A Who’s Who of the ‘Migrant Hunters’
When we posted an article on ‘The money grabbing ‘Migrant Hunters’‘ a few days ago, we focused on some of their methods, narratives and tactics that these particular British grifters use to exploit the refugee crisis for reputational and/or financial gain.
Today, we discuss some of these ‘migrant hunter’ characters in detail – their backgrounds, their views and their activity within the far right. As we already wrote extensively on Active Patriot back in February (which you can read here), we’ll be skipping over that gristly eyesore and focus on some of the other goons that loiter around Dover and the South East specifically:
- Steve Laws
- Yorkshire Rose (Amanda Smith)
- The Little Veteran (Nigel Marcham)
- Tyrant Finder (Christopher Batt)
- xxTWxx (Tracey Wiseman)
- Patriotic Crusader (Nicholas Pledger)
- Southeast Coastal Defence and Elaine Renton
- Chris Johnson (Chris Morris)
CONTENT WARNING: as we’ll be discussing the hateful and extreme views and behaviour of these people, there will be reference to and screenshots containing various forms of racism and bigotry including racial and homophobic slurs, hateful imagery and tropes. Please take care when reading.
We already wrote on Steve back in October and exposed him as a fascist, which he was pretty incensed by (judging from the amount of whinging from him). Sadly for Steve, he’s since exposed his own ethnonationalist views even further, so we thought we’d write about him some more.
Stephen Mark Laws claims he is a citizen journalist as an excuse to film, harass and mock asylum seekers at Dover and the hotels or barracks of their residence — even tailing them to the local shops. He is one of the more notable names amongst the self-proclaimed ‘migrant hunters’ and regularly works with Active Patriot, Little Veteran, Chris Johnson and Tracey Wiseman. Formerly a painter and decorator, the 30 year old from Folkestone now funds his activity entirely through donations he takes through his PayPal account, which he advertises under every video.
He has claimed, through various interviews and streams, to have joined the ‘movement’ in Summer 2020 when he began loitering around in Dover and filming migrants in a copy-cat of Active Patriot. In fact, by the time he began filming, Steve was already active in far right circles as an organiser with For Britain and intended to run in the next local elections as their candidate. In August 2020, he featured on the For Britain podcast ‘Deep Waters episode 55’, with leader Anne-Marie Waters.
Steve has admitted to being “more conservative” when he first began to loiter at Dover, and “more far right” since, suggesting that he has been further radicalised by the company he keeps. He has however, been promoting ethnonationalist and identitarian views and posts on his social media since he set up the channels — which suggests he’s simply more open about it these days.
His content is largely made up of views and disinformation with the aim of painting asylum seekers as criminals in the eyes of his viewers. For example, he has suggested that asylum seeker arrivals will directly contribute to house burglaries and a higher crime rate, and he regularly insinuates (largely driven by his own Islamophobia) that they are paedophiles. In January 2021, he claimed on a stream that “people don’t report that they could come armed and ready and shoot everyone”. He of course deliberately overlooks the obvious — that it does not get reported simply because it does not happen.
On the podcast with Annie-Marie Waters (whose own virulently Islamophobic views have fuelled her career in far right politics), Steve claimed there is a deeper conspiracy behind the asylum seekers arriving at Dover. He described how he believes their arrival is an “invasion” orchestrated by the government, and that this can be proven by the quality of some asylum seekers’ clothes and shoes — and, further ridiculously — that the children “wave back”. His claims are based on little more than his own basic misconceptions and attitudes toward refugees, the clothes they wear and how he believes they should act.
As asylum seekers are usually the target of Steve’s vitriol, to some it may disguise his true feelings on immigration and non-white folks in general. Steve’s views are highly racialised, he rejects the Britishness of non-white citizens and regularly repeats rhetoric around white people becoming a minority. Steve also claims that immigration should be halted entirely for 15 years and instead for repatriation to take place, forced in some cases. Steve has also advocated for businesses to be fined if they don’t hire enough white people. In a livestream with Bonnie Lad in 2021, he proclaimed that “diversity is a load of bollocks because inevitably all it means is no white people”. Clearly, Steve’s views are highly motivated by skin colour.
Like Active Patriot, Steve Laws has featured on livestreams with neo-Nazi Patriotic Alternative supporters Horus and Bonnie Lad, and admits that he agrees with “90%” of their views. Additionally, in September 2020 he also gave an interview to ‘T K’, a neo-Nazi affiliated with The Reality Report, who endorse Patriotic Alternative. While ‘T K’ never published the interview, he advertised it on his YouTube and Telegram. He also referred to Steve as “my main man” on Twitter. At this time, Steve’s mate T K was openly posts racial slurs and derogatory memes regarding black people and Jews, as well as praising Adolf Hitler.
In January 2021 on the Horus stream, Steve claimed to not support any political parties at all, so appears to have rescinded his support and intended candidacy with For Britain. As explained above, he seems to have closely allied with neo-Nazis in Patriotic Alternative. His excuse for standing with literal Hitler worshippers is that the ‘movement’ will do better if everybody finds common ground and says that as long as they want to end immigration he ‘doesn’t care with who’. This is indicative of, at best, an incredibly dangerous apathy toward neo-Nazis on Steve’s part, particularly when he is appealing to others on the right to find shared perspectives with them. Steve’s rhetoric is the type that acts as a gateway for civic nationalists to be recruited into more extreme right groups.
Steve also attends and films various far right demos, and is extremely keen to get his name into local and national news reports on events and protests, such as this Mirror article. Steve tends to misrepresent himself as a ‘concerned local’ or an ‘onlooker’ instead of admitting his reasons for being there, likely as a way to avoid scrutiny.
His arrest and subsequent court case for stealing and joyriding a dinghy that had originally been used by asylum seekers to cross the channel.
Amanda Smith (not to be confused with the racist National Front dinnerlady of the same name from Kent), has a history of organising within the far right — including with the EDL, the Yellow-Vesters, Britain First, and with the Yorkshire Patriots. Amanda, who is 48 years old and lives in Castleford (Wakefield) was also a key activist in the ‘Free Melanie Shaw’ campaign.
Amanda has recently turned ‘citizen journalist’. She has regularly posted footage of herself on social media and more recently, on her YouTube channel as “Yorkshire Rose”. Her videos often feature her and various accomplices loitering around outside hotel venues she suspects to be used for temporary accommodation, to harass staff and anybody she believes to be an asylum seeker. Her harassment at the hotels in January 2021 with Active Patriot led to both of their arrests for causing alarm and distress, and she claims they are banned from North Yorkshire as part of their bail conditions.
At the beginning of this year, Amanda travelled from Castleford to Dover despite the second wave of the pandemic being at its deadliest point, so she could join Active Patriot to hang around pointing her camera at the sea for YouTube likes.
She has also recently been harassing staff at Covid-19 test centres and entering hospitals during the pandemic, and claims that Covid-19 is a hoax. In December 2020, she claimed that the first person to have the vaccine in the UK is a crisis actor.
As well as being a Covid-19 hoaxer, Amanda also believes the conspiracies surrounding 5G as well as the ‘New World Order’.
Amanda is a vocal Tommy Robinson and Britain First supporter. She is rampantly Islamophobic and refers to Muslims as “m*zzies” on her social media. She has shared content describing asylum seekers as “filthy animals […] bringing their diseases with them” and has herself written “these individuals just don’t have the same morals as us”. She has also demonstrated a clear issue with non-white skin in general, pointing out the skin colour of people she crosses as a way to ‘other’ them.
In July last year, Amanda promoted neo-Nazi Patriotic Alternative on her VK account.
Her arrest in January 2021 along with Active Patriot and another harasser at a hotel in York, after causing alarm and distress to assumed asylum seekers in residence.
The Little Veteran
Real name Nigel Marcham, 51 years old of Milton Keynes. Also known as Nobby Robinson.
Originally from Watford, Nigel joined the army in 1988 and served for 9 years, before he was kicked out for (by his own admission) being caught with drugs. He worked as an electrician and handyman up until he decided to devote his time to harassing asylum seekers fleeing the kind of war, violence and destruction that he so often talks of seeing himself.
He was first observed on the scene in 2019, taking part in pro-Brexit and Soldier A-Z protests as part of ‘Never Surrender’ with famous ‘Walter Mitty bloater’ Dean Cumberpatch, as well as Tommy Robinson demos. Even then, his entire character revolved around his veteran status – he even used the Telegram username ‘@exarmy’ and was regularly seen in group chats discussing “us veterans” and appealing for “boots on the ground” at far right protests.
n December 2019, Nigel went ‘viral’ amongst his own echo chamber due to footage of himself having a row with attendees of the protest that took place at parliament the day after Boris won the election. Clearly, this elevated Nigel’s reputation amongst fash and so it was in early 2020 that Nigel was given an old YouTube channel of Active Patriot’s, and rebranded himself as “The Little Veteran”.
Since then, Nigel has spent a lot of time sleeping in tents on the coastline, attempting to catch anyone who makes it to the shore by boat. He is notoriously and somewhat comically terrible at it, and the vast majority of his footage is made up of him just grandstanding on the beach and lamenting about how he “will be proven”.
In May 2020, Marcham went on a camping trip to Pett Level with Active Patriot and Zero News’ Tom Fury, which was intended as a trip to ‘catch some migrants’. Their raucous nighttime behaviour angered the locals in Rye, particularly their interference with property of a local boat rescue service, and the story made local news. Marcham’s response was to call Rye a “godforsaken shithole of a village” and accused the people who lived there of being “happy to let migrants invade this beaches and run into this country with guns and knives”. He made several threats to ‘Rye News’ (unclear whether he meant the journalist or Rye News as an entity), including the threat to “go looking” for them. In June 2020, Nigel was served with a community protection warning and banned from Pett Level.
In September 2020, he was arrested for his part in a failure of an anti-migrant demo in Dover, and subsequently banned from Kent. After turning his attention to the barracks where asylum seekers are temporarily housed, he was promptly nicked while in Wales and banned from going within a mile of any army barracks in the UK as part of his bail conditions.
In response, he attempted an initiative where he would circumvent his bail conditions by getting footage from the air as ‘The Flying Veteran’ and launched an appeal for somebody (anybody) with a microlight aircraft license. The appeal video was made up of a 30 second rant which was cut off at the end (it’s pure comedy) and has clearly proven unsuccessful, as he is yet to fly.
Nigel is often accused of being a ‘Walt’ (someone who lies about serving) given his obsession with the army and his own service, often using his ‘veteran’ status to push his own far right views — evident in the military imagery he uses, and the fact he bangs on incessantly about it. Once such instance was in October 2020 when, when Tommy Robinson’s right hand man Glen Saffer accused him during an internal feud between grifters – causing Nigel to post a string of wide-eyed, frothing videos attacking Glen and others.
After reviewing Nigel’s claims and through identifying his medals, it is evident that he indeed served, but that he bloats his contributions clearly for reputational gain amongst the far right. Despite having left the army dishonourably some 24 years ago, Nigel continues to insist on wearing a Royal Artillery military beret — he even had it confiscated when he was nicked a second time at the barracks. There is no question that he milks it to cringe-worthy proportions… it’s even in his name.
As for Nigel’s views, he is an avid supporter of Tommy Robinson, holds Islamophobic views, and consistently dehumanises asylum seekers. In one livestream from the Pett Level camping trip in May 2020, Nigel suggested that the plan was to physically attack boat arrivals. He said specifically “Once we’ve got a reccie done and know what beaches need to be covered, we need 5 people. There’s 3 of us on one beach now – so you get three on a beach, ‘cos as soon as something happens one’s got the camera to film, one on the telephone and one’s running up the beach rugby tackling them and kicking the fuck out of them.” As sad a figure that he is, Nigel is clearly a violent and volatile man who should not be anywhere near people seeking asylum and support.
His embarrassing performance at the failed 5th September Dover demo where he led a poorly organised gaggle of far right along the A20 in an attempt to block it while effing and blinding on a megaphone. He was dramatically nicked by cops for his efforts, and so made the most of the situation by taking himself to hospital the day after, so he could livestream from a hospital bed in his neck brace for pity points.
Christopher Batt, formerly a project manager for Network Rail, began filming via Facebook as part of the ‘PINAC’ (Photography is Not a Crime) community, in which members record government/police property as a way to ‘audit’ them. The 44 year old from Hartcliffe, Bristol set up his channel in January 2020 and coined himself as “Tyrant Finder UK”. Since then, his channel content has become increasingly far right, with a negative focus on the refugee crisis.
In one of his early videos, where he is questioned by cops for filming members of the public (including children) enter and leave Ashton Gate Stadium, he asserted “no one has got the expectation of privacy whilst in public” and “if they don’t like me filming, go home, create the privacy for themselves. The only place you have privacy is at home when your curtains are closed”. When asked not to film children, he refused and claimed “they’re in public”. Now, by all means film and wind up the cops – but refusing to stop filming kids? Bit creepy.
A few days after he made that video, he was nicked for filming outside a police station in Bristol. The incident made local news.
In April 2020, Christopher began to film hospitals and ambulance car parks due to his conspiratorial belief that the pandemic is a hoax and in one video, harassed NHS workers and referred to one as a “Nazi SS officer”. In June, he began filming the protests that exploded in response to the murder of George Floyd, and filmed BLM protests as well as some of the fash counterprotests. While filming on 13 June in Bristol, he was attacked several times by far right protestors who took him to be MSM and threatened to “fucking bury” him – despite telling them “I’m here on your side, I’m with you”.
In July 2020 Christopher began streaming from Dover to start trying to catch footage of incoming asylum seekers, having been invited by Active Patriot and Little Veteran. Over the summer, the vast majority of videos he published involved filming and harassing asylum seekers.
In August 2020, Christopher was part of a group which tailed asylum seekers as they were being transported to temporary accommodation, and then shoved cameras in their faces as they disembarked from the coach into the building, heckling them as they passed. Christopher himself shouted “food’s waiting”, and “how much did you pay for your ticket?”. Their abrasive behaviour earned the disapproval of a local, who threw some eggs in their direction from a nearby window. When this happened, the group immediately blamed the arrivals, and they hurled abuse at the staff and the asylum seekers in the building, shouting “control your motherfuckers” and “this is what’s coming in”. Christopher himself could be heard shouting “this is the scum in here” and told them to fuck off via his megaphone.
In September 2020, Christopher attended a number of anti-lockdown demos, including the StandUpX demos led by anti-vaxxer, anti-Semite Piers Corbyn. Christopher referred to the demos as a “mass awakening”.
In October, Christopher attended various far right demos surrounding Napier Barracks, which has been used by the Home Office to temporarily house asylum seekers (despite the extremely disturbing conditions and huge threat to health). In one video, Christopher stands by as other attendees shout abuse into the barracks through a megaphone, including “go back to Islam” and “we don’t want you here”.
In November 2020, he livestreamed the event at Speaker’s Corner where Tommy Robinson organised as demo, showed up and was subsequently nicked. At the event, Christopher targeted a man of Middle Eastern descent who was wearing a puffa jacket style coat (and clearly minding his own business) by telling cops he was suspicious and insinuating that he could be a suicide bomber.
In January 2021, Christopher was embroiled in a court case resulting in PA Media group (formerly the Press Association) obtaining an injunction against the Workers of England Union (led by the English Democrats). This union was charging its members £120 for an ID card which claimed the holder was a member of the “English Press Association”, which PA Media argued was a fake ID intended to misrepresent the cardholder as part of PA. Having spent the summer flashing his £120 card liberally whenever confrontation arose from his behaviour, Christopher’s actions were used as key evidence to obtain the injunction. In a livestream the weekend prior to the proceedings, Graham Moore aka ‘Daddy Dragon’ shared related court documents on his screen which exposed Christopher’s involvement in the case as well as his entire work history.
Christopher is closely allied with Active Patriot, Based Welshman, Little Veteran and Steve Laws.
Attempting to target a Speaker’s Corner regular by suggesting to local cops that he could commit a terrorist attack – for being of assumed Middle Eastern descent, and because he was wearing a large coat in winter.
Tracey Wiseman is another in the ‘migrant hunter’ circle and is closely allied with Active Patriot, Steve Laws, Little Veteran and Chris Johnson. She spends much on her time – in the eyes of the far right – ‘on the front line’ filming the coastline, and snooping around temporary holding accommodation and processing centres, often accompanied by her partner Dave Goldsmith.
Formerly a tattooist and body piercer at Buzz Attack Tattoo in Corby, Tracey appears to have radicalised toward far right views in recent years — in 2012, she wrote on social media that if she was American, she would ‘vote for Obama in the US election’ (over Mitt Romney).
By 2019, Tracey was showing up to Tommy Robinson demos, such as those that took place when he was found guilty of contempt of court for breaching reporting restrictions imposed at a grooming gang trial. In the summer of 2020, she had spent an increasing amount of time hanging around in Dover and by September, had created a YouTube channel after being encouraged by Active Patriot.
She has also filmed herself ‘chasing’ vehicles by car travelling between sites used by border force. Tracey was part of the group along with Patriotic Crusader and Tyrant Finder when they tailed asylum seekers as they were being transported to temporary accommodation. As mentioned in Tyrant’s grifter section: upon arrival, they shoved cameras in their faces and in the coach windows as they disembarked into the building, heckling them as they passed. Their abrasive behaviour earned the disapproval of a local, who threw some eggs in their direction from a nearby window. When this happened, the group immediately blamed the asylum seekers, and they hurled abuse at the staff and the asylum seekers in the building, Tracey shouted “get your motherfuckers controlled” and “see this is what’s coming in”.
Prior to her involvement in the ‘migrant hunters’, much of her online presence was devoted to pushing pro-Tommy Robinson content and up until recently she appeared to be socially accepted in the ‘inner circle’. Additionally, in April 2020 Tracey posted pictures with members of the Proud Boys making the ‘OK’ hand gesture, the meaning of which has been twisted by the far right to have connotations with white supremacy. The pictures appear to have been taken prior to March of the same year, before lockdown.
She also regularly shared posts by Britain First on Telegram and VK, and personally encouraged her followers and friends to join For Britain — confirming she is a member herself. She’s also a member of the English Democrats ‘Workers of England’ union, and has forked out £120 for a dummy press pass. In recent months, she has also vocalised her support for David Kurten who is standing as London mayor as part of the Heritage Party.
Analysis of some of her social media content also reveals her to be a supporter of Q Anon inspired conspiracies, and she regularly shares posts referencing the New World Order and fake information about vaccinations. She admits to having entered hospitals to film inside them during the pandemic.
Here is Tracey vocalising her Islamophobic views. One comment shows her to claim the Muslim festival of Eid should be “banned” in the country, “sorry not sorry”.
Here is Tracey airing some of her anti-black views while dicussing BLM. In September 2020, she wrote that BLM protestors “hate us whites” and want to defund the police to “go about their daily crimes without being arrested”, repeating the racist trope trhat there is a higher crime rate amongst the black community.
In February 2021, Tracey was a key character in the falling out between Active Patriot, Steve Laws and ‘Team Tommy’ — the latter of which claims she is a supporter of Patriotic Alternative’s Mark Collett, a close associate of ethnonationalist ‘Alt-media’ The Reality Report. ‘Team Tommy’ people have also spoken of an incident in London where she harassed mixed race teenagers while off her head on coke. (We have not been able to verify that event)
On 9 October 2020, Tracey had been loitering around Napier barracks filming again – patrolling the fence around the site, filming people through the mesh as they played in the car park with a football, and mocking them for “enjoying themselves”. Around 30 minutes in, Tracey attempted to film some volunteers bringing the residents some food (while clearly taking issue with it) — who protested at being filmed.
When Tracey went to walk another way to find another place to film them and came back to the entrance, she walked past several of the residents still holding her camera up at their faces. A confrontation ensued where one man, clearly upset, said to her “stop shooting me”, “don’t shoot me”, and reached to take her phone from her hand. Tracey is heard on the stream shouting “get them under control”, “you should be keeping an eye on these people”, “see this is what we’ve got coming into this country” and “he needs to be sent back”.
Tracey used the incident to claim that it was ‘proof’ that nobody could walk down the street by the barracks without being attacked or mugged, and stoked enough outrage about the incident that the far right attempted to hold a demo at the barracks the following weekend. She was in fact questioned by police due to concerns that she herself had assaulted the man.
Nick Pledger is another Tommy Robinson hanger-on with a phone camera, turned ‘citizen journalist migrant hunter’. Despite hanging onto the ‘Team Tommy’ crowd due to infighting with ethnonationalists, Nick’s online behaviour reveals his disgusting racism toward the black community, and his white supremacist views.
The 52 year old from Thamesmead created his YouTube channel in April 2020, initially intending to bowl around filming far right protests that he was already attending while wearing a Guy Fawkes mask. In July 2020, seemingly encouraged by his allies at the time Active Patriot, Tracey Wiseman and others — he began regularly travelling to Dover. He openly refers to his and others activity as ‘migrant hunting’ on his YouTube channel.
In August 2020, Nick was part of the group along with Tracey Wiseman and Tyrant Finder which followed transportation carrying asylum seekers as they were being taken to temporary accommodation. As mentioned previously in Tracey and Tyrant’s sections: the group shoved cameras in the faces of asylum seekers as they disembarked from the coach into the building, heckling them as they passed. Their abrasive behaviour earned the disapproval of a local, who threw some eggs in their direction from a nearby window. When this happened, the group immediately blamed the asylum seekers, and they hurled racist abuse at the staff and the asylum seekers in the building.
When Nick is not ‘hunting migrants’, he works in traffic management. He also has a failed career as the ‘Travelling Trader’, as he intended to earn an income while abroad. Yes, for somebody who is so vocally anti-immigration, he has spent much of his life travelling between the UK and Thailand, where he has had several partners and at some points intended to emigrate himself.
His social media reveals a cesspit of racist and homophobic slurs – by him and those he happily engages with on his account. In one comment to Tracey Wiseman on 22 June 2020, he referred to a black man as a “baboon”. In another comment to Tracey in August, he referred to refugees as “maggots”. In December 2020, he captioned a video on his VK profile with “eat dick BLM f*ggots” and posted an image containing ‘g*llywog’ toys that read “Merry Xmas from BLM, “tis the season for looting mugging and rioting”. That same month, he also posted his support for Kyle Rittenhouse.
Some more of Nick’s social media posts, revealing him to be a white supremacist. The photo on the right is taken from the neo-Nazi Chelsea Headhunters, and features an unmistakeably Nazi Totenkopf symbol – which, as we will go on to explain, Nick would clearly be able to identify given his interest in military history.
Nick also regularly posts pro-Trump content online, as well as Q Anon and ‘New World Order’ inspired conspiracies. He also appears to be a Covid-19 hoaxer and a anti-vaxxer, and regularly attends protests promoting the ‘Great Reset’.
Interestingly, Nick has recently fallen out with his former associates Active Patriot, Steve Laws and others, and has firmly placed himself on the side of ‘Team Tommy’ in calling them Nazis and racists. Given Nick’s clear treatment of black folk on his social media, it is clear that his issue is factional and nothing to do with racism.
Nick has also previously dabbled in ‘military re-enactment’, and is pictured on his social media in various military garb, including SS uniforms. He sometimes shares photos of his re-enactments and er, sometimes fails to correct those who mistake him as a veteran.
In November 2010, he published a photo album on his Facebook titled ‘1-SS Panzer Division, Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler Unit Dinner’. These were pictures of an event which saw attendees show up in SS uniform and also hosted a special guest — former solder in the 1st Division SS ‘Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler’ and post-war SS revisionist, Manfred Thorn. Thorn served under Joachim Peiper, who was a personal adjutant to Himmler before serving as Waffen-SS commander and a man described by historian Jens Westemeier as “an embodiment of the Nazi ideology and an egocentric, ruthless commander who ignored his own losses and created a culture within his unit where war crimes were not only tolerated but expected”.
Thorn himself is well known for his video documentaries which sought to whitewash the crimes of the Waffen-SS as well as exonerate them from their part in the Malmedy massacre. He published a book titled ‘From the Elite Leibstandarte to Lifelong Scapegoat’. Thorn was also a contributing member of ‘HIAG’, a denialist lobby group turned extreme right organisation which was founded in the 1950s by high ranking SS personnel whose objective was to achieve ‘rehabilitation’ of the reputation of the Waffen-SS. HIAG regularly courted controversy for their open celebration of its members’ Nazi pasts, and for their often stated racist, anti-Semitic and anti-democratic positions which made clear that the members of HIAG had remained true to their Nazi ideology. In 2011, the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported that the HIAG leadership maintained close contacts with far right groups.
What was Nick Pledger doing dressed in SS regalia, attending a dinner and taking photos with a Nazi revisionist who was clearly proud of his past in the Waffen-SS?
Southeast Coastal Defence
‘South-East Coastal Defence’ (SECD) is a vigilante ‘migrant patrol’ group which aims to “monitor the coast from Deal to Dungeness” and intercept anybody arriving by dinghy. They have held several ‘beach patrols’ and have talked about getting a boat for sea patrols. As of March 2021, they are yet to do so.
SECD was founded in 2019 by Romney Marsh’s perpetually seething busybody Elaine Renton. Other notable contributors of the group include Zac Walton and former EDL activist Glen Saffer, who both work for Tommy Robinson. Elaine herself is a fan of Tommy Robinson. She has also hosted ethnonationalist James Goddard on her coastline patrols.
Despite their claim that the group consists simply of ‘citizens with legitimate concerns’, their constant spreading of anti-migrant hatred and disinformation and their clear dehumanisation of refugees via their social media shows that the SECD are a danger to the safety of refugees who make it to the shore. They regularly refer to the ongoing crisis as an “illegal invasion” and claim “they are taking over”.
In July 2019, the SECD Telegram channel published photos of a Muslim family having a picnic on a patch of grass, with one of the parents prostrated in prayer — a clear target on people of Muslim faith and a direct contradiction of the SECD’s claim they do not target ‘colour, creed or race’. Another vile comment on the Telegram in December 2019 referred to a body recovered from the coastline: “it’s believed to be an illegal”.
SECD social media also shares content from other far right grifters patrolling the coastline, such as Active Patriot and Steve Laws, as well as Nigel Farage, Britain First and James Goddard. Elaine has appeared in interviews by neo-Nazi Patriotic Alternative endorsing group The Reality Report – headed up by notorious idiot Vinnie Sullivan (real name Vincent Burke), who was once slapped with a restraining order for harassing his ex-girlfriend. In a March 2020 interview, Vinnie claimed that refugees come to the UK as they see it as their chance to physically “beat a ‘Western Individual’ by coming here” while Elaine nodded along in agreement.
Although the group at one point claimed to have nearly 40 members, Elaine currently appears to be the sole full-time member of the group. Elaine is also the primary person (if not the only person) managing the SECD social media accounts.
Elaine C Renton (founder)
Elaine, 57 from Romney Marsh, who once featured in the Mirror Newspaper due to a row over a broken washing machine, claims that she founded Southeast Coastal Defence because “nobody would listen” when she began “highlighting the [immigration] problem” months earlier. However, this is disingenuous – analysis of her older social media reveals that she began engaging in far right politics years earlier.
Leading up to 2017, Elaine’s twitter feed was mostly dedicated to various animal rights campaigns, including the slaughter of stray dogs in Romania (a cause for which Elaine organised several protests). That changed in 2017 when almost overnight, her tweets took a hateful, primarily Islamophobic direction and she began to vocalise her support for Tommy Robinson and Britain First. In July that year, she wrote simply “fuck you and your Islam”. She began to attend anti-Islam rallies organised by the EDL and Britain First. She also joined far right social platform Gab, a notorious online haven for extremists.
In August 2017, Elaine shared an article from US white nationalist, anti-Semitic media platform Renegade Tribune titled “Angela Merkel and the Kalergi Plan — the Destruction of the White Race’.
In January 2018, Elaine took part in a bizarre attempt to storm a Fabian society conference, as a member of a group led by former EDL activist Davy Russell called the ‘White Pendragons’. Their aim was to perform a citizen’s arrest on London mayor Sadiq Khan for the crime of ‘treason’. Even more bizarrely, they had brought a home-made gallows with them, attached to the back of a small car and which sported a giant poppy on the mast. Afterwards, Elaine wrote on Twitter “Up yours Khan . You looked TERRIFIED when we crashed your conference to make our citizens arrest on you. We have evidence against you !!!! Us dragons are coming for you”. In another delusional post, she also claimed that the Pendragons had “accomplished” the arrest.
In March 2018, Elaine shared the link to a ‘documentary’ called “The Endgame: White Genocide”, which promoted the white supremacist conspiracy theory that certain populations and groups are attempting to ‘replace’ white people.
In the months leading up to her ‘founding’ of the SECD in January 2019, Elaine was focussed on canvassing leaflets for UKIP.
Since January 2019, Elaine has been largely consumed with being a full-time member of the SECD – at the beginning, they regularly leafleted coastal towns in Kent, and organised mostly fruitless ‘patrols’ on the local beaches. As mentioned, Elaine is the main (if now sole) person managing the SECD social media accounts. While the ‘patrols’ seem to have died off, Elaine continues to regularly spread anti-migrant hatred online as SECD as well as loiter on the coastline and attend protests, introducing herself as SECD.
In June 2020, she filmed herself following a BLM demo harassing attendees, threatening to call police for no clear reason, and shouting “all lives matter” – rich statement from a troll who runs a group that demonises and dehumanises refugees. In August 2020, Elaine posted footage of a meeting with Nigel Farage where she introduced herself as SECD to him, they shook hands, and she told him about her plans to fundraise for a patrol boat.
Separately, Elaine posts online as the ‘Pissed off Patriot’ on Twitter, Facebook and Telegram. She claims the Pissed Off Patriot accounts are about “pissing off SJWs”. Through her accounts, Elaine regularly expresses hatred toward the Black Lives Matter movement and spreads disinformation about the ‘New World Order’ and other far right conspiracies around 5G, vaccinations, Covid-19 and immigration.
Over on her personal Facebook (under the name ‘Sarah Manning’), Elaine has campaigned on behalf of EDL activist turned ‘Mosque-Buster’ lawyer Gavin Boby, specifically to ‘block’ the opening of a Mosque in Golders Green.
Recently, Elaine changed her Facebook profile photo to show support for the Heritage Party, founded by former UKIP candidate David Kurten.
In August 2020, Elaine used her personal Facebook to launch a scathing campaign against human rights monitoring group Channel Rescue, who at the time had launched a crowdfund to support human rights monitoring patrols. While the crowdfund was a roaring success, Elaine was particularly incensed by their plans to purchase a boat – a plan which Elaine had also frequently discussed for the SECD — and claimed that it was a George “Soros funded effort to assist the illegal invasion of Britain”. Her ridiculous attack failed, and Channel Rescue had a very successful fundraiser.
The man often described by people like Active Patriot as the “OG migrant hunter”, Chris has been obsessively ‘patrolling’ beaches looking for dinghies for several years now — almost daily. He often refers to his ‘team’ on social media called Dan and Mick, and claims to have accounted for “100%” of all crossings so far this year.
In the spring of 2020, Chris began to work closely with Nigel Farage, and claims that Farage’s involvement in the ‘patrols’ is “much more than he lets on”. There appears to be quite a one-sided relationship, as Farage regularly takes advantage of Chris’ footage and passes it off as his own exposure.
Chris also has close associations with Active Patriot, Steve Laws and Little Veteran. In September 2020, he attended the disastrous anti-migrant demo in Dover.
In October 2020, Chris’ voice was recorded as part of a BBC Radio segment which interviewed Steve Laws and ‘Little Boats’ idiot Jeremy Davis, unbeknownst to Chris. During the segment, he was heard describing himself as “the Home Guard” and, quite bizarrely, described his practice of seeking to tail boats and “hold” new arrivals for the coast guard as his “job”. With any arrivals he caught up with, he also admitted to targetting ones that he did not like the look of — “I’ll pick the dodgy one out and say to the coast guard, you have got to watch out for that one”. Chris was particularly pissed off about this recording.
Chris has a large following on social media, in particular he posts his videos onto Facebook several times a day along with negative, dog-whistle comments and articles about immigration. The comments section of his posts are awash with caps-locked fury, racism and bigotry. His followers regularly target the skin colour and assumed countries of origin of the humans in the pictures and videos, and any indication of human suffering is mocked and dismissed. Many of those posting those comments are easily identified as having far right associations, such as the EDL, Britain First and BNP.
Through analysis of his footage, online presence and local news archives, we have determined ‘Chris Johnson’ to be 56 year old Chris Morris, the Deal mechanic who made news in 2018 with his son Lewis as the ‘father and son migrant patrol’. His partner is on the Ringwould with Kingsdown Parish Council.