Political violence has become almost a way of life here in America. Week after week we are treated to story after story of violent, unhinged Leftists attacking innocent people. Often times the only “crime” committed by the victims of these assaults is the audacity of wearing a MAGA hat in the wrong place at the wrong time.
America isn’t the only country suffering from an outbreak of politically motivated violence, however. Across the pond, supporters of the United Kingdom’s 2016 Brexit referendum (known as Brexiteers) have also experienced escalating attacks because of their political beliefs. Those who wanted the UK to remain in the EU-called Remainers-have accused Brexiteers of racism, bigotry, Nazism, homophobia, etc. Remainers have, of course, combined these slurs with acts of violence against Brexiteers.
Essentially, Brexiteers have suffered a level of violence similar to what Trump supporters have experienced here in America.
Political activist, commentator, and Brexit champion Katie Hopkins posted a video to her Twitter account on Tuesday that demonstrates exactly how unhinged the Remainers have become.
REMAINER threatens & tries to throw LEAVE supporter off a bridge in Exeter
This is our reality on the ground for Brexiteers trying to defend democracy.
And because lovely History student Frankie is a Brexiteer, NOTHING will be done. pic.twitter.com/kDmKig9Xrr
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) February 26, 2019
I reached out to Ms. Hopkins, who graciously put me in touch with Alison, the woman who had organized the Exeter event. Alison was on the bridge that day, and was the one filming when Frankie was attacked.
Alison agreed to answer a few questions about Frankie’s attack via email.
How long have you and Frankie been politically active, and what inspired you to become active?
I have been politically active since Oct 2014 Frankie has been active for the last couple years.
I was inspired to get involved (despite having 3 young children the youngest being only a baby when I started) because of Nigel Farage and realising that finally there was someone saying what I was thinking!
I joined UKIP and it started from there.
If you could, describe the circumstances that led you to be up on that bridge where Frankie was attacked.
The bridge “beep for Brexit” demo is a fast way to reach hundreds/thousands of people with our Brexit message. There was enormous support- so much noise and toots! The police had been called to try and shut us down and the council tried too. It is also far easier on activists as we do not have to suffer the level of confrontation that we experience on street stalls; although obviously we do those too.
I organise all the Brexit action in Exeter and the weather was good (big consideration here!) so (we) decided we should be active. Pressure is mounting to fever pitch levels in this country given the staggering betrayal of Brexit and democracy by our political class. We needed to get out there and do our bit in our small way- showing that there is a fight-back EVEN in Exeter!
We decided to meet early 8 am to get the rush hour traffic (it was freezing). I had all the kit- Union Jack bunting, banners saying “beep for Brexit” flags, etc.
We grabbed a coffee and headed for the bridge.
Had you ever seen the man who attacked Frankie before? It seems like he came out of nowhere from what I saw.
We have never seen this man before- not on any street stalls etc. However, after the footage went out on local media a friend (brexiteer Ex-military) called me to say that he has seen him many many times around in the St. Thomas area of town.
What was the first thought that came into your mind when he grabbed Frankie?
When he grabbed Frankie my first thought was that he was serious and was going to try to tip him off the bridge. Frankie dropped down as the guy grabbed him. This is a natural reaction to someone trying to lift you. I thought this guy was seriously dangerous and I was instantly very worried for Frankie.
I’ve had a women come up to me on the street stall and say she was going to “punch me in the face.” I called her out and said “do it then” as I knew she wouldn’t. If you’re going to punch someone in the face it’s best not to announce it!
With this man, although being a woman I would be the natural target he chose Frankie. Frankie was nearer the edge and had his back to the man making him an easy target. This man acted quickly, (and) came from nowhere with no warning- they’re the dangerous ones.
I was filming the traffic “beeps” at the time and in the middle of the bridge, so (I was) harder to drag to the edge. If I had been where Frankie was who knows what might have happened.
Did you go to the police after the attack? What was their reaction?
After the attack I called the police. They were there quickly but didn’t have the officer man power to go looking for this man. They said they were using the street cameras down at the Quay, which was the direction we thought the man was heading. They seemed concerned but nothing more than that. No sense of urgency at all.
Have you ever been met with such hostility during previous demonstrations?
Only a few weeks prior to this an elderly brexiteer (early 70s) was punched in the side of the head by a late 20 “Remoaner” (Remain voter that refuses to accept they lost). A month before this event Frankie went to Westminster London for a protest and was beaten up by Remoaners.
Last street stall a gang of teenagers surrounded our stall threatening to kick it over, and an Egyptian Muslim started spouting homophobic abuse at one of our brexiteers.
That same day a father holding the hands of his two young children stood in front of our stand and said “this kids, is what racists look like”.
Two weeks ago a gang of teenage buskers slammed their amp (very heavy) hard down on our table and tried to destroy our table stall.
The list of abuse etc is endless…
Aside from this unhinged individual, what seems to be the general reaction when you protest in favor of Brexit?
Exeter is only one of two voting areas in Devon that voted to Remain (55% to our 45%). Ben Bradshaw is the MP here and is one of the most vocal Remoaners in British politics.
Exeter is a university town and is infested with middle class Remoaners- we are at the heart of the nest of vipers deep in the enemy camp!
They hate us protesting as they want to bully us into silence. There is a deep bullying nature to the left in Exeter, and they are desperate for us to give up or be too scared to get out there.
I asked Alison why she and Frankie-indeed all Brexiteers-continued to fight on in the face of such rampant violence. Surely it would be easier-and safer-to stay at home and simply observe the political process rather than take an active hand in it.
Americans and Brits have never backed down when confronted with bullies before, and we’re not about to start now.