“The Black Rose Syndicat” : D’oh!

Update (January 11, 2014) : Black Rose Syndicat (Addendum), January 7, 2014.

Update (December 23, 2013) : OK so I reckon I gotta bit of a handle on it, and the moral of this story is: drugs are bad, mmmkay?

I first encountered the bizarr0 ‘Black Rose Syndicat’ back in May: a Facebook page of that name was published on May 3 and a few indymedia articles appeared on May 10 and 16. Because of the craptastic nature of the posts which announced the fictional group’s existence, its adoption of the name ‘Black Rose’, and its claim to be located in the same suburb, I wrote to Black Rose infoshop in Newtown, Sydney asking if they knew anything more about these semi-literate keyboard warriors. I never received a reply, but over the course of the next few months I asked several anarchists I knew in Sydney the same question. None were able to provide me with any information to suggest that the Syndicat was anything other than a weird-arse ~jk~ — a local anarchist version of Crimer Show, perhaps — a phantasist looking for attention and/or to sell some merch, or even a badly-composed attempt by forces hostile to anarchism (and friendly to the G20) to gather infos on local anarchist organising and/or to ensnare some teenage wanna-be insurrectionists in some rather dickheaded fun …

In any case, given the derisory nature of the Syndicat’s online antics, and the fact that six months later its Facebook page had only managed to attract a little over a dozen likes, I decided to let sleeping dogs lie. Last week, however, the Courier Mail decided to splash the name of the Syndicat across its pages, taking its idiotic outpourings on indymedia and elsewhere as serious attempts by ‘anarchists’ to create “CAOS and Mayhem” at the G20 summit in Brisbane next year. As evidence, the article referred to two seven-month old indymedia posts (one of which was written by the group posing as a critic: the non-existent “Sydney University Socialist Club”) and two posts on the Syndicat’s Facebook page, also dating from around the same time.

The propaganda function of the mass media is hardly remarkable, nor its capacity to reflect elite concerns over potential troublemakers, but given the shift by international law enforcement to entrapment of activists in violent plots, the recent introduction of highly repressive laws in Queensland and weak opposition, the silly antics of the “Syndicat” may be worth taking a little more seriously than they would if they were just a reanimated Jonny Hammerlock.

On repression of opposition: G20 in Toronto, June 2010 see Over 9000 arrests @ G20 in Toronto (June 29, 2010) and elsewhere | G20 in Pittsburgh, September 2009 see Charges against Elliot Madison (and Michael Wallschlaeger) dropped… (November 3, 2009) and elsewhere | G20 in Melbourne, Pittsburgh, London see G20 : Sunil & Tim (& Co.) (July 30, 2009) and elsewhere …

In the meantime, enjoy How The Press Sets Up A Protest Crackdown, newmatilda.com, December 19, 2013. See also : Anarchist group to target G20, Brisbane Times/Nine News, December 9, 2013.

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.
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8 Responses to “The Black Rose Syndicat” : D’oh!

  1. Rose Black says:

    By the way Andy love your work our Mech [sic] is available at http://www. zazzle.com.au/theblackrosesyndicat_hooded_sweatshirts-235896260467359031

  2. [email protected] says:

    THE BEGINNING: “HOW TO START A REVOLUTION – THE EASY WAY”

    The Black Rose Syndicat Australia

    Part 1

    Be ready to ride the big dipper of the mixed metaphor. Be ready to dip your hands in the lucky bag of life, gather the storm clouds of fantasy and anoint your own genius.

    Because it is only by following the clear and concise instructions contained in this book that you can realise your childish fantasies of starting a revolution thus guaranteeing you a place forever in the sacred annals of Revolutionary History.

    Other than achieving a Revolution we offer you nothing else. There will be no endless wealth. Fame will flicker and fade and sex will still be a problem. What was once yours for a few days will now enter the public domain.

    In parts of this manual we will patronise you. In others we will cheat you. We will lie to you but we will lie to ourselves as well. You will, however, see through our lies and grasp the shining truth within. We will trap ourselves in our own pretensions. Our insights will be shot through with distort rays and we will revel in our own inconsistencies. If parts get too boring just fast forward – all the way to the end if need be.

    Now, we all know that politics is not going to save the world but it does, undeniably, create a filing system for the memory banks. In years to come people will stagger home down lonely streets singing your song to the strains of regurgitated vindaloo, all memory of who was behind the Revolution [lost]. It is you, though, who will be responsible for bringing back those lost tastes, smells, tears, pangs, forgotten years and missed chances. So enjoy what you can while at Number One.

    People equate a Number One with fame, endless wealth and easy sex – a myth that they want to believe and one that the popular press want to see continued. Along with the soap stars, sporting heroes and selected (however distant) members of the Royal Family, pop stars belong to a glittering world of showbiz parties, at one end of the scale, to illicit liaisons, at the other, where their lives are dragged up, dressed up, made up and ultimately destroyed. The celebrated, of course, are apt to fall into a world of drugs, drink, broken marriages and bankruptcy but even this is given the glamour treatment instead of the squalid misery that it is in reality.

    Basically, a Revolution is seen as the ultimate accolade in politics.
    Winning the Gold Medal. The crowning glory.

    The majority of Revolution’s [sic] are achieved early on in the politician’s public career and before they have been able to establish reputations and build a solid following. Most politicians are never able to recover from having one and it becomes the millstone around their necks to which all subsequent releases are compared. The fact that a record is Number One automatically means the track is in a very short period of time going to become over exposed and as worthless as last month’s catchphrase.

    Once or twice a decade a politician will burst through with a Revolution that hits a national nerve and the public’s appetite for the sound and packaging will not be satisfied with the election. The formula will be untampered with and the success will be repeated a second, a third and sometimes even a fourth time.

    The prison is then complete; either the politician will be destroyed in their attempt to prove to the world that there are other facets to their creativity or they succumb willingly and spend the rest of their lives as a travelling freak show, peddling a nostalgia for those now far off, carefree days. These are the lucky few. Most never have the chance of a repeat performance and slide ungracefully into years of unpaid tax, desperately delaying all attempts to come to terms with the only rational thing to do – get a nine to five job.

    Even if the unsuspecting artiste doesn’t know the above, rest assured most of the record business does but for some lemming-like reason refuses to acknowledge it. They continue to view the politician’s cheaply recorded, debut blockbuster as striking gold and will spend the next few years pumping fortunes into media time, video budgets and tour support whilst praying for a repeat of the miracle and the volume vote[s] that bring in the real money.

    Of course there are those politicians that have worked long and hard building personal artistic confidence, critical acclaim, a loyal following (all strong foundations) and then have a Revolution, that is that crowning glory. But even then the disgruntled purists amongst the loyal following desert in disgust at having to share their private club with the unwashed masses.

    So what’s left? What’s the point? What can be achieved when no great financial rewards or long term career prospects allowing for creative freedom can be hoped for, let alone guaranteed? We don’t know.

    If this book succeeds in becoming Bert Weedon’s “Play In A Day” for some lost month in the late eighties we will be happy. If anybody actually gets a Revolution by following our instructions we promise them a night out with The JAMS in Madagascar. We will arrange everything. For those that might be offended please read all “he’s”, “hims” and “his”‘ as “she’s”, “hers” and “hers”‘. Being blokes it was easier writing it the way we did.

    So how do you go about achieving an Australian Revolution? Follow this simple step by step guide:

    Firstly, you must be skint and on the dole. Anybody with a proper job or tied up with full time education will not have the time to devote to see it through. Also, being on the dole gives you a clearer perspective on how much of society is run. If you are already a politician stop being a member of a political party. It will become clearer later on but just take our word for it for the time being. Sitting around tinkering with the Communist [M]anifesto or a computer (either ancient or modern) just complicates and distracts you from the main objective.

    Even worse than being a politician is being a politician in a band. Real politicians never get [sic] achieve a Revolution – unless they are puppets.

    If you are in a party you will undoubtedly be aware of the petty squabbles and bitching that develops within them. This only festers and grows proportionately as the party gets bigger and no party ever grows out of it. All party’s end in tantrums, tears and bitter acrimony.

    The myth of a party being gang of lads out “against” the world (read as “to change”, “to shag” or “to save the world”) is pure wishful thinking to keep us all voting and reading the [newspapers].

    Mind you, it’s a myth that many party members want to believe themselves.

    So if in a party, quit. Get out. Now.

    That said, it can be very helpful to have a partner, someone who you can bounce ideas off and vice versa. Any more than two of you and factions develop and you may as well be in music. There is no place for the nostalgia of the four lads who shook the world or the last gang in town.

    Watch 60 Minutes religiously every week and learn from it. When the time comes it is through 60 Minutes [...] [t]hat you will convince the largest cross section of the Australian public to go out and vote for you. Remember, 60 Minutes is all powerful and has outlasted all the greats. Taking the angst-ridden, “I’m above all this!” outsider stance only gets you so far and even then takes sodden years and ends up with you alienating vast chunks of the Great Australian public who don’t want to be confronted with Jim Reid’s skin problem on a Thursday evening. I repeat, take 60 Minutes to your bosom and learn to love the platform that matters the most.

    Please share this to get the message out.

    The Black Rose Syndicat Australia
    - e-mail: [email protected]
    - Homepage: https://www . facebook.com/brsyndicat

  3. @ndy says:

    Yo Rose Black/[email protected],

    Yes: you’ve read the Courier Mail, now buy the t-shirt.

    For anyone who cares, the second comment is an extract from KLF’s The Manual on how to have a “Number One hit single in the official U.K. Top 40″ with the words ‘Number One’ xed out and the word ‘Revolution’ written in in crayon.

    KLF – The Manual is the famous book by the KLF which describes how to get a number one hit. Written by Bill Drummund and Jimmy Cauty, who have become famous as The KLF, The Manual teaches you everything you’ll need to know to be successful in the music business. The printed edition is no longer available, but you can read The Manual right here, right now, so enjoy it and learn from it.”

    Thus:

    “HOW TO HAVE A NUMBER ONE – THE EASY WAY”

    Be ready to ride the big dipper of the mixed metaphor. Be ready to dip your hands in the lucky bag of life, gather the storm clouds of fantasy and anoint your own genius. Because it is only by following the clear and concise instructions contained in this book that you can realise your childish fantasies of having a Number One hit single in the official U.K. Top 40 thus guaranteeing you a place forever in the sacred annals of Pop History.

    Other than achieving a Number One hit single we offer you nothing else. There will be no endless wealth. Fame will flicker and fade and sex will still be a problem. What was once yours for a few days will now enter the public domain.

    In parts of this manual we will patronise you. In others we will cheat you. We will lie to you but we will lie to ourselves as well. You will, however, see through our lies and grasp the shining truth within. We will trap ourselves in our own pretensions. Our insights will be shot through with distort rays and we will revel in our own inconsistencies. If parts get too boring just fast forward – all the way to the end if need be.

    Now, we all know that pop music is not going to save the world but it does, undeniably, create a filing system for the memory banks. In years to come people will stagger home down lonely streets singing your song to the strains of regurgitated vindaloo, all memory of who was behind the song lost. It is you, though, who will be responsible for bringing back those lost tastes, smells, tears, pangs, forgotten years and missed chances. So enjoy what you can while at Number One.

    People equate a Number One with fame, endless wealth and easy sex – a myth that they want to believe and one that the popular press want to see continued. Along with the soap stars, sporting heroes and selected (however distant) members of the Royal Family, pop stars belong to a glittering world of showbiz parties, at one end of the scale, to illicit liaisons, at the other, where their lives are dragged up, dressed up, made up and ultimately destroyed. The celebrated, of course, are apt to fall into a world of drugs, drink, broken marriages and bankruptcy but even this is given the glamour treatment instead of the squalid misery that it is in reality.

    Basically, a Number One is seen as the ultimate accolade in pop music. Winning the Gold Medal. The crowning glory.

    The majority of Number One’s are achieved early on in the artist’s public career and before they have been able to establish reputations and build a solid fan base. Most artists are never able to recover from having one and it becomes the millstone around their necks to which all subsequent releases are compared. The fact that a record is Number One automatically means the track is in a very short period of time going to become over exposed and as worthless as last month’s catchphrase.

    Once or twice a decade an act will burst through with a Number One that hits a national nerve and the public’s appetite for the sound and packaging will not be satisfied with the one record. The formula will be untampered with and the success will be repeated a second, a third and sometimes even a fourth time. The prison is then complete; either the artist will be destroyed in their attempt to prove to the world that there are other facets to their creativity or they succumb willingly and spend the rest of their lives as a travelling freak show, peddling a nostalgia for those now far off, carefree days. These are the lucky few. Most never have the chance of a repeat performance and slide ungracefully into years of unpaid tax, desperately delaying all attempts to come to terms with the only rational thing to do – get a nine to five job.

    Even if the unsuspecting artiste doesn’t know the above, rest assured most of the record business does but for some lemming-like reason refuses to acknowledge it. They continue to view the act’s cheaply recorded, debut blockbuster as striking gold and will spend the next few years pumping fortunes into studio time, video budgets and tour support whilst praying for a repeat of the miracle and the volume album sales that bring in the real money.

    Of course there are those artists that have worked long and hard building personal artistic confidence, critical acclaim, a loyal following (all strong foundations) and then have a Number One, that is that crowning glory. But even then the disgruntled purists amongst the loyal following desert in disgust at having to share their private club with the unwashed masses.

    So what’s left? What’s the point? What can be achieved when no great financial rewards or long term career prospects allowing for creative freedom can be hoped for, let alone guaranteed? We don’t know.

    If this book succeeds in becoming Bert Weedon’s “Play In A Day” for some lost month in the late eighties we will be happy. If anybody actually gets a Number One by following our instructions we promise them a night out with The JAMS in Madagascar. We will arrange everything. For those that might be offended please read all “he’s”, “hims” and “his”‘ as “she’s”, “hers” and “hers”‘. Being blokes it was easier writing it the way we did.

    So how do you go about achieving a U.K. Number One?
    Follow this simple step by step guide:

    Firstly, you must be skint and on the dole. Anybody with a proper job or tied up with full time education will not have the time to devote to see it through. Also, being on the dole gives you a clearer perspective on how much of society is run. If you are already a musician stop playing your instrument. Even better, sell the junk. It will become clearer later on but just take our word for it for the time being. Sitting around tinkering with the Portastudio or musical gear (either ancient or modern) just complicates and distracts you from the main objective. Even worse than being a musician is being a musician in a band. Real bands never get to Number One – unless they are puppets.

    If you are in a band you will undoubtedly be aware of the petty squabbles and bitching that develops within them. This only festers and grows proportionately as the band gets bigger and no band ever grows out of it. All bands end in tantrums, tears and bitter acrimony. The myth of a band being gang of lads out “against” the world (read as “to change”, “to shag” or “to save the world”) is pure wishful thinking to keep us all buying the records and reading the journals. Mind you, it’s a myth that many band members want to believe themselves.

    So if in a band, quit. Get out. Now.

    That said, it can be very helpful to have a partner, someone who you can bounce ideas off and vice versa. Any more than two of you and factions develop and you may as well be in politics. There is no place for the nostalgia of the four lads who shook the world or the last gang in town.

    Watch Top of the Pops religiously every week and learn from it. When the time comes it is through T.O.T.P. that you will convince the largest cross section of the British public to go out and buy your record. Remember, Top of the Pops is all powerful and has outlasted all the greats (Cliff being the exception to the rule). Taking the angst-ridden, “I’m above all this!” outsider stance only gets you so far and even then takes sodden years and ends up with you alienating vast chunks of the Great British public who don’t want to be confronted with Jim Reid’s skin problem on a Thursday evening. I repeat, take Top of the Pops to your bosom and learn to love the platform that matters the most.

  4. Abas Abas says:

    The below from the KLF Manifesto has been resonating with me as being true of the Australian Rad Left scene –

    ‘If you are in a band you will undoubtedly be aware of the petty squabbles and bitching that develops within them. This only festers and grows proportionately as the band gets bigger and no band ever grows out of it. All bands end in tantrums, tears and bitter acrimony.

    So if in a band, quit. Get out. Now.

    That said, it can be very helpful to have a partner, someone who you can bounce ideas off and vice versa. Any more than two of you and factions develop and you may as well be in politics.”

    Seems to be the way to go when so many do not understand solidarity and for others it’s all just a social club or a stage to act out their dramas.

  5. Pingback: Black Rose Syndicat (Addendum) | slackbastard

  6. Pingback: Who’s Keeping An Eye on Aussie Neo-Nazis? [newmatilda] | slackbastard

  7. theblackrosesyndicat says:

    Speaking of making stuff up about Anarchists here are some of Andy Fleming recent lies, insults, failed attempts to out who we are and encourage of violence against us attempts to out and examples of his harassment and bullying of our punk band. We do not recognise Andy Fleming to be the sole leader, master and authority in Australia to decide who is and who isn’t an Anarchist or fro that matter as the sole leader of Anarchism in Australia as he likes to portray who has the power and authority to define what Anarchism is.

    An Open Letter to Australian Anarchists from the Black Rose Syndicat

    the Black Rose Syndicat

    ‘Reject All Authority and Rise Up and Free Yourselves of the Hive Mind Imposed by Class Enemies in ‘Organised’ Anarchist Groups in Australia’.

    We have nothing against Anarchist ideas. What we are against is ‘organised Anarchism’ in Australian with their failed tactics, organisation and anti-Leninist tendencies.

    Anarchism at its heart is not a political theory but a revolutionary organisational principle used to mediate social interaction between people in all walks of life not just politics.

    What’s wrong with ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia is that they are in terms of strategy completely morally and politically bankrupt. History has proven that revolutions will always be crushed if the revolutionaries do not seize the power of the state. Were still pretty sympathetic to Anarchism because we like the ideals, punk music and the fashion (the ultimate ideal of all communists is classless stateless freedom, aka anarchism, after all) but we just think the strategy used by ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia is a proven failure.

    There is no anarchist “political theory” as far as we know. Though class enemies have infiltrate ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia especially in Melbourne and have set about destroy Anarchism in Australia. Ordinary Anarchists have the highest and most noble intentions for socialism but all ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia seems to have as far as a strategic approach are black blocs, drugs, veganism and vandalism. Whilst we have all participated in all these over the last 25 years and had lots of dickhead fun they do not make for a lasting revolution. In contrast, Marxism-Leninism has both great theory and practice when compared to ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia.

    The attachment of ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia to “anti-authoritarian” crap has seen them fail utterly to construct any meaningful opposition to globalised capitalism. As a result many ‘organised’ Anarchist groups have both upon other ‘organised’ Anarchist groups and on the Left in Australia in general. So we this we believe ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia have practised both bad theory and practice.

    Yes we went there!

    Organised Anarchism’s Basic Ideological Failure

    There can be no logical strategy for an ideology that seeks to instantly abolish the state and jump to communism, because any logical strategy to reach communism will involve utilising the power of the state. The successful Anarchist territories cited by ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia Spain, Ukraine, Shinmin, etc all had workers’ states of some kind set up, even if their proponents in ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia deny this. An organised force to secure working class rule and oppress counter-revolutionary elements unquestionably existed in all these territories.

    Same is true of the Paris Commune, the Zapatista territory, and all the other places ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia claim are fucken awesome. So yes ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia do have bad theory and bad practice and the only times they have good practice is when they violate their theory, abandon Anarchism, and adopt statist socialism.

    These are factors that ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia need to address. The same is true of statist socialism in Australia as well just look at all the different Trotskyite sects and tendencies of their pseudo-Leninism. I agree it’s a problem but I don’t think it is a catastrophic because situation as Stalinism has had a lot of successes throughout history and with the emergence of an Anarchist political party in Wikileaks.

    Fuck all Authority, No Gods No Masters Thanks Even Those Who Parade as Anarchists

    There’s also the issue of discipline and centralism in ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia that aligns itself with the ‘democratic centralism’ of statist socialism. For ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia to claim to be fighting ‘All Authority’ they seem quite willing to apply their own brand of ‘democratic centralism’ upon members. Statist socialists, particularly Stalinists place a lot of emphasis on discipline, which helps keep the movement together as well as making it more powerful force in Australia than ‘organised’ Anarchism.

    Because of ‘organised’ Anarchism’s pseudo-disdain for authority and hence their rejection for a workers’ state, this ensures that for organised workers engagement with anarchism is suicidal. Authority is needed to protect the revolution and start the transition to socialism and is this respect ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia does not show a means for leadership for organised Labour in Australia.

    We used to be members of an ‘organised’ Anarchist group but we eventually realised that anarchism as a political theory of any type cannot work as it requires all people to be socially altruistic at the time of the revolution, and that is never going to happen. But the main thing that pushed us away from ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia s was mainly the religious cult like perfectionism required from self imposed leaders.

    We completely agree that he biggest flaw in ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia is lack of clear strategy. Yes, it would be great if the state wasn’t needed, but just because it seems like a great idea doesn’t mean it’s possible or even logical.

    After a while of being hardline Anarchists it all started to seeming like a far-left wet dream. We have no personal problem with Anarchists only with ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia. The study of Anarchist literature we believe is essential success of a working class revolution in Australia.

    The hearts of most Anarchist’s are certainly in the right place, with the exception we believe of a small kabal in Melbourne who are have been corrupted into serving the state as ‘insiders’ in return for study scholarships.

    ‘Organised’ Anarchism in Australia needs a little sorting out when it comes to organising against Capitalism and the State and which is the true enemy of the working class. The petty bickering initiated by this small kabal in Melbourne needs to stop and they need to either give up their attempts to impose their attempts to impose their own petit-bourgeois leadership upon other aligned and non-aligned Anarchists in Australia. They also need to stop splitting the Anarchist movement and help leading authorities to Anarchists through writing distorted articles in the mainstream press and on through publishing blogs which is counterproductive to Anarchism in Australia.

    All histories of successful revolutions that succeeded in taking power show they were always attacked by counter-revolutionaries and/or imperialists! The Soviet Union, Spain, Cuba, Vietnam, Grenada, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Chile, etc. have all had that problem and had to use military and state power to fight back to defend that people. This does not mean I support these societies or defend the obvious deformities and oppressive decisions they made, but we can learn from their mistakes and successes.

    One thing activists need to learn about ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia is that for a revolution to be a success you have to take state power and to be prepared for the obvious counter-revolutionary attack. That doesn’t mean you have to silence all opposition and crush critics like some of those countries listed had done, but you need to be ready to fight, and organised’ Anarchism in Australia does not prepare society for that. As a result the Black Rose Syndicat has had to step in and school activists on how to challenge the legitimacy of the state through it high jacking of popular culture and of the headlines in the mainstream press.

    Invitation for Engagement

    The current blow-up in the mainstream media surrounding the Black Rose Syndicat show that ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia is irrelevant outside the internet and has failed in both its strategy and in its ideology. The Black Rose Syndicat has stepped up to fill this void and in less than a year through its ‘online only’ activity as emerged as greater threat to the legitimacy of state than all of the ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia combined.

    We at the Black Rose Syndicat are correcting these errors of ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia and invite all self-styled Anarchists in Australia to shake of the ideological shackles of the hive mind being imposed upon them by the leaders ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia.

    We are not an ex-anarchist group, but we would be interested in conversing with other ‘organised’ Anarchist groups and activists in Australia but only if it is done on terms on the mutual respect and Anonymity.

    The Black Rose Syndicat February 2014

  8. @ndy says:

    G’day theblackrosesyndicat,

    When in a hole, the general advice is to dig up. That said:

    Your letter is very silly.
    It’s neither Big nor Clever to tell fibs.
    Spell check is your friend.

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