Britain First have been “standing watch” over poppy sellers… apparently.
UK extreme right-wing organisation Britain First have made a flurry of Facebook posts this weekend claiming that their activists are “standing watch” over poppy sellers across the country to ensure they “don’t get any hassle from left-wing anarchists and Islamists”. Britain First have included photos of their members with various poppy sellers from across the country.
Despite the fact that – from what we can tell – there has been no surge of reports of either of those two groups hassling poppy sellers, it seems that Britain First may have been misleading their followers somewhat, since many of the poppy sellers pictured in the Britain First posts have since claimed that Britain First didn’t “stand watch” over them at all, instead they approached the sellers – many of whom were children – and asked to have their picture taken. Most – if not all – of the sellers had no idea who Britain First were or what they represented.
Britain First proceeded to use those photos on their Facebook page to falsely claim that they had been standing watch over the sellers.
It’s all a little bizarre, especially given that from what we can tell no protection would have been requested or indeed required, but Britain First are known for this type of propaganda, especially via social media.
However, now many of the poppy sellers pictured in the Britain First posts, including the Nottingham Sea Cadets, have asked the right-wing organisation to take down their photos. Requests that have so far been ignored. See below.
The post from Nottingham Sea Cadets reads –
Please remove this picture from your page. We do not support your organisation and wish to have this picture removed.
Further to that, Nottingham Sea Cadets made the following post on their own Facebook page –
Please rest assured we do not support Britain First. The cadets were approached by these and asked for a photo. They were not aware who they were. We are on the case with our HQ in attempting to get the photo removed. Please help us by reporting the photo. Thank you
And the SeaCadetsUK made the following post –
We are aware that an organisation we do not support or endorse is using an image of Sea Cadets to promote their own political agenda via their Facebook page. Sea Cadets is a national charity and an Apolitical organisation that is open to all faiths and none and we are fully inclusive. The posts on this organisation’s page are not in keeping with the Sea Cadet values or ethos. We have contacted them asking them to remove the image. However due to Facebook policy we are mindful that they may not be legally obliged to do so. We have chosen not to name the organisation as we don’t want to give it any air time.
Britain First has a history when it comes to refusing to remove photos despite pleas to do so. The group have continually used the photo of murdered Fusilier Lee Rigby to promote their agenda despite his family requesting they stop doing so. They have also fallen foul of the British Royal Legion for their use of the poppy in their political material, and their sales of unofficial merchandise that featured the poppy symbol.
Concerning Britain First, we recommend simply ignoring their posts which will help limit their reach across Facebook. However if you see a post that you think violates Facebook’s terms and conditions, or they feature people without their permission, as is the case with many of these poppy sellers, you can use the Report option on the photo to tell Facebook.