I attended the #Freetommyrobinson rally outside the British Consulate in Perth, Australia. My reasons for attending are discussed below but I will first sum the my impressions on the rally.
I was told that those attending were outside for the whole weekend. I’m not sure the numbers that were there all weekend but when I was there (approx 4:30 pm on Sunday), as Avi Yemeni was speaking, I would put the numbers as 150 to 200. I’d guess at a 50/50 gender split with a standard age range of the adult population. I saw children and the elderly and people from wealthy and working class backgrounds. There was no visible sign of the far-right that I could see (but I admit I wouldn’t exactly know what to look for) and certainly no counter protest by The Left/ANTIFA/Socialists while I was there. Police were in attendance, but there were only 4 officers in two cars who rarely left the vehicles.
The public speakers seemed to limit the topics being discussed to the issue of Free Speech. I heard no argument that Tommy Robinson was an innocent man or that the police were corrupt. The thrust of the argument seem to be that various levels of Government were silent on the Rotherham scandal in the UK but were able to arrest Tommy Robinson for livestreaming, get him before a court in under 3 hours and then sentenced to 13 months prison without issue. The same authorities seem unable to act on many reports for child sexual abuse for 30 years when it involved Muslim men, the implication being that Western authorities are scared to confront issues of race/non-Christian religion. Ergo, the government seems to have an agenda.
A parallel was drawn between Tommy Robinson and Australia’s Sonia Kruger. Kruger expressed a political opinion live on air and has been required to face a hearing regarding racial vilification. Her opinion was to limit/stop altogether Muslim immigration into Australia.
The rest of the speech was mainly standard arguments for, and rhetoric around, freedom of speech. I witnessed no violence or thuggish behavior by anyone. There were a lot of patriotic Australians there, many who and brought flags and the national anthem was sung at least once.
My Reasons for Going
First and foremost I am unhappy with the direction that our capacity to speak freely is going. There does seem to be ideological movement to limited the range of what can be expressed to “safer” topics. Without the freedom of speech, how can we make ideas known to the societies we live within? It has been said that a Priori knowledge is the outcome of two competing ideas, expressed and refined until they become one. If we outlaw the expression of one of those ideas we make knowledge impossible and can manufacture fake-truths. The red pilled individual makes the observation that the limitation is policed in a bias fashion (Clementine Ford can say “Kill all men” without suspension from twitter or losing her job but James Damore can’t make fact based observations, backed by research, about differences between the genders without losing his job). Some large force does seem to be mobilizing against Jordan B Peterson and Lauren Southern.
Three large issues have brought this to my attention in the last few years. 1) Matt Damon can’t say “there’s a spectrum of behavior”, 2) The Red Pill documentary was banned in Australia and c) the global outrage to the satirical piece written by controversial PUA, RooshV. I don’t know who is behind it all but I suspect it is merely a group of people who have found that it is easier to scream “Stop because it hurts me and I am afraid” than it is to explain “Stop because [insert solid argument here]”. I suspect weak feminists, over-educated-but-ultimately-ignorant students and failed Marxists are the usual suspects here.
Somewhere subconsciously I think I am preparing either myself, or my children for an up coming culture war. The battle lines do seem to be in the process of being drawn. There are many ancient wisdoms that go something like “Today the fight for free speech is hard, tomorrow it might be impossible” but the best is from Martin Neimoller
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
I suppose somewhere down deep I sense that the “they” in the poem above is the progressive left and their determination to see
- the expression of ideas become “hate speech”;
- robust dialogue about politics become “misogyny”;
- the realities of life become “microaggressions”
- right wing males become “Nazis”
- left wing become become “(disposable) allies”; and
- “give me everything I want right now!” become justice