Great Britain | 09/17/2022

Great Britain 2022 September

Fascists are back on the streets

Over summer British far-right street activity has significantly increased, with fascist group Patriotic Alternative (PA) joining protests against Drag Queen Story Hour by transphobes and other reactionary conspiracy theorists. These protests took place across the country, harassing a tour by a drag queen who was reading a book to children in libraries.

September saw PA’s take to the streets again for the UN’s Indigenous People’s Day where they pushed a ‘White Lives Matter’ (WLM) message. This day of action was joined by fascist groups in America, Scandinavia and several other European or settler colonial countries.

Counter-jihad activist Anne Marie Waters announced on 13 July that her party For Britain was ceasing operations as a political party with immediate effect. In the statement, Waters cited “masked black-clad activists” as one of the reasons for her decision to end the party.

Several of the former British National Party (BNP) activists who had joined For Britain have since switched to the British Democratic Party (British Democrats), including councillor Julian Leppert. The British Democrats also had former BNP member Lawrence Rustem, become a parish councillor in Kent, after standing in an uncontested seat in a village near Maidstone.

The end of September saw an anti-immigration protest by several hundred racist football hooligans in central London, partly organised by a member of the British Democrats.

PA continued to gain press attention for distributing leaflets and holding protests.

A terrorism extradition, an exposé and livestreams

One of PA’s leading figures, Kristofer Kearney, also known as ‘Charlie Big Potatoes’ was extradited from Spain to the UK in August. Kearney is being held on remand, facing two charges of disseminating a terrorist publiction and is set to face trial next summer.

Kearney, aged 37, had been based in Alicante but was arrested by Spanish police at the request of British counter-terrorism police. He is a former member of the now banned neo-Nazi terrorist group National Action and a former host of the Patriotic Talk livestream.

Kearney became one of PA’s most vocal supporters on the encrypted messaging app Telegram and became the fascist party’s fitness guru, with PA announcing he would lead their fitness club initiative. Spanish ex-pat newspaper The Olive Press reported that Kearney was linked to the MTK Global boxing gyms and had visited Dubai where MTK had a gym.

An exposé of The Ayatollah, one of Britain’s leading neo-Nazi YouTuberswas published by The Times. James Owens, who livestreamed on YouTube as ‘The Ayatollah’, was a former host of The Absolute State Of Britain (TASOB) podcast, published by the American neo-Nazi podcast network The Right Stuff (TRS).

As a UK-based TRS host, Owens acted as a notable node in the transnational Anglophone neo-Nazi network. Several leading TRS hosts appeared on Owens’ YouTube channel. Owens’ unmasking was reported internationally.

Owens had been involved in PA in its very early stages and was identified from attending multiple PA events which were under surveillance by anti-fascist investigators Red Flare. The Times produced a two-part podcast to accompany the exposé. Shortly after he was unmasked, Owens appeared on Greg Johnson’s Counter-Currents podcast. Earlier in the summer, Johnson appeared on PA’s book club livestream.

TASOB’s involvement in creating PA helped to cement links with the US-based National Justice Party (NJP), which was launched by leading figures in TRS. In early September NJP held their largest conference yet, which they claim had 400 attendees.

One of the guests over the summer on PA leader Collett’s weekly livestream Patriotic Weekly Review (PWR) was leading NJP &TRS figure Joseph Jordan, also known as Eric Striker. Other guests on PWR included Andreas Johansson of the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM), American neo-Nazi Gregory Conte, Jolene Bunting and Paul Stevenson from Northern Ireland and American ant-Semitic conspiracy theorist Kevin MacDonald.

PA’s WLM day of action on 9 August was supported by neo-Nazis and fascists around Europe and the English-speaking world. The NRM took part in the activities in Norway, Sweden and possibly Finland. Over a dozen photographs were submitted to PA’s website from across the USA. PA’s website also features images of the WLM slogan they claim to have recieved from: Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, New Zealand, Netherlands, Slovenia and Spain.

In New Zealand, a council candidate was revealed to be a neo-Nazi who had previously interviewed Collett on the Action Zealandia podcast.

PA’s main activity of the summer, protesting against Drag Queen Story Hour, was inspired by similar protests held in America earlier in June, as described in a previous report.

Heritage & Destiny magazine held a conference in Preston at the end of September which was addressed by a number of speakers from the British far-right. Spanish fascist Isabel Peralta, who writes for the magazine, flew in from Madrid to deliver a translated speech.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism published an investigation into a far-right religious network centered around Citizen GO, which is attacking reproductive and LGBT+ rights.