I did an interview with vice. You can read it here.
I wrote an article for New Matilda. You can read it here. If you’re in Brisbane and would like to oppose Golden Dawn and neo-Nazism, the nazis are organising a rally and march on Friday, May 2 — counter-action is also being organised.
[... mAd props to antifa.cz ...]
“The documentary 161>88 by Antifascist Action is now available for download in high quality. English and German subtitles are available. Download and share!
The movie maps the evolution of the Czech antifascist movement since the late 1980′s up to 2011. The footage takes the viewer through the period of the first racist murders in the early 90′s, to the protests against the Sládek’s Republicans, clashes with racist hooligans and National Resistance, up to the recent anti-Roma demonstrations. The footage is completed with commentaries and memories of both academics and activists.
Since the premiere in 2012, tens of screenings of the movie were organized around Czech Republic (including the International documentary film festival in Jihlava) and also in many other countries (Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Serbia and others). The movie was also released on a DVD.”
[... also on YouTube ...]
[In Sydney on Saturday, May 10 at UTS: University of Technology, Sydney, CB06.06.103, a panel discussion on strategies to end mandatory detention (Facebook).]
On March 7, the Sydney Biennale and Transfield announced that they would go their separate ways. This was the result of a boycott launched in response to Transfield having signed a $1.2 billion deal to expand its involvement into the internment camps on Manus Island and Nauru.
The boycott was launched by way of xBorder Operational Matters, and supported by groups such as Beyond Borders, RISE: Refugees, Survivors and Ex-detainees, Students Thinking Outside Borders, and many other individuals and autonomous groups. Importantly, the result could not have been achieved without the ongoing struggles for freedom from those held inside Australia’s internment camps, and the determination of several Biennale artists and staff who withdrew their work from the festival and their value from the Transfield brand.
This was the first success of a campaign to expose the detention industry supply chains that rely on our acquiescence, our money and our labour for the camps to exist. The most effective way to end mandatory detention, therefore, is to make the system inoperable.
This panel is being held to discuss the future direction of this campaign. Specifically, we would like to address the following:
1. Expand upon the success of the Biennale boycott to a wider divestment campaign, including the divestment of superannuation funds, banks, universities, charities from the internment industry
2. Explore the links between the various components of Australia’s racial confinement and control industry (mandatory detention, Aboriginal incarceration, the Intervention, Code of Conduct)
3. Discuss the connections between the Far Right and the militarisation of the border
4. Address how the border of Australia’s colonial state, and divisions of labour along racialised and gendered lines, limits activism and effective action around the border.
[See also : A Few Words About Amigdaleza [Anarchist Prisoners' Network, August 2013] (April 19, 2014).]
[I kinda like this very brief statement so I thought I may as well re-publish it here. I took it from the pamphlet Storming the Bastille: Words From Inside The Greek Prisons (2014), translated by The Wild Bunch, published by Negative Press.]
In various parts of Greece, like in Amigdaleza, Korinthos, Drama and Komotini, immigrant concentration camps are in operation under the charming, Orwellian title “immigrant hospitality centres” — obviously following the same logic as operation “Xenios Zeus”. After all, it is no coincidence that when we hear about the famous hospitality of Greece, the image of Dendias (Minister of Citizens Protection) springs immediately to mind.
History does not need to repeat itself for us recognize brutality. There is no need for furnaces and gas chambers in order to draw on easily discernible comparisons. In fact there is no real need for comparisons. Beyond the media’s interpretations there is a ruthless reality; a reality with as much a human as a political dimension. The reality of human beings who are punished for their illegal existence.
In the same confusing logic of the media, the issue of the — indeed — appalling conditions of detention in the concentration camps is being projected, obscuring in this way the heart of the matter, which is the very existence of concentration camps. Camps where immigrants are imprisoned, not because they have been charged with committing an offence, but for the sole reason that they do not possess documents which legitimise their existence. Camps where immigrants are imprisoned for 12 or 18 months, just because their existence is deemed unwanted at a particular time and in a particular space.
If we did not acknowledge the human dimension in regards to the issue of immigrants without papers we would be turning a blind eye, however focusing solely on this can lead to the very serious political dimension of the issue being downgraded. Regardless of the degree of political consciousness, immigrants without papers are flesh from the flesh of the excluded. That class of people whose only commodity is their labour power and who cannot find a buyer. The excluded from today’s inhumanly demanding wage labour system. Those who, being superfluous to capital, must be exterminated.
In the present conditions of economic crisis with an abundant workforce surplus, even the completely undervalued working power of immigrants is superfluous. The concentration camps are one of the many ways capital manages this workforce surplus. From criminalization, to the boogeyman of “the danger of Greek DNA alteration”, a wide range of rhetoric is employed in an attempt to ideologically support capital’s needs, to legally divest and neutralize what capital deems to be of no use to it.
The immigrants without papers, as the events that have occurred in the last months have taught us — such as in Manolada and Amigdaleza — do not constitute a passive recipient of the ills the state has in store for them. They are individuals who rebel, resist and struggle against their imposed social position. Solidarity with immigrants/prisoners in concentration camps must overcome the victimizing compassion on which it is usually based and apply itself to the perspective of the interconnection of struggles against capitalist brutality. Finally, it is also of importance that the events that caused the uprising and the brutal repression which followed are highlighted from the perspective of imprisoned immigrants themselves.
~ Anarchist Prisoners’ Network
 Manolada: after many incidences of maltreatment by the local bosses including a shooting, immigrants labouring in the strawberry fields of Manolada have staged numerous self-organized protests.
 Amigdaleza: 10.8.13 uprising in the detention centres of Amigdaleza.
On Sunday evening (April 13) 60 Minutes broadcast ‘Greek Tragedy: The rise of Europe’s neo-Nazis’ on the sudden popularity of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn organisation in Greece. In cooperation with local fascists in the Australia First Party, GD in Australia has organised a rally, march and picket of the Greek consulate in Brisbane on Friday, May 2. In just four days over 150 people have indicated they may attend the protest against the Australia First and Golden Dawn parties in Brisbane (please continue to invite others to attend: the more the merrier).
On Stormfront, AF Brisbane organiser Aaron Heaps has implored nazis and assorted other fascist dregs in Brisbane to support their rally/march/picket. Tomorrow, an interview with Aaron will be broadcast on 4ZZZ radio (alongside one with an antifascist).
Yesterday, two Greek men, Dionyssis Liakopoulos, 25, and Christos Steriopoulos, 29, were sentenced to life in jail for murdering Pakistani migrant worker Shehzad Luqman, 27, in January, 2013. See : ’2 Greek neo-Nazis on trial for murder of Pakistani’ (The Dawn, December 29, 2013):
Both accused deny being members of the neo-Nazi party and Steriopoulos has rejected “any ideological involvement in Golden Dawn” and allegedly condemns the party. Both men say they got into an argument with the victim after he blocked their path with his bicycle.
But Petros Konstandinou, of an anti-fascist movement [sic], rejected their statements, telling the press: “In cases like this, they always deny”.
“Today is International Migrants Day. I hope that the legal system will do its job and convict them,” as the case was only “the tip of the iceberg” of Golden Dawn wrong-doings.
Pakistani community representative Ashlam Tzavent claimed Golden Dawn was responsible for “six or seven murders” and “dozens of attacks” that have never been prosecuted. Human rights and immigrant defence groups have called a rally for later on Wednesday outside the Athens courtroom, where the trial opened under a heavy police presence.
This week Golden Dawn members also harassed a medical clinic in Athens, guilty of providing care for migrants:
A neo-Nazi mob affiliated to the Greek Golden Dawn party has intimidated a polyclinic of the human rights organisation Medecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) because it was providing healthcare services and medication to immigrants.
The gang of around 30 people, dressed in the far-right party’s uniforms, shouted “Blood, honour, Golden Dawn” and “Foreigners get out” outside the polyclinic in the Athens suburb of Perama, even though the facility also treats Greek patients.
See also : Impunity, excessive force and links to extremist Golden Dawn blight Greek police, Amnesty International, April 3, 2014.
Above : Cover of Χρυσή Αυγή (Golden Dawn) magazine, 2007.
On Friday, May 2 members of the Brisbane branch of the Australia First Party (AF) have organised a march and rally with local supporters of the Greek neo-Nazi organisation Golden Dawn (GD). The fascists intend to assemble at The Greek Club (29 Edmondstone St, South Brisbane) for a rally at 11.30am and then march on the Greek consulate (Level 36, Central Plaza One, 345 Queen Street, Brisbane) to hold a picket between 1pm and 4pm in support of GD.
Having already held rallies in solidarity with GD in Sydney in December 2013 and February 2014, this is the first time that AF has publicly announced a protest of this sort prior to its occurrence. It therefore represents an opportunity to show AF, GD and the wider public that open expressions of support for racism, fascism and neo-Nazism will not be tolerated. (Note that AF previously attempted to disrupt the 2014 Invasion Day march in Brisbane.)
For more details on AF and their neo-Nazi cousins in GD see ‘False dawn: fascism in Greece and Australia’, overland, April 11, 2014.
[Facebook event page here.]
Above : Dr Jim Saleam, leader of AF, now and in his yoof.
See also : When the State turns Antifa, cognord, October 26, 2013 | Antonis A Ellinas, ‘The Rise of the Golden Dawn: The New Face of the Far Right in Greece’.
I wrote an article for overland on Golden Dawn in Australia. You can read it here.
Note that Golden Dawn have recently taken to meeting at Degani cafe in Northcote:
As I grow older I see clearly and distinctly what is right and wrong in our way of life and how ridiculous is everything not achieved with one’s own blood and one’s own soul and everything not infused with love. ~ Marc Chagall
The publication yesterday of Martin McKenzie-Murray’s article in The Saturday Paper seems like a good opportunity to reflect a little on my blogging: its content and purpose. Further, to examine its role in that aspect of my writing which Martin focuses upon — helping to document and monitor the trials and tribulations of the far right in Australia (‘nazi hunting’).
I’ve been blogging regularly since late 2005, so for about 8 1/2 years. This, as it happens, is the 3,339th post on my blog, meaning that on average I’ve posted something every day during this period. One focus of my writing has been the contemporary far right, especially (but not only) its Australian manifestations. Thus about a third (1,167) of my posts — including this one — I’ve categorised ‘Anti-fascism’; the other categories are listed below. I’ve tended to employ them fairly loosely, and the categorisation has been supplemented in recent years by the use of tags; most of my writing has focused upon contemporary politics.
Not unexpectedly, my writing on the subject of the far right has generated a good deal of hatred and resentment from that quarter. In his article, Martin quotes a text received by the person the Australia First Party recently alleged authors my blog, the fallout from which forms an important part of his story:
“Hey you left wing anti white bleeding heart race traitor fukn do gooder asswipe ethnic loving piece of shit ur days are coming to a end asswipe!!! Every one on storm front knows ur true name and identity u piece of shit!! Lmfao watch ur back dog!! .”
This is a fairly typical example of the abuse I’ve received. In October last year I surveyed other such criticism, usually taking the form of anonymous commentary on my blog: I republish it below.
slackbastard: a series of critical responses by (mostly) anonymous reviewers
“I promise you I will beat the fucking shit out of you and then make a black man take a shit in your face”
“Honestly, I am going to fucking kill you. I hope it was worth it.”
“fukn gooknigger scum”
“you’re a fucking idiot mate & you better watch your back because when me & my mates are out & about, if we see you, yr dead”
“piece of shit!” “anti-Semite” “racist wanker” “Marxist Nazi turd” “Nazi bastard” (Nicholas Folkes, leader of the Party of Freedom)
“Andy has forgotten his cover as a Anti Racist Anarchist and shown us all who he works for. Israel and ZOG”
“he has some rather well placed and well known Jewish friends. Some of them go all the way back to the 1970s”
“Andy’s mates are mostly in their mid to late 50s and almost entirely Jewish”
“the undisputed Jewish king of Victorian anti fa”
“nothing but a Zionist spy”
“Andrew Moran Art Dealer in Melbourne”
‘I was amused to see [he] was considered “sexy” by a visiting overseas anarchist “comrade” …’ (Dr Jim Saleam)
“i have read all your utter shit now please die”
“if i had bumped into you i would have ripped off your head and used it as a football you prick”
“You are the race traitor red scum that give this country a bad name.”
“I hope dirty muslim pakis rape your kids!”
“you are a piss poor excuse for a human being hopefully someone will find you hangin from a tree one day”
“i say fuck all of you white nigger lover losers … fuck you and burn in hell”
“Your problem is really that you read too much and lavish in the fruits of other people’s work.”
“Hopefully one day I meet you and kick your scrawny white ass”
“you do not seem to be white. you are probably black? or of mixed race? white mother nigger father? a mongrel?”
“me namo es andio und I like writing much words to make me seem smart. I am so communistic that my shit comes out red!”
“YOU ANTIFA WOG LOVERS ARE NOTHING BUT BULLSHITTERS,YOU SHOULD ALL BE LINED UP AND FUCKIN SHOT”
“dumb nigger luvin cock sucker”
“there are groups that are hunting you down … watching your tv, good to no that a petrol bomb comes through your window”
“you are a disgrace to the White race”
“you and your mates are nothing but sissys,dreamers,abbo shaggers”
“andy,your a homosexual,and so are most of your friends”
“you fucking homo … you realy do deserve to die”
“you deserve your throat slashed. you are pathetic”
“you deserve too be fillayed and have thinners thrown on you”
“you sit at home, all alone jerking off to your nigger shit”
“you are a fucking double standard faggot”
“you really are a disgrace to your color”
“AKA jew boy Andrew Moran … racist Jewish scum”
For a period of time I generally allowed publication of such comments, if only to demonstrate to other, less-psychopathic and more skeptical critics, that there did indeed exist such a ‘nazi’ milieu: — one characterised by a morass of anger, hatred, resentment and paranoia over race, sexuality and politics. Now, however — unless they happen to be especially amusing in their vituperations — I tend to simply bin such comments, as after a while they become simply boring, and if a reader needed further convincing that the intarwebs has provided crazed bigots an opportunity to express their views, my efforts are obviously insufficient.
the accidental activist
“Fleming loved punk, hated Nazis, and began researching the obscure relationship between the two …”
It’s true: I do love listening to punk music and I hate nazis, but my decision to blog about the far right owes a lot more to the anti-racist online network Fight dem back! than it does community radio. (See also : FightDemBack! A Brief History, January 3, 2007.)
In 2004-5 I took note of FDB!’s activity, participated in its online forum, and then decided to contribute an article. From memory, this article was about a Sydney-based neo-Nazi named Peter Campbell, then a member of the ‘White Pride Coalition of Australia’, now the author of the ‘Whitelaw Towers’ blog. Thus my research into fascist involvement in local music scenes was accompanied by (and derived much of its significance from) a broader context and participation in anti-racist political activism.
Otherwise, it’s true that ‘nazis’ are “not as easy to spot as you’d think” (and not simply because being identified as such makes it harder to make friends with non-sociopathic elements in these scenes). Thus the last decade has witnessed a literal and political re-fashioning of the far right, especially but not only in Europe, with major tendencies attempting to recuperate anarchist and radical left chic. An important survey of this trend has been published by antifa.cz.
My involvement in community radio actually began in 2009, after I commenced blogging, and continues into the present day. The show is called ‘The SUWA (Squatters’ & Unwaged Workers’ Airwaves) Show’ and I share hosting privileges with my good friend Dr Cam Sexenheimer. We’re on the air every fourth Friday of the month from 5.30-6.30pm and have been (with a few interruptions) since about August 2009; every other Friday SUWA is hosted by other talented folk.
Our most recent program went to air on March 28, 2014. On that episode we spoke to new matilda editor Adam Brereton about Cardinal George Pell’s performance at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse hearings and to James Hutchings about his erroneous identification as myself. On February 28 we interviewed Liz Thompson about Manus Island and Alana Lentin on the Biennale of Sydney. (You may remember Liz from such shows as I Was Told To Lie (Dateline) and Alana from The Case for Open Borders (overland).) In January, we interviewed Haydn Keenan, the director of Persons of Interest, a new documentary about ASIO which screened on SBS that month.
Further back in 2013, we spoke with the US-based investigative journalist Will Potter on the ‘Green Scare’ and Bren0 on squatting in the UK. Prior to this, we spoke with Nate Thayer, another US journalist, about the weird partnership of American white supremacists and the North Korean government, as well as discussed recent antics by the English Defence League and Golden Dawn. Other guests over the last few years have included Aurelien Mondon, Belinda Hawkins, Ben Pobjie, Bree Blakeman, Errol Wright, Franklin López, John Safran, Karen Pickering, Kathleen McLeod, Rayna Fahey, Sarah Joseph, Tasneem Khalil, Valerie Morse and many more artists, writers, activists, scholars and troublemakers, discussing a range of topics from anarchy to (er) zoology.
being careful (& being tricksy)
It’s true that I’m generally happy to engage with nazis on my blog: I’ve published almost 18,000 comments thus far including my own, and many more from general — ie, non-nazi — readers. It’s also true that maintaining a sense of humour while responding to their stoopid is one of the keys to remaining sane; it also serves to help subvert their ridiculous claims to, inter alia, racial supremacy, and to expose the absurd foundations of their ideology.
On a general level, it helps to be careful when monitoring the far right, especially if, as in my case, this activity is used to try and help disrupt their organising efforts. This is hardly the place to detail the precise nature of the measures taken to ensure the relative safety of myself and others in undertaking such monitoring, but suffice it to say that I take such things fairly seriously, and it’s true that nazis have had some difficulty in telling their arse from their elbow when it comes to my blog.
At this point, several issues are raised. First, what is the purpose of such monitoring?
In Australia the far right, while politically weak at present, does have some potential — albeit limited — to expand its presence by capitalising upon and giving expression to a significant undercurrent of popular resentment. A sense of this emotive force is usefully examined in the same issue of The Saturday Paper (‘David Marr on race, votes and free speech’). Without going into a detailed examination of the question, in pandering to racist and xenophobic sentiment, one of the problems the political establishment faces is that, properly organised, such sentiment may outgrow and overcome the constraints the existing political system places upon it, giving birth in the process to a genuinely independent and radical, right-wing movement. Whether or not this occurs (and it seems unlikely in the short- to medium-term), it could be argued that keeping tabs on incipient expressions of such a movement is a worthwhile endeavour, especially for those committed to an egalitarian politics.
Secondly, what is the relationship between what I write and the act of ‘keeping tabs’? While Martin’s story concentrates upon Australian neo-Nazis (and a significant proportion of my blogging concerns their activities), racial politics runs through the Australian body politic from top to bottom, whether considered in terms of modern Australia’s origins as a penal colony, its formal foundation as a White colonial settler state, the state’s contemporary role as a regional sheriff, or in terms of a series of continuing assaults upon asylum seeker, refugee, Muslim and indigenous populations. In other words, while neo-Nazism itself has extremely limited purchase on the popular imagination, many of the ideas and sentiments it gives expression to find important echoes both in terms of Australia’s past and present.
Finally, both historically and in the contemporary world, the far right acts to destroy liberatory movements and all forms of progressive politics. Given its relative marginality in contemporary Australia, these efforts are generally sporadic and usually trivial. But much depends upon one’s situation in relation to these groupings. Thus while National Action failed to secure anything like some semblance of popularity, its (often quite vicious) antics did have real and even lasting effects upon those subject to its predations …
In the context of monitoring local (Melbourne) neo-Nazi activity, Martin refers to threats Stormfront users made regarding the Propagandhi tour of 2011. (At the time, users referred to band members as “gay filth”, “punk faggots”, “[i]nsect thin and as queer as they come”, “typical run-of-the-mill self-hating anarchist scum”, “anarchist fags”, “fags”, “lowlife, antiwhite scumbags”, “homos”, “Queer Jews”, “commie queer filth”, and so on.) It’s curious to note that some time after the gig (which was great btw), I received a message from a member of this rowdy group who wrote that, on reflection, they regretted having participated in the nazi nonsense, and intended to steer clear of such activity in future.
EXIT: White Power
As Martin notes, I’m not especially familiar with the work of ‘EXIT: White Power’, but I’m reasonably familiar with the role of similar organisations in Europe and North America. The benefits of such work has been the subject of considerable debate among anti-fascists elsewhere (an outline of some of the underlying tensions present is available by way of the excellent North American antifascist blog threewayfight) but I think one of the first examples I encountered was contained in the 1996 book Fuhrer-Ex: Memoirs of a Former Neo-Nazi by Ingo Hasselbach (and Tom Reiss). In any case, I’m generally supportive of providing opportunities for members of ‘White Power’ organisations to exit them. Speaking of which …
boneheads et cetera
A few points:
• The former manager of The Birmy did not, as far as I know, invite Johnny Rebel to play at the pub. He did, however, play Johnny to entertain the boneheads who attended a neo-Nazi gig at the venue;
• Gary did depart the venue about 18 months after a boycott was initiated;
• Prior to deciding to take it over, I was contacted by the management team which replaced him and asked if upon Gary’s departure my support for the boycott would cease (to which I answered ‘yes’);
• From memory, Bruce and the Tote were generally receptive to initiatives to limit the presence of neo-Nazis at the pub;
• Calculating even a rough figure of those who regard Uncle Adolf as being an hero is difficult — there may be 200, 2,000 or even 20,000. Certainly, of these only very few belong to organised groups such as the Southern Cross Hammerskins, Volksfront and the like;
• Neo-Nazis generally despise Muslims, but politics can often make for strange bedfellows. A useful analysis of some of the permutations and combinations of various post-WII fascist movements is contained in Kevin Coogan’s Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Postwar Fascist International (Autonomedia, 1999). Martin A. Lee’s The Beast Reawakens (Little, Brown & Co., 1997) is another, highly useful account of the evolution of (neo-)Nazism in Europe after the collapse of Hitler’s regime;
• In addition to the existence of neo-Nazi and White nationalist groups animated by anti-Semitism, ‘The War on Terror’ has witnessed a remarkable escalation in anti-Muslim sentiment and organising, ranging from the semi-respectable Q Society through to the somewhat-less-respectable Australian Defence League and related groups.
See also : A Brief History Of Neo-Nazi Music In Australia, December 2, 2010 | Subcultures, Pop Music and Politics: Skinheads and “Nazi Rock” in England and Germany, Timothy S. Brown, Journal of Social History, Vol.38, No.1 (Fall 2004).
fierce but broken
I am polite and well-spoken.
This Saturday’s edition of The Saturday Paper has a feature article by Martin McKenzie-Murray titled ‘Hunting Australia’s neo-Nazis’ (April 5, 2014) in which I get a black ‘n’ white guernsey. I’ll comment on the article a little later but in the meantime thank you to my friends and comrades who have been supportive of my writing … and if you’d like to vote for my blog from among the 962(!) entries in the Australian Writers’ Centre’s ‘People’s Choice Award’ please do! (Voting closes Monday 5 May at 5pm (DST).)