Emma West racist tram rant accused attracts sympathy from BNP

FAR-RIGHT groups have hijacked the case of a woman accused of hurling racist abuse at tram passengers.

Members of the British National Party (BNP) and the English Defence League (EDL) turned out in court this week to support Emma West.

A video of the mother-of-two apparently abusing black, Asian and Polish passengers while holding her four-year-old son has been watched by more than 11 million people since it was posted on YouTube on November 27.

Her subsequent arrest and charge for committing a racially-aggravated public order offence has led the 34-year-old’s cause to be adopted by the far right.

BNP leader Nick Griffin posted a message of support on social networking site Twitter before West appeared at Croydon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

After West was remanded in custody, meaning she will spend Christmas behind bars, her supporters shouted “treason” and “what a disgrace” from the public gallery.

Former Croydon Central BNP candidate Clifford Le May sat in the public gallery and nodded in approval as magistrates were shown the YouTube video, shot by another passenger using a cameraphone, called My Tram Experience.

He was joined by BNP mayoral candidate Carlos Cortiglia and Dave Clarke, who stood in Heathfield ward in the local elections last year, as well as a member of the EDL.

Her cause is also being championed on fascist websites, including neo-Nazi Stormfront, which has a dozen threads of support including one called “The Persecution of Emma West”.

Britain First, which describes itself as a “patriotic political movement”, has started a campaign to have the charge against her dropped.

Its members staged a protest outside HMP Bronzefield, in Ashford, where West was remanded after her first appearance in court last week.

On Tuesday the group said its “fan page” – Free Emma West – had been taken down by Facebook. Campaigns coordinator Paul Golding blamed the “spiteful” actions of their political opponents.

West, of Grenville Road, New Addington, is charged with committing a racially-aggravated public order offence on a tram travelling between Croydon and Wimbledon between October 31 and November 28.

She initially entered a plea of not guilty, but the court file was later amended to show she has yet to plead.

Dressed in a black cardigan and blue top, she wept after the video was played to a packed court.

West was remanded in custody to appear for a committal hearing at Croydon Magistrates’ Court on January 6.

 From the Croydon Advertiser o9.12.11

4 Responses to “Emma West racist tram rant accused attracts sympathy from BNP”
  1. Tom Butcher says:

    I do think this woman has been treated harshly. That doesn’t mean I agree with her rant – but a lot of people have stereotyped her as some kind of feral underclass – in doing so they display the same kind of prejudice that she herself displayed.

    From what I can gather she was (or at least until recently) holding down a job as a receptionist and has a long history of depression and was currently seeing a psychiatrist. Seems to me there is enough there to suggest people at least give her the benefit of the doubt until the court hearing.

    Holding her in custody for her own protection is Orwellian and the most disgraceful thing about this case imo.

    • Dan says:

      She is probably refering to the feral rioters in August as the direct result of multiculturalsm. Decrying muggers, gangs and whatnot as a result of inclusivness. However, she may even have sympathy for the Occupy Wall Street movement at the same time (for all we know) which is a protest against a non responsive political class in the Anglo-American power structure. The discontents people have can be quite complex. There’s a hint in her diatribe that she feels the mainstream politicals have sold the country out. The Britain she is describing is a shadow of its former self. Now it is a small offshore island with an elite that resembles many African or South American juntas (fill pockets, stash cash in Switzerland, resettle in a tax

  2. Marmite says:

    As I understand it, she is being held in protective custody because of threats which have been made against her. I have no idea who is supposed to have made the threats and I’m not going to comment further, except to say the following.

    Threats of this nature have always been a very unpleasant tactic of the far right. They have no place whatsoever among the strategies of the anti-fascist left and Liveraf disowns them entirely.

    I agree, this woman seems to be a very sad case indeed, which is why Marmite has held off from posting reports about her up till now. The reason why I posted this one is because of the way that the BNP and EDL have sickeningly and opportunistically jumped on the bandwagon. They have presented her as a martyr for a white Britain whose British citizenship, they claim, gives her the right to insult her fellow passengers – obscene language and all.

    In other words, this is just one more opportunity for the fascists and racists to stir up race hatred. They have taken that opportunity and they are running with it, not because they feel any sympathy for Ms West, but because her tirade happens to suit their programme of hate.

    I agree that she needs help more than she needs punishment, and that help should come from the proper quarters, not from the psychopathic hypocrites of the far right. Nevertheless, abusing one’s fellow human beings in the way that she did was totally uncalled for. Emme West has feelings, certainly and deserves to be treated as a human being. But so too do the people she abused on that tram.

    • Dan says:

      It is a pity that the left in the UK cannot be arsed to simply defend her onfree speech grounds. The ACLU in the US would probably send in a couple of first amendment hotshot lawyersto plead her case.

      I’m surprised the cops/prosecutors decided to charge her with anything. A caution to “calm down” And have some manners would have sufficed. One thing I’d note about fascism today is that we don’t have a Mussolini or Hitler or a Franco lurking. They were European heads of state who wished harm on the British. Today we have corporations that set policy, a political class that couldn’t care less about constitutuents and a lazy fuzzy minded liberal academia that fails to publicly debate policy in an honest way. West outburst is a manifestation of the lack of an open debate. Remember that bigoted lady who hastled Gordon Brown? She was a bigot, but Brown had to apologize in the end. He should have been open and just called her a bigot to her face. We live in a soft fascist state already. WW2 and our grandad’s collective sacrifice for us was a futile struggle as fascism won by stealth.

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