Rally Against Racism and Fascism, Federation Square, Melbourne, Sunday, May 15

[Update : A Facebook page has been created for the ‘Rally Against Racism and Fascism’ Event.]

At midday on Sunday, May 15, the ‘Australian Defence League’ is planning on holding a public rally at Fed Square followed by a march upon Parliament. The rally is being organised to protest the presence of Muslims in Australia and the supposed “Islamification” of Australian society they are (secretly) undertaking.

In response, a ‘Rally Against Racism and Fascism’ has been organised.

Where : Federation Square
When : Midday, Sunday, May 15

Please note that Federation Square will also witness celebrations associated with the Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival:

Proudly presented by Fo Guang Shan Melbourne and Buddha’s Light International Association of Victoria (BLIA VIC), the 16th Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival marks the Buddhist holidays with a unique annual event celebrating vesak or wesak (Buddha’s birthday), flavoured by Melbourne’s diverse multicultural society.

Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival incorporates the traditions of Buddhist ceremonies and celebrations including the “Bathing of the Buddha”, daily Dharma ceremonies, the Wishing Bell and traditional incense offerings, a vegetarian culinary tour of Asia alongside the Yarra on the River Terrace, cultural demonstrations and insights, music, art and craft and community service groups.

Plenty for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike!

The festival is a unique introduction to Buddhism for kids and families with special activities and games for the younger of body and mind.

The May 15 rally is the second occasion upon which the ADL has attempted to publicly demonstrate its hatred and contempt for Muslims in Melbourne. The ADL’s first rally (and march) was meant to take place on April 9, 2010. It was effectively countered by the organisation of a counter-rally, in which a broad range of individuals from the labour movement and various faith and political organisations participated.

(See : Far-Right white supremacists planning anti-Islam march on state Parliament, Padraic Murphy, Nick Leys, Herald Sun, March 27, 2010 | Photos of Anti-racism rally in Melbourne, Melbourne Leader, April 9, 2010 | Nazi salutes at Flinders Street protest (Video), The Age, April 9, 2010.)

What is the ‘Australian Defence League’?

The ADL consciously models itself upon the ‘English Defence League’, a network of anti-Muslim bigots whose ranks are swelled by racist football hooligans and whose numerous rallies, marches and protests have triggered widespread disruption and alcohol-fuelled violence.

The EDL was established in Luton in June, 2009, but has since extended itself across the country. Its leader, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka “Tommy Robinson”) is a former member of the ‘British National Party’ and has a conviction for assault. He also likes to say ‘fuck’ a lot. (Guramit Singh is another leading figure.)

Having undergone a series of internal crises triggered by its failure to manifest a public presence in Australia, the ADL has recently been placed under the leadership of another Englishman, Martin Brennan, who promises that the League will not allow its earlier stoopid to be repeated. While the precise level of the ADL’s support is unknown, it would be nice to think that the success of last year’s counter-rally could again be repeated, and the attempt to transport the EDL Down Under defeated.

See also : Malatesta’s Blog, which cuts a dash against the fash / keeps a watching brief on the antics of the EDL and other bizarro groups on the far right in the UK | Australian Defence League: May 15 rally and counter-rally (April 30, 2011).

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2015 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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16 Responses to Rally Against Racism and Fascism, Federation Square, Melbourne, Sunday, May 15

  1. @ndy says:

    British anti-Islamists to march on parliament

    Crikey senior journalist Andrew Crook writes:

    A far-right fringe group modelled on the violent English Defence League is gathering support for a rally at Melbourne’s Federation Square on Sunday to protest “Islamic extremists” and prevent Australia becoming “another Europe”.

    The notorious Australian Defence League, which claims it is “time for action” to stop the spread of Sharia Law, will march from the square at noon to Parliament House and says it has received official Victoria Police approval for the event.

    A missive spruiking for the rally was posted on the ADL’s online forums by British organiser Martin Brennan over the weekend. Brennan says he has been liaising with police over numbers and logistics.

    “BRING YOUR BANNERS AND BRING YOUR FLAGS BE LOUD AND PROUD AND LET THE ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS KNOW WE AREN’T GONNA BE ANOTHER EUROPE. THIS IS AUSTRALIA AND NO ONE WILL TAKE THAT FROM US!!!!!,” Brennan writes.

    Another commenter picks up the cudgels, stating he is preparing to “March Loud & Proud for our Nation”.

    “No longer will Australians sit back and accept the Islamisation of Our Nation, nor will we accept Barbaric Sharia Law in our sensational country. We value life — Sharia Barbaric Law doesn’t — those that believe Sharia Law should be implemented into Australia, care very little for Australian People and the Australian Way of Life!!!”

    The rally coincides with a Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival at the tourist mecca, sparking fears of an ugly confrontation in front of Garden State holiday makers.

    A counter-protest “against racism and fascism” is also planned. Last April, the ADL’s first mobilisation attempt was successfully foiled by left-wing activists who drowned out a group of racist protesters offering up pitiful Nazi salutes. Overnight, the ADL’s Facebook page seems to have been successfully hacked by one opponent, who posted a picture of two Muslim women wearing Australian flag hijabs.

    [Note that there are several pages on Facebook promoting the ADL. One belongs to the founding members, another to the group under Martin Brennan. The original page–Australian Defence League (Official ADL Est.2009)–was established in 2009, the page under Brennan’s control–Australian Defence League (official)–in 2011. The group split as a result of EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon’s decision to place the ADL under Brennan’s leadership. There is considerable overlap between the two memberships.]

    Islamic Friendship Association president Keysar Trad slammed the rally as a “crack up” full of “bigots seeking to parade themselves so that we can all know who they are”.

    “Reading their site, the only thing they have to motivate people to attend is fear-mongering. There are people in our midst who are still living in the dark ages and now they are holding a demonstration to prove it,” he said, noting that the organiser was British, not Australian.

    The ADL’s notorious sister organisation, the English Defence League, has become a burgeoning presence in the United Kingdom, with group members clashing with Muslim protesters on Friday outside the US Embassy in London at a “funeral service” for Osama bin Laden.

    Last year the Guardian described the EDL as “the most significant far-right street movement in the UK since the National Front in the 1970s”. Many of the group’s rallies were deliberately staged to stoke anger in Muslim communities and often descended into random acts of violence, it said.

    A spokesperson for Victoria Police confirmed that the force had been liaising with the group over the protest.

    “Police do not provide ‘approval’ for demonstrations and protests as such, however we liaise with organisers to ensure community safety is paramount and the event is resourced as appropriate. We strongly recommend anyone planning a demonstration or protest make contact with police in the lead up to the event.”

    ADL-style Hate speech is specifically banned under the federal Racial Discrimination Act, which states that it is unlawful to “do an act” that would insult, humiliate, offend or intimidate another person or group in public on the basis of their race.

    The spokesperson said that police resources will be put in place to deal with the events and that “we will be closely monitoring them for criminal activity of any sort”.

    A spokesperson for premier Ted Baillieu did not respond to questions over the rally before deadline.

  2. do the ADLers probably confuse Muslims and Buddhists?

  3. @ndy says:

    them’s all foreign muck, so maybe. (i think they confuse a lotta stuff, frankly.)

  4. Aussie says:

    I think there are a few problems here, 3 to be exact.

    1. Sharia Law, or law based on religion has and will continue to cause problems, how big that situation is, I wouldn’t have a clue. Like anything that has potential to cause problems it should be monitored closely.

    2. Aussies are taking in [their] own hands, with little to no knowledge about anything. [Contradictorily], they are blat[a]ntly using hate or viol[e]nce, and claiming it is what they are fighting against. Most people with racist views that I know, seem to repeat the garbage the[y] hear on T.V. and from that they seem to think they know pr[e]tty much everything. Which leads me to the third problem.

    3. T.V. In my opinion this is the worst, mostly because it is the main cause of 1 of the other problems. It is the reason why blogs like this exist.

    The government has always known the dangers and power T.V has over people yet has allowed it to continue. Why? Because ‘the greatest of all these is money’, perhaps?

    To a[n] uncon[s]cious person (most of Australia), they are addicted to problems, how to fix problems, constantly trying to give themselves a false sense of “I know”. The best way to keep people in this state of fear is negativity on the T.V.. When was the last time someone protested or complained about T.V? T.V stations know this that’s why they do it. This is the way Eckart Tolle explains it, I only put this here because it might potentially give people a better understanding.

    The psychological condition of fear is divorced from any concrete and true immediate danger. It comes in many forms: unease, worry, anxiety, nervousness, tension, dread, phobia, and so on. This kind of psychological fear is always of something that might happen, not of something that is happening now. You are in the here and now, while your mind is in the future. This creates an anxiety gap. And if you are identified with your mind and have lost touch with the power and implicity of the Now, that anxiety gap will be your constant companion. You can always cope with the present moment, but you cannot cope with something that is only a mind projection – you cannot cope with the future.

    Moreover, as long as you are identified with your mind, the ego runs your life, as I pointed out earlier. Because of its phantom nature, and despite elaborate defense mechansms, the ego is very vulnerable and insecure, and it sees itself as constantly under threat. This, by the way, is the case even if the ego is outwardly very confident. Now remember than an emotion is the body’s reaction to your mind. What message is the body receiving contiuously from the ego, the false, mind-made self? Danger I am under threat. And what is the emotion generated by this continuous message? Fear, of course.

    So yeah, if you read that, and then apply the situation of T.V, and its constant negativity, and a racist, it makes a little sense.

    I believe Buddhists seek enlightenment with the teaching of living without desire and silencing their mind. I find it ironic that they will be there, in a[n] amusing kind of way.

  5. ["FLAEDO"] says:

    Au contraire…

    [Blah blah blah. PROTIP: When trolling sites under multiple names, it's often worthwhile doing so employing a different IP.]

  6. ["FLAEDO"] says:

    Exactly my point – you are a professional. The clock stopped way back when and you resist all attempts to drag your poor wounded psyche into some kind of rational present. Youre still back there in the cold war, theres one redeeming aspect to your timewarped misreading of the present and that is in some respects the cold war didnt end however it did transmogrify but yes yes by some uncanny doglike intuitive low wattage mental impulse a hint of validity has landed on your dinner plate – but its just a hint. You have no idea what is going on in the world now – zip. Until you reorient you will be forever missing the mark, its not so bad because most of your cohorts are in the same predicament. At least you arent alone but l do wonder how it must feel knowing – because again your intuition is telling you this – knowing that you dont get whats going on in the world today. So really youre fighting yourself, not the ADL or anyone else.

  7. ["FLAEDO"] says:

    [D00d, get a blog.]

  8. Aussie says:

    Here is one for you “FLAEDO”. Andy sticks to facts, you stick to nothing more than an opinion, to judge someone without fact, insultingly, is a form of violence, kinda like racism, just sayin, chill out a little bro. Don’t assume. Just because someone doesn’t mention the ten thousand things going wrong in the world, doesn’t mean they are ignorant to it. ;)

  9. Australian Defense League (one manifestation of it) says:

    Hi to Andrew Crook… you were doing fine until this bit:

    //A far-right fringe group modelled on the violent English Defence League//

    Nowww… let’s unpack this.

    1/ “Far Right”? Don’t have a clue what you mean by this, but I guess it’s ‘they disagree with my unconscious Fabian/Marcusian/Frankfurtian socialist ideas. But wait, they could be ‘centrist’? Hmmm…

    2/ “Violent”. Now it seems here you have either swallowed the UK media reports without the slightest reference to actual video or eye witness reports or invented it yourself. Here is how it works:
    a) EDL declare a rally/protest on such and such a day;
    b) UAF do likewise as a ‘counter’ protest;
    c) UAF scum deliberately incite violence so that the media will report just like you: “Violence broke out at…” And so it goes.

    Oh, just in case you doubt this, refer to the arrest of Weyman Bennett and his flunkie Martin [?]… for that very thing (“planning to incite violent disorder”).

    So now you, like an intellectual lemming of the most blithering kind, just gulp it all down and regurgitate it up and dribble it out here.

    Let’s see how it will work for the ADL.

    a) ADL plans a rally.
    b) It is only known to regional leaders, who know their teams well.
    c) Not publicly advertised.
    d) UAF try-hard/wanna-be lemmings (GLW rent-a-crowd) don’t show up at all.
    e) Utopia reigns as we have a very happy and peaceful event :)
    f) Rent-a-lemmings all lose purpose and meaning in life and commit suicide.
    g) Aaah nice (humanly [?] speaking of course).

    It would be so much better if the lemmings actually studied how they have been brainwashed by the Marcusian Moronic Left and the Fabian Fantatic Freaks, and then, in their newly liberated state of intellectual freedom, all zip off to the nearest evangelical Church :) (On that point I joke not.)

  10. @ndy says:

    Manifest Destiny,

    If you wish to communicate with Andrew Crook, I suggest you write to him.

    Otherwise, Weyman Bennett is not a good example to cite. The charge of ‘conspiracy to incite violent disorder’ against him (and Rhetta Moran and Paul Jenkins) was dropped in November 2010. The tanning salon owner who leads the EDL, on the other hand, was not only charged but convicted of assault:

    [Yaxley-Lennon] was convicted on 18 April 2005 for assault occasioning actual bodily harm, for which he was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, and assault with intent to resist arrest, for which he received a concurrent term of three months.

    (Another of the EDL’s founders, Richard Price, is a convicted paedophile.)

    On the EDL as a far right organisation, please consult a dictionary. Otherwise:

    Yaxley-Lennon is a former BNP member and has a history of involvement in the British far right.

    The EDL website was set-up by BNP activist Chris Renton.
    Hundreds of EDL support groups like the BNP and NF.
    The membership of the EDL’s Scottish Division was synonymous with that of the BNP’s Scottish branch.
    The EDL’s Welsh Division was run by members of C18.

    There’s plenty more evidence of abundant links between the EDL and other groups on the far right: only the naive or stupid do not appreciate this relationship.

    As for the rest, I suggest you chew the far right samizdat from the 1970s you’ve been consuming a little more thoroughly before swallowing.

  11. inglourious_basterd says:

    My spies tell me the demo was an epic fail. A handful of the usual suspects turned up, possibly 20 but more likely closer to 10, greatly outnumbered by anti-racists and Ted’s Finest.

    Moreover the other ADLs (how many of them are there?) are distancing themselves from it and from Martin Brennan with the speed of Stawell Gift winners.

  12. Pingback: Australian Defence League Anti-Muslim Rally : Interrupted | slackbastard

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