"Paramilitary" protestors on the streets of London: police ignore breach of Public Order Act

On a sweltering Saturday afternoon in Brixton, South London, ranks of young, mostly male demonstrators, paraded in black paramilitary uniforms, complete with what appeared to be body armour, and with insignia identifying them as being associated with "FF Force". Many wore black face masks, others black balaclava headwear.

The event was allowed to take place despite its being in apparent contravention of the UK's Public Order Act (1936) which bans the wearing of political uniforms.

...prohibits the wearing of uniforms in connection with political objects and the maintenance by private persons of associations of military or similar character; and to make further provision for the preservation of public order on the occasion of public processions and meetings and in public places.

UK Public Order Act (1936)

A video released on Twitter shows members of the group attempting to perform military drill movements while shouting "fight, fight, fight".

The 1936 Act was dated as a response to the rise of the far-right "Blackshirts", in order to prevent them parading in the streets. The most recent arrest under the act was in 2015.

In a statement issued after the event, London's Metropolitan Police described it as a "successful day without anti-social behaviour or violence", despite arrests for affray, assault on an emergency service worker, and racially aggravated assault.

The event came the day after two men were shot in Brixton's Akerman Road, reportedly with a sub-machine gun.


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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor and Brussels correspondent of EU Today.

An experienced journalist and author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

Gary's latest book WANTED MAN: THE STORY OF MUKHTAR ABLYAZOV: A Manual for Criminals on How to Avoid Punishment in the EU is currently available from Amazon


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