It has been revealed, in the same week as yet another racist EDL protest in Millfield that one of the leading names behind the North East EDL appears to be fraudulently representing a national charity. Going by the online name “Angel Unites Patriots”, Pam Branningan has been working in a charity shop which claims to be run on behalf of Help for Heroes.
Angel Unites Patriots has been responsible for a series of disgusting and derogatory postings about Muslims whilst claiming to represent the charity (see here). Help for Heroes is a charity which helps members of the armed forces, regardless of their race or religion.
She has regularly made postings about her behaviour towards Muslims at her place of work, known as Charity’s Place” on Chester Road, Millfield. Help For Heroes has confirmed that it has no shop in Sunderland and that she is not a registered collector for the charity.
On the day of the Millfield protest, the shop was filled with EDL supporters and closed early for the EDL demonstration. Brannigan was later spotted drinking with her EDL friends prior to the demonstration.
There have been a number of worrying signs that for some time the far-right have been using the forces’ charity Help For Heroes to promote their own vicious fascist and racist ideology. Elements of British fascism have been documented as fundraising for Help For Heroes – and at the same time promoting their own cause. This particular example from Sunderland has to make any decent person concerned about just what is going on.
Help For Heroes has made it clear that they want nothing to do with the group in the Sunderland shop, however as a popular charity they are in a position where their name and branding can be easily used, by groups who see the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as extensions of their own street thuggery and intimidation of Mulims here.
This whole nasty affair also justifies the genuine concerns that many people had at the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; that they would cause a rise in Islamophobia and cause tension on our streets.TWAFA has nothing but contempt for the ideology of the Taliban and the methods of Islamic Fundamentalist terrorists. They are every bit as fascist as anybody in the BNP or the EDL, however, what we also say loud and clear is that millions of ordinary Muslims both here and across the world feel exactly the same way.
Help For Heroes could do worse than to disassociate themselves from the fascist far-right by coming out strongly against any attempts by fascists to association with their charity. Help for Heroes stated clearly that “The activity in Sunderland is certainly not sanctioned” .
Organisations like Help for Heroes could play a vital and positive role in helping prevent racism and keeping our communities across Britain safe by stating that they clearly understand that millions of ordinary Muslims also oppose the likes of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
When one considers the sacrifice made by British servicemen between 1939 and 1945 in defeating the fascism and racism of Nazi Germany it is enough to make you weep. It would be a terrible shame if Help For Heroes were to allow itself to become tainted with Islamophobia and racism. They must speak out.
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