National Socialising: Patriotic Alternative and the militant Nordic Resistance Movement

David Lawrence - 28 11 22

Warning: this blog contains extreme and offensive imagery

Patriotic Alternative (PA), the UK’s most active fascist group, continues to try to hide its extremism from the public, presenting itself as a “family friendly”, community-orientated group.

Despite this, we have repeatedly exposed the extremism and antisemitism at the heart of PA. This includes a number of former members and associates of the now-banned terrorist group, National Action, who have been welcomed into PA and even promoted to official positions. 

PA also has links to extreme international groups, including the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM), a pan-Nordic, militant Nazi organisation that is banned in Finland. The PA leadership has repeatedly praised and collaborated with NRM, a group that aims to abolish democracy, install a “national socialist” dictatorship and eventually rid the Nordic region of ethnic minorities.

Last month, PA even welcomed Andreas Johansson (AKA Andreas Holmvall), a key NRM propagandist, to speak at its national conference. According to Johansson, he went on to deliver a speech “about National Socialism, about Hitler and about Jews” to a receptive audience.

Speakers at PA’s national conference, 29 October 2022. L-R: Alek Yerbury, Steve Laws, Mark Collett, Laura Towler, Andreas Johansson, Steve Blake.

The Nordic Resistance Movement

Founded in 1997 by Swedish extremists, NRM promotes an explicitly revolutionary Nazi worldview and has established branches (“Nests”) across the Nordic region, although remains strongest in Sweden. Despite splits and the group’s proscription in Finland in recent years, NRM remains a prominent force in the European extreme right. 

As reported by the Anti-Defamation League in partnership with experts Jonathan Leman and Morgan Finnsiö of EXPO, NRM has “paramilitary and cult-like elements” and “a long and bloody history of armed attacks on private citizens, minority groups and democratic institutions”. The authors describe the group as “violence-oriented” and posing “an ongoing and serious public security threat” in the region, with its members:

taught to maximize their capacity and readiness for physical confrontations, encouraged to dehumanize their targets, instructed to use pre-emptive, brutal and disproportionate force against opponents, and trained in the use of close-quarters weaponry. They are also indoctrinated to glorify and admire the war criminals and mass murderers of Fascist movements.

It therefore unsurprising that NRM members have committed acts of violence against minorities and political opponents, as well as bomb plots and other terror-related offences. 

Nordic Resistance Movement rally in Stockholm, 12 December 2016. Licensed under Creative Commons. Author: Frankie Fouganthin

Antisemitism is a core pillar of NRM ideology, and the group has engaged in anti-Jewish campaigns. Notably, on 9 November 2019, the anniversary of Kristallnacht, NRM activists conducted a wave of antisemitic vandalism, including the desecration of dozens of gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in Randers, Denmark. In court, police presented a message on the local Nest leader’s phone, which claimed that NRM leader Simon Lindberg had directed NRM activists to “anonymously attack Jewish targets”.

NRM has also nurtured alliances with the international extreme right, including the British Nazi terror group National Action (NA). For example, NA co-founder Ben Raymond travelled to meet NRM’s Finnish arm in 2015, and Mikko Vehvilainen, a Finnish NA member and corporal in the British army, acted as a link between the two groups. Raymond and Vehvilainen are both currently serving eight year sentences for terror offences.

Since the proscription and eventual collapse of NA, NRM has instead turned to Patriotic Alternative as its primary ally in the UK.

The Links

Mark Collett’s links to NRM predate the launch of Patriotic Alternative, the organisation he now leads. In July 2019, two months before PA’s launch, Collett appeared on the Nordic Frontier podcast, NRM’s primary English-language broadcast. Describing itself as “the Final Solution to your podcast problem”, the show is co-hosted by the Swedish Nazi Andreas Johansson (AKA Andreas Holmvall). Collett, who had travelled to Scandinavia in early 2019, made clear that he had an aspirational view of NRM:

“I see groups like Nordic Resistance and they are so well-presented, they look so good, and in the UK we just don’t have anything like that. So I’m completely impressed by you guys and what you’re doing, and I just hope one day we have something that radical and that well-organised here in the UK”.

Collett and Johansson went on to make multiple guest appearances on each others’ online shows over the next two years, with PA Deputy Leader Laura Towler also appearing on Nordic Frontier in 2020. The two groups used these streams to discuss extreme right politics, exchange strategic advice and to lavish praise on one another. For example, in August 2022, Collett gushed:

“These guys [the NRM] are a real life force to be reckoned with. They are smart, they are well-presented, they are disciplined and they are committed to real life activity […] please do give him and the Nordic Resistance Movement your support. These aren’t a soft bunch of civnats [civic nationalists], these are ethno-nationalists who really really mean business.”

Collaboration between the two groups soon extended offline. For the past two years, NRM has participated in PA’s annual Indigenous Peoples’ Day campaign, in which activists across the UK and overseas engage in banner drops, stickering and art projects using the slogan “White Lives Matter” (WLM).

In 2022, NRM was the most significant international contributor to the campaign, with activity in at least fourteen locations in Sweden, as well as in other Nordic countries. In 2021, NRM activists even hoisted a WLM banner with the words “Patriotic Alternative” over Essingeleden motorway in Stockholm, to “honour” PA. 

NRM activists hang a banner in Stockholm, Sweden to “honour” PA, August 2021

Most notably, on 29 October this year, Johansson was the sole international speaker at PA’s national conference, held in Lancashire. Despite gaining praise from the PA leadership, Johansson’s speech is the only one that has not subsequently been made available online, with PA’s National Admin officer, Kenny Smith, calling it a “conference exclusive”. However, Johansson later claimed his speech focused on:

“my journey to becoming a National Socialist […] and coupled that with the ideology of the Nordic Resistance Movement, what we stand for and what we do on a daily basis, and about National Socialism, about Hitler and about Jews. And that’s why it’s not been published – because I couldn’t help myself talking about the Jews, and Hitler.”

He continued that he considered it “very important” to address “the Jewish question” and that “I’m glad I did it, everybody that was there, they enjoyed the speech, according to themselves”. He also claimed it was an “honour” to represent NRM at the event, and that he met with the veteran Holocaust denier Michèle Renouf, with whom he “spoke about the Jews for a few hours”.

Andreas Johansson at the 29 October PA conference, alongside Michèle Renouf

Nazi Extremists

PA’s links to the militant, openly Nazi NRM are yet another blow to its thin attempts to hide its true nature from the public. HOPE not hate has repeatedly exposed PA to be rife with Nazi extremists.

For example, in April we revealed that an appointed officer in PA’s West Midlands branch had repeatedly abused black users of video chat sites with the N-word and racial stereotypes, making taunting references to slavery and lynching. He did so while waving a noose and dressed in Nazi apparel, sometimes also in black face, with a Nazi flag draped in the background.

Three screenshots of PA West Midlands Media Officer “Anglo Josh” (AKA Skelly), who has made numerous videos racially abusing people on video chat platforms

We have also previously exposed several links between PA and the now-banned British terrorist organisation, National Action (NA):

  • A former NA insider has gone on record to state that PA leader Mark Collett collaborated with the group, and even attempted to take a leadership role, prior to its ban.
  • In June, we revealed that Alex Davies, NA 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 August, we also revealed that Sam Melia, PA’s Yorkshire Regional Organiser, had admitted to having joined the now-banned terror group. He was also photographed with leading NA members months after the group’s ban.
  • Last month we also exposed that James Mac (AKA James Costello), one of PA’s most active campaigners in the North West, had also attended NA demonstrations, posed with a NA banner and even delivered the opening speech at an NA rally.
  • In addition, Kris Kearney (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.
PA activists leafleting in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear

For more information on PA, read our report below.

Read the full report



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