Apr 7 2013

Fascist candidates for Leicestershire elections

Leicestershire is the only East Midlands county to have announced the candidates for next month’s County Council elections so far. There are 9 fascists who fancy their luck – the BNP have 7 candidates and new-fash-on-the-block the British Democrats have 2. All of the BNP’s candidates are standing in the Charnwood division, covering the area north of Leicester, meaning that they are not even contesting their former stronghold of North West Leicestershire. Whilst 7 may sound like a lot it is tiny compared to the 48 candidates fielded in the last elections in 2009. Despite having trumpeted about how much money they’ve been conning their elderly supporters into donating to them recently, the BNP is clearly in disarray and it looks like the party will have a poor showing at the polls.

The BNP’s candidates are as follows:

  • Glenfields – Peter Cheeseman
  • Birstall – Ken Tilson
  • Bradgate – Jim Taylor
  • Sileby and the Wolds – Maurice Oatley
  • Syston Fosse – Cathy Duffy
  • Syston Ridgeway – Stephen Denham
  • Thurmaston – Robin Derrick
Derbyshire BNP organiser, Paul Hilliard and Charnwood organiser Peter Cheeseman: Who's pimping who?

Derbyshire BNP organiser, Paul Hilliard and Charnwood organiser Peter Cheeseman: Who’s pimping who?

Steve Denham

Steve Denham

East Goscote BNP councillor Cathy Duffy

East Goscote BNP councillor Cathy Duffy

The British Democrats are yet another breakaway from the BNP, headed by Andrew Brons and launched at a meeting in Queniborough village hall in Leicestershire in February. Despite talking up their status as a rival to the BNP they are only fielding 3 candidates in these elections across the entire country. Former BNP councillor Graham Partner will be trying to hold onto his Coalville seat under the new Brit Dems banner and former Charnwood BNP organiser Kevan Stafford will be standing in Loughborough South. Looks like another BNP splinter group that is rapidly sinking without trace.

Kevan Stafford

Kevan Stafford

Apr 3 2013

Leicestershire far right accused had bomb materials

Three teenagers from Loughborough, who are believed to be far right extremists, have appeared at the Old Bailey accused of plotting terrorist bombings. They had partly assembled pipe bombs when they were arrested in February last year.

The accused were found in possession of components for pipe bombs, a crossbow, air rifles and, ironically, the Mujihadeen Poisons Handbook as well as a “notebook containing information about the planning of attacks and the construction of explosive devices”. The three are being prosecuted on a number of charges including “possession of articles for purposes connected with terrorism”. The charge sheet states that the components of the bombs were possessed “with intent to endanger life or cause serious damage to property”.

Mar 27 2013

Leicester Nirvana FC take a stand against racism

Leicester Nirvana FC have fought against all manner of racism over the years, both on the pitch and from the authorities. The club, based in inner city Leicester, is made up of predominantly black and Asian players who have faced abuse from rival players and fans as well as being continually overlooked by the local authorities. Now they have compiled a report called Racism and Resistance which chronicling the club’s experiences and how their players have struggled to better themselves, in spite of the prejudice they have faced. Well worth a read!


Mar 10 2013

Tories forming alliance with fascists in NW Leics?

There are local elections afoot in many parts of the East Midlands in May and the party machines are grinding into life. Sensing major defeats to Labour in North West Leicestershire, the Tories are looking for every desperate trick in the book to hang onto power… including courting the “independent nationalist” (i.e. fascist who no longer likes Nick Griffin), Councillor Graham Partner, if his blog is to be believed.

Partner was elected BNP County Councillor for the Coalville ward in 2007  but soon joined Sadie Graham’s anti-Griffin faction, bouncing in and out of the party before finally resigning the party whip in 2010 to become an “independent nationalist” (fascist without a home). Last year he was censured by the County Council for a virulently islamophobic leaflet he sent to voters, which was described as “causing harassment to people of Nigerian origin, Third World origin, Palestinian origin, Pakistani origin, any non-Christian beliefs as well as those of a liberal Christian belief”.

According to Partner’s blog:

In anticipation of those prospects [losses to Labour in a number of wards] and the Coalville defeat of the former BNP councillor, the Tories had the cheek to ask for help from Graham and his associates to fend off the Labour revival and ensure Tory victories.

We definitely take this with a pinch of salt, given the source, but it wouldn’t be unthinkable. The “anti-fascist” credentials of mainstream politicians are always secondary to their desire to hang onto power by any means necessary. If this turns out to be true, it is further proof that you cannot trust mainstream politicians to fight the fascists. The only way they will be beaten is through grassroots anti-fascist direct action.

Feb 19 2013

Pig’s head man gets off

Liam Ferrar, the man who put a pig’s head at the door of a community centre used by a Muslim group, has escaped jail. Ferrar, a prominent member of the EDL-led Forgotten Estates group was given a suspended 12 week jail sentence and ordered to do 250 hours community service and pay costs. Ferrar pleaded guilty to religiously-motivated harassment in January.

Whilst much was made in court about Ferrar’s remorse and how he’ll never do it again, the act was clearly premeditated. He obtained the head many months before the act and kept it in his freezer.

That said, it’s a good thing that Ferrar wasn’t jailed. Leicester EDL would have loved to have had a martyr for their cause and would have been banging on to anyone who’d listen about their fabled “two-tier justice system” and how the CPS are all communists. Importantly, As Salaam’s imam made a statement to the effect that they were satisfied that justice had been done and it is good that no one had to go through the dehumanising experience of prison.

The EDL, however, are baying for blood about another incident:

LeicesterEDL 120213At first glance this looks like another made up story, like the one about a cross being covered up by Muslims from August. However, this one seems to have an element of truth to it:

CraigWelbourne 140213

It seems as though the incident was a) nothing to do with the people who hired the hall and b) resolved to the satisfaction of the injured party. All done and dusted by the looks of it. It’s also hardly comparable to the pig’s head incident which was clearly a premeditated attempt to intimidate the Muslim community, given the particular significance of the pig to Muslims and the context of ongoing protests in which Muslims claimed to have been abused and intimidated. There is no evidence of premeditation or intimidation in this church hall incident and you can bet the EDL would be shouting it from the rooftops if they’d found some.

This is just another bit of hypocrisy from the EDL, who always moan about the police force, filling their profiles with ‘1312’/’ACAB’ (All Coppers Are Bastards) posts when ‘their’ people are being arrested and repressed by the police. However, it seems they are quite happy to see arrests and punishment of people they don’t like.

It’s also very strange that they are complaining about the media giving coverage to the Ferrar case but not this rowdy party gone wrong. After all, the Ferrar case only got the amount of coverage it did because of the hysteria the EDL and friends had whipped up around the Thurnby Lodge scout hut and the nightly protests that they instigated. That’s why it was front page news rather than a small crime report buried on page 10. Their own exclusive scoop isn’t really much of a story unless you’re a paranoid anti-Muslim bigot who sees Islamic domination on every street corner.

Feb 11 2013

Hardline fascists meet in Leicestershire

According to Hope Not Hate reporter, Matthew Collins, a new hardline fascist party was launched at a village hall in Leicestershire at the weekend. Andrew Brons, who resigned from the BNP in October last year, is trying to bring together members of the National Front, the British Movement and Combat 18 to oppose the BNP. He is a former member of the openly Nazi National Socialist Movement and has long struggled against Griffin’s modernisation of the BNP.

Hope Not Hate claim to have infiltrated the meeting of about 60 boneheads and photographed them. They reckon former C18 Nazis and EDL activists were providing security. Despite saying that “people have a right to know that these groups of people are lying and cheating their way onto public property to cultivate their message of hate”, HnH declined to reveal the location of the meeting.

Jan 26 2013

Pig’s head man had links to EDL

Liam Ferrar has admitted religiously aggravated harassment of the Muslim community after he left a pig’s head at the door of a community centre on Christmas Day.  Much was made of his drunkenness in court, although the act seems to have been premeditated – he acquired the pig’s head during the summer and kept it in his freezer and the As Salaam group’s imam, Mohammed Lockhat had received “malicious communications in relation to pig’s heads and blood” before the head was left.

Ferrar is clearly none too bright. He played a police liaison role during the Thurnby Lodge protests so was well known by police. He carried out the act in full view of CCTV and was easy to identify by officers.

Ferrar was described as a member of the Forgotten Estates group, a group led by EDL activist Chris Hopewell. As if to further underline the central role the EDL have played in the protest movement, well known EDL drunkard James Elliott has also been arrested on charges relating to unauthorised protests against As Salaam this week. Members of the Muslim group have claimed that protestors have been intimidating and used racist language against them.

Unfortunately, Forgotten Estates have been rewarded for their threatening behaviour. Earlier this month, Leicester Mayor Peter Soulsby agreed  to give Forgotten Estates the lease on the disused Scout hut that had been promised to As Salaam without paying rent for 2 and a half years. The idea that an EDL-run organisation will provide a centre that welcomes the whole community is laughable.

Dec 29 2012

Pig head attack on Thurnby Lodge Muslims

A pig’s head was left at the doors to a community centre where Muslims pray on Boxing Day. The Thurnby Lodge Community Centre in Leicester is currently used by the As Salaam group whose controversial plans to takeover a disused Scout Hut in the area met with protests this summer. Muslims attending the regular prayer sessions have said they have been intimidated by the protestors, although the groups involved have claimed that their motives are not racist.

A Muslim who attends the Wednesday prayers at the centre said “Muslims are prohibited from eating pigs and whoever did this obviously knew that and were setting out to be offensive and make fun of something very serious to us.”

The latest news is that three people have been arrested in connection with the incident – a 40-year old woman and two men aged 37 and 46. It will be interesting to see whether there are any familiar faces.

We recently reported on how the main group protesting As Salaam, Forgotten Estates, was headed by a Leicester EDL activist, Chris Hopewell and that the EDL’s local organiser, Craig Elliot had been spotted at demonstrations. The EDL are not the only far right group who tried to exploit tensions between different communities over the affair – Nick Griffin attended protests along with the local BNP and hapless liars, Leicester Casuals United also stuck their oar in.

Infantile “hate crimes” like this are the kind of thing that the far right specialise in – just witness Nottingham EDL’s very similar attack on the site of a mosque in West Bridgford and EDL member Kevin Smith’s efforts in Dudley. However, it now seems as though new generations are apeing the efforts of these racist elders. Recently a 13-year old boy was arrested in connection with a string of racist attacks in Bingham, including putting a ham-wrapped burning cross on the doorstep of a Muslim family.

Academics studying fascism in the UK have suggested that the implosion of the organised political fronts for racism and anti-Muslim prejudice, the BNP and the EDL, is resulting in a rise of “lone-wolf” far right attacks. Without any official demos to go to, racists are acting autonomously to intimidate the people they hate. Indeed, Faith Matters have recorded 496 self-reported Islamophobic incidents in the past nine months of which 1 in 10 was against a mosque. It seems that, as their organisations collapse, racists are going back to taking matters into their own hands.

Nov 14 2012

East Midlands #EDL donors revealed

Hackers, ZHC, have defaced the EDL website, hacked the organisation’s email accounts and have released a list of donors to the far right group. Although only 19 addresses are listed, 3 of these are from the East Midlands: Clive Muddimer of Quorn, Leics, Mark Rowan of Brinsley, Notts and Anthony Otoole of Derby.

The EDL have had to redirect traffic from the hacked englishdefenceleague.org address to a .net domain. Defenceleagueclothing.co.uk got a similar treatment. This is only the latest of several hundreds of attacks on EDL sites by ZHC. The EDL have also been targeted by Anonymous and TeaMp0isoN in the past.

Oct 31 2012

Forgotten Estates and the EDL

Remember Thurnby Lodge – the Leicester estate abandoned by the local council until protests irrupted over plans to convert an old scout hut into an Islamic community centre? Well protests are still ongoing although the numbers turning out have dwindled significantly. Unsurprisingly, the far right hoped to exploit the issue to further their own anti-Muslim agenda and the BNP, EDL, Casuals United and 212 all descended like hungry vultures. Since then, evidence has emerged that demonstrates just how pivotal the EDL are in the campaign, which has publicly distanced itself from far right politics.

Leicester UAF have published an article exposing the links between the EDL and the Forgotten Estates protest group which has set itself up as the voice of Thurnby Lodge estate. It turns out that the leader of Forgotten Estates is none other than Chris ‘EMI’ Hopewell, a Leicester EDL member who proudly identifies as an East Midlands Infidel. Hopewell was pictured in the Leicester Mercury handing a Forgotten Estates petition to Leicester Mayor, Peter Soulsby, last month. Leicester EDL organiser, Craig Elliott and notorious drunkard, James Elliott, have also been involved in the protests, which they have used to prop up their own flagging organisation.

Chris ‘EMI’ Hopewell – leader of Forgotten Estates

As Leicester UAF put it:

The group have been drawing in people who normally wouldn’t touch the EDL with a barge pole, by giving the impression that their protests are driven by community spirit.

There is no doubt that in the early days, working class resistance to the dictates of the city council certainly were an important motivator in the campaign, but now, thanks to the EDL’s role, Forgotten Estates is focusing on the anti-Muslim element.

Unlike the UAF, we reckon that most people aren’t foolish enough to be taken in by the EDL’s hijacking of the group and have abandoned the protests rather than being associated with the far right agenda of Forgotten Estates. A recent post on Leicester EDL’s page illustrates their disappointment at not being able to get more political capital out of this Trojan horse.

The EDL in Leicester have gone from being one of the bigger, more active divisions to struggling on the ropes, a situation that reflects the national picture of the far right group. The Thurnby Lodge protests seemed like an ideal opportunity for them to inject their anti-Muslim poison into a genuinely popular, grassroots movement, but it seems they’ve even managed to fuck that one up.