Home » Photographer Lucy Brown Reflects on Her Involvement with Tommy Robinson

Photographer Lucy Brown Reflects on Her Involvement with Tommy Robinson

by Mohammed Ahmed

Lucy Brown, a well-traveled, privately educated London creative, became an unlikely figure in the far-right movement in June 2017. Known for her work as a fashion photographer, Brown fell into a rabbit hole of YouTube videos that led her to collaborate with Tommy Robinson, the founder of the English Defence League (EDL). This partnership bewildered her family and friends, but she stubbornly defended her choices, even as she burned bridges with those who questioned her.

Now 33, Brown’s involvement with the far-right began to unravel in 2018, culminating in a fallout at Robinson’s “Day For Freedom” rally in London. A few days later, she learned through a Facebook post that she had been fired. Over the next six years, Brown faced relentless online abuse from Robinson’s followers, including death threats and harassment.

Currently in a happy relationship with Sascha Bailey, son of photographer David Bailey, Brown speaks out against the rising misogynistic counter-culture. Reflecting on her past, she acknowledges the toxic environment she helped create and expresses regret over her actions.

Brown’s journey into far-right activism was driven by a desire for meaningful conversations during a time when she was recovering from PTSD and feeling frustrated by the lack of discourse on terrorism and free speech. She found Robinson’s straightforward manner appealing, but as time went on, she felt increasingly mistreated and unsafe around him.

The ambush at Robinson’s “Day For Freedom” protest in May 2018, where Brown intervened to protect a Muslim man from being beaten, marked the end of her association with Robinson. This act of compassion was seen as betrayal by Robinson’s followers, leading to further harassment and isolation.

Brown’s experience highlights the challenges of navigating extremist movements and the personal costs of involvement. She now warns against the dangers of the far-right and the new counter-culture of misogyny. She reflects on the lost friendships and opportunities and the negative impact on young followers who idolize extremist figureheads.

Paul Jackson, a professor in the History of Radicalism and Extremism, notes that while far-right movements are typically male-dominated, women like Brown are not uncommon. Far-right groups can offer a sense of empowerment to women, despite underlying misogynistic attitudes.

Brown’s story serves as a cautionary tale about the allure and dangers of extremist ideologies and the importance of critically evaluating the sources of our information and the impact of our actions on society.

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