them just cause to arrest me.”

Benjamin is a gutsy guy, so it was unsettling to hear him speak this way. The look on his face somehow brought home the dark reality underlying Robinson’s fast-track arrest, trial, conviction and incarceration. Benjamin emphasized that the most “sensible” thing for someone like himself [Benjamin] to do right now — he used that word, “sensible,” repeatedly — is to do his best to stay out of jail so that he can continue to speak up. “I am in a country that is not free,” he repeated gravely. “My options are limited… I feel jealous as hell of you guys in America. You don’t know how lucky you are.”

The upside — and the irony — of this case is that the gag order, while silencing the British news media, has caused people around the world to take notice. To be sure, a quick tour of major mainstream newspaper websites in Western Europe, North America and around the Anglosphere turned up nothing. But on alternative news sites around Europe, the story was front and center. The Fox News website reported on Robinson’s arrest — but even Fox, frustratingly, insisted on calling him a “right-wing activist.”

Judi McLeod, editor of the Canada Free Press, began her article:

“Where is Tommy Robinson? A question whose answer should be demanded rather than merely asked…. Modern day Merry England has become far more nightmare than fairytale, as it steadily works its way toward ugly police state status.”

McLeod also challenged Fox’s label for Robinson: “‘Right wing activist’? How about civil rights activist or humanitarian activist?”

With so much focus on our own domestic cultural issues, it’s easy to forget just how lucky we are, as Benjamin point out, “My options are limited… I feel jealous as hell of you guys in America. You don’t know how lucky you are.”

Lucky, indeed.


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