Cross posted from the blog of the CST
The first was in Central London on Saturday 11 April, the latest “London Forum” meeting. This meets every couple of months. It echoes the far Right discussion groups of the 70s and 80s, which were characterised by a sneering racist snobbery that laid bare all the intellectual pretensions of their fascistic and neo-Nazi participants.
Media reports depicting the Forum’s latest meeting as an international Holocaust denial conference are slightly over the top, but some of its guest speakers from overseas, such as (Spaniard) Pedro Valera and (American) Mark Weber, are antisemitic Holocaust deniers who should not be in Britain. Their presence and propaganda are clear affronts to British values, and CST has now raised the matter with Police and Government.
Speeches from the event are available on YouTube, including that of Mark Weber whose speech “The Challenge of Jewish-Zionist power” can be seen here and fulfils the London Forum’s promise that it:
…will look at the astonishing role and influence of the “Jewish lobby,” and explain why the task of identifying and countering Jewish-Zionist power is so vitally important.
The following Saturday 18 April, a crowd of 20 to 30 far Right activists failed in their attempted antisemitic provocation against the “Jewification” of Stamford Hill (home to a large visible Jewish community), North London.
CST had discussed this demonstration with local Police and the local Jewish community since it was first mooted by Joshua Bonehill, a neo-Nazi social media troll / stalker and serial hoaxer who has repeatedly fallen foul of the law.
Bonehill’s tweet about demonstrating against “Jewification” in Stamford Hill came shortly after the January 2015 antisemitic terror attack in Paris. It captured a wave of concern and attention on the subject of antisemitism, and was immediately blown out of all proportion in national and international media. All of this despite Bonehill having limited support, being based in Yeovil and facing charges for misuse of social media.
The Jewish community in Stamford Hill, targeted by Bonehill, had no wish to fuel the unnecessary and entirely counter-productive media hype. CST fully agreed and did its utmost to explain the reality of Joshua Bonehill to the media and general public. CST also maintained the closest possible contact with the local community and local Police to ensure that if any demonstration did occur, it would have minimal impact.
As expected, Bonehill’s personal circumstances meant that he cancelled the initial demonstration. However, the media hype encouraged National Front types to then enter the scene and carry it on: resulting in the actual demonstration on 18 April.
Given all of the attention and fear currently surrounding antisemitism, it is deeply disappointing that so few media outlets have bothered reporting the damp squib outcome that their massively overhyped story led to. (The Guardian has a suitably dismissive story here. Their original coverage, including CST’s attempt to contextualise matters is here.)
In summary, a group of 20-30 far Right activists were held by Police outside the actual Jewish area of Stamford Hill. They made some speeches through a megaphone, competing with anti-Nazi protest chants of “Nazi scum off our streets”. After about 90 minutes they left, wondering why their Polish skinhead allies had not turned up. The local Jewish community basically ignored it all.
Now, the antisemitic provocateurs claim they will demonstrate in other Jewish areas. Whether this actually happens or not remains to be seen, but to be clear, CST’s role in such a situation will be as it was in Stamford Hill; and as it was so many times during the surge of antisemitism last summer.
We will give a sober assessment of the reality of the situation. We will work with our local community and local Police to minimise the impact of antisemitic provocations.
We do not organise street demonstrations, but if our community wishes to legally protest, we will do our utmost to help facilitate and secure such activities.
We will do all of this in pursuit of our charitable objectives, protecting our community and helping to build a more cohesive British society.