I’m republishing an article I wrote in April last year following the conviction, for racially-aggravated harassment, of Terry Fitzpatrick. For even more background detail on this man who are welcome to read this article by Lee Jasper.
Trial by Jeory reported on the case before sentencing. The Socialist Unity blog also covered Mr Fitzpatrick’s conviction for racial harassment, which followed a long-running campaign – spanning several years – against Mr Jasper and Simon Woolley, the head of Operation Black Vote.
Someone, who bears all the hallmarks of Mr Fitzpatrick – or possibly his long-lost twin – has been commenting on various blog posts of mine over the last few days (I am refusing to approve them).
As Mr Fitzpatrick’s racism is a matter of official public record, I thought it would be a good time to revisit what happened last year.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE - April 2011
The Terry Fitzpatrick I knew
Terry Fitzpatrick was convicted of racially-aggravated harassment against Lee Jasper who has written about his experiences of Fitzpatrick here. The original case was brought to the courts by Simon Woolley of OBV.
The court result came as no surprise to me; I had seen the ugly side of Fitzpatrick – and his troll-like internet alter-egos billericaydicky and terryfitz – over many years.
It began when I was a journalist at The Voice newspaper over ten years ago. Fitzpatrick, a former Army man, presented himself as a contact from the anti-Fascist monitoring organisation Searchlight. Yet he appeared to be somehow separate from the main figures there, a sort of freelance, honorary member. Even though being an “anti-fascist” was seemingly his only selling point, I never got to the bottom of his relationship with Searchlight.
The first, and only, “story” he tried to feed me had nothing to do with the Far Right at all. He sent me a large and badly-written ‘dossier’ on the leading anti-racist campaigner Lee Jasper, which he titled ‘The Jasper Files’. A cursory glance at these pages of unsourced allegations, invective and opinion instantly rendered the dossier the work of an embittered author, desperate to bring down his intended target while lacking the evidence to make it happen.
I couldn’t believe any journalist would take this document, or any of its’ contents, seriously. And for the next eight years I was right – more of that later. Nevertheless, Fitzpatrick was angry that I had not chosen to publish his wild and unfounded claims. The next time I heard from Fitzpatrick was after I wrote an article in The Voice about the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. The paper long had a position of arguing against Margaret Thatcher’s 1986 ban preventing him from visiting Britain. My piece continued that tradition. I happened to agree with the paper’s stance, but as a journalist I was merely doing my job.
Fitzpatrick, who had introduced himself to me as an ‘anti-fascist’ was busy fighting the Nation of Islam’s efforts to screen a live videolink of a Farrakhan address, and had single-handedly managed to persuade Hackney’s chief constable, the mayor Jules Pipe and the Hackney Gazette that a small group of NoI supporters going into a room to watch a TV broadcast constituted a threat to the peace. The event was banned.
When I reported this it was clear that it was not just the NoI and libertarians who were upset; many members of the black community, not ordinarily supporters of Farrakhan, felt a sense of outrage. Fitzpatrick was furious with the Voice article, accusing me and the paper of being anti-Semites and threatening legal action. There was no retraction, no apology and no legal action but, unbeknown to me at the time, Fitzpatrick was also trying to intimidate our rivals, the New Nation, who had published a similar story in the same week. Apparently the editor, Michael Eboda, had offered some kind of apology – handing Fitzpatrick his one ‘victory’ against a prominent black figure. Something he reminded me about many times over the next few years.
I joined the anti-racist movement, The 1990 Trust, to run their BLINK news website and discovered that Fitzpatrick already had them in his sights, not least because its’ former director was Lee Jasper. Over three years, Fitzpatrick sent me a string of insulting emails whenever he found something to mock. Occasionally he would accuse me of incitement to racial hatred if he thought an article was anti-white, threatening to report me to various authorities. I also became aware that when Fitzpatrick was not busy targeting the black media or anti-racist organisations he was laying into Muslims in Tower Hamlets. Quite a record for a supposed anti-fascist.
Having taken over as editor of New Nation, there was no escaping Fitzpatrick. The advent of internet blogs had offered him many opportunities to attack those that most irritated him. Lee Jasper and Simon Woolley appeared to be his favourite targets, along with often moderate Muslim figures. But I was in the mix as well, being slurred as an anti-Semite (over Farrakhan), along with other equally ridiculous claims. It wasn’t just Harry’s Place, he was also active on the Guardian’s Comment Is Free reader comment threads. Fitzpatrick was actually driven out of Pickled Politics because their users got so tired of the habit of turning any discussion, no matter how unrelated, around to the subject of Lee Jasper and Simon Woolley.
It seemed few were taking Fitzpatrick seriously. The few was comprised mainly of Andrew Gilligan, who he boasted was taking a keen interest in the allegations from the ‘Lee Jasper Files’ which no credible journalist had touched in the past eight years. Fitzpatrick went out of his way to claim credit for the Evening Standard campaign against Jasper and Ken Livingstone. My guess is that Fitzpatrick was of little or no use to Gilligan, who relied primarily on leaked emails from inside City Hall.
It is clear to me that Fitzpatrick’s claim to be an anti-fascist was merely a cover for his real passion – to discredit and if possible destroy – black figures in the anti-racist movement, the black media, and Muslims. That is where he has directed the so much of his efforts over the last decade. Like his treatment of Jasper, Fitzpatrick has used the n-word against me and boasted he would beat me in a fight. He has told me about my physical whereabouts to indicate he has loitered outside my workplace. Yet I have only had a small dose of him compare to Jasper and Woolley.
A court has now officially branded Fitzpatrick a racist. I am relieved because it lifts any trace of credibility from his bile-filled allegations against me and others. I hope he will now concentrate on targeting the far Right instead of people of colour in the anti-racist movement and black press.
LEE JASPER’S ARTICLE - April 2011
Harry’s Place and Searchlight harboured racist
Terry Fitzpatrick was a supposed anti racist. He often boasted about his credentials of working with the Searchlight organisation for many years. He claims to be personal friend with many Bangladeshi activists and have worked on many anti-fascist campaigns. Some on the left considered Terry an iconic figure. Last week saw him convicted at Snaresbrook Crown Court of racially aggravated harassment charges.
I knew Terry and as far as I was concerned he was one of those on the left who always viewed black self-organisation as a diversion to the working class struggle against racism. Of course I and thousands of others disagreed with that analysis, always believing that as black people and as victims of racism, we had an inalienable right to self organise and lead the anti-racist struggle.
Terry and his supporters not only disagreed with us, they violently disagreed with us. This difference in perspective was strongly held and Terry made it his business to be prosecutor in chief of a racist campaign that has targeted me over the last decade.
At the time I was the focus of a full frontal political vendetta from the Evening Standard during the 2008 London Mayoral election campaign I was being bombarded with racist emails and phone calls with threats of violence from Terry. He told me in no uncertain terms that he was targeting my home and any meetings where I was intending to speak.
Terry’s vitriol is worthy of the BNP or EDL, and much of his rhetoric was steeped in racist bigotry and hatred for black people.
Some on the left supported Terry despite his views and even when this matter became public many on the blogosphere decided to support Terry.
Many accused both myself and Simon Woolley of fabricating lies despite the emails we published from Terry clearly demonstrating his racism. The result was Simon and I received a hate storm of comments from people who declared themselves to be left leaning anti-racists.
Chief among these websites was Harry’s Place, a left wing libertarian site that I now accuse of being a safe haven for racists. I will be publishing more details on the clear evidence I have to back up my claim. Harry’s Place has real form in this area as will become clear. I found them to be deeply duplicitous and profoundly hostile to supporting my demand that they ban Terry from their site. They did so only after they became aware that Terry would now face criminal charges.
They eventually ‘cleaned’ their site of all Terry’s racist comments. Luckily we have a complete record that demonstrates their full support for Terry whilst he was conducting his campaign.
Similarly we contacted Searchlight and asked them to support us by publicly distancing themselves from Terry and condemning his abusive and racist comments. They refused to do so even when it was pointed out that he was announcing himself as a member of the Searchlight team. They indulged his racism and supported his campaign along with Harry’s Place much to their discredit. Both only took action to when forced to do so and it became clear that Terry had been charged.
The fact that a so called prominent ‘anti racist’ campaigning organisation and ‘left leaning’ Harry’s Place gave this despicable man cover during his racist campaign against Simon and I speaks volumes.
There is a section on the left that despises black self-organisation and in their ideological zeal their articulation becomes both racist and profoundly hostile.
I will say more about this in the coming weeks, suffice to say that I have always maintained their can be no collusion with racism without becoming deeply compromised and poisoned by it.
The racism on the blogosphere is rampant and out of control and Harry’s Place is not alone in allowing unmoderated racist comments in the name of ‘free speech’.
After securing the conviction of Terry Fitzpatrick I along with OBV will be taking a zero tolerance stance toward these matters and all such comments will be reported to the police for prosecution.
We don’t expect apologies from either Searchlight or Harry’s Place, they are incapable of such good grace. We do expect that their collusion with a racist and their failure to condemn him should result in their unequivocal condemnation by all genuine anti-racists. They must be held accountable for their actions. They must face censure.
Just in case you are in any doubt about the serious and disgusting nature of the abuse we received over a two-year period which included texts, letters, and many phone calls as evidence was included as one of the three indictment in the case We have reproduced a selection below:
PLEASE NOTE THE CONTENT DISPLAYED BELOW IS ABUSIVE AND EXPLICIT IN NATURE AND MAY DISTRESS AND UPSET SOME READERS
Terry Fitzpatrick’s emails to Lee Jasper 2008 – 2010.
I am doing a thesis on the development, or should I preface that with under, on the black/left/revolutionary/pimp/hustler/taking money from guilt tripped white liberals/sydrome that existed from the Critchlow/Howe/Nottinghill Gate, Lucky Gordon, chucking whites out of their homes by nigger pimps like you paid by landlords like Peter Rachman you could make that a rap crap song while you have your silly base ball cap on the side of your head and you is grabbing you balls innit?
You have called me a coward you fucking nigger, oh and by the way I have a cutting where you call yourself a nigger, so I challenge you to a fight, not just you but the other two named niggers, I will batter the shit out of your, almost, black hides.
Lee, Always thick you black cunt are you not? Why don’t you shut your, actually not very black, thick gob? I gave you advice before you nigger, I flatter you, the last time you took me on.
Back on line you fucking nigger? What about you and the crack dealers and the gun renters in All Saints Rd you fucking nigger.
Come on you fucking nigger. Let’s have a fight.
For the benefit of those who might not know what a nigger is I posit some definitions. Never done a days work in its life. Ponced of white society in terms of grants from Ken Livingstone. Sold crack with its mates around Notting Hill and Brixton.
Yo, whahapen innit, or is it init? I really don’t know how to spell in nigger. Well boy, we really, as far you and your Jew hating niggermates in OBV are concerned, have a problem. In your nigger stupidity you made a complaint to old bill. You hit on one who was and is corrupt and will go to prison over this maybe taking some of you black pimp hustlers with him.
I know why you haven’t got back to me, because you know just how much information I have on you nigger pimps. I am subpeoning a number of people.
Lee Jasper, Michael Eboda, Lester Holloway, Darcus Howe, Francine Fernandes, Winsome-Grace Cornish, Leon Green.
Giving evidence willingly will be Brian Paddick, Andrew Gilligan, Mala Sen, Farrukh Dhondy,
Any number of Bangladeshis who have know me for over thirty years and will call you a fucking nigger. (NB No one supported Terry in court)
Are you kidding you fucking thick cunt? There is no way you wrote this. It is actually in joined up English you fucking jungle bunny. Who wrote it for you, you moron? Post this on your site.
Wat am appen innit? You am still tik cunt wat cant spel innit? That,s a
question mark for you nigger. Ow am de odder niggs in OBV wat am goin to de cort for to tell de lyes about me an wat I am bring al ge witnes to say de am sit an tak al de money initt?