I decided to make a post about a racist Facebook page called Englisc Resistance, partly because I've seen a degree of misinformation about it being spread in antifascist circles. During the course of my research, however, the page closed down - although you can see an archive of it here. The Englisc nationalist movement can notch up yet another casualty...
As far as I can tell, the first significant mention of Englisc Resistance in an antifascist context is in this Vice article from September 12 2014, which briefly namechecks it as one of multiple "small but likeminded ethnic English groups".
Three days later Vice.com published an article by a different author, about a protest that was attended by members of far-right groups; "From the flags, it looked like it included the National Front (NF) and someone from the Englisc Resistance (that is the correct spelling)", states the article. This comment is illustrated with a photo showing the flags referred to:
This is where things have started to become distorted. The author appears to be working on the assumption that the symbol on the left-hand flag, showing a white dragon, a stylised swastika/fylfot and the slogan "Englisc - We Fear No Foe", is associated specifically with Englisc Resistance. This is presumably because both use the antiquated spelling "Englisc".
What the author seems unaware of is that Englisc Resistance is one part of a larger movement which also includes the Anglo-Saxon Foundation, the Steadfast Trust and other groups. Multiple people within this movement - which I have termed Englisc nationalism - have used the logo in question; for example, the Anglo-Saxon Foundation member Wodensson has it as his forum avatar:
I've also noticed a variation of the symbol, with St. George's Cross instead of a swastika, being used by some of the slightly less extreme nationalist groups:
A few months after the Vice.com articles went up, the Bristol Antifascists blog ran a list of various far-right groups. Influenced by Vice's work, this list includes Englisc Resistance in relation to the "Fear No Foe' swastika logo:
The description beneath the photo actually fits Englisc nationalism as a whole - the blog is confusing Englisc Resistance with the wider movement to which it belongs. The reference to burning crosses in forests is clearly derived from the first Vice article, which covers an unspecified nationalist group engaging in this activity but gives no indication that Englisc Resistance was responsible.
The following month, Brighton Antifascists published a list of far-right symbols which identifies the "Fear No Foe" swastika as the logo of Englisc Resistance:
I believe the man in this photograph to be Piers Mellor, who briefly appeared in the Exposure: Charities Behaving Badly talking about his involvement in the BNP, British Movement and National Front. Here is Mellor's response to the above snippet:
To give Mellor his due, I believe that he's entirely right in this tweet.
Having - hopefully - cleared up some misconceptions about Englisc Resistance, let's take a look at exactly what the people behind this now-defunct Facebook page stand for...
To start with, ER engaged in the tried-and-true Englisc nationalist practice of referring to non-white people as "orcs" and gloating over their deaths:
Despite being ostensibly focused on England r ather than the southern USA, the page showed a strange fascination with the Confederate flag. The first of these images is my favourite, making a nonsensical relation between the losing side of the American Civil War and the Anglo-Saxon festival of Eostre:
There are flags which Englisc Resistance was less keen on, however - such as the rainbow flag of gay rights:
In this post, Englisc Resistance republished an antisemitic cartoon from Der Sturmer:
In July the group posted a set of photos from a military exhibition; I did some digging and found that these images come from the War and Peace Revival in Kent. Predictably, English Resistance focused on the Nazi exhibits:
Englisc Resistance also appreciated this display of Ku Klux Klan memorabilia:
(Incidentally, the last of these images is from a Woden's Folk event at Avebury - more photos from the occasion can be seen in this video)
I couldn't help but notice that all three photos appear to show the same person. Each time the subject shares a similar build and, in two of them, even wears the same coat. So who is this mystery man?
Well, looking closely at the second image, I spotted something awfully familiar about that half-shaved haircut. He reminded me of Darren Clarke, one of the Steadfast Trust supporters seen in the Exposure: Charities Behaving Badly documentary. Here's a comparison:
I then compared the other two photos of the Englisc Resistance mystery man with one of Darren Clarke, taken at a March for England event:
Yup. I think we have our man.
Who is Darren Clarke? Well, when I first mentioned him on this blog, he was just another racist in the Englisc nationalist movement. He then went on to become the secretary of the Ipswich English Community Group. Not long afterwards he became an unlikely TV star when he turned up in the undercover footage seen in the Exposure documentary. I later demonstrated that Clarke was almost certainly the author of the book White Wyrm Rising: A Journey into Modern English Nationalism; in the same post, I provided strong evidence that Clarke is also the identity of the Stormfront member "Atrociter".
There is further evidence tying Clarke to Englisc Resistance. He was a regular poster in the page's comments section; here he is, showing his support for the Confederate flag:
Like many in the Englisc nationalist movement, Clarke likes to paint himself as an ordinary Englishman. But how many ordinary Englishmen feel such a passionate commitment to the cause of the Confederate States? How many would literally fly the flag for a neo-Nazi cult, as Clarke appears to be doing in the photo of the Woden's Folk gathering?
I will be keeping an eye out for Englisc Resistance in case it turns up again in a different form...