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Owen Jones faces homophobic abuse from far-right protesters

Nick Duffy January 14, 2019
Guardian journalist Owen Jones is confronted by protesters in central London

Guardian journalist Owen Jones is confronted by protesters in central London on January 12, 2019. (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty)

Gay Guardian columnist Owen Jones has posted recordings of far-right protesters yelling homophobic abuse at him.

The left-wing writer was targeted in Trafalgar Square, London, on January 12, after a speech to a People’s Assembly rally.

In clips of the incident posted to social media, Owen Jones was verbally accosted by a group of far-right protesters who were wearing the yellow vests associated with the French Gilets Jaunes protest movement.

Guardian journalist Owen Jones is confronted by protesters in central London
Guardian journalist Owen Jones is escorted away from protesters in central London on January 12, 2019. (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty)

In one of the clips shared by Jones, the group can be heard chanting “Jones-y is a homo,” while in others he is referred to as a “rent boy” and attacked for his opposition to Brexit.

Jones kept his sense of humour during the incident, yelling back: “I’m sorry mate, you’re not my type I’m afraid. I’m sorry, I’m taken. You’re very attractive, but I’m afraid you’re not my type.”

Members of public stepped in to protect Owen Jones

The columnist alleged that some of the protesters spat on him and attempted to assault him.

A number of police officers can be seen in the clips trying to keep the two groups apart, while several members of the public also stood around Jones, forming a human barrier that allowed him to escape.

Jones tweeted: “So, after speaking at today’s @pplsassembly rally, I was mobbed by fascists trying to swing punches and who spat down my neck (I know right, yuck, fascist spit!)

“Thanks to the comrades who kept them at bay. Again, not intimidated by these fash, we are going to defeat you ”

The columnist added: “I presume this is now my new normal, so a special thanks to the political and media elite who have whipped up fascism, well done you!

“But the real issue is the minorities who are hounded by these scum on our streets, and who don’t have a platform. We need to give them solidarity.”

Owen Jones has repeatedly faced homophobic abuse from protesters

It is not the first time Owen Jones, one of the most high-profile gay political commentators, has been a target of protesters in recent weeks.

On December 5, protesters allegedly hurled homophobic slurs at Jones as he left Westminister’s College Green, where he had been interviewed by Sky News.

Jones responded on Twitter: “Being abused by Tommy Robinson supporting fascists is something I wear as a badge of pride. I fight their hatred, unapologetically, and they hate me for it. Good.

“It’s the MPs and commentators who aren’t being abused by these pitiful thugs who should ask themselves: Why?”

He was again targeted on College Green on on January 7, the same day that protesters accosted Tory MP Anna Soubry and branded her a “Nazi.”

More: abuse, anti lgbt, columnist, far right, Guardian, homophobic, LGBT, London, Owen Jones

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