The far-right group Britain First has re-launched ‘Christian Patrols’ in East London, parts of which are home to large Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh and elsewhere.
A video posted to the group’s Facebook showed members driving through the area in an ex-army Land Rover Defender and handing out leaflets calling for a ban on Mosques and Niqabs.
The group calls the area “occupied London” and claims it is “defending” the area from Muslim patrols that are “confiscating alcohol and harassing women”.
Rushanara Ali, the British-Bangladeshi MP for the area, today condemned the patrols as a display of “hatred and intolerance”.
Britain First claims that the patrol, led by the organization’s chairman Paul Golding, were re-started in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.
Experts however, say that it is a last gasp attempt at reviving a the fortunes of a group that has seen its support base dwindle to a few dozen hardcore members.
Campaign group Hope Not Hate says the group has been struggling for funding since a major supporter withdrew his support last summer.
According to reports Britain First has resorted to making t-shirts and other money-making enterprises to stay afloat.
However, Hope Not Hate warned that patrols such as those seen in East London on Friday could lead to clashes with innocent people caught in the crossfire.
Friday’s patrol was scuttled after a large group of police officers were deployed to prevent any confrontations between Goulding and his group and local residents.