Keep Talking (group)

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Keep Talking is a conspiracy theory and Holocaust denial discussion group in the United Kingdom that includes far-left and far-right activists.[1] It was founded before 2010[2] by Holocaust denier Nicholas Kollerstrom and 9/11 truther Ian Fantom,[3][4] who was inspired to start the group because he thought that 9/11 truth groups had been "sabotaged from within".[2] The group meets once a month in North London.[2][5]

Content[edit]

Many of the group's meetings are dedicated to the promulgation of Holocaust denial and other antisemitic conspiracy theories, such as those which focus on Mossad or the Rothschild family. In 2017, Gilad Atzmon gave a talk to the group, in which he advanced the argument that the Balfour Declaration was intended to "conceal a century of Jewish political hegemony in Britain".[2][5] During one meeting in 2019, former Labour Party and GMB activist Peter Gregson[6][7] was ridiculed by members of the group for saying that the Holocaust did happen in some form. In response, James Thring, a regular attendee, claimed that there were no recorded deaths at Auschwitz concentration camp.[2][3] Another theme in the meetings is the claim that various terror attacks are actually false flag attacks.[2]

In 2019, St Anne's Church, Soho apologized for allowing the group to have a meeting at its premises, during which Miko Peled gave a speech.[4] In 2020, Dave Rich and Joe Mulhall published the report, the results of their joint three-year investigation into the group.[1][3]

Attendees[edit]

The discussion group includes both far-left and far-right activists. According to Rich and Mulhall, "The deeper we looked into the ‘Keep Talking’ group, the harder it became to know whether it was far-right, far-left, a mixture of the two, or something else entirely".[1] People involved in the group include expelled Labour Party member Elleanne Green; Piers Corbyn (the older brother of Jeremy Corbyn); Gill Kaffash, a Holocaust denier and former Palestine Solidarity Campaign activist; and Alison Chabloz, fined for an antisemitic song.[2][3][8] Stead Steadman, an organizer of the far-right group London Forum, has for periods regularly videotaped Keep Talking meetings.[2]

Black Lives Matter photograph[edit]

During 2020 Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the UK, a photograph was taken of a young black woman having a conversation with an older white man, Jim Curran, who was wearing a sign that said, "Racism is a virus, we are the vaccine". The photograph was considered heartwarming and went viral; they were interviewed by ITV News, which described Curran as "a veteran of human rights campaigns dating back to the 1960s". Best for Britain retweeted the photograph, but later deleted the post and apologized, while ITV News retracted the story, after it was revealed that Curran had regularly attended Keep Talking events.[5][9][10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Report: London conspiracy group uniting far-left and far-right". Jewish News. 24 February 2020. Archived from the original on 6 March 2020. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Dave Rich and Joe Mulhall. "Inside Keep Talking" (PDF). CST. Hope not Hate and Community Security Trust. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 March 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d Townsend, Mark (22 February 2020). "UK left activists attended events with far right antisemites". The Observer. Archived from the original on 13 May 2020. Retrieved 24 April 2020. Also present in the audience was Ian Fantom, co-founder of Keep Talking and a 9/11 "truther", who has appeared alongside Piers Corbyn, older brother of the Labour leader, at a Keep Talking event.
  4. ^ a b Weich, Ben (7 October 2019). "Church apologises for hosting event staged by Keep Talking, a group founded by Holocaust denier". The Jewish Chronicle. Archived from the original on 7 December 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Edmunds, Donna Rachel (16 June 2020). "Lauded 'anti-racism activist' has ties to Holocaust denial group". Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 1 November 2020. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  6. ^ "Ruling: 05311-19 Gregson v Sunday Herald". Independent Press Standards Organisation. 28 November 2019. Archived from the original on 4 August 2020. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  7. ^ "Union to expel Scottish Labour activist for anti-Semitism". The National. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  8. ^ "Footage shows pro-Corbyn activists in meeting with far-right Holocaust deniers". The Jewish Chronicle. 23 February 2020. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  9. ^ Bell, Joanne. "When Rosie met Jim: the anti-racism picture that wasn't". The Jewish Chronicle. Archived from the original on 13 November 2020. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  10. ^ "Best for Britain apologises for tweeting viral picture of man with antisemitism links in anti-racism rally and then issuing offensive response to criticism". Campaign Against Antisemitism. 19 June 2020. Retrieved 3 November 2020.