Dear Tom Watson MP,
We are writing this open letter to you in the hope of dispelling the myth that surrounds the DFLA.
However, before we begin the DFLA must thank you for your tireless efforts in the fight against anti-semitism within the Labour party.
We understand the fight against racism and its importance. The horrid effects that racism has on society cannot be underestimated and needs to be addressed on all levels.
We are sure you will agree, rumours and accusations can do a lot of damage. If we take the Labour Party itself as an example. There have been 863 claims of racism against the Labour Party. (According to Sunday Times) The party has been described as inherently racist, even by its own members from Chuka Umunna to Ephraim Borowski.
I remember too reading the Open letter to Momentum National Executive which stated, and I quote, “A level of disrespect British black organisations are used to from the right wing, however, it was with great sadness, shock, and a little anger, that we soon realised this is precisely how we are viewed by Momentum.”
So I am sure that you can identify with how it feels to be in a party that wants the best for the country but is accused of racism.
The DFLA face the same accusations on a daily basis, except that we get accusations thrown at us from both sides, be it right or left. By the Right-wing we are told we are puppets for Zionism and race traitors and cultural Marxists, By the left, we are called fascists and Nazis and Gammon, so I suggest we must be doing something right and sit somewhere in the middle.
I would like to address your comments made in Parliament on the 11/04/19:
“Let us also be aware that the far right is attempting to infiltrate football again through groups such as the Football Lads Alliance, which marched on London only a few weeks ago when some of their members were seen giving Nazi salutes.”
It was with Sadness that I heard those words. I would like to ask where did you obtain the information from?
I have looked back on photographs on the 29th of March and am unable to find any pictures of DFLA followers giving Nazi salutes as you suggested. I am also at a loss as to why any DFLA follower would be giving a Nazi salute as we are against racism in all forms.
The only thing that has been posted on social media from the extreme far-left, we might add, is a man gesturing at something further down the road, please do not tell us this is where you have got your accusations from? and if so why have you got the ear of these far- left extremists who post such rubbish and fake propaganda?
If you do have over evidence that our followers were doing such things on the 29th March we would like to see it in order to verify your accusations. We could then address those members. It would not be right for you to see someone giving a Nazi salute and simply claim they are a follower of the DFLA, this would be akin to me saying that if you are a member of the Labour Party you are automatically against Jews.
You claim that “the far right is attempting to infiltrate football again through groups such as the Football Lads Alliance”
The DFLA is made up of all colours and creeds, we have members who are Bi, Straight or Gay. We do not discriminate on skin color or orientation.
Further to this we are football supporters and have been attending football since most of us can remember. Myself, my first game was in 1972. There is no infiltration as such, nor are we Right Wing, we are real fans who follow our teams with a passion. We have always been there.
The DFLA is a movement that brings fierce rivals together, Be it Birmingham and Aston Villa, or Millwall and West Ham described as
“there are no other sets of supporters predisposed to go at each other with a more elemental fury than these two.” (Taken from the Guardian).
We believe in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King who said, “We must come to see the end we seek is a society at peace with itself. A society that can live with its conscience. That will be a day not of the white man, nor of the black man, but the day of man as man.”
On our marches, we have had BAME and LGBTQ members. I fail to see the element of right-wing giving Nazi salutes you refer to in your reply.
I would urge you to visit our website:
I would suggest that you take a look at our Website and see from the first-hand experience how we actually are. You will find strong articles written with passion and belief but no racism. You will also undoubtedly see an article written about racism in football that was in place before your reply where we can be seen to be supporting Raheem Sterling and accusing the press of racism.
It looks at the truth behind Jesse Owens and his success in the Berlin Olympics and quotes him. You will find it a very stark opposite of how you describe us.
The DFLA have been thoroughly involved in many projects, be it from protesting against Islamic extremism to the Justice for 21 campaign, the victims of the Birmingham pub bombings committed by the IRA. We have been involved in fundraising for charities, feeding the homeless and setting up child abuse helplines.
We have protested against rape gangs and peadophiles. To say this is racist is an absurdity as the victims of rape and the perpetrators are all colours and religions.
We have even made this clear on our pages and website. It is right to protest against such things as there has been an increase of 123% in rape since 2011.
The DFLA have members across the broad spectrum of life. Our committee contains Jewish members, our group is made up of all colours and creeds.
We have people from all walks of life.
The DFLA protest against all forms of extremism and do not exclude any who want to join our ranks. If a racist element does join we attempt to engage them in their views and rationalise with them. We have had success in this area and many have turned their backs on extremist views. If however, they persist we ask them to leave.
I am sure the Labour Party has the same approach towards members who have been anti-semitic?
I would again ask you to look at our website then decide if we are right wing or not.
Or as Public enemy said on their album “Don’t believe the hype”