This Sunday, May 12th, ‘Alt-Right’ activists Milo Yiannopoulos and Carl Benjamin are planning to appear in Totnes Civic Square as part of thier #UKIPSWTour. Although they have stated this is part of the campaigning for European Elections, their own website states they are here to ‘have some fun’, presumably at the expense of Totnes and its citizens.
They plan to film anyone debating with them about their views, and post edited videos on their social media channels. Although they have already been banned from FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter for ‘dangerous’ incitement of hatred towards women in public life, they are still active on alternative platforms such as Telegram and BitChute.
Benjamin, who also calls himself ‘Sargon of Akkad’, found fame and notoriety as being at the forefront of ‘Gamergate‘. A harassment campaign targeting several women in the video game industry.
Standing for tolerance and against hate, FaceBook posts locally are calling for the Totnes Community to gather at an alternative venue in town – The Rotherfold – to show solidarity with the victims of hate speech, including women parliamentarians Jo Cox and Jess Phillips.
Carl Benjamin has publically referred to Jess Phillips MP in extremely offensive terms using rape as his theme, and both men are currently under investigation by the police for regular use of racist tropes, active woo-ing of white supremacists and conspiracy theorists, and their designation of feminism as ‘a cancer’. They regularly use the terms “freedom of speech” and “humour” to muddy the waters of their fascist rhetoric; Yiannopoulos was recently banned from Australia for blaming the Christchurch mosque massacre on ‘the establishment pander[ing] to barbaric alien cultures’.
Totnes is a place of peace, progress and tolerance, where facism is not welcome.
In response, organisers of ‘Totnes Against Hate’ have arranged an alternative meeting in The Rotherfold at 12.00 on Sunday (link below), stating that “Totnes is a place of peace, progress and tolerance, where facism is not welcome.”
The Totnes Against Hate event is being organised at short notice and will include speakers from all the major progressive parties standing in the European elections, local activists and community groups. There will be music and milkshakes (In reference to Tommy Robinsons unfortunate event last week): milkshakes are expected to be shaken, not thrown!
Currently it is not clear that UKIP has permission to use the Civic Square for the purpose of a stall and public meeting. Previous dates on the #UKIPSWTour have been cancelled at short notice (Swindon), and led to the local UKIP web site being taken down (Gloucester). The police have been informed of this alternative event, which will be peaceful and non-confrontational.
For further information please contact the organisers – facebook details below.