Neo Nazi gathering in Cumbria (Don’t tell ’em yer name Scafell Pike!)

On Saturday, Patriotic Alternative, the latest attempt of British fascism to drag itself off the floor, held a conference in Cumbria. Despite anti-fascists gaining intelligence of the location of the event, it appears to have largely gone off successfully and gathered around 150 in attendance (PA itself claimed more).

PA is the brainchild of Mark Collett, a one-time protege of the head of the British National Party Nick Griffin (although they are now thoroughly estranged). Collett is attempting to build an organisation miles away from the rough and tumble of the English Defence League or Free Tommy movements. Rather than exploding onto the streets for head-on clashes with Muslim youth and the left, the strategy has been to slowly and surely build a cadre organisation with a publically acceptable outward face whilst incubating all kinds of the worst neo-Nazi and white supremacist ideas.

PA have built slowly through vetting members and inviting them out on private social events such as hikes. The strategy seems to be paying off. Freedom spoke to antifascist research group Red Flare who have been following PA since the beginning. “Patriotic Alternative are cut from the same cloth as the banned neo-Nazi group National Action. Although PA are careful to promote a softer, more family-friendly image, their members still harbour the same genocidal ambitions. PA are vile Hitler obsessives who are grooming the next generation of terrorists. PA need to be opposed by anti-fascists and not allowed to continue to grow without scrutiny.”

The conference itself took place at the Villa Levens hotel in Cumbria. Booked under false pretences (of course) the event was rumbled and the hotel informed by 9 a.m. Freedom spoke to the hotel at 10 a.m. and staff there reassured us that the police had been called and the event had been cancelled. Similar inquiries had obviously been made by other organisations because by mid-morning, the word had spread across anti-fascist social media, fuelled by Unite Against Fascism and Hope not Hate. 

If only anti-fascism were that easy! By mid-afternoon, spotters on the ground were confirming that the fascists were still at the hotel. Freedom spoke to the hotel again at 4 p.m and, despite repeatedly insisting throughout the day that the fash knees up had been cancelled, they were now only able to say “we can neither confirm nor deny” before hanging up. Collett later claimed on a livestream that the hotel had called the police after PA had refused to leave the premises.

Allan Jones, spokesman for Red Flare said “Claims about fascist activity should not be based on speculation or wishful thinking but on verifiable information. PA are a fringe group whose views most people would be disgusted by, but exaggerated and premature claims of their demise only serve to demobilise opposition. Yesterday’s events should be a reminder that we cannot rely on business owners and bosses to do anti-fascism for us. The Villa Levens hotel has serious questions to answer about their role in hosting a fascist conference. Fascists have no right to organise when the ultimate conclusion of their politics is genocide. They should be shut down at any opportunity and we will continue to unmask the people involved and reveal the locations of their events.”

If any workers or guests at the hotel have information to share about the conference or its attendees, you can contact Red Flare in strictest confidence by email at [email protected] or using Signal messenger on +447459331025.