American Friends of the British National Party

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American Friends of the British National Party (sometimes abbreviated as AFBNP) was a political activist group founded by British far right expatriate Mark Cotterill in January 1999 that facilitated financial assistance for the British National Party (BNP) from American supporters. It also fostered links between far right groups and individuals in the United States and the United Kingdom.[1] According to BNP Chairman Nick Griffin, the group made a "significant contribution to the BNP's [2001] general election campaign". The group disbanded after legal attacks from the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2001.[2][3]

History and activities

It operated out of a small apartment in Falls Church, Virginia for much of its history.[1] Nick Griffin and party figure Richard Barnbrook attended meetings to give support and to connect with American far right activists. In an April 2000 seminar in Texas, Griffin met with David Duke, Samuel T. Francis, Kirk Lyons, chairman of Southern Legal Resource Center and Roy Armstrong, a member of the National Democratic Party of Germany.[4] He gave a speech in which he said, "[t]he BNP isn't about selling out its ideas, which are your ideas too, but we are determined to sell them. And that means basically to use saleable words — freedom, security, identity, democracy... So instead of talking about racial purity, we talk about identity.” "[3] He met with Don Black in another meeting.[2]

Issues advocated by the AFBNP included opposition to the NATO's intervention in the former Yugoslavia and the importance of "pan-Aryan" internationalism. Members of far right movements such as the Christian Identity, the Council of Conservative Citizens, American neo-National Socialism, and various neo-confederate groups participated in their meetings. The AFBNP also published a bimonthly magazine called Heritage and Destiny. In fall 2000, it attempted to gain influence within state chapters of the American Reform Party, but it was unsuccessful.[1]

On November 7, 2002, the Immigration and Naturalization Service prevented Cotterill from re-entering the country, saying that he lied about his initial reasons for coming in 1999 and summarily violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Cotterill stated that he would modify the organization into the "Overseas Friends of the British National Party". However, the group has since essentially folded.[1][2][5]

White supremacist and anti-Semite James W. von Brunn was a member of the AFBNP in its short history, and he said that he met Nick Griffin twice through its connections. Brunn committed the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting, in which museum guard Stephen Tyrone Johns was murdered. A BNP spokesperson later said that the party had "never heard of" Brunn.[3]

See also

External links