Owen Jones ‘in no doubt’ that the attack on him was politically motivated

Afroze Fatima Zaidi

Left-wing journalist and political commentator Owen Jones explained he was assaulted outside a pub on 16 August:

In a statement to the Guardian, Jones said:

We were about 30 metres away, saying goodbye to each other, when four men charged directly towards me: one of them karate kicked my back, threw me to the ground, started kicking me in the head and back, while my friends tried to drag them off, and were punched trying to defend me.

“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.

Support

This incident truly shocked people. So the news has been met with widespread condemnation. And Jones received messages of support from many prominent figures.:

Politically motivated

Jones believes the attack could have political motivation. He told the Guardian:

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. Give the context, it seems unthinkable that I was singled out for anything other than a politically motived premeditated attack.

Attack on journalism

Then people on social media described the attack on Jones as an attack on journalists at large. This shows a trend of intolerance and an erosion of democracy:

And people criticised the BBC for describing Jones as a “Labour activist”. This description undermines the implications of the attack for freedom of speech:

Sadly, despite overwhelming support, some reactions appear to condone the attack. Right-wingers are comparing this to Jones’s defence of antifascists who counter-protest the far right. It seems we’re living in a world where people can see no difference between a violent assault and a milkshake.

Featured image via Web Summit/Flickr 

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