Friday 17 June 2016

News release: Links between Neo-Nazi group and man arrested for Jo Cox murder exposed


News release
For immediate release

17 June 2016

Links between Neo-Nazi group and man arrested for Jo Cox murderer exposed

Thomas Mair, the man arrested for the murder of Jo Cox MP, has been linked to American neo-Nazi organisation the National Alliance (NA). According to the American group Southern Poverty Law Centre, Mair purchased material from the NA’s printing imprint including “Chemistry of Powder and Explosives” and “Improvised Munitions Handbook”. Media reports also link Mair to the Springbok Club, an organisation which has defended the white supremacist apartheid regime in South Africa.

The attacker reportedly shouted “Britain First” as he carried out the attack. Britain First is a fascist organisation that split from the British National Party (BNP). The “Britain First Defence Force” is the paramilitary wing of Britain First and organises training camps.

Unite Against Fascism Joint Secretaries and Stand up to Racism Co-Convenors Sabby Dhalu and Weyman Bennett said:

“We are deeply saddened that Jo Cox died as a result of this attack. Our thoughts and sympathy are with her loved ones. We would like to echo the magnificent words of Brendan Cox, Jo’s husband, who said that Jo would have wanted us to ‘unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate doesn’t have a creed, race or religion, it is poisonous.’

“We cannot allow double standards in response to such attacks, especially now that information has come to light linking Thomas Mair to neo-Nazi terrorist and white supremacist groups. Jo Cox’s murderer shouting ‘Britain first’ must be treated in exactly the same fashion as some one shouting ‘ISIS’ and carrying out a similar attack. This incident cannot be treated as an isolated incident by someone with mental health problems. Britain First and the paramilitary ‘Britain First Defence Force’ must be investigated for terrorist and criminal activity.
“Batley and Spen has a history of fascist activity. Six years ago Terrance Gavan – who was linked to the BNP – was sentenced to eleven years in prison after fifty four explosive devices were found in his home in Batley. The constituency has a history of fascist activity for over a decade: From electoral support for the BNP to English Defence League and Britain First demonstrations.
“The lesson of history is that we must unite social democrats, liberals, socialists, trade unions, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, those with no faith, LGBT communities, disabled people and all those who oppose fascism. An injury to one is an injury to others.
“This attack has taken place in the context of a racist discussion on immigration in the EU referendum debate. Exactly the same racist arguments were used against Jews, Irish, African, Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities. There is no doubt that Jo Cox was targeted because of her positive views on immigration, her humanitarian work helping refugees, and her excellent relations with the local Muslim community . Politicians stirring up this toxic racist debate on immigration are responsible for the climate in which this attack took place. We say racism out of the referendum – unite against fascism.”

Notes to editors:

1. Unite Against Fascism was established in 2003. It campaigns against Britain First, the British National Party, English Defence League and other fascist organisations.
2. Stand up to Racism was established in 2013. It campaigns against racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and for immigration and refugee rights.
3. For information and interviews please call Sabby Dhalu on 07794 633 097 or Weyman Bennett on 07734 032 314.

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