Last Sunday, Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who calls himself Tommy Robinson threatened to come to the Hearts – Rangers match at Gorgie. But pressure from Hearts fans stopped him and he bottled it.
Following a disgraceful stunt where some younger members of the Casual Soccer Firm (CSF), wore Tommy Robinson face masks in front of the McCraes battalion memorial banner, Yaxley-Lennon claimed he’d appear at the game.
Yaxley-Lennon tweeted an image stolen from the late celebrity Hearts fan, Ronnie Corbett and photo-shopped his face over it to announce his intention to come to Gorgie.
However, fan outrage quickly grew amongst fan groups, on the Kickback message board, local and national press. As the pressure grew, the spokesperson from the McCraes battalion and founding member of the Hearts Foundation and Labour MP, Ian Murray publicly condemned Yaxley-Lennon and argued to stop him attending the game in the strongest terms.
Hearts Football Lads and Lasses against Fascism (FLAF) announced we were organising to stop Yaxley-Lennon attending the game by leafleting both ends of the ground to build even greater opposition on the day. We wanted to emulate the tremendous example from Luton Town, Yaxley-Lennon’s own club, where the local FLAF group helped organise the local firm to confront him and his bodyguards to tell him he wasn’t welcome a couple of weeks earlier.
Willie said – “After Sundays brilliant leafleting the pressure on the club to take action against the the racist minority needs to be organised. Warm words from politicians and the club must become concrete. The hard core racist and fascist element has been allowed to grow. Well we say – no more. We’re putting the flag-waving racists, fascists and sectarian bigots among the support on notice, you are not going to be tolerated any longer, the true Hearts fans will drown out your chants and songs of hate.”
And Victoria added, “It was great to see the majority of fans were behind the leafleting to stamp out racism at the club. It’s absolutely necessary to keep the pressure on the small pockets of fans spreading hate.”
The growing campaign forced a no-show and a humiliating climb down from Yaxley-Lennon and his supporters at the club. In his usual style he felt the need to get the first word in. He posted a video of himself lounging around in his underpants on Sunday morning waiting on one of his bodyguards or his poor wife making the ‘muppet’ a bacon sandwich.
He dismisses everyone who thought he might consider going to the game. That includes those who support him and hoped he would appear. Without any irony, he blamed the ‘fascist left’, which for him includes the Labour Party, the SNP and ordinary Hearts and Rangers fans who opposed his hatred and division before taking a swipe at every tabloid and the mainstream press. At some point, someone, somewhere is going to have to tell him it’s not everyone else ‘you muppet’. It’s you who’s got the problem, Yaxley-Lennon.
Last weekend we succeeded in stopping Yaxley-Lennon joining his SDL supporting fascists in the CSF. Now we need to continue fighting to eradicate this minority from our club. If we want to create a noisy atmosphere at Tynecastle, we need to stop them singing their racist songs to allow fans to find their own voice.
If we want a standing section in the ground, we need to stop the half-wits who think it’s fine to stand waving bigoted flags. We need to stand up to the bigotry and racism of the SDL at Tynecastle to stop our club being named and shamed in the national media. If we stand together against the fascists we can win back our pride in the club we love.
JOIN US! Contact Hearts FLAF : flaf.org.uk