Journalist Owen Jones Attacked By Far Right Thugs In 'Pre-Meditated Attack'
British journalist and activist Owen Jones was assaulted by a group of men in what he says was a "pre-meditated attack".
Jones said he was followed by a group of men as he left a London pub at 3am on Saturday local time.
"[They] made a beeline for me, kicked me in the back, threw me on the ground, slamming my head, and kicked me in the skull," Jones tweeted.
“It was clearly a premeditated attack and I was their target. They all attacked me and only assaulted my friends when they tried to defend me."
“In the past year I’ve been repeatedly targeted in the street by far right activists, including attempts to use physical assault, and homophobic abuse. I’ve had a far-right activist taking pictures of me, and posting threatening messages and a video.
“Because of this, and escalating threats of violence and death, I’ve had the police involved. My friends felt it was a matter of time until this happened. Given the context, it seems unthinkable that I was singled out for anything other than a politically motivated premeditated attack.”
The Metropolitan police said no arrests have been made, but confirmed a man in his thirties "was attacked by up to four males, who also assaulted his friends when they attempted to intervene".
Jones, a columnist for The Guardian and left-wing activist, said this attack was a warning of rising far-right violence in the country.
"The far right menace is growing, it's real, it's violent, and it's targeting minorities and leftists," he tweeted.
"We can't let them intimidate us, and we will defeat them."
He added: "This isn't about me - it's about how mainstream politicians and all too much of the mainstream media are radicalising extremists. We have to talk about this, or more people are going to get hurt."
He assured followers he wasn't seriously hurt, suffering nothing more than a "big bump on my head and a cutback." Nobody was hospitalised in the incident.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn extended a message of solidarity to Jones and his friends.
"Owen believes it was politically motivated, and we know the far right is on the march in our country," Corbyn tweeted.
"An attack on a journalist is an attack on free speech and our fundamental values."
The UK has seen a surge in far-right 'activism' in recent months, with anger over Brexit and the imprisonment of far-right activist Tommy Robinson swelling support for the movement. Robinson was jailed for nine months after being found guilty of contempt for live-streaming a video outside a child grooming trial.
Contact the author: firstname.lastname@example.org