Neo-Nazi terrorist group National Action has re-emerged under the new name of “System Resistance Network”, and is trying to recruit students in the North and the Midlands, according to The Sunday Times.
Founded in 2013, National Action quickly gained national attention for its openly far-right rhetoric and preparations to commit terrorist acts.
In June 2014, The Sunday Mirror revealed the group’s leader to be Benjamin Raymond, who reportedly wrote in an internet post: “There are non-whites and Jews in my country who all need to be exterminated. As a teenager, Mein Kampf changed my life. I am not ashamed to say I love Hitler.”
National Action was condemned at the time, with the former Labour Europe Minister and long-time campaigner against antisemitism Denis MacShane calling the paper’s investigation “a wake-up call to those who think antisemitism doesn’t exist on university campuses.”
Then, in November 2016, The Times obtained a video of a secret meeting of the Yorkshire Forum, in which the group’s spokesman, Jack Renshaw, reportedly said that they need to adopt a “killer instinct” and that “As nationalists we need to learn from the mistakes of the national socialists and we need to realise that, no, you do not show the Jew mercy.”
National Action was proscribed as a terrorist organisation in December 2016 following a long campaign by Campaign Against Antisemitism and others. Under section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000, membership of a proscribed terrorist organisation is a criminal offence. Just last week, a man was jailed for eight years for being a member of the group.
But now the group has re-emerged under the new name of System Resistance Network (SRN), through which it continues to operate across parts of the country, particularly in the North and the Midlands, as well as online.
Not only did SRN once share an e-mail service with National Action, it also employs similar slogans, graphics and tactics. At a Pride event in Southampton last year, for example, members of the group papered the parade route with posters reading “Hitler was right”, and “Stop the faggots”.
According to The Ferret, which investigated the group in January 2018, SRN writes on its website that “the National Socialist never capitulates. He will never negotiate away his freedom. He will never compromise his ideals. We are revolutionary National Socialists united by struggle: the struggle against the System.”
And just this month, a 23-yearold man admitted to setting fire to a building in the University of South Wales campus, as well as covering a series of nearby landmarks in swastikas, the slogan “Marxist filth” and the initials “SRN”.
The re-emergence of neo-Nazi groups like SRN follows a series of warnings from the police that far-right activity is rising, with a recent study from controversial campaigning organisation Hope Not Hate, showing that threat from the British far-right is now coming from a younger generation.
Detective Superintendent Will Chatterton, of Counter-Terrorism Policing Northwest, said: “You can ban an organisation, but trying to turn people away from that violent ideology, in this case an extremist right-wing ideology, is a real challenge.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism thanks the police for their vigilance, and call on the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, to proscribe this appalling organisation.