Scottish Defence League

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<youtube size="medium" align="right" caption="Press Tv Report from the SDL Demonstration in Glasgow">7xS9TtzRkSk</Youtube> The Scottish Defence League (SDL) is an offshoot of the English Defence League and was created in late 2009. The Times describe the group as a "far right organisation affiliated to the English Defence League (EDL)"[1]. The SDL themselves claim on their Facebook page that 'WE ARE NOT RASCISTS !!!!! [sic.]'. They go on to write that the SDL was created:

In solidarity with the English and Welsh Defence League to oppose the threat to our country by Islamic Extremists
This is a very real and happening threat to our whole country, we need to unite against the extremists. We are not racists or the B.N.P. This is a peaceful non violent group.
Forget football differences this is far more important.[2]

Although the SDL claim not to be affiliated with the BNP, John Wilkinson, the administrator of their Facebook group, is a BNP member and campaigner.[3] The group carried out a demonstration in Glasgow on the 14-November-2009[4] and attempted a further protest in Edinburgh on 20 February 2010.

The image used for the main page of the SDL Facebook group circa December 2009


Kirkacldy SDL.jpg

Glasgow demonstration

The SDL held their first demonstration in Glasgow on 14-November-2009. The group claimed they were protesting against the "Islamification" of Scotland[5]. According to a report in the Scotland on Sunday:

80 people briefly unfurled banners calling for the banning of the burqa, sang Rule Britannia and shouted "SDL" to shouts of "scum" and boos from shoppers[6].

The BBC reported:

Police said about 80 SDL protesters gathered in Cambridge Street, north of the city centre, and there were clashes. The SDL protesters, some with their faces partly covered with scarves, sang songs and chanted "SDL" as they held their demonstration[7].

The Sunday Mail described how:

The drunken mob left the Cambridge bar on Cambridge Street and moved to the city centre at noon where they were confronted by around 30 anti-fascist protesters shouting, "Nazi scum off our streets"[8].

There were five arrests connected to the demonstration, four for alleged breach of the peace and a fifth for racially motivated breach of the peace. Assistant chief constable Fiona Taylor said the demonstration involving about 70 people against immigration and Islamic fundamentalism had passed off "without any major incident"[9].

A counter demonstration staged by Scotland United took place on the same day, police estimated that 1,500 people attended the anti-fascism demonstrations with organisers putting the figure at 3,500[10][11]. The Scotland United demonstration was described in The Sunday Times:

Meanwhile, members of Scotland United gathered at Glasgow Green and marched to George Square, where they held a counter-demonstration backed by trade unions, politicians and faith groups.

The demonstration included speeches by Nicola Sturgeon, Osama Saeed, Mohammed Sarwar, Aamer Anwar, Annabel Goldie, and Tommy Sheridan[12].

Edinburgh Demo Invite[13]

Edinburgh demonstration

Three days after the SDL's Glasgow demonstration plans were announced by the SDL to have a further gathering in Edinburgh[14]. Details were published on the groups Facebook page in early December giving the date of the 20-February-2010 for the protest.

The Scottish Defence League protest in Edinburgh was scheduled to take place on 20 February. Only 40 protesters attended the SDL protest, with a counter demonstration attracting around 2,000 people[15]. According to an email sent to SpinProfiles editors by SDL member Scott Clinton, "over 100 people were kept from getting to the demo spot and soom even turned away at airports etc it's not a matter of we failed to attract numbers the numbers were attracted and there just police stopped them from going any further [sic.]".[16]

According to a report in The Scotsman:

The group unfurled banners with slogans such as "Say no to fundamentalist Muslims" and sporadically raised chants, including "We want our country back" and "Muslim bombers off our streets". Despite attempts to break through the police cordon, they were contained in the pub, until two double-decker buses took them out of the city centre at about 4pm. At the formal Scotland United rally, which included a march from Princes Street Gardens to the Meadows, speakers said the SDL had failed to gain support, but warned against complacency. Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "Today is about making a stand against those who would seek to divide and saying to them that their views are not welcome." [17].

Three SDL protesters were arrested at the demonstration, 23-Year old Scott Buchan, from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, pled guilty to breach of the peace. Graeme Stevenson, 21 from Largs and David Parslow, 52 from Edinburgh both appeared in court the Monday after the demonstration, Stevenson was charged with "acting in a manner likely to incite violence and public disorder", and David Parslow admitted a breach of the peace charge for shouting and swearing outside the Edinburgh Central Mosque[18].

Lockerbie Demonstration

After the low numbers of the demonstration in Edinburgh, the SDL made an announcement that their next demonstration would be a "vigil" in Lockerbie. The announcement read:

After the fiasco of the police abusing their powers and arresting and or/turning back innocent people trying to attend the Edinburgh demo, the Scottish Defence League will be holding a respectful vigil at Lockerbie on March 27th 2010. Details of coaches/transport from your regional organisers or via the Inner Circle. This is also a protest against the Traitor Kenny MacAskill who deny the SDL free speech and defended the release of the vermin responsible for the Lockerbie outrage. Kenny MacAskill told an emergency session of the Scottish parliament that it had been his “own decision” to free Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, adding that he stood by “the laws and values of Scotland”[19].

On the 10th March 2010 the SDL announced on their site that the Lockerbie Vigil had already taken place. Their announce ment read as follows:

The SDL brought its Lockerbie vigil forward and yesterday a large amount of its members attended a moving vigil in memory of all those who perished in flight bombing. The reason the SDL changed the date was simple, we had not interest in bringing disorder and the red fascist circus to this lovely Scottish town. We wanted to remember those who were murdered with dignity and without left wing fascists charging around the town looking for confrontation. We did not want the likes if Mr McAskill the man who released one of the mass murderers responsible for the Lockerbie bombing, the publicity seeking Aemer Anwar or the rest oxygen thieves who have used other SDL events to try and grab some limelight for themselves and their lies decending on Lockerbie along with their state funded UAF thugs and the rest of the left wing fascist thugs bringing disorder to Lockerbie. We did not take SDL banners of flags, we stood in silence and respect, and a floral tribute was left as a mark of our great sorrow for those murdered in Lockerbie. The SDL have done nothing wrong, we were denied our basic human rights but the police in Edinburgh and the police admitted it was the Scottish government who pressured them to act in such a way. So whilst we have the sham of the SNP and other politicians claiming to stand against the SDL calling us fascists, we hope some day soon people will see them for what they are and everyone will be given the freedom they deserve in this country. Till then the SDL will not be silended and we will continue to try and have "peaceful" events. Just like yesterday in Lockerbie[20].

According to a report by Kieron Westbrook in the Dumfries Standard:

The Dumfries TUC described the groups decision not to visit Lockerbie on the 27th of March as “a victory for anti-racists”. Spokesman John Dennis said: “Dumfries TUC notes with satisfaction that the Scottish Defence League has abandoned its planned vigil in Lockerbie on March 27.
“We note that a small group of them claim to have sneaked quietly into Lockerbie on Saturday ... there is no place for racist thugs in Scotland.”
Some TUC members doubted the group had been in Lockerbie and these thoughts were echoed by Simon Asaf of United Against Fascism who said:
“It is very dangerous to assume they are not coming to protest. If they show up and we are not there, they will plant their flag in the town and come back every year. It would be disastrous.”
Dave Moxham of Scotland United argued that anti-racism protesters should keep out of Lockerbie. A police spokesman said: “We have had an indication that they have attended. But we have no proof one way or another as to whether this is the actually the case.”[21].

No images of the weekend vigil have been posted on any of the SDL sites as of 10-March-2010.

Kilmarnock Demonstration

On the 19th June 2010 the SDL held a demonstration in Kilmarnock. Around 40 members attended and no arrests were made according to Strathclyde police.[22]

<youtube size="medium" align="right" caption="SDL Protest in Kilmarnock">cvCCZheanJk</Youtube>

Glasgow Arrests

In September 2010, according to the Daily Record, two people were arrested in Glasgow in an incident 'allegedly linked to the far-right Scottish Defence League'. The article described how:

A 39-year-old man has been charged with racial breach of the peace and is due to appear in court from custody today. A 14-year-old boy has been reported to the children's panel. It is understood police went to the city's George Square on Saturday after receiving information the SDL were gathering there.[23]

Paisley Demonstration

In March 2011 the Scottish Defence League staged a protest in Paisley. According to the Paisley Daily Express:

Scores of riot cops lined the streets of the town centre to keep watch on the Scottish Defence League after speculation that their supporters were coming en masse. But the rally caused little more than a stir when only around 50 turned up and the protest petered out after a few wayward shouts to passing shoppers.
As well as being outnumbered by police, the SDL rally was also dwarfed by a counter rally by the Paisley and District Trades Union Council.

Duncan Macintosh, spokesman for the trades union council, said: 'The Scottish Defence League's small meeting in Paisley was met by our larger counter demonstration'.

The BNP's Adam Lloyd is an SDL member[24]
John Wilkinson Leafleting for the BNP[25]

Berwick demonstration

In May 2011 the SDL held a protest in Berwick. Around 75 people attended the event.[26] Prior to the demonstration, Berwick MP Alan Beith said:

I have been in detailed discussions with the police about how they intend to handle the march. People are entitled to demonstrate peacefully, as long as that is what they do, whether we like their opinions or, as in this case, we find them repugnant.[27]

BNP/Military Connections

BNP Connections

According to a report in The Herald one long-standing BNP member in Scotland said that the party and the SDL shared many members and supporters, adding that the threat of expulsion was merely “a publicity thing” designed to placate the media. He said:

I am a member of the BNP and a supporter of the Scottish Defence League. A lot of the supporters are the same.

On the threat of expulsion, he added:

That is a publicity thing. We both have the same views on radical Islam and we both don’t want Sharia law in Britain....We created our group [the SDL] to support what was happening down south with the English Defence League. I couldn’t say that the SDL was set up by BNP activists, but I was one of the early ones to support it[28].

One of the administrators of the SDL Facebook group is John Wilkinson who lists his political views on the site as BNP. Wilkinson can be seen on the site leafleting for the BNP in the 2009 European Elections. Wilkinson also appears on the leaked BNP members list which was posted on wikileaks[29].

Members of the SDL Facebook group include Adam Lloyd (Pictured Left) who is the BNP organiser for Bridgend in Wales[30].

The BNP have publicly denied any connection with the English Defence League and issued a press release distancing themselves from the EDL and the "confrontations they seek"[31].

Another member of the group Iain Brooks from Glasgow is also listed on the leaked BNP members list which appeared on Wikileaks[32].

Bobby Millar who runs the SDL Facebook group and Moonfruit website is a member of Facebook groups entitled “Stop calling me racist because I don’t like Islam”, “The government show Islam the door or we will end up in civil war”, “No more Immigrants, F*** off elsewhere England is full”, “BNP”, “BNP is the only way forward”, “we are all fed up with your DAMN ISLAM, leave us alone”, “Knight Nick Griffin”, “I Hate Police”, “For the BNP”, and “British and Proud, Stop Immigration”. He is also listed as a fan of the BNP’s Nick Griffin, Andrew Brons and Richard Barnbrook[33].

John Wilkinson in Military Uniform[34]
Photograph from the SDL Facebook Homepage[35]
Iain Brooks Serving in the Navy (Far Left)[36]
SDL Member Iain Brooks[37]

Military Connections

According to the Guardian the English Defence League was started by Tommy Robinson (a pseudonym), after a Muslim protest at the homecoming of the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment in Luton in March 2009:

Only a handful of Muslim protesters disrupted the Anglians' homecoming parade, and they were drawn from an small extremist group that had already been ostracised by the mainstream Muslim community. However, it was enough for Robinson and others to set up a group called United People of Luton, and look across the country for support.[38]

The Luton group linked up with Birmingham-based British Citizens Against Muslim Extremists to form the English Defence League[39]

The SDL facebook group has a military photograph with the caption "Tartan Army on Tour", presumably taken in Afghanistan. One of the groups administrators John Wilkinson a BNP member and activist also appears on his facebook page in military gear and appears to be serving abroad in another photograph.

Another SDL member Iain Brooks from Glasgow who appears on the Wikileaks leaked BNP members list from Glasgow appears on Facebook serving in the Royal Navy. Brooks is listed on his Facebook home page as serving on HMS Lancaster between 1999-2003.

Army logos controversy

In April 2010 an official spokesman for the British army criticised the SDL for using official Army insignia. They said:

Emblems, logos and insignia belonging to the army are Crown copyright and cannot be used without permission. It is very unlikely that this, or any other politically-affiliated group would be given that permission.

Colonel Bob Stewart, former UN commander in Bosnia, added:

It is utterly contemptible and disgraceful that this group should use emblems and badges of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.[40]

Web presence

SDL Administrators[41]
SDL Administrators March 2010


SDL on Facebook

The SDL has a group on Facebook used to recruit new members and organise demonstrations. Administrators for the group are Chris Anderson, Karen Chesser from Aberdeen and John Wilkinson from Dumfries. Chris Anderson made the Facebook group private on the 30-November-2009 after repeated attempts to sabotage the previously open group page.

On the SDL Facebook group in December 2009 197 of the 644 members had their location displayed. Of these 197 members less than half were based in Scotland:[43]

Location Number of Members
Scotland 83
England 79
USA 10
Wales 9
Australia 5
Canada 2
Israel 1
Northern Ireland 1
Spain 1
Serbia 1
China 1

SDL Facebook Closure

Following the Scottish Defence League protest in Edinburgh, organiser Bobby Millar announced:

“Whilst in Edinburgh yesterday [21-February-2010] the lads from the SDL got chatting about this site (SDL Facebook group). Most of us all agreed that we close this site down and stick to the main SDL site the other thing I would like to suggest is that when someone new wants to join they have to be known by at least two members whom at least have attended demos this is not any disrespect to the people who have joined and like what we are doing but to them we must say its not fingers on the keyboards we need but feet on the streets”[44].

Millar, who was running the Facebook group, also denounced another of the group's administrators, saying, “It has also come to our attention that Karen Chesser is a fake we would advise you all to delete her from your friends and also pass the word round cheers”. Millar went on to say that “we even put her on as a group administrator for the females so she could chat about female views on [the] site”.

Karen Chesser, 40, from Aberdeen, had been an administrator on the site and was furious at being denounced as a “fake”. Chesser responded to the allegations by insisting she was a genuine SDL member and published her mobile phone number on her profile, insisting people call her so that she could prove her innocence. This prompted Millar to circulate her number to the other SDL group members[45]. Chesser responded by saying, “When u get accused of something it’s nice to get chance to defend yourself. Hung jury, no say, no defence, you people are pathetic”. Referring to the calls the SDL made to her mobile phone, Chesser added, “Withheld calls of abuse very very mature” [46]. The next day the SDL climbed down and allowed Chesser back in the group. Miller announced, “I would personally like to welcome Karen Chesser back to the group, also like to apologise for causing her any grief”[47] Site

The Scottish Defence League have opened two websites. The first site describes itself as "the official site of the Scottish Defence league" and can be found at This site is promoted by Scott Clinton. It has a fundraising Paypal account attached inviting visitors to "donate to the s.d.l for banners etc"[48]. The contact e-mail address for the site is; this address links to the Facebook account of "Jock Casual" (Since renamed "Don SDL") who is one of the administrators on the Scottish Defence League Facebook page. The site has only managed to attract 25 members since it was created and rules were introduced allowing only members who had been to demonstrations to join[49][50]. On the videos section of the site, Enoch Powell's Rivers of Blood speech has been uploaded by Scott Clinton[51].

SDL Webs.jpg
SDL members.jpg

Moonfruit site

The second website is at: (though as of 15 March 2010 the website is defunct and visitors are redirected to ).

The only contact details on the site at belonged to Bobby Millar, who is the contact for Central Scotland under the e-mail address This e-mail address linked to Millar's Facebook account. Millar is also an administrator of the Facebook group[52].

SDL Moonfruit Site.jpg

UK Casuals United website

The SDL also have a web presence on the UK Casuals United website. The "UK Casuals United" website hosts pages on the other "Defence Leagues" which are the English Defence League, Welsh Defence League and the Ulster Defence League[53]. The groups website is registered in the U.S. at[54]. The group describe themselves as:

an alliance of British Football Casuals of various different colours/races who have come together in order to create a massive, but peaceful protest group to force our Government to get their act in gear[55].

The tagline on the groups website reads, "Uniting the UK's football infidels", and they make claims to be opposing Islamic Extremism and stopping Muslims who "wish to impose Sharia law upon us by stealth"[56].

The writing style used on the website is often incoherent, for example this passage comes from the section explaining who the group are:

We will exercise our right to peaceful protest however we see fit, and are growing all the time. Soon we will be big enough to influence our MP's and they will be unable to ignore us. We will support the English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish Defence Leagues, as well as March for England, with marches/demos but are A TOTALLY SEPERATE GROUP[57].

This incoherent style is repeated in an announcement about the groups Glasgow demonstration of the 14-November-2009, the group announced:

Large groups of SDL were detained at both Perth, Dundee AND Edinburg were detained and prevented from travelling to Glasgow, and main English lads were visisted by Strathclyde police and warned off from travelling to Scotland. In a free country our grandfathers fought off the Germans to defend[58].

See also


Chris Anderson | Karen Chesser | John Wilkinson | Martin McIntyre | Scott Clinton | Bobby Millar | Jeff Marsh



  • Casuals United E-Mail:
  • Regional Contact for Central Scotland:
  • Contact Address on Website:


  1. The Times, Testing time for police as anti-Muslim protest sparks counter-demonstration, The Times, 14-November-2009, Accessed via Nexis UK 18-November-2009
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  23. News, pg 17, MAN ON RACISM CHARGE, The Daily Record, 20-September-2010
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  39. Robert Booth, Matthew Taylor and Paul Lewis, English Defence League: chaotic alliance stirs up trouble on streets, The Guardian, 12 September 2009.
  40. Stephen Stewart, BADGE OF DISHONOUR; RACIST GROUP HIJACK ARMY LOGOS, Sunday Mail, 4-April-2010
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  52. SDL Website, SDL Home Page, SDL Website, Accessed 10-March-2010
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  54., Domain Registration,, Accessed 18-November-2009
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