UK Aktion have produced a handy guide to the UK’s far right. Some of the groups are too exotic to spot in Sheffield, and some (ahem, Casuals, ahem) barely exist outside their own overactive imaginations, but there are some that local anti-fascists should be aware of.
English Defence League
The EDL have been the far right group with the most active members in Sheffield over the last few years, but most of that activity has been travelling to EDL demos elsewhere. Their appearances in Sheffield have been rather shambolic e.g. protesting against Halal meat outside a KFC which didn’t sell Halal meat, marching against a new mosque that turned out to be a KFC and being prevented from marching by antifascists. They have also been beset by internal feuding, with one member being accused of bringing a gang to attack another member at his house, and another of robbing a collection box.
The EDL tried to capitalise on the child abuse scandal in Rotherham, but didn’t achieve more than a temporary spike in interest
A number of South Yorkshire EDL members have recently been charged with violent disorder, including regional organiser Ian Crossland, following fights in Brighton and Sheffield. The trials won’t take place until around April but prison sentences look likely.
There is an EDL spin-off group called South Yorkshire Casuals, but so far their only real activity seems to have been 3 angry men waving a laminated flag in the city centre and a lot of big talk on the internet about wanting to attack anti-fascists.
British National Party
Before elections you might see satanist bouncy-castle entrepeneur George Crapper (or George Edwards as he prefers to be known) driving round his van, blasting out the Wurzels and looking for somewhere to pitch up and give out racist propaganda. He doesn’t stick around for long though, once people start reading the leaflets and challenging him.
Once a group feared for its violent attacks on people of colour and anti-racists, the British Movement now consists of a few old timers handing out flyers every few months, with help from a few friends in the National Front. Largely based in West Yorkshire, they are still Nazis but are few and far between.
Dan is a third year Politics and Philosophy student at the University of Sheffield. Openly fascist, he runs the Nationalist Ásatrú Facebook page and a website where he spouts anti-semitic conspiracy theories and bangs on about Odin. He’s also been seen at a demo in support of Golden Dawn. He fell out with the tiny neo-nazi group National Action and accused them of being run by the Jews so he’s now all alone. He can often be found dressed like a wannabe paramilitary, all in black with combat trousers and a stab-proof vest.