I had vaguely heard of Alison Chabloz and never really looked into whom she was or what she had done to have her freedom of speech taken away.
At the end of June of this year, her yearlong ban from posting on social media was up, and she began posting on her Facebook and Gab accounts.
I followed Alison, on Gab, and she followed me back. We exchanged some emails, and then I invited her onto my Hobbservation for the Nation show to allow her to share her story with a wider audience.
Her story interested me because I am a believer in freedom of speech, and clearly, her freedom had been taken from her. I don’t think I had ever heard of anyone who had been banned by law from posting on social media. Yes, there are many of us who have been suspended from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Some of us even had YouTube channels shut down or restricted, but we can and have created new accounts to evade the suspensions.
What had happened to Alison was different. A judge in a courtroom in the UK had removed her freedom of speech.
Alison Chabloz sang a song that was deemed offensive to some people and Campaign Against Anti-Semitism took out a private prosecution against Alison and just like Muslims who demand action over something they see as offensive, this group managed to get the Crown Prosecution Service to take over the case.
The song is satire Alison sings about the Holocaust and compares it to a theme park; you may not find it funny, so the best thing to do would be not to listen.
As far as I am aware we have no laws in this country that say we must believe in the Holocaust or we will be sent to jail.
In May 2018 Chabloz was convicted at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for hate crime and sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment. This sentence was suspended for two years, and she was also banned from posting on social media for 12 months.
On Monday 23rdSeptember at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court Chabloz was sent to prison for eight weeks and ordered to pay £170 in court costs, for breaching the terms of her suspended sentence and publishing on her blog. Chabloz does not believe that her blog counts as social media.
All of you applauding and cheering that Chabloz has been sent to prison for hate crime against Jewish people because she sang songs that were deemed offensive should think long and hard about what has been allowed to happen.
Already there are Muslim groups who are trying to make it illegal to be an Islamophobe and to mock Islam. The next time you are at a counter jihad event and you are chanting, “Mohammed was a paedophile!” you too might get done for hate crime.
By saying that you believe the prophet of Islam was not a peaceful man and that he was a bloodthirsty warmonger and child rapist, you too may get accused of hurting the feelings of a protected group and end up being imprisoned.
It’s OK to say Jesus was a cross-dresser, share memes of him smoking spliffs and say his mother Mary was a whore though and no one will take out a private prosecution against you for hate crime.
Always remember when we give free rein to a small group of people it means we need to give free rein to the larger group.
Alison’s solicitor is making a bail application for her release meanwhile please write to her at –
New Hall Women’s Prison
5 New Hall Way