Tommy Robinson Arrested in Canada After Giving Address on Free Speech

Far-right activist and former leader of the English Defence League (EDL) Stephen Yaxley-Le
Mark Kerrison/In Pictures via Getty Images

English political activist Tommy Robinson was arrested on Monday evening in Canada after delivering an address in Calgary on the importance of free speech following which around 10 plain-clothed under-cover police officers detained him.

Tommy Robinson, an outspoken critic of mass migration, and commentator on the incongruity of Islamic beliefs with Western society, particularly majority-Muslim child rape gangs in England, was arrested on an alleged immigration offence after giving a speech to around 150 people in Calgary during his planned three-stop tour of Canada hosted by Ezra Levant’s Rebel News.

Footage posted on social media showed Robinson being handcuffed and put in the back of a police car by what appeared to be undercover officers in street clothes. The right-wing activist was seen laughing while describing his arrest as “absolutely insane”.

“What have I got a warrant out for?” Robinson was heard questioning, to which an officer replied: “You’ve got an outstanding immigration warrant, we’ll talk about it in the vehicle.”

At the time of this reporting, Calgary Police have not made any statement on why the English political campaigner was arrested. However, Robinson has previously been convicted of entering the United States with a friend’s passport.

After spending several hours behind bars, Robinson was released, but said that he had his passport seized and was told to not leave the province of Alberta, potentially preventing him from continuing his speaking tour, which had planned stops in Edmonton and Toronto.

“OK I’m free, well, sort of. None of this makes sense, I’m now detained in Calgary, prevented from leaving the city, these conditions stop me from continuing my tour of Canada and meeting with guests for podcasts. I’m not even allowed to leave to travel home,” Robinson wrote on social media following his release.

Rebel News, the right-wing Canadian news outlet which was sponsoring Robinson’s tour, said they have hired legal representation for the activist with the hopes of receiving a prompt judicial review in order to allow him to continue his tour and then return to England.

Commenting on the arrest, Professor Jordan Peterson — one of Canada’s most prominent public intellectuals — wrote: “Wake up Canadians. The police are now being used directly as political agents of the state. I don’t know who ordered this but it’s not acceptable.

“You idiot lefties might be pleased about this in this situation. But don’t be thinking that once established this won’t be used against you.”

After rising to prominence for founding the English Defence League (EDL) in response to the grooming gang scandal, in which mostly young white girls faced decades of sexual abuse, rape, and torture by mostly Pakistani-heritage grooming gangs, Robinson has been a frequent target of the judicial system in the UK.

Between 2005 and 2019, he served four different prison terms, the latest of which saw him placed in the maximum security Belmarsh prison for violating reporting restrictions by filming outside of a courthouse during a grooming gang trial, which ultimately resulted in the defendants being jailed for a “campaign of rape and other sexual abuse” against vulnerable young girls.

More recently, Robinson was in November for allegedly violating a ban on attending a pro-Israel protest in London. In April, the Westminster Magistrates’ Court found that the police order preventing him from attending the protest was unlawful.

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