Hackney police vow not to tolerate racial hatred after online troll plans anti-Semitic rally

The protest was set up by far-right nationalist Joshua Bonehill-Paine

The protest was set up by far-right nationalist Joshua Bonehill-Paine - Credit: Archant

Police have stated unequivocally they will not tolerate any activity stirring up racial hatred after an internet troll threatened to march through Stamford Hill on an anti-Semitic rally.

Community leaders have criticised 21-year old Joshua Bonehill-Paine, who announced online at the weekend that it was “time to fight back” against the ‘Jewification’ of Britain, with plans to ‘liberate’ the Hackney community - which has a large orthodox Charedi population.

Bonehill-Paine’s website criticises Shomrim, the Jewish volunteer police force, and posters which appeared in the area last year saying women should walk on one side of the road only.

He has written to the police and Hackney Council asking for road closures to accommodate his protest in Clapton Common on March 22, but anti-fascist groups have vowed to prevent the event from taking place and have called for a counter-demonstration.

Supt Andy Walker from Hackney Police said: “We’re aware of a message on social media suggesting that a “protest” is planned for next month in Stamford Hill.

“We have contacted the individual who posted this message to see if it is genuine and we are waiting to hear from him.

“In the meantime, I have spent today talking to members of our local community and I am unequivocal that we won’t tolerate any activity in Hackney which seeks to stir up racial hatred or which is intended to frighten and intimidate people.”

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Far-right activist Bonehill-Paine, from Yeovil, was spared jail last year after admitting being behind an internet hoax about a pub in Leicester banning military personnel which led to the owners being threatened.

And he will reportedly appear in court today charged with allegedly claiming in October fruit and vegetables sold in Tesco were infected with Ebola.

Cllr for Hackney Downs ward, Michael Desmond branded the “inflammatory postings” as a “pathetic attempt to cause strife in an otherwise peaceful neighbourhood”.

“Communities live side by side in peace, but can do without fascist extremists stoking tension, depicting Jews as cartoon figures with large noses, as if lessons in drawing had been given by Julius Streicher, the Nazi propagandist,” he said.

Hackney North and Stoke Newington Lib Dem parliamentary candidate, Simon de Deney said: “Everyone has the right to free speech and we will fight to protect it. But this does not include lies and threats about any person or group.

“We hope Mr Paine will be prosecuted and that the people of Hackney will make it clear that anyone who turns up to this demonstration is not welcome in Hackney”.