Coburg ~versus~ The True Blue Crew & United Patriots Front & Co

pfflulz

On Saturday, May 28, racist boofheads from a nü patriotik grouplet called the ‘True Blue Crew’ (TBC) have organised a counter-rally in the suburb of Coburg in Melbourne. On that date, Sue Bolton of the Socialist Alliance has organised a rally titled ‘Moreland says NO to Racism’:

• Stop the forced closure of Aboriginal communities – Treaty now
• Let the refugees in – Close Manus and Nauru
• No to Islamophobia

WHEN : 11am, Saturday, May 28
WHERE : Gather outside Coburg Library, Victoria St Mall. Then march to Bridges Reserve, Bell St, Coburg for community speakout and entertainment. Bring your lunch and join with other Moreland residents in saying our community supports a diverse and inclusive Moreland.

The rally has been endorsed by a dizzying array of groups, including:

• 3ZZZ Greek programme
• Australia West Papua Association (AWPA)
• Australian Jewish Democratic Society
• Australian Services Union, Victorian & Tasmanian Authorities & Services Branch
• Brunswick Baptist Church
• Brunswick Neighbourhood House
• Brunswick Uniting Church
• Campaign Against Racism & Fascism
• CERES
• City of Moreland
• Coburg Islamic Centre
• Community Radio 3CR
• Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union
• Cook Islander community group
• Didi Bahini Samaj (Victoria)
• Earthworker Cooperative
• Electrical Trades Union
• Fawkner Community House
• Federal Republic of West Papua (FRWP)
• Freedom Socialist Party
• Friends of the Earth
• Grandmothers against Children in Detention (Wills branch)
• Indigenous Social Justice Association
• Iranian Women’s Association
• Islamic Council of Victoria
• Jews for Refugees
• Kurdish Democratic Community Centre of Victoria
• Labor4Refugees
• Mariel Sudanese Cultural Forum
• Moreland Greens
• Mums for Refugees
• No Room for Racism
• Northern Interfaith and Inter-cultural Network
• North-West FM
• Political Asylum Comedy
• Radical Women
• Refugee Action Collective
• Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House
• Socialist Alliance
• Sudanese Communist Party (Melbourne)
• Victorian Trades Hall Council
• Victorian Traditional Owners Land Justice Group
• Voices against Bigotry

As for the TBC, they’ve given their counter-rally the rather grandiose title of ‘Stop the Far Left! – Rally Supporting the Australian Governments Use of the Offshore Detention Centers That Protect Our Nation’, further whining that:

tbcmay28

So, basically, a rally against ‘Teh Left’. Note that the TBC is (currently) asking their supporters to assemble at Bridges Reserve at 10.30am — half an hour before the ‘Moreland says NO to Racism’ rally is scheduled to begin (at 11am at Coburg Library) and at the end-point of the march.

Joining the TBC will be the UPF, whose very first public rally in Richmond (May 31, 2015) targeted another socialist councilor, Stephen Jolly. Jolly was also the subject of a bizarre letter-writing campaign by the UPF in which followers were implored to write the Governor-General, Peter Cosgrove, requesting that he remove Jolly from office.

No rlly.

Obviously, neither the UPF rally nor the batshit letter-writing campaign met with any success; the possibility of a UPF member standing against Jolly for election was not an option, it seems, and remains a distant possibility given the failure of ‘Fortitude’, the UPF’s stillborn political party, to obtain the requisite number of members to register with the AEC. Indeed, times are tough for the UPF, with a number of departures from the grouplet in recent months and just a few supporters in Melbourne, Bendigo and Perth (and a handful of other locations). Dennis Huts, the leader (along with flunkey Kevin Coombes/’Elijah Jacobson’) of the UPF in Perth, has been spending his time harassing queer yoof (see : Perth fascists target teens, The Perth Voice, April 29, 2016). In any case, the UPF’s fuehrer, Blair Cottrell, remains determined to become Chancellor, so the UPF can be expected to trundle along for a while yet, latching on to the TBC in this case, the anti-Muslim mob in Narre Warren previously, and performing occasional stunts for the media.

As for the TBC, a few of its boofheaded faces (Zane Chapman, Corey Hadow) popped up at the July 18 Reclaim Australia/UPF rally in Melbourne, in Melton on November 22, and were in amongst it again at the UPF rally in Bendigo on February 27 this year. (In Bendigo, the TBC waved Australian flags, wore Australian underpants and capes, and made a puny attempt to break police lines in order to attack the small counter-protest outside Bendigo railway station. You can watch video of the minor incident here.) Most of the TBC boys seem to be from Bendigo and Melton, and could be considered a (slightly) more grown-up version of the ‘Southern Cross Soldiers’. Well, sorta. They’ll be joined by the UPF on May 28, presumably along with most of the rest of the fascist mileu in Melbourne (Nationalist Alternative, PDLA, et. al.), Victoria and even interstate.

Finally, it’s been a while since the far right elected to hold a public rally in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. About 20 years, in fact, during the period in the late 1980s through to the mid- to late-1990s, when neo-Nazi grouplet National Action and various other boneheads held rallies and even established a bunker in Fawkner. See : Anti-fascism in Melbourne: 1990s (March 20, 2007). psyberimp writes: “We have driven Nazis out of Moreland on several occasions. We embarrassed them in Brunswick. Before they were hoarded onto a city bound train, a crowd of thousands chased about a dozen boneheads, including their fuehrer Michael Brander, down Dawson St where they took refuge in a warehouse.”

Still, when all’s said and done …

LOVE COBURG /// HATE RACISM

coburg1
coburg2

A PDF of the above can be downloaded here.

See also : Melbourne Antifascists [Facebook].

Posted in Anti-fascism, History, State / Politics, That's Capitalism!, Trot Guide, War on Terror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Robert Edhouse & Aryan Nations & United Patriots Front

edhouse

Above : Robert Edhouse

aryannationsboneheads

Above : Edhouse and two teenage nazis

Strewth.

ABC reported today that Robert Edhouse, President of the tiny neo-Nazi grouplet ‘Aryan Nations’ (Perth), has been arrested and charged with murder.

Girrawheen murder: Teenagers among four people charged over death of Alan Taylor
Graeme Powell
ABC
May 10, 2016

Four people have been charged with murdering a man in the northern Perth suburb of Girrawheen, with a 17-year-old boy making a brief appearance in Perth Children’s Court in connection with the alleged attack.

The body of Alan George Taylor, 42, was found beside his home in Arnos Way on April 22.

Police said the fly-in, fly-out worker died from serious injuries suffered in an assault with an unknown weapon.

The boy was the first to be charged with the murder and appeared in Perth Children’s Court on Tuesday morning.

He was not required to enter a plea and was remanded in custody to face court again next month.

Meanwhile two men appeared in Joondalup Magistrates Court charged with murder.

Corey Joshua Dymock, 19, and Robert Wayne Edhouse, 20, were not required to enter a plea and were both remanded in custody to face Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court later this month.

A 35-year-old woman also charged with the murder is yet to face court.

Mr Taylor lived at the property with his partner and three-year-old son, among others.

It appears possible that the others charged with murder — Dymock (19), a juvenile, and an unknown woman — are also associated with the Aryan Nations.

Edhouse first made contact with me back in November 2014, asking me to help promote his nu group: I wasn’t very interested.

Fast forward to early 2016, and Edhouse got his wish for publicity by appearing as a spokesperson for AN in WA media. Prior to this, in January, Edhouse messaged me to complain that anti-fascists failed to disrupt a United Patriots Front rally in Perth (which AN attended). The links between the AN and UPF are — or were — close but informal: allegedly, the UPF were housed by AN member Melony Jane Taylor when they travelled to Perth in order to attend a UPF rally last year. In any case, the UPF draws from the same right-wing swamp as AN does (or did). Certainly, Edhouse and AN keep up-to-date with the antics of the Australia First Party, whose leader, Dr Jim Saleam, also entertained Edhouse on one of his trips to Sydney (just as he did the UPF leadership when they were also in Sydney late last year).

jimanded

Above : Saleam, unknown nazi, Edhouse (@ The Bunker in Tempe)

audaciousrob

Above : Edhouse and fellow nazi (copy of AFP newsletter ‘Audacity’ on couch)

As for Edhouse’s partner(?) Melony Jayne Taylor, she makes her own political convictions pretty apparent:

beautiful

Posted in !nataS, Anti-fascism, Broken Windows, Death, History, Media, State / Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

antifa notes (april 29, 2016) : From Angry Anderson to Neil Erikson

angryala

• The anti-Muslim Australian Liberty Alliance (ALA) launched its Victorian Senate campaign in the Arthur Streeton room at the Sofitel On Collins on Wednesday night (April 27). The MC was diminutive Tory, Gary ‘Angry’ Anderson. You may remember him from such political stunts as the Liberal Party’s 2010 NSW election campaign and the 1991 VFL Grand Final half-time entertainment.

• Along with the Australia First (AFP) and One Nation (ONP) parties, the ALA is one of three ‘far-right’ parties surveyed by news.com.au in Far-right-wing parties after your vote on election day (Oliver Murray, April 26, 2016). Not included are the (unregistered) Party for Freedom (ie, Nick Folkes & Co.), Danny Nalliah’s Rise Up Australia Party (RUAP), and ‘Fortitude’, the stillborn political party of the ‘United Patriots Front’ (UPF).

AFP has been contesting state and federal elections since 1996, to little effect and with zero success. The party wants to re-institute the White Australia policy, inter alia, which is rather ironic considering its leader, Dr Jim Saleam, is of Lebanese ancestry. Arguably the most coherent in terms of ideology, it’s also the least popular (except among neo-Nazis), and struggles to field a team at public events.

The ALA is the political expression of the Q Society, and is the semi-professional face of Islamophobia in Australia. The party has nominated a nobody named Daniel Jones to lead its fight against Creeping Shariah in Victoria. An outside chance of a win elsewhere in the country, the party has solid financial backing.

One Nation’s main attraction remains Pauline Hanson, who only narrowly lost the race for a seat (Lockyer) in the Queensland state parliament in 2015. If she fails, as seems likely, to win the Senate contest, she’ll still walk away with tens of thousands of $ in prizes. In 1996, Pauline reckoned she and the rest of Australia was in danger of being ‘swamped by Asians’; twenty years later, it’s now Muslims who threaten to sink White Australia, especially Bendigo. Sadly, this week saw Bendigo councillor Elise Chapman withdraw as ONP’s candidate for the Senate in Victoria. See : Bendigo anti-mosque campaigner Elise Chapman withdraws One Nation election candidacy, Peter Lenaghan, ABC, April 27, 2016.

RUAP is one of several Christian parties on offer (others include the Australian Christians, Christian Democrats (Fred Nile’s mob), and Family First), and has worked very closely with the UPF over the course of 2015, happily sharing a platform with neo-Nazis and fascists. (This is presumably because God told Danny that Hitler, like Jesus, was ace and grouse.) UPF flunkey Scott Moerland is a former RUAP candidate and while it’s unknown if God has told him to run again, he did share a stage with Danny at the massive February 6 PEGIDA rally in Canberra, along with John Bolton (ALA Senate candidate in South Australia), his (other) fuehrer Blair Cottrell (UPF), Kim Vuga (Love Australia or Leave micro-sect) and Chris Shortis, the Victorian man who’s allegedly pumped $20,000 into Cottrell’s dingbat campaign to become Chancellor of Australia.

Still, you’ve gotta risk it to get the biscuit amirite?

neilviakenji

• Also on Tuesday night, and just around the corner from the Sofitel, the Scots Church hosted US Christian fundamentalist Eric Metaxas. See : Gay Rights Is The New Nazism: Meet The Men Speaking With Scott Morrison At Christian Lobby Conference, Thom Mitchell and Max Chalmers, New Matilda, April 12, 2016. A small rally was held outside the venue to denounce Metaxas and his tour sponsor, the Australian Christian Lobby. See also : Naarm / Melbourne: LGBTQI community blockade of Australian Christian Lobby event, Insurrection News, April 28, 2016.

Among those who attended the event was former UPF member Neil Erikson, armed as always with his camera, and finding a natural place among the police also monitoring the event. After a few minutes filming it appears that Neil fell over, and may even have damaged his camera as a result. He later claimed to have assaulted local anarchist Kieran Bennett and to have knocked him unconscious — a claim which Kieran rejects. (Note that Neil was accompanied by two comrades, who also allegedly tripped and fell over.) Bizarrely, within the space of less than 24 hours, Neil’s account of the event changed from one in which he ‘knocked out’ a political opponent to claiming that an unknown person inserted a finger up his bottom while he was lying on the ground; a claim picked up by Buzzfeed (Far Right Nationalist Claims Someone Stuck A Finger In His Anus At A Protest, Lane Sainty, April 28, 2016).

tuffguyhuts

• It appears as though Dennis Huts — the leading ‪UPF flunkey in Perth — bravely struck a young woman at the Safe Schools rally in Perth last week (April 22), thus confirming his reputation as a man of deeds as well as words. (He claims she waved a placard in his face.) In any case, it’s indisputable that such behaviour embodies the very best of the ANZAC tradition, and The Ghosts of Gallipoli would no doubt agree that the UPF is fully entitled to claim — as it does — to stand in this tradition. Indeed, the dangers, hardship and loss that accompanied the ANZACs’ ultimately futile attempt to establish a foothold on the Gallipoli peninsula are echoed in UPF fuehrer Blair Cottrell’s own tale of amazing courage in the face of adversity. Following the rally, Huts published a series of photos of those attending in order to support Safe Schools, with predictable results. Later, Facebook forced him to remove the photos. See : Facebook removes ‘gay shaming’ from United Patriots page, Out in Perth, April 27, 2016.

• Former UPF associate Phill Galea was in court again this week in Bendigo.

Galea appeared at a contest mention hearing in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday [April 26] to fight his charge of possessing a distress signal without reasonable excuse.

He has risked an even larger fine after refusing to settle the charges in court, wanting to call the boat owner as a witness to give evidence to the court.

The charges stem from a United Patriots Front rally in Bendigo on October 10, when police were mistakenly told Galea was carrying a knife.

Instead, they found a flare in his front right pocket.

Galea told police it was for his personal protection, but later claimed he was holding it for a friend, a member of the Australian Patriots Defence League.

Note: There’s no such thing as the Australian Patriots Defence League; there is an ‘Australian Defence League’ (ADL) and a ‘Patriots Defence League of Australia’ (PDLA). See : Flare at Bendigo protest ‘in case I got jumped’, Adam Holmes, Bendigo Advertiser, April 26, 2016.

• Casey councillors have rejected an application to build a mosque in Narre Warren, however Rejection of plan not based on religion, Melbourne council says (Jessica Longbottom, ABC, April 27, 2016). The mosque has been the subject of a months-long grassroots campaign in opposition to its construction, as virtually all such projects are now in Australia, a campaign which also attracted the support of the UPF. At this stage, it seems likely that the mosque developers will appeal the council’s decision, so it’s far from clear whether or not the mosque will actually be built — or not. Note that Casey council rejected a previous application to convert a gym into a mosque in 2014. See also : Mosque opposed by far-right political groups likely to be blocked, Melissa Davey, The Guardian, April 27, 2016.

• Finally, the ‘True Blue Crew’ in Melton have declared that they’ll be rallying in Coburg on Saturday, May 28. You may remember the TBC from such events as the UPF rally in Bendigo in February 2016 (where they shouted impotently at police and anti-fascists), the Reclaim Australia rally in Melton in November 2015 (where they shouted impotently at anti-fascists) and from the Reclaim Australia/UPF rally in July 2015, when a handful of TBC fell over, got pepper sprayed, arrested, and slapped with token fines. ‘Stop the Far Left! – Rally Supporting the Australian Governments Use of the Offshore Detention Centers That Protect Our Nation’ is the full title of their grand plan for Coburg in May, and is intended to be a response to another rally titled ‘Moreland says NO to Racism’, organised by local councillor Sue Bolton (Socialist Alliance), which demands ‘Stop the forced closure of Aboriginal communities -Treaty now’; ‘Let the refugees in – Close Manus and Nauru’ and ‘No to Islamophobia’, and which is endorsed by a large array of other organisations.

Fascists haven’t held a rally in Coburg since the mid-1990s, when Dr Jim Saleam’s former party National Action were quite active in the area. An NA rally at Brunswick Town Hall in March 1994 was protected by a large number of police, but even with police reinforcements the neo-Nazis were forced to flee both the Hall and the suburb, grabbing a specially-commadeered train express from Brunswick to the city. See : Anti-fascism in Melbourne: 1990s (March 20, 2007). The UPF has announced that it will be supporting the TBC, and it’s safe to assume that every patriotik Tom, Dick and Adolf will too. How committed the police are to facilitating a fascist assembly in Coburg, however, is an open question.

Posted in !nataS, Anti-fascism, Sex & Sexuality, State / Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

#EWLinkHouses : End The Rot /// Squat The Lot

bendigostreet

Hey0,

For the last few weeks, good folk have been occupying empty housing in Bendigo Street, Collingwood. The houses — previously scheduled to be demolished in order to make way for another fucking highway — have been left standing empty since the Victorian government cancelled the billion-dollar East-West Link road project in December 2014. As for the private developers responsible, they were left laffing at the cancellation, the previous, Tory government having agreed to pay them massive compensation if the project was scrapped … and if the rich are happy, who could ask for anything more?

Well, the Homeless Persons Union of Victoria, among others. March 31, 2016:

After a long-fought day, protesters have successfully occupied an empty domestic property on Bendigo St this morning.

This is despite being informed late yesterday afternoon, after weathering a 3-hour holding pattern conducted by Victoria Police officers and an anonymous party of three, that their occupation of 18 Bendigo St, Collingwood, constituted an act of unlawful trespass on private property …

Since then, the occupation has been ongoing. See :

Squatters stage protest occupation in Collingwood, Marika Dobbin, The Age, March 30, 2016
Homeless women ‘told they had 10 minutes to leave’ East West Link home, Aisha Dow, Benjamin Preiss, The Age, April 1, 2016
Homeless retake houses in protest, Jacob Andrewartha, Green Left Weekly, April 6, 2016
Still no clarity on East West Link houses, Kieran’s Review, April 14, 2016
Homeless Persons Union holds state to account, Ellena Savage, Eureka Street, April 14, 2016
A Day With the Squatters Protesting Melbourne’s Housing Crisis, Chris Shearer, VICE, April 18, 2016
Party time for occupiers of East West Link homes in Collingwood, Clay Lucas, The Age, April 20, 2016

Tomorrow — SUNDAY, APRIL 24 @ 2pm — there’s a PARTY in Bendigo Street and YOU are invited!

bendigoparty

See youse there!

See also : Australian Museum of Squatting | Yarra Campaign for Action on Transport (YCAT).

Posted in Broken Windows, Collingwood, Media, State / Politics, That's Capitalism! | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

#TrotGuide 2016

trottrottrot

Gosh and bother and tish and fiffle: it’s been just over four years since I last formally updated Trot Guide (April 10, 2012). At that stage I counted a mere fifteen political organisations on the far left — mostly Trotskyist in orientation. The Bad News is that it appears that at least two of these organisations are now extinct; the Good News is that at least two more have emerged — and that’s just in the last few months!

1. The Alliance for Workers’ Liberty (AWL) is still kicking. Its March 2016 newsletter [PDF] contains an account of ‘Fighting fascism in Australia’ by Riki Lane, which concludes ‘All the approaches taken – counter demonstrations; getting unions to take a better stand; broad anti-racist organising – need to be pursued and coordinated. A useful approach could be to build a broader coalition of all the existing groups on a national basis. The key however, is to get the organised labour movement active in fighting this threat.’ Ho hum. The group appears to be strongest in Brisbane, with supporters in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.

2. The Communist League (CL) is also still kicking, though one suspects it would struggle to field a football team. 5-a-side, maybe? For reasons which escape me, the CL was invited to attend the anarchist bookfair in Melbourne in 2012, but I don’t think they’ve been back. In any case, you can subscribe to The Militant and buy their titles from their office in Sydney. PS. The indefatigable Ron Poulsen scored 148 votes in his tilt at a seat in the Senate at the 2013 federal election.

3. The Communist Party of Australia (CPA) remains steadfast in its commitment to Communism, which in the last few years has also managed to find expression at the ballot box. Sadly, The Communists were de-registered by the AEC in May 2012 ‘because the party failed to prove it still had 500 members eligible for enrolment’. That said, the Communists are still keen to contest, so ‘If you’re on the electoral roll and would be prepared to help out, please contact us at [email protected] or ring Bob Briton on 0418 894 366’. What else can be said? Well, they still heart Stalin, and you can read a recent (October 2015) apologia for his rule (by Rob Gowland) in The Worker’s Weekly — Anti-Soviet propaganda and Stalin (Part 1) and Cold War propaganda offensive (Part 2). Strongest in NSW, the CPA has a presence in Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne and Perth.

PS. A Comrade wishes to make a correction re the ‘Communist Alliance’, ‘The Communists’ and the CPA. Thus according to CPA General Secretary Hannah Middleton (June 2012): ‘The Communists (originally called the Communist Alliance) was an electoral alliance of which the CPA was one part [emphasis mine], together with migrant [Greek, Latin American, Lebanese, Sri Lankan] Communist parties and progressive individuals from around Australia. The Communist Party of Australia supported the Communist Alliance (CA) because it united a range of left political forces to fight for real change. The Communist Alliance was registered as a party on March 16, 2009. A legal challenge from the Community Alliance [emphasis mine], a conservative group in Canberra, forced the CA to change its name to the Communists. This group did not manage to meet the requirement that it update its membership list in time and was recently deregistered by the Australian Electoral Commission.’

4. The Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) (CPA-ML) has had some troubles adapting to the twenty-first century. In Bad news for spotters, the organisation suspended publication of its newspaper, Vanguard, in 2014, the last print edition appearing in December 2014 [PDF]. First published in 1963, inter alia, ‘The decision to go fully online has been made in recognition of the fact that most young people use the internet as their primary source of news and communication’. Duncan B. writes: ‘I still have a copy of the very first Vanguard published over fifty-one years ago in September 1963. It is interesting to read the editorial of the first Vanguard. Under the heading “Why Vanguard is Published”, the editorial says, “The publication of Vanguard is an historic event. It is now the only paper which upholds the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism. The paper has a big and noble job to do. Its main task will be to give a Marxist-Leninist analysis of the major events of our time.”’ See also : The Explosion Point of Ideology in China (1967) / China: reading guide (libcom). The CPA (M-L) may be contacted through the Vanguard at PO Box 196, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia 3065 or via email ([email protected]).

5. Feminism + Trotskyism = Freedom Socialist Party (FSP). The FSP is based in Melbourne and maintains a shopfront called Solidarity Salon on Sydney Road, Brunswick. Steady as she goes

6. NEW! ML Group (MLG). The MLG (Marxist-Leninist Group) announced its existence online in a post on the MLG blog titled ULTRA-NATIONALISM, RACISM AND BIGOTRY ARE NO SOLUTION. WORKERS CAN DEFEAT FASCISM! ALL OUT ON APRIL 4! Alright! You can read the MLG’s PROSPECTUS! and its CONSTITUTION! and much, much more on its blog.

7. Formed in November 1996, the Progressive Labour Party (PLP) doesn’t appear to have made much progress since 2012. They still have a website, however, and will no doubt be active at the 2016 federal election. The party seems most active in Newcastle, NSW. In 2013, it endorsed Susanna Scurry, who ran as an independent for the federal seat of Newcastle and scored 1,026 votes (1.2%) for her troubles.

8. Resistance, 2012: ‘Nominally independent yoof wing of SA’. 2016: Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance. See also : Successful #RadicalIdeas2015 conference.

9. The Revolutionary Socialist Party is no more. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet its maker (etc., etc., etc.). Formed as a split from the DSP (now SA) in 2008, ‘At its final congress on 28 March 2013, the RSP voted unanimously to merge with Socialist Alternative’. See also : RSP and SAlt, Old-Style Opportunism: “Death of Communism” Lash-up, Australasian Spartacist, No. 219, Autumn 2013.

10. The Socialist Alliance (SA) was founded in 2001, has had many ups and downs, and is the organisation into which the Democratic Socialist Party finally dissolved itself in 2010 (being essentially the only group remaining within the Alliance). The intervening four years appear not to have witnessed any growth in SA, the organisation seemingly having been eclipsed by SAlt, but its support is arguably more geographically spread than SAlt’s, having contacts in every capital city and many regional centres. Currently, SA boasts two local councillors (Sue Bolton in Moreland and Sam Wainwright in Fremantle), produces the Green Left Weekly newspaper and is having a conference in Sydney in May titled Socialism For The 21st Century. SA will also be fielding candidates at the 2016 federal election. PS. Two formal tendencies have emerged within SA in the last year or so: ‘The Witches’ (?!) of Adelaide (May 2015) and ‘The 21st Century Socialism Tendency’ (April 2016).

11. Socialist Alternative (SAlt) is almost certainly the largest organisation in this edition of Trot Guide, just as it was in 2012. SAlt benefited from the absorption of the RSP in 2012/2013, while it’s yet to produce a splinter. Occasionally compared to a political kvlt by some of its harsher critics, I semi-seriously examined the claim in June 2013 and concluded that the answer was ‘no’. A highly critical account of the organisation is provided by Liam Donohoe in ‘My Salty Summer’ (Honi Soit, March 15, 2016). PS. Apologies to the SAlt member who waxed lyrical to me about the party and its many activities some months or years ago when I last made noises about updating the Guide.

12. The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) AKA The International Committee of the Fourth International modestly describes itself as the ‘leadership of the world socialist movement’ and frequently disparages its rivals (mostly SA and SAlt) as ‘pseudo-left’. The yoof wing of the SEP — International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) — has been engaged in a ding-dong battle with various University authorities over the last few years, including at Melbourne, where a bunch of kids on the Clubs and Societies Committee have failed to recognise the world-historical mission of the IYSSE/SEP/ICFI and refused to allow its supporters there to formally register as a Club. To add insult to injury, the sneaky little yuppies have even had the temerity to suggest that the junior members of the local branch of the leadership of the world socialist movement join the SAlt Club instead! The SEP frequently contests elections and will do so again at the 2016 federal election.

13. The Socialist Party (SP) was, until very recently, steady-as-she-goes. In February 2016, however, 14 members of the party — including Yarra councillor Steve Jolly — decamped, publishing an open letter alleging that the SP was guilty of engaging in a ‘cover-up of allegations of violence against women’ and stating that they ‘will not remain complicit in the silencing of victims of abuse’. The SP, for its part, issued a rebuttal, which you can read here. The folks who resigned from the SP are still flying the red flag as part of something called ‘The Socialist’; the SP remains mostly a Melbourne thing.

14. Solidarity remains the Official representative of the International Socialist Tendency Down Under. Blogger John Passant is a member, while Jim Casey, the Greens candidate for the seat of Grayndler in NSW, was attacked earlier this year for his former membership of the ‘International Socialists’, the group out of which, by various permutations and combinations, Solidarity formed and which stands in the IS tradition. Solidarity may be found in Brisbane, Canberra and Perth but mostly Melbourne and Sydney. See also : Marching Down Marx Street by Tom O’Lincoln on the history of the Cliffite tendency in Australia.

15. The Spartacist League of Australia AKA International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist) is ace and grouse and my personal favourite Trot group. It has members in Melbourne and Sydney and calls the SEP ‘Political Bandits’ and ‘Scab Socialists’, SAlt ‘Cheerleaders for Capitalist Counterrevolution’ and so on and so forth.

16. NEW! Formed as a split from the SP, The Socialist is The Title of The Newest socialist kid on the bloc. The Socialist has a Marxism study group, a socialist-feminist study group and an uncertain future.

17. Trotskyist Platform (TP) split from The Spartacists over a decade ago. TP hates fascism and racism almost as much as it hearts North Korea — which is A Lot. You can read about The Planks on Which Trotskyist Platform Can Stand Solid And Work Hard to Help Build The Communist Movement here and also An Eyewitness Account of North Korea and Its People: Bravely Building a Friendly, Socialistic Society While in the Cross Hairs of Imperialism here. PS. TP write ‘Though we in Trotskyist Platform have sharply differing political views to the anarchist who runs the Slackbastard blog and who has initiated the 2nd May [2014] counter-mobilisation to the fascist threat, we applaud the initiative he has taken and are thus actively building this action.’

Which I think is probably the only mention, let alone props, I’ve been given by any of the above groups in over 10 years of blogging … LOL.

Notes

• ‘Trot Guide’ is a neat categorisation but the political designation does not obviously, apply to the CPA, CPA-ML, MLG or PLP.
• Despite a hopeful sign in March 2013, the League for the Revolutionary Party/Communist Organization for the Fourth International (Australia) appears to have closed its post office box in North Melbourne.
• SA and SEP will be fielding candidates in the upcoming federal election; fingers crossed, so will the CPA, CL, PLP, SP and maybe even The Socialist will run.
• The online archive at Reason in Revolt has a range of documents on Australian socialist and radical groups: ‘Reason in Revolt brings together primary source documents of Australian radicalism as a readily accessible digitised resource. By ‘radical’ we refer to those who aimed to make society more equal and to emancipate the exploited or oppressed. Reason in Revolt is an expanding record of the movements, institutions, venues and publications through which radicals sought to influence Australian society.’

BONUS! ☭☭☭☭☭COMMUNISM WILL WIN☭☭☭☭☭

communism

Communism Will Win in Australia. See also : Aussie Anarchist Meme Squat.

Posted in State / Politics, Trot Guide | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

anarchist notes (april 13, 2016) : APRIL 2016

FBFBFRT

a few things :

• on saturday (april 16), jura books (sydney) will be hosting a discussion w visiting academic alex prichard on the subject of ‘Anarchy, Freedom, and Constitutionalism’ : “How do you know when you’re free? Anarchists have usually said you’re free to the extent that you’re not dominated. But what secures this non-dominated state? Do we need to be empowered, or is something else needed?”

• you can listen to alex and fellow academic saul newman discuss anarchism on late night live with phillip adams here (anarchy rules!, april 5, 2016).

• a few weeks ago, the always-outrageous disaccords blog got name-dropped in a garbled account in the daily terrorgraph about folks in sydney wanting to ride the public transport system w/o paying. ‘Free Transport, Full Communism’: Cowardly vandals encourage attacks on rail staff screamed the headline (march 18, 2016).

• on april 23 in sydney there’s gonna be an Anarcho-Queer Solidarity Bloc to the Safe Schools Protest. Hell No to the Homophobic ACL!. on the subject of the acl, see : Gay Rights Is The New Nazism: Meet The Men Speaking With Scott Morrison At Christian Lobby Conference, Thom Mitchell and Max Chalmers, New Matilda, April 12, 2016 (There are “a lot of parallels” between the failures of church groups to resist Nazism in 1930s Germany and the growing acceptance among US Christians of liberalism in contemporary America – including towards issues of sexuality – according to the star attraction at this year’s Australian Christian Lobby conference).

• another blog worth taking a look at is insurrection news. a recent post invites readers to contribute to the establishment of a mobile infoshop in the Philippines: Support the Greenhouse Infoshop mobile library!

• the ‘perth libertarians’ have a facebook page here; the (anarcho-syndicalist) asf-iwa have a (new) twitter account here.

• in melbourne, anarchist affinity recently held a discussion on the subject of Social Anarchism, Individualism and Lifestyle Politics. aa will also be holding a Workplace Organising Skills 101 w/e workshop on april 23 and april 30, presented by two comrades from the FAU Berlin.

• also on april 23, hot shots in footscray is hosting a series of skills workshops on coping w trauma / metal working / screen printing and moar.

• in melbourne, may day this year happens to fall on a weekend (sunday, may 1). anarchists will be among those gathering outside trades hall for the occasion.

bonus qeld!

Red and black on both sides: interview with radical hip-hop duo QELD (libcom, april 11, 2016)

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antifa notes (april 12, 2016) : hard times for patriots

afacfmeu

April 4 was the one-year anniversary of the first ‘Reclaim Australia’ rally. The occasion prompted me to write a few lines on my Facebook page (see below). Since then:

• The United Patriots Front (UPF) has engaged in another publicity stunt, unfurling a banner at the local AFL derby in Perth (April 9). See : United Patriots Front evicted from West Coast vs Fremantle game for anti-mosque banner, ABC, April 10, 2016.

• Several members and/or close associates of the UPF — Ralph Cerminara, Blair Cottrell and Neil Erikson — have been nominated to appear in the Magistrates Court in Maryborough on Thursday, April 14, to respond to an application for an intervention order by a former associate, Joelle Norris. Whether Cottrell & Co appear or not would seem to depend on several factors. One is whether or not it has any impact on his parole conditions (if any). If so, he will likely appear to contest the order. It’s equally possible that Cottrell hasn’t been served with a notice of the hearing — but far less likely to have failed to notice its appearance on Facebook. Given his history of family violence, Cottrell would presumably be savvy enough to understand that if he fails to attend the hearing it will almost certainly be granted in Norris’s favour, meaning it’s very much in his interests to attend and to contest. Who knows? Hopefully he doesn’t bring an axe or a tomahawk along with him

• Speaking of BFFs, Peter Grace has examined Cottrell’s views on ‘friendship’ here:

• Karen Street, the Tasmanian senatorial candidate for Kim Vuga’s ‘Australia Love or Leave’ party, did the same trick as the UPF at Bellerive Oval on Sunday, April 10. See : Hobart woman Karen Street stands by banner that got her ejected from Bellerive Oval, ABC, April 12, 2016.

• Also on April 10, around 20 or so flagwits belonging to Nick Folkes’ Party for Freedom gathered near the Halal Expo in Sydney. They shouted abusive slogans, waved placards for a while, and then went home.

• Dr Jim Saleam’s Australia First Party has lodged an application with the AEC to use the Eureka flag as its symbol on ballot papers (see : Australia First Party’s use of Eureka flag angers rebels’ descendants in Ballarat, Bridget Judd, ABC, April 12, 2016). The quest to appropriate the symbol is a long-running campaign of Dr Jim’s, dating back to the 1970s, and disputes over its status as an emblem of ‘left’ or ‘right’ has involved a wide range of historical and contemporary actors, from anarchist to neo-Nazi. Certainly, when the AFP joined fellow neo-Nazis from Golden Dawn at a public demonstration in Brisbane in May, 2014, they were rudely reminded that, as far as anti-fascist construction workers are concerned, the flag has no place in their hands. (Note that Jim Perren, one of the AFP dingbats present at the rally and co-author of the neo-Nazi ‘Whitelaw Towers’ blog, later helped arrange the UPF’s visit to Toowoomba in February.)

In any event …

As a mobilising force, Reclaim Australia seems to have more-or-less disappeared up its own bottom: — widely understood as an essentially racist and xenophobic movement, met with sometimes fierce opposition on the streets, riven by internal conflict among the handful of dumbs and mads who constituted its core organisers, and in other ways eclipsed by the emergence (or re-emergence) of various other, largely online anti-Muslim projects, chief among them the UPF, RA appears spent. If so, RA will have become just one more of the already innumerable anti-Muslim propaganda pages FB happily carries and promotes. Of course, this may be a temporary retreat, and RA once again be the broad umbrella under which a liquorice all-sorts of anti-Muslim prejudice takes to the streets. Who knows? Barring some dramatic development, it does seem doubtful it will again stir as many suburban keyboard warriors as it did in 2015.

The UPF, which constituted itself as the vanguard of RA, is also barely a year old, and has obviously undergone some settling of contents during transit. As well as, first, the departure of Shermon Burgess and Neil Erikson from the UPF and, secondly, their denunciation of it as a ‘Nazi’ organisation, most recently Perth flunkey Dennis Huts declared that he was leaving the UPF — as much a man of his word, and his criminal convictions, as his fuehrer, he’s now back — while fellow sandgroper Nic Genovese has also elected to leave. Others to have ostensibly left the group’s inner circle include Kris0 Richardson, Linden Watson and John ‘Farma John’ Wilkinson. In any case, the UPF is now very much a vehicle for the political ambitions of local neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell and his sidekick Thomas Sewell (the football-hating, Hitler-loving pair carried the UPF banner at the Collingwood-Richmond match last week), with the financial support of Christian fundamentalist Chris Shortis, largely moral support from fellow Bible-basher Scott Moerland, and G*d knows what from the crazy, mixed-up Kevin Coombes (aka ‘Elijah Jacobson’ aka ‘Abdullah Islam’; Coombes was first a born-again Christian, then a Muslim, and is now a neo-Nazi sycophant).

Such, at least, is the UPF leadership. Around it has gathered a very small base of (generally quite demented) fanboys, chiefly from Bendigo, Melbourne and Perth, but also including a handful of neo-Nazis and other White supremacists from Queensland and elsewhere; Jim Perren of Whitelaw Towers/Anti-Antifa blog being one. While some have a developed political perspective, an emotional attachment to flags and other nationalist symbols, combined with a visceral hatred of Muslims and other racialised elements, typically eclipses any thoughtful or genuine political commitment. They are thus easily manipulated, lied to, and used — and are. Further, their commitment is just as often fleeting: — their naivete about politics, society and social change leading them to mistakenly believe both that their views are more popular than they are in reality and that acting like a racist dickhead in public is a surefire way to win friends and influence people.

(I should add that the UPF has little support in Sydney partly because its leadership is based in Melbourne but also because Sydney’s far right has already been colonised by Dr Jim Saleam’s Australia First Party on the one hand and Nick Folkes’ Party for Freedom on the other. The UPF has sought counsel from AFP but has not explicitly allied itself to it; Shortis has recently been playing with the PFF in Sydney but was noticeably absent — as was the UPF as a whole — from the PFF’s rare Melbourne excursion last weekend. Sydney is of course also home to Ralph Cerminara, an Australian Defence League activist and serial pest who was previously aligned with Shermon Burgess but is now singing from the UPF hymnbook. Now BFFs, the fact that Cottrell memorably described Cerminara as a ‘cancer’ — and late last year expressed a desire to travel to NSW in order to break the cancer’s jaw for some infraction — gives some insight into the highly unstable nature of the boys’ relationships.)

Of course, in addition to being a ‘street movement’, the UPF also fancies itself as a political party: ‘Fortitude’. Announced with much fanfare late last year in Perth, the UPF embarked upon an east coast tour to promote the fledgling party in February. The tour was not especially successful. Barely 40 or so attended its meeting in Orange, NSW, perhaps twice as many in Toowoomba, QLD (where organisation of the meeting was left in the hands of Catholic relief teacher Liz Carlsen, Perren, and a handful of QLD-based neo-Nazis), and several hundred in Bendigo. The attendance in Bendigo was the largest by far, but still far less than the UPF managed to attract at its peak, which in October last year was somewhere between 500 and 1,000. Further, despite now having over 40,000 likes on FB, it seems as though the UPF/Fortitude is still struggling to obtain the 500+ signatures required in order to register with the AEC (and, crucially, to contest elections under its own name on the ballot). The proximity of the next federal election also means that it’s now almost impossible for the party to do so — even if it did manage to collect the requisite total.

That’s not the only or biggest problem Fortitude faces, for it enters a field already crowded with radical and populist right-wing electoral alternatives, most notably the Australian Liberty Alliance and One Nation. The ALA in particular is a far slicker, well-funded, well-organised and generally palatable option for the anti-Muslim crowd than Fortitude, with its neo-Nazi leadership, criminal history, white nationalism and crude, racist outpourings. It seems possible that even if it does register, Fortitude will likely crash soon after launch, and the boys again be reduced to orchestrating publicity stunts and conducting closely chaperoned (and very small) police rallies. It will then find itself in a position to produce more characters like Phill Galea and Nathan Davidson: — and John Wilkinson’s public exhortation to ‘stop the mosques’ by burning them down will become a much more attractive proposition for its violent fanbase.

BONUS!

In April last year a page called “Slackc-nt” appeared on Facebook. It’s now been publicly disclosed that the author of the page is a man by the name of Andrew Wallis — AKA Drew Smith, Tommo Oro, et. al.. Wallis was also one of the five UPF meatheads — along with Blair Cottrell, Neil Erikson, Chris Shortis and Linden Watson — who paid a visit to 3CR Community Radio and the Melbourne Anarchist Club in November last year.

naughtydrew
DrewandRalph

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Halal Expo shenanigans : Antifa 1 /// Party For Freedom 0

pfflulz

Gee whiz.

A month or two ago the Sydney-based fascist grouplet ‘Party For Freedom’ (PFF) — the organisers of the Cronulla Riot Re-enactment failboat last year (and the ‘anti white genocide’ Palm Sunday counter-rally a few weeks ago) — decided that it would be A Good Idea to hold an anti-Muslim rally outside the Halal Expo in Ascot Vale. According to reports, around 20 or so folk travelled down from Sydney to join the rally, and were joined by a smaller number of locals. In any event, their rally was briefly the site of a scuffle, after a small group of anti-fascists decided to say ‘G’day’ and welcome them to marvelous, multicultural Melbourne. There appear to have been no arrests, but the PFF lost a number of flags and placards, and one of their supporters — wearing a PFF t-shirt bearing the slogan ‘Rapefugees Not Welcome Stay Away!’ — appeared on the TV with a cut and some blood on his face.

comeagain

See : Halal festival brawl latest incident in Melbourne’s multicultural battle, Timna Jacks and Steve Lillebuen, The Age | Anti-Muslim and anti-racism protesters ‘intensely’ clash outside Melbourne’s Halal Expo, ABC | Anti-Islam and anti-fascist protesters clash in violent brawl at Halal expo in Melbourne, news.com.au …

The PFF will be staging another anti-Muslim protest outside the Halal Expo in Sydney on April 10. This will be the second occasion on which the PFF have done so, having organised a rally outside the Halal Expo in 2015 which was also the site of a minor clash with anti-fascists (see : Protests at halal food expo turn violent, SBS, April 13, 2015).

Also today, a crowd of several hundred gathered at Fed Square to rally against racism and fascism. They also went on a march. A small contingent of Collingwood fans joined the rally, each one of them as beautiful as fascism is ugly. Props!

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#UnitedPatriotsFront ~versus~ #Collingwood

stoptheupf

The neo-Nazi grouplet United Patriots Front (UPF) staged a(nother) provocative little stunt on Friday night, unfurling a banner reading ‘Go Pies’ and ‘Stop the Mosques’ at the Collingwood-Richmond match. After a short while, MCG security removed the banner and ejected those responsible — which included UPF fuehrer Blair Cottrell — from the ground.

See : AFL condemns offensive banner unfurled at Collingwood-Richmond game, ABC | Anti-mosque banner at Aussie Rules game condemned, BBC | AFL season 2016: Richmond player Bachar Houli allegedly abused by Collingwood fan, The Age.

A few points:

The UPF have staged a series of publicity stunts since forming in April/May 2015. These include an ‘anti-Communist’ rally in Richmond (May 2015), roasting a pig outside the ABC offices in Melbourne (June 2015), beheading a dummy outside Bendigo council offices (October 2015) and being uninvited guests at the Melbourne Anarchist Club and community radio station 3CR (November 2015) — while trying to hunt me down.

The Collingwood stunt attracted a good deal of attention for the grouplet, and while it was denounced by the AFL, Collingwood, Richmond and many others — including, of course, many Collingwood supporters — it earned Cottrell another opportunity to appear in the media and to promote the UPF: the purpose of this and previous stunts. Further, the media is loathe to describe the UPF accurately, and the group is variously termed as ‘nationalist’ and ‘far right’ — but never neo-Nazi.

In any case, fair play to the UPF: the stunt was successful, and Collingwood’s statement that if it’s ‘established that [Cottrell & Co] have a formal connection to the club, this connection will be severed’ means little to a man who loves Hitler and hates Collingwood.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Finally, a few months ago Cottrell declared that the UPF would be staging a commemorative rally this weekend to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the April 4 Reclaim Australia rally. It looks like this plan has been shelved, but an anti-fascist gathering will be taking place at Fed Square in any event.

sidebyside

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#UnitedPatriotsFront Go To #Bendigo. Again …

For the record …

Today in Bendigo, around 2-300 patriots/fascists answered their fuehrer’s call and attended the third and final leg of the United Patriot Front’s whirlwind tour of the ‘east coast’. There they were treated to another of Blair Cottrell’s best Hitler impersonations, whinged and whined about bloody Muslims, and (presumably) joined the UPF’s yet-to-be-registered political party, ‘Fortitude’. (The previous week in Orange, NSW saw around 40 or so gather at the local bowls club and the week before that around 70-80 attended the UPF meeting in Toowoomba, QLD.) The Bendigo Action Collective (BAC) held a ‘March Against Fascism & Bigotry’ which attracted anywhere from 50 to 100 or more in opposition to the fascist group’s presence in town.

The day appears to have been largely uneventful, though towards the end of the BAC march, outside the Bendigo railway station, a small group of a dozen or more UPF supporters — consisting largely of members of a tiny yoof gang from Melbourne calling themselves the ‘True Blue Crew’ — gave it large and were subsequently told to shoo by police. (You may remember the TBC from such rallies as ‘Reclaim Australia’ in Melbourne on July 18, when three of their members were arrested by police for being naughty and subsequently fined: the fines being paid for by the UPF.) Curiously, joining the TBC was (ex-?)UPF stalwart Linden Watson and Ralph ‘Valour Thief’ Cerminara, a man memorably described by UPF fuehrer (Blair Cottrell) last year as a ‘cancer’, a ‘virus’, and as someone who ‘infects’ and ‘destroys’ everything he touches.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Otherwise:

• The 2-300 UPF supporters who attended today were dwarfed by the crowd of anywhere from 500 to as many as 1,000 who attended the last time the UPF was in town (October 10), which may suggest that the UPF is declining in appeal. On the other hand, their numbers last time were considerably boosted by the presence of Christian fundamentalists from the ‘Rise Up Australia Party’, the period between October and February has witnessed a series of ruptures in the UPF, and the mosque appears to be going ahead despite numerous legal challenges to its construction …

• The UPF’s Perth leader, Dennis Huts — best known for being an uninvited guest at Muslim prayer rooms in hospitals and universities — has declared that he’s leaving the UPF (and public activism). This presumably leaves fascist thug Elijah Jacobson as Cottrell’s subordinate in Perth. Below is a discussion taken from the UPF’s internal discussions on Facebook, in which the boys discuss the virtues of the stillborn ‘Generation Identity: Australia’ project, now re-named ‘Australians Resistance Movement’ and admined by UPF member and neo-Nazi Jim Perren.

sillyelijah

• Finally, the UPF has a tiny presence in Tasmania too. Well, of sorts. Their bizarre/disturbing batshit has been documented by anti-fascists in that part of the world in ‘We got chatting a while ago …’ (Antifa Tasmania, February 27, 2016).

See also : United Patriots Front supporters outnumber anti-racism protesters at Bendigo rallies, ABC, February 27, 2016 | United Patriots Front launch “Fortitude” in Bendigo 27/02/2016 (ApexImagery) | October 10 “Global Rally For Humanity” (October 11, 2015).

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