West has attracted support from groups like the English Defence League (EDL) and the British National Party (BNP), some of whose members back the views she expresses in the video (sample quote, “None of you are f**king English. Get back to your own country. Sort your own countries, don’t come and do mine.”)
Mother-of-two Emma West was charged with two racially aggravated public order offences after a video was posted to Youtube which appears to show her in an obscene rant at black, Asian and Polish passengers. She holds a toddler on her knee throughout.
The clip, called My Tram Experience was filmed on a tram travelling between Croydon and Wimbledon and has been watched by more than 11 million people since it was uploaded on November 27 2011. In it, West is seen to shout: “You’re black; you ain’t British. Go back to where you came from.”
The 34-year-old, of Grenville Road, New Addington, is also alleged to have caused fear and provocation of violence to a passenger, who claims West hit her on the shoulder with “a closed fist”.
Tomorrow’s court case could turn into something of a circus if supporters of the BNP and EDF – who call the hearing a ‘freedom of speech case’ – decide to make their presence felt.
“Expect a very large contingent of supporters for Emma West on Friday outside and inside the court. This is going to be a very interesting court case and may well be the trigger to something much bigger,” said a post on right-wing blog Rant On UK. “It only took a spark to lead to civil war in France and a spark to lead to civil war in America and a spark to cause civil war in England, the people of this country are outraged!”
Since the My Tram Experience video surfaced, several others, all apparently showing racist women ranting on London’s tubes, buses and trams have made headlines.