“How can I find out where he lives?” – How Online Groups Plan Face-Offs with MPs Over COVID Rules

“How can I find out where he lives?” – How Online Groups Plan Face-Offs with MPs Over COVID Rules

Anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown protesters are organizing online to confront MPs in person, Sky News has discovered.

An online group is lashing out at politicians for their “malicious actions” – and sharing tips on how to find constituency offices and MPs’ homes.

Photos and videos of members and other like-minded protesters approaching politicians or their offices are shared widely on the Telegram messaging app. Video shows an MP revealing he was forced to call the police after his home was targeted with anti-vaccine drugs.

Sir David Amess was killed while meeting with voters on October 15

It comes as concerns about MPs’ safety have grown in the wake of the murder of Sir David Amess. The death of the Member of Parliament for Southend West is believed to be linked to terrorism and is not believed to be linked to anti-vax or anti-lockdown movements.

This week, Michael Gove was escorted by police after being surrounded by anti-vaccine protesters, while lawmakers denounced receiving threats and harassment.

At least six groups discussing how to locate and confront MPs were found on Telegram during an investigation by the Sky News Data and Forensics team.

One such group that encourages members to speak in person with MPs and to protest outside their offices and homes was created five months ago. It has already formed around 2,350 members across the UK.

The Telegram channel’s description indicates that the group is a “community awareness movement aimed at raising awareness of the malicious actions of their MPs and targeting their political seat under pressure or, failing that, replacing it.”

They say their intention is to confront MPs in a non-violent way.

Group, with around 2,350 members, says it is pressuring MPs for their “malicious actions”

They want to convince them of what they believe to be the dangers of the coronavirus vaccine. They are also seeking to prevent any other COVID-related restrictions impacting the UK, in particular blockages and vaccine passports.

New users are encouraged to share where they live in the UK and who their local MP is. More than 100 MPs across the country are appointed, including Sir David.

There are frequent requests for help finding the offices and homes of politicians appearing in the chat.

One of those messages reads: “How do I know where Oliver Heald MP lives?” !!! “

New users are directed to a publicly accessible business directory where they claim the addresses of certain Members of Parliament can be found.

Some users who sign up are enthusiastic but don’t know who their MP is.

Protesters gathered outside Mark Fletcher’s office

One user writes: “From Wakefield! Sorry I don’t know who our MP is all these idiots are sane just say where to go and get up at 2pm please ”

One of the MPs the group managed to find and spoke to is Chris Heaton-Harris, who represents Daventry.

A one-hour video of around 30 people surrounding the Conservative minister was posted on October 2. The deputy is accompanied by a female assistant.

The conversation with the crowd has times when voices are raised against the MP, but is largely quiet.

A moment of tension comes after Mr Heaton-Harris declined to say he would not rule out voting for vaccine passports.

The MP then describes to the group how one or more people tried to put a large number of stickers on his house protesting against vaccine passports. However, protesters confused the MP’s house with that of his neighbor.

“For the first time since I was elected in 2010, it was the first time that someone tried to physically intimidate me into doing something,” he told the group.

He adds: “This is the first time I have had to call the police since I became an MP. “

A member of the crowd replies, “It’s not really murder. “

Chris Heaton-Harris, a Conservative cabinet minister, addressed a large crowd and asked people not to come to his family home
Chris Heaton-Harris, a Conservative cabinet minister, addressed a large crowd and asked people not to come to his family home

At the end of the meeting, Mr. Heaton-Harris encourages the group to ask him questions as a Member of Parliament, but asks them to try and dissuade others from approaching his family home.

Other MPs confronted in person by the group include Anneliese Dodds of Labor as she made her way to her party’s conference on her own. She is described in the Telegram group as a “traitor”.

John McDonnell and Lisa Nandy of Labor are also confronted.

Although many members of the group insist on the need to keep the protests peaceful, some advocate violence and intimidation.

One user writes, “At this point, I feel like ANY kind of disturbance is a good thing. We had peaceful protests for over a year and got nothing! you are peaceful or not n I want to do my part ”.

Offensive accusations and slurs are leveled against MPs, ranging from allegations of accepting bribes and corruption to labeling them “traitors”.

One user posted a link to an article on how Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said he received violent threats. The user writes: “Scare MPs to vote to extend special measures and vote on the security bill.” “

The group discussed Sir David’s death on October 15.

“Someone killed an MP today, they’re probably all really scared now,” wrote one user.

Several murder plots are also shared in the group.

A member of the group writes: “It sounds a bit suspicious, now they are talking about special protection for MPs. A real coincidence.

To which another member replies, “Excalty .. that’s why we have to serve them all and fast.” “

Partially overthrown by many MPs and their staff working from home, the group continued to show up at constituency offices in hopes of meeting their local representative.

In early June, the first photo showing a small group of protesters outside an MP’s office was shared in the chat. It was the office of Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer in north London.

Keir Starmer's office was one of the first locations targeted by members of one of the Telegram groups
Sir Keir Starmer’s office was one of the first locations targeted by members of one of the Telegram groups

The poster read: “A photo outside MP Kier Starmers’s office when a few of us first arrived. We had a great community welcome, if we stay persistent they will all know we are there every week! Not a bad start !! “

They added, “The police have been nice to us too as long as we don’t storm the office, leave trash behind, put stickers on it, and are peaceful… that is. our democratic right. “

Another user shared a selfie outside the office of a Scottish MP in Glasgow, while others wrote messages claiming to have visited other offices.

The most recent photo was shared on October 15.

This photo showed two people holding up a ‘No to COVID Passports’ banner with the office of North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley clearly visible in the background.

In addition to trying to confront MPs in person, the group also writes to their MPs and creates leaflets to encourage others to join them.

One of the Telegram groups created a flyer to encourage others to join in their efforts to
One of the Telegram groups created a flyer to encourage others to join in their efforts to “take the fight directly to our local MPs”

The group has created local groups and operates alongside other Telegram channels which also encourage people to physically approach MPs.

Videos showing confrontations with MPs – including House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg – are shared in these Telegram groups.

The person filming asks MPs about coronavirus conspiracy theories involving Bill Gates and Klaus Schwab, the executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.

Many of these videos are uploaded to a popular video hosting site with the anti-vaccine community.

Videos shared in the groups or on the video site show MPs Lee Anderson, Chris Grayling and Sir Desmond Swayne also being targeted, as well as Prime Minister Stanley Johnson’s father. These videos appear to have been filmed during the Conservative Party conference.

David Lammy and Angela Rayner are docked for vaccines at the Labor Party conference. Other similar videos feature Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Gove harassed by anti-containment protesters

A number of different videos of Michael Gove being harassed in Westminster this week are also on the site.

Videos are uploaded with comments such as “Throw it to the lions!” Tie it up! “

One comment directly refers to Sir David’s murder, saying, “Where the boogyman now terrorizes to stab c *** s like GOVE, how they have brass faces to walk the streets is beyond me.” “

A short clip of Matt Hancock running in a marathon is also shared on the video site. It is uploaded with the caption: “WHERE IS THE GUY WITH THE GUN, ARRRRR DAM.” “

The Data and forensics team is a multi-purpose unit dedicated to providing transparent Sky News journalism. We collect, analyze and visualize data to tell data-driven stories. We combine traditional reporting skills with advanced analysis of satellite images, social media and other open source information. Through multimedia storytelling, we aim to better explain the world while showing how our journalism is done.

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