Briefing: National Action – HOPE not hate
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Briefing: National Action

The British Government has proscribed the neo-Nazi group National Action and declared it a terrorist organisation.

Here, HOPE profiles the organisation that is a attracting a new generation of militant and violent nazis.

Politics of National Action

National Action is a mish-mash of misanthropy. It is a pure hate group that embraces all forms of extreme hatred, from venerating Adolf Hitler, to calling themselves “white jihadis”, and even juvenile forms of situationism.

Last year the group’s leader said he wanted to have a genocide in this country that would take the form of Cambodia’s ‘Killing Fields’.

Ostensibly it is a neo-Nazi group with a hatred for Jews and liberal, democratic and progressive society.

History of National Action

Its roots lie mainly in the old British National Party’s (BNP) youth wing, young men who grew disillusioned with the decline of the electoral far right and with the perceived watering down of the BNP’s hard-line policies so that it could pursue political respectability. Most of the leading lights in NA have been members of the BNP. Some have been expelled while others drifted away.

National Action is the brainchild of Ben Raymond (27), and Alex Davies (22). Davies was in the Young BNP (YBNP) and Raymond ran his own on line group of distorted and confused ramblings where he developed an ideology that attracted Davies. Others followed. It was meant to be a “youth movement”.

National Action has been the masters of manipulation on social media, organising campaigns of harassment and intimidation against their opponents better than any other far right group. Liverpool MP Luciana Berger was subjected to literally thousands of tweets after National Action launched “Operation Jew Bitch” to target her.

National Action member Garron Helm was sentenced to four weeks in prison at the end of 2014 for his part in harassing the Jewish MP. The group has between 50 and 100 hardcore members.

Leadership of National Action

Ben Raymond (Bognor)

Group’s founding member.

Alex Davies (Swansea)

Failed university student, most famous for being humiliated by a 13 year old girl earlier this year. Began life in the BNP.

Ashley Bell (Leeds)

Former EDL member. His girlfriend recently came runner up in the group’s “Miss Hitler” competition.

Mark James (Romford)

Expelled by the BNP for eating peanuts at a branch meeting. Runs Sunday morning fight clubs in his local park.

Garron Helm (Liverpool)

Sentenced to four weeks in prison at the end of 2014 for his part in harassing Liverpool MP Luciana Berger.

Jack Renshaw (Blackpool)

Kicked out of university for his hateful views. Currently applying to join the army. Former BNP member.

Kevin Layzell Former BNP member, the group’s link man to Polish nazi gangs.

National Action Activities

The group focuses on online intimidation creating “outrage” by targeting individuals as well as attaching to street protests by other far-right groups. It has also held a series of “camps” where ideology is discussed and violence/self-defence taught.

The group has an obsession with being media-profiled and has driven up publicity this year by releasing a number of stories of its own activities to the media, in particular a recent ‘white zone’ sticker campaign in Newbury.

Members of the group were photographed earlier this year giving Nazi salutes at the former Buchenwald nazi death camp.

 

Links to violence / members convicted

It currently has three members before the courts, facing charges in relation to either violence or encouraging others to commit acts of violence.

Its most high-profile adherent was the Mold, north Wales attacker Zack Davies, who attacked a dentist in a supermarket with a knife and hammer (2015). The group tried desperately to disassociate itself from Davies when it became apparent that the authorities would begin to look into NA’s wider activities.

Ryan Fleming, a National Action activist from West Yorkshire, also has a conviction for the sexual assault of a vulnerable young male.

Jack Renshaw, a student kicked out of Manchester Metropolitan University last year, is on record twice in what HOPE not hate believes is a call for attacks on Jews. In one recording he advises others to train themselves in shooting.

Glorifying Jo Cox’s murder

The group has adopted Thomas Mair’s quote: “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain” as its strapline online. Numerous National Action members have adopted Mair as a martyr and encouraged others to do the same.

Links to international nazi groups

The group has visited far-right groups in Germany, France, Poland, Finland, Estonia and Latvia. The group is particularly close to the Polish nazi group the NOP (National Rebirth of Poland).

Summary

We cautiously welcome the ban, but we feel much of what has now apparently come to a head with this group could have been dealt with sooner and quicker under existing laws.

The group has given the impression over the last 18-24 months that it is in preparation for a violent conflict and has expressed itself with growing violent and hateful rhetoric and also violence on its small demonstrations.

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