Labour Councillors have urged Westminster City Council and the Metropolitan Police to take immediate action against hate preaching in Oxford Street.
The following incident has been reported to Labour Councillors by an Oxford Street shopper. Labour Councillors have subsequently called on the Council’s Chief Executive to liaise with the Metropolitan Police at the highest level to take action to remove this evil from the streets of Westminster:
“ I came out of Bond Street Station and outside the Zara store, opposite Debenhams, I noticed a group of approx 6 men, in robes, calling out to engage young people, particularly trying to engage Afro/Caribbean and Asian shoppers. I noticed that the most vocal had a very big star of David sewn on to a robe he was wearing and that they were holding a bible.
As I went past, I saw they had displayed some explicit pictures of black people being tortured and a sign that had various Caribbean and African communities listed next to a list of the 12 tribes of Israel.
I went over to talk to them. However, once I asked, they became very defensive and started talking about The Rothschild conspiracy (in my view Rothschild is a shield to actually saying Jews). I immediately realised that this was deeper than some left field religious doctrine.
The crowd was about 20 thick and I challenged them when they started to mislead the crowd about Jewish history, particularly the Balfour Treaty, which they said that Lord Rothschild had forced on Balfour in 1948, in order to give the Jews the right to steal the brothers land in Palestine. I corrected them, to say the Balfour Treaty was written in 1917 and in 1948 Israel gained status by a UN vote, as a consequence of the Holocaust.
At this point they claimed the Holocaust is a lie, a lie by a satanist like me, and pointed to me shouting, this is a Jew, a satanist.
The main guy, then got very agitated and said that this is Satan, pointing to me again, Jews are Satan, Jews were behind the slave trade and the jew is Satan and must be wiped out. At this stage I realised this was potentially a dangerous situation, so I left – I crossed the road and took a picture.
I went to West End Central Police Station to report this, and it was closed. I tried for 30 minutes to reach the police on 101, so rang 999 and reported it.
I posted this event on FB to let people know, with the question, how have hate preachers got a platform on Oxford Street? Openly, blatantly and freely spreading their twisted rhetoric. – Are the neighbourhood authorities not monitoring what these people are preaching?
I am a believer in our democratic right to freedom of speech, but this crosses a serious line, this is pure hate preaching and a mechanism to engage young people with the intention to radicalise and groom. Extremely dangerous and divisive.
The response to my post, also revealed that this group is on Oxford Street as a regular feature, with splinter groups in Oxford Circus, Marble Arch and wider around London, Kings Cross, Whitechapel and Finsbury Park, to name a few sites. Places with hugely busy footfall, so, therefore, it seems like a wider London problem, that maybe the Mayor’s office and the Metropolitan Police should be aware of, as well as anti-racism action groups.
This was not innocent or an isolated incident and I am pleased I did stop to listen and engage with them, rather than dismiss them as a bunch of nutters. This was not the guy with the Meat is Murder sandwich board, we are all used to seeing in Oxford Street, this is an organised hate group, provoking and grooming.
This incident goes much deeper for me than being offended by the antisemitic action, it affects me as a Londoner and as a Britsh citizen, I worry for the impressionable and vulnerable youngsters they are targetting and the consequences of what inevitably could happen if they empower people to act on ‘wipe out Satan, Jews are satan’ – what are they suggesting. These groups have to be stopped and for the Council and Oxford Street Business Association to give them a platform, could have the most horrific consequences. “
Councillor Pancho Lewis, Labour Councillor for West End Ward said:
“This is truly shocking. There should be no place for hate preachers in the West End and indeed anywhere else – this kind of behaviour needs to be stamped out.
“We will remain vigilant and continue to press the authorities to take swift and tough action against those who disseminate hate and prejudice.”