#Bendigo, mosques and protest …

siegbendigo
Above : One of a small number of patriotik boneheads at the rally.

Fascist groupuscule the United Patriots Front organised an anti-Muslim rally in Bendigo yesterday which attracted approximately 2-300 supporters, a large crowd of onlookers, and a rally in opposition of approximately the same size (if somewhat smaller). In both cases, many attending were from outside Bendigo.

There were several clashes on the day, with media accounts paying particular attention to an attempt by the UPF to break the police lines which had been established in order to separate the two mobs. (The largely unsuccessful attempt to do so appears to have been prompted by vision of a bloke up a pole trying to set fire to the Australian flag.) Police deployed capsicum spray in order to subdue the UPF and several of its members, including neo-Nazi spokesperson Blair Cottrell, were affected. (Note: ‘Patriots’ received a dose of the half-strength direct aerosol spray and not the full-strength chemical foam deployed against anti-racists on July 18.)

Otherwise: according to VicPol they made no arrests (though several folks were temporarily detained); they also stated that yesterday’s events involved the biggest operation VicPol has staged outside the Melbourne CBD; one lone ‘patriot’ pulled a knife on counter-protesters ‪after the main demonstration had dispersed and as folks were moving from Town Hall to Trades Hall. (He was told to shoo — one of a handful of such incidents.)

A few general comments:

• The Bendigo rally was the largest of the three events the UPF has organised, having debuted in Richmond on May 31 and joined with Reclaim Australia to rally in Melbourne on July 18;
• The UPF was able to build upon a small but significant anti-Muslim base in Bendigo and to attract a large number of non-locals to join with them in an expression of solidarity;
• Those addressing the anti-Muslim rally included Melbourne-based UPF leaders Cottrell and (fundamentalist Christian) Chris Shortis and Bendigo local Julie Hoskin. Local councillor Elise Chapman also put in an appearance, as did Sydney-based Ralph Cerminara (Australian Defence League) and Kim Vuga (Go Back To Where You Came From) and Brisbane resident Scott Moerland (Rise Up Australia Party);
• Danny Nalliah/Catch the Fire Ministries/Rise Up Australia Party seems not to have attended;
• Obviously, the mosque, having received council approval, will go ahead (see also : Muslims still feel welcome in Bendigo despite anti-Islam rally, says mayor, Patrick Hatch, The Age, August 30, 2015);
• A ‘global’ rally against Islam has been slated for October 10. Originally touted as involving anti-Muslim activists attending their local mosques, currently the main goal appears to be to assemble in Canberra.

Select media reportage:

Minor clashes at Mosque protest in Bendigo, skyNEWS, August 29, 2015 | Fights break out at Bendigo mosque protest, SBS (AAP), August 29, 2015 | Bendigo mosque protest: Anti-mosque and anti-racism protesters clash, Tom Cowie, The Age, August 29, 2015 | Mosque controversy drives rival protest groups to rally in Bendigo, ABC, August 29, 2015 | Australia: Anti-Racists Confront Anti-Islam Protest, TeleSur, August 29, 2015.

See also : #UnitedPatriotsFront ~versus~ Bendigo Mosque (cont.), August 23, 2015.

Posted in Anti-fascism, State / Politics, That's Capitalism!, War on Terror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

#BorderForce or #BorderFarce : Operation Fortitude gets in the sea

BFFO

The Department of Incarceration & Bloody Policing Immigration & Border Protection organised a media event @ 2pm @ Flinders Street station in Melbourne today in order to celebrate the arrival of ‘Australian Border Force’.

Ka-POW!

But things didn’t go quite as they had planned …

How the Operation #BorderForce fiasco unfolded, Angus Holland, The Age, August 28, 2015.
Australian Border Force blames farcical events in Melbourne on ‘low level’ official – live, Paul Farrell, The Guardian, August 28, 2015.
Twitter tracked to downfall of Operation Fortitude one Simpsons meme at a time, Kate Aubusson, The Sydney Morning Herald, August 28, 2015.
A Solemn Recap Of That Time The Australian Border Force Nearly Invaded Melbourne, Meg Watson, Junkee, August 28, 2015.
Border Force: Operation Fortitude cancelled as protesters take to Melbourne’s CBD streets, Alana Schetzer and Tammy Mills, The Age, August 28, 2015.
Australian Border Force’s visa crackdown dumped after backlash, Anthony Dowsley, Alex White, Chanel Kinniburgh and AAP, Herald Sun, August 28, 2015.
‘Clumsy’ Operation Fortitude nothing to do with Minister’s office, ABF head says, Stephanie Anderson and Sacha Payne with AAP, SBS, August 28, 2015.

XBORDER : xclnt blog detailing nature of border policing in Australia : On-Water Operations /// Internment Industry Supply-Chains & Infrastructure /// Precarious Lives /// Global Problem, Global Links, Global Campaign /// Antiracism – Alerta, Antifa
Creation of a Racist State? My VISA is my Skin Colour #MyVisaIsMySkinColour, RISE, August 28, 2015.
Explainer: What is the Australian Border Force?, ABC, August 28, 2015.
If Border Force acts like this in Melbourne, what do they do offshore?, Jeff Sparrow, The Guardian, August 28, 2015.
Border Force operation reflects a disturbing attitude, Human Rights Law Centre, August 28, 2015.

Bonus lulz!

Posted in Anarchism, Anti-fascism, Media, State / Politics, That's Capitalism!, War on Terror | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Combat 18 : Stickers for the Führer

pat2

The Age reports that some Combat 18 (18 = AH = Adolf Hitler) stickers have been spotted in West Heidelberg:

Neo-Nazi group Combat 18 plasters anti-Islam stickers over children’s playground in Heidelberg West, Bianca Hall, August 26, 2015.

A few comments:

1) West Heidelberg is the stomping ground of United Patriots Front (UPF) leader Neil Erikson;
2) These stickers have been distroed around Melbourne for a couple of years;
3) In addition to West Heidelberg they’ve been spotted in Abbottsford, Ascot Vale, Belgrave, Brunswick, Coburg, Collingwood, Fitzroy, Geelong, Melbourne, Moonee Ponds, Northcote, Prahran, Preston, Richmond, South Yarra, Strathmore and elsewhere. Generally speaking, they appear along public transport routes;
4) C18 in Melbourne emerged as a project of Creatard Patrick O’Sullivan. The photo below shows O’Sullivan and several of his comrades;
5) Stickers produced by C18 and featuring the slogan ‘Support your local skinheads’ (sic) were previously distributed in Perth in 2012/2013. See : Blood & Honour Boneheads Busted for Bad Stickers in Perth (August 2013);
6) C18/Blood & Honour is to be confused with B&H/Southern Cross Hammerskins. The two groups are rivals;
7) C18 in Melbourne is part of a broader network of neo-Nazi activists and has close relations with White yoof gang ‘Full Blooded Skips’;
8) The network has actively participated in Reclaim Australia and UPF events April-July 2015;
9) C18 was established in the UK in the late ’80s/early ’90s. Leaving aside debates re its effectiveness as a combat and political unit, it’s widely-suspected of having been infiltrated by British intelligence. See : Nick Lowles, ‘ISD – The Money Machine’, White Noise: inside the international nazi skinhead scene, Nick Lowles and Steve Silver, eds (Searchlight, 1998); M. Testa, ‘Combat 18: The Nearly Men’, Militant Anti-Fascism: A Hundred Years of Resistance (AK Press, 2015).

B&H

See also : “Heil Hitler”: Germany’s frightening neo-Nazi riots, explained, Annett Meiritz and Amanda Taub, Vox, August 25, 2015.

Posted in Anti-fascism, History, Media, State / Politics, War on Terror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

International Week for Anarchist Prisoners (August 23-30, 2015)

solidarity

Re-post:

Call out for an International Week for Anarchist Prisoners

In summer 2013 members of several ABC groups discussed the necessity of introducing an International Day for Anarchist Prisoners. Given there are already established dates for Political Prisoners Rights Day or Prison Justice Day, we found it important to emphasise the stories of our comrades as well. Many imprisoned anarchists will never be acknowledged as ‘political prisoners’ by formal human-rights organisations, because their sense of social justice is strictly limited to the capitalist laws which are designed to defend the State and prevent any real social change. At the same time, even within our individual communities, we know so little about the repression that exists in other countries, to say nothing of the names and cases involving many of our incarcerated comrades.

This is why we have decided to introduce an annual Week for Anarchist Prisoners on August 23-30. We chose August 23 as a starting point, because on that very day in 1927 the Italian-American anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in prison. They were convicted of murdering two men during an armed robbery at a shoe factory in South Braintree, Massachusetts, United States. Their arrest was a part of a bigger anti-radical campaign led by the American government. The State’s evidence against the two was almost totally non-existent and many people still today believe that they were punished for their strong anarchist beliefs.

Given the nature and diversity of anarchist groups around the globe, we have proposed a week of common action rather than a single campaign on a specific day making [it] easier for groups to be able to organise an event within a longer target period.

Therefore, we call on everyone to spread the information about the Week for Anarchist Prisoners among other groups and communities and think about organising event(s) in your city or town. The events can vary from info-evenings, screenings and benefit concerts to solidarity and direct actions. Let your imagination run free.

Check out the flyers in different languages. Please send reports of your activities to tillallarefree (A) riseup.net

Till all are free.”

See also : Lukashenko has released Ihar Alinevich, Mikalai Dziadok and Artsiom Prakapenko., Anarchist Black Cross (Belarus), August 22, 2015 | Anarchist Black Cross Federation (US) | Anarchist Black Cross Brighton (UK) | Anarchist Black Cross/avtonom.org (Russia/Eastern Europe).

See also : Free Jock.

Oury Jalloh, a Sierre Leonean asylum seeker in Germany, died in a fire in police custody in Dessau in 2005, while his hands and feet were tied to a mattress.
Nikos Romanos, a Greek anarchist and convicted armed robber whose best friend aged 15, died in his arms after being shot by police. In 2014, he went on hunger strike for his right to an education, and won.
Mumia Abu-Jamal, an American political activist and journalist, currently serving life imprisonment without parole for murdering a police officer in Philadelphia in 1981.
Carlo Guiliani, an Italian anarchist and ‘anti-globalisation’ protester, shot and killed by police in Genoa, Italy at the G8 summit in 2001.
Halim Dener, a Kurdish activist shot and killed by German special police in Hannover in 1994, while putting up a poster for the ERNK, the National Front for the Liberation of Kurdistan.
Jock Palfreeman, an Australian anti-fascist unjustly sentenced to 20 years in maximum security prison for premeditated murder in Bulgaria after intervening to protect a Roma who was being attacked by neo-Nazis.
Joel Almgren, a Swedish anti-fascist, currently serving 6 and a half years in prison for attempted murder, after defending an anti-racist demonstration in Stockholm from a neo-Nazi attack.

Posted in Anarchism, Broken Windows, History, State / Politics, That's Capitalism!, War on Terror | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

#UnitedPatriotsFront ~versus~ Bendigo Mosque (cont.)

Anti-Muslim group ‘Rights For Bendigo Residents’ has welcomed the organisation of an anti-Muslim rally by fascist grouplet the ‘United Patriots Front’, scheduled to take place at Bendigo Town Hall on Saturday, August 29. While Julie Hoskin & Co look forward to the arrival of a small group of neo-Nazis, fascists and White supremacists from Melbourne:

Locals have organised a community BBQ — FILL THE SPACE WITH RESPECT: COMMUNITY BBQ BENDIGO;
The Campaign Against Racism and Fascism have organised a counter-rally — Stop the bigots in Bendigo! No to fascism, no to Islamophobia.
No Room For Racism event page — STAND WITH BENDIGO against racism & bigotry – Melbourne contingent.

See also : Bendigo united against racism, Hayley Sorensen, Bendigo Advertiser, August 21, 2015 | Rival protesters plan to face off in Bendigo over building of mosque, Andrew Jefferson, Herald Sun, August 20, 2015.

Otherwise, convicted anti-Semite and neo-Nazi Neil Erikson has made another minor media splash after filming himself and a comrade playing with pig’s heads, the severed heads described as being members of the local Muslim community. See : Anti-Islam organiser throws pig head in video to promote Bendigo mosque protest, Patrick Hatch, The Age, August 22, 2015 | Some Anti-Islam Nutjobs Are Using Severed Pig’s Heads To Protest A Mosque In Bendigo, Hannah Hawkins, Junkee, August 23, 2015.

BONUS LULZ!

UPFJul18
See : Further notes on #ReclaimAustralia/#UnitedPatriotsFront rallies (July 18/19), July 23, 2015.

Posted in !nataS, Anti-fascism, State / Politics, War on Terror | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

#UnitedPatriotsFront ~versus~ Bendigo Mosque

Fascist groupuscule the ‘United Patriots Front’ (UPF) has declared that they’ll be rallying in Bendigo on Saturday, August 29 in order to protest the construction of a mosque. The mosque was the subject of an unsuccessful legal challenge a few weeks ago (see : Bendigo mosque survives legal challenge, gets green light for planning permit, Rania Spooner, The Age, August 6, 2015) but may be subject to further challenge in the courts.

Bendigo is of course home to ‘Reclaim Australia’ (RA) level boss Monika Evers (of ‘Stop the Mosque in Bendigo’). Evers has previously been denounced by the UPF as a liar, a thief and a traitor. Her sidekick, Julie Kendall, was present at the July 18 joint RA/UPF rally and allegedly came to the defence of Glenn Anderson (Androvski) — a local bonehead — when he was told by other ‘patriots’ to leave. Kendall & Co were also allegedly very close to members of the ‘Patriots Defence League of Australia’ (PDLA) on the day, which is interesting given that: a) the UPF is working with Ralph Cerminara’s ‘Australian Defence League’ (ADL) to organise a ‘global’ rally against Islam on October 10 and; b) the PDLA and ADL are more often than not at odds with one another (see : Authorities brace for ugly scenes as Australian ‘patriots’ plan mosque protests, Bianca Hall, The Age, August 13, 2015).

upfbendigo2
Above : Rights For Bendigo Residents thank convicted anti-Semite Neil Erikson and the UPF for their support.

Whatever position Evers/’Stop the Mosque in Bendigo’ group take with regards the UPF rally, ‘Rights For Bendigo Residents’ (RBR: see : Bendigo mosque protester claims other mosque objectors face death threats, intimidation, Andrew Jefferson, Herald Sun, December 3, 2014) has welcomed the support of the UPF. By the same token, the UPF is happy to promote the funding of RBR via the ‘Robert Balzola and Associates Law Practice Trust Account’: Balzola has been actively law-talking on the part of anti-Muslim activists for some years (see : Nile party behind anti-Muslim school rally, Wendy Frew, The Sydney Morning Herald, December 22, 2007).

Such expressions of solidarity are somewhat unusual, but by no means unique. Pastor Danny Nalliah of Catch the Fire Ministries/Rise Up Australia Party has happily worked alongside neo-Nazis and fascists for many months now — hatred of Jews, Holocaust denial and Hitler worship are evidently all things good Christians can support if it suits their purposes. Of course, not all Christians are happy to jump into bed with neo-Nazis and fascists. Indeed, St Paul’s Anglican Church in Bendigo has objected to its use in a propaganda video produced by Melbourne neo-Nazi and UPF leader Blair Cottrell:

stpaul

St Paul’s Cathedral is being used (without permission) in a video to promote an anti Islam protest in Bendigo later this month. I am not sure what to think about this person filming outside our church. He thinks our posters are politically far left; I reckon they are Christian.

We do not endorse his message. We will stick with the Christian Gospel. And just to be clear that means God’s love for everyone including those of other faiths, welcoming the outsider and caring for the neglected, including refugees.

Presumably, this means that the Anglican Church is now a hotbed of Communism. Which means I should probably update Trot Guide sometime soon …

Posted in Anti-fascism, History, State / Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

SEXxX & Swastikas

sexxx1
sexxx2
sparrowswastika

A band from Melbourne called Sexxx likes to play with swastikas it seems. They were gonna play a gig at Mr Boogie Man BAR on Saturday night (as part of their brief why haven’t you got aids? tour australia) but it may be that they’ve been kicked off the bill.

*shrugs*

Possibly another band to keep an eye on as others have raised various other allegations with regards their supposed dickheadedness …

Bonus Uncle Phranc!

Posted in !nataS, Anti-fascism, Broken Windows, Collingwood, Music, Sex & Sexuality | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Workers on strike @ Woolworths Melbourne Liquor DC #MLDC

Update (August 15, 2015) : “The action concluded Thursday evening. MLDC workers are now back at work following a negotiated outcome with Woolworths management.”

Update (August 13, 2015) : While liquor outlets owned by Woolworths are running low on stocks, you can donate in support of striking workers here: Melbourne Liquor DC Fighting Fund.

wooliesarebullies

Workers at the Woolworths distribution centre in Laverton (40-58 Leakes Rd) are on strike. The strike began on Sunday night/Monday morning (August 9/10) and a picket has been in place since that date. See : Woolworths Laverton workers strike over labour hire casualisation, Nick Toscano, The Age, August 10, 2015 | Workers defy legal orders and continue Woolworths liquor warehouse blockade, Nick Toscano, The Age, August 11, 2015.

The demands of the striking workers are reasonably straightforward:
1) Woolworths adhere to a previous agreement that it will not employ labour hire workers @ MLDC and;
2) There is to be no retribution on striking workers.
See : Indefinite strike at Woolworths warehouse over labour hire, Sue Bolton, Green Left Weekly, August 11, 2015 | ‘Nothing in, nothing out’ at Woolworths picket, Steph Price, Red Flag, August 11, 2015.

mAAAAAAd props to the workers at the MLDC for taking action in defence of their rights and in resisting the increasing casualisation of the workforce. Support from the community is welcome at the picket so if you can, pop down to 40-58 Leakes Road, Laverton and say g’day!

Posted in State / Politics, That's Capitalism! | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Far-right fringe raises profile by reclaiming immigration debate [John Lyons, The Australian]

johnoliver

[I may add some comments over the course of the next few days …]

Far-right fringe raises profile by reclaiming immigration debate
John Lyons
The Australian
August 8, 2015

When James Gilhome turned on his computer on May 28 he was alarmed by what he saw. Across the following three days, the more he saw the more concerned he became.

Gilhome, although sitting at his home in Tasmania, was watching over social media a plot being hatched: a plan about how to smuggle weapons into an upcoming protest in Melbourne.

Gilhome had joined the newly formed Reclaim Australia movement because he was concerned about Islamic fundamentalism. But somehow he had been included in a discussion by a small Facebook group of supporters from the United Patriots Front, an offshoot of Reclaim Australia and Australia’s newest far-right group.

They were discussing how they could get weapons past police cordons. One idea was to use wheelchairs, as police would assume any metal detectors had been set off by the chair rather than the guns.

“In the conversation, they talked about plans to sneak weapons past police, plans to bring pistols along and plans to provoke the Left into reacting violently, which is exactly what happened,” he tells Inquirer. Gilhome notified police.

As well as Islamic State-inspired terror threats, Australian authorities now have to deal with the so-called “Reclaim Australia” movement. The group, which held rallies in Australian cities last month, formed in February in response to the Lindt Cafe siege in Sydney in December last year and the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris in January.

But exactly who is involved in Reclaim Australia is hard to discern — some of this obfuscation is deliberate; many of those driving the movement do not want to be identified.

Beneath the surface of Reclaim Australia is a fierce and nasty battle on social media, where threats and counter-threats are traded.

Within Reclaim Australia there are two intense battles taking place: the first is between those who want to protest against Islamic extremism and others, including neo-Nazis, who are trying to make it about Muslims and Jews.

The second is over who runs the movement. As one intelligence source tells Inquirer: “The ideology is there, but so far a leader has not risen through the pack, unlike similar movements in Europe.”

Layered over these internal battles is a larger external struggle between the far Right and the far Left, with members on both sides threatening to reveal the home addresses and personal details of each other.

From some on the Right, or Reclaim, side, Melbourne blogger “Andy Fleming” is public enemy No 1 — except they don’t know who he is.

For 10 years, Fleming — a pseudonym — has been writing about the far Right. Recently, Reclaim Australia activist John Oliver set up a false Facebook account to try to find out. He tells Inquirer he did this because he did not want his real Facebook account to be closed and he knew that anyone trying to out Fleming would have their account closed quickly.

Within 24 hours, Oliver believed he had discovered Fleming’s identity. In response, a call went out — Oliver says it was not from him — for people to “hunt” the person named as Fleming.

One person posted: “Time to go on a good old-fashioned hunt, I reckon. Drag this piece of shit out of his house by his nuts and cut the f..kers off and sew them to his forehead.”

But Oliver’s site had named the wrong person. Police were called to the home of this person who, according to one source, was “terrified” that neo-Nazi vigilantes might turn up on “a good old-fashioned hunt”. Police contacted Oliver and told him of his error.

This is the new world of the far Right in Australia, a world in which online vigilantism is in danger of spilling over into real-life violence. Oliver says he wanted to unmask Fleming because of “the hypocrisy of the Left”. Fleming, maintaining his anonymity, tells Inquirer the emergence of Reclaim Australia has given a significant boost to far-right groups in this country. “Since its emergence at the beginning of 2015, far-right groups have supported Reclaim Australia and it has succeeded in mobilising several thousand people,” he says.

“This mass (of numbers) constitutes a market for far-right ideas and has been viewed as such.”

Fleming says a strategy of the far Right is to identify issues concerning race and nation of concern to a wider public and to try to capitalise on them.

“One of these issues is the place of Islam in Australia,” he says, “which is understood to embody a threat to the health and wellbeing of the Australian nation and which must therefore be eliminated.

“For some on the far Right, the Cronulla ‘riot’ of December 2005 is a touchstone and interpreted as a ‘white civil uprising’. The attitude to ‘multiculturalism’ is generally one of hostility and the policy is understood to be the culprit for a range of social problems, sometimes understood as being religious in nature but just as often ethnic or racial.”

As an illustration of the fear in this shadowy world, the woman who runs Reclaim Australia ref­uses to be identified. She operates on Facebook under the false name Catherin Brennan and identifies herself to the media as “Liz”.

“We personally have dealt with many threats and as the majority of us have families we are not willing to put them at risk,” she tells Inquirer. Liz says she wants to make clear to the Muslim community that the movement is not anti-Islam but anti-Islamic extremism. She is due to meet the Muslim Women’s Association soon to convey this.

Whatever soothing words Liz may speak, reports this week that a Reclaim Australia supporter had been charged with threatening to cut the throat of a prominent Sydney lawyer and campaigner against Islamophobia, Mariam Veiszadeh, will only heighten fear among many Australian Muslims that they are under threat.

The woman who allegedly made the threat, a mother of three, allegedly told Veiszadeh, a “Welcome to Australia ambassador”, that she would “hunt you down”.

An investigation by Inquirer has found that the groups that have gravitated into the Reclaim Australia movement include: Party for Freedom, Squadron 88, United Patriots Front, the Rise Up Australia Party, Q Society, Golden Dawn, One Nation Party, the Australia First Party, the Australian Defence League, Nationalist Alternative, Patriots Defence League of Australia and Restore Australia.

Last week, the Q Society registered the Australian Liberty Alliance, an anti-Islam political party to be launched in Perth on October 20 by Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders, who has called for a ban on the Koran because, he claims, it urges Muslims to kill non-Muslims.

Fleming says Reclaim Australia is a movement driven by social media. “On Facebook there has been a rapid proliferation of pages devoted to alerting the Australian public to the alleged dangers Islam poses to Australia,” he says.

“On my reading there are tens and more likely hundreds of thousands of Australians actively reading and sharing such material on social media.”

According to Fleming, Reclaim Australia has undergone a recomposition during the course of this year, but there are two broad core constituencies: Christian fundamentalists and secular, right-wing ultra-nationalists.

Scores of groups, ranging from neo-Nazi groups to more mainstream groups, are jockeying for a place under the Reclaim Australia umbrella.

Some of the groups are potentially dangerous, says Fleming, “although the question is to whom and what kind of danger”.

“One potential danger is the re-creation of an extra-parliamentary or largely extra-parliamentary radical, right-wing movement, of similar size and shape to parallel movements in parts of Europe.

“The UPF, in particular, has expressed political solidarity with Golden Dawn in Greece and num­erous other European fascist and neo-Nazi parties and projects.

“Reclaim Australia, on the other hand, cleaves to what might otherwise be described as the right wing of the Liberals. The participation of (federal Coalition MP) ­George Christensen in a Reclaim Australia rally in Queensland suggests that there’s a good deal of common ground in the political concerns of segments of RA and those of segments of the LNP.

“The ‘danger’, in this case, is the shift in political debate further to the right and the adoption by establishment figures of some ideas previously relegated to the political margins.”

Many in Reclaim Australia were boosted by the fact a member of the Abbott government had lent support.

Last month, Christensen spoke at a rally in north Queensland and his office says it received “hundreds” of congratulations. His staff member David Westman says there is “massive” support for the movement in Queensland. “It’s the most decisive thing we’ve seen,” he says.

“In the messages we’ve been getting they’re saying things like ‘It’s good that we have got somebody who’s got the balls to say what the rest of us are thinking.’ ”

Christensen tells Inquirer he decided to address the rally after he read that Legal Aid NSW was training “CALD” — culturally and linguistically diverse — mediators to facilitate culturally specific consent orders that could be signed off before cases reached a Family Court hearing.

One of those mediators is Sheikh Hassim Farache, a lawyer and Sydney imam.

In February, The Point Magazine, an online, federally funded publication, reported: “For Sheikh Hassim Farache, the role of mediators formally recognises what he’s been doing for years: applying sharia to arbitrate family disputes and avoid a long and painful journey through the court system.”

Farache did not return phone calls and Legal Aid NSW tells Inquirer it did not apply sharia law processes or principles.

“All the qualified family dispute resolution practitioners who undertake contractual work for Legal Aid NSW, including Mr Hassim Farache, do so in accordance with principles of the Australian Family Law Act,” a spokeswoman said.

Despite his keenness to address the rally, Christensen says he was worried about some associated groups, specifically the United Patriots Front and Squadron 88.

“But most of the people at the rally I spoke at were cane farmers, sugar-mill workers, teachers, everyday people,” he says.

He did not seek approval from the Prime Minister before he spoke at the rally and had heard nothing from the PM about the rally afterwards.

Tony Abbott declined to answer Inquirer’s questions about Reclaim Australia or Christensen’s attendance.

Instead, his office emailed an interview Abbott did with ABC radio in April in which he said one of the fundamental principles on which Australia was based was “live and let live”.

“Let’s never forget there was quite a lot of ethnic and cultural diversity on the First Fleet because Britain in the late 1700s was a pretty polyglot society,” Abbott said.

“So we were a very diverse country really from the beginning. We weren’t the monochrome Anglo place that is frequently assumed. It is one of the greatest strengths of our country, is our diversity, but it is also our unity in that diversity.”

While the April 4 rallies around the country began the process, it was the rallies on July 18 that raised the stakes; violence broke out at several between Reclaim Australia supporters and those opposing their movement, the worst violence being in Melbourne.

A bus trip from Sydney to Melbourne highlighted the way neo-Nazi elements are trying to infiltrate the Reclaim Australia movement. Just after 9pm on Friday, July 17, a mixed group of activists — including four neo-Nazis — turned up at Sydney’s Central station to board a bus organised by UPF. But police were waiting for them. They sought out Oliver, the man who had tried to reveal the identity of Fleming, who was carrying a gun. Oliver tells Inquirer he had notified the police firearms registry that he was transporting the gun to Melbourne but, nonetheless, police did not want the gun on that bus.

Oliver says he was taking the gun to Melbourne so over that weekend he could combine sports shooting and the rally. “Maybe I made an error of judgment to think that I could do the two things on the one weekend,” he concedes.

But he insists that those in Reclaim Australia are mainstream Australians opposing extremism. He says he was concerned there were four neo-Nazis on the bus. “The first thing I saw when I sat down was the guy in front of me draw a swastika on the mist on the window,” he says. “Two of the neo-Nazis were kicked off in Yass and two made it to Melbourne.”

One of those forced off the bus was Ross “The Skull” May, who has become the figurehead of Squadron 88, Australia’s newest neo-Nazi group.

Squadron 88 draws inspiration from US-based neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, which has taken its name from the former Nazi regime’s newspaper, Der Sturmer — The Attacker.

The name gives away its identity — the “8s” stand for the eighth letter of the alphabet — HH, or Heil Hitler. In June, Squadron 88 distributed anti-Semitic leaflets in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

Some of the recent stories on The Daily Stormer’s website make clear the anti-Semitism. The site has a section called “Jewish Problem” and recently included an article headlined “Abraham Lincoln, Jew Lover”, which discussed “Lincoln’s role in paving the way for acceptance and inclusion of Jews in America”.

The publisher of Daily Stormer, Andrew Anglin, tells Inquirer he believes the Reclaim Australia rallies began “both because the rate of immigration is rapidly intensifying and because the hordes are becoming increasingly aggressive, both on the media-spectacle level of terrorism and on the personal level of individual interpersonal interactions.
“The same thing is happening in all white countries, at the same time.”

Anglin reacts badly when Inquirer asks how his description of Australia as a white country accorded with the original inhabitants, Aborigines, not being white. “Is that supposed to be a joke?” he replies by email.

He also responds tersely to two other questions.

Inquirer: Given your own country, the US, has had people from all around the world for hundreds of years, in your view are they equal citizens to white Americans?

Anglin: No.

Inquirer: On your website you carry an article about “devious Jew vermin Abe Foxman” — on what do you base your view of Jews as “vermin”.

Anglin: Their behaviour.

The biggest split within the Reclaim Australia movement is between those prepared to allow neo-Nazis to be part of the movement and those who will not.

Fleming says the extent of infiltration of Reclaim Australia by neo-Nazi elements has been “large but not complete”.

“RA has denounced neo-­Nazism and in general it (neo-Nazism) commands little support. This is complicated by the fact that many of RA’s most active promoters are in fact neo-Nazis who have re-cast themselves as simple ‘patriots’ intent on saving Australia from Islam and ‘leftism’, whether these leftist formations are understood as Labor and the Greens or more obscure political formations.”

Nick Folkes, who runs the Party for Freedom, a key group within Reclaim Australia, is one of those campaigning to sideline neo-Nazis. When key figures in Reclaim Australia attended a barbecue at his Sydney home last Sunday someone from Squadron 88 turned up. Folkes denied him entry.

The Party for Freedom grew out of the Australian Protectionist Party. In June 2013, the Sydney branch of the Party for Freedom, run by Folkes, organised a “Torpedo the boats” rally.

“This is the time for patriotic groups to rise up,” Folkes tells Inquirer at his Sydney home.

“I’ve never seen so much anger. The Aussie battler has been totally disconnected. I hope this movement can grow.

“By getting more people involved we can grow an understanding: don’t vote for the major parties.”

Asked to outline the vision of the Reclaim Australia group, he says: “Our vision is to reduce Third World immigration, abandon multiculturalism and bring in assimilation by promoting Australian culture.”

Folkes, an industrial painter, wants governments in Australia to stop funding schools and language and other programs for migrants.

He insists he is not racist — “I’m married to a Japanese woman” — and argues that Asian countries would not allow the levels of immigration Australia does.

While he considers carefully his language during our interview, the language of the party’s brochures is emotive: “The ‘Aussie dream’ has been shattered due to the greed of government, foreign speculators and invaders who are colluding to ethnically cleanse suburbs of Australian families.”

As is common to most of these far-right groups, Muslims are a prime target. The party’s website states: “A rough estimate shows that close to half of all Muslims in the world are inbred.”

Attached is a photo of a semi-naked girl born horribly deformed, with as many as five legs, under a headline:

“Muslim Inbreeding: Impacts on intelligence, sanity, health and society.”

The article states: “Massive inbreeding within the Muslim culture during the last 1400 years may have done catastrophic damage to their gene pool.”

Challenged about this material, Folkes concedes: “I like to use the articles or images that are most politically incorrect.”

He wants his and other “patriotic parties” to take the place of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, which, he says, had sound policies but poor management.

The Party of Freedom’s “10-point plan to save Australia” is: Stop our genocide by stopping the Third World invasion, abolish the divisive state-sanctioned policy of multiculturalism, deport foreign nationals on welfare and foreign criminals in our jails, abolish the Human Rights Commission to protect free speech, cease all taxpayer funding of Islamic schools or mosques, deport all asylum-seekers and remove Australia from the UNHCR protocol on refugees, end all foreign aid, abolish 457 visas for temporary workers, restrict foreign ownership of Australians homes, farms and land, and promote Australian values, culture and assimilation.

The party is preparing to run candidates at the next federal election and will campaign on concerns among Australians about the high cost of housing, blaming this on “the Chinese real estate invasion.”

Its website says: “Australia is under attack from greedy foreign intruders who are rapidly acquiring Australian residential property pricing locals out of the market.

“Aussie battlers are being pushed to the fringes of our cities while foreign intruders are reaping the benefits of hard working previous generations.”

The website continues: “The new disposed or forgotten people will one day be remembered as the ‘stolen generation’ priced out of the market by invading overseas Chinese colonising our suburbs and cities.”

Another of the groups behind the rallies is the United Patriots Front, which describes itself as “a nationwide movement opposing the spread of left-wing treason and spread of Islamism”.

Some people monitoring Reclaim Australia are concerned about the lack of public statements by political leaders condemning the hardline elements.

Far-right watcher Fleming says: “I believe that political leaders play an important role in shaping the political context in which RA operates, and a failure to address its ideology is read by RA’s supporters as giving them licence to carry on their crusade against Islam.”

Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane says: “I’m surprised more hasn’t been said by political leaders to date.”

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George Christensen & Team Australia ~versus~ Flag-Burning Socialist Ratbags*

flagburners

Poor old George Christensen — who can boast that he is the only federal or state MP to have accepted an invitation to address a Reclaim Australia rally (Mackay, July 19) — has had his complaint to the Human Rights Commission re opposition to Reclaim Australia — specifically, the burning of the Australian flag at a protest in Melbourne on April 4 — dismissed. According to Christensen:

The clowns who burned three Australian flags at a protest on the Easter weekend, protected by a wall of socialist ratbags, have been reported to the Human Rights Commission.

I have been contacted by a number of people who were offended by protesters burning the national symbol during aggressive Socialist Alternative and Socialist [A]lliance protests in Melbourne. Many people were surprised it is not against the law to burn the Australian flag in such a manner and they feel offended and threatened when they see these actions taking place in Australia and broadcast on the news.

I have asked the Racial Discrimination Commissioner to investigate the protests to see if they are unlawful under Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. According to the Act, it is unlawful to perform any action in public that is likely to offend people of a particular race, religion, or national background. If sections of the Act can be applied to one race or nationality it must apply to all, whether a minority or the majority.

Burning of flags, physical violence, and placards and chants labelling people “racist” were part of a counter-protest attended mostly by university students and members of the Socialist Alternative in response to organised rallies by Reclaim Australia.

Reclaim Australia organised rallies in at least 16 cities around Australia, including Mackay and Townsville, voicing concerns about the rise of Islamic extremism, a push to introduce Sharia law into Australia, and the connections between Halal certification and funding for terrorist organisations.

These were legitimate concerns that were not targeting individuals or a specific religion. Radical Islam is an ideology that has more to do with politics than any religion and certainly has nothing to do with race, but professional protesters have tried to make it about race and engaged in extremely racist and intolerant actions.

It is a shame the Socialist ratbags took such aggressive and racist action to shut down any free speech that doesn’t agree with their own ideology. According to the Left, free speech is a right – as long as you agree with the Left.

The ‘clowns’ in question — aka Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance — released a media statement following the flag burning. See : Warriors of Aboriginal Resistance burns butcher’s apron in defiance of racist ‘Reclaim Australia’ rally, Green Left Weekly, April 9, 2015. The action made the Reclaimers very upset, but this was not the first time WAR had burned the Australian flag as an act of resistance to colonialism and racism. See : Why WAR burned six Australian flags – MEDIA RELEASE, November 20, 2014.

George Christensen: Anti-Reclaim racism claim rejected
The Australian
August 6, 2015

A complaint by government backbencher George Christensen that protesters opposed to a Reclaim Australia rally sought to incite racial hatred has been dismissed by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Mr Christensen — the only federal Coalition MP to speak at a Reclaim Australia rally — alleged that a group called Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance in April burnt three Australian flags “which, as an Australian, I find to be particularly racist behaviour”.

The Queensland politician argued that the counter-protest breached section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, in that the flag-burning targeted Australians of European descent and was intended to cause offence, insult and humiliation, and dissuade people from joining the rally.

In a letter to the commission, Mr Christensen pre-empted any suggestion the Reclaim Australia rally was racist, saying the movement did not target individuals nor any particular racial group. “As we have seen, Islamic extremists … are not represented by a single race, nor can radical Islam be considered only a religion as it is ideological and as much a political movement as it is a religion,” he wrote.

In response, one of the commission’s case officers acknowledged Mr Christensen’s concerns, but said: “It is unclear how it could be argued that the burning of the Australian flag was done because of your race, colour, or national or ethnic origin, or that of other Australians of European descent more broadly.” No action was taken.

Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane last week warned of “organised racist movements” such as Reclaim Australia causing disharmony and urged anyone offended to “seek the protection of laws that prohibit such hatred”.

“At these rallies, far-right, racial-supremacist agitators have been visibly present,” Dr Soutphommasane told an audience at Australian National University. “People with xenophobic political agendas have also been present. Pictures and footage of the rallies clearly show that people sporting Nazi tattoos and other insignia have been openly parading their extremist sympathies.”

He said the “corrupted national pride” that emerged during the Cronulla riots had returned in “a strain of patriotic expression that is tainted with the stain of aggressive nationalism”.

“It is time that we reclaim patriotism,” he said.

For a contrary view on patriotism and nationalism, see : A G A I N S T N A T I O N A L I S M, totaltantrum, April 19/July 19, 2015. See also : Reclaiming (White) Australia? Talk about a redundant exercise, Senthorun Raj, August 6, 2015 | Banal Nationalism | The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism, Fredy Perlman (1984).

“So we say, we always say in the Black Panther Party, that they can do anything they want to us. We might not be back, I might be in jail, I might be anywhere. But when I leave, you can remember I said with the last words on my lips that I am a revolutionary and you’re going to have to keep on saying that. You’re going to have to say that I am a proletariat. I am the people, I’m not the pig. You got to make a distinction.”

~ Fred Hampton (August 30, 1948 – December 4, 1969), executed by the Chicago Police as part of the US federal government’s COINTELPRO. See also : Noam Chomsky & Kathleen Cleaver on Race, Gender and Class Issues – Black Panthers (1997).

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