'Free Tommy Robinson' Rally Canceled After It Clashes With Ed Sheeran Gig
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A 'Free Tommy Robinson' rally that was due to take place today has been scrapped after police advised would-be protested it would clash with an Ed Sheeran gig.
A group called the Northeast Frontline Patriots had planned to march through the streets of Newcastle today following the imprisonment of the far-right activist last month for contempt of court.
However, when cops told the group that police resources would already be stretched because the ginger singer was in town and the Blaydon Race was on, they decided to cancel it.
Speaking to the Chronicle Live, a Northumbria spokesperson said: "The organisers of two protests planned for Newcastle on Saturday have, following consultation with police, decided not to go ahead with the events.
"While Northumbria Police will always facilitate peaceful protests, and would of course have policed these events if they went ahead, we are pleased organisers have listened to our concerns.
"These concerns centred around an already-anticipated higher number of visitors than normal in the city centre due to existing long-standing events, including a large stadium concert and The Blaydon Road Race and the challenges these present in terms of public safety.
"Having explained these fully to organisers, we are assured by them that their respective protests will now not go ahead on Saturday."
In Leeds a similar rally was reportedly attended by hundreds.
Robinson, real name Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, was sentenced to 13-months in prison after he was arrested while filming outside court where reporting restrictions were in place.
At court he admitted committing contempt of court by publishing information that could prejudice a trial.
At the time of his arrest he was under a suspended sentence for a similar crime - a contempt of court during a gang rape trial in Canterbury last year.
In sentencing, Judge Geoffrey Marson QC told the English Defence League founder that his actions could have cost tax payers thousand if it lead to a re-trial.
"I respect everyone's right to free speech," he said. "That's one of the most important rights that we have.
"With those rights come responsibilities. The responsibility to exercise that freedom of speech within the law.
"I am not sure you appreciate the potential consequence of what you have done.
"You have to understand we are not preventing publication. We are postponing publication to ensure that the trial is fair."
Following his arrest, protestors arrived at Downing Street carrying signs reading '#freetommyrobinson' and 'white lives matter', while chanting and singing. In footage from the day, a man is lifted on to the top of the gates, while onlookers shout, 'shame on you' to authorities.