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Far-right group calls for safe and sober vigilantism

Leon Neal / AFP - Getty Images

A double-decker bus burns as riot police try to contain a large group of people on a main road in Tottenham, north London, on Saturday.

 By William Kennedy for msnbc.com

LONDON - As riots continued for a fourth day around the U.K., supporters of controversial far-right group English Defence League begged mates to ditch the booze when forming neighborhood watches.

"Leave the beer alone today guys," wrote Paulie Pow on the group’s facebook page.  "The D stands for DEFENCE, not Drinking."

Another commenter, Chris Howard colorfully echoed those sentiments: "NOBODY F***ing GET PISSED! We'll need to be totally sober, that is EXTREMLEY [sic] important for all sorts of reasons including public image."

He concluded by urging strong action against the rioters: "DESTROY THE BASTRDS [sic]."

The EDL’s stance against what it dubs the "creeping Islamisation" of the United Kingdom has attracted considerable attention, especially after reports that Anders Breivik, who has confessed to killing 76 people in Norway in July, admired and contacted the group.

The EDL officially condemns violence, but has routinely clashed with police and anti-fascist groups during more than two dozen marches and protests around England, from Birmingham to Manchester in the north (both sites of current rioting) to Portsmouth in the south.

Paisley Dodds / AP

Stephen Lennon, leader of the English Defense League, poses for a photograph after an interview with The Associated Press in Luton, about 27 miles from London, on July 26.

The arrest of EDL founder, Stephen Lennon, 28, for instigating a soccer-related brawl earlier this year spurred ongoing claims that a hooliganism culture defines the group.

On Tuesday league members patrolling the streets complained officers were diverted to monitor them, while rioters remained unchecked.

Whether sober or not, vigilantism appears likely to increase around England; Reuters reported that sales of batons and baseball bats grown by more than 5,000 percent on Amazon’s UK site between Monday and Tuesday. As of Wednesday afternoon sales of a German-brand telescopic baton had jumped nearly 36,000 percent.