A group of neo-Nazis from “National Action” paraded in the centre of Newcastle at the foot of Grey’s Monument with a “Hitler was right” banner on Saturday. Members of the group performed Nazi salutes in the centre of the square. Some local people remonstrated with them but at least one onlooker returned their Nazi salute (see photo below). When a musician in the square attempted to play saxophone music, one of the neo-Nazis violently attacked him. In addition to the assault, the use of the banner and Nazi salutes constitute offences of racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm and distress under section 4A of the Public Order Act, as well as other possible offences.
The group previously attempted to demonstrate in Liverpool in August and September 2015, causing widespread public disorder and the cancellation of their demonstrations, with the group humiliated in August when they were unable to leave Liverpool Central train station. They then returned unannounced in November 2015 and delivered short speeches outside various public buildings and monuments in Liverpool, including speeches against Jews saying that: “Jews don’t care about me. They don’t care about you. They don’t care about any of us. All they care about is money and power.” Their video of the event contained additional antisemitic graphics and quoted from Adolf Hitler’s antisemitic diatribe, Mein Kampf. There have been no arrests.
In June 2015, “National Action” filmed themselves desecrating a menorah in Birmingham’s Cannon Hill Park by spraying graffiti and hanging a Nazi flag from it. There have been no arrests.
National Action’s blog contains 282 references to the word “Jew”, including accusations that Jews:
- Use the blood of non-Jews in rituals
- Usurp power through financial and political conspiracies
- “Terrorise” the non-Jewish population through usury
- Dilute Aryan races by operating the slave trade, then campaigning for civil rights in order to weaken Aryan races
Jonathan Sacerdoti, Director of Communication at Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “It is very clear that ‘National Action’ is an antisemitic neo-Nazi organisation which is trying to propagate fascist ideology and sees as its role models some of the most hideous figures in history. The group’s purpose is incitement to racial and religious hatred and its activities range from vandalism to violence. Unfurling a banner proclaiming ‘Hitler was right’ and performing Nazi salutes for less than ten minutes in a public square is cowardly and a deliberate effort to provoke disorder. This group is not a dying vestige of British neo-Nazism but a new, young movement and we are pleased that Northumbria Police are taking this incident so seriously. Enough is enough and this brazenly criminal group must be brought to justice. That young British people are openly idolising Adolf Hitler in Britain in the days before Holocaust Memorial Day is a reminder that for us to say ‘Never again’ with any confidence, we must be vigilant and fight antisemitic racism ruthlessly.”
A spokesman for Northumbria Police told Campaign Against Antisemitism: “Northumbria Police is carrying out enquiries into the protest that was held at Monument in Newcastle City centre at 1:55pm on Saturday, January 23. We had no prior warning that the protest was due to take place and city centre officers attended immediately after receiving information that it was happening. Upon officers’ arrival the demonstration had ended and we believe it lasted less than 10 minutes. We have received one report of assault and we are in the process of investigating this along with looking into whether any other offences may have taken place. Detectives are checking CCTV footage from the city centre area and material posted on social media and enquiries are ongoing.”