London Forum (far-right group)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The London Forum is a loose organisation of alt-right and far-right individuals based in London but with regional headquarters across the United Kingdom. It maintains links with and has inspired similar formations in the United States.

Meetings held by the organisation have been met with significant protest by anti-fascist activists[1] and have been infiltrated by journalists. Anti-fascist groups such as Searchlight and Hope not Hate have included the group in their research on far-right politics in the United Kingdom.

History and ideology[edit]

The London Forum emerged in 2011[2] as a split from the New Right, a series of far-right meetings in London which took place in the 2000s. It describes itself as "the home of the UK alt-right";[3] Searchlight says the group bridges "the fascist and Tory right".[4] Board of Deputies of British Jews vice-president, Jonathan Arkush, described the group as white supremacist.[5]

Forum organiser[6] Stead Steadman told The Independent that while the group is not "credally defined", it opposes "globalism, cultural and non-cultural Marxism" and supports "white ethnicity and its civilization, liberty of expression, and religious tradition".[1] The group has told BBC News: "The London Forum comprises a range of people who care about their country and its demographic future and who wish to register their disagreement with the nigh ubiquitous enforced agenda of multiracialism and multiculturalism that threatens to destroy our identity irreversibly."[7] Hope not Hate says the group's "ideological fluidity" allows the hosting of "speakers from across the British and international far right. Because of this, it has links to almost every active far-right organisation in the UK, as well as many across Europe and North America".[2] The group's events bring together neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, alt-right students and antisemitic conspiracy theorists and former British National Party (BNP) activists.[3] The group says "Zionism, the role of Israel in international affairs and the influence of the Jewish Diaspora upon culture and politics" are "legitimate subjects for discussion".[1]

The Forum is said to be "one of the organising hubs" for the far-right in Britain today,[3] with Jeremy Bedford-Turner (a self-described fascist more commonly known as Jez Turner) as one of its leading figureheads.[2] said regarding the Forum: "We aimed for the football hooligans, for elements who weren't really into intellectual thinking. I realised this was a mistake ... There was a definite need for a leadership cadre, for a new intelligentsia, for a new mass media".[3] Following a judicial review brought to the on the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) from the Campaign Against Antisemitism, Turner was arrested in May 2018 for incitement to racial hatred following an antisemitic speech made in July 2015 in which Turner repeated blood libel accusations against Jews and said called upon anti-Shomrim protestors gathered outside Downing Street to "free England from Jewish control".[8]

In February 2017, Hope not Hate's annual report on the state of the far-right warned that the London Forum was expanding rapidly and helping the alt-right to become globalised.[9] However, following a year-long exposé on the far-right by Patrik Hermansson and legal difficulties faced by the group face later on that year, the London branch did not hold events since May 2017, although regional branches have continued.[2]

Prominent speakers and events[edit]

Speakers[edit]

Prominent Forum speakers have included Holocaust deniers Pedro Varela Geiss, Mark Weber[10] and David Irving; British neo-Nazi and National Front activist Richard Edmonds; founder of proscribed terrorist organisation National Action, Alex Davies and Jason Reza-Jorjani from Arktos Media[3] and as Richard Miller, a barrister who was barred from practising after expressing his admiration for Adolf Hitler.[1] American neo-Nazi Matthew Heimbach addressed the Forum via video link in 2018 as he was denied entry to the UK to speak at the British Renaissance event in Southport, organised by Jez Turner and disgraced former UKIP Parliamentary candidate Jack Sen. Sen, who spoke at the London Forum in June of 2015, had previously been suspended from UKIP after sending an allegedly anti-Semitic tweet to Liverpool Wavertree Labour candidate Luciana Berger. [3]

YouTube personality Colin Robertson (Millenial Woes) gave a film talk on Withnail and I at the forum, arguing that the film is a politically incorrect statement against the alleged cultural degeneracy of the modern day. His analysis was described by James Poulter in Vice News as a far-right analogue to the Marxist and Hegelian film analyses of Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek.[3]

Finnish nationalist Kai Murros called in the Forum for a violent fascist revolution, which would involve brigades of masked blackshirts "storming universities and dragging academics out into the streets"; white nationalist Greg Johnson called the Forum "the most important organisation in the British nationalist scene after the collapse of the British National Party and the subsequent wave of party fatigue".[3]

2015 meeting[edit]

A 2015 meeting by the group at the Grosvenor Hotel was infiltrated by Mail on Sunday reporters. Searchlight editor and publisher Gerry Gable said the event was "the biggest and most significant meeting of Holocaust deniers that Britain has ever seen".[11] Participants in the gathering were not told its exact location; they met at the nearby railway station and were escorted individually and in pairs to the hotel by former private school art teacher Michael Woodbridge, who was carrying a book by British Union of Fascists leader Oswald Mosley and wore a lapel pin with the BUF logo.[5]

Members laughed at the mention of "ashes rising from the death camps' crematoria" in Auschwitz; applauded a speaker who talked of destroying "Jewish-Zionist domination"; mocked the Charlie Hebdo massacre, describing an African leader at its ceremony as "some Negro" and cheered at the mention of a brigade of Spanish Nazi-aligned Fascists.[5] The headline speaker at the event was Spanish Nazi sympathizer Pedro Varela, who referred to children of mixed-race parentage as "blackos" and described same-sex parents as "making a monster family".[10] Former senior members of the BNP and National Front (NF) were also in attendance, including Martin Webster, John Morse and Derek Beackon.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d McIntyre, Niamh (6 February 2017). "Activists blockade London meeting of 'secret Neo Nazi society'". The Independent. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Pentrice, Charlie (14 May 2018). "GUILTY: London Forum's Jez Turner Convicted of Inciting Racial Hatred". HOPE not hate. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Childs, Simon; Poulter, James (12 March 2018). "The Neo-Nazi Home of the UK Alt-Right". Vice. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Searchlight - about". Retrieved 18 March 2019. We are the only publication regularly to investigate and analyse the far right's ideological powerhouse, the New Right, and to expose the groups that bridge the fascist and Tory right such as the London Forum and Traditional Britain Group.
  5. ^ a b c "Holocaust deniers gather in secret London conference". Times of Israel. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  6. ^ "State of Hate 2019: People vs The Elite?" (PDF). Hope not Hate. p. 65. Retrieved 27 March 2019. ... Stead Steadman, the hapless organiser of the London Forum ...
  7. ^ Wendling, Mike; Yates, Will (5 March 2018). "'I went undercover in the alt-right'". BBC Trending. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Far right antisemite convicted after calling for his 'soldiers' to liberate the UK from Jews". cst.org.uk. Community Service Trust. 15 May 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  9. ^ Townsend, Mark (11 February 2017). "Britain's extremist bloggers helping the 'alt-right' go global, report finds". The Observer. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Nazi Sympathizers and Holocaust Deniers Hold Secret Meeting in London". Haaretz. 19 April 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  11. ^ a b Craven, Nick; Cahlan, Paul; Murphy, Simon (18 April 2015). "Nazi invasion of London EXPOSED". Mail On Sunday. Retrieved 26 March 2019.