The far right leader of the neo-fascist group called the English Defense League has deep Irish roots, which he apparently embraces or denies depending on who's asking.
According to the Irish Post Stephen Lennon's anti-Muslim group has been protesting against all ethnic groups on Britain’s streets since last month's terrorist attack in Woolwich, London in which soldier Lee Rigby was killed.
Lennon has reportedly mobilized militant English Defense League members in the violent anti-Islamic protests that have erupted across the country, which has seen mosques and Muslim communities targeted.
Other ethnic targets include the Irish in Britain themselves, with Lennon last week inviting his followers via Twitter to tackle 'plastic paddies' at Wembley’s England versus Ireland football friendly soccer match.
Lennon, who reportedly goes by the name Tommy Robinson now, was born to a Dublin mother and Scottish father in Luton, where he formed the extremist right wing group in 2009.
Now professing to be an Englishman, Lennon has in the past publicly claimed to be 'proud' of his Irish heritage, however, more recent posts on on his Twitter feed contradict those earlier comments.
On Twitter the second-generation Irishman now regularly denies his Irish heritage and verbally abuses those who claim he is.
In one tweet he claims his parents would be 'in Ireland picking potatoes and eating cabbages,' if they hadn’t moved to England. Elsewhere he claims that those who suggest he is Irish are 'fools' and 'wronguns.'
More than 1,500 English Defense League supporters, emboldened by the recent terrorist attack, marched through central London and protested at Downing Street last Monday.
Thirty-year-old Lennon, who reportedly co-founded the English Defense League in Luton with fellow second generation Irishman Kevin O’Carroll whose parents also hail from Dublin, was allegedly among a masked group of members in Woolwich two weeks ago on the night after Rigby’s death.
That protest led to violent clashes with police as more than a hundred English Defense League members fired bottles and anti-Muslim abuse while demonstrating near to the scene of the attack.
Mosques were later attacked as English Defense League members chanted 'no surrender to Muslim scum' and 'rule Britannia.'
Meanwhile former London Mayor Ken Livingstone was among politicians and anti-fascist supporters who took a stand against the race-baiting tactics of the English Defense League last week.
Livingstone called on British citizens to condemn the violent protests and unite against fascist movements who may seek to exploit public fears surrounding the recent killing.
'There will be those who will seek to scapegoat entire communities for this barbaric act,' said Livingstone.
'This is what terrorists want, and rely on. For people to feel fear, to turn on each other and to bring down the very essence of London, the most successful melting pot in the history of the world and the city of the free.'
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