Update (December 5, 2016) : A (very) brief guide to the Australian far right (December 2016 Edition).
Recently I’ve received several requests for a guide to the Australian far right. Below is a very brief summary of most (but not all) of those groups and projects which I think can reasonably be placed in this category. I’ll add further detail and perhaps some links when I get a chance …
A project of neo-Nazi skinhead and Brisbane resident Chris Smith, AAA exists largely as an attempt to monitor and expose anti-fascists in Australia, details of which are published on Smith’s blog. Smith has a criminal record for robbery and assault.
Australia First Party (AF)
AF is the largest and most well-established of the far-right groups. Founded in 1996 by former Labor MP Graeme Campbell, AF is currently having its federal registration reviewed by the AEC. Dr James Saleam is the party’s current leader, a position he assumed a few years after being let out of prison for organising a shotgun assault upon the home of Eddie Funde (then the African National Congress representative in Australasia). Previously, Saleam was the leader of neo-Nazi group National Action and in the late 1960s/early 1970s a member of the Australian Nazi Party. The party regularly contests elections and its HQ is in Sydney — where it has the largest following. Two AF reps have been elected to local council (Bruce Preece in Adelaide and Maurice Girotto in Penrith – both resigned their memberships following their elections). Saleam and other party members frequently post on Stormfront (the world’s leading neo-Nazi/White supremacist website) and occasionally on Daily Stormer (another US-based neo-Nazi site).
Australian Defence League (ADL)
The ADL formed within the space of a year following the establishment of the English Defence League in 2009. Gaining only a fraction of the support the EDL did, the ADL has undergone numerous splits, fractures and changes in leadership, but of those who’ve nominated themselves its leader Martin Brennan and Ralph Cerminara – along with Nathan Abela – are probably the best-known, along with Shermon Burgess (‘The Great Aussie Patriot’). There have been dozens of Facebook pages created by and for the ADL and it exists as a very loose network of anti-Muslim activists. Sporadic public rallies in Melbourne and Sydney have been poorly-attended but the group has been very active on social media. See : Who Are The Australian Defence League?, New Matilda, January 29, 2014.
Australian League of Rights (ALOR)
The Grand Old Man of Australian fascism, the ALOR has been around for a very long time, successfully defending God, Queen & Country from the ravages of International Communism. The group’s weekly newsletter may be read online and is useful for gaining some insight into the ‘Lunar Right’ and the many, er, interesting, characters which populate its ranks.
Australian Liberty Alliance (ALA)
A yet-to-be-launched political party modelled on Geert Wilders’ Dutch party — largely the creation of The Q Society.
Australian Patriots Defence Movement (APDM)
Est by Darren Beatle Bailey-Morris, the APDM is (was) a short-lived, Brisbane-based project very similar to the ADL and PDLA. The APDM is largely defunct but may continue to eke out an existence online and has most recently been invoked as a supporting organisation to the UPF.
Australian Protectionist Party (APP)
The APP formed as a split from AF in 2007 when one of its Sydney branches – the two most prominent members of which were Nicholas (Hunter) Folkes and Darrin Hodges – elected to defect. It was active for a few years, producing propaganda and holding events, but is now largely moribund. Tasmanian Andrew Phillips is its leader.
Blood & Honour (B&H)
B&H is a neo-Nazi musical network, originally est in England in the late 1980s, and has been operating in Australia for over 20 years. Activities are generally confined to selling neo-Nazi muzak and merch (via 9% Productions) and holding gigs. It functions essentially as an adjunct to the SCHS.
Christian Identity (CI)
CI is a tiny sect on the fringes of the far right with a handful of adherents and a minuscule social media presence. One, James Lawrence, popped up at the May 31 UPF rally.
A tiny, bizarr0 White supremacist kvlt. ‘Pastor’ Ken Cratchley is its chief propagandist in Australia.
Citizens Electoral Council (CEC)
The CEC is the name under which the LaRouchite kvlt travels Down Under. Seemingly most active in Melbourne, the group presents a range of entertainingly batshit theories about the world Lyndon LaRouche inhabits.
Combat 18 (C18)
C18 is another foreign import, having its origins in England in the late 1980s. The group was est in order to protect B&H gigs and other fascist events from disruption by anti-fascists and has a rather bloody history. It’s widely suspected that it was infiltrated by British intelligence on account of the close relationship b/w C18 and Ulster paramilitaries. In Australia, the ‘brand’ has been adopted by a number of different neo-Nazis including in WA, where C18 was responsible for a poorly-executed attack upon a mosque (see Bradley Trappitt). AFAIK, its only active ‘branch’ currently is in Melbourne under Patrick O’Sullivan.
A bizarre, White supremacist ‘religion’ est in the US some decades ago. It’s undergone numerous, often violent splits: its main exponent in Australia is Colin Campbell (Adelaide) and Patrick O’Sullivan (Melbourne). Scott Harrison was a ‘Reverend’ in the ‘church’ for many years before joining the Young Liberals.
Eureka Youth League (EYL)
AF’s yoof wing; largely inactive.
European Australian Civil Rights League (EARL)
A one-man band est a few years ago by Melbourne-based neo-Nazi activist Neil Erikson. EARL later morphed into NRG. Erikson has a criminal conviction for harassing a Melbourne rabbi and was close to the ‘Crazy White Boys’, a short-lived neo-Nazi group responsible for badly beating Vietnamese student Minh Duong in 2012.
Full Blooded Skips (FBS)
A White yoof gang based in Melbourne which emerged shortly after the SCS, the FBS are closely-linked to NRG and a shifting network of neo-Nazi skinheads. Several FBS members were present at the April 4 Reclaim Australia rally in Melbourne and the May 31 UPF rally in Richmond.
Golden Dawn (GD)
Golden Dawn is the Australian branch of the Greek neo-Nazi party. Its chief spokesperson in Australia is Iggy Gavrilidis. GD has a very small support base in Melbourne and Sydney and over the last few years has raised funds for its parent body and organised a handful of protests in conjunction with AF and a smattering of local neo-Nazis and fascists.
Klub Nation/Klub Naziya
A bizarr0 groupuscule based in Sydney. At one point KN attempted to infiltrate and take over the Humanist Society of NSW. It didn’t work, but the nazis had a red-hot go.
Ku Klux Klan (KKK)
With an obvious indebtedness to the US, in numerous, generally short-lived permutations and combinations, the KKK has been a minor player on the far right for decades. In one form or another, it continues to generate occasional stories and the image of the KKK is regularly invoked in various rural and regional settings, but the organisation itself is largely moribund.
Nationalist Alternative (NAlt)
NAlt is a neo-Nazi group which has its origins in anti-Muslim agitation in Melbourne. Its leader is Mark Hootsen, who has travelled to the US in order to receive political training with Stormfront. NAlt was present at the April 4 Reclaim Australia rally in Melbourne.
National Democratic Party of Australia
NPDA was launched by UPF activist Blair Cottrell following the April 4 RA rally. Based in Melbourne, the group is tiny but active. Cottrell is a neo-Nazi who believes in a Jewish conspiracy to control the world, is a Holocaust denialist, recommends Mein Kampf be read by every Australian school student and claims to have been imprisoned for arson.
Nationalist Republican Guard (NRG)
NRG is EARL rebranded and since the beginning of 2015 has worked closely with Reclaim Australia, UPF and Shermon Burgess in order to produce agitprop promoting these groups and individuals.
New Right (/National Anarchists) (NR)
The New Right emerged in the mid- to late-2000s as a project of Sydney-based fascist Welf Herfurth – Herfurth envisaged NR as the theoretical expression of ‘national anarchism’, a tendency on the far-right with origins in the UK fascist movement. It has produced some propaganda, staged a few publicity stunts, and attracted a handful of neo-Nazis (ex. Bradley Trappitt) and other fascists to its banner but is currently largely inactive.
One Nation Party (ONP)
See : Pauline Hanson. Initially a deeply attractive formation for the far right, the history of ONP since the mid-’90s is long and complex. Its activists belong to a broader far-right milieu, with some degree of overlap with groups like AF. The possibility of a reconsolidation of the far right in AF remains, though is somewhat complicated by Hanson’s periodic political revivals.
Party for Freedom (PfF)
Modelled on Geert Wilders’ Dutch party, PfF is what happened when the Sydney branch of APP decided to hold a public rally demanding that the Australian government blow up refugee boats. APP disavowed the action and so the Sydney branch of APP decamped to form PfF. It holds regular events in Sydney but has no discernible support outside of it. Chief spokesperson is Nicholas (Hunter) Folkes.
Patriotic Youth League (PYL)
The PYL was est in the early 2000s as the yoof wing of AF. It was not a successful venture and collapsed a few years later to be replaced by the EYL.
Patriots Defence League of Australia (PDLA)
An ADL splinter, the PDLA is largely a Facebook creation, with numerous, very small branches across the country which hold semi-regular, private meetings. In its latest incarnation, the PDLA was established as an incorporated association (Australian Defence League) which later changed its name to PDLA. Mark Lenthall, TJ (Torin) O’Brien and Daniel Sutcliffe are its current office bearers. Also prominent is John Oliver of Newcastle, who helped organise and spoke at the Reclaim Australia rally in Newcastle on April 4.
The Q Society is an anti-Muslim propaganda group which functions as the ideological ballast for the anti-Muslim movement in Australia and largely consists of educated, middle class, bigots. See : International guests Q up for bigotry, Andy Fleming, Overland, March 10, 2014.
Largely the brainchild of online activist and ADL member Shermon Burgess (‘The Great Aussie Patriot’), RA was the first anti-Muslim project of its kind to generate anything more than minimal public interest and to successfully mobilise anti-Muslim networks. Its April 4 rallies attracted several thousand supporters who attended over a dozen rallies across the country to which the largest and most effective opposition was in Melbourne. Following April 4, RA split and Burgess est the UPF. RA’s next series of anti-Muslim rallies is scheduled to take place on the weekend of July 18/19. Currently, RA’s online activities are largely directed by Bendigo businesswoman and anti-Muslim activist (‘Stop the Mosque in Bendigo’) Monika Evers.
Another one-man band, Restore Australia is the political vehicle of Queensland-based anti-Muslim activist Mike Holt. Holt/Restore Australia is part of a shifting network of anti-Muslim activists, largely active online on sites like Facebook.
Rise Up Australia Party (RUAP)
The political vehicle of Christian fundamentalist Pastor Danny Nalliah (‘Catch the Fire Ministeries’) who is perhaps best known for blaming the Victorian bushfires of 2009 on the state government’s decision to decriminalise abortion. Recently, RUAP has entered into an alliance with RA and the UPF.
Southern Cross Hammerskins (SCHS)
SCHS is the Australian franchise of neo-Nazi skinhead gang the Hammerskins. It was introduced into Australia 20+ years ago via Scott McGuinness, the lead singer in neo-Nazi band Fortress (now defunct). The Hammerskins last came to world attention when in 2012 one of its members, Wade Michael Page, shot dead six worshippers at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.
Southern Cross Soldiers (SCS)
A short-lived yoof gang from Melbourne which came to public attention following the police killing of Tyler Cassidy in 2008. The group has been re-invoked by Shermon Burgess as a supporter of the UPF.
Squadron 88 (S88)
S88 is a tiny neo-Nazi group based in Sydney. Its titular head is Ross ‘The Skull’ May, an ageing bonehead and one of Dr Jim Saleam’s closest allies. S88 has organised a protest against the construction of a mosque in Penrith and has obtained some small media traction via stuffing letterboxes in Sydney with badly-composed anti-Semitic tracts.
United Australian Front (UAF)
A new player on the far right block, the UAF brings together many of the leading organisers of RA and UPF. Its members were present at the RA rally of April 4 and UPF rally of May 31 sporting UAF merch.
United Patriots Front (UPF)
A recent split from RA, the UPF brings together neo-Nazis, fascists, White supremacists and Christian fundamentalists and conceives of itself as the Antipodean expression of various European fascist parties and movements. It organised an unsuccessful rally in Richmond on May 31 to protest socialism; the rally attracted around 50-70 participants. On June 27, the UPF staged a tiny rally outside ABC HQ in Melbourne to protest Islam and the presence of Zaky Mallah on the previous week’s episode of Q&A. Members present were Troy Bloodstone, Warren Broadhead, Blair Cottrell, Neil Erikson, Kriso Richardson, Chris Shortis, Thomas Sewell and Linden Watson.
VF is another neo-Nazi skinhead organisation, a US import which was active for several years but whose current status is unknown. Its parent body in the US was declared dissolved after the massacre by VF associate Wade Michael Page. Its principal activist is Chris Smith (Anti-Antifa Australia) and while active VF worked closely with the NR (Welf Herfurth).
White Pride Coalition of Australia (WPCA)
The WPCA was est in the early 2000s as a coalition of neo-Nazi and White supremacist groups. It was eventually disbanded but briefly re-emerged last year before disappearing again. Prominent members include(d) neo-Nazis Peter Campbell (Sydney) and Jim Perren (Brisbane). Both men are responsible for the ‘Whitelaw Towers’ blog.
Women for Aryan Unity (WAU)
In Australia, WAU is a tiny group very closely associated with the SCHS. Recently, it raised funds to support the Azov battalion in the Ukraine, to which many neo-Nazis and other fascists across Europe have been drawn.