Police raided homes of far-right extremists arrested as they gathered to support a ‘loner’ who used Twitter to send a Nazi ‘Jude’ yellow star to the Liverpool MP Luciana Berger.
Merseyside police arrested nine supporters of the jailed internet troll Garron Helm in a street operation near the Liverpool office of the MP for Wavertree.
Heim, known online as Aethelwulf Helm, had served a four week sentence for calling the shadow public health minister a ‘communist Jewess’ in a Twitter message signed ‘#Hitler was right’.
The sentence imposed by District Judge Andrew Shaw was the first ever imposed for anti-semitic tweeting. Police told the Liverpool Echo that one day after Helm’s release, nine men and one woman, all believed to be members of the secretive neo-Nazi group National Action, were arrested near Luciana Berger’s constituency office at the UCATT building in Derwent Road East, Stoneycroft. They have been released on police bail.
Armed police with forensic teams and dogs raided a house in Ronald Street, Old Swan, and the neo-Nazi Stormfront online forum claimed that eight National Action members were arrested.
Helm, 21, from Litherland, described in court as an ‘immature loner’ and said to be ‘deeply remorseful’, returned to Facebook after serving the sentence to claim:
It has come to my attention that eight National Action activists were arrested yesterday while demonstrating and attempting to meet with me in Liverpool.
Make no mistake, my imprisonment was the beginning of a long and bloody campaign against our movement and will of the British people.
You need to be vigilant from now on. If you even remotely associate yourself with NA you will be monitored by Special Branch.
Another Facebook member called ‘John London’ wrote:
They had planned a demonstration for yesterday and apparently the police were waiting for them – no doubt to protect Jew You Know. They were searched and then arrested and held overnight while their homes were searched.
‘National Youth’ reported on Facebook:
A speech was to be given by the organiser of the event and a small banner was to be unfurled for a photo opportunity.
As our group reached Luciana Berger’s office, a group of officers approached them and carried out a stop and search.
Despite nothing untoward being found on them, they were still arrested, the allegation being that they had ‘conspired to cause criminal damage’. The basis for this being that someone, somewhere, apparently overheard someone else talking about doing something to Berger’s office.
The Daily Mirror have reported that the leader of National Action appears to be Benjamin Raymond, 25, a former double-glazing salesman who graduated in Politics from Essex University in 2013 and lives with his parents in Bognor. In a Facebook profile he said:
I live in Bognor Regis, a town that is basically white. I never saw a foreigner until I was a teenager.
People are civilised, healthcare is free, the air is clean – there are non-whites and Jews in my country who all need to be exterminated.
Luciana Berger MP spoke in Parliament in October 2011 in support of allowing MPs to use Twitter to send tweets from the chamber during debates. In a Commons speech she said
According to an e-mail that explained this amendment, the intention behind using the term “urgent messages” is to ban tweeting, among other things, from the Chamber. Twitter started five years ago and now has more than 100 million active users. More than 300 MPs use Twitter. It allows us, in a bite-sized 140-character nugget, to talk to people outside this place. While it is not a replacement for traditional forms of communication, it is a very useful way to connect with the communities we were elected to represent.
I believe that Twitter, for the reasons I outlined, allows our constituents to hold us to account better.
Picture of Lucian Berger MP by Emma Baum from Wikimedia Commons