They never went away you know
On 30th January 2016 months and months of far-right agitation and a failure by police to curtail their activities led to a pre-planned full day’s riot in the Kent town of Dover.
The violence was some of the most ferocious experienced observers had witnessed in over a decade as fascists from a variety of nasty little gangs ripped up pavements and flung rocks into Antfascist and anti-racist protesters, locals and the police.
Over thirty people were convicted and jailed for their part in the rioting. It was the pinnacle of months and months of tension, intimidation and violence enacted by a dangerous but evaporating movement. There was also violence in Liverpool, Thanet and Manchester.
Antifascists stood firm on all occasions and the fascists failed to make gains from their disastrous forays. Many of their number went on to graduate for far greater violence.
Atkinson on a northern day out with the National Front in 2016
These victories for Antifascists did not come without significant personal cost to some. A photographer covering the riot in Dover was set upon by one violent Nazi thug and received life changing injuries. That thug, Peter Atkinson from Birkenhead, was jailed for seven years for the attack on photographer Kelvin Williams. So brutal was the assault carried out by Atkinson that although the rioting was largely and deliberately ignored by much of the mainstream press, his vicious assault on the journalist Williams made national and international news.
And now, having served a portion of his sentence, Peter Atkinson appears to be back. One assumes Atkinson is still on some kind of license, but it would appear he sees it as a license to propagate even more racist and Nazi violence. If anything, Atkinson is now worse than ever. Posting on a Russian version of Facebook, Atkinson is encouraging racist violence at a level that even exceeds the levels of 2016. He has obviously kept himself abreast of the machinations within the Nazi movement while he was incarcerated.
With plenty of apparent time to be idle, it’s clear Atkinson is a prolific, committed and dangerous racist still. The content of his “social” media is gravely concerning considering he has such a proven penchant for harming others. Much of his output is just too extreme to post here, but he have given you just a flavour. I do hope the probation service is on top of his activities and future plans.
More threats from the past
Mark Peel is probably not best remembered by many Antifascist observers. Before disappearing with his tail between his legs to Northern Ireland a few years back, he wound up as the leader of the superbly named English Volunteer Force (EVF), a ‘radical’ splinter from the English Defence League (EDL).
The EVF split on numerous occasions until all that was left of it was a few empty cans of mid strength lager, some broken hearts and marriages and a flight of fancy to Northern Ireland to live on the dole.
Peel has resurfaced on social media lately under the name Mark Greatyeight. Maybe it’s his new postcode and the lock down neck-lube filling him with bravado, but yesterday Peel, who also used to go by the name Errol Grey was issuing threats to Guardian journalist Owen Jones. According to Peel there is no shortage of the materials required for some kind of violent paramilitary assault on civil society. I suggest he at least cleans his trousers (for a change) before launching his revolution from the overflowing ashtrays of his former movement.
Diddy working with the Kiddies
For over a year now we have said little of the activities of former Nazi drug lord Shane Calvert, the re-coccuring and re-offending Nazi jailbird. A veteran of organised violence, Calvert, aka “Diddyman” has returned to Blackburn from prison and tried to reinvent himself as some kind of model citizen. HNH has watched as Calvert became some kind of poster-boy for the reformed. It is actually something we wholeheartedly support- the idea that people can change and by doing so make a significant and positive change and difference in the communities where they live.
Calvert’s violent activities were not just in the name of his gang, the North West Infidels (NWI). His influence extended into the National Front, British National Party and National Action too.
Lately he has been heralded in Blackburn for his work with young people in the guise of community chefs. We reported last year how he had placed a ban on anyone re-using the name of the NWI and we wondered aloud whether he was waiting until he was clear of legal constraints before launching his violent activities again.
The prospect of recreating a Dover scenario with Black Lives Matter supporters this weekend is getting many semi-retired far right activists hot under the collar, and Calvert is one of them.
Yesterday Calvert popped up chatting as if things and he had never changed, with the notorious and convicted animal abuser John “Snowy” Shaw. Shaw now runs a children’s football team in West Yorkshire when not engaged in activities for the reformed ‘mainland’ UDA.
Both men, veterans of jail and violence have hardly changed a bit in my humble opinion. Even when they are promoting caution and cowardice, it is the “we” we shall overcome.