The Hitler admiring youth cult National Action – who made headlines recently for their supposed outreach activities to homeless people in Glasgow – are claiming to have organised a training camp for their members in the Scottish countryside. The openly neo-Nazi group say the camp was focused on “physical training and survivalism techniques”, with video footage showing those at the camp performing pull-ups and practicing unarmed combat with each other.
The video features the logo of the “Sigurd Legion”, a far right sect which focuses on paramilitary style training. Sigurd are run by Craig Fraser, a personal trainer based in Bath who has previously operated similar training camps in England and Wales. The camps, which anti-racist campaign Hope Not Hate reckon around 80-100 far-right activists attended in total last year, have previously screened ISIS training videos as inspiration. Last month’s camp is the first known instance of one taking place in Scotland.
Fraser has penned a rambling, 374-page guide to physical activity – available on Amazon – that advises followers to “Practice violence then, harm yourself, experience pain, practice the traditions of the day, learn to hunt, to kill, to maim and to dominate in battle.”
It is unclear if any Sigurd figures were at the camp run by National Action in Scotland, although the inclusion of the group’s logo makes its inspiration clear. It would also be foolish to overstate the significance or reach of National Action, whose active membership in Scotland numbers in single figures. The camp appears to have no more than five supporters at it, and most of NA’s activity in Scotland has involved tagging along at (slightly) larger Scottish Defence League demos.
However, the camp does point to the growing militancy of the British far-right and the images of the group training for physical confrontation – months after Jo Cox MP was stabbed to death by a fascist – are disturbing. National Action view themselves as the vanguard of the “alt right”, the largely online movement that views misogyny and racism as badges of cultural identity, and which consolidated around the Trump campaign. One of those attending the NA training camp in Scotland can be seen wearing one of Trump’s trademark red baseball caps.
Numerically tiny, the quasi-paramilitary National Action will never have mass appeal. Their obsession with using Hitler quotes and Nazi imagery is unattractive to all but a tiny minority – however, it is those small numbers that can pose a threat. While they recruit online, the past year has seen them show face at a number of far-right demonstrations north and south of the border, as well as stage stunts including the “homeless food drive”, stickering campaigns and now a physical training camp. While the description of “pathetic wee boys with cheap tents and a victimhood complex who’ve spent too much time on Reddit” would be accurate, they are pathetic wee boys embracing a dangerous ideology.
Video footage of the camp, viewed by this blog, shows National Action members burning anti-fascist literature and leaflets for Labour and the SNP on their campfire. One of the flyers is for Clare Adamson, SNP MP for Motherwell and Wishaw. While it is not known where the camp was held in Scotland, this may provide some indication of where at least one of those attending hails from.
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