Milo Yiannopoulos @ Melbourne Pavilion (Kensington, December 4, 2017)

[Update (December 7, 2017) :

• As noted below, on Tuesday morning, Stephen Leane, Assistant Commissioner with overall responsibility for the police operation on Monday, was asked by a journalist ‘Did police enter the housing commission flats at any point?’, to which his response was ‘Not in the flats, no. We were certainly in Racecourse Road and we closed down traffic for some time.’ AFAIK, no media reportage has challenged this nonsense.

• Some local folks have composed an ‘open letter’ re the event, to which others are invited to add their names. It is a clear public statement against the hate and violence that occurred on Monday night during the Milo Yiannopoulos event at the Melbourne Pavilion. The letter is designed to allow local community members, representatives, businesses, organisations and community leaders to show a united voice in condemning the hate and abuse directed at particularly housing estate residents on the night.

• On Wednesday, it was also announced that Melbourne Pavilion and tour organisers will be sent an invoice for the costs of the police operation. It’ll be interesting to see if they actually cough up. See : Milo Yiannopoulos and his promoters will be billed at least $50k by Victoria Police for protests, Melissa Cunningham, The Age, December 6, 2017.

• Finally, The Australian has published a report that some of the nazis attracted to Milo’s event abused a Jewish woman: At first, she thought she’d misheard. Then she turned and looked at the faces of the men glaring at her, chanting in unison. “Auschwitz-­Birkenau, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau.’’ She hadn’t misheard. There was no mistake; only a hatred deeper than Perry, a woman readily identifiable as Jewish, could have imagined.]

[Note : The venue for Milo’s performance in Sydney tonight is Le Montage.]


Above : Richard Wolstencroft.

Huh.

That was interesting.

On the Melbourne leg of his tour, Milo Yiannopoulos was kindly provided a platform by Melbourne Pavilion (135-157 Racecourse Rd, Kensington: Facebook): a venue which, prior to hosting the Nazi-sympathising paedophile apologist, was more widely known for staging wedding receptions and boxing matches.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

[On meathead and his tour, see : Milo Yiannopoulos speaks, and Australia’s respectable racists howl their approval, Jeff Sparrow, The Guardian, December 5, 2017 | Inside Milo: ‘He Dressed In Gay Frilly Stuff And Had Ridiculous Red Shiny Shoes’, Chris Graham, New Matilda, December 5, 2017 | Milo Has A Platform Because He Upholds The Status Quo, Which Speaks Volumes About Australia, Michael Brull, December 4, 2017 | Australia’s welcome mat for right-wing trolls, Richard Cooke, The Saturday Paper, October 21, 2017.]


Above : On L, Richard getting stuck in; on R, Richard with Neil Erikson, Mark Hootsen (Nationalist Alternative) and bonehead Joey Edwards.

Most of the reportage on the event (‘VIOLENCE! CLASHES! DALEKS!’) has concentrated upon one incident that took place early in the evening. (Indeed, the original account published in The Age suggests that the author left the rally to attend the event inside shortly after this occurred.) A little after 6pm, ‘Patriot Blue’ — on this occasion consisting of Neil Erikson, Garry Hume, Toll Group’s Ricky Turner, Richard Whelan and possibly others — rocked up to the protest, which had assembled across one half of Stubbs Street at the Racecourse Road intersection, and immediately attempted to barge their way thru it. Consequently, there was a clash, police intervened (employing capsicum spray) and two men were detained: this appears to be the basis of the claim that two men were arrested on the night. (Note: As usual, police will be compiling and reviewing media in order to identify any potential wrongdoers, especially kids on the estate, with a view to laying charges; as is now customary, spray was fairly liberally dispensed throughout the evening.)

The Moles snuck into the Garden last night.

Beyond this, the evening mostly consisted of watching Milo fanboys (and some fangrrls), some wearing MAGA hats, and a handful chucking up Nazi salutes, slowly trickle their way thru to the venue, which was surrounded by hundreds of police whose job it was to guarantee their safe passage to and from it. There were a small number of clashes throughout the evening, and some folks misplaced their MAGA hats and Dangerous books; reportedly, one young patriot attempted to remove a Muslim woman’s headscarf at some point during the evening: a bad decision which left him feeling rather sick and sorry, but safely delivered back to Milo’s mob.

In a media conference this morning, Assistant Police Commissioner Stephen Leane, who had overall responsibility for the police operation, stated that there were three performances by Milo, each attracting 1,000 punters. This would seem to over-inflate the numbers actually attending: others say much fewer. Leane also exclaims over the fact that protesters were able to move about and, especially, around the police blockade established at the top of Stubbs Street … possibly through the use of an elaborate communication system involving hand signals, bells and whistles (rather than, say, bRanes) and one practiced in ‘open fields’, which is a new one. In any case, the movement around the blockade was, in reality, inspired by reports that the nazi mob (below) were trying to have a crack at locals — and by a desire to defend locals rather than simply mill about in Stubbs Street exchanging insults with the chuds.

In addition to the many hundreds of potatoes who threw money at Milo, a small group of 30–50 individuals, mostly consisting of members of the Soldiers of Odin and True Blue Crew, but including The Lads Society, Avi Yemini and his sidekick Daniel Jones, Julian de Ross (‘Hugh Pearson’) and even naughty little boy Lachlan Spalding and a handful of other faces, formed their own rally at the intersection of Racecourse Road and Stubbs Street. This was (mostly) kettled and police, for some reason, allowed them to maintain a presence at that location for several hours, just as increasing numbers of folks from the housing estate, eventually numbering in the hundreds, joined the protest. Note: the boys finally departed sometime around 8:30 to 9:00pm. As they did so, a small group of perhaps 20, including Blair Cottrell, members of SOO and TBC, jumped three protesters leaving the protest, who were beaten and eventually made their way to hospital.

More on that later.

The Best Laid Plans

According to police, the venue, Melbourne Pavilion, was not obtained by organisers until the day of the event. Situated across the road from Kensington public housing estate, it was not the ideal location for an anti-Muslim, anti-refugee and pro-paedophile bigot, especially given the large proportion of African and Muslim migrants living on the estate and the racial profiling residents are subject to. I suppose the sting in that tail is that police have declared that they’ll be issuing Melbourne Pavilion an invoice for the costs of the policing operation, which will surely be tens of thousands of dollars. This may cut somewhat into the profits the business hoped to earn thru facilitating expressions of hatred and bigotry, so is very richly deserved.

On the whole, it’s unclear precisely what the concrete, tactical objectives of the various maneuverings by the riot squad were, given both their actions and the context. Thus, by allowing a small clutch of nazis and other goons to hang about outside the estate for hours, it seemed as if the riot squad were actually intent on provoking one. Leftist protesters were joined by an increasingly large number of locals as the night wore on, and everybody’s patience at having Milo, potatoes and nazis on their doorstep also wore out.

Two final observations: first, a handful of malcontents managed to sneak into Milo’s performance, including two sex-worker anarchist women. At about 8:30pm, the dynamic duo let off personal alarms and shouted slogans; smoke from a small fire that was started in the venue toilets added to the general ambience. (One of the woman was escorted out by police and security, while the other was able to leave undetected.) Secondly, the bulk of the CARF contingent left the area after 10pm. From about 10:30pm, riot police made several attempts to storm the estate (car park and gardens) where local youth and a small contingent of anarchists were still gathered. According to one report, each time they were repelled by rocks and other projectiles and were unable to make any arrests or injure anybody and finally retreated to the other side of Racecourse Road (where the main group of police were congregated). Notably, during the course of his media conference, Assistant Commissioner Leane denied police entered the estate, which is biZaRrE, as there’s certainly no shortage of evidence to the contrary.

*I’ll probably add some more detail to the above account and share others, but in the meantime:

Weapon-wielding protesters clash outside Yiannopoulos talk
Simone Fox-Koob
The Australian
December 5, 2017

Extra security measures are to be put in place when controversial alt-right figure Milo Yiannopoulos visits Parliament House in Canberra today, after police came under attack outside a speaking engagement he hosted in Melbourne last night.

Protesters pelted police with rocks, glass bottles and sticks, as left and right-wing groups clashed violently outside the Melbourne Pavilion.

Numbers swelled to more than 500 at the violent protest, which saw several brawls break out and police forced to deploy capsicum spray in a bid to stop the fighting.

A police officer was injured and two men were arrested during the violence, with objects still being thrown at officers by what appeared to be groups of young people who lived nearby, even after the organised anti-fascist protesters left the area just after 10pm.

A Victoria Police spokesman said police arrested the two men for discharging missiles.

“A police member suffered minor injuries after being struck with a rock,” he said.

At one stage, several fireworks were also let off in the grounds outside the large block of flats opposite the venue.

About a dozen men were involved in the initial stoush that broke out about 6.20pm outside the venue in Melbourne’s inner northwest shortly after far-right provocateur Neil Erikson and members of his Patriot Blue group arrived.

Erikson was seen brandishing a stick before another man intervened and dragged him aside.

At least a dozen heavily padded riot police charged the group, with officers later seen leading away two men dressed in high-visibility shirts.

One of them appeared to be affected by capsicum spray. Police are understood to have made at least one arrest.

A second larger brawl broke out around 8pm, sparked by an attempt by two men to unfurl a large banner on the outskirts of the protest. Several members of a far-right group broke through a police line and tried to yank it from them. Riot police were again forced to use capsicum spray to break up the fight. [I think the author may well have got this arse-backwards, ie, the two men were unfurling a Trump banner.]

The size of the gathering swelled significantly throughout the evening as residents, believed to be from the nearby public housing blocks, emerged. At one stage a man with a loudspeaker and wearing a jumper with the logo “Soldiers of Odin” shouted abuse at the group, which appeared to include several Muslim women. [There were several LOldiers present.]

The Melbourne leg of Yiannolopous‘s show, The Troll Academy, attracted around 500 protesters, with police deploying around 100 officers, including about 40 members of the Riot Squad, in anticipation. At one stage police were pelted with rocks.

The crowd, which saw traffic blocked off for several hours, included opponents of the unapologetically contrarian commentator, who has sparked outrage for describing feminism as a cancer and likening Islam to Aids. [Also, inter alia, collaborating with neo-Nazis in the United States via Breitbart and being a apologist for child rape.] Groups included the left-wing Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, who held placards stating ‘F*** off Nazi scum’ and chanted “Hey Milo go to hell”, as well as right-wing groups Patriot Blue, Reclaim Australia[?], The Freedom Party [ie, George Jameson] and Soldiers of Odin.

Erikson, who is known for being one of the first people to be convicted under Victoria’s Racial and Religious Tolerance Act and last month accosted NSW Senator Sam Dastyari at a university pub, defended his role in the stoush, describing it as “democracy in Australia”.

“I know one of my guys was taken down. I got into a bit of a scuffle with a few,” he said.

“We had to defend ourselves.”

Two days earlier he had tweeted: “Got a big surprise for the feral left at the Milo event on Monday”.

Video footage posted on Erikson’s facebook page shows him with a loud speaker shouting religious abuse at a group of antifa protesters, who had been joined residents from the nearby housing block, some of whom wore Islamic religious garb.

“Mohammed is a paedophile,” he said repeatedly, in the footage which he appeared to film himself.

“The third world want to attack us.

“This is free speech,” he said.

The footage shows his associate Blair Cottrell, a founder of the far-right United Patriot’s Front, standing next to him.

Erikson claimed one of his associates had been arrested after a brawl and that another one of his associates had been hit in the head by a projectile.

See also : In my words: local communities assaulted by Milo fascists and riot police, Tasnim Sammak, Djed Press, December 5, 2017 | Melbourne protesters defy cops, challenge Milo Yiannopoulos, Vashti Kenway, Red Flag, December 6, 2017 | Monday night in Flemington, Vashti Kenway, Overland, December 6, 2017 | ‘They’re Trying To Change Our Holidays’: What Drew Young Australians To Milo Yiannopoulos?, Max Koslowski, New Matilda, December 6, 2017.

Bonus! LEGALS!

Melbourne Activist Legal Support states that policing at the protest against the Milo Yiannopoulos protest event in Flemington did not take into account or prioritise the safety of the local community. On the night, MALS attempted to communicate with senior police present to move the small right wing protest back down Stubbs [Street] and far away from the housing estate. They had ample power and means to do that.

Instead police cordons gave Soldiers of Odin and True Blue Crew a prominent location in the middle of Racecourse Road from where they were able to shout obscenities at local residents. Moving the right wing protest group further down Stubbs [Street] closer to the venue and away from the housing estate communities could have prioritised the safety of local residents and those most impacted by racist and Islamophobic abuse from those groups.

Whilst we have limited capacity to support follow up activities, we are awaiting advice from our allies at Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre as to further steps that will be taken. They have offered LEGAL SUPPORT for local people from the housing estate who were arrested and assaulted. You can get in touch with them. Contact details on their website.

Regarding any additional arrests of protesters we assume those who called the event will be supporting any activists arrested with connection to friendly lawyers.

For others who attended, we recommend debriefing with friends and family and ensuring injuries are documented, and footage backed up and secured should there be capacity for follow up [see : https://www.activist-trauma.net].

If there is capacity to collate witness statements and use evidence to demonstrate inappropriate conduct we suggest you consider the following:
* Ensure your footage is backed up in addition to your phone, and you have advised protest coordinators or anyone else tracking incidents of your contact details and what you have recorded if it demonstrates clear and useful detail.
* Write a witness statement if you recall details of specific incidents that may be useful later in court. Tips here: [PDF].

We would also like to suggest that people who were at the protest ensure they decontaminate themselves and their clothes appropriately, if they were subject to pepper/OC spray, to avoid further injury and discomfort. Don’t cross contaminate clothes when washing. Some information here.

Look after each other folks. If we become aware of any further updates regarding follow up we will keep you advised.

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 2017 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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7 Responses to Milo Yiannopoulos @ Melbourne Pavilion (Kensington, December 4, 2017)

  1. @ndy says:

    Rundle: at the Milo extravaganza it was hard to tell who was confused and who was just stupid
    [For the most part though, it was Stupidolooza.]
    Guy Rundle
    Crikey
    December 5, 2017

    Night had fallen on Flemington when your correspondent rocked up to the Milo extravaganza. The houso flats across the road, sheer cliffs of lights, the Citylink overpass glowing green on the other side.

    Racecourse Road was blocked off either side of the Milo venue, Melbourne Pavilion, an old art deco hall with a concrete box attached to one end of it. “Weddings Events Functions” reads the sign on the side. All that, and, inevitably, boxing too.

    Big cop trucks at each end of the area, flashing red and blue, cop helicopter thrumming overhead.

    Cops and cops and cops around. Cops in yellow hi-viz; cops in blue; black-clad ninja-turtle riot squad. Rings and rings of them. Cops in number absurd.

    “No place for fascists no place for fascists” or something, shout coming from the grounds beneath the flats. “We live here, fuck off.” The remnant left protesters, hardy anarchists mostly, had been joined by locals, young mainly, African mainly, from the flats.

    The Milo late-show crowd were arriving on the other side of the street. They gleamed white in the fluoro and arc lights. A few Mediterranean types, of martial arts/UFC styling, top-crop hair and T-shirted, hard-body man tits. But mostly Anglo, boiled-potato pale.

    “They don’t even know what they’re protesting,” they laughed, at the protesters.

    “It was easy to get a park, because protestors don’t own cars.” That got a big laugh.

    And:

    “How can Milo be a racist? He’s married to a black man!”

    “I know! I know!”

    Heard that exchange six times if once. A sort of alt-right ring tone.

    I’d missed the early session argy-bargy, because I’d been to — what else? — a book launch in Fitzroy. The first show crowd were just coming out, the cops directing them down a corridor between temporary barriers, running down a side street.

    “Go go go go this way this way this way” — the cops treated it like they were getting the Kurds out of Iraq. The protesters were half a kilometre away.

    “Lot of cops to protect one paedophilia advocate,” I said loudly, and one cop on the end of the line winced, visibly. I made a mental note.

    The place was in lockdown, yet I was drifting easily back and forth between the lines, threading through the riot cops, my press card in a lanyard. Admirable respect for free activity of the press I thought.

    Then I looked at the stage door, where bouncers and tour officials were gathered. Fat men in dark suits and lanyards, they — ah.

    The cops thought I was with the tour.

    There were 600 in the early show, took a while to get them out. They clutched copies of Dangerous, Milo’s self-published book, and copies of Australian Penthouse, sponsors of the tour, and my sometime publishers (hello, fellows! You still owe me author’s copies of the September and October issues by the way. Send them to the Crikey office, please).

    “The show was great,” Trisha told me, without much prompting. Trump-style red baseball cap, bottle-blonde, fake-leather jacket, two copies of Dangerous, two copies of Penthouse. “I just love him, he’s so funny.”

    “What do you like in what he’s saying?”

    She thought for a long time.

    “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh … well, I mean immigration. Not that we don’t like Muslims! Just not the wrong ones!”

    “There anyone in Australia who inspires you like he does?”

    “No one! No one!”

    “Andrew Bolt?”

    “He’s pretty boring.”

    ‘What about the pro-paedophilia stuff? ‘Thirteen year old boys can consent meaningfully’ …”

    Trisha squirmed.

    Ponytail man came up. There were a lot of ponytails in this crowd. Long, short, ’80s adman, postmodern architect, vegan grindcore maleorexic, Milo’s little ponies.

    “I’ve seen Milo four times.” Ponytail man was soft-faced, soft-bodied. Milo men are either hard-body keto warriors, living off bullet coffee enemas and T-gel patches, or they appear to be carved from a giant bar of soap. Ponytail man wore a red tie, and a white cotton suit, over hips that wobbled like an offal tray.

    “How was he tonight?”

    “Top form, top form.” As if speaking of an employee.

    “What’s the most important issue facing Australia today?”

    “Oh corporate control. Banks, globalisation …”

    “Who do you like politically here-“

    “Oh the Citizens Electoral Council make … sense.” (A LaRouchite! I’d found a LaRouchite!)

    “We need a state-owned bank, public ownership,” he said.

    “But that’s exactly what most of the protesters would say!”

    “Well, yes, we’ve got to build bridges …”

    “And Milo, well, as far as he has any position at all, he’s sort of a gay Thatcherite.”

    Ponytail’s eyes peeped out his puffy face, imploringly: don’t spoil this for me.

    “What do you do?”

    “I’m a music producer.”

    “You make a living from that?”

    “Well no,” he laughed, like George Martin between Beatles LPs. “I’m living off savings. And,” voice lowered, “getting some payments from the government.” (“Ah, Mr Ponytail,” the voice said on the phone at midnight, “you are too dangerous not to have on our side. Your fee will be dispatched fortnightly disguised as a Centrelink payment.”)

    The helicopter thrummed, the protesters got louder. People were coming out of the flats now, it was getting big. Couple of smoke bombs went off near the tram stop, and the riot squad formed up in a phalanx. This was all piss-weak, yet they looked skittish. The more suited up cops are, the more scared they get.

    Late-show arrivals, early-show departures commingled. Ross Cameron, the show MC, was walking around, looking at his notes, like anyone gave a damn what he said.

    “You’re going to miss the late show Ross,” I said.

    He looked up.

    “Oh you’re right, yes, thanks very much,” and scurried in through the stage door. He thought I was security, too. Jesus, six Trots in Target suits and lanyards could have taken this place. It was Stupidolooza.

    “Do you want to know what I think?” A large blonde swayed towards me, in big blue comedy shades, Jimmy Buffett fan sans margarita, and said, and I will sign an affidavit to this conversation, “they don’t like us cos we support Trump! Yahhhhhh,” she yelled towards the protestors “we’re lefties”.

    “Lefties?”

    “Oh hang on, no, I get those two mixed up.”

    Her equally imposing friend turned up. “Stop talking to him.”

    “This is my friend Tziporah,” Lefty said. “She knows a lot of stuff.”

    Tziporah! Tziporah Malkah! Kate Fischer as was! Last time I’d seen her, I was writing lines for her for an awards night performance. A torturous joke that included the name “Wittgenstein”. It took a long time.

    Tziporah had been casting herself as a Milo fan, or Milo-curious, hours earlier, posting a pic of herself kissing his pic on her “access all areas” pass. Now they wouldn’t let her in. Malkah and Lefty tottered back and forth between the entrances, but they’d been barred.

    “You want to talk, call my agent,” Malkah said.

    “But I don’t want to talk.”

    “Call my agent.”

    They tottered off.

    The crowd was herded in, the old one herded off, the protesters got louder, plastic bottles started flying across the road.

    Suddenly there was loud shouting, and a megaphone “back back, leave them alone …” and the riot squad, having demobbed, formed up again, and started coming across Racecourse Road to the flats.

    I walked across with a few others. Malkah and Leftie, passes still dangling, had walked across to talk to the protesters, locals now, nearly all African, and appeared to have asked a question about Muslim extremism, and the organisers were having a bit of trouble restraining some of the more rambunctious.

    “Back, back … OK OK look,” the organiser glanced around. No TV still around. “Leave the women alone! Leave the women alone!” Yeah. That would not have looked good on the news.

    “Why are they holding this here –” one of the kids asked me, “to insult us?”

    “It’s a boxing venue. They-“

    The last anarchist charged over, white as the moon. “Don’t talk to the media! Don’t talk to the media.”

    Big mistake. The kids, seeing his pale face and black hoodie thought he was a Milo-ister and laid into him. The organisers had to wade in and rescue him. It was all sorted out.

    At which point, of course, the riot squad began to move, the Behan principle taking over (“no situation so bad, a policeman cannot make it worse,” Brendan Behan said).

    Banging on their shields, they came into the flats gardens in a flank that even I could see was far too long. The kids got behind them. There was pelting with empty mineral-water bottles, the equivalent of a stern letter to The Flemington Leader. The squad narrowed their line and charged deep into the gardens. The kids legged it easily.

    Piqued, the squad set up camp, holding a cordon inside the gardens for 45 minutes, an empty Fanta can from the windows bouncing off a helmet now and again.

    I tried the line again.

    “Four hundred cops on night shift to defend a paedophile sympathiser. You must feel really proud of your work.” Tried it about half a dozen times. Pretty sure it got a few wobbles. Tease the cops about being agents of the banks, etc, no response. But, overtime aside, I don’t think anyone signed on to defend a Hitler Youth tribute act.

    The gardens quietened.

    ‘Bout 11.30pm a cop car pulled up. A senior cop got out, took a look at the pointless vigil, and said something sharpish to the field commander. The riot squad moved backward slowly, and in 10 minutes they were gone.

    Across the road, somewhere inside, a gay man likely to faint at the sight of a visible panty line was adjudicating on which women were and weren’t fuckable. Today, he’s addressing the right at Parliament House. Australian conservatism in our time.

  2. Phil Brown says:

    Hahaha… glad to hear it was a success…😂
    Good read thanx

  3. @ndy says:

    Jewish woman confronted by Nazi hate chants
    Chip Le Grand / Simone Fox Koob
    The Australian
    December 6, 2017

    Felicity Perry, a 33-year-old university administrator, was walking through the gathering Melbourne dusk towards the Flemington Railway station when she heard the chant. “Auschwitz-­Birkenau, Bergen-Belsen, ­Buchenwald, Dachau.’’

    At first, she thought she’d misheard. Then she turned and looked at the faces of the men glaring at her, chanting in unison. “Auschwitz-­Birkenau, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau.’’ She hadn’t misheard. There was no mistake; only a hatred deeper than Perry, a woman readily identifiable as Jewish, could have imagined.

    This was Perry’s first antifa rally, an event that turned a normally busy road into a maul of far right and hard left activists, turned the normally peaceful residents of the Kensington commission towers into an angry mob, turned a city against itself in scenes of violence and abuse.

    Her tormentors were men in their 40s and 50s. All white, all old enough to know the history of what they were chanting. They stood in Racecourse Road, next to another group of men carrying Trump flags. “They weren’t messing about,’’ Perry said.

    She came to the rally as part of a small activist group, Jews against fascism, to add her voice to those trying to shout down alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos as he spruiks his brand of pop outrage. “I’ve been watching the rise of Yiannopoulos and the new alt-right and, frankly, I’m very concerned,’’ she said.

    The call went out at 4:17pm. More precisely, the location of Yian­nopoulos’ speaking engagement at the Melbourne Pavilion in Kensington was posted on a Facebook site moderated by CARF, the Melbourne-based Campaign Against Racism and Fascism.

    Since late October, CARF had been mobilising numbers for a mass intervention. Over the past week, it ran a daily countdown. Finally, show time had arrived.

    The CARF battle strategy is simple. Spokeswoman Tess Dimos, an arts student at Monash University, calls it “mass collective resistance.’’ The objective is to gather wherever the far right gathers, to meet in greater numbers than they do, and to drown out their message. “Our intention is to try to stop the far right from growing in Australia,’’ Dimos said. “That is the reason why we protest at their events; to make people feel uncomfortable about the politics they are supporting.’’

    Violence is an organisational hazard, neither condoned nor condemned. Once Neil Erikson, Ricky Turner and a group of their Patriot Blue buddies came walking around the corner into Racecourse Road on Monday night, violence was inevitable.

    Erikson says it was Piergiorgio Moro, an anti-fascist activist he has known since Bendigo two years ago, when far right and antifa groups squared off over the fate of a proposed mosque, who initiated hostilities. “He walked right up to us and he grabbed Ricky,’’ Erikson said. “While that was happening a big herd of lefties tried to come in. We just defended ourselves. Ricky went down with that Piergiorgio and I just tried to defuse it with the banner.’’

    Piergiorgio and witnesses tell a different story. He said he was attacked by Erikson and his mates. “They grabbed me, threw me to the ground, punched and kicked me and they broke the flagpole over my head.’’ That was Erikson’s banner. Piergiorgio said he was left battered and bruised.

    Yiannopoulos’s Melbourne venue is across the road from high rise towers home to a large number of Sudanese, Somalian and Eritrean families. Some have lived in these flats for a generation. Many are Muslim. On Monday night, they joined the demonstration. Police suspect some young men, so far unidentified, ran on to nearby railway tracks and gathered heavy, sharp-edged rocks. As police and right and left activists clashed outside the entrance to the Melbourne Pavilion, rocks were thrown from the opposite side of the street.

    One struck a member of the True Blue Crew known as Tiny [Nicholas Edward Abbott], deeply gashing his head. Police were also hit. A Soldiers of Odin member, another right-wing group, grabbed a megaphone and boomed amplified expletives at locals. Erikson taunted them with repeated cries of “Mohammed is a pedophile.’’ The situation teetered dangerously close to a riot.

    African community leaders are furious that the owners of a popular local venue hired it out to Yiannopoulos. They are also angry that teenage boys from the tower were encouraged by antifa activists to take on the far right.

    Community leader Berhan Ahmed, who knows many of the families who live in the towers, said most teenagers who got involved in the protest “didn’t know about Milo’s existence’’ before Monday. His concern is that long after Yiannopoulis has left Australia and the activists have gone back to their studies and day jobs, his community will have to rebuild its relationship with police.

    India Hussein and her three children live on the 20th floor of the commission tower. For four hours on Monday night, they sat at the high rise window, watching the confrontation below. “The boys are full of energy and hots,’’ she said. “Even a little thing, they think is true. If they lie to them, they don’t know. They shouldn’t make the meeting here.’’

    Four people were arrested and five police injured, none seriously.

    There was little self-reflection on either side. CARF declared its rally a success. Antifa blamed police for the violence. Erikson, Avi Yemeni and other right wing agitators gathered a month’s worth of content for their Facebook pages. And Yiannopoulos took his show to Sydney.

  4. Futilitarian says:

    “African community leaders are furious that the owners of a popular local venue hired it out to Yiannopoulos. They are also angry that teenage boys from the tower were encouraged by antifa activists to take on the far right.

    “Community leader Berhan Ahmed, who knows many of the families who live in the towers, said most teenagers who got involved in the protest “didn’t know about Milo’s existence’’ before Monday. His concern is that long after Yiannopoulis has left Australia and the activists have gone back to their studies and day jobs, his community will have to rebuild its relationship with police.”

    It’s often the case with middle class radicals. They provoke a shit-fight, draw people into it, and then piss off, leaving the unsuspecting and gullible holding the bag.

  5. Stephen Allen says:

    I love Milo
    Antifa are the very definition of Fascists

  6. Pingback: Australian Jewish Democratic Society : Statement against fascism and Milo Yiannopoulos in Kensington | slackbastard

  7. Futilitarian says:

    I would’ve thought, Stephen Allen, that it was the kind of ideas expressed by fascists that best defined fascism. The anti-fascists, in contrast, don’t express such ideas but they do employ dumb violence as a response to the dumb violence of the fascists. They’re just unimaginative rather than fascistic.

    Milo certainly is an interesting phenomenon. He’s primarily a poseur and a show-biz type, but one that is in the service of fascistic ideas. Baudrillard’s hyperreality comes to mind here. Of course, the PC authoritarianism of large sections of the radical academic left elicits these sorts of responses from the likes of Milo and from those a lot less charismatic.

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