Derek Jackson, an anti-vaccination local election candidate for the Liberal Party (no connection to the Liberal Democrats), arrived at the Emirates Arena during the election count wearing sunglasses, a black suit, and a yellow star whilst performing a Nazi salute.
Mr Jackson, who was running for Glasgow’s Southside seat, was accompanied by several Liberal Party campaigners who were all dressed identically to Mr Jackson, and who were also performing the salute. Each of them had drawn red hearts onto the palms of their hands, and when performing the Nazi salute, would claim it was a “love salute.”
The yellow stars, designed to resemble the ones that Jewish Holocaust victims were forced to wear as a mark of identification, had the word “UNVAX” written on them. When questioned about the stars, the Liberal Party representatives stated that they were “sheriff badges.”
In an attempt to satire what he perceived to be the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) restrictions on hate speech, Mr Jackson performed the Nazi salute to a crowd of baffled onlookers as he proclaimed: “Love everyone…spread love…we’re just here to love everybody.”
Speaking directly to the crowd, he went on to say: “You’ve all got to love us as well. You’ve all got to love everybody, people you’ve never met before. You’ve got to care about people everywhere, all the time. You’ve got to give up your freedom and your liberty to love people you never met before.”
After being called a racist by a member of the crowd, Mr Jackson apparently grew agitated. He adopted what appeared to be a frustrated and confrontational tone and stated: “I hope you’re not stupid enough, all of you…I hope none of you are stupid enough to believe we’re promoting fascism, when plainly, and very obviously, we’re here to satire and parody the fascist SNP hate laws. Obviously. Are you all so stupid? Are you all so stupid, you think we’ve come here to promote fascism and racism and Nazism. Really? We are here to campaign against the SNP’s fascist hate speech laws which criminalise you expressing your thoughts in your home.”
Mr Jackson and his supporters were later escorted out of the arena by police.
The Liberal Party has now expelled Mr Jackson and given him a lifetime ban.
Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination networks have become known as hotbeds of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes, and this is not the first time that anti-vaccination campaigners have used the yellow star during events. Recently, London protestors were condemned online for wearing the yellow stars, while French protesters were seen wearing them at a demonstration in Avignon. They have also been seen elsewhere in Europe and North America.
Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.