NB. ORGANISING MEETING AGAINST HAMMERED MUSIC FESTIVAL
TOMORROW TONIGHT (THURSDAY) NIGHT @ 6.30PM (JANUARY 12), LEVEL 2, TLC BUILDING, 16 PEEL STREET, SOUTH BRISBANE. ALL WELCOME.
I’m not quite sure why, but this year’s neo-Nazi Hammered Festival (scheduled to take place in Brisbane, Queensland on April 21, 2012) has generated more media and public interest than any previous event organised by local neo-Nazis (of which there have been many). Thus, since the publication of an article in Queensland’s Courier Mail on January 8 advertising the event, there has been coverage by Ninemsn, The Jerusalem Post, NEWS.com.au and numerous websites dedicated to music and/or politics (and Brazil’s Globo for some reason). The Festival has also generated considerable heat on social networking sites such as Facebook. On Wednesday (January 11), The Project on the Channel 10 network profiled the event as, apparently, did The Drum on ABC.
Possibly, the sudden surge of interest in local neo-Nazi organising may have been triggered by coverage of the string of murders allegedly committed by a neo-Nazi terrorist cell in Germany over the last decade and only revealed to the public late last year (and which took place under the noses of the German police); it may even be related to the decision by Anonymous hackers, also apparently located in Germany, to establish nazi-leaks.net, a kind of anti-fascist variant on Wikileaks.
Alternatively, it may have simply been a slow news day on Sunday.
Whatever the case, for those of you coming in late, the Hammered Festival is an annual gathering taking place in Queensland and now (2012) about to celebrate its third anniversary. (In its previous two years — 2011 and 2010 — the event was celebrated on the Gold Coast.) The Festival is organised by two local neo-Nazi skinhead (bonehead) associations: Blood & Honour Australia and the Southern Cross Hammerskins. Other groups or projects involved in the event include ‘Crew 38′ (the feeder organisation for the Hammerskins), ‘Women for Aryan Unity’ (a tiny group of Aryan ladies dedicated to propagating neo-Nazism, wholesome diets, and collecting funds for imprisoned neo-Nazi terrorists) and 9% Productions (a local neo-Nazi online distro). This year’s event is also intended to celebrate the Hammerskins’ 20th anniversary in Australia and, not coincidentally, takes place a day after Adolf Hitler’s birthday (April 20, 1889).
While advertised publicly on various neo-Nazi and White supremacist websites, entry to Hammered is by invitation-only, and the exact location of the event is nowhere advertised. This commitment to secrecy has some obvious and proximate reasons but is otherwise in accord with the more general outlook of the groups involved. Thus, there is no ‘public face’ to either B&H or SCHS, and both have a policy of non-cooperation with media. Further, the names of the bands to perform at the Festival have not been made public, and presumably won’t be until after the event. Nevertheless, it seems likely that Melbourne bands Deaths Head/Ravenous and Waffenbruder, Brisbane band Open Season and an ‘international’ act will be among those who goose-step on stage. (NB. The forum.thiazi.net site has probably the most comprehensive neo-Nazi discography online.)
As noted, there has been a considerable (and rather surprising) amount of media coverage of the Hammered Festival. Surprising not only because the event itself is another three months away but also because the same groups have been organising a similar event in Melbourne — the Ian Stuart Donaldson memorial gig — for the last 20 years or so. The ISD gig is larger and actually the key event on the Australian neo-Nazi calendar but has received relatively little media attention. So too because Kenneth Stewart, the only member of the SCHS to be exposed publicly as such, resides in Melbourne, and arguably because the group is stronger in Melbourne (and Geelong) than any other city in Australia. (The Hammerskins have a marginal presence in Aotearoa/New Zealand also, though their most famous member is most likely former member Kyle Chapman, currently the leader of ‘Right Wing Resistance New Zealand’.)
The Controlled Media Project
The Project report on Hammered (5:04) is fairly straightforward, though it contains a few minor inaccuracies (at the start of the report Angela Bishop announces that the 20th anniversary of the Hammered Festival will take place — it’s actually the Hammerskins’ 20th birthday party) and a few points are worth clarifying.
First, the aim of the Hammerskins as reported — ‘To secure the existence of our people and a future for White children’ — is a slogan widely-used by contemporary neo-Nazis and White supremacists and was coined by convicted and now thankfully dead US neo-Nazi terrorist David Lane. (As an aside, some of his ashes were distributed in Australia by neo-Nazis in Perth. See : nutzis are W E I R D : David Lane’s Ashes, February 13, 2009.) Lane belonged to a freedom-fighting terrorist group known as The Order and at the Festival the local branch of ‘Women for Aryan Unity’ will be collecting funds to donate to members of the group currently imprisoned by ZOG in the Jewnited States.
Secondly, the YouTube channel referred to — genocidal88 — belongs to local Melbourne Hammerskin Jesse, singer-songwriter in both Deaths Head and Ravenous. Jesse’s channel functions as a principal outlet for B&H and Hammerskin agitprop and was rendered ‘private’ only after the report in the Courier Mail was published. Some videos remain available elsewhere however, of which the following is an example. (The band featured, the Bully Boys, toured Australia in 2004.)
Thirdly, in addition to being neo-Nazi, B&H and the Hammerskins are indeed global networks. Further, members and supporters of both groups have been convicted of violent crimes. Most recently, James Robertson, a member of Tampa (Florida) B&H was sentenced to life for his part in the murder in 1998 of two homeless men:
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Robertson was a member of “Tampa Blood and Honour,” a hate group whose members espoused the belief that white persons of Aryan descent were the superior race. Tampa Blood and Honour members considered the homeless to be an inferior class, regardless of race. “Bum rolling” was a term used by Tampa Blood and Honour members to describe the activity of targeting and committing acts of violence against homeless persons. Specifically, in the early morning hours of September 13, 1998, Robertson and three other members (Kenneth Hoover, Charles Marovskis, and Cory Hulse) of Tampa Blood and Honour murdered two homeless men – Mr. Alfred Williams and Mr. Richard Arseneau.
Not very nice behaviour really.
Also briefly interviewed by The Project is a Queensland politician. In general terms, the reaction by politicians to the event has been routine: condemnation. However Independent Queensland MP Rob Messenger:
…has launched an online petition in protest against the controversial neo-Nazi “Hammered Music Festival”, after being contacted by members of the public supporting his recent comments on 4BC radio.
The petition calls for the Premier and Opposition Leader to commit to supporting legislative changes that will ensure Queensland has the toughest laws in Australia which enable the banning and punishment of neo-Nazis and other race hate proponents.
The petition notes that local, state and federal political leaders have been reluctant to publicly condemn, or commit to using all laws necessary to ban, this Neo Nazi, race hatred-inspired gathering, with some political leaders blaming inadequate laws as an excuse for not being able to ban Neo Nazi rallies, events and activities.
The petition raises all sorts of questions regarding the state’s ability to proscribe political activity and, in the absence of broader political support, is unlikely to have much effect. In the interview, Messenger likens B&H and the SCHS to “terrorists”, which raises even further questions. Currently, under the terms of the Security Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act 2002, there are 18 proscribed organisations, all bar one — the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) — being Islamist groups.
For his part, during the course of Messenger’s interview Steve Cannane refers to the willingness of Jewish lawyers to represent neo-Nazis in court in order to defend their right to public assembly (the most famous case perhaps being a rally and march in 1977 by the National Socialist Party of America in Skokie, Illinois), while Charlie Pickering assumes that legal responsibility for the Festival must lie with the licensee…
To conclude their item discussing Hammered, The Project panel takes note of the fact that immigration authorities, under the terms of the Migration Act, reserve the right to deny entry to the country by non-citizens judged to be of ‘poor character’. This includes those considered likely to racially vilify or incite discord. (It was on this basis that leading members of the German NPD — Gerd Finkenwirth and Udo Voight — were told to bugger off in 2003 and 2005, thus becoming unavailable to address the annual fascist gathering in Sydney.)
The implication here is that the ‘international act’ coming to play Down Under may similarly be denied entry. The difficulty lies in the fact that the authorities will need to go to some effort to identify those touring, and in previous years have allowed a number of boneheads, mostly US citizens, to tour. It’s in this context that Cannane makes reference to British Holocaust denialist David Irving having been denied entry to Australia (which he was, repeatedly, in 1993, 1996 and 2003) and further argues that, when given the opportunity to speak in public, in the UK his ideas were debunked. Therefore, banning neo-Nazi events is not only questionable from an ethical or legal perspective but also counter-productive.
This is not quite the case. Rather, in 1996 Irving chose to sue historian Deborah Lipstadt for libel. In 2000:
Judge Gray found that Irving had “for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence” in order to portray Hitler “in an unwarrantedly favourable light” particularly in his treatment of the Jews. Irving had “significantly” misrepresented, misconstrued, omitted, mistranslated, misread and applied double standards to the historical evidence in order to achieve his ideological presentation of history. Judge Gray also found that Irving was an “active Holocaust denier; that he is anti-semitic and racist, and that he associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism.”