Friday 10 November 2017

Far right and fascists looking to rebuild in UK

Far right, Generation Identitaire, occupying European Commission offices



Anti fascists will have watched with interest the ITV programme, Exposures, where undercover reporters were able to reveal to a wide audience, the far right politics of those long known to anti racists and anti fascists such as Anne Marie Waters. Coming the same night as the excellent, Gary Younge focused on the so called ‘alt-right’ in the U S, on Channel 4, this was interesting viewing.



Much in both programmes was useful; the far right in the UK is still fragmented and fractured, following the collapse of the BNP and the near death of the English Defence League. However, as the ITV programme noted, there are moves by those who anti fascists have long campaigned against to link up with new layers of seemingly, more ‘respectable’ layers in society, in order to re group. Moreover, the interview with Richard Spencer unsettled many, giving this Nazi a platform, though he was somewhat humilated by Younge, unsurprisingly.



Thus, Anne Marie Waters and her racist links were shown to many viewers. Waters referred to Muslims, as “these f***ers”. She went to say “the idea that (they) can just come and take it all. Stop all Muslim immigration now.” She also said that former EDL leader and racist thug, Tommy Robinson was welcome to join her new group, “Regardless he can’t stand for election because of his record. But I’ll certainly open up the party for him to join. If he makes his way up, then there will be no objections from me.”.

(Last week, in Manchester, people from across the trade unions, MP’s and Dan Hett, who lost his brother in the Manchester terror attack, protested against Tommy Robinson’s ‘book launch’,


Undercover reporters also showed links between Waters and the shadowy, far right organisation, Generation identity(Gi), a European far right movement, which uses the internet to spread anti Muslim and anti refugee propaganda. Originating from France, videos show around 200 members in hand-to-hand combat and exercising at the “Identitarian Summer University”, before a ‘passing out’  parade. Uniforms are issued with GI’s logo in a military-style, formation.


Waters recently was helped in her unsuccessful bid to lead UKIP, by the loathsome, Jack Buckby, below. Buckby stood for the far right, Liberty GB, in Batley and Spen, after the murder of Jo Cox by a fascist terrorist. All the other political parties stood aside. Buckby attracted widespread criticism after his views and behaviour to a leading student activist, on Channel 4 News,

Jack Buckby
Jack Buckby. Photo: Channel 4 News


However, there were omissions in the ITV programme, eg the paramilitary training camps organised in the UK and led by nazis such as by Larry Nunn and Matt Tait, both ex BNP senior officers. A number of fascists have passed through these camps allegedly, including members of now banned nazi groups. Indeed, Nunn has helped organise pro Nazi, Golden Dawn demos at Greek Embassy. We heard the voice of another ex BNP organiser, Peter Rushton, talking of ‘Rights for Whites’, but sadly, no analysis of  the role Rushton looks to play conjoining various, far right splinter groups.

Moreover, although Britain First were shown for encouraging vile Islamophobia, their links to extreme figures and groups, could have been more widely focused on, eg their efforts to garner support among Polish anti Semites.



                                           Generation Identity

GI’s leader, Martin Sellner, led the Defend Europe group that hired a boat to try to stop the rescue of refugees in the Mediterranean. Fortunately, the far right ship suffered numerous difficulties and, ironically, requested help from a German refugee rescue ship when ‘Defend Europe’ stuttered in its aims, following mechanical failure.



GI originates from France and has  links with the far right in the UK and the US,  as noted by Searchlight magazine,  eg on Richard Spencer, here. Though small, it has spread across Europe, claiming to represent “indigenous Europeans” and spews forth the far-right conspiracy theory that whites are becoming a minority in what it calls the “Great Replacement”. GI held a short banner drop on Westminster Bridge recently, in line with its flash mob tactics and is looking to recruit from among the various, scattered forces of the far right.



Moreover, as Searchlight recorded in 2013, an Austrian activist, Markus Willinger, spoke at a conference organised by Traditional Britain, a far-right group, in London. He carried a GI flag, and his speech in London was aimed at bringing GI to the UK.



When running for UKIP, Waters was even criticised by former leader Paul Nuttall. He said that her views make him “uncomfortable”, Waters launched the UK arm of the racist PEGIDA organisation in 2016 with Tommy Robinson. She won 21.3 per cent of the vote in the 2017 Ukip leadership election and left after she and her supporters were branded “Nazis and racists” by Henry Bolton, the party’s new leader!


Waters has called Islam “evil” and her leadership manifesto claimed that the religion has turned Britain into a “fearful and censorious society. Her views are openly anti Muslim and her supporters such as Robinson have a long record of inciting, violent Islamophobia.



Waters wants the banning of the burqa, the closure of all sharia councils and a temporary freeze on all immigration with the same lack of regard for human rights as Trump’s travel ban. Her new party will aim to sweep up those attracted to GI and other similar groups such as the right wing, ‘The People’s Charter’, who have featured the disgraced, once UKIP MEP, Godfrey Bloom. The so called ‘Chartists’ (sic) held a tiny march in London recently, attacking the BBC; it was noticable that fascist members of the National Front were allowed to take part and film proceedings. This outfit also admire the right wing wing, Football Lads Alliance, another group whom Waters will look to appeal to, given the Islamophobia on the FLA social media,



All the figures in the ITV programme admire the racist Donald Trump. His victory, as Younge showed, has boosted the far right and Charlottesville was a sickening example, with the murder of anti fascist, trade unionist, Heather Heyer, mural tribute, here.



The ITV programme featured how the ‘new’ far right try to frame their racism in supposedly academic tones and look to appeal to some in the educated, middle classes.


The  US Southern Poverty Law Centre says the identitarian movement grew out of the far-right and anti-Muslim Bloc Identitaire movement in the early 2000s. They held provocative stunts such as distributing soup that contained pork – forbidden under Islam – in Muslim areas.


Generation Identitaire was the youth wing of Bloc Identitaire. Activists are and were eager supporters of the fascist Marine Le Pen campaign.  In Germany, the movement is called Identitäre Bewegung (IB). Both units use the Greek letter lambda in their logo, used by the Spartans in their war against invading Persian armies in the fourth century BC.


What wasn’t mentioned in the ITV programme is why the likes of Waters and Robinson, among others are building in the way they are. Despite a torrent of Islamophoboia in much of the media and despite their friends in Europe having success in countries like France and Germany, ie the Front National and the AfD, Waters and co, remain small and on the margins.


                            Anti racist/anti fascist opposition

Much of the reason for that lies in the fact that anti fascists, such as UAF, have for a number of years organised broad based and active mobilisations and more, to thwart the far right. Robinson had 400 at his Manchester, back of a lorry, book launch last week. This is no small number but he has not broken through in somewhat favourable conditions, because his every move is countered, largely successfully by anti fascists.


Waters and her base of Islamophobes attempt to develop a Pegida style group here, was thwarted in a short of space of time by demonstrations in Newcastle, Scotland and London,


In Pontefract and in Milton Keynes, later this month, Anne Marie Waters is holding meetings, the venues of which are currently secret. Protests by anti racists are planned at both, eg here,



It is no accident that the likes of For Britain are reduced to trying to hold meetings at undisclosed venues. Anti racists have long tried to ensure that her racist poison is countered. Both TV programmes helped in assessing our opposition and can be of help in anti fascists ensuring the far right finds itself facing large opposition, here, and elsewhere.

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