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20mph demos ‘piggybacked’ by far right – extremism experts

02 Nov 2023 3 minute read
20mph road sign.

Emily Price

Extremism experts have warned that far right figures and conspiracy theorists are attempting to “piggyback” on demonstrations against Wales’ new 20mph default speed limit.

The warning comes as leaked messaged reveal plans by right wing activists to march through Cardiff later this month in protest against the new speed limit and several conspiracy theories.

An invitation obtained by Nation.Cymru was shared by right wing group, Banners on Bridges via the encrypted messaging service Telegram.

Banners on Bridges is an outgrowth of the Covid-conspiracy movement, which organises people across the UK to stand by roadsides and bridges with yellow signs bearing conspiratorial messages.

The post calls for protesters to gather outside the National Museum Cardiff on November 18 for the ‘World Wide Rally for Freedom’.

An invitation obtained by Nation Cymru.

The invitation reads:

World Wide Rally for Freedom
No to 15 min Cities
No to a cashless society
No to 20mph
No to digital ID & CBDC
Together we are free

The ’15-minute cities’ concept has gathered pace in recent years as local governments try to find ways to cut down on carbon emissions and traffic.

Some people believe it is a sinister plot to remove rights and stop people from leaving their neighbourhood.

Conspiracy theory groups have argued that CBDC (central bank digital currencies) are the gateway to controlling a global population and are purely a tool to monitor and control the public.

The controversial issue of the new road regulation has gained both fierce support and heavy opposition.

A Senedd petition calling for the 20mph default limit to be scrapped has so far gained over 460,000 signatures making it the most signed in Senedd history.

A number of rallies and protests have taken place across Wales since the limit was rolled out on September 17.

Recruit

However, extremism experts HOPE not hate have warned the far right are now using the protests as a way to recruit.

David Lawrence, Senior Researcher at HOPE not hate: “It’s certainly worrying that far right figures are attempting to piggyback on campaigns against transport changes.

“Of course, the majority of people campaigning against traffic measures do not step into harmful territory.

“However, the far right’s involvement stems from conspiratorial thinking about shadowy global elites controlling events from afar, and serves as a new avenue to try and recruit.”

Nation.Cymru also received a screen grab of another post sent via Telegram calling for protestors against the new speed limit to gather outside Cardiff Central train station on November 18.

An invitation shared by Joe Marsh via Telegram

The invite was shared by Joe Marsh of the neo-Nazi group, Patriotic Alternative.

Joe Marsh, also known as Jeff Marsh has been described as “one of the most extreme far-right activists” involved in anti-migrant demonstrations outside Llanelli’s Stradey Park hotel.

In 2015 Marsh was sentenced for throwing a female protester down a flight of stairs at an anti-austerity demonstration.

Joe Marsh of Patriotic Alternative. Image: Joe Marsh.

Marsh’s hooligan ‘Pie and Mash Squad’ gang created stickers celebrating the assault and reenacted it for group photos.

He was also previously an organiser for the English and Welsh Defence Leagues, anti-Muslim street protest groups, and a member of the fascist British National Party.

In a statement a South Wales Police spokesperson said: “South Wales Police is aware of the proposed march and it will be policed accordingly.”


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Llyn
Llyn
5 months ago

No surprise. This is who the Welsh Conservative Party have allied themselves -far-right, anti-vax, anti-abortion, conspiracy theorists. This is exactly who their MSs were mingling with outside the Senedd a few weeks ago.

oatmaster
oatmaster
5 months ago
Reply to  Llyn

It’s quite striking how all these things seem to go together. I’d be willing to bet that there’s nobody who is simultaneously anti-vax and in favour of the default 20mph speed limit.

Jeff
Jeff
5 months ago

And the Conservatives in Wales amplify it. The Tory conference openly spouted conspiracies.

Throws even more doubt on the numbers signing the petition.

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
5 months ago

The Tories have not allied them selfs with the far right THEY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN PART OF THE FAR RIGHT THEY ARE FAR RIGHT

Bethan
Bethan
5 months ago

Obviously. The public are familiar with the frenzied rhetoric of far-right lobbiests at this point. We haven’t been living under a rock for the last 20 years. If the same point is being written about over and over and over again, and you can’t go online without escaping it, and the narrative doesn’t really add up, is incoherent and sounds like the people writing it are in the middle of an explosive mental crisis, and are hostile to opposing viewpoints, jeer and shout down commentators and try to dictate the conversation. That’s right-wing extremists for you. It’s even more obvious… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 months ago

Andrew RT Davies & Welsh Conservatives have been actively fanning the flames on GB News including spouting lies on antisocial media about the blanket 20mph speed limit. Similar has been done by their English Conservative masters in London who have been actively condoning the mindless vandalism of ULEZ cameras that cost thousands to either repair or replace as witnessed when Iain” the quite man” Duncan Smith supported those morons daubing cameras.

Erisian
Erisian
5 months ago

Ooooh, they do love a wedge.
No useful ideas of course.
But they do love a wedge
Not a rational thought in their heads
But they do, so, very much.
Love a wedge

Karl
Karl
5 months ago

I would be shocked, but that far right loon Farage, has made it all obvious. Imagine saying prosecuting law abiding drivers is wrong, as they break the speed law. People need to call out the utter crap they are spewing.

Dafydd
Dafydd
5 months ago

It will be interesting to see how many of those signatories use the same postcode as I suspect many are not in Cymru and have put in any postcode they could find to sign it.

Alun Gerrard
Alun Gerrard
5 months ago

Who are these extreme right experts that give you this information? Are they people who dare disagree with the WG or Senedd? Arrest them all and vote Labour. Come on…grow up..!!

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