Far-right thugs caught on camera doing disturbing ‘Nazi salutes’ in front of Cenotaph war memorial
Waving Union Jack flags, occasionally wearing face masks, almost always sipping beer and flashing Nazi salutes, an angry far-right mob made its way through London, England, as police officers, vastly outnumbered, appeared too paralysed to intervene.
The blob was a melting pot of, according to journalists on the ground, various right-wing groups and non-affiliates and it spilt onto the streets Saturday afternoon (June 13) to protect historic monuments that had been the target of Black Lives Matter protests in recent days.
Chiefly, a statue commemorating Winston Churchill alongside the Cenotaph war memorial. Britain’s World War II leader, that many consider racist, has become a flashpoint in a debate over Britain’s colonial, anti-Black history.
Police bracketed the now boarded-up landmark, protecting it from a Black Lives Matter demonstration that organisers called off, but instead now clashed with the counterprotesters, who had shown up to counter the cancelled protest by defending the statue of Churchill, who fought against the Nazis, by doing Nazi salutes and brutally beating the police, who were on-site to protect the statue and the Cenotaph.
And that sentence is, by far, the most 2020 thing ever written.
Far right thugs are “defending” the Cenotaph while doing the Nazi salute. https://t.co/K4tGtNuDcO
— Owen Jones says join a union? (@OwenJones84) June 13, 2020
It appeared Saturday’s counterprotest was the high-water point in the statue of slave trader Edward Colston being torn down and thrown into the harbour of Bristol port last weekend.
Vile videos show far-right gangs flashing Nazi salutes and chanting ‘England, England’.
The stone streets of the capital were turned into pinched, tear-gas shrouded battlegrounds as in and around Parliament Square, thousands of people wearing football shirts jeered “England, England” and gargled the national anthem.
Various groups, such as Britain First, English Defence League and the Football Lads Alliance, openly defied lockdown measures to travel from other parts of the country to pack the counterprotest.
The crowd was led by several hundred neo-Nazis who were then joined by thousands of ordinary citizens, donning polo shirts and baggy chino shorts in various dull tones and while others threw off their attire to show off sagging tattoos or openly urinated in the streets, footage and photographs showed.
I make the far-right demo at Parliament around 3k – 90% male, 75% over 40 – 3 groups: organised fascists, DFLA and a penumbra of traditional drunk old football hooligans along for the ride… no counter-demonstrators in sight
— Paul Mason (@paulmasonnews) June 13, 2020
They gathered alongside military veterans to guard the Cenotaph war memorial. Songs in support of right-wing activist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who goes by the name of Tommy Robinson, echoed around the yellowing buildings.
Police, according to video footage, vastly stood their ground as bottles of unknown liquids were lobbed at them by the angry, vastly bald-headed mob.
The counterprotesters pulsed and seethed, kicking and jostling and twirling their fists like Popeye while some pummeled police officers, the foam from crushed beer fans spraying on the pavement.
Far-right activists punching cops in Westminster. Isn’t this the kind of disorder they said was the reason they wanted to stop BLM? pic.twitter.com/OscQdacxtd
— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) June 13, 2020
I don’t want to see a SINGLE journalist pretending not to know if Britain is a racist country. These people bought train tickets to London to defend statutes that glorify slavery and racism. This is Britain don’t ever get it twisted.
— Chanté said ABOLISH THE POLICE ????? (@ChantayyJayy) June 13, 2020
More footage showed the gangs encountering ripped-up Black Lives Matter signs made of cardboard. “F***ing all lives matter,” one of the bald men, wearing a Union Jack face mask and clenching a can of Stella Artois, growled.
— mina wid da nina (@chowmina_) June 13, 2020
“Burn-a-boy,” another taunted, the footage showed. “Throw some petrol on the Black c**t.”
Police were tipped ahead about the possibility of a counterprotest and enforced a 5pm curfew.
“Bring tools”, “Punishment will be served” pic.twitter.com/61MPNF4CnB
— Tottenham Fans Against Fascism (@Tottenhamx161) June 6, 2020
Moreover, the Metropolitan Police divided specific areas of the city for any right-wing and Black Lives Matter protests respectively.
The agency also put a Section 60 order in place until Sunday, giving officers enhanced powers to stop and search individuals.