The British right-wing group deviates from Trump’s attention



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Matthew J. Goodwin, a scholar at Chatham House who studies extreme right politics in Britain, said Britain first "was not really a populist right wing but basically a neo-Nazi movement."

It emerged in 2011 as a branch of the far-right British National Party, and while it has shown some interest in electoral politics, it is best known for confrontational tactics that have left the authorities horrified and restless.

"On the scale of far right groups, this is one very far to the right," Goodwin said, citing tactics such as what the group calls "invasions" of mosques. "Britain is seen as a pseudo paramilitary group."

He added: "They have achieved what they want, which is the attention of the global media."

Through a spokesperson, Ms. May said that "Great Britain seeks first." dividing communities through the use of odious narratives that spread lies and fuel tensions. "British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called Britain" a divisive and odious group whose opinions are not in line with our values. "

Some legislators the opposition Labor Party went further and urged Ms. May, who runs the Conservative Party, to rescind an invitation to Mr. Trump to make a state visit to Britain. "The president of EE . UU It is normalizing hatred, "wrote a lawmaker, Chuka Umunna, on Twitter." If we do not say this, we're on a very dangerous path. "

In Britain, right-wing groups have been scrutinized growing amid concerns that anti-immigrant sentiment and xenophobia are gaining ground in the difficult climate surrounding the decision to leave the European Union.

In September, four army soldiers were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism. "At that time, police said the men were suspected of being a member of National Action, an extreme right-wing group that was banned last year and is known for its anti-Semitic, homophobic and racist views.

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Paul Golding, leader of Britain First and Ms. Fransen in February at a first British rally in Telford.

] Credit
Rex Features, through the Associated Press

In November 2016, Thomas Mair, a man with a history of extreme right beliefs, was convicted of murdering Jo Cox, a Labor Party legislator, a week before the referendum Britain's June on whether to leave the block Witnesses told the police that Mr. Mair had shouted "Great Britain first!" While stabbing and killing Mrs. Cox. (It was not known that he had any direct link with the organization, and the group denied any link)

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Britain First has caught the attention of the authorities on several occasions in recent years.

In 2015, police in Bedfordshire, a county north of London, obtained a court order prohibiting Ms. Fransen and group leader Paul Golding from entering any mosque or Islamic center in England and Wales without an invitation.

The judge, Judge Robin Knowles of the Supreme Court, also prohibited them from publishing or distributing material that may provoke racial hatred, and from using threats, words or abusive or insulting behavior.

Justice Knowles accepted the police's argument that managing Britain First's demonstrations had placed a heavy burden on the police at a time of budgetary restrictions. However, the judge declined to prohibit Mr. Golding and Ms. Fransen from entering the city of Luton to conduct an anti-Muslim march, as requested by the police.

The court's warning did not dissuade Ms. Fransen. [19659019] Last year, he returned to Luton for a so-called Christian patrol attended by some 20 badociates, who distributed simulated newspapers with the headline: "The third world war has begun: Islam against the world."

In a group confrontation videotaped, Ms. Fransen threw abuse and waved a cross to a woman wearing a hijab. He shouted that Muslim men made women cover themselves so as not to be raped.

"He shouted at me, saying, 'Why are you covered?', And he said it several times, 'said the woman, Sumayyah Sharpe. He testified "I told him that it was my choice that I covered, then I turned to the camera and said," Film me, I'm British, I'm a British Muslim. "It's my choice to wear these clothes and it's my right."

Ms. Fransen was convicted of "aggravated religious harbadment" and fined 2,000 pounds, or about $ 2,700.

It did not stop, authorities said.

In May, she was charged with harbadment in Kent, in southeastern England, after she appeared outside the previous home of a Muslim man who had been accused of raping a teenager.

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This month, she was arrested in London for a speech she delivered at an anti-terrorist rally in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in August. She was accused of "using threatening, abusive and insulting words or behavior" and must appear in court in Belfast on December 14, according to the London police.

Ms. Fransen has made some policy attempts: she was the candidate of her group to run for the European Parliament in 2014, and for the London Assembly in 2016, without success. Britain calls itself "a patriotic political party and a street movement", but has never approached choosing a member of Parliament.

According to Hope Not Hate, a group fighting against racism, Britain was initially supported by James Dowson, a former Calvinist minister from Northern Ireland who has expressed support for Mr. Trump, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and the vote of Great Britain to leave the European Union. But it broke away from Britain first in 2014 for its tactic of "mosque invasions."

Nick Ryan, a spokesman for Hope Not Hate, estimated that Britain had around 1,000 active members and said it had no rudder or financial problems. . He expressed his fear that Mr. Trump's attention could revive the group.

"Trump has thrown fuel on a dying fire," he said.

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