“I despise Nazis as much as I despise Islamists.” – Tommy Robinson, October 2013
“The DFLA shuns the failed extremist politics, particularly far-left and far-right groups” – The DFLA, Mission Statement, 2019
“[Living in the UK] is now like living in … Nazi Germany” – Gerard Batten, UKIP leader, Dorset 2018
The Anti-Fascist Network has received evidence from anonymous sources within the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) that the DFLA have recently inaugurated a chapter of organised Polish Nazi hooligans. Furthermore we have learned that this group, that includes open Nazis in its leadership, was approached by the organisers of the #Panodrama event, held in Salford on the 23rd of February 2018, to provide security for Tommy Robinson and Gerard Batten, the leader of UKIP. We outline our information below.
On the 27th of January 2019, at the DFLA’s first Annual General Meeting, it was announced that a Polish chapter of the DFLA had been launched.
Matt Hunter (Thomas Hunter), Shaun Holt, Mathew Bartnik, Monika Piotrowska (‘Monika Ska’) and Tomasz Gawdziakowski, who are the admins of the DFLA Polish Chapter Facebook page, are all on record both demonstrating their strongly held racism and publicly advocating violence.
The everyday racism and violence of the DFLA Polish Division
Monika Ska: Pity that you weren’t there Matt Hunter at the time. You would show her where is her place.
Matt Hunter: I would probably go all the way and fuck her up and then all “ciapakom” (translators note: derogatory, racist term in Polish to describe brown skinned, often Asian person) in the vicinity and knowing how stuff goes, if I had good momentum I would also end up in a mosque to finish the mission.
Monika Ska: Remember, carry bacon with you because you don’t know what can happen.
Matt Hunter I will buy myself a small boar and I will walk it on a lead.
Matt Hunter: Counterdemo in Manchester. Who is up for fight with the lefties?
Tomasz Gawdziakowski: Always
Tomasz Gawdziakowski: Neither red nor rainbow, only nationalist England (translators note: rephrasing of anti-leftist, homophobic slogan of Polish far right).
This is, though unfortunate, unsurprising. Racism is to be expected from the DFLA. Although the nature of this organisation has become increasingly clear, with known fascists attending marches and incidents of sieg heiling, racial abuse and attacks on leftists increasing, concrete evidence of this being condoned at the organisational level of the DFLA has been lacking. However scratching the surface, and looking behind Facebook pseudonyms shows the Polish Chapter of the Democratic Football Lads Alliance openly displaying Nazi tattoos and insignia.
Tomasz Gawdziakowski is a Nazi
This is Tomasz Gawdziakowski. As well as the charming flag and an equally massive swastika on his chest, he has a Combat 18 T-shirt and a ‘C18′ tattoo. Combat 18 (the 18 stands for AH for Adolf Hitler) was a notorious British Neo-Nazi terrorist group. His other tattoos are ’88’ (stands for Heil Hitler), ’14’ (meaning the ’14 words’, a white supremacist slogan) and the death’s head logo of the SS. Tomasz plays an active role in leading the Polish Division of the DFLA and was present at the inaugural AGM of the DFLA, with both him and his girlfriend Monika Piotrowska operating as Admins of the Polish Chapter’s Facebook group.
The Anti-Fascist Network find it is important to highlight these links, not so we can claim that the whole organisation is Neo-Nazi, but to add to the mounting pile of evidence that the DFLA’s mission statement of being anti-racist, anti-extremist and anti-bigotry is hollow and untrue. If any moderates still remain following the split with the FLA last year, it is time to jump ship. Our sources within the DFLA have been growing increasingly concerned with the realisation that both their organisation and other far-right figureheads such as Tommy Robinson, though branding themselves as being average and representing the views of moderate citizens, have swerved far enough to the right to tolerate and even request the presence of Nazis.
Less than a month after the inauguration of the Polish Chapter, Robinson announced that he would be hosting a demonstration outside of the BBC offices in Salford, Manchester. Robinson would be screening his new documentary, speaking and hosting speeches from other far-right activists including Danny Tommo (Robinson’s secretary), Avi Yemini (an Israeli-Australian far-right activist) and Gerard Batten (the leader of UKIP). Robinson reached out to the DFLA to provide security for the himself and the speakers. The DFLA is often tasked with the protection of less physically capable far-right activists, for example by providing security for the frail members of Generation Identity last year. The DFLA tasked their Polish chapter with providing the muscle for the day.
Polish DFLA invited to be security for Tommy Robinson and Gerard Batten
I am pleased to inform that our DFLA Division Poland had been commended by the Board. We invite all those that would like to be personal security for Tommy Robinson at the march planned in Manchester for 23rd February. All information provided by Matt Hunter.
The members of the Polish Chapter were enthusiastic at the prospect of protecting Britain’s far-right. To corroborate the above requests we can provide pictures taken on the day of the 23rd, showing the presence of Tomasz Gawdziakowski, Shaun Holt and others acting in the capacity of security for the demonstration. That demonstrates that at the organisational level there is both an alliance between the DFLA and Robinson, and that both Robinson and the DFLA took the decision to instruct Nazis to serve active roles in the campaign.
Tommy Robinson and the Polish Nazis
The appearance of a serving politician and head of an active British political party at a rally involving such a presence of far-right forces, including using Nazi hooligans for security, has been unheard of ever since the fall of the BNP. However since Gerard Batten took the helm of UKIP, the party has been progressively moving further to the right. Batten’s attempts to recruit Tommy Robinson, the efforts to make UKIP the party of right wing street movements, and open displays of Islamaphobia leads one to wonder if Mr Batten feels that present-day Dorset is akin to Nazi Germany due to the fact, not that there are laws restricting the use of racial abuse, but that he appears to enjoy the company of Nazis so much.
Gerard Batten and the Nazis
One concern about Batten’s photographs is that within the present political terrain of the far-right in Britain, no matter how repugnant one’s views are on Islam, minorities or LGBTQIA people, it is still not generally acceptable to be a Nazi, or even to tolerate one, let alone take repeated selfies with them. Another is that it has also been, until recently, rare for British far-right groups to work together with one another, with the last large occurance being in Dover 2016. The past few weeks has seen a worrying shift in both these two factors. This demonstrates on the one hand the increasingly close organisational links at the highest levels between UKIP, Tommy Robinson and the DFLA, and on the other hand the ever increasing shift to the far-right which means that all of them, despite their words, are just fine with recruiting Nazis.
These two factors fuel the Anti-Fascist Network’s repeated call for unity in the left and numbers on the streets.