Friends of the Killer, Coming Your Way?
AS more than 150,000 people gathered in Oslo to honour those murdered by racist fanatic Anders Behring Breivik, and messages of sympathy and condolences came from around the world, more 'respectable' right-wingers sought only to separate the murderer's supposed 'madness' from his ideas, and theirs, while more open reactionary thugs did not even do that.
In Oslo, people carried red roses, the symbol of the Labour Party, and sang a song of wartime resistance to the Nazis. In the United States, Glenn Beck, a former radio chat host with Murdoch's Fox News, ignorantly and disgustingly compared the Labour youth campers who were Breivik's main victims with the Hitler Youth. He evidently found these democratic young people enjoying a summer camp more "disturbing" than their being murdered.
The killer Breivik has praised the writings of Daily Mail columnist and Islamophobe Melanie Phillips. He has written sympathetically of both the Nazis and Israeli Zionists, though most immediately he shares a mutual admiration and aims with anti-Islamic gangs like the English Defence League (EDL). If some EDL members were anxiously trying to dissociate themselves from the crazed bomber and gunman, businessman Alan Lake, who provides the EDL with much of its 'brains' and funding, was less bothered.
Lake described the massacre of more than 90 people in Norway as “chickens come home to roost”. In other words, the more than 90 victims, and people who defend their democratic and multi-cultural, tolerant society, brought this on themselves.. On his website, Lake wrote:
Apparently, in a long screed Anders Behring Breivik posted on line, he did this attack to protest against the way that Islam is taking over large parts of Europe. By attacking the leftist politicians that are enabling this, the chickens have actually come home to roost – altho I’m sure it won’t be depicted that way.
The anti-fascist magazine Searchlight says Breivik was in contact with the EDL, and was involved in a Norwegian Defence League.
"Only months before he went on his murderous killing spree he exchanged several messages with EDL supporters using his internet pseudonym Sigurd Jorsalfare, the name of the 12th century King of Norway who led one of the Crusades.
In one message on the EDL forum, dated 9 March 2011, he wrote:
“Hello. To you all good English men and women, just wanted to say that you're a blessing to all in Europe, in these dark times all of Europe are looking to you in surch of inspiration, courage and even hope that we might turn this evil trend with islamisation all across our continent. Well, just wanted to say keep up the good work it's good to see others that care about their country and heritage. All the best to you all Sigurd”
Asked by EDL supporters if he was active in the Norwegian Defence League, Breivik replied:
“I was but, the site has been put down now. There was to be a demo in Oslo on the 26 of February but after the police security service put us on the "danger-list" the the internet site was sadly shut down.”
He went on to describe his hatred of society in Norway and specifically picked out the Norwegian Labour Party for his criticism.
“The biggest problem in norway is that there is no real free press, there is a left-wing angle on all the political topics so most people are going around like idiots. And of course with our norwegian labour party beeing in power for most of the last 50 years dont help. but i i think there is an awakening now at least i hope so. Do some of you know the truth about what happened to the ndl, there was some clames that neo-nazis had hijacked the organisation, but on the ndl site i cant really say i noticed anything like that. So may guess is that there were some kind of police pressure to stop the movement. Anyone here heard anything?”
In another posting he attacked the British society and expressed his interest in joining an EDL demonstration:
“i've seen with my own eyes what has happened to england, i was in bradford some years ago, me and a friend walked down to the football stadium of bradford, real "nice" neighborhood, same thing in the suburbs of london. well thinking about taking a little trip over the sea and join you in a demo. would be nice with a norwegian flag alongside with union jack or the english flag, that is if a norwegian would be welcome offcourse?”
This message appears to confirm the rumour that Breivik once lived in the UK. His father was a diplomat and is believed to have been based in London for some time.
Breivik was told by EDL supporters that he would be most welcome, to which he replied:
“I hoped so:) it's our common struggle against the islamofacists.”
EDL supporters were keen to have his support. An EDL forum member, username ‘Concerned’, replied: ‘Bravo sigurd admire your views and courage. no surrender and welcome.”
Breivik then went quiet. A few days later he shut down his facebook site, went offline and began the final countdown to his killing spree.
Searchlight's Graeme Atkinson says the Norwegian group claimed to have expelled some Russian Nazis, but still included "convicted nazi bank robber Werner Holm and violent nazis such as Johnny "Light" Olsen", Morten Andre Serensen and Dariusz Arnesen, all previously connected with the now defunct Norwegian 'Blood and Honour' network".
"The English Defence League has close links with the NDL. The NDL facebook site is administered by Jeff Marsh, a leading EDL organiser and football hooligan. Marsh was once given a two-year prison sentence for stabbing two Manchester United fans.
"In April 2011 the NDL held a demonstration in Oslo. Speaking at the event was Tower Hamlets-based EDL activist Darren Lee Marsh. Marsh has been a steward on EDL demos and is close to the EDL youth leader Joel Titus. He also claims to be a member of UKIP. Marsh’s facebook friends include several EDL organisers, including Jack Smith (the London EDL organiser), Paul Prodromou (aka Pitt) (the Essex EDL organiser), and Guramit Singh, who was the EDL’s press officer until recently".
"The EDL claim to be a peaceful organisation but its actions and views of its supporters prove otherwise. Here is a selection of comments made by leading EDL supporters in recent weeks:
Dave Davis: “Ratkoa Mladic is our friend. He killed 8,000 Muslims.”
Bill Baker: “know [sic] we need to kill or be killed and no mercy for anyone once it kicks off. Die or leave is the only choice they should have.”
Bill Baker: “If our Government won’t act against Islam and terrorism then we must arm and protect ourselves.”
North West Infidels: “East Belfast is up in flames, our loyalist brothers certainly know how to riot. Imagine [if] we could that against militant Islam.”
Roger Firth: “Something has to happen mate (and I don’t give a shit if the old bill are clocking this). For too long we have let ourselves be penned, while this scum do as they please, patriots being arrested, well today was the final straw, time to get violent.”
The EDL is threatening to hold a demonstration in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets on September 3. This is almost on the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, when thousands of East Enders and anti-fascists routed Oswald Mosley's Blackshirts and their police escort.
The East End has changed, and today there is a large Muslim, particularly Bangladeshi, community where once there were the Jewish people whom Mosley's fascists targeted.
Local people and anti-fascists have signed a petition to the Home Secretary to ban the EDL marching into the borough, and this is supported by the Tower Hamlets council. I would have signed the 'Hope Not Hate' petition supported by Searchlight, had it not included generalised references to "extremism" and said "extremism provokes extremism" - as though the EDL were waiting to be "provoked"! It's fine to have a frank discussion about extremism, political or religious, in Tower Hamlets, but do we really need to have it with a Tory like Home Secretary Theresa May?
What this Con-Dem coalition is doing to people is pretty extreme. It is helping create the kind of desperate conditions which racists and fascists want to exploit, to divide people up (and don't forget David Cameron's discovery that "multi-culturalism" is the problem). We socialists and trade unionists want to unite all working people and poor against this government's policies. Do we really trust this government to decide which political activities are to be curtailed?
People do have a right to demand that a bunch of thugs hoping to bring hatred and fear into their neighbourhood be stopped. Whatever the authorities decide, anti-fascists and local people who feel threatened are determined to oppose the EDL coming to Tower Hamlets on September 3. And whatever happens, if those in power allow the EDL threat to take place, they must take the blame. After Norway, no one can say they didn't know.