Brexit party leader Nigel Farage has condemned Black Lives Matter protesters who marched in London on Saturday, claiming that their show of force may have broken a British law that bans political uniforms in public.
On Aug. 1, hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters flooded the streets of the London suburb of Brixton, according to Czech news portal Echo24. The aim of the group, consisting mainly of Black marchers, was to call on the British government to set up a “parliamentary commission on truth and reparations” and to “make themselves known.”
Farage said the “paramilitary-style force marching in the streets” was “terrifying”.
The Forever Family organization, also known as the FF Force, gained the most attention from the public, as its members appeared at the event wearing black protective vests and face masks.
The “Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide / Ecocide” group organized the parade on the occasion of African Emancipation Day as the group aims to arrange reparations for Black people because of the alleged racism they face in the country. Members of the Extinction Rebellion also participated in the protest.
The members of the FF Force wore black protective vests, uniforms, and masks on their faces. Some of them communicated via radios. Later, videos of members performing joint exercises similar to army drills appeared on the Internet.
At first sight, the FF Force resembles the Black Panther movement, an armed militia that operated in the United States in the 1960s and 1980s and was identified by the then FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover, as the greatest threat to the country’s internal security.
Farage has then called the Forever Family as a paramilitary group, describing the footage of the demonstration as “terrifying.”
“This is what the BLM movement wanted from the start and it will divide our society like never before,” he wrote on Twitter.
Terrifying scenes in Brixton today.
A paramilitary-style force marching in the streets.
This is what the BLM movement wanted from the start and it will divide our society like never before.https://t.co/7bfaSIelCM
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) August 1, 2020
Farage questioned why the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) allowed the parade as the demonstrators were wearing uniforms.
“The Public Order Act 1936 prohibits by law paramilitary and political uniforms. Why is the Met Police allowing this to happen?” he inquired.
The London Assembly Member David Kurten also shared Farage’s concerns, saying that “London cannot have paramilitary groups parading down the streets and threatening disorder. This group should be banned under the 1936 Public Order Act by the Mayor of London.”
The Public Order Act of 1936 was adopted to hinder Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists (BUF) known as the Blackshirts because of the uniforms they wore.
Officially, thje Forever Family group claims to focus on supporting and uniting local black communities and fighting racism and inequality.
During the protest, London police arrested three individuals on suspicions of rioting, assaulting a paramedic, and racially motivated assault.
Similar Black paramilitary groups are cropping up in the West as of late. The heavily-armed Black militia group known as the Not F**king Around Coalition marched in Louisville, Kentucky in the United States last month to protest the death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was killed in March by police officers who broke into her apartment. One of the militia members accidentally discharged his firearm, wounding three of his fellow militia members.