Some Notes on a “Justice” Campaign

From RT, back in May:

The father of a 17-year-old teenager, who was killed by a drunk driver, is suing the police accusing them of cover up of what he said was either a terrorist or deliberate attack.

Ian Rice, whose son was killed along with another two teenage boys after the man crashed into them, slammed the police for failing to bring justice to the victims and their families.

…Rice claims [Jaynesh] Chudasama intended to hit the teenagers and that police were trying to “suppress” the case and “keep it out of the public eye” due to the driver’s background as a Muslim of Pakistani origin.

…”We are the victims, we are not the criminals,” Ian said while attending the Day of Freedom protest in London on Sunday. The protest was organized by a spectrum of activists and political figures – from those on far-right to free speech advocates.

Rice claims that Chudasama’s Twitter and Instagram accounts featured Jihadi propaganda, and that this demonstrates a terrorist motive.

It is not necessarily implausible that someone with an attraction to Jihadi propaganda might also have imbibed alcohol: human psychology is complex, and the romantic appeal of Jihadi “heroism” may be wider than just among committed Islamic fundamentalists. Such an attraction, combined with the inhibition-lowering effects of alcohol, might conceivably inspire a spontaneous act of violence that is afterwards regretted, which in this case would then explain why the perpetrator has not chosen to take the “credit” for a terror attack.

But this is somewhat speculative, and to have brought a murder charge that then failed because it could not be proven beyond reasonable doubt would surely have been a worse outcome than Chudasama’s actual conviction on a lesser charge that has led to a substantial prison sentence. The mother of one of the other boys, Tracy Blackwell, appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain in April; she argued that the sentences for the three deaths ought to have been consecutive rather than concurrent, but other than saying “I also think our case is different from death by dangerous driving, I just want to say that”, as written up in the Sun she did not go into Rice’s views about a terrorist motive or police cover-up.

The campaign, somewhat like the (now ended) “Justice for Chelsey” campaign, appears to be well-known within what we might call broad “alt-right” / “nationalist” trends, but it has not attracted much interest outside of this milieu; in July, Mail Online noted a man holding up a campaign pamphlet during an incident in which Tommy Robinson supporters abused a woman Muslim bus-driver in Trafalgar Square, but no further details were provided.

Publicity for the campaign appears to have been mainly through public speeches at events such as the “Day for Freedom” protest noted above, along with follow-up on social media. For example, this video shows the activist Eddie Isok (blogged here) speaking at one such event (1).

However, there has also been some controversy; the suspended UKIP activist and leader of MBGA (Make Britain Great Again) Luke Nash-Jones (recently notorious for his “invasion” of the left-wing Bookmarks bookshop in central London) declined to take part if a Justice for Our Boys event on Sunday, alleging the involvement of the far-right. According to the blurb under Nash-Jones’s YouTube video announcement (links added):

As much as Make Britain Great Again have sympathy for the tragedy of the three boys and Tracy Blackwell fighting for justice, the Leader of MBGA, Luke Nash-Jones and Secretary Brian Calder can not attend the Justice for Our Boys march by James Goddard because they have invited Tim Timothy Scott, a member of the Liberty Defenders run by notorious anti-Semite Jack Sen. Timothy Scott and Glen Saffer have made aggressive threats to Luke Nash-Jones. Fighting for Justice can not be achieved by siding with Jack Sen who called himself a National Socialist, i.e. a Nazi. Justice for Our Boys needs to vet the backgrounds of speakers.

Goddard recently appeared in a Fox News report as someone who has “been involved in a number of rallies of support for [Tommy] Robinson”; at one “Free Tommy” rally he expressed the view that the country is run by an elite of “Satanic paedophiles”, to cheers from the crowd. Sen, meanwhile, was dropped by UKIP in 2015 after he claimed that Jews in public life were responsible for a “genocide” in western Europe (according to the Guardian,“Sen made the comments in an interview with the far-right South African website the European Knights Project (EKP) published on 12 April”).

Footnote

1. The podium also featured a banner for another campaign, “Justice for Jack Walker”. This refers to a man who died in prison in Indonesia a year ago after being convicted of drug smuggling in 2012; supporters argue that he was coerced into smuggling, and that he was tortured and murdered in prison.

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