The far-right trouble makers are planning to march in Glasgow under the banner of the Scottish Defence League near the country's biggest Mosque. Despite portraying themselves as Scots, the right-wingers - including senior BNP activists - will travel to Scotland from Birmingham, Luton, London and Carlisle.
The ragbag army of football hooligans, far-right activists and racist thugs want a confrontation with Scots Muslims. They have even started selling s20 Scottish Defence League polo shirts on eBay for marchers to wear. Organisers have admitted that previous marches have been attended by fascist thugs from Combat 18. They hope to take advantage of the heightened profile given to the far right from Nick Griffin's Question Time appearance.
A group calling themselves the Scottish Defence League made - then withdrew - an official application to stage a march on November 14 in Glasgow. Behind the scenes, they have been organising a huge demo for the city on that date - and last week told undercover Sunday Mail investigators the march was definitely on. Most of the marchers will come from England - mirroring an event in Swansea held by the Welsh Defence League which descended into chaos.
Those expected in Scotland include:
- Essex security boss and mum-of-five Leisha Brookes, who was stopped carrying a knuckle duster on a previous march.
- Anti-Islamic Carlisle-based businessman Stephen Gash, who helped organise an English Defence League protest in Harrow, Middlesex, which descended into violence.
- BNP activist Chris Renton, who launched websites for the Scottish and English Defence Leagues.
- Aston Villa fan Richard Price, whose Facebook page says he has done prison time. He has "England" tattooed on his bottom lip.
- West Lothian-based Scottish ex-squaddie Steve Ritchie, who has offered to provide transport for marchers on an internet site.
Brookes, 42, who runs SBK Security in Southend, said: "In Scotland, we will be demonstrating the strength of our support, which, across the UK, is growing at rate of almost 1000 a month. We reckon to have several hundred supporters in Scotland but it is a very big area, so much of it comes from cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh."
Gash, 56 said: "Glasgow could be huge, without a doubt. A lot of the different firms down here seem to have buried the hatchet and are sickened by the rising tide of Islam. Whether or not that is the case in Scotland, we will have to see. Glasgow may well be the biggest march yet. There will be a lot of English guys travelling up for the Glasgow march from all over the place - Bristol, Luton, Birmingham. A lot of the football firms like Aston Villa get involved. I have a lot on but I will be going to Glasgow - it's only 95 miles away from me. Recent EDL demonstrations in Birmingham and the one in Swansea were infiltrated by Combat 18. That's what caused most of the trouble."
Gash organises a group called Stop Islamisation Of Europe (SIOE) which was set up "with the single aim of preventing Islam becoming a dominant political force in Europe". He said: " I am proud of the development of the EDL and the WDL. I am delighted that they have started up, as they are really trying to get the message across."
Police are still investigating the Welsh Defence League march in Swansea eight days ago, when a man was arrested for a racially aggravated public order offence. Hundreds of anti-fascist campaigners confronted the rally and a massive police presence kept the two sides apart. Police are reviewing hours of CCTV and video footage to look for further offences.
Taha Idris, of Swansea Bay Racial Equality Council, said : "In Swansea, the vast majority of protesters were actually English and that will be the same in Glasgow. A lot of them had strong Birmingham accents. It was quite obvious that a lot of people had come from elsewhere for the rally. They are basically a rent-a-mob and a bunch of troublemakers. There are serious football hooligans attached to these people."
Simon Cressy, of anti-racist Searchlight magazine, said: "The EDL and BNP are basically the same enterprise. Publicly, both will deny that but it suits both to have Nick Griffin as a public face and these guys causing trouble on the streets. Brookes appeared to play an organising role in the Birmingham demonstration. She is friendly with underworld figures such as Dave Courtney, Carlton Leech and Mitch Pyle, son of the gangster Joey Pyle.
"Other prominent figures include Jeff Marsh, a 44-year-old convicted football hooligan from Barry, south Wales. Marsh is a Cardiff supporter and has been jailed three times for violence, including a two-year sentence for stabbing two Manchester United fans. Another organiser, Chris Renton is a BNP activist from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. Renton helped set up the EDL website. When his political links to the BNP emerged, the EDL publicly distanced themselves from him but he remains an important player behind the scenes.
"Gash is also well known and was with the EDL in Birmingham. He also arranged the Harrow protest, although he was arrested and removed from the area before it started."
A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: "There will not be an appropriately organised or licensed public procession. It is feasible that people will still turn up and that will be a policing matter."
An email was sent to the council from a man calling himself "Donald" of the English Defence League.He refused to disclose details of the organisers, stewarding or the march route and was turned down.
A group of trade unionists, political parties, anti-racist organisations and faith groups called Scotland United have organised a rally to celebrate multicultural Glasgow at noon on Saturday, November 14, at Glasgow Green.