They marched into the centre of Liverpool, about 30 or 40 of them, all in black with Lone Ranger-type face masks, except for one who wore a pig’s head.
They trailed a long banner saying, “Refugees not welcome here,” and held up a square of black silk proclaiming “North West Infidels” in glittering silver letters – exactly like the Nazi SS insignia of the 1930s.
Stopping at St George’s Hall, they spray-painted swastikas on the walls and tried to address the Saturday lunchtime crowds through loud-hailers.
But they were met by demonstrators from the Anti-Fascist Network shouting “Nazi scum,” and soon the air was filled with smoke bombs, glass and plastic bottles, fireworks and ripped-up cobblestones.
Riot police with shields and dogs poured into the square and struggled to keep the two sides apart.
A police officer was hit in the face by a firework and when a young woman was struck on the head by a stone and taken away bleeding in an ambulance, the Infidels cheered.
In the course of three hours, 34 men were arrested on charges of assaulting the police, violent disorder and possessing weapons. Eventually, the Infidels were escorted through sealed-off streets to the railway station where they were put onto a train and sent out of the city.
A spokesman for the AFN said: “They hide behind freedom of speech to peddle hate and violence. This was a massive defeat for any hopes of a far-right movement in Britain.”
The Infidels typify the growth of racism in several European countries in response to the migration crisis. When hundreds of thousands of refugees began pouring into Europe last year from war-torn Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and from poverty-stricken parts of Africa, the initial response was sympathetic. But kindness turned to concern as the numbers swelled, fuelling a rise in support for the far right.
Security sources said the Infidels, formerly part of the anti-Islamist English Defence League, have two factions — North West Infidels and North East Infidels. John Shaw, who runs the North West group, is an admirer of the long-discredited anti-Semitic work, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” and urged on social media that “all true British patriots should take the time to read this.”
One of his comrades attended a “white pride” event in Wales where a large black doll was “lynched” by people in Ku Klux Klan uniforms.
A Facebook post from the North West urged the killing of “five immigrant bastards a day to bring our glorious country back to health,” suggesting a Muslim, a Hindu, a Sheik (presumably Sikh), a Pole and a black.
RIGHT WING PARTIES
An increase in membership of right wing parties has been registered in Denmark, Sweden, France, Poland, Hungary, Germany and Austria.
A leading Polish politician said Muslim refugees should be kept out of the country because they brought parasites and diseases. A migration opponent in Sweden said: “Islamism is the Naziism and the Communism of our time.” And in Hungary, an MP said refugees entering Europe “look like an army.”
Although far-right politics has existed in the United Kingdom since the 1930s, there is a tendency for groups to start, flourish, then die. These include Oswald Moseley’s British Union of Fascists, the League of Empire Loyalists, the Conservative party’s Monday Club, the National Front and the British National Party.
The English Defence League campaigns against what it considers the Islamification of Britain, and the United Kingdom Independence Party says Europe “was mad” to accept so many refugees and should stop their boats from arriving.
A judge decided to act leniently with two drug-dealing brothers and chose not to send them to prison. Hah, hah, chortled the brothers as they walked free, mocking the judge on Facebook. Big mistake!
Daniel Sledden, 27, and his brother Samuel, 22, from Accrington were found guilty of supplying cannabis from their home. They said they were sorry and Judge Beverley Lunt gave them two-year suspended jail sentences.
Within 90 minutes of leaving Burnley Crown Court, Daniel posted a message in obscene language that he could not believe his luck in getting a suspended sentence. Samuel had already sent a post, also using profanity, saying, “What a day it’s been … nice two years suspended!”
The judge said both men originally expressed remorse, but “if I had known their real feelings, would I have suspended the sentence? The answer of course is no.”
She jailed them for two years.
Latest trick by bicycle thieves: They saw through the metal bar of a cycle rack then tape over the break. The unsuspecting cyclist leaves his bike. The thieves return, unwrap the tape and steal the bike.
An observation from American humourist Nick Offerman: If Hilary Clinton wins the race to the White House, it will be the first time two US presidents have slept together.