Sam Melia exposed (again): leading Patriotic Alternative figure admitted past in Nazi terror group

David Lawrence - 08 08 22

Warning: this blog contains extreme and offensive language

Despite his denials, HOPE not hate can reveal that a leading Patriotic Alternative figure, Sam Melia, has admitted to his membership of the now-banned terror group National Action (NA). He also helped organise a series of Nazi meetups in 2017 and claimed he “signed up” to Vanguard Britannia, the group which became System Resistance Network, a short-lived NA successor.

Sam Melia is among the most influential figures in Patriotic Alternative (PA), the UK’s most active fascist group, being Regional Organiser of PA’s Yorkshire branch, husband to Deputy Leader Laura Towler and amongst its most regular public speakers and broadcasters. 

This is despite Melia also being a consistent source of bad press for PA, which attempts to hide its Nazi politics under a “family friendly” veneer. Most recently, Melia featured heavily in an undercover Dispatches exposé on PA. The programme, which aired in May, mentions his links to the now-banned Nazi terror outfit National Action (NA), which were first revealed by HOPE not hate in 2018.

PA, which has numerous documented links to NA, continues to deny Melia’s involvement, insisting in its official response that “Sam Melia has never had any involvement with National Action”. PA has also dismissed his use of racial slurs in the documentary as out of context.

However, HOPE not hate can now reveal posts from the Daily Stormer forums, a notorious Nazi website, in which Melia admitted that he “joined a local NA branch” and attempted to “make contact” with members of the group after its proscription under anti-terror laws in December 2016.

On 8 July 2017, Melia also met key members of the banned group, including leader Christopher Lythgoe, just one week after the Nazi activist Jack Renshaw had told Lythgoe that he planned to murder an MP. Melia had advertised the meeting on the Stormer forums in the days preceding it.

That same month, Melia also claimed that he had “signed up” to Vanguard Britannia, a Nazi group which soon rebranded to System Resistance Network (SRN). SRN would eventually also be banned by the Home Office as an “alias” of NA.

Sam Melia (front) leading an anti-refugee “flash” demonstration in Leeds, 2021

The Stormer Book Clubs

The Daily Stormer is an extreme misogynistic, antisemitic Nazi website that, under the direction of founder Andrew Anglin, became notorious for orchestrating brutal harassment campaigns against Jewish women. This included a vicious antisemitic campaign against the then-Labour MP Luciana Berger in 2014, who was targeted by the site after a member of NA was jailed for abusing her. 

In 2016-2017, at the height of its influence, the website encouraged its readership to establish regional offline meetings across the US and Europe, dubbed “book clubs”. Anglin stated the purpose of the groups was to “prepare for the coming race war”.

Melia, who posted on the forums under the pseudonym “FethingGaunt”, took steps to establish his own “book club” in Yorkshire. In a March 2017 post, Melia admitted his membership of NA, which had been banned just months previously: 

“I’m looking to setup a Yorkshire Book Club and thought the Yorkshire Forum in April would be a good starting point for a meet.

I was looking to get involved in the white nationalist movement a while back and joined a local NA branch and attended one rally before they were declared illegal and disbanded (great timing, thanks cucked gov). Since then I’ve not been able to make contact with anyone from the group so I thought I’d start from scratch myself.

Please message me here or on twitter @FethingGaunt if you’re interested.”

The Yorkshire Forum is a small fascist discussion group, and the April 2017 event mentioned by Melia was addressed by Alex Davies, co-founder and former co-leader of NA. Davies was recently jailed for membership of a proscribed organisation. As we revealed last month, he was also active in PA’s Welsh branch for at least two years.

Melia went on to play an organising role in several Stormer book club events in Yorkshire, mostly centred around Leeds and Bradford, describing them as a “small group but motivated”. After an event in Leeds, Melia wrote: “These bookclubs are the beginnings of a movement and we’re excited to be there at the genesis. We hope to see you at the next.”

In January 2018, Melia also attempted to rally users of the Daily Stormer forums to London for a “show of force for Trump’s state visit”.

The 8 July Meeting

As we revealed in our PA report, Melia was photographed alongside NA leaders in Manchester on 8 July 2017, several months after the group’s ban. Those snapped alongside Melia include Christopher Lythgoe, who is currently serving eight years for continuing to lead the terrorist group post-ban. Also present was Mark Jones, described by counterterror police as a “lynchpin in the national structure” of NA, who is now serving five and a half years for his role in the group. Radoslaw Rekke, himself a prominent activist, was also at the meeting.

Melia actively advertised the event on the Stormer forums ahead of the meeting, encouraging users to “Please DM [direct message] me your email addresses to receive time and location”. 

The meeting occurred just one week after Jack Renshaw, a Nazi in Lythgoe’s circle, had told Lythgoe that he was planning to kill an MP and a police officer. Renshaw is currently serving life in prison for the plot, which was only averted due to information received by HOPE not hate.

A subsequent post on the Stormer forums summarises the meeting: “The common understanding of all present was that the purpose of this group is the formation of a Mannerbund; a fascist brotherhood, based on the shared quest for continual self-improvement”, continuing that members agreed on the need for “hard physical training”, including “MMA, boxing/muay thai/grappling”. 

It continues: “There will be regular ideological instruction for members. The NS [National Socialist] worldview must be thoroughly understood. Compromise is death.”

Manchester, 8 July 2017. L-R: Lucas Beckett, Oliver Ashton, Christopher Lythgoe, unknown, Sam Melia, unknown, Radoslaw Rekke and Mark Jones

Vanguard Britannia

Notably, on 18 July that same year, Melia again took to the Stormer forums, asking: “Has anyone heard of Vanguard Britannia?”, posting a link to the group’s website. 

Vanguard Britannia, formed in June 2017, was a short-lived, highly antisemitic outfit named after Vanguard America, a US far-right group. Roughly two months after its founding, Vanguard Britannia was rebranded as System Resistance Network (SRN). SRN, which openly promoted “Racial Holy War”, would be banned by the Home Office in February 2020 as an “alias” of NA. 

Melia wrote that Vanguard Britannia “seem pretty on-point”. He continued: “I don’t reckon there’s any hope through democratic means […] I’ve signed up, this is exactly whats needed.” The extent of any involvement in SRN is unknown.

Racial Slurs 

In reaction to the Dispatches documentary, which included undercover footage of Melia using a racial slur, PA claimed that the footage was taken out of context. However, we can now reveal that Melia has a long history of using extreme racial epithets. 

For example, writing in 2017 [slur words starred out by us]: “I like to vary my vocabulary. N*gger, n*gs, n*gs, w*gs, gollyw*gs”, and also: “A couple of stone circles and these n*ggers think they’re architects.” There are many other instances of him using the N-word. He also described Asian people as “curryn*ggers” and Sajid Javid as “a fucking P*ki”, a word he repeatedly used in expletive-laden posts. He also referred to Jewish people as “k*kes”.

Melia has made numerous other appalling remarks, for example writing: “If tolerance means having a mentally ill degenerate interact with my children, then bring back the gas chambers.” Melia also retweeted a post celebrating the Finsbury mosque attack, which read: “This is the spirit that made Britain Great! 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧   When a patriot drives all the way from Cardiff to London just to run over some P*kis 🇬🇧”.

Patriotic Alternative: Rife with Extremists

The latest revelations about Melia are another blow to PA’s shallow attempts to hide its Nazism from the general public. We have previously exposed many other Nazi extremists embedded in the group, as well as other links to NA. 

For example, a former NA insider has gone on record to state that PA leader Mark Collett had collaborated with the group, and attempted to take a leadership role, prior to its ban. Last month we also revealed that Alex Davies, NA’s co-founder and co-leader, was active in PA’s Welsh branch for over two years, attending numerous demonstrations and writing for the PA website.

In addition, Kris Kearns (AKA Charlie Big Potatoes), formerly PA’s national “Fitness Officer” and co-host of the official PA Talk podcast, was a NA member, claiming he left the group “one minute before” its proscription. Jake Bewick, the Yorkshire branch fitness officer, was also previously involved in NA.

NA associates Michael Woodbridge and James Costello (AKA James Mac) remain active with the Welsh and North West branches of PA, respectively. Fenek Solère, the main writer for the PA website, wrote a series of lengthy essays and praised the group in a friendly interview for the NA website.

Mark Collett alongside NA members Jack Coulson and Wayne Bell, 2016

For more information on PA, read our report below.

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