A man facing terrorism charges after having fought against Daesh (Isis/Isil) in Syria has given a clear message to those on the far right who are offering him support.
James (Jim) Matthews is the first person to be charged with a terrorism offence for fighting against Daesh with the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG). He is charged with one count of allegedly attending a place used for terrorist training.
He pleaded not guilty at a hearing on 14 February. The next hearing is on 1 March at the Old Bailey.
But not all the support Matthews is receiving is welcome. He is also getting well wishes from far-right groups who have stated they want to turn up to demonstrate at court. Matthews took to Facebook to set the record straight:
Matthews also emphasised why he was concerned:
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
“Sympathy and solidarity”
Matthews, alongside other British anti-terror fighters, took a stand against far-right propaganda after the London terror attack on 22 March 2017. He was one of the “British fighters of the YPG” to sign an open letter that read:
We also wish to express sympathy and solidarity with the many ordinary Muslims going to work and school today feeling that they are under special scrutiny, and fearful of what this might mean for them.
The familiar sounds of hate and bigotry are sounding again – on social media, and in the more guarded mainstream press
And the letter contained this message for the far right:
For all the sound and fury, we don’t remember seeing anyone from Britain First, EDL, UKIP, or their like, by our side in battle. Which is a good thing, because we wouldn’t have tolerated them.
A clear message
Matthews has sent a clear message to those on the far right who wish to support him. It can only be hoped that they respect his wishes and stay away.
Featured image via screengrabSupport us and go ad-free
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.