The British government is appointing an independent adviser on political violence and disruption to probe the infiltration of groups like Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion by far-left extremists.
The investigation has been entrusted to the Lord Walney, John Woodcock, a former Labour MP who now sits in the House of Lords as an unaffiliated peer.
“We must be vigilant against a similar blind spot in Britain to the prospect of progressive extremism – that is, unacceptable disruption or even violence carried out in the name of progressive causes to which the political establishment and large majority of the population have great sympathy, like climate change and racial injustice,” said the parliamentarian, who will also be examining far-right activity, in comments to the Telegraph.
“There have been a number of, at the moment isolated, examples of climate change activist groups, particularly Extinction Rebellion, overstepping the mark into antisocial behaviour. I think there’s been a recognition that, even among that movement, they have at times risked undermining their own cause,” he added, somewhat equivocally.
“I’m coming at this with an open mind, but with an understanding that there is clearly a potential for groups to develop into increasingly problematic areas.”
Farage: ‘Black Lives Matter Is a Dangerous, Marxist Organisation Hell-Bent on Anarchy’ https://t.co/sp1XrNOugF
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 9, 2020
Black Lives Matter has previously been described by Brexit legend and Reform UK party leader Nigel Farage as “a dangerous, Marxist organisation, hell-bent on anarchy”.
“[W]e need to wake up, get some facts into our heads, and understand what it is we’re fighting,” he added, comparing some of their policy platform to “the 1917 Lenin manifesto which saw the communist revolution in Russia”.
“This is about all-out Marxism. It’s about the destruction of capitalism. It’s about getting rid of the nation-state as we know it. Of course, it’s about defunding the police,” he said on another occasion, drawing a clear distinction between the words “black lives matter” and the organisation which operates under that name.
Britain’s governing Conservative party has been much more reticent about criticising BLM, but has not shied away from denouncing the Extinction Rebellion climate activist group, for the most part.
“[They] undermined a functioning society, not just with getting newspapers out, but attacking people’s jobs and livelihoods, attacking critical parts of our economy,” said Home Secretary Priti Patel of some of their unlawful protests, which have shut down much of the British capital at times.
“These are tactics that are deployed to cause maximum damage to society — blocking of roads, for example. Last week we saw ambulances and blue lights not even being able to get through to hospitals… threatening people’s lives in addition to the economic wellbeing of our society at a time when actually we’re trying to get society up and running all over again,” she complained.
Extinction Rebellion are ‘Criminals’ Intent on Undermining British Society, Says Priti Patel https://t.co/oy1FigSRIp
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 10, 2020