A look behind the scenes in National Action

Duncan Cahill - 13 12 16

With the news that Nation Action (NA) is to be proscribed as a terrorist organisation it gives HOPE not hate the chance to expose some of the people actively involved in the background of the organisation, who keep themselves on the fringes, but nevertheless have a crucial role within the group.

Raymond: Drunk on lager and publicity

Since their inception, NA has taken the influences seeping out of radical nationalist groups from the Baltic States, Germany, France and Scandinavia and moulded and choreographed them into something they thought would be appealing to young people in the United Kingdom. The group’s founder, Ben Raymond, had been toying around with ideas and ideological inspiration for his group since he had a (bizarre) facebook page and website years before he had any followers. He also looked for a funder and a guiding hand, and found that in Larry Nunn, a former British National Party (BNP) organiser from Northampton who helped Raymond set up the group in 2012 after Raymond teamed up with former BNP member Alex Davies to write the group’s manifesto. Much of this is covered in further depth and detail here:

Larry Nunn: Every Nazis go-to man

Raymond’s great attraction was to a radical fusion of anti-Capitalist and anti-Communist ideals that had already found their way into the UK in the late 1980’s and again in the late 90’s when they were updated and further still, again, in 2005.

Ashley Bell: Straight Edged and militant

This fusion, a “browning of the blackshirts” or often (later) referred to as “National Bolshevism” copies some of the mantra previously and traditionally espoused by the radical left. Straight Edge, militant environmentalism as well as anti-hunting / vivisectionist activists have been the favourites for targeting by fascists since the 1980’s when the then future BNP leader Nick Griffin turned the National Front on its head and destroyed it by uber radicalisation. Radical groups that operate in these areas have always given short shrift to fascist infiltrators and so we often found fascists poorly mimicking such groups.

Jimmy Hey in Liverpool earlier this year

The core of these radical ideas was co-opted into the group via Ashley Bell (AKA Tommy Johnson) and others. The former English Defence League (EDL) footsoldier had left the EDL when he became disillusioned with the drinking and drug taking the group was most famous for, and found himself immersed with Davies and Raymond in plotting a more austere and angrier far-right group than any had been involved in before. Hs left the National Front (NF) and they never really forgave him.

Part of this “austere” image was most in part to the group’s youth and its severe lack of funding. When National Action found itself wanting to pursue outdoor activities like training and “Hate Camps” for their activists it was Larry Nunn (who also uses the name Max Musson) who helped provide for them. Nunn is also advising National Action members on how to avoid arrest or criminal charges related to their National Action activities.

Fontana: Recruiter for mercenaries

The first camp training camp NA organised was run under the name Sigurd Legion and led by Craig Fraser, though Fraser soon dropped out when the camps were exposed in the media.

The person who stepped in to train National Action is Martial Arts trainer Jimmy Hey, owner of the APEX Gym in Great Harwood, Lancashire.

Hey seems to take a good deal of influence from the Misanthropic Division (MD) / AZOV Battalion from the Ukraine, a group that is also domiciled here in the UK and led by the Italian neo-Nazi and mercenary Francesco Saverio Fontana.

Over the last two years, Hey has opened his gym to members of National Action to train in mixed martial arts as well as join them playing around with air rifles- mimicking battle scenarios which one assumes is to impress the MD’s leader in this country, Fontana. A number of National Action supporters/members, have decided however to apply to join the British Army instead.

As violence and acting like paramilitaries became more and more important to the group this year, Hey gave a speech National Action’s private conference held in Liverpool. He spent 30 minutes outlining his philosophy of fighting and the importance of healthy living and fitness to fight for what the group believed in.

Hey: training with Misanthropic Division badges

We believe there may have been a small schism in the group. Members of the group have become more paranoid about infiltration, a short burst of arrests of their activists and also concerned that their leader, Raymond, is too childish and drunk on cheap lager and publicity to be taken serious.

The banning of National Action will not drive it “underground”. The group already operates as such. Already the group’s members are saying they will continue to organise and march en bloc together at other demonstrations, as like most people, they are still unclear as to how draconian the policing of the ban will be. Yesterday they were still encouraging people to get involved with them.

Will those now who have advised, trained and promoted the group follow suit? Yesterday, the group’s international liaison officer sent his Mother to the front door to tell a TV news crew to “piss off.” That’s a start


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