Invasion Day 2019

Note : On Sunday, January 20, there will be a Tunnerminnerwait & Maulboyheenner Commemoration, which will be held at the Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner monument at midday at the corner of Victoria & Franklin Streets.

All media inquiries regarding the Melbourne/Narrm event should be addressed to Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) : warnarrm [at] gmail [dot] com.

• The Australian Jewish Democratic Society (AJDS) and Jews against fascism have organised a Jewish bloc to participate in the rally. For more deets, pls see their event page: ‘We invite all Jewish people to join us in standing and walking in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on Invasion Day, January 26, in proclaiming that sovereignty has never been ceded, and in celebrating Indigenous resistance, culture, history, and survival.’

• The AntiColonial Asian Alliance – Naarm/Melbourne will also have a presence on the day. ‘We are a group of Asian organisers looking to show visible and loud support for Aboriginal sovereignty and justice this invasion day. We aim to support the incredible ongoing work of Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance – WAR and be accountable to the First Nations communities all around these lands who have never ceded their sovereignty and who face ongoing colonial state violence.’

• No Pride in Detention will also be marching. ‘No Pride in Invasion is the LGBTIQ contingent in the Invasion Day rally and expresses our community’s support for justice for Indigenous people. We invite all queer folks and their friends, families and allies to march in solidarity with our First Peoples. People of colour, Aboriginals and Torres Straight Islanders are especially welcome.’

• Community radio station 3CR will be bringing youse news & views throughout the day.

• Events are also taking place in:

Belgrave, VIC (2019 Belgrave Survival Day);
Bermagui, NSW (Bermagui Survival Day 2019);
Meanjin/Brisbane;
Hobart;
Perth;
Sydney;
Townsville, QLD;
Tandaya, SA (Tandanya “Survival Day”) &;
Berlin.

See also : January 26: Join the Invasion Day protests and events, Green Left Weekly, January 17, 2019.

*I’ll add other events & locations as I become aware of them.*

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antifa notes (january 15, 2019) : Fraser ‘Final Solution’ Anning & Simon Hickey, ‘The Nazi Sparky’

Fraser ‘Final Solution’ Anning

Anti-fascist research group ‘The White Rose Society’ has published an exposé on federal Senator Fraser ‘Final Solution’ Anning and his many links to local neo-Nazis and other far-right activists.

See : Fraser Anning’s Neo-Nazi connections.

Included in the exposé is reference to a range of familiar characters, most especially Andrew Wilson (Patriotic Youth League/Volksfront/Klub Nation/Klub Naziya/Public Information Forum).

See also : The Nationals Party express concern over new Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party, Lucas Baird, The Australian Financial Review, January 11, 2019 | Cronulla 2.0? : Racist assembly @ St Kilda Beach, Saturday, January 5, 2019 | Neo-Nazi infiltration of the Young Nationals in NSW, October 11, 2018.

Simon Hickey, ‘The Nazi Sparky’

In February 2017, it was reported that Simon Hickey of ‘Smerff Electrical’ in Brisbane had sponsored leading neo-Nazi website ‘The Daily Stormer’:

A Queensland tradie has emerged as the sole corporate sponsor of one of the world’s most popular neo-Nazi websites, drawing condemnation from a Jewish civil rights organisation.

Simon John Hickey, a Brisbane electrician and airconditioner installer whose business logo appears to feature Pepe the Frog, a meme that has become popular with the alt-right, wearing an SS uniform and standing in front of Auschwitz, wouldn’t answer questions posed by Fairfax Media …

See : The Brisbane tradie sponsoring a prominent neo-Nazi website, Jorge Branco, The Brisbane Times, February 28, 2017.

In November last year, Hickey was fined $10,000 (plus costs) in the Holland Park Magistrates Court in an action brought by the Office of Fair Trading ‘for acting as an unlicensed security equipment installer’. Further:

The court heard Mr Hickey was uncooperative throughout the investigation and repeatedly showed abusive and discriminatory behaviour towards investigators.

In January 2018, the Richlands Magistrates Court convicted and sentenced Mr Hickey to six months’ imprisonment, with the term of imprisonment suspended after serving seven days, for the unlawful stalking of an OFT inspector involved in the investigation of the unlicensed security work.

Yesterday (January 14), in Brisbane, the Fair Work Commission rendered a verdict in the case a former employee of Hickey’s brought against him for unfair dismissal.

Conclusion in relation to compensation

[110] After considering the matters required by s. 392 of the Act, I have decided to award Mr Lamacq the amount of $11,400.00 being twelve weeks’ ordinary wages, to be taxed according to law. The amount is to be paid within 21 days of the date of release of this Decision and an Order to that effect will issue with this Decision.

The ruling makes for interesting reading. Highlights include:

[30] Mr Hickey also tendered a written employment contract said to have been signed by Mr Lamacq on 17 September 2017. Mr Hickey said that he did not remember signing the contract and that the signature on it was not like his signature. The contract makes for interesting reading. In relation to wages it states at 5.1:

“You will be paid Weekly at the rate of $15 per hour. If you are unhappy with your wage, you can fuck off. Nobody is forcing you to work here.”

[36] [Hickey:] … Here’s the number for fair work Australia 13 13 94. Do you know how many calls they get per day? Boo Hoo this cunt fired me and he wasn’t paying me leave loading 12% or some shit. Do you know what these cunts do about it? Nothing unless it’s a company worth prosecuting. They know they’ll get nothing from me and even if they could get me for something what would it be?

Nazis eh?

Bonus! Clive Palmer

Fabulously-wealthy blabbermouth Clive Palmer is continuing to carry on like a pork chop, and aiming to return to the federal parliament this year. To that end, he’s been chucking up billboards ripe for redecoration, spamming text messages and has now launched a mobile gaming app called ‘Clive Palmer, Humble Meme Merchant’. It’s replete with AltRight messaging, and is dissected by Jordan McSwiney in this thread, which is recommended-reading.

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Cronulla 2.0? : Racist assembly @ St Kilda Beach, Saturday, January 5, 2019

[Update (January 8, 2019) : Rather than compose another post, I thought I’d update this one with some more infos arising from Saturday’s hate-rally. The first segment concerns police deployment of capsicum spray and use of rubber pellets; the second, the employment by NITV and SBS of neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell on the renovations to their centre at Federation Square in Melbourne.]

Capsicum & Pellets

Among all the media reportage on events at St Kilda on Saturday, one thing that caught my eye was the following (St Kilda beach rally: far-right and anti-racism groups face off in Melbourne, Lisa Martin, The Guardian, January 6, 2019):

In one heated confrontation a rightwing protester broke through police lines and tried to grab a banner from three anti-racism campaigners.

Police sprayed capsicum spray and used rubber pellets before arresting the rightwing protester.

It caught my attention partly on account of what others related to me about the incident. This is their account:

The incident occurred when the anti-racist contingent went out on to the road at Beaconsfield Parade and the fascists were on the embankment leading up to The Esplanade. A few of the fascists started running down the hill and Beaconsfield Parade. At this point, most of the remaining fascists followed them, and the main contingent of the anti-racist rally did as well. This meant that the police followed the main groups (and the fastest-moving parts of those groups) down the road. This left the back of the anti-racist rally completely exposed to both the slower-moving fascists and the ones staying on the embankment.

As there was no police line separating the back end of the rally from the fascists, three anti-racist activists held a banner as a first-line of defence. At this point, a member of the fascist rally approached the three activists holding the banner and tried to rip it out of their hands. The three anti-racists pulled the banner, back but at this point police entered from behind the anti-racists and pepper-sprayed the three of them. As the pepper spray was deployed, the three anti-racist activists and another witness heard at least three loud ‘pops’ in quick succession.

No one was injured from whatever was shot (pepper-ball pellets or rubber pellets) and no-one was marked with dye. However, the OC spray was quite severe. Two women required medical treatment (the pepper spray was mainly levelled against the defensive position of the anti-racists). They were decontaminated on the side of Beaconsfield Parade, initially by other anti-racists, and eventually by paramedics. Those who had just been attacked by the fascists, and then by police, were left exposed as their injuries were treated and as fascists walked past, filmed them, mocked them, and called the women ‘bitches’ and ‘scum’.

We all believe that the police deployed their new weapons, as well as the usual OC spray, and then immediately left the area, without accounting for their behaviour.

Blair Cottrell, NITV, SBS, & Federation Square

According to a source, neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell, in addition to leading the hate-rally in St Kilda on Saturday, has been working as a sub-contractor on the renovations to the building in Federation Square which houses SBS and NITV. As of (very) recently, he’s been re-deployed elsewhere, but was working at the site throughout the Christmas period, in December and January: the precise date on which he commenced working there is unclear.

Cottrell is on the record as advocating the execution of ‘leftist’ media workers. In November 2015, he — along with Neil Erikson, Chris Shortis, Linden Watson and Andrew Wallis — staged a brief occupation of community radio station 3CR. While there, they took notes on staff and stole photographs (and, it seems possible, other d0x).

On that basis, it seems reasonable to conclude that, during the weeks he spent working on site, African, Muslim and Indigenous staff members were potentially exposed to an unsafe work environment. Further, Cottrell has potentially had access to sensitive information; certainly, he’s had the opportunity to put faces to names, acquire detailed knowledge about access to and egress from the building, the comings and goings of particular staff members, and so on.

For the record, nobody much cared about the invasion of 3CR. It’s a small, community-based organisation, targeted on account of my involvement in hosting a radio show there. SBS and NITV, on the other hand, are large media organisations, with many employees and sizable budgets, so it’s possible that Cottrell’s employment there, and seemingly ready-access to its staff and layout, may prompt more serious reflection. At this stage, it remains unclear if the site was a union job, and who exactly was responsible for his employment in the first place. Thus, while members of his extended family run a company called ‘Cottrell Constructions’, via which he’s apparently obtained work, I dunno if this company or some other was contracted to undertake work at Federation Square.

All of which sounds like lines of inquiry that a journalist might like to pursue eh.

[Update (January 7, 2019) : See also : St Kilda rally: A fascist movement can only be kept small if we call it by its name, Jason Wilson, The Guardian, January 7, 2019.]

[I’ve briefly revived the blog in order to write the following. I’m still gonna be taking a break in January, and unpublishing the facebook page. I may add to the post in the next few days as further infos comes to light.]

Aiming to capitalise upon media-driven panic over African youth crime, on Saturday, January 5, serial pest Neil Erikson joined with neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell to organise a racist rally at St Kilda Beach. While estimates vary, and numbers fluctuated during the course of the afternoon, somewhere around 150 people attended their rally, the great majority men and almost all white/’of Anglo appearance’. A larger crowd of perhaps 2-300 attended two anti-racist events on the same strip of beach: one a community picnic, and the other an anti-racist rally organised by the Campaign Against Racism & Fascism (CARF). Both the picnic and rally were scheduled to kick-off at midday, with Erikson and Cottrell’s event due to start at 1pm.

While scheduled to end at 4pm, as it happened the racist rally didn’t last that long and, after perhaps an hour or so of (no-doubt electrifying) speeches — including an address by Senator Fraser ‘Final Solution’ Anning — it abruptly ended. Those who’d assembled then turned their attention to the anti-racist contingent, which by this point had formed one grouping around the picnic, the CARF contingent having marched the very short distance from Catani Arch to join the picnickers. The next hour or two saw various attempts by the racist mob to break the police lines that had formed around the anti-racist contingent. While generally unsuccessful, the mob was free to roam around the police kettle, and continued to harass anti-racists, including when they attempted to leave the area. (For whatever reason, when CARF initially tried (unsuccessfully) to leave the area by crossing Beaconsfield Parade to the Esplanade, the anti-racist assembly was split in half, with the picnickers left behind, and only later being able to leave — either along the Parade, and eventually rejoining CARF — or by another route.)

At various points during this protracted exit from the area, there were brief clashes involving the two sides. In this sense, policing of the event mirrored to some extent that witnessed at the Milo stoopid of December 2017. On that occasion, police were content to allow a small group of fascists to occupy the intersection outside the venue (Melbourne Pavilion) for several hours. On Saturday, the racist mob assembled on Beaconsfield Parade to taunt anti-racists. At one stage, during the (at first) static confrontation between the kettled anti-racists in the park and their loyal opposition (located between it and the road), Some Guy driving a sound system along the Parade paused alongside the racist mob, and two adventurous lads from within the crowd stole a generator from the vehicle. (I understand that they later abandoned the equipment, which was collected by police.) Or as the ABC reported: The conflict spilled onto the road when far-right demonstrators attacked a car which was carrying a loudspeaker broadcasting “Sudanese are welcome, racists are not”.

As the afternoon progressed, there were multiple opportunities for clashes between the two sides, and I’m mildly surprised nobody was seriously injured in these encounters: police reported just three arrests, possibly including that of Rino ‘Bluebeard’ Grgurovic (above). As media have noted, the police presence was massive on the day, with many hundreds mobilised for the occasion, including regular police, uniformed and plainclothes, dog and horse, PORT, undercover, community liaison and specialist media. They also had a helicopter — and a boat!

    1) The racists assembled in the area outside Encore Restaurant near the car park. (It’s been reported that Erikson & Co were getting their drink on from relatively early on at the restaurant.)
    2) The general area in which the racist assembly gathered on Beaconsfield Parade.
    3) The brown lines indicate the movements of the racist mob during the course of the day, walking to the rally along the foreshore and trailing anti-racists as they left the picnic area, eventually reaching Luna Park; the blue line is where several hundred onlookers gawped at the spectacle from the Esplanade.
    4) CARF assembly point.
    5) Community picnic.

In terms of who attended, many were known faces and/or drawn from the various groups which have sprung up in Melbourne in the last few years. So Cottrell and Erikson were joined by former United Patriots Front supporters, Kane Miller and the True Blue Crew, Jason Moore and a handful of Soldiers of Odin, half-a-dozen Proud Boys, Tom Sewell and members of The Lads Society from Melbourne and Sydney (and possibly elsewhere), including its Sydney organisers Alex Annenkov and Mark McDonald (the latter of which was the chief organiser of defunct neo-Nazi grouplet ‘Squadron 88’), and so on. Most were not flying colours on the day, however, and most who attended would seem to have been drawn from the wider white nationalist, anti-African and anti-Muslim milieu, the principal platform for which is facebook. Sewell and The Lads arrived a bit late in the piece, and at first appeared to want to march through the anti-racist crowd, but eventually decided not to. Their arrival did, however, appear to be the trigger for the racist rally as a whole to begin to move to surround the anti-racist picnic and attempt to find ways around police lines to attack.

Finally:

• Senator Fraser Anning’s attendance at the racist rally has been noted. Laughably claiming that the nazi contingent was leftists-in-disguise, his trip was, according to the Senator, official business (ie, The Taxpayer footed the bill for his expedition to St Kilda), and in solidarity with the Vietnamese community. One of the fellas pictured above does a very good line in racist rhetoric directed at African-Australians, and promoted the event on facebook by way of terming it ‘Romper Stomper 2.0’, seemingly (and presumably blissfully) unaware that the 1992 film pitted boneheads against Vietnamese-Australian workers.

• One racist meathead in attendance at the rally sported an SS helmet and a Cosmic Psychos tee. The Cosmic Psychos issued a statement in response to the meathead’s use of their merch. Note that the dickhead was pictured in the company of Kane Miller, the lvl boss of the TBC: Miller and the TBC have worked in close collaboration with nazis for several years now.

• The anti-racist and anti-fascist contingent was on the whole poorly-coordinated. At best, this is a good opportunity for those involved to reflect upon what happened, and think about ways in which to improve upon Saturday’s outing. In this context, I’d suggest that, inter alia, a better understanding of the nature of the opposition is required, as is having a very clear idea of what the purpose of attendance is, along with movement within, to and from the event and the area as a whole. In other words, it’s not just a matter of rocking up, but having an exit strategy. That said, there was relatively little time to prepare for the event, it only being announced about a week prior to its occurrence, so there was always going to be some limitations.

• On the whole, I think that the far right had a good day on Saturday. Able to roam about with relative ease, being much more mobile and appearing to be both more able and willing to engage with the enemy, was certainly an advantage. As a result, I’d be very surprised if they don’t take advantage of the relative momentum generated by the event, and will be organising similar events in the near future.

Select media reportage

(January 5, 2019) : Huge Crowds In St Kilda As Police Separate Far-Right And Anti-Racist Groups, Josh Butler, ten daily | St Kilda Beach far-right rally draws hundreds of Melbourne police, rival protesters, Loretta Florance and Jean Edwards, ABC | St Kilda beach rally: far-right and anti-racism groups face off in Melbourne, Lisa Martin, The Guardian | Here’s Senator Fraser Anning Hanging Out With A Bunch Of Far Right Extremists, Tom Clift, Junkee | Arrests and violence as rival protests clash in St Kilda, The New Daily/AAP | Extreme right-wing ‘patriot’ rally in Melbourne: Nazi salutes and scuffles, police on high alert, Shannon Molloy, news dot com dot au | Race Discrimination Commissioner condemns far-right rally in Melbourne, SBS/AAP.

(January 6, 2019) : Scott Morrison Condemns ‘Ugly Racial Protests’ At St Kilda, But Not Fraser Anning, Emma Brancatisano, ten daily | Australian senator attends far-right rally in Melbourne as protesters perform Nazi salutes, Lizzie Dearden, The Independent | Australian PM condemns ‘ugly’ Melbourne rallies involving right-wing extremists, anti-fascists, tvnz/AAP.

(January 7, 2019) : Fraser Anning billed taxpayers thousands to attend two more far-right events, Max Koslowski & Michael Koziol, The Sydney Morning Herald.

(January 8, 2019) : Fascists Rallying over a Fallacy: Nazi Sentiment Seen as Acceptable by Some, Sydney Criminal Lawyers.

See also : Quiet riot: The race to ‘another Cronulla’, Benjamin Millar, medium, January 3, 2019.

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Blogging 2018 : A Summary

Another year done gone, and another opportunity to review what the Hell I’ve been writing about.

Please note that, at this stage, I’m unsure if I’ll continue blogging in 2019 as — combined with having a social media presence on Facebook and Twitter (which have more-or-less completely destroyed the so-called ‘blogosphere’) — it’s extremely time-consuming, and completely unrewarding financially, making the whole thing rather unsustainable. So, I’m going to take a break in January, and think about ways I may be able to make it so. In the absence of financial support of some kind, chances are I’ll simply abandon the field to others, who can undertake their own research.

With that said …

January

January saw the release of Romper Stomper on Stan, in which I was virtually cast in the role of ‘the ideological ringmaster, McKew’, a University lecturer who functioned as the bRanes behind ‘Antifasc’, and who published his insights on a website named ‘The Slacker’s Guide To Fascists’.

LOL.

I reviewed the show in Romper Stomper Pulls On Its Boots Again (But Forgets To Thread Its Laces) (January 13, 2018).

tl;dr : Romper Stomper was entertaining, but rather silly.

Also in January, Channel 7 provided some free advertising for the anti-African street patrol members of the racist street-gang the ‘True Blue Crew’ had cooked up with members of the neo-Nazi groupuscule ‘The Lads Society’: #7SummerOfNazis : The True Blue Crew & Co. Go Hunting Blacks While Channel 7 Cheers (January 16, 2018).

The journalist responsible for the report, Jodi Lee, was given the opportunity to gain some greater insight into the nature of the milieu Channel 7 was promoting when, 10 months later, serial pest Neil Erikson attempted to sabotage her broadcast from the scene of Hassan Khalif Shire Ali’s awful crime, and he was later to remark that, given her obvious irritation, she may have secretly desired him to rape her.

At best, this remark was in very poor taste, but has added menace given that the leading members of both TBC and The Lads have criminal convictions for violent crimes against women. Not normally the kinds of men you’d want to entrust with ‘community safety’, but what would I know eh.

In any case, the following synopsis of the inglorious history of the TBC by Tom Tanuki bears repeating:

The TBC were formed after a few of their original core crew got into a scrap with some Antifa kids after a 2015 rally. ‘Never again,’ they said! So, the TBC were originally meant to be a patriot answer to black bloc Anteefa contingents.

Their red letter day came in May 2016, when they took part in an organised attempt to have the far-right march through Coburg. Their brief, televised fights with masked lefties were a big popularity boost for them. TBC started charging membership fees – $20 a week, $10 for ‘casual’ members. At one point, they were earning tens of thousands of dollars in just a few months! The money was being managed by TBC ‘President’ Kane Miller’s partner and her sister and all of that money was going to Kane. He was largely spending it as he liked.

Behind closed doors, the ‘President’ was abusing his partner. He even broke her back. He wasn’t the only woman-bashing TBC member, either – and when photographic evidence of another member’s brutal assault on his wife was made public, Kane avoided the increasing media spotlight on TBC by kicking Mark out. Members knew that decision made Kane a bit of a hypocrite, for the abovementioned reasons… So they started leaving the TBC. Kane’s abused partner finally left him too and the money management side of TBC went down the drain. The things she revealed about the abuse meant even more TBC members left the group – and they took their membership fees with them.

Kane went quiet for a long while, feeling defeated. TBC ‘club meetings’ dwindled after a time to little more than 12 unemployed blokes sitting around sucking cones in Kane’s mum’s living room. But the lure of conning working class Aussies out of their hard-earned wages still called to Kane. So TBC returned somewhat with an Australia Day BBQ in St Kilda (a genius idea he came up with after a sesh watching the new Romper Stomper). And he had some stupid fucking idea to wander around parks with a bunch of other losers looking for Sudanese children to fight. A meeting he held at Tom Sewell’s Cheltenham clubhouse was televised, with Channel 7 airing a description of the TBC’s initiative as being ‘like a Neighbourhood Watch’ – and it seemed to the world like the TBC were back!

It was not like a Neighbourhood Watch. It was just more hare-brained, shard-addled fantasy garbage from a man who was desperate to be given more membership fees to enjoy himself with. He says it’s for a ‘clubhouse’ but it isn’t and it never will be. TBC only have about 5-10 people contributing membership fees and they get most of their cash from merch. It’s not enough. Kane just wants to siphon more money out from poor, angry, confused Aussies.

That money won’t do anything but fund the TBC ‘President’ and his lifestyle. This is a man who gets cash-in-hand from his Muslim boss (serious!) and has membership fees go into his mates’ bank account so child support can’t take it. This is a man with convictions for domestic violence (he was also violent to his last ex, who also dumped him), multiple AVO breaches and firearms charges who won’t pay for his own child. Money given to TBC is fleeced money, and it pays for a shit fucking dude.

Finally, in January Victoria Police began to undertake arrests and charge various individuals, including Erikson, with various alleged offences arising from confrontations outside the Milo Yiannopoulos event at Melbourne Pavilion in December 2017. (VicPol also declared that the organisers of the event would face a phat invoice for the cost of policing it — a bill which main organiser Damien Costas declared that he simply would not pay.)

February

In February I took note of the very large march through Melbourne on Australia/Invasion/Survival Day.

I also took the opportunity to examine Keyboard Warriors of the Australian #AltRight : XYZ & David Hiscox, an online publication which, like others of its ilk, has become increasingly brazen in its commitments to promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, White supremacy, and other fun stuff. Regular XYZ columnist Ryan Fletcher:

Finally, Oxford University Press released The Oxford Handbook of the Radical Right, to which myself and Aurelien Mondon contributed a chapter on the radical right in Australia. I also drew attention to the Perth trial of members of Aryan Nations for murder, the fact that they played host to the UPF when they journeyed to Perth for the ‘Reclaim Australia’ rally in November 2015, and the fact that the Aryan Nations household was used as the location for the UPF’s announcement that they were going to form a political party, ‘Fortitude’.

March

Just two posts this month, one on ‘Firearm Owners United’ — a gun lobby whose President, James Buckle, was one of the founding members of The Lads Society — and another detailing a whole load of stuff, including the murder convictions of Aryan Nations, the beginning of the end of the Sydney-based Party for Freedom, alleged terrorist Phill Galea being deemed fit for trial, and more besides.

April

In April I began to examine some of the chancers and spivs on the right who, looking at the lucrative tour by Milo in December, decided that they too wanted a piece of the action; took note of a whiny Blair Cottrell; outed a member of neo-Nazi grouplet ‘Antipodean Resistance’; and wrote a reply to an article in the US radical press which claimed anTEEfa was a species of ‘liberalism’.

On a rather different note, I also profiled Melbourne’s second-hand bookshops.

Oh, and on April 21, the Sydney Criminal Lawyers website published ‘The Rise of Australian Neo-Nazis: An Interview with Online Activist Slackbastard’ by Paul Gregoire, which discusses Antipodean Resistance in the context of a broader discussion of fascism and the far right Down Under.

May

Again, just two posts this month (‘antifa notes’), including infos on the forced cancellation of a neo-Nazi heavy metal gig in Melbourne, Aryan Nations, Right Wing Resistance, the disruption of a church service in Gosford by serial pest Neil Eikson & Co., and a bizarre interaction with a right-wing propaganda outlet in the US.

June

I was a bit more busy in June. First, I detailed the role of the Arcadia Hotel in South Yarra as the favourite watering-hole for the Australian Liberty Alliance (the owner is also an anti-Muslim bigot), then detailed preparations by ‘Axiomatic Events’ for the tour Down Under of batshit right-wing propagandists Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern (both celebrated by Newscorpse), and its battles with rival hate-profiteers ‘Future Now’. I also promoted solidarity with Flemington estate arrestees (cf. Milo Yiannopoulos), recounted the TBC’s annual flagwit parade, published an extract from Roger Griffin’s new title on the fascist concept of the ultra-nation, and finally detailed Neil Erikson’s various battles with the forces of law & order.

In June, I also done a interview with socialist group Fightback in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

July

July was dedicated to Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern’s tour of Australia, including by way of drawing attention to its support by the AFL in Cairns. (Nobody else cared.)

August

Just three posts in August, concerning the promotion of neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell by Sky News (Australia’s answer to Fox News) in Neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell & Useful Idiots Adam Giles & Sky News Australia; Who are Antipodean Resistance? (August 2018 Update); and a final post on the ‘March for Men’ in Melbourne (for which neo-Nazis from The Lads Society helped provide security) and a pathetic neo-Nazi rally in Canberra. Note that, in private, The Lads’ expressed some rather typical — and I suppose mildly disturbing — opinions about the organiser of the March for Men’s organiser, Sydney Watson.

September

September saw alleged terrorist Phillip Galea back in court. The Age : ‘An accused far-right extremist spoke often about bombing two left-wing groups in Melbourne and said any innocent bystanders hurt would be “casualties of war”, an associate says. Phillip Galea is charged with making preparations for terrorist attacks on the Melbourne Anarchist Club and Melbourne Resistance Centre between November 2015 and August 2016.’ It also saw Nigel Farage in The Colonies. In Melbourne, Farage — whose tour was organised by Damien Costas — was hosted by the Sofitel Hotel. Among those in attendance were serial pest Neil Erikson (who was briefly detained by police) and his kamerad Andy Nolch, the man responsible for vandalising the memorial to murdered woman Eurydice Dixon.

I made note of some of the leaks from the secret Facebook group of neo-Nazi grouplet The Lads Society. On this occasion, it concerned the antics of some boneheads (see img above) in Brisbane, and Blair Cottrell’s upset at them being so open in their public displays of commitment to Nazi politics: The (neo-Nazi) Lads Society : Blair Cottrell’s pro-tip : Wear Your Swastikas On The Inside.

Also in September, I republished a letter from philosopher Simone Weil, recounting her experiences in the Spanish Civil War and involvement with a CNT militia, and made some notes on the role of the International Brigades in the conflict, updated the Trot Guide, and published an extract from an essay Elizabeth Humphrys wrote on ‘Halcyon Days? The Amalgamated Metal Workers’ Union and the Accord’. In the Trot Guide update I also made reference to the recently-published book The Far Left in Australia since 1945 (Routledge, 2018), edited by Jon Piccini, Evan Smith & Matthew Worley.

See also : How Labour Built Neoliberalism: Australia’s Accord, the Labour Movement and the Neoliberal Project (Brill, 2018).

Finally, in antifa notes (september 28, 2018) : Anning, Coulter, Fortress, Palmer, Yaxley-Lennon, Yiannopoulos et. al., I took a good look at the various tours Down Under of a number of foreign right-wing carpetbaggers, the activities of a number of local fascist creeps, and more.

October

On October 6, go-to lawyer for the far right, John Bolton, organised a tiny rally outside Lakemba. It attracted the support of All The Usual Suspects, including a handful of neo-Nazis, at least one of whom was implicated in later political shenanigans in NSW. Thus October also brought the sensational news that a bunch of nazis had infiltrated the Young Nationals in that state. Finally, in mid-October, right-wing Christians in Melbourne held a ‘March for Babies’. The organisers also employed neo-Nazis from The Lads Society to provide security.

Typically, no reference was made to this in media coverage.

*Oh. Also in October, I closed my blog and social media accounts for a few days. Which prompted various right-wing meatheads to proclaim that I’d been arrested and prolly flown to Guantanamo or something. LOL.

November

A relatively busy month, with eight posts, two of which were dedicated to examining (inter alia) the AltRight tour circuit: antifa notes (november 2, 2018) : milo & mcinnes; lads, proud boys & natzis and Damien Costas Presents : Gavin McInnes & Tommy Robinson Live in Australia (December 2018). I also took note of the death of The Last of the Spanish Anarchists Exiled to Australia, republished an article from the recently-revived Tribune on The ’43 Group (which smashed the re-emergent fascist movement in E-E-England after the end of WWII) and took a look at some of the (far) left and (far) right candidates for the Victorian state election.

Finally, I examined the denunciations of Australia First Party propagandist Nathaniel Jacob Sassoon Sykes by members of The Lads Society (as detailed in their secret Facebook group) and highlighted the ongoing campaign to shutdown The Lads’ organising space in the Sydney suburb of Ashfield.

December

In December, I wrote some general reflections On Right-Wing Trolls Touring Australia in 2018, published ‘Me-ism and The Left’ : A response to Joshua Dabelstein, and went into some detail regarding Milo Yiannopoulos’ recent travails in Milo Yiannopoulos (Penthouse Florida) ~versus~ Damien Costas (Penthouse Australia). I also examined the fortunes of (far) left and (far) right candidates at the Victorian state elections.

Finally, from The Department of The Strange, The Bizarre & The Disturbing, came Anarchy : Deep in the Woods (on ‘eco-extremism’) and Right Wing Resistance, Ricky White, & slackbastard in which, courtesy of the NSW Supreme Court, I was cast in the role of Ricky White.

#TrueStory

See also : Blogging 2017 : A Summary (December 30, 2017).

~ On a final note, thank you to all who’ve expressed support over the course of the year — I genuinely appreciate it. ~

Posted in !nataS, Anarchism, Anti-fascism, Broken Windows, Death, Film, History, Media, Music, Sex & Sexuality, State / Politics, Student movement, Television, That's Capitalism!, Trot Guide, War on Terror | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Right Wing Resistance, Ricky White, & slackbastard

A problem for the Australian antifa, and indeed for anti-fascist groups in Europe and the US, is that few people and organisations they oppose here have much to do with Nazism. ~ Chip Le Grand, Antifa Australia goes for the jugular, The Australian, December 9, 2017

On December 14, 2018, a judgement was delivered in the Supreme Court of NSW in the case of ‘State of New South Wales v White [2018] NSWSC 1943’. ‘White’ refers to Ricky White, who at one time was the 2IC of ‘Right Wing Resistance Australia’ (RWRAU), the Australian branch of a tiny neo-Nazi network established in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2009 by veteran neo-Nazi activist Kyle Chapman.

The case, before The Honourable Justice Natalie Adams, was in response to an application to have White subject to a supervision order under the relevant sections of the Terrorism (High Risk Offenders) Act 2017 (NSW), and resulted in the following orders being issued by the court:

(1) Pursuant to ss 20, 25(1)(a) and 26(6) of the Terrorism (High Risk Offenders) Act 2017 (NSW), the defendant is to be supervised under an extended supervision order for a period of two years from the date of this order.

(2) Pursuant to s 29(1) of the Terrorism (High Risk Offenders) Act 2017 (NSW), the defendant is to comply with the conditions set out in the Schedule to this judgment for the duration of the extended supervision order.

(3) Access to the Court file in these proceedings is restricted such that access would only be permitted to a non-party with the leave of a Judge of this Court and with prior notice to the parties so as to allow them to be heard in respect of the application for access.

In addition to legal argument, the judgement contains reference to White’s background, activities as a member of RWRAU, and a brief account of the groupuscule’s origins, history and activities, furnished to the court by academic Professor Paul Spoonley, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University of New Zealand.

As noted above, access to Spoonley’s report is restricted.

I haven’t paid all that much attention to RWRAU, but did take note of White being charged with the arson of a church in September 2016 (of which he was later found guilty); the court d0x also reveal him to have had a previous conviction for ‘phone calls to the Sydney Jewish Museum in 2014 which involved anti-Semitic threats of extreme violence and sexual assault’. As a result, ‘he was arrested and charged on 4 April 2014 and was ultimately convicted of three counts of using a carriage service to menace/harass/offend and one count of using a carriage service to threaten serious harm. He was fined and placed under a 12 month recognizance.’

As for RWRAU, Justice Adams writes:

42 I have had regard to the report by Professor Paul Spoonley, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University of New Zealand. Professor Spoonley has expertise in race relations, right wing extremism, skinhead political movements, anti-Semitism and so forth. He provided the following information in relation to RWR.

43 Sometime in about 2008 or 2009, RWR emerged in New Zealand, bringing together various skinhead activities and white supremacist activists. It was created and named by activist Kyle Champan. In addition to aggressive opposition to cultural diversity and multiculturalism, advocacy for white pride and racial purity and the use of neo-Nazi imagery, Mr Chapman endeavoured to involve RWR in political events and campaigns (such as disrupting political meetings), to make the group visible (such as vigilante patrols in Christchurch) and to promote it through the use of social media. RWR was also made very recognisable due to the adoption of a black uniform, insignia on the lapels and black foraging caps reminiscent of Nazi German uniforms.

44 RWR was heavily reliant on the direction and initiative provided by Mr Chapman. He had actively engaged with the media, including social media. When Mr Chapman left, the visibility and degree of organisation meant that the activity of RWR has faded somewhat in the last few years. However, there are several individuals who keep elements of RWR alive in social media. One of those persons was the defendant who used the online pseudonym “slackbastard”.

45 RWR remained active both online and in relation to various activities through to 2016-17. During this year there were reports of violence involving RWR members in Brighton, Christchurch during a RWR annual “flag day” after the group had marched through the CBD and attended the Bridge of Remembrance in black clothing and boots, flying a Union Jack, the Cross of St George and a “white power” flag. [See : Man stabbed at Right Wing Resistance party in Christchurch, Sam Sherwood, stuff.co.nz, October 24, 2016.]

46 The Australian RWR was said to have much of the same ideology and politics as its New Zealand counterpart. Slogans used on websites hosted by the Australian RWR included “Asia for the Asians. Africa for the Africans. White Countries for Everbody” and “anti-racism is a code word for anti-white”. One blog stated “Race: No Muslims, Blacks, Asians, Jews” and depicted neo-Nazi images.

47 I have had regard to this material and the material set out below. I am satisfied that the offender burnt down the church in Taree with the intention of advancing a political religious or ideological cause and intending the intimidation of the public or a section of it.

In which context, a few further remarks are in order.

The founder of RWR, Kyle Chapman, has a long and distinguished history of playing Nazi dress-ups, including with the New Zealand Hammerskins and New Zealand National Front, as well as the National(ist) Alliance, Survive Club, and a number of other crank projects. In fact, the first occasion upon which Chapman’s name appears on the blog is way back in June 2006, when he was touting the virtues of something called the ‘Phantom Recon Militia’.

Chapman’s dream of creating a neo-Nazi militia — complete with uniforms, ranks, and oaths of loyalty — eventually found its culmination in RWR (est. February 2009), and its associated project of establishing a compound or ‘Land Base’. One of RWR’s first public actions was a vigilante patrol in Christchurch; in 2011 in Wellington they held a flag parade; for ‘White Pride World Wide Day’ in 2013 RWR was joined by Australia First Party fuehrer Dr Jim Saleam. Otherwise, RWR carried on with the all the usual activities associated with being a very smol nazi groupuscule.

Like White, Chapman is also apparently responsible for setting fires: ‘In his younger days in Invercargill he admitted to a series of arsons between 1987 and 1992, including fire-bombing a marae.’

Fast-forward to early 2009, and on Stormfront Chapman announced the creation of ‘Right Wing Resistance’, and in October 2009 commenced publishing a blog of that name (now deleted). In 2013, on his personal blog, Chapman claimed that RWR was going very well.

In February 2015, Chapman, again on Stormfront, claimed that RWR was able and willing to provide ‘training’ for White supremacist recruits in order to travel to South Africa and, presumably, join the fight for a White South Africa. Perhaps not surprisingly, it appears as though this particular mission was not a great success. In any case, in 2015–2016 Chapman gradually stepped back from the group, publicly announced his resignation in September 2016, and another man — an elderly scrapworker called Vaughan Tocker — became the group’s leader and public face.

So far, so typical.

Of course, Chapman had wild ambitions. Thus, RWR was not only going to operate in Aotearoa/New Zealand, but become The World’s Leading White Supremacist Organisation.

Let’s see how that’s fared, shall we?

RWR Leaves Home

In 2012, a handful of neo-Nazis in Scotland joined RWR, following which franchises were established (or were claimed to have been established) in Australia, Canada, Sweden, the United States of America, and numerous other countries. Mostly, this consisted of outreach over teh intarwebs, the purchase of RWR merch, and posing for pictures while wearing said merch. Beyond that, RWR hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory.

Finland

Along with Sweden, RWR made very partial inroads into the neo-Nazi movement in Finland. Among those who reportedly joined the group was Mika Ranta, the founder of the racist street-gang the ‘Soldiers of Odin’ (SOO). The Melbourne franchise of SOO was kindly compared by The Age to the ‘Guardian Angels’ (New York). One of its members, Garry Mattsson, became one of the so-called ‘Milo Five’ (along with Neil Erikson, Garry Hume, Ricky Turner and Richard Whelan), and was later convicted of offences arising from the fussing and fighting outside of Melbourne Pavilion during the Melbourne leg of Milo Yiannopoulos‘s tour Down Under in December 2017. (Ranta himself has criminal convictions for racist violence.)

Scotland

In March 2016, another bonehead, Gary Crane, was reported as being ‘the UK leader of the ultra-hardline worldwide Right Wing Resistance (RWR) movement’. Like other right-wing predators, Crane was especially-committed to recruiting vulnerable yoof, a project given the tabloid treatment in ‘Unmasked: Neo-Nazi racist brainwashing young Scots in bid to lure them into his sick gang of hate’ (Liam Turbett, The Daily Record, March 29, 2016). Included in the article are references to Peter Kramer (RWR Sweden) and diminutive nazi Shane Calvert (‘Diddyman’). According to Turbett, ‘Kramer is a senior member of the Swedish branch of the RWR. He has travelled to New Zealand to meet founding members of the organisation and travels Europe to attend demos dressed as an SS-style Nazi.’

A year later, in March 2017, Crane was sentenced to eight months in prison for his role in ‘violent disorder at last year’s ill-fated National Front demonstration in Dover … The jailing is a mortal blow to the Right Wing Resistance (RWR), a major international revolutionary National Socialist force. Or yet another tinpot gang of fascist uniform fetishists. You decide.’

Sweden

As noted previously on the blog, RWR attracted a tiny following in Sweden. In February 2013, a 44yo member of the group was charged with displaying his SS tattoos at a National Democrats’ demonstration in Gothenburg in 2012. (The neo-Nazi had previous criminal convictions for bad behaviour.)

USA

In February 2017, the ADL reported that a bonehead by the name of Benjamin McDowell got arrest:

On February 15, FBI agents arrested Benjamin Thomas Samuel McDowell, 29, of Conway, South Carolina, alleging he purchased a gun from an undercover agent from the FBI posing as someone connected with a faction of the neo-Nazi group Aryan Nations. McDowell, a convicted felon not allowed to own guns, was charged with illegal possession of a firearm.

Further:

McDowell was previously associated with the Right-Wing Resistance, a racist skinhead crew which originated in New Zealand and spread to the United States in early 2015. In fact, in October 2015, one member welcomed him to the crew as the new Unit Leader for South Carolina. Right-Wing Resistance had also been part of the Black and Silver Solutions umbrella group.

Northern Ireland/The Six Counties & Wales

In NI, a single reference to RWR is made in a BBC summary of NI newspaper headlines in December 2017: ‘The [Ulster Gazette] also has a report on a Coalisland man jailed for four months for leaving an anti-Islamic leaflet in Armagh library. A court was told the name Right Wing Resistance was printed at the bottom of the leaflet.’

In Wales, Christopher Phillips gets a guernsey courtesy of Hope Not Hate in ‘Nazi Chris loves his guns and stuff’ (August 11, 2017), which includes a photo of Phillips posing with a gun.

The pic of Phillips posing in his living room with what looks like slightly more than just an air rifle is also interesting; Phillips claims it is for “hunting nigglets”.

In fact, Mr Phillips has an entire account on the Russian version of Facebook that is littered with pics of him with guns, making threats against black people, his wife with guns and even the pair of them out Nazi saluting, because despite being a gun-toting Nazi fanatic, he is just an old romantic at heart.

See also : Business owner’s disgust as sick stickers and posters plastered around Armagh (‘Councillor asked to bring ‘hate crime’ to attention of PSNI’), armaghi.com, June 21, 2017.

It’s almost as if there’s some kind of pattern developing here, isn’t there?

RWRAU

As noted, RWRAU set-up shop in Australia within a few years of its emergence in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Seemingly since its beginning, its chief propagandist has been a bonehead from Newcastle called ‘Sammy Binz’ (‘Sammy Chelsea’). Sammy has been quite prolific on teh webs, with a blog on wixsite, YouTube channel, Pinterest and VK account, and so on.

Above : Deputy Mayor of Casey Council Rosalie Crestani with Sammy Chelsea, fuehrer of RWRAU, at Reclaim Australia rally, Sydney, January 2017.

Most of RWRAU’s activity in Australia has consisted of distributing hate propaganda. But members of the group have attended and flown the flag at a small number of public protests, including ‘Reclaim Australia’ rallies in Brisbane in 2015 and Sydney in 2017, and the ‘True Blue Crew’ rally in Melbourne later that year. Among those to have expressed support for the group is alleged terrorist Phillip Galea and another local bonehead, Aaron De Keulenaer.

Oh, and in 2016, in a video since deleted from her YouTube channel, Sammy paid a visit to the Clayton campus of Monash University.

OK, here we are, in Monash University. This is where, a girl with … [?], a Right Wing Resistance t-shirt, [with] ‘Auschwitz’ on her arm — uh-huh, a-ha … [?] gotta be careful. Monash University is home to slackbastard, who’s caused us white national-socialists quite a lot of grief over time. It’s also a hotbed of left-wing communists, and social-anarchists. And we are not gonna back down to this scum. And we are gonna have a little bit of fun, aren’t we? So, I’ve already started [puts RWR posters up] … So I better get moving, and get out of here before someone arrests me. The Nazi has entered the building! [puts RWR posters up] … This is bullshit what they teach the kids here. Like really. What is this. This is crap … [puts RWR posters up] Oh, looks like show’s over, Monash security is on its way. Look at that over there … We’ll risk one more, hey, and then we’ll get the Hell on out of here … That is how you piss off a whole University full of left-wing communist Marxist scum.

This one’s for you slackbastard.

Cheers Sammy.

Ethan Tilling

Above : Tilling (on far right) with chums from RWRAU.

Given the nature of the court proceedings, however, it’s somewhat surprising that the judgement seemingly contains no reference to the most widely-publicised media account involving RWRAU: the expedition to Ukraine of Ethan Tilling.

When Australian former Neo-Nazi and registered gun owner Ethan Tilling flew into Brisbane [in 2018], he was returning under the radar of Australian authorities with newfound combat experience from a brutal and forgotten war.

Mr Tilling, who was until recently a member of the Nazi group Right Wing Resistance, had spent the Australian spring in the bitter cold of Eastern Ukraine firing Kalashnikovs, rocket launchers and grenades at Russian-backed separatists …

See : From Neo-Nazi to militant: The foreign fighters in Ukraine who Australia’s laws won’t stop, Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Suzanne Dredge, and Michael Workman, ABC Investigations, May 7, 2018.

Finally, it would be remiss of me not to take particular note of paragraph 44 of the judgement, viz:

RWR was heavily reliant on the direction and initiative provided by Mr Chapman. He had actively engaged with the media, including social media. When Mr Chapman left, the visibility and degree of organisation meant that the activity of RWR has faded somewhat in the last few years. However, there are several individuals who keep elements of RWR alive in social media. One of those persons was the defendant who used the online pseudonym “slackbastard”.

This would appear to claim (I cannot think of any other reasonable interpretation) that, as far as The Honourable Justice Natalie Adams is concerned, I am in fact Ricky White.

Bizarre, no?

See also : Deranged but Dangerous- Right Wing extremists in Aotearoa and the dangers they pose., leftwin, December 6, 2015 | The Ice Bloc blog has lots of interesting and useful disco on far-right politics in Aotearoa/New Zealand, as does the socialist organisation Fightback.

Posted in Anti-fascism, Broken Windows, Media, State / Politics, War on Terror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Anarchy : Deep in the Woods

I recently read this rather interesting article — ‘Children of Ted: The Unlikely New Generation of Unabomber Acolytes’ (John H Richardson, New York Magazine, December 11, 2018) — which left me feeling curious as to what is, in fact, the political legacy of the Unabomber (AKA Ted Kaczynski). My interest is also inspired by having recently watched Netflix’s Manhunt: Unabomber (of which, based on others’ description, Kaczynski is not a fan).

Witnessing global ecology on the point of total collapse is perhaps another reason to (re-)examine his ideas.

From memory, I think I first encountered Kaczynski’s manifesto (Industrial Society & Its Future) in the pages of zines like Fifth Estate. Certainly, I remember there being a lot of discussion of the text in the radical press, especially its meaning and significance for anarchists and environmentalists. Kaczynski went to some trouble to ensure his text was published in The New York Times and The Washington Post: his bombing campaign between 1978 and 1995 killed three people and injured 23. For all that, Lewis Mumford is the better read.

It’s in this context that the various groups, projects and individuals who may (or may not) constitute ‘Ted’s Children’ have emerged, identified in the article as being ‘Books and webzines with names like Against Civilization, FeralCulture, Unsettling America, and the Ludd-Kaczynski Institute of Technology‘; Deep Green Resistance, Derrick Jensen, Individualidades Tendiendo a lo Salvaje/Individuals Tending Toward the Wild (ITS) and so on. (Oddly, it does not reference John Zerzan.) While each of these individuals, groups, texts and projects has generated its own fair share of controversy, that surrounding ITS and eC0-eXTReMiSM is something else again.

Existing within and emerging from a broader anarchist, insurrectionist and nihilist milieu, or seeming to, ITS is a relatively new kid on the anti-civilisationist bloc. Its first communiqué was published in April 2011, and claimed responsibility for a parcel bomb sent to nanotechnologist Oscar Alberto Camacho Olguin. In ENG translation, it reads in part:

In Mexico, as mentioned, nanoscale technology continues to grow, the government of the Mexican State wants to keep abreast of progress and modernity (also by the morbid and mediocre goal of reaching the national presidency) and therefore has built the Universidad Politécnica del Valle de Mexico, where the Nanotechnology degree is one of several courses complicit in technological development. The reasons to attack all types of growth in nanoscience are quite strong and therefore we have sent a parcel bomb to that institution on April 14th of this year, specifically to the head of the Engineering Division in Nanotechnology, Prof. Oscar Alberto Camacho Olguin. We have no hesitation in attacking those people who are key to the climax that technology wants to achieve. We prefer to see them dead or mutilated rather than continuing to contribute with their scientific knowledge to all this shit, to continue feeding the Domination System.

Since then, ITS (and its various constituents) have undertaken (or claimed to have undertaken) many more such actions, including, most sensationally, the murders and attempted murders not only of ‘mad scientists’ like Olguin but indiscriminate attacks upon civilians. In any case, there has now been published over 60 communiqués from ITS on teh webs, available for perusal on relevant blogs, and previously (in ENG translation) on the Atassa blog (now defunct). According to these sources, cells would appear to exist in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico (and presumably elsewhere in South American territories), but for obvious reasons — like their string of claimed actions — this is difficult either to confirm or to deny.

Richardson:

The most ominous example [of domestic terrorism in some way inspired by Kaczynski] is Individualidades Tendiendo a lo Salvaje, or ITS (usually translated as Individuals Tending Toward the Wild), a loose association of terrorist groups started by Mexican Kaczynski devotees who decided that his plan to take down the system was outdated because the environment was being decimated so fast and government surveillance technology had gotten so robust. Instead, ITS would return to its guru’s old modus operandi: revenge. The group set off bombs at the National Ecology Institute in Mexico, a Federal Electricity Commission office, two banks, and a university. It now claims cells across Latin America, and in January 2017, the Chilean offshoot delivered a gift-wrapped bomb to Oscar Landerretche, the chairman of the world’s largest copper mine, who suffered minor injuries. The group explained its motives in a defiant media release: “The pretentious Landerretche deserved to die for his offenses against Earth.”

While initially seeming to have some sympathies for anarchism (or at least its insurrectionist and anti-civilisationist tendencies), of late ITS has deepened its antagonism by threatening to kill anarchist critics, among them Scott Campbell, the author of two articles — ‘There’s Nothing Anarchist about Eco-Fascism: A Condemnation of ITS’ (May 12, 2017) and ‘Not Our Comrades: ITS Attacks on Anarchists’ (August 30, 2017) — which denounce ITS from an anarchist perspective. Further (‘Of Indiscriminate Attacks & Wild Reactions: an anti-civ anarchist engages with ITS and Atassa, their defenders and their false critics’):

ITS has attacked anarchists, in fact, has tried to detonate a bomb in an anarchist squat in order to kill or injury many of them. They have threatened even more. They have stridently condemned anarchists in word and deed. They have embraced something they call the “indiscriminate attack” and have fully embraced a particular brand of the ideology of misanthropy. They claim that any human is a legitimate target for murder and have recently claimed responsibility for multiple of them: a couple slaughtered for the sin of hiking in some relatively virgin wilderness, and the May 3rd femicide of Lesvy Rivera, a woman on the campus of National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), who the group condemned for being human, for being drunk, and most obviously to some of us, for being a woman.

A number of other statements have since been published, some of which have been compiled into a pamphlet called ‘Against Eco-Extremism : Mirror image of Civilisation & Religion’ (July 2018), and in November the Individualist Network and Indonesian Anarchist Black Cross published Seek and Destroy Eco-Extremism Everywhere: A Joint Statement. For its part, ITS has responded to critics, who are generally denounced for their ‘moralism’, and anybody is free to wade thru their online polemics on ‘The Anarchist Library’ (see below) and elsewhere.

The two individuals featured in Richardson’s article, John Jacobi and ‘Abe Cabrera’, ‘contributed to the journal Atassa, which was dedicated on the first page to the premise that “civilization should be fought” and that the example of Ted Kaczynski “is what that fighting looks like”.’ Atassa: Readings in Eco-Extremism is published and distributed by Little Black Cart (LBC) in the US. The introduction to the first volume reads:

Atassa is the Muskogee word for “war club.’’ The atassa was the symbol of the Red Sticks, a faction within the Muskogee or Creek nation that from 1813 to 1814 fought against the encroachment of white settlers on their lands in what is now the states of Georgia and Alabama in the present-day United States.

For us, it is a symbol of a war that came too late, too late to save their sacred ground and rhythm of life, too late to fight the mass of invaders who would transform the land into something unrecognizable. Nevertheless, the war was fought, because their instincts, and arguably the land itself, demanded it.

Eco-extremism has no presence in the United States or in the English-speaking world. It started in Mexico as an illegalist tendency, not at all concerned with proselytism or popularity, and has since spread to other countries to the South and in a certain form to Europe. Those involved in this journal are thus not eco-extremists, and we don’t advocate that anyone consider this journal an exhortation to action or advocacy for illegality. Like the corridos (ballads) also coming from the South celebrating the actions of figures of the drug trade, we are here to “tell it like it is,” not changing anything or condemning any of these actions since we don’t find that attitude particularly helpful. Like the narco-corrido, our only message is: “This exists, and you have to think about it, whether you like it or not.”

We hope that our little labor will serve to inform and inspire a different perspective in the Anglophone reader.

With Wild Nature on our side.

Atassa 1 otherwise comprises elaborations on ‘eco-extremism’ and Kaczynski’s writings by Cabrera, Jacobi and others, accounts of ITS actions, historical analysis of the Creek War and other such conflicts, strategic and tactical advice for those wishing to pursue an eco-extremist approach, and so on. A second volume (I haven’t read) has been published which presumably carries on in the same manner as the first. Of the second volume, LBC notes: ‘Not necessarily the most controversial thing LBC has ever published, but certainly the publication that has caused the most furor so far.’

In response to Campbell’s articles, LBC published a statement on ‘Why do we publish such objectionable things?’ (August 24, 2018). The Brilliant podcast has also published interviews with the editor of the journal, ‘Abe Cabrera’. (Oddly, ‘Cabrera’ has also written for Ritual zine: ‘Primitivism without catastrophe’, February 17, 2016. See also : Antifa is liberalism, feminism is cancer, and I’m a monkey’s uncle, April 18, 2018.)

At some point in the last year or so, the Atassa wordpress blog was deleted. The last post to appear on the archived version of the blog, dated September 24, 2017, contains an ENG translation of ITS’s fortieth communiqué, detailing the alleged placement of:

… a package-bomb at the entrance of the Physics and Astronomy Space in the University City, addressed to Dr. Gloria Dubner, director of the establishment, who was awarded recently for her progressive efforts in support of the techno-industrial system. It seems that the person in charge of the place perceived that something was amiss and decided to call the police. We remark here that this won’t stop us. On the contrary, it compels us to do more. The next time we won’t fail. The package was aimed to wound physically and emotionally all of the techno-geeks who were nearby; not only Gloria herself but any student or simple worker. We don’t make distinctions in this war that we wage against our own species.

No shit.

It may be coincidence, but the closure of the blog seems to have been followed by the d0xxing of its alleged editor, ‘Abe Cabrera’ (details of which can be found on the 325 site), and the repudiation of the zine by some of those associated with it. The controversy over Atassa and ITS also appears to have resulted in a split among the admins of ‘The Anarchist Library’, which hosts a number of ITS writings. See : An Anarchist Librarian From North America / 10 Years Later, A Reflection And A Response / On An English Language Anarchist Library Project (August 28, 2018) | ‘About’, AnarchistLibraries.net.

In the end, according to Richardson, Kaczynski is radically unconvinced by ITS: “A hypothesis: ITS is instigated by some country’s security services — probably Mexico. Their real task is to spread hopelessness, because where there is no hope there is no serious resistance.” Possibly, ‘eco-extremism’ is a species of the genus ‘eco-fascism’. Michael Siebert (Linkola, Montana, Jacobite, July 19, 2018):

Ecofascism, more than any other right-wing movement, is destined for a surge in popularity the closer we come to environmental collapse. The earth’s ecosystems may very well collapse before liberalism, and when they do, the effects will be felt much more acutely. The anti-civilisation movement is tapping into dark territory that eco-activists won’t discuss publicly, but will stay up late thinking about.

Leaving aside the precise nature of the relationship between the doctrines, it’s worth noting that, according to this 2018 report in Spiegel (‘The Hate Network’), Kaczynski has been in correspondence with the neo-Nazi grouplet Atomwaffen (AW), who appears to inspire them to action just as he has ITS. Certainly, ITS and AW share a commitment to murderous violence, misanthropy and misogyny, and an ideological syncretism that can be baffling to outsiders. In this context, the role of particular forms of non-state terror in ultimately reinforcing state control and state violence is worth considering (see, for example, Situationist Gianfranco Sanguinetti’s reflections ‘On Terrorism and the State’ (PDF), 1978(ITA)/1980(FRE)/1982/2004(ENG)).

Finally:

• Journalist and filmmaker Jake Hanrahan has been following the ITS saga, and this thread from January 2018–December 2018 provides more details regarding the relationship between ITS and Kaczynski, an alleged attack in Edinburgh (January 2018), another in Spain, ITS giving props to Mark Conditt (the alleged Austin bomber), an arson attack upon a lumberyard and the murder of a priest in Mexico, the placement of a bomb in Brazil and a polytechnic in Greece, the arson of a bus in Rome, and so on.

• Blogger ‘Lefty Hooligan’ denounces LBC for publishing Atassa in Between ‘nihilism and fascism’ (September 10, 2017) and provides links to various relevant materials, including to some on IndyBay which detail ITS’ praise for LBC and Atassa‘s role in propagating ITS’ doctrines in North America, along with approving celebrations for the murderous activities of Islamic State/Daesh in Europe and the murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville by neo-Nazi James Fields.

See also : In Manifesto, Mexican Eco-Terrorists Declare War on Nanotechnology, Robert Beckhusen, WiRED, February 12, 2013 | The Ted Kaczynski Papers: FBI Files and Photographs | Letters to the Unabomber: A Case Study and Some Reflections, Julie Herrada, Archival Issues, Vol.28, No.1, 2003-4 [PDF] | The Communiques of Freedom Club (The Anarchist Library) | Radical Environmentalism’s Print History: From Earth First! to Wild Earth, Bron Taylor, Environment & Society Portal (2018) | Dark Mountain | Wild Roots | The Wild Will Project | Fierce Dreams | Black Seed.

Shout-out : Michael Loadenthal, who’s authored scores of relevant essays: academia.edu /// wordpress.

    They held up a stone
    I said, “Stone.”
    Smiling they said, “Stone.”

    They showed me a tree.
    I said, “Tree.”
    Smiling they said, ‘Tree.”

    They shed a man’s blood.
    I said, “Blood.”
    Smiling they said, “Paint.”

    They shed a man’s blood.
    I said, “Blood.”
    Smiling they said, “Paint.”

    ~ Dianne Abse (Adapted from the Hebrew of Amir Gilboa), 1982

Posted in !nataS, Anarchism, Anti-fascism, Broken Windows, Cats, Death, Film, History, Media, Poetry, State / Politics, That's Capitalism!, War on Terror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

2018 Victorian state election : Left / Right : Results!

See : 2018 Victorian state election : far right (and left) candidates (November 10, 2018).

As the results have now been finalised (see : ABC | VEC), I thought I’d take a look and see how the (far) left and the (far) right fared at the 2018 Victorian state election. But before I do, I recommend watching Tom Tanuki’s incisive analysis of some of the more, ah, colourful candidates. (Also, give Mr Tanuki’s new Facebook page a like.)

LEFT

Outside of Labor and the Greens, the main left-wing candidates belonged to the recently-formed (February) Victorian Socialists. While VS ran candidates in every Upper House region and 18 (of 88) seats in the Lower House, most of their energies were focused upon the Northern Metropolitan region, where Steve Jolly was lead candidate. The party fared reasonably well in the region, scoring more votes (4.2%) than all other contestants apart from Labor (42.58%), The Greens (16.76%) and The Liberals (16.48%). VS:

The results are officially in. The Victorian Socialists received 18927 votes for our Upper House ticket in the Northern Metropolitan region.

Unfortunately, despite winning 3771 more votes than Fiona’s Patten’s Reason, her preference deals mean she is taking the 5th spot.

The ALP won 2 places, the Greens and Liberals 1 each.

Thanks again to all our amazing volunteers and voters.

The strength of the campaign and the excellent vote make the case that the Victorian Socialists will not just be some flash in the pan.

Victorian Socialists are here to stay! With a Federal election on the horizon, stay tuned for the next steps.

*Joe Toscano also ran in the seat of Albert Park. He got 282 votes (0.71%).

RIGHT

Australia First

The Australia First Party ran one solitary lonesome single candidate in the election: Susan Jakobi in Cranbourne. Jakobi contested the federal seat of Lalor for the party in 2016, gaining 3,232 (3.0%) votes and placing fifth of five candidates; with the benefit of the donkey vote, in 2018 in Cranbourne, Jakobi got 1,265 votes (2.47%), placing sixth of nine candidates.

Australian Liberty Alliance

The ALA ran one candidate in the Lower House seat of Yan Yean and in every Upper House region. Also having the advantage of securing the donkey vote, Siobhann Brown scored 1,232 votes (2.50%) and came sixth of eight candidates. The contest was notable for the fact that the Liberal candidate, Meralyn Klein, was disendorsed by the party after she appeared in an ALA video. (Members of her extended family actually campaigned against her.)

In the Upper House, the ALA faced off against VS. How did each fare?

Eastern Metropolitan
BIVIECA AQUINO, Indhira : 1,859 / 0.44%
WILDING, Royston : 71 / 0.02% [1,930 / 0.46%]
vs
RUNDLE, Norrian : 1,735 / 0.41%
WARD, Liam : 152 / 0.04% [1,887 / 0.45%]

Northern Metropolitan
GOMEZ, Russell : 1,653 / 0.37%
REISNER, John : 36 / 0.01% [1,689 / 0.38%]
vs
JOLLY, Stephen : 18,200 / 4.04%
BOLTON, Sue : 616 / 0.14%
BOLGER, Colleen : 111 / 0.02% [18,927 / 4.20%]

South-Eastern Metropolitan
MADDISON, David Sydney : 2,291 / 0.52%
SCHUMANN, Ralf : 28 / 0.01% [2,319 / 0.53%]
vs
MYLVAGANAM, Aran : 1,172 / 0.27%
REID, Ben : 59 / 0.01% [1,231 / 0.28%]

Southern Metropolitan Region
YEMINI, Avi : 2,062 / 0.48%
JONES, Kaylah : 13 / 0.00% [2,075 / 0.48%]
vs
LEWIS, Catheryn : 1,935 / 0.45%
MITCHELL, Ivan : 116 / 0.03% [2,051 / 0.48%]

Western Metropolitan
COHEN, Francine : 3,231 / 0.70%
FRANKLIN, Terri : 56 / 0.01% [3,287 / 0.71%]
vs
JORQUERA, Jorge : 2,624 / 0.57%
CHARLES, Andrew : 135 / 0.03% [2,759 / 0.601%]

Eastern Victoria
BROWN, Mark : 2,600 / 0.56%
JONES, Daniel : 52 / 0.01% [2,652 / 0.57%]
vs
CRUSE, Lainie : 971 / 0.21%
FORDEN, Russell : 46 / 0.01% [1,017 / 0.22%]

Northern Victoria
MCDONALD, Ewan : 3,644 / 0.80%
WYLIE, James : 84 / 0.02% [3,728 / 0.82%]
vs
MACDONALD, Moira : 1,240 / 0.27%
McKENNA, Michael : 85 / 0.02% [1,325 / 0.29%]

Western Victoria
NICHOLLS, Kenneth : 2,355 / 0.51%
MACDONALD, Daniel : 30 / 0.01% [2,385 / 0.52%]
vs
GOODEN, Tim : 3,296 / 0.72%
ISKRA, Nada : 110 / 0.02% [3.406 / 0.74%]

Overall Upper House results
AUSTRALIAN LIBERTY ALLIANCE : 20,065 / 0.56%
VICTORIAN SOCIALISTS : 32,603 / 0.91%

Apart from the ALP, the Biggest winner at the election was likely preference whisperer and Derryn Hinch staffer Glenn Druery. Thanks largely to his lucrative backroom shenanigans, the Upper House has been blessed with no fewer than 11 cross-benchers: Greens 1 (-4); Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party 3 (+3); Shooters, Fishers and Farmers 1 (-1); Liberal Democrats 2 (+2); Animal Justice Party 1 (+1); Labour DLP 0 (-1); Fiona Patten’s Reason Party 1 (-); Sustainable Australia 1 (+1); Transport Matters Party 1 (+1); Vote 1 Local Jobs 0 (-1). ABC:

Three other parties are making their debut in state politics: Transport Matters, Animal Justice Party and Sustainable Australia.

Sustainable Australia won a spot despite wining just 1.32 per cent of the vote in Southern Metro, compared to the Greens who were unsuccessful with 13.5 per cent.

The Liberal Democrats in South East Metro won a seat with just 0.84 per cent of the vote.

See also : Ken Knabb on ‘Representative democracy versus delegate democracy’.

Posted in !nataS, Anarchism, Anti-fascism, History, Media, State / Politics, That's Capitalism! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Milo Yiannopoulos (Penthouse Florida) ~versus~ Damien Costas (Penthouse Australia)

Oh dear.

The last week has been a Bad one for the former billionaire’s sockpuppet Milo Hanrahan (AKA Milo Yiannopoulos / Milo Andreas Wagner). After the collapse and implosion of his tour Down Under with fellow right-wing blabbermouth Ann Coulter, tour organisers AE Media (AKA Ben and Dan Spiller) released a tranche of documents which detailed some of their correspondence with the falling star. Among other things, the d0x revealed that Hanrahan/Yiannopoulos/Wagner is $2 million in debt; Milo responded by claiming that he was in fact in $4 million in debt, and that this was a sure sign of his entrepreneurial brilliance.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

As an alternative means of fleecing his flock, Milo then started a Patreon account — which was closed within 24 hours. Before it was shutdown, however, at least one amusing exchange did take place:

Given his financial situation, the pressure on Milo to return to Australia to milk some more money from his meatheaded Australian followers is rather high: it’s been claimed that over 12,000 tickets were sold for his 2017 tour, generating over $1 million in revenue. And while Milo can rely on Newscorpse to once again function as his PR company should he return, the d0x also reveal that relations with Damien Costas have deteriorated greatly since December 2017 (see below).

Hope Not Hate in the UK has also been trawling through the d0x, and you can read their reports here: Milo Yiannopoulos’ debt crisis (December 2, 2018); “Milo comes first, at all times” says Milo Yiannopoulos (December 3, 2018); Show me the money: detailing Milo’s debt (December 4, 2018). Apart from underlining the fact that the billionaire Mercers poured millions into Milo so that he could produce propaganda on their behalf (see also : Islamophobia Inc, Al Jazeera, May 14, 2018), it too draws attention to the mutual contempt in which Milo and Damien Costas hold each other. Thus:

… in leaked private WhatsApp messages, Yiannopoulos brands Damien Costas, publisher of Penthouse Australia, as “a criminal-adjacent, dishonest pornographer”. Elsewhere in an email he states:

“I was defrauded by Damien Costas. Neither he nor anyone else that works for him will have anything to do with running any tour of which I am a part. This is not negotiable”.

Evidently he has thought twice about his position, although it is unclear if he still stands by his words about Costas.

Apart from money, there’s also media. On his December 2017 tour, Milo was invited to federal parliament by proprietarian Senator David Leyonhjelm and onto the screens, pages and airwaves of various Newscorpse media properties (among others):

Of particular interest in this context is the close collaboration between Costas and said media properties in managing publicity for the current tour. Hence in October 2018, upon being informed that Yaxley-Lennon might be prevented from coming to Australia because of his legal situation, Costas wrote ‘I will inform Miranda Devine’. A week later, Costas arranged for news of the tour to be featured in The Daily Telegraph:



Of course, Andrew Bolt isn’t the only propagandist to fanboy over Milo. When in June he declared that killing journalists was a neat0 idea, for example, neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer applauded his political acumen:

Oh, Costas also describes the owners of the venues he’s booked for the tour (and to whom he’s paid $170,000 for the privilege) as a bunch of greedy “cunts”:

Speaking of greedy kvnts, Milo suggests in this message that, if the Spillers are having trouble, they should just go to their Mummy & Daddy and ask for another $200,000 to help them organise the tour (and meet Milo’s extravagant lifestyle expenses):

Managing and staffing the tour was another point of contention between the two sides, with Milo wanting to employ his mates, including Will Bracey (tour manager), Anthony Barlow (administration), Jessica Seebauer (administration), Brandon Ellyson (ticketing), Max Markson (venue booking), Caolan Robertson (marketing and promotions), Chadwick Moore (speech-writing) and Tom Packer (technical). Oddly, in correspondence dated October 10, Ben Spiller assures Milo that: ‘After chats with a couple of my project managers I’m confident that as we continue with what we had been planning (warehouses etc) we will be fine, and my guys are already on the Tank businesses payroll. They’re on it. If we do a deal with Penthouse, then we will use one of their project managers.’ (This obviously did not please Hanrahan, who responded: ‘Are you out of your mind?’.)

As well as revealing his address in Doral, Florida, the d0x also name Milo’s husband, John McKinley-Campbell, a PhD student in social work at Florida International University (note: this infos has been circulating online for some time). Curiously, among the many debts Milo has accrued is one from the Four Seasons Hotel in Hawaii where the pair were married in September last year. In the d0x, Milo complains that he was in such financial straits that he had to return John’s $20,000 wedding-ring to Cartier; they also reveal that he owed over $52,000 to the hotel for the ceremony. On the bright side, the Spillers treated Milo to a holiday in Hawaii in June (to Turtle Bay Resort, not the Four Seasons, obviously), which seems to be when serious planning for the tour commenced. (Of course, being indebted doesn’t mean that one has to reduce one’s expenditure, does it?)

On a final note, Milo uploaded a video to YouTube (Australian tour news!, streamed live on November 28, 2018) to provide his side of the story. In addition to describing the Spillers in very unflattering terms (and without a word against his BFF Costas), Milo also manages to provide a screenshot of his WhatsApp. Included among his correspondents in the group is Evgeny Lebedev, son of the Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev and the media mogul who owns the Independent and the London Evening Standard. Lebedev met with Milo in London in November last year. ‘The meeting raises questions as to whether Lebedev is considering business opportunities with Yiannopoulos, who recently was exiled from US-based website Breitbart after an in-depth BuzzFeed News investigation exposing the ties between the British tech journalist, website chairman Steve Bannon, and the political alt-right’ (The Russian Owner Of The Independent And The Evening Standard Met Milo Yiannopoulos In London, Mark Di Stefano, Buzzfeed, November 23, 2017).

Gavin McInnes & Stephen Yaxley-Lennon

Finally, as far the other two racists Costas is (still) promoting as touring Australia in February 2019 are concerned, the former chief Piss Boy has also been experiencing some troubles of late. After having been denied a visa to enter the country, at the beginning of December McInnes joined Blaze Media, a new propaganda outlet that merges Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze and Mark Levin’s CRTV. About a week later, he was unceremoniously dumped. And more recently, YouTube has also kicked McInnes to the curb. Still:

The organiser of Gavin McInnes’ scuppered Australian tour is calling on police to investigate immigration authorities for allegedly informing media the right-wing commentator’s visa had been denied before the applicants were notified.

Penthouse Magazine publisher Damien Costas said this week he had instructed his legal team to refer the Home Affairs Department to the Australian Federal Police over “what can only be described as a blatant breach of privacy and policy”.

In the meantime, the legal dispute between Costas and publicist Max Markson has come to a head in a Sydney courtroom:

In this case, it’s hard to know who to feel sorry for.

Penthouse Magazine publisher Damien Costas is trying to stop celebrity publicist Max Markson from chasing him for $63,000 as payment for promoting Gucci-wearing “cultural libertarian” Milo Yiannopoulos and British politician Nigel Farage.

Costas’s company, now named Global Media & Entertainment but earlier known as Filthy Gorgeous Productions, reckons they’d come to an agreement to have the costs of the tour audited.

Too bad they couldn’t get the paperwork right.

And too bad they decided to go with Sydney barrister (and bankrupt) Charles Waterstreet.

Who else?

The matter was scheduled to be heard by Justice Guy Parker on Friday.

CBD is no stranger to filing right before deadline, but this one’s something else.

At 6.52pm on Thursday, well after the hard working servants of the Supreme Court had departed, Waterstreet emailed Parker’s associate to tell him, well actually, he wouldn’t be showing up.

“It is with my sincerest apologies I inform you I am unable to attend court tomorrow for this matter. I have another matter that I must appear for. I have been unable to secure a solicitor to stand in place for me,” Waterstreet wrote.

At least he’s polite.

But no joy for Costas, who had his move to quash the $63,000 claim thrown out on the spot.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

As for Yaxley-Lennon, he and his zombie followers in UKIP held a rally in London on Sunday, instructing Theresa May to hurry up and get Britain outta the EU. Several thousand joined him on the day, but then so did many thousands more turn out in order to #StopTommyRobinson. See : #London: Inspiring day for anti fascists opposing ‘Tommy Robinson’ & UKIP, enough is enough, December 10, 2018 | Anti-racist marchers in London claim victory over far-right protest, Damien Gayle, The Guardian, December 10, 2018 (‘Brexit betrayal’ march led by Tommy Robinson heavily outnumbered by opponents) | Paedophilia, rape and ‘grooming gangs’: Why feminism, not the far right, is the answer, Plan C London, December 5, 2018.

It’s also been revealed recently that Yaxley-Lennon is one of numerous beneficiaries of the corporate propaganda supply-chain:

The British far-right activist Tommy Robinson is receiving financial, political and moral support from a broad array of non-British groups and individuals, including US thinktanks, rightwing Australians and Russian trolls, a Guardian investigation has discovered.

Robinson, an anti-Islam campaigner who is leading a “Brexit betrayal” march in London on Sunday, has received funding from a US tech billionaire and a thinktank based in Philadelphia.

Two other US thinktanks, part-funded by some of the biggest names in rightwing funding, have published a succession of articles in support of Robinson, who has become a cause célèbre among the American far right since he was jailed in May for two months …

See : Revealed: the hidden global network behind Tommy Robinson, Josh Halliday, Lois Beckett, Caelainn Barr, The Guardian, December 8, 2018 | How US billionaires are fuelling the hard-right cause in Britain, George Monbiot, The Guardian, December 7, 2018 | Revealed: US Oil Billionaire Charles Koch Funds UK Anti-Environment Spiked Network, Mike Small, desmoguk, December 6, 2018 | RCP/LM watch : Keeping an eye on the RCP/LM and its fronts.

See also : On Right-Wing Trolls Touring Australia in 2018 (December 1, 2018) | Politics, protests and profit – next stop Australia for the far-right, Dino Vlachos, The Citizen, December 10, 2018.

Posted in Anti-fascism, Death, History, Media, State / Politics, That's Capitalism! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Me-ism and The Left’ : A response to Joshua Dabelstein

[This post is in response to Me-Ism Is Undoing The Left, Joshua Dabelstein, New Matilda, December 4, 2018 (‘A feelpinion has no place in a contest of ideas, writes Joshua Dabelstein’).]

In responding to Joshua Dabelstein’s article it’s a bit difficult to know where to start, or even to know whether doing so is at all useful. Probably not, but I’ve decided to anyways (I never learn).

As I understand it, the author’s basic argument is this:

There are two generations of leftist, old(er) and new(er). The new(er) generation is Bad because it’s characterised by moralism, confused thinking (lack of conceptual clarity) and the elevation of emotion over reason. It may also be termed the ‘soft-left’ (as opposed to the ‘hard-left’), “[a]nd of all the arguments that the left has with itself, it is the soft-left’s immature replacement of political philosophy with moralism that has caused a rift the likes of which people like Jordan Peterson have been belched from”. Peterson, in other words, is popular because he directly attacks the moralism of the ‘soft-left’. The author also complains about the swiftness with which members of the ‘soft-left’ experience ‘offence’, and how easily it’s manipulated by these mushy-brained folks in order to avert rational discussion of their (flawed) political positions. Hyper-individualism is to blame for this predicament, according to the author, and this hyper-individualism is in turn a product of our neo-liberal age: “the left I fell for argued about praxis, not about whether or not dreadlocks are racist”.

What I reckon:

The article reads more like a complaint than an analysis, and the underlying thrust of the message it sends to “say, a young any-gendered feminist reactionary” could be neatly summarised as: ‘harden the f*ck up’. In fairness to the author, wanting to tell someone else to HTFU is almost certainly a sentiment everyone’s felt about someone at some point or other, but in this context, at least, it seems unlikely to generate much interest in discussion or debate. (Then again, I am writing this reply, so maybe it’s not a bad move after all.)

Beyond that, I don’t reckon the employment of a generational divide is useful. Certainly, I’m wary of its use in many contexts, but to the extent that the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that the author identifies as being problematic are worth analysing, I suspect you’d find them distributed among all ages and generations. In which case, maybe it would be better to counter moralism, poor argumentation and emotional immaturity by explicit reference to these faults, rather than to the ages of those allegedly guilty of committing them?

Secondly, of course people generally finds others’ moral posturing objectionable; and yes, humility is generally preferable to hubris. But if, for the sake of argument, there is indeed a plague of “feminist reactionary” yoof who, for example, use Identity Politics in order to avoid taking responsibility for their thoughts and actions — especially if, as a result, they make the left look bad — it would be sensible to name such individuals, or at least to identify the political projects with which such individuals are associated. Who, exactly, populates the “swathe of self-important self-proclaimed ‘left-wing’ ninnies giving the rest of us a bad name”? The closest the author comes to answering this question is by way of reference to an imaginary conversation with “a young any-gendered feminist reactionary”, a fictitious entity who (correctly) bemoans patriarchy but then (wrongly) uses its existence as a poor excuse for failing to understand Berlin’s 1958 essay on ‘Two Concepts of Liberty’ — and who compounds the offence by resisting attempts by a man in their imaginary study group to explain the distinction by simply categorising him as a ‘mansplainer’.

Now, if an event such as this did take place, it wouldn’t be too difficult to become irritated at this fictitious person’s attempt to dodge responsibility for their incomprehension, and to baulk at their enlisting patriarchy in their defence. By the same token, while the existence of patronising men is indeed a thing, the example is relatively trivial, and it would be incorrect to assume that feminist critiques of patriarchy can be reduced to, say, micro-policing of speech. Further, to do so is to risk dismissing a very substantial, theoretically-sophisticated, and politically-relevant body of work. I’d suggest that engaging with this critique in good faith is both more urgent and requires a bit more effort.

We live in an age where feeling offended is empowering. The assertion of disempowerment is an easy and often great way to reclaim power. But if we aren’t careful of how, when, why and with whom we are doing this, we run the risk of becoming a complete laughing stock.

Do we live in an age where (merely) feeling offended is empowering? I dunno. I ask myself: ‘Am I empowered when I feel offended?’ (Or do I merely feel empowered when I feel offended?!) For what it’s worth, it seems to me that claiming ‘power proceeds from feeling offended’ is to have things in reverse order; that is, it could also be reasonably claimed that it’s those in or with power who are most able to express their feelings of offence. And the biggest, best-paid whiners aren’t to be found in a University tutorial, but rather occupying prominent positions in the culture and media industries.

But maybe this argument could be rendered differently. After all, how does some person (or community, or collectivity, or class), both assert their disempowered status while also reclaiming power? And if there are other ways of reclaiming power, what makes this one so “easy and often great”?

I suppose one could argue that ‘assertions of disempowerment’ could also be protestations at disempowerment; ones which, through their historical unfolding, make the powerless powerful. Legend has it that the process by which this occurs lies at the centre of left theory and practice — well, it did, before the identity politicians went and mucked it all up with their liberalism. In which context, the breezy dismissal of ‘identity politics’ – or rather, its invocation as something understood to be inherently objectionable from a left perspective – is I think unfair. Granted, many online discussions of the topic are dreadful, but there exists other possibilities. One is that, for the left, identity and politics is not a straightforward relationship, and it’s the politics of identity, rather than ‘identity politics’, that matter, and it’s the ways in which these identities are shaped — typically, in the interests of some dominant group — that those on the left seek (or at least claim to want) to transform in the interests of the oppressed. [1]

Feelpinions

‘Feelpinions’, ‘identity politics’, ‘professional victimhood’, ‘moralistic white-knighting’, ‘mansplaining’, ‘snowflakes’: all terms familiar to anyone who’s read a complaint like this and, for what it’s worth, elements that typically constitute the muck out of which the AltRight, in particular, claim this strawperson is being created. Aside from generating derision, such terms and concepts also perform another political function: obscuring the legitimate grievances of marginalised groups and rendering them fit only for contempt and dismissal. From a ‘left’ perspective, this is hardly an ideal situation, and I’d suggest it’s one that calls for some more thorough — and critical — examination. Further, the characterisation of ‘identity politics’ as being merely a “neoliberal pest; a hallmark of cultural capitalism, and a testament to … infectious ME-ism” is inadequate (to put it mildly).

I may be reading into it, but I think there’s a certain anxiety present in the text, and almost certainly a kind of anger and frustration, one presumably related to the relative failure of the left – or, moreover, the ‘hard’ left – to praxis their way into power. This is understandable. In 2018, the species as a whole is on the verge of complete catastrophe, and only a radical transformation in human relations — and the relations of humanity with non-human nature — will provide the necessary and, hopefully, sufficient conditions to make it possible to avert total disaster. To put it another way: ‘socialism or barbarism’ — now more than ever. [2]

I understand (or think I do), some of the justifiable objections to narcissism, of the too-easy avoidance of difficult questions – for example, those which require and may even prompt serious reconsideration of previously-held positions – and the countless other faults we all encounter and embody to a greater or lesser extent. But while the proposition that capitalist social relations profoundly affect contemporary culture and society; individual and group psychology; social expectations, norms and customs, and do so in a way that (re)produces the human being as a calculating, self-interested and autonomous agent let loose in a world of labour and commodities may be sound, it’s not the fault of that annoying person in your tutorial if it is. And neither is the left’s failure to dismantle this world and to build a new and better one in its place.

Jordan Peterson

And of all the arguments that the left has with itself, it is the soft-left’s immature replacement of political philosophy with moralism that has caused a rift the likes of which people like Jordan Peterson have been belched from.

I’m not sure I understand this passage. If it’s a fact that the ‘soft-left’ has replaced political philosophy with moralism — and this in turn has caused a ‘rift’ out of which Jordan Peterson has emerged — how is this fact an example of an argument that the left has with itself? That doesn’t make sense. (As I understand it, an example of an argument that ‘the left has with itself’ might be ‘Reform or revolution?’, or ‘Who should the left vote for?’.) Maybe what the author is trying to say is that the moralism of the ‘soft-left’ produced Jordan Peterson, and until the soft left grows up and begins practicing political philosophy, rather than engaging in moral condemnation, the left as a whole will continue to be cursed by the Jordan Petersons of this world. This line of argument contains more than a trace of similar claims made by Angela Nagle in Kill All Normies, a slight text which has had an over-sized impact upon these sorts of discussions (and whose author has since gone on to write another contentious text making The Left Case Against Open Borderssee also Brianna Rennix & Nathan J. Robinson’s response — and to score an appearance on Tucker Carlson).

For what it’s worth, while ‘snowflakes’ presumably took ‘offence’ at his performances, there were to my knowledge no protests during the course of Peterson’s tour Down Under earlier this year. At about the same time, however, some solid critiques of his work were being published (see, for example: Houman Barekat; Nathan J Robinson; Pankaj Mishra). Suffice it to say that Peterson, nothing if not a moralist, blames ‘Marxism’ for producing ‘identity politics’, and in doing so demonstrates little understanding of either.

To conclude, it’s certainly true that moralism is no substitute for political critique, overly-earnest students can be annoying, and the left cannot be reduced to liberalism. But it’s also the case that, whatever cultural shifts may (or may not) be occurring on Australian campuses and among students in particular, complaints about their annoying habits aren’t sufficient to explain the success or failure of the left as a whole, to understand the relationship between historical and contemporary left movements, or to explain the role of that dastardly beast ‘identity politics’ in their numerous interactions.

See also : Digital Archive: What Is Identity Politics? (A collection of essays, 1986–2016) | Fortunes of Feminism: From State-Managed Capitalism to Neoliberal Crisis, Nancy Fraser, Verso (2013) | ‘Identity Politics and the Left’, Eric Hobsawm, Institute of Education, London (May 2, 1996).

[1] Note that ‘the left’ and ‘the oppressed’ are not coterminous or equivalent terms; also that like, say, liberalism and leftism, some people can and do confuse one for the other. As to who or what is most responsible for this confusion, I’d argue that this lies at the feet of dominant social institutions, not impressionable University students.

[2] Whether or not the left, or the left of the left, is actually capable of undertaking such a task is an open question, and the news on that front may be Good or it may be Bad. As it stands, I’m unconvinced … but then the left can and does refer to a multiplicity of political projects to which I’m more-or-less inclined. If I choose a political identity it’s usually ‘anarchist’, and the relationship of anarchism (and anarchists) to the left as a whole is pretty mixed (to say the least). But there are self-identified communists, socialists, Marxists, social democrats and leftists from a variety of other tendencies whose lives and work I’ve found insightful, inspiring and yes, moving. That fact doesn’t really alter my basic political perspective very much (or my own situatedness).

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On Right-Wing Trolls Touring Australia in 2018

Update (December 3, 2018) : Hope Not Hate provide a potted summary of Milo Yiannopoulos’ financial and legal situation in Milo Yiannopoulos’ debt crisis (December 2, 2018).

In so many ways, Milo Yiannopoulos is unremarkable. He is just one of a long line of conservative grifters making hay in Australia. ~ Richard Cooke, Australia’s welcome mat for right-wing trolls, The Saturday Paper, October 21, 2017.

See also : Age-old hate, The Monthly, July 2017 | Alt wrong, The Monthly, April 2017.

Gavin McInnes : CANCELLED

This week, the Australian Minister for Immigration, David Coleman, decided to refuse to issue a visa to Gavin McInnes on the basis of his ‘bad’ character. His decision follows closely upon the tabling of a petition to the Australian Parliament with over 80,000 signatures calling upon the Minister to do just that (and — no doubt coincidentally — a mere week after the Victorian Liberals got trounced in the state election after running a race-baiting law-and-order campaign).

See : Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes denied visa to tour Australia with ‘The Deplorables’, Matthew Doran, ABC, November 30, 2018 | Australia rejects far-right Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes’ visa application, Riley Morgan, SBS, November 31, 2018 | Founder of US far-right group denied Australian visa: ABC report, Al Jazeera, November 31, 2018 | Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes denied entry to Australia for ‘Deplorables’ speaking tour, Travis Gettys, Raw Story, November 30, 2018.

As for the Proud Boys, in addition to having most if not all of their Facebook pages closed, yesterday it was announced NYPD Arrests Two More Proud Boys As Hate Group Grapples With ‘Cuckery’ (Jake Offenhartz, Gothamist, November 30, 2018). See also : Scary Clowns, Brendan O’Connor, The Baffler, November 21, 2018 ~and~ follow AntiFash Gordon and Rose City Antifa for d0xx.

Milo Yiannopoulos ~versus~ AE Media

For those of you coming in late, back in April ‘Future Now’ (AKA Queensland businessmen Ben & Dan Spiller) announced that Milo Yiannopoulos and Gavin McInnes would be touring the country in May, accompanied by serial pest Neil Erikson (and possibly disgraced Sky News presenter Ross Cameron). Almost immediately upon it being announced the tour collapsed in a heap.

Undeterred, in September ‘Future Now Australia’ announced that they would be touring Fraser ‘Final Solution’ Anning, Ann Coulter, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (‘Tommy Robinson’) and Milo Yiannopoulos in November/December. That, too, collapsed in a heap, with Yaxley-Lennon withdrawing and the tour being promoted as ‘Ann & Milo’. Not long after, the organisers announced that this tour too was cancelled, and ticket-holders would instead be issued tickets to see Gavin McInnes. That tour, organised by Damien Costas (Penthouse Australia), would later add Yaxley-Lennon to the bill. Intended to kick-off in December, the tour has now been delayed until February 2019, will not feature McInnes and — given his extensive criminal and political record of racist agitation — there’s a serious question mark hanging over the likelihood of Yaxley-Lennon being admitted to the country.

In any case, there’s no love lost between ‘Future Now/Australia’ — now re-badged as ‘AE Media’ — and Milo Yiannopoulos, which has come to a head in the last few days with d0x being released by Erikson which purport to detail financial shenanigans by Milo. One is titled Milo-Event-Facts-Press-Version and the other Dan-helping-milo-with-bills-email-chain-PRESS-1. For his part, Yiannopoulos published a YouTube video (streamed live on November 28, 2018) and issued a statement:

MILO JOINS PENTHOUSE AUSTRALIA’S “THE DEPLORABLES” TOUR WITH GAVIN AND TOMMY

Sydney, Australia.— Milo Yiannopoulos is joining Penthouse Australia’s “The Deplorables” Tour, alongside Gavin McInnes and Tommy Robinson, following the cancellation of his previously slated tour in December by original promoters AE Media.

Ticket-holders for the original “Milo and Ann” tour will have their tickets honored and they will see Milo, Gavin McInnes and Tommy Robinson live in Australia in February 2019. Ticket-holders will be contacted via email by Penthouse in the coming days.

Damien Costas, publisher of Penthouse Australia, said: “Milo’s record-breaking Australia tour remains the standard by which conservative speaking tours are judged. And now we’re adding him to an already brilliant line-up. The three of them together promise an absolutely spectacular show—not to mention terrific value for money.”

Yiannopoulos said: “I’m delighted to be rejoining Penthouse for another tour in Australia in 2019, after my sellout runaway success with them last time. I’d like to thank Penthouse for honoring the tickets sold under my previous promoter, who unfortunately could not meet their financial or logistical obligations. I’m delighted my fans will not lose out and can’t wait to be back in Australia.”

Yiannopoulos has delayed the release of his forthcoming book, Australia, You’re My Only Hope!, to coincide with the rescheduled Deplorables tour. The book will now be released in February 2019. VIP ticket holders will receive a free signed copy.

“For those of you who want to know what went down with my last promoters, well. It’s an ongoing drama, and I need your help,” Milo added. “I’ll be doing a stream today, November 28, for fans, live on YouTube. Look out for notices on Facebook and Instagram for a link to the stream.”

The Deplorables Tour Enquiries: [email protected]

Ticket-holders seeking refunds from the previous promoter should contact: Daniel Spiller, Seagate Services Pty Ltd, [email protected] and Benjamin Spiller, Seagate Services Pty Ltd, [email protected]

*Presumably, Milo didn’t get the memo that Gavin won’t be coming.

In the video which accompanies the statement, Yiannopoulos variously describes AE Media and the Spiller brothers as inter alia ‘fraudulent’, ‘insane’, ‘incompetent’, ‘liars’ and ‘cunts’. For their part, the Spillers have contracted the services of fellow Queenslanders Rose Litigation in order to sue Yiannopoulos for monies allegedly owed them. The video also contains some discussion around Australia and the upcoming publication of his book, Australia, You’re My Only Hope!. Note that the conception of Australia as ‘The Last Great (White) Hope’ has been a trope among White nationalists for quite some time.

Be that as it may, Yiannopoulos, while bemoaning the awful sacrifices he’s made in order to write the book, also expresses concern that it might contravene Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Given that the racist commentary he provided on his December 2017 tour (organised by Costas/Penthouse) triggered no such prosecution; that his fanbase includes such luminaries as Richard Wolstencroft and Kate Langbroek and Janet Albrechtsen (an Ambassador for the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation); that a number of the venues at which he performed both celebrate their Indigenous art collections while profiting handsomely from Milo’s anti-Indigenous hate-speech; that, in October, Indigenous Affairs minister Nigel Scullion was one of the 23 members of government who voted to support Pauline Hanson’s motion decrying ‘anti-white racism’; and given that the (to-date unsuccessful) campaign to amend or indeed scrap altogether Section 18C has won broad support from Tories, it may be that his angst is unfounded.

More broadly, Yiannopoulos notes that while anti-fascists in the US have had some degree of success in de-platforming and marginalising him, Australia is a very ‘safe space’. Thus (52:00), ‘I’m kind of mainstream in Australia. You know, I’m kind of like a ‘normal’ conservative in Australia … if you tone down the language a little bit, I’m kind of like safe for public consumption in Australia. I’m just worried about the book …’. Further (2:24:36), ‘I only engage with you because you were going to pay me a shit-tonne of money, and I was going to have fun in Australia … Australia? I like the country, but I was, you know, I’m fundamentally touring because I like the country and because I’m very popular there, and it pays a lot.’ Finally, with regards the Spiller brothers, his invitation (2:07:40) to examine their correspondence is introduced by way of stating ‘Let’s just have a quick window into the insane world of the Spiller brothers.’

Yiannopoulos on Australian Indigenous life, art and culture

The following is an extract from Yiannopoulos’s December 2017 speech at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre:

Because newsflash [Aboriginal art] really is shit … Now Australians in this sort of bizarre form of middle-class guilt have decided to pay obeisance to a culture that failed to invent the wheel — and whose signature musical achievement is a big stick … The ugly truth that they don’t want you to say out loud is that history has winners and losers. The progressive left wants to turn Western countries into the only developed civilisations in the history of human society that shit on their own accomplishments in favour of vastly inferior civilisations for no apparent reason. Hence we’re confronted with the ugly spectacle of your own nation and ‘welcome to country’ … and the desperate, pathetic attempts to pretend that didgeridoos represent a beautiful and historic cultural achievement, and not a punchline to a joke. Now you might not know this, but there are absolutely no Aboriginal people left alive in Australia — the last ones died in the ’60s and ’70s, and since then George Soros has been shipping over Black Lives Matter activists, giving them tubs of white-out, and telling them to just daub themselves and make all the White people feel bad. Your politicians in a symbol of how intelligent they are have been falling for it for half-a-century.

Milo Yiannopoulos ~versus~ Axiomatic Events

The other bit-player in the Australian foreign troll circuit is ‘Axiomatic Events’. As Axiomatic Events, Dave Pellowe and Luke Chandler toured Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern in July. They also hired neo-Nazi grouplet ‘The Lads Society’ to provide security for the tour. Of the tour, Yiannopoulos notes (54:58) that ‘Their promoters really fucked them … [Axiomatic Events is an] equally amateurish, disastrous outfit… I don’t even know if they’ve [Molyneux and Southern] been paid yet, their audiences were tiny …’.

See also : Dave Pellowe & Axiomatic Events ~versus~ Daniel Spiller & Future Now +++ (June 6, 2018) | Stefan Molyneux & Lauren Southern’s hate-speech tour kicks off in Cairns (with a little help from the AFL) (July 16, 2018) | Stefan Molyneux & Lauren Southern @ La Mirage, Somerton : Friday, July 20, 2018 (July 20, 2018).

Kermit The Flog

Jordan Peterson’s March 2018 tour was organised by ‘True Arrow Events’ (Sam McClelland); his upcoming 2019 tour by TEG Dainty & Nice Events.

Saturday, February 9 : Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Riverside Theatre
Monday, February 11 : Adelaide Entertainment Centre Theatre
Wednesday, February 13 : Plenary, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Friday, February 15 : Llewellyn Hall, Canberra
Saturday, February 16 : Sydney Opera House
Sunday, February 17 : Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Postmodernism Did Not Take Place: On Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life, Shuja Haider, Viewpoint, January 23, 2018 (‘A specter is haunting North America — the specter of postmodernism. Or at least, that’s what Jordan Peterson would have you believe. Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, has entered into an unholy alliance with all the powers of the alt-right to exorcise this specter. Though he calls himself a “British classical liberal,” Peterson’s appeal feeds into the most reactionary tendencies in contemporary politics’). See also : A Messiah-cum-Surrogate-Dad for Gormless Dimwits: On Jordan B. Peterson’s “12 Rules for Life”, Houman Barekat, LA Review of Books, March 11, 2018 | The Intellectual We Deserve, Nathan J Robinson, Current Affairs, March 14, 2018 | Jordan Peterson & Fascist Mysticism, Pankaj Mishra, The New York Review of Books, March 19, 2018.

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