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Former EDL Member Transformed By An Unlikely Friendship  | A Tattoo To Change Your Life

Former EDL Member Transformed By An Unlikely Friendship | A Tattoo To Change Your Life


I was in the EDL
from 2009 till 2014. I blame myself. I made the wrong decisions and now I’m having to put them
decisions right to help other people, to prevent
them making them decisions. I think everyone has the ability
to change their life around and deserves a chance to be able
to turn their life around. Come on through, Ivan.
Right, thank you. Take a seat. I want something positive. OK. Because I was in the EDL for
five years, so I got this tattoo. Now, I don’t really want
that one covered up because I look at that and see how
far I’ve come from my new journey, so I want something that resembles
positivity, the new me. I was a bit lonely, I guess,
a bit withdrawn. I was bringing up
two kids on me own. And seeing friends in town,
I sort of, like, distanced myself because I was staying in,
looking after the kids. So when I first got my Facebook
years ago, that was my social life. So that’s when I found a voice
and how I found friends. And…when I found my voice
with the EDL, I sort of… I found
somewhere where I belong. YELLING I turned proper anti-Islam. I just thought all the immigrants were just coming here to
take our jobs. What I was good at was finding
the stories that made people angry
cos…it was easy. It’s hard to explain the rush you
get, it’s like the drug of choice. When I done my first demonstration,
it was… The atmosphere,
it was like in a football awayday with your mates
and the atmosphere was good. I can’t really describe it,
it’s just one of them feelings that you don’t
sort of forget either. Something changed inside me
that I just couldn’t do it no more, if you know what I mean. What’s it going to be like looking
at you arm with no hair on it, mate? That’s what I’m thinking.
It’s going to be weird. When I first heard about
Ivan’s story, I was interested. It’s definitely a topic
that is currently everywhere and I wanted to know more about him. It will grow back, I promise.
That’s all right, it’s cool. The tattoo I’m going to get
is going to be a positive one. Just a few words on my arm. “There’s more that brings us
together than divides us.” That’s my story in a nutshell. You feel dizzy, light-headed,
let me know. Scream and shout if it makes you
feel better. But don’t move. No, I won’t. Ready to ink it up? MUSIC: Heavy Young Heathens
by Mulholland Drive So what started to change my mind
was I was shopping in Norwich with my kids and I see a couple of
Muslim women with headscarves on and from the town I’m from,
we didn’t really see that. So, a bit intrigued, I guess.
I followed them up some stairs, they went into a room. I knocked on the window,
and everybody looked round, and then this Muslim man
came out and… ..sort of said,
what was I doing there? I sort of said,
“Well, I’m English Defence League. “Maybe I think I’d like to have
a chat with you about a few things.” He challenged my views, he gave me
another way to look at things. Instead of looking down
the blinkered view I had, he gave me a bit of
the bigger picture to look at. We just agreed to meet
and have coffee for a couple of hours
every two weeks. And slowly, after talking
for a while, that’s when it got a bit scary, cos I started
finding common ground with him. Yeah. And when you find
a common ground, sort of trust and friendships form,
so then I was… It was a bit weird for me back then.
Yeah. And it was a bit surreal, yeah. It was a big choice to leave because
that is everything I wanted. Five years ago, that was everything. I found myself, when I left,
I found myself back at square one, at home with the kids. Not really their fam…friends
kind of thing any more, because when you leave
an organisation like that, a lot of people turn against you
cos they think you’re leaving for… Especially with me, with talking
to Muslims, you can understand that people were a bit confused
with why I was leaving, but I understood, and went going,
hey, once you take responsibility for yourself, life changes. Stop blaming people and you can
change, maybe you can make a change. Definitely. Right, Ivan, we are all done.
Just going to finish wiping it off and then we will get you up and you
can have a look at it in the mirror. Wow. There you go. See, that’s where I was.
This is where I am now. So my tattoos have actually
got meaning now. My work nowadays is just giving
talks about my story, preventing people making
the mistakes I did and talking about all forms of
extremism and the groups involved. Sending a positive message. Coming out of the movement, you’ve sort of hardened up
your heart a bit and now meeting the people,
talking to people, I’ve got a heart again now. My heart’s softened up. I have feelings now,
do you know what I mean? Where I suppose I blocked
a lot of feeling out… ..because I didn’t think I deserved
to be happy or didn’t deserve this. Now I’m starting
to believe in myself. And that’s the best bit, is
once you believe in yourself, anything’s possible.

100 comments on “Former EDL Member Transformed By An Unlikely Friendship | A Tattoo To Change Your Life

  1. the whole world is a planet if it wasn't meant for every person and every kind of person then earth would be cut up like an apple we are supposed to respect other people and be kind and show that we are all the same .

  2. I suppose it's ok to tatto something like Lenin or Stalin, carry Communist slogans and all, but oh no, not far right, they're intolerant, good thing my country killed hundreds of commies back in the day, and the way we're going, we're gonna do it again

  3. this is awesome, my dads wheelchair got stabbed by the edl, this guy shows that their is no such thing as good n bad people, its choices. I'm not gonna hold him accountable for something he has rectified! good on you dude

  4. Very "un-biased" indeed .. fuck no! BBC are making a political stand into a "far right" thing. Why aren't you focusing on Islam instead?

  5. Do your own research and in case of standing in the streets for hours and shouting about not getting a jobs put that energy into looking for a job and you'll find it. I used to waste hours complaining about not able to get a job then started looking for work in case of marching and shouting and within few days I got one.

  6. Wow chichester is close to me and to see someone local change their life around like this made my day!!!! Put a massive smile on my face and it's a lovely tattoo

  7. It's good to see people can overcome such a dark past. Movements like the EDL can only exist by the grace of ignorance, which in turn breeds hatred of others who are different.

    It can't be sustained when confronted with too much information or reality, that's why EDL and other parts of the alt-right are constantly harping on about 'the media', because they're afraid of seeing things they don't want to see, they fear being proven wrong.

  8. The EDL was made up largely of low IQ folk, if they were intelligent they'd have known who the real (((enemy))) was and is….

  9. Thank you for your own continual insight, devotion coupled with expertise to sustain my adventure to turning out to be more consciously attentive and thus spiritually connected.

  10. No surrender English until I die kick the invaders out anti EU dictatorship anti George Soros and his sponsors and globalist partners anti Islam anti terrorism anti Muslim grooming gangs across Britain scum

  11. He's a traitor to his people! Right in the middle of the non-white take over on the British lsles. I can't wait to see these scumbags swinging from the lampposts.

  12. Just curious if you don’t cover it up wouldn’t people mistake you for whatever organise you were associated with? Since it’s in a pretty visible area

  13. Any extremism/fundamentalism stems from isolation. The ideology isn't really the thing to explore- but rather the isolation and then sense of community people (particularly men) feel when they join these groups. EDL and ISIS members have very similar stories of wanting to belong, find meaning and identity. Like we all do really, but some people deal with it more healthily- more critically. Some are just lucky to already have that. Connecting people and giving them new purpose breaks the brainwashing.

  14. Big respect to this man, so sad to hear how lonely he was and how he was so easily brainwashed. He’s obviously a sensitive man who just went down the wrong path and is now spreading the word of acceptance, good for him! And even bigger respect to the Muslim man that looked past this chaps views at that time and sat with him, educated him and befriended him ❤️

  15. Too bad she put the stencil on wrong. They circle is meant to be a circle not an oval. How can she be on a shoe like this and not even know the basics

  16. We need more Ivans in the world.
    A person willing to sit down, have a chat and say "maybe I am wrong".
    Just because you're willing to sit for a chat doesn't mean your wrong, but it does mean that you're open to the concept of being wrong.
    Less debates, more chatting.
    Be like Ivan.

  17. racism isn't far right its racism sure members of the far right are racists but calling someone with far right political views a racist due to their views is intolerant of different opinions

  18. All Muslims are rape white child all Muslims are evil. The prophet Muhammad Burns in Hell being raped by 72 gay virgins.

  19. there’s apposing extremist islam and then there’s taking on hateful extremist far right views yourself in the name of the far right. EDL and far right are considered a road to terrorism and most of the ideologies impose violence and fit the very definition of terrorism

  20. It's people like this we need in life people who have done wrong things but we're willing to open their heart up to see what they were doing that takes a real person

  21. Aww… this video makes me cry, but in a good way! God Bless you & your family My. Humble! Those who seek the truth shall find it : "We have far more in common than which divides us." 💚💚💚

  22. They hate so much they created a whole thing against Muslims you know we winning there time money just to go against Muslims THEY ACTUALLY THINK THAT WOULD MAKE US PISSED Mmmmm we don't have that mindset
    But you Known what good on this guy for knowing what he was doing was dumb asf

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