A sticker promoting a far-right website in Poland found on a bus stop in Walthamstow has since been removed.
A resident waiting for a bus on the evening of January 19 on Hoe Street saw the sticker, which read “F*** the system,” but did not learn of its violent, hateful nature until they researched it further on their route home.
To understand more about the website, Tell MAMA spoke with Never Again – one of Poland’s most prominent anti-racism organisations.
A spokesperson confirmed its links to the violent football hooligan scene with strong far-right links, with an assortment of its “products” offering violent messages (including violent death threats against police and alleged informers).
Never Again mentioned how the far-right political actor and agitator Marian Kowalski had promoted their materials on social media. The t-shirt Kowalski promoted in 2017 pushed a racialised, harmful, anti-Muslim and Islamophobic trope of so-called “Islamisation” – and remains available to purchase in 2022. The backprint of the product depicts a burning mosque with blood splatter in the background. As late as 2017, the company also sold a t-shirt variant of this violently anti-Muslim and Islamophobic product – archives confirm.
Poland is 99.9 per cent Christian, according to the 2011 census. European Union data shows that whilst Poland has no official religion, an overwhelming majority (around 87 per cent) of the population are Roman-Catholic. A wealth of academic research, including on “Islamophobia without Muslims” and how such narratives (in politics and sections of the press) stigmatised and targeted refugees.
A further item for sale included a dog tag that promotes the conspiracy, linking Muslims to ISIS.
Our investigation revealed how the Facebook profile of the clothing brand shared an Islamophobic conspiracy video from 2013 about demographics in a video titled “Who can stop Islam?”.
A year earlier, the Facebook page shared a racist and homophobic meme about throwing such minoritised groups off a plane in alphabetical order to prevent a fictitious plane from crashing.
That same year, the company promoted the white supremacist slogan “anti-Antifa” as a marketing tool on Facebook on multiple occasions.
During our investigation, the local resident who contacted us, to begin with, made further contact. In correspondence with Tell MAMA, they stated that the sticker had its URL link scratched off before someone had removed it, attaching photographic proof dated January 31.
Wanting to remain anonymous, they expressed gratitude at however removed it, adding that, for its multiculturalism, it remained of concern that individuals with racist, far-right agendas felt emboldened to spread hate and propaganda in the area.
UPDATE: The latest sticker calling for the deaths of “wh*res” and “informers” appeared at the same bus stop. A member of the public removed it after documenting it for the police investigation before contacting us. We have since informed local MP Stella Creasey and the Met Police.
⚠️𝗨𝗣𝗗𝗔𝗧𝗘: A further sticker calling for the deaths of 'informers' and 'wh*res' appeared at the same bus stop.
We thank those upstanders who alerted us and who removed it following the publication of our story.
The police are aware.
CC @stellacreasy & @MPSWForest pic.twitter.com/vnbNNV1RW6
— Tell MAMA UK (@TellMamaUK) February 17, 2022
We will provide updates on this incident where possible.
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