For some time Antifascists have been monitoring the activities of a group of EDL activists in Sunderland who have attached themselves to the charity Help For Heroes (H4H).
The pernicious group have made life a living hell for Muslims in the city and have launched a series of campaigns against a proposed Mosque in the Millfield area. The latest protest, today, attracted 80 EDL activists from across the country. Although the EDL is waning, the hatred and racism of its remaining adherents shows no sign of abating.
One of the lead figures in the group’s organisation on Facebook has used the name “Angel Unites Patriots” to make a series of disgusting and derogatory postings about Muslims while claiming to be a representative of the charity which helps members of the armed forces, regardless of their race or religion.
“Angel Unites Patriots” has regularly made postings about her behaviour towards Muslims at her place of work. Early last week we managed to trace the shop in question. The shop is “Charity’s Place” on Chester Road in Millfield. Describing customers as “Muzrats” and “Muzzies”, the writer has also written how she would and has, refused to help Muslim customers in what she claims, is in her capacity as a representative of the charity H4H.
The charity Help For Heroes has confirmed that it has no shop in Sunderland and in fact has only one retail shop in whole of the UK, which is in Wales.
Last Monday we identified, with the help of local friends, “Angel Unites Patriots” as Pam Branningan. When we rang the shop on Tuesday afternoon, Brannigan confirmed that she was working for the charity. When confronted with the evidence we have proving that she is also known as “Angel Unites Patriots” a lead figure in the EDL in the city and the poster of racist and Islamophobic messages on facebook, Brannigan denied that she even had the internet at home and had never been on facebook in her life.
Told that she was being disingenuous, Brannigan said she did not know what that meant, either. When it was explained to her, she confirmed that she did have a facebook account, but that she had no connections with the EDL.
She also warned that her supposed ’employers’, Help for Heroes, would sue us on her behalf for any story that we did write naming and exposing her.
When we presented our research to Help For Heroes they were horrified. They also confirmed that not only is the shop not in anyway connected to them, but Brannigan is not one of their registered collectors, either.
They kindly confirmed in writing that “Help for Heroes is strictly non-political and non-critical; we simply want to help. We never allow political groups to use our logo or to associate themselves with the charity and the activity in Sunderland is certainly not sanctioned or supported by the charity.”
Today the shop was filled with EDL supporters and closed early for the EDL demonstration. Brannigan was later spotted drinking with her EDL friends prior to the demonstration. She was later involved in an altercation.
This should now lead to a number of further investigations in to the activities of the far-right, including the BNP who also have used the H4H logos when campaigning and fundraising. We would also like to hear from anyone who has more information about what happened to the allegedy £3000 the EDL collected at its Preston demonstration in November 2010 and at prior and subsequent demonstrations where EDL personnel have collected money for Help For Heroes in buckets.