Crowds gathered in the thousands for the Day for Freedom this Sunday in defense of free speech, which is slowly but surely being eroded in the United Kingdom.
A more ambitious crossover than Avengers: Infinity War.
Following the prosecution of Mark “Count Dankula” Meechan, the YouTuber fined for “grossly offensive” speech, thousands of people gathered in London to defend their freedom of expression in an event that was headlined by Tommy Robinson, MILO, Breitbart London editor-in-chief Raheem Kassam, VICE co-founder and Proud Boys creator Gavin McInnes, YouTube personality Sargon of Akkad, UKIP leader Gerald Batten, and several other high-profile personalities and free-speech activists.
They were joined by comedian Lee Hurst, and drag artist Vanity Von Glow, who was introduced onto the stage by Robinson. His attendance at the event was met with what Day for Freedom organizer Caolan Robertson described as an “unbelievable round of applause and cheers,” prompting no shortage of consternation from both the far-left, who saw his appearance as a betrayal to the leftist narrative, as well as the far-right, some of whom dubbed his presence a promotion of “degeneracy.”
— Caolan Robertson (@CaolanRob) May 6, 2018
The Day for Freedom attracted a crowd from across the political spectrum, with contingents of marchers from both the left and right who gathered at Whitehall in Central London. Organizers estimate that around four and six thousand people attended the event.
While the event made headlines internationally, the publicly-funded BBC was notably absent in its coverage.
Just given a speech at the Freedom of Speech event in Whitehall with Tommy Robinson & various speakers. I was honoured to lead the march of thousands from Hyde Park. Peaceful, well-ordered and good humoured. A real pleasure to talk to patriots about keeping our freedoms. pic.twitter.com/XSMuMXFcMq
— Gerard Batten MEP (@GerardBattenMEP) May 6, 2018
Only 200 activists aligned with Antifa showed up to protest, some of whom were arrested following brief scuffles with the police—a small showing that surprised left-wing outlets like The Guardian, which quoted the comments of anti-free speech protester Freddi Hyde-Thompson, who claimed to be “shocked to find the counter-protesters outnumbered.”
“It’s really worrying… This cannot come to London and there be more of them than there are of us,” he said.
Ahead of the event, conservative provocateur and DANGEROUS founder MILO told RT why he returned to the UK to attend the event, outlining his concerns about the suppression of the right to self-expression in his home country.
“I knew that the situation in Europe was bad, my jaw hit the floor… when I heard that somebody had been convicted, in a courtroom and [at] public expense, of making fun of Nazis on the internet,” Yiannopoulos said in the wide-ranging interview.
He said that it was “very important that we all come together to express our horror at the illiberal turn that society has taken,” adding that people like him and Tommy Robinson, both of whose accounts were removed from Twitter, were “the ones that get censored first, kicked off social media, get called names by the press and we’re going to explain to you briefly on Sunday what the consequences might be if ordinary Brits don’t stand up and say ‘Enough is enough.’”
Other speakers had equally important words to share with the audience, including Breitbart London’s Raheem Kassam, who welcomed the left-wing counter-protest as an expression of free speech unmatched by the advocates of free speech in calls for violence. Breitbart reports that anti-free speech demonstrators were recorded at the event chanting that their enemies should shoot themselves.
Count Dankula, the Scottish comedian arrested and later convicted for making a “grossly offensive” joke, took the stage to speak of his harrowing experience of being condemned by the press and members of the public who continue to lie about him and what he believes in.
His experience is one shared by many other speakers at the event, who have been labeled “racists,” “white supremacists,” and members of the “far-right” by anti-free speech proponents in various attempts to prevent them from speaking.
Gavin McInnes took the stage next to talk about the declining freedoms in the West, citing Meechan’s experience as a primary example of what it means to lose your right to express yourself.
“We’ve had a pretty good run in the Western world. In Scotland, and England, and Canada, and America. I look back now and I think ‘What’s happened to my culture? What happened to the West?’ We have a guy up here, from Scotland, who is arrested for teaching a pug to sieg heil. That’s a fucking joke.”
“And [Meechan] likes to talk about how it’s about context and everything,” McInnes added. “You know, fuck context. You can teach a dog to sieg heil. It’s none of my business.”
Carl “Sargon of Akkad” Benjamin, who was recently attacked by left-wing thugs during an event with the Ayn Rand Institute’s Yaron Brook, gave a speech on the nature of freedom.
Lauren Southern, the Canadian-born activist and gonzo journalist who was barred from entry to the UK for staging a social experiment along with Identitarian leader Martin Sellner and activist Brittany Pettibone, delivered a pre-recorded speech that was broadcast to the crowd.
“Some ideas need to be challenged and all ideas deserve to be ridiculed,” she said. “How easy would it be to live quietly, to bow down, and to sing the slogans of the powerful. To quietly accept the paltry rewards of the obedient.
“But that’s just not in us, is it? It’s certainly not in the people who showed up today, and it’s certainly not in the historical spirit and soul of this great United Kingdom,” she added. “Because the spirit of the West is engulfed in a restlessness that hates submission and detests conformity, that creates conformity and yearns for infinity. Ours is a spirit of revolution. A compulsion to overturn what is established and to reshape the world.”
“This revolutionary impulse is no longer an attribute or characteristic of the left despite how progressives tout it’s their cornerstone to this day, but it’s now one of the right—of conservatives, of libertarians, and even classical liberals.”
The event may go down in history as the start of an awakening among the silent majority, which has thus far remained outside of politics as the Left continues its incursion into academia, the media, and in the government.
Further events and projects have already been announced by event attendees, including Sargon of Akkad, who has announced a speaking tour of the United States in June. Polish journalist Zuzanna Mroz, who was one of the Day of Freedom’s organizers, has also announced the launch of a new project called Project 1984 to fight for and defend freedom of speech.
Image credit: @ShrimpyViews