Sally Kincaid and Steve Johnson first knew something was wrong when a neighbour came running out of her house shouting that their car was on fire. The two Leeds-based teachers were active anti-racists and had been involved in recent campaigns against the British National Party.
Their car had been smashed up and set alight with petrol. Inside their home a five-year-old girl lay asleep.
It was only afterwards that they realised their name, address and car details had been posted on a nazi website called Redwatch. The website is nothing more than a nazi hitlist.
The man who had collected the information on Sally and Steve was Tony White. A Leeds-based nazi, White had scribbled down their car registration number as the pair protested outside the City Hall against BNP candidate Mark Collett last year.
A few months later White was back on their case. “He followed us back from Pudsey after we had been protesting against nazi activity in the town,” Sally told Searchlight.
Unbeknown to Sally and Steve, White and his friends began to do some investigating. They discovered that Steve was a teacher at a local school. This was personal for White. He had recently been arrested for distributing racist material to children from the same school.
In early March, White was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment and he and his supporters immediately blamed Steve. “Steve had nothing to do with his arrest,” said Sally. “He just jumped to the wrong conclusion.”
It was the night after White’s conviction that their car was attacked.
Sally and Steve were considered fair game for White and the others behind Redwatch. They were active anti-racists and in the eyes of hardline nazis that was a crime.
The Redwatch site was launched in 2001 and now displays over a thousand photographs. From Darlington to London, Yorkshire to Oldham, anti-racist campaigners are being targeted. In most cases the pictures are unidentified but linked to some are names and addresses, car registrations, phone numbers and even workplaces.
The fascists claim that Redwatch is an act of self-defence. There is even a suggestion that the organisers will shut down Redwatch when their opponents do likewise. Of course this is all nonsense. There is no anti-racist equivalent to this site. There is nothing that lists home details of fascists and certainly nothing that encourages attacks on them.
Redwatch is not an act of revenge but something altogether more sinister. It is designed to intimidate and harass anti-racists and anti-fascists to the point where the individuals targeted no longer campaign against fascist groups. It is political intimidation and classic fascism.
The real agenda behind Redwatch is graphically illustrated on its secret Yahoo discussion group available to only a handful of people. Searchlight and supporters across the country have penetrated this group for the first time.
Nicknamed “Mole Intelligence”, this site is where those behind Redwatch swap information and details on their targets. Where information is lacking, support is requested. Where research has been completed, plans of violence are hatched.
“This group will be used to plan and arrange meetings,” noted one posting from the site’s organiser earlier this year. “This group will provide those activists with up to date information on RED TARGETS operating within Leeds. Under no circumstances is this web address to be given out as this group needs to stay as hush hush as it can. If the reds get wind of it they will have it closed down.”
The message goes on to give a call to action.
“Not enough comrades are taking the red threat seriously. The reds hold small positions of power within our communities. Teachers, social workers, councillors, nurses, doctors, coppers. These people are the tentacles of the state enforcing the multicultural ideology into our society. It is these people who are stopping Nationalists from spreading the truth about the nightmare on the horizon.
“Redwatch has accumulated many names and addresses along with pictures of the targets, many of whom have had nothing done to them. Now’s the time to start a proper campaign of violence and intimidation towards those who seek to see us silenced or imprisoned for our beliefs.”
In another message, posted by a BNP supporter from Batley, the people behind Redwatch are asked if they have any intention of attending an anti-racist meeting in Dewsbury in June. The event, which was addressed by Leon Greenman, a Holocaust survivor, was described as a “Holohoax meeting”.
One respondent advised: “The best place to attack the reds [is] just after the meeting finishes at they are walking to catch their buses or going for their cars.”
Another target was an Anti Nazi League activist from Halifax. “This is definitely his details,” a man called John B tells the others. “We knew which street it was but had to make sure, I had the new and old CD rom disks of UK Info directories and all said the same.”
For confirmation Redwatch rang the man up in the early hours of the morning and asked him about the ANL.
A couple of months later a leaflet linking the Halifax man and other local activists to the mass murderers Fred West and Dennis Nilson were circulated in his neighbourhood. For good measure the nazis added his home address.
Another Redwatch target was the Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Pete Lazenby. An NUJ activist with a proud history of exposing racism and fascism, Lazenby has long been a thorn in the side of Yorkshire’s nazis.
“We need to find this reporter fast,” read one message. “If we can scare this cunt off then we might get an easier time instead of being slagged off and made to look a bunch of muppets.”
Only minutes later the same man posted another message about Lazenby. “Scrap the last message Kev. Tell him to check this one. I have a feeling about this one but I need confirmation before I take action on this matter.”
In reality, anyone who might oppose their racist agenda is considered a legitimate target. Another message, posted in early August, listed dozens of people in Yorkshire for further research. They included the divisional police commanders for Dewsbury and Huddersfield, the chief executive of Kirklees Council, the director of a West Yorkshire health authority and even local housing officers.
The website also lists the home addresses of local MPs and councillors.
The site offers evidence of how far these people might be prepared to go. Alongside the personal information on their targets, the secret members of the Mole Intelligence site are offered bomb manuals. The Anarchist Cookbook, simple light-bomb designs and a guide to making plastic explosives are all available.
Included in this material are the same designs used by the London nailbomber David Copeland.
One only has to look at the men behind Redwatch to understand their true violent motives. Redwatch operates under the auspices of the violent nazi group Combat 18. It takes its name from a tatty newssheet that C18 leaders in London produced in the early 1990s. Like now, it listed names and addresses of anti-racists and encouraged other right-wingers to ring them up or pay them a visit.
The internet version of Redwatch emerged in 2001 from a group of men then associated with the National Front. Soon it became clear that their politics were too extreme for the NF. At first they regrouped themselves separately as Aryan Unity. Later they became the White Nationalist Party.
The WNP was then, to all intents and purposes, the political wing of Combat 18. It was led by Eddie Morrison, a lifelong nazi from Leeds, and its supporters included Simon Shepherd from Hull. In 1999, while Shepherd was the local organiser for the BNP, he was arrested and later imprisoned for producing antisemitic material.
To prevent internet attack and police action, Redwatch is hosted on three separate sites all based abroad. One is registered in the name of the NF and the other two in the name of the WNP. The contact name on all three is Shepherd.
While Shepherd might give some technical advice and support, the men who are really behind Redwatch are based in Leeds. They include Kevin Watmough, White and a third man who goes by the initials MIB. All three are diehard nazis with a history of violence.
Watmough has been an active nazi since the early 1980s. He was first aligned to the NF and the extreme British Movement, before switching allegiance to the BNP and Combat 18 in the early 1990s.
Together with White, Watmough was at the fore-front of the C18-inspired violence in Leeds in 1994. Anti-fascists were attacked in the street and in their homes. In one case windows were smashed at the home of a local trade unionist while in another a crossbow bolt was fired through a bedroom window.
By the late 1990s, Watmough was becoming a key figure in Combat 18, running its propaganda and internet operations. He is named as the administrative contact for a C18 website.
The main information collection is carried out by White and MIB. White joined Leeds BNP in 1993 and quickly became involved in C18 violence in the city. He stole the address book from the Leeds Other Paper, which later appeared as a C18 hitlist. More recently, he and MIB have been active with the Yorkshire NF and now the WNP. Both have written quite inflam-matory postings advocating violence and harassment of opponents.
Redwatch operates in conjunction with a number of other nazi websites. All are run by Watmough and/or White. They include those of Combat 18, the WNP and the Yorkshire NF. Personal details of anti-racists are often initially posted on the guestbooks of these sites alongside direct threats.
The members of the secret Yahoo site include Watmough, White, MIB and two WNP organisers from East Lancashire, Mark Cotterill and John O’Brien. Another member is the Pro-Democracy League, the BNP-linked front group from Burnley.
So far the police have shown little inclination to take action against Redwatch or its associated sites. Sometimes it is said that the information is dated while on other occasions it is said that posting photographs on the internet is no offence. It has also been said that as all three Redwatch sites are hosted from abroad, British law cannot apply to them.
Searchlight believes that if there is a will there is a way. The sites might be hosted from abroad deliberately to flout UK law, but they are run and administered by UK citizens.
The racist content of many of these sites, including personal obscene attacks, clearly contravenes British law and action could be taken against it.
Redwatch clearly incites violence. The contents of the messages on the Yahoo group site graphically illustrates a conspiracy by those behind Redwatch to commit violence against their opponents.
The police have stood by for too long while innocent people are attacked and intimidated. Several complaints have been made to West Yorkshire police about the site and each time an investigation is promised.
Unfortunately West Yorkshire police has a poor record in dealing with nazi violence. Six months after their car was firebombed, Sally and Steve are still waiting for answers. To their knowledge no one has even been questioned over the attack despite the quite apparent link with White’s conviction.
It is time for the police to serve the community by closing down the Redwatch website and dealing with those behind it. We have waited too long. We are not prepared to wait any longer.
The BNP leaders linked to Redwatch
The Redwatch site serves Britain’s fascist groups, not least the British National Party. Despite the BNP’s increasingly respectable public image, leading BNP members have actively contributed to the Redwatch site as a means of silencing their opponents.
Most of the photographs that now adorn the site have come from anti-BNP activities. The sections on Halifax, Darlington and Kirklees cover people leafleting against the BNP, while the Manchester photographs depict people picketing a TV studio where a BNP representative was being interviewed.
Some of the most important organisers in the BNP have supplied Redwatch with photographs. They include:
Tony Wentworth, the BNP youth organiser. He took photos of anti-BNP campaigners that later appeared on the site.
Adrian Marsden, a BNP councillor in Halifax. He took photos of people leafleting in January. These pictures are now on Redwatch.
Nick Cass, the party’s Dewsbury organiser, supplied many of the photos on the Kirklees section. When initially questioned by a local paper he claimed that he was taking them for his own safety. A few days later they appeared on Redwatch.
Mike Lester, the BNP’s Stockport organiser. He was named BNP activist of the year at the recent RWB festival. He supplied the photographs from Oldham and Manchester.
Trevor Agnew, the BNP County Durham organiser and close confidant of the BNP’s leader, Nick Griffin. He took the photographs that appear in the Darlington section.
Mark Collett, the Yorkshire BNP regional organiser and member of the party’s ruling Advisory Council. He has taken pictures of anti-BNP campaigners in Leeds and Halifax. He often publicly gloats about getting the photos up on Redwatch.
The threat of exposure on the Redwatch site is now a favourite tactic by BNP activists across the country. In the recent Chester-Le-Street by-election, the leading Sunderland activist Keith McFarlane promised to upload images of Labour Party activists onto the site. In Birmingham, during the May local elections, BNP members took photos of a Labour Party high street stall and promised to do the same.
While perhaps the openness with which leading BNP organisers are linked to Redwatch might surprise some people, that fact that they have these links should not.
The BNP uses political intimidation as a means to silence its opponents. This year’s local elections threw up a string of examples of this. In Barnsley, a BNP candidate assaulted a retired Labour councillor. In the Southwest, the party’s most “respectable” region, police had to warn the BNP regional organiser and another party candidate after they threatened anti-racist campaigners.
The worst case was in Halifax when Adrian Marsden, a local BNP councillor, personally organised a mob of 60 to 80 BNP and football hooligan thugs to confront anti-BNP campaigners. The leafleters were told in no uncertain terms that they would be attacked if they distributed any material.
In case that did not work, another mob of BNP supporters were waiting on a local estate and local youths had been told that a pro-paedophile group was in the area.
West Yorkshire police once again failed to protect against nazi violence. They were warned of the BNP mobilisation but did little to stop the intimidation. A van of officers only moved in after the bulk of the anti-racist campaigners had left the area.
The BNP actively contributes to the Redwatch site as part of its strategy of intimidating political opponents. It is also the main beneficiary.