The Conveyer Belt of Conspiracy
How the man charged with assaulting Hancock cut his teeth as a Corbynite anti-fracking campaigner
Meet Geza Tarjanyi, sometimes also known as 'Gayzer Frackman'. He has hit the headlines today after being charged with assaulting Matt Hancock following an unpleasant encounter, chasing the former Health Secretary through Westminster tube station. Tarjanyi will appear in court next month charged with common assault and two public order offences.
And this is not an isolated incident.
Tarjanyi has for the last decade dedicated himself to full time campaigning. He has camped opposite Downing Street for hundreds of days, for various causes. Over the years his journey has taken him from the wacko world of anti-fracking activism, through anti-Tory campaigning, pro-Corbyn posting, to pro-Covid and anti-vaccine conspiracism. It’s a quirky conveyer belt that is certainly not unique to him alone. And has troubling implications for wider society.
You could think of Geza Tarjanyi as a less palatable Steve Bray - the ‘Stop Brexit’ man.
Like many overly-politicised people who pop from protest to protest, Tarjanyi describes himself as a “full time campaigner”. He sees this as his job. And his most recent arrest is not the first time Tarjanyi has had a brush with the law.
In August 2022 he faced charges of causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage to the Nuffield Hospital complex in Headington - home to Oxford’s Covid RECOVERY Trial base. He was, however, cleared after the sole civilian witness was unable to appear in court due to being on holiday. The court refused an application for the witness to appear via video link, and subsequently Tarjanyi walked free.
In January 2022 he was arrested outside of Health Secretary Sajid Javid’s home, after confronting Javid’s daughter. He was charged with with intent to damage property. A two-day trial resulted in a not guilty verdict, thanks to Tarjanyi arguing the adhesive and posters he had with him did not mean he was going to use them.
And indeed it is not the first time Tarjanyi has had a made headlines.
In late June 2021 he went after Jonathan Van Tam, chasing the then-Deputy Chief Medical Officer down Whitehall accusing him of being a “traitor” and of “genocide” in an incident Downing Street condemned as “appalling intimidation.”
In early June 2021 he harassed Chris Whitty in the street in much the same way.
Back in 2015 he chased after Ed Miliband at a train station.
Tarjanyi makes a habit of chasing politicians, often trying to get arrested. Recent video has seen him chasing not just former Health Secretary Matt Hancock but also Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting.
While chasing down Jonathan Van-Tam, he gleefully told those watching his Facebook live stream of the event that “if I get arrested today, that guy's in court.” A tactic no doubt learned from the extreme environmentalist movement he was until recently obsessed by, for whom getting arrested is a PR win - and crucially a chance to spread their message. Anti-vaxxers now appear to be behaving in precisely the same way.
Going back through Tarjanyi’s pre-2020 Facebook archive is a treasure trove of nutty environmentalism. Long before he was sharing pictures of 5G masts, David Icke, and the life-saving vaccines he calls “kill shots”, he was sharing anti-Boris memes, videos of Owen Jones and John McDonnell, and photographs campaigning alongside (and then against) Extinction Rebellion (who he accuses of not being radical enough).
And perhaps we should not be all too surprised by this journey. What we should be concerned about is the level to which the media indulges the campaigning of some radical activists more than others. Had Mr. Tarjanyi simply remained a socialist anti-fracking campaigner, chasing after government figures and accusing them of murder - would it attract the sort of widespread condemnation that we are seeing today? I worry that it would not.
This is a deeply troubling looming issue. We are so used to seeing small but radicalised groups of environmental protestors, for example, smash windows, block roads, and attack art galleries. All with a degree of passive acceptance from polite society. How long will it be before we see other small but radicalised groups of people apply similar tactics with similar dedication?
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