ASIO, fascism and anti-fascism

They said it would rain tomorrow.
My garden is full of weeds this year, the herbicide isn’t working.
The Moles snuck into The Garden last night.
The… spotted cuckoo is flying backwards?

Threat of fascist attacks revealed
Dylan Welch
The Sydney Morning Herald
October 12, 2011

FASCIST and nationalist extremist groups are active in and pose a threat to Australia, with the country’s security agency saying there are legitimate concerns they may spawn a terrorist in the style of Norway’s Anders Breivik.

The assessment, in the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation’s annual report to Parliament, also reveals Australia’s right-wing extremists, much like the Islamic fundamentalists they loathe, draw inspiration from overseas via the internet.

”There has been a persistent but small subculture of racist and nationalist extremists in Australia, forming groups, fragmenting, re-forming and often fighting amongst themselves,” the report states.

The appraisal also states there has been a recent rise in anarchist or ”anti-fascist” groups, with the ideologically-opposed groups coming into conflict.

”Where such confrontations have occurred, the ‘anti-fascists’ have outnumbered the nationalist and racist extremists and police intervention has been required,” the report states in its ”Australia’s Security Environment” section.

As the recent case of Anders Breivik shows, the dangers posed by right-wing extremists have not abated, despite most intelligence agencies focusing on the threats posed by Islamic terrorism.

A Christian who described himself as a ”modern-day crusader”, Breivik killed 77 people during a bombing in Oslo and a shooting rampage at a teen camp at an island outside the Norwegian capital in July.

While the assessment does not suggest ASIO has uncovered right-extremists in Australia that mirror Breivik’s murderous intentions, it reveals they rely on overseas connections and events to inform and motivate them.

”[They] maintain links and draw inspiration from like-minded overseas extremists, and much of their rhetoric and activity is derivative, heavily influenced by developments overseas,” it states. Websites such as stormfront.org – the web’s most famous and ubiquitous white supremacist and neo-Nazi website – have numerous Australian members.

However, the threat posed by Australian right-wing extremists seems to be limited, with such groups appearing to be interested only in ”propaganda and engendering support”.

”However, there is always the possibility of a lone actor or autonomous group inspired by a nationalist or racist extremist ideology engaging in violence as a means of provoking a wider response,” the report says.

It states the continued existence of such groups has directly led to the resurgence of an ”anti-fascist” movement.

”[The anti-fascist movement] aims to confront those it identifies as fascists, including some of the nationalist and racist extremist groups also of interest to ASIO,” it states.

The security assessment also discusses its monitoring of ”issue-motivated groups” – organisations ranging from community-based forestry groups to neo-Nazi parties.

”There is … a small minority who seek to use protests around a range of emotive issues to further their own (often unrelated) political agenda by provoking, inciting or engaging in violence. It is this fringe that is of concern to ASIO.”

Note that The Australian (by way of its Defence Editor Brendan Nicholson) spins the report rather differently. Thus ASIO “warns that as well as Islamist extremism, fuelled in part by wars in Afghanistan and tensions over Palestine, an anti-fascist movement had recently emerged led by self-styled anarchists determined to confront other interest groups.”

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 2014 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
This entry was posted in Anarchism, Anti-fascism, Broken Windows, State / Politics, That's Capitalism!, War on Terror and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to ASIO, fascism and anti-fascism

  1. AntifaAus says:

    so what’s exactly happening? are these far-rights and others called ‘extremists’ being watched?

  2. The ASIO annual report, silly as always.

    ASIO has seen violent and provocative tactics used deliberately by this fringe at a range of protests in recent years, although the frequency and intensity of such violence tends to wax and wane. Provocative tactics used include attacks on police managing protests using ‘invisible’ weapons such as fishing hooks flicked into faces or squirting dangerous or unpleasant liquids in order to provoke an apparently disproportionate police response. The aim is to gain public support and to escalate the anger of those protesting in order to cause widespread violence in an attempt to de-legitimise the government position and undermine the rule of law. Other unlawful tactics used include property damage and sabotage.

    Invisible weapons!!! Man, every demo I’m at I’m throwing the condoms full of urine and hacking at the pigs with fishing hooks! Oh yeah!

    Silly, to the point its “intelligence” could have been sourced from the opinion pages of the Herald Sun.

  3. AntifaAus says:

    Good.

  4. @ndy says:

    @Kieran: Yeah, a bit daft.
    @AntifaAus: Er, OK. It’s kinda like, what they do: political surveillance has been going on on a national scale for about 90 years or so.

  5. AntifaAus says:

    Sounds typical though @ndy.

  6. @ndy says:

    I don’t understand.

  7. AntifaAus says:

    About ASIO don’t worry. I don’t want to start confusing things.

  8. Pingback: ASIO, fascism and anti-fascism (cont.) | slackbastard

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