Why are Football Lads Alliance leaders promoting right wing extremist events?

The Football Lads Alliance (FLA) continues to say that it is a movement against all forms of extremism. However the FLA’s leading figure, John Meighan, gave his support to an event called by right wing extremists last Saturday.

The FLA has also been promoting an event on 5 November called by an extreme Islamophobic group, “The People’s Charter”.

If the FLA is really a movement against all forms of extremism why is it promoting events called by fringe and far right organisations?

Far from dealing with the extremists in its own ranks some in the FLA seem to be encouraging supporters to go to events organised by racist and far right groups.

There is a contradiction between what some in the FLA say and what they then do.

John Meighan tweeted support for a march last Saturday by the “Chelsea Headhunters” and others with far right connections. Shockingly the march was allowed by the police to march past the East London Mosque. This was a clear attempt to intimidate the Muslim community.

Instead of condemning the extremist march John Meighan, wished the march “good luck”. When questioned about this by anti-racists Meighan said, “I will support anyone protesting against Islamic terrorism”.

So in other words it’s OK to march on a Mosque and through an area with a large Muslim community because that’s where “Islamic terror” is based?

This despite the fact that every major Muslim organisation has spoken out against terror attacks. This is the kind of logic that has led to the rise in Islamophobic hate crime and at its most severe to the attack on Finsbury Park Mosque.

The FLA has  tweeted support for the protest called by a right wing, Islamophobic group “The People’s Charter” on 5 November, at the BBC in central London.

The People’s Charter say “the state-controlled BBC media have attacked “our Anglo-Celtic culture”. The six points of the People’s Charter include point five: “Migrants to integrate into British nation-state, i.e. to require English as our core language, ban Sharia law, resist multiculturalism, and oppose political correctness”.

The People’s Charter marched alongside ex English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson on a “UK Against Hate” march last June in Manchester that saw anti-racists attacked and a pigs head thrown at those opposing the racist march.

John Meighan is leading a movement that has put thousands of people on the streets. He says the FLA will mobilise more the next time they organise a national march.

The FLA is also calling for a mobilisation by its supporters on 12 November, Remembrance Sunday. The FLA are asking London supporters to assemble, with wreaths, to “parade” in honour of the fallen. They are asking other FLA supporters to do the same at war memorials around the UK.

Meighan claims he is against all extremism, but his and the FLA’s support for events like last Saturday’s East London march and the BBC protest called by “The Peoples Charter” is opening the door to extremists who see the FLA as a recruiting ground.