Capitolising On Violence: How British far right extremists reacted to last night’s horrific scenes in Washington D.C.
7 January 2021
While much of the world looked on in horror as a mob of extremists and anti-democracy activists invaded and ransacked one of the world's most well-known symbols of democracy, extremists in the UK looked on in glee and with some envy that similar was not happening here. Extremism breeds extremism and the events that took place at the US Capitol have only encouraged those who dream of dismantling democracy in this country.
This blog post shows examples of some of these responses. They include calls for Parliament to be occupied and threats to British politicians, alongside antisemitic and racist language. These are taken from two fringe social media platforms used by far right extremists: Gab and 4Chan. They are yet another example of why internet regulation is urgently needed to help control the spread of online extremism, as Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu described today.
One of the prevailing reactions from British far right extremists to events in Washington D.C. has been calls for similar events to take place here in the UK, either at Parliament or Downing Street. These posts are from a dedicated network of British users on Gab called 'Britfam', which is regularly populated with antisemitism, racism and Holocaust Denial:
Encouragement to take action in the UK was not just limited to Gab. Individuals on the anonymous imageboard site 4Chan were also doing the same, specifically on British threads on the “politically incorrect” message board:
Antisemitism was not central to the protests in Washington D.C., although the presence of antisemitic activists has been well documented. Nevertheless, it is unsurprising that some far right extremists are using what took place to promote antisemitism. In this example, a user posted in Britfam labelling the Prime Minister Boris Johnson a “nervous Yid”. Yid is a racist slur for Jew.
Another user in Britfam posts called Facebook’s Vice President of Integrity, Guy Rosen, “another Jew silencing us”, after Facebook removed a video by U.S. President Trump:
The below post from Britfam shows a user labelling AP (the Associated Press) as Rothschilds and encourages individuals to “hunt the f****rs”. Hostility to the mainstream media ('MSM') and the association of the media with a Jewish conspiracy are common themes in far right discourse:
In June last year, CST’s report Hate Fuel: the hidden online world fuelling far right terror exposed the shocking extent of terror incitement and anti-Jewish hate created and circulated by right wing extremists on social media. It showed how this is a global movement of like-minded activists inciting each other on alternative social media platforms, in which, crucially, far right activists in the United States often take the lead in influencing British neo-Nazis. Individuals on these alternative platforms are constantly looking for ways to exploit and influence online debate over mainstream politics by injecting their extremist views. This problem persists, and the images and media from Washington D.C. have been swiftly transformed into a steady stream of far right, conspiracy-driven propaganda. As CST has constantly highlighted, this is a global problem requiring global solutions.