Aug 10 2018

It’s kicking off

We’re excited by a new anti-fascist initiative amongst football fans: Football Lads and Lasses Against Football (FLAF).

The organisation has been set-up in response to the recent surge in far-right activity.

The Football Lads Alliance is at the core of this new movement. Despite the hard work that has taken place in football to fight racism, it’s clear there remains a section of fans who are susceptible to far-right and fascist ideas. FLAF want to change that.

In it’s founding statement FLAF state:

It’s time now for those fans who oppose the rise of the right at football to stand up and be counted. As well as mobilising against their marches, we need to counter them at our own clubs, by whatever means is necessary, from leaflet and sticker campaigns to gentle persuasion.

The founders have been busy creating versions of the logo with shitloads of team crests. Among them some of the big local clubs: Nottingham Forest, Derby County and Leicester City (see below).

Fans are encouraged to use these logos at their club as they see fit (provided they don’t add any other political symbols). Apparently eager Leicester fans have already begun printing wads of stickers.

You can find FLAF on Twitter and Facebook.

Nottingham Forest FLAF

Derby County FLAF

Leciester City FLAF


May 25 2014

East Midlands local election results

 

Derbyshire BNP freefall continues

As predicted, the BNP’s four candidates in the region polled very poorly in Thursday’s local council elections.

In Amber Valley, Derbyshire, Ken Cooper came in fourth place in Ripley Ward with 80 votes – 3.2% of the poll.  In Codnor & Waingroves ward, Alan Edwards also came fourth with 39 votes, 2.8% of the poll.  However, both BNP candidates narrowly beat the LibDems into fifth place.  These results are even poorer than the 2010 elections, when the BNP polled 7.5% in Ripley and 4.2% in Codnor & Waingroves.

In Derby, Paul Hilliard came last in Chaddesden ward with 4% of the poll (136 votes), whilst Carol Tucker also came last in Derwent ward, with 3.1% (84 votes).  This is a significant drop from their performance in similar elections in 2012, when Hilliard polled 14.7% in Chaddesden and Julie Fuller polled 11.9% in Derwent.  That performance was itself a disappointment for the BNP in 2012 – how much lower can they go?

We have been enjoying Derbyshire BNP’s downhill trajectory for a few years now, and it’s good to see it continue.

 

New UKIP councillors

The most significant feature of the local elections was the dramatic rise in fortunes of UKIP.  They now have increased representation on several local councils in the region, with 8 councillors in North-East Lincolnshire, 3 in Daventry, and 2 in Derby.

Whilst enjoying the increased electoral irrelevance of the BNP and their ilk, the entry into the mainstream of a new brand right-wing nationalism in the guise of UKIP poses significant fresh challenges for antifascists.  We will be monitoring UKIP in the region closely.  This piece from the IWCA, written a year ago, is an interesting contribution to this vital issue.


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.


Aug 13 2012

Second Derby EDL member convicted of racist attack

Ashley Pegg of Cowsley Road, Chaddesden, admitted committing affray and racially aggravated assault in an attack against a Muslim taxi driver last April. He was part of a gang of 5 who chanted “we are the EDL” and drank lager in Mohammed Rashid’s taxi. When they were asked to get out, they made racial threats against the driver and then punched and kicked him.

Lee Preston was sent to prison for 18 months for his part in the attack in January.

Interestingly, Pegg’s legal representative said: “It was simply drunken stupidity that got considerably out of hand.” In January, the EDL made loud protests about the fact that the legal defence of a group of Muslim women in Leicester involved the stating that they “weren’t used to drinking alcohol”. Pegg will be supervised by the probation service for 18 months, must attend a thinking skills programme and do 100 hours of unpaid work.I wonder whether they will be so outraged about Pegg’s defence?

Pegg will be supervised by the probation service for 18 months, must attend a thinking skills programme and do 100 hours of unpaid work.


Jul 30 2012

Far-right silence on Derby paedophiles speaks volumes

Stories of gangs grooming vulnerable girls for sex have been very prominent in the media recently, but it was easy to miss a recent court case in Derby, where eight men were convicted of sexual and other offences against teenage girls, mostly in the Normanton and Pear Tree areas of the city.  All but one of the men are white.

There was relatively little coverage of the case in the mainstream media, in contrast to the big headlines given to a similar case in Rochdale in May involving a group of Asian men (or to an earlier case in Derby also involving Asian men).  An interesting analysis of this difference in media coverage can be read here, but it’s also worth pointing out the notable difference in the way the far right have reacted to the convictions of these various sexual predators.  Various fascist groups were very keen to attempt to hijack the Rochdale case for their own ends, with frantic activity including demos outside the court in Liverpool, and a general attempt to increase tensions in the area resulting in mob violence in Heywood.

Drips in the rain in Liverpool

Derbyshire Blackshirt-in-Chief Paul Hilliard (above, with Nick Griffin and friends) was outspoken on the case, and travelled north to join BNP demos outside the court against the Rochdale grooming gang.  It’s notable that Hilliard hasn’t felt the need to organise his BNP cohorts to mobilise against the more recent paedophile trial on his doorstep.  There has been a similar lack of comment or action from the EDL groups in the region, or from the Infidels, or any of the groups who were so keen to “take a stand” against the Rochdale paedophiles.  It seems that fascists are only interested in the grooming of vulnerable girls if the perpetrators are non-white.

There is no surprise there; we have critiqued the far right’s warped attitude to these grooming cases before, and their silence on this Derby case speaks volumes about their opportunism and hypocrisy.

 


Jul 9 2012

EDL rush to “defend” Derby Pride

Derbyshire Pride was due to be held in Derby city centre on Saturday. Unfortunately, due to the torrential rain the organisers had to call it off. This year, Derbyshire’s rain sodden LGBT community were joined by some unlikely punters – members of the various East Midlands divisions of the English Defence League.

The EDL were there, they said, to valiantly defend the Pride marchers against a threatened protest by a sad little group of homophobic Muslims, rather pompously named the Derby Muslim Action Force. A previous protest at Pride in 2010 managed to draw a grand total of 14 homophobes compared with the hundreds of participants in the event itself. It is not clear whether any of those involved in Pride were asked whether they wanted the EDL to attend or why the EDL thought they would be unable to protect themselves.

Now excuse me for being a little cynical but I suspect that the EDL, an organisation not known for its deep understanding of and sympathy towards LGBT issues, might have an ulterior motive here. Perhaps an opportunity to fight some Muslims and not look bad for a change? Perhaps an opportunity to fake some pro-LGBT credentials in the run up to their Bristol march (on the same day as Bristol Pride) next Saturday?

I say fake them because the EDL has a long history of homophobia and transphobia within its ranks, something that is condoned by the leadership of the organisation, although they never fail to use it as a stick to beat Muslims with. For example whilst Tommy Robinson has said “We have preachers of hate flying into this country regularly – week in, week out – promoting homophobia, homophobic views, anti-democratic views, just promoting hatred”, he himself invited the virulently homophobic Christian preacher, Terry Jones to the UK to speak.  Jones has opposed the election of a homosexual mayor with the slogan “No Homo Mayor” and has joined in homophobic campaigns with other extremist churches. Robinson, along with far right bedfellow, Paul Weston, leader of the British Freedom Party, has teamed up with the US-based Christian Action Network, granting them interviews on a number of occasions. CAN campaigns against gays and abortion as well as being anti-Muslim. When Ellen Degeneres came out CAN founder Martin Mawyer said that she was “dumping her filthy lesbian lifestyle right in the center of your living room” and that “If we allow the tidal wave of gay and lesbian smut to continue to pour into our homes, it will utterly consume us in no time at all!” The truth is that the EDL will cosy up to any islamophobes, regardless of their stance on homosexuality.

It’s no surprise, given this opportunistic approach to LGBT rights, that the most virulent homophobia and transphobia by the EDL’s footsoldiers is tolerated. For example, when the EDL Angels had a demo in London, the overwhelmingly male attendees heckled female counter-demonstrators with chants of “lesbian scum” and “back to the kitchen”. This is just the tip of the iceberg though, and EDL News have collected an archive of just some of the many homophobic and transphobic views expressed by EDL members, including the fabled LGBT division itself! From calling people faggots to accusing all homosexuals of being paedophiles, saying that sodomy is perverted and that gays kissing in public are sick, openly homophobic views seem to be quite acceptable within the EDL.

All of which has, unsurprisingly, led many LGBT rights campaigners to see the EDL as an enemy. Alan Shore writes “it sickens me when the Far Right and the EDL in particular jump on this bandwagon when they are clearly as bad if not worse than the other scum that gay people have to deal with everyday”. Prominent gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has simultaneously campaigned against the racism of the EDL and the homophobia of Islamists and has an interesting account of his experiences. Members of the EDL have since said he should be killed.

The East Midlands Infidels’ sudden interest in LGBT issues isn’t part of any consistent promotion of human rights or freedom. More than anything, it appears to be a smokescreen for setting up a fight with some of Derby’s most reactionary Muslims. As anti-fascists we must oppose both groups but given their relative strength, the EDL are the more important homophobes to target.


May 4 2012

Bye bye BNP!

Fascists had a bad night in local elections across the country. The BNP has, at the time of writing, lost all of the seats it was defending and failed to win any new seats. None of the smaller fascist groupuscles has fared any better.

In the East Midlands, the BNP lost their two seats in Heanor where their share of the vote was considerably reduced. Cliff Roper’s term as “the invisible councillor” obviously didn’t go down well with the electorate and his share of the vote has fallen to 19.1% from the 36.5% he won with in 2008. Beaten into third place, Councillor Roper has become simply another nationalist chancer, the Heanor Patriot. Lewis Allsebrook’s replacement, Adrian Hickman, also failed to impress and came last. In Heanor & Loscoe the BNP’s share of the vote was halved and in Ripley & Marehay it was reduced to a third of the 2008 result. Emma Roper did particularly badly, getting only 59 votes (4.2%) in Codnor & Waingroves. This is about a quarter of the share won by fascist farmer Alan Warner in 2008.

The National Front’s Amber Valley candidate, Timothy Knowles, only got 99 votes in Langley Mill, coming in last place.

Over in Lincoln, disgraced Nazi sympathiser and BNP candidate, Dean Lowther, got a pathetic 49 votes (2.8%) coming in last place. This is less than a quarter of the 12.2% he got last time around.

In Derby, the BNP did slightly less badly but their vote was still down on the 2008 results. Paul Hilliard’s black shirt campaign won him 14.7% of the vote in Chaddesden, but this was down from the 17.9% he got in 2008. The only good news for the party was that candidates in Derwent and Spondon beat the Lib Dems into last place, gaining 11.9% and 8.1% of the vote respectively.

Hope Not Hate are collecting the far right’s results on their website and you can compare them with the results from 2008 here.

It seems that electoral support for the fascists is well down from its peak. Nick Griffin’s troubled leadership of the BNP looks decidedly shaky and party activists and voters are leaving in droves. The new fluffier British Freedom Party, who are backed by the EDL, haven’t got off to a good start either. Their candidate in Basildon only managed to get 4% of the vote and none of the 4 candidates currently declared in Liverpool got more than 3%.

These are good results for anti-fascists but we should never be complacent. The BNP was still voted for by a little under 1 in 5 people in Heanor and they are consistently winning over 10% in parts of Derby. There is always the danger that the far right will rearrange itself around a new pole in the wake of the BNP’s plunge into obscurity and start building on these foundations. Their current failure is a cause for celebration. Let’s make sure they don’t come back from the dead.


May 4 2012

BNP fail in Derby

It looks like the BNP have had a really bad election. Locally their loss of two seats in Amber Valley has been compounded by their failure to make a breakthrough in Derby.

Admirer of Mussolini’s Blackshirts and “Grand Dictator of Derbyshire” Paul Hilliard was the most successful of the three  candidates they stood in the city, but even he only managed to get 459 votes (14.7%) and come third, although this put him ahead of the LibDems. Vanessa Griffin also beat the LibDems, taking 270 votes (8.1%) while Julie Fuller beat the tories into fourth, securing 302 votes (11.9%).

Chaddesden

  • Care Ian (Lib Dem) 134
  • Hassall Steve (Con) 836
  • Hilliard Paul (BNP) 459
  • MacDonald Anne (Lab) 1,689

Derwent

  • Fuller Julie (BNP) 302
  • Hudson Richard (Lib Dem) 689
  • Redfern Margaret (Lab) 1,314
  • Roulstone Nicola (Con) 239

Spondon

  • Froggatt Steve (Lab) 1,305
  • Griffin Vanessa (BNP) 270
  • King Simon (Lib Dem) 153
  • Williams Evonne (Con) 1,587

(Results taken from This is Derbyshire.)


Apr 20 2012

Local elections round up

With a little under 2 weeks to go until polling day, 3rd May, East Midlands Anti-fascists bring you a round up of local fascist attempts to jockey for power.

BNP

Having finally concluded the messy power struggle within Amber Valley (Lewis Allsebrook jumped ship before he was pushed), the blackshirts of Derbyshire BNP have put up 8 candidates in Derby and Amber Valley.

The “invisible councillor” Cliff Roper is fighting to retain his seat in Heanor East, which should be a struggle if reports that he barely opens his mouth in public are to be believed. Not so long ago Roper was having a strop and resigned the party whip in order to get his way in the local party, and there have  been plenty of accusations of backstabbing and being a “red” flung his way. Aging bonehead, Adrian Hickman, will stand in Allsebrook’s former constituency of Heanor West. “Inept” Emma Roper will hope to get slightly more than the 2.4% she polled last time in the Codnor and Waingroves ward. Ken Cooper (Heanor & Loscoe) and Alan Edwards (Ripley & Marehay) are also standing.

Cliff Roper: actively working for his Heanor constituents again

Admirer of Mussolini’s blackshirts and “Grand Dictator of Derbyshire”, Paul Hilliard is standing in the Chaddesden ward in Derby and is joined by Julie Fuller (Derwent) and Vanessa Griffin (Spondon). Let’s just say you wouldn’t buy a second-hand car from the man.

Paul Hilliard: Would you trust this chump with your vote?

The BNP’s only candidate in Lincolnshire is neo-Nazi Dean Lowther, whose campaign is in a bit of a pickle after his openly racist posts on Facebook became the subject of a police investigation and front-page news in the local paper. His posts included cartoons portraying the Obamas as monkeys and the insignia of violent and openly Nazi groups, the Racial Volunteer Force, the British People’s Party, Blood and Honour and Combat 18.  Lowther is standing in the Bracebridge ward of Lincoln.

 

English Democrats

The entire North-West Leicestershire BNP branch has recently defected to the English Democrats in the hope that they can do away with secret meetings and redirection points and gain a bit of respectability, something which seems unlikely given that about half of the English Democrats’ candidates across the UK are recent defectors from the BNP. Alan and Gaynor Bennett Spencer are standing for the half-fascist party in Daventry.

National Front

Fascist failure, Tim Knowles, who was so dim he managed to fuck up being elected unopposed is trying for a second crack of the whip in Langley Mill, Amber Valley. Last time round he failed to fill in the acceptance form or turn up to any meetings so was booted out. We hope the Front will sink further into irrelevance during these elections.


Jan 31 2012

EDL supporter convicted of racist attack in Derby

Lee Preston targeted a Muslim taxi driver with a group of friends who said “We are EDL” while drinking in his cab. The group chanted “EDL” and threatened to kill Mohammed Rashid whilst attacking him. The group also assaulted a second taxi driver who tried to intervene. Preston was later found hiding under a bush.

Preston has been sentenced to 18 months for affray and racially aggravated assault causing actual bodily harm. I guess Preston doesn’t believe that the EDL are a “human rights organisation” either.