Tommy Robinson, the co-founder of the English Defence League (EDL), is ready to chart a new course in right-wing politics. In six weeks time he plans to establish Pegida UK as part of a pan-European push by anti-immigration parties to give cohesion to their common cause.
Mr. Robinson has pledged the new Pegida project – a UK mirror of the European movement of the same name that began in the summer of 2014, a German-language abbreviation for “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident” – will move away from the EDL’s former image.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Mr. Robinson detailed his plans at a Pegida rally in Dresden, Germany last week. He told the crowd that he’s been working with nationalist groups across Europe in order to coordinate a movement that seeks, in his words, to counter the “Islamification of our countries”.
The first mass demonstration, he said, will be taking place on February 6, 2016, in at least 12 European countries simultaneously. All parties and participants will be marching under a single banner: “Save our Country. Save our Culture. Save Our Future.”
The Telegraph reports that after the Pegida rally, Mr. Robinson met with “Siggy” (Siegfried Daebritz), one of the organisers of Pegida in Dresden, and Martin Konovka, the Bloc’s leader, to pitch this Europe-wide movement.
“Basically, we need to coordinate our efforts,” Mr. Robinson said. “We need one enormous demonstration, all marching under the same banner, all saying the same message. Under ‘Save our Culture, Save our Country, Save our Future’. We are more powerful if we all do it together at the same time.”
Assuming it goes ahead, the 6 February 2016 will be the single largest Europe-wide demonstrations ever – possibly the first time different right-wing, anti-immigration street movements have worked together so closely.
Mr. Robinson claimed that “patriotic” – but as yet unnamed – groups from the following countries will be involved: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Holland, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.
This is not the first time Mr. Robinson has sought to make a fresh start in politics although he did make clear that he would not be personally involved in a leadership role at Pegida UK.
In September he spoke exclusively to Breitbart London’s Editor-in-Chief Raheem Kassam about his time as leader of the EDL as well as his recent run-ins with the law.
In that interview, Mr. Robinson outlined the pressure placed upon his personal life, his family, and accused unnamed elements of the British establishment of trying to have him killed by putting him in dangerous parts of some of the worst prisons in the United Kingdom.
That might explain his reticence to take a high-profile leadership role at Pegida UK.
In the same interview, Mr. Robinson also attacked the fascist elements that he claimed had infiltrated his former organisation, blasting the BNP and its former leader Nick Griffin, and remembering the first EDL march, where “we had placards that said… National Front go to hell.”
A few weeks after that story was published Mr. Robinson was barred from speaking at Durham University. Mr. Robinson was planning to talk about free speech and “political policing,” which he has subsequently alleged was used to silence him.