The SKWAWKBOX and other independent media – but almost none of the ‘MSM’ – have featured extensively the video footage and stills of a man who barged into protesters at a speech by Tory MP and hard-Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg on Friday evening, before striking a female protester in the face twice and being escorted from the auditorium.
Right-wing and ‘mainstream’ media, as well as Tory groups, have tarred the protesters as violent, but while they were noisy and disruptive the violence – which has been ignored by most of the ‘MSM’ – was instigated by the audience member who has become known as ‘white shirt’.
While protesters were identified within a very short time by the right-wing media, the man who struck the woman was not, in spite of clear images of him that quickly became available:
The SKWAWKBOX, with the help of its readers, has solved the mystery.
Students at the University of Bristol run an independent magazine, Epigram – which ran a feature on Friday night about the disturbance at the Rees-Mogg event.
The feature quoted audience member Paul Townsley:
Paul Townsley, a member of the audience, claimed that he approached the protestors, at which point a woman stood between him and them, spitting at him. At this point, Townsley claims that he pushed the woman in the back, resulting in an outcry that he punched her, which Townsley denies.
But which Paul Townsley?
Here are two pieces of footage of Townsley’s ‘approach’ and his ‘push in the back’ of the woman:
So here we have it. The moment the trouble started. Notice the guy in the white shirt coming in from the bottom left? That's the flashpoint. He is responsible for turning a peaceful protest into a fight. pic.twitter.com/fJrwvmCqit
— 🇲🇽 🄿 🄰 🄽 🄲 🄷 🄾 🇲🇽 (@PanchoTaffy_) February 3, 2018
Paul Townsley is a martial arts instructor from the Bristol area who has shared his support for Rees-Mogg in a change.org petition to have Rees-Mogg replace Theresa May as PM:
Townsley is a fan of Rees-Mogg-related petitions:
As well as support for Jacob Rees-Mogg and Brexit, Mr Townley’s Facebook page contains many posts demonstrating his support for a hard Brexit and, ironically in the circumstances, this:
Right-wingers on social media have swung between dismissing the idea that a woman was struck and attempting to claim that there is no evidence that Friday’s assailant is a Rees-Mogg supporter. The ‘MSM’ are proclaiming that Rees-Mogg was ‘attacked’, even though the MP himself has said otherwise.
Here are pictures showing Townsley in his martial arts gear a year ago, from the public photos of the same Facebook page containing the petitions, and the man in the thick of the action at Friday’s event:
Same profile, same slight deviation of the nose when viewed from the front.
Paul Townsley named himself to the Epigram – and the pictures indicate it is Paul Townsley the ardent Brexiteer and Rees-Mogg fan.
Is he connected to Jacob Rees-Mogg? The MP has denied it, but some have speculated that what may be Townsley in this photo of Mogg suggests otherwise:
Now that his identity is known, could a connection be uncovered?
Meanwhile, it has emerged that the protesters are members of a local ‘antifa’ group not aligned with either Labour or Momentum. So the right-wing claims really are outright fake news.
Which makes this question raised by Twitter user ‘ScouseGirlMedia’ all the more pertinent:
The SKWAWKBOX attempted to contact Mr Townsley before publication, by telephone and email. He did not respond. Somerset and Avon Police were contacted for an update on their investigation but no relevant contact was reachable.
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