#Reclaim Australia : November 22, 2015 : Post-match

Above : A protest sign in Melton featuring the neo-Nazi leader of the UPF, Blair Cotrell, and one of his quotes on skool curricula. For more see : Quotations From Chairman Blair Cottrell (July 27, 2015).

‘Reclaim Australia’ (RA) held a series of anti-Muslim rallies across the country on Sunday, November 22. These were the third series of such rallies to have taken place this year, previous rallies having been held on April 4 and July 18/19. This post contains links to reportage on the rallies (and counter-rallies) as well as a few additional notes.

In general, this third round seems to have witnessed slightly smaller numbers of Reclaimers assemble than did previously (Newcastle seems to have been the sole exception). Events in major cities — especially in Melbourne and Sydney — were heavily policed, and police adopted the basic strategy of attempting to keep the two sides widely separated via the use of mobile barriers, regular police and riot squads, and through the use of mounted police (in the cases of Adelaide and Melton). In this task they were largely successful.

Regarding Melton/Melbourne, the conviction and sentencing of Braybrook Reclaimer Phill Galea for weapons offences on Friday, while seemingly prompting the Bendigo-based groupsucule ‘The Resistance Victoria’ to abandon attendance, doesn’t seem to have had much impact on other Reclaimers in Melton, with local far-right networks organised around the ‘Patriots Defence League of Australia’ (PDLA) and racist yoof gang ‘True Blue Crew’ (TBC) being prominent.

I’ll be adding more details to the accounts below as the week progresses.

This account by Rachel Baxendale in The Australian (Reclaim Australia rallies: Two sides go to war in towns, cities, November 23, 2015) provides a general overview of events:

Hundreds of Reclaim Australia protesters and their opponents have held rallies in cities and towns across Australia, with riot police using capsicum spray to subdue violent members of both groups.

Rallies were held in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart and Alice Springs, as well as at Townsville [at which Pauline Hanson spoke] and Cairns in north Queensland, Mildura in northwestern Victoria and Esperance in Western Australia.

At Melton in Melbourne’s outer northwest, there were six ­arrests as hundreds of police, ­including members of the air-wing, mounted branch and dog squad, maintained a barrier ­between about 500 protesters from each group.

A 29-year-old man who punched a police horse was subdued with capsicum spray and charged with animal cruelty, while three men were charged over possession of knives and another two with riotous behaviour.

Victoria Police Acting Commander Alan Byrnes said three members of the public were hurt, but the protest was largely peaceful. “It’s always a bit disappointing to see people turn up with masks,” he said. “You wonder what their motives are for doing that.”

A coalition of socialist, anar­chist and unionist groups calling themselves No Room for Rac­ism chanted “Nazi scum off our streets”, “Always was, always will be Aboriginal land” and “Shame, shame, Victoria Police”.

On the other side of the police line, Australian flag-clad youths screamed “you are a f..kwit” at a Syrian woman addressing the No Room for Racism group.

Melton father Luke Mackie said he had joined the Reclaim Australia protest because he ­opposed an Islamic school being built in the area.

“How can they be calling us Nazis when they’re the ones discriminating against us?” he said. “My kids aren’t Catholic, but they go to a Catholic school. They won’t be allowed to go to this Muslim school.”

In Sydney, police arrested two people as up to 1000 packed parts of Martin Place, with police lines again separating the demonstrations. About 300 people associated with the Refugee Action Coalition and the Socialist Alliance pushed up against police along Macquarie Street. A 36-year-old man was ­arrested for allegedly damaging a memorial while a 16-year-old boy was issued a “move on” direction for allegedly breaching the peace.

Speaking to several hundred anti-Islam protesters, the founder of Reclaim Australia, Catherine Brennan [Liz Shepherd], said recent events in Paris had worried many Australians. “I think there were a lot more people than we were originally ­expecting,” she said. “Because of the Paris attacks — unfortunately.”

Additional Reporting: AAP.

See also : Ugly clashes at anti-Islam rallies in Australia, BBC, November 23, 2015 | Eight charged after Reclaim Australia rallies turn violent, SBS, November 23, 2015 | Anti-Racist Activists Drown out Reclaim Australia Rallies, El Sur TV, November 22, 2015.

Otherwise …


Attracting relatively strong crowds on April 4 and July 18, Adelaide saw several hundred join the RA rally on November 22. Those who organised in opposition appear to have been successful in attracting the greatest support. Grace Hill writes:

In Adelaide, Reclaim had to meet at an alternate location to parliament to try and get away from us, a victory from the outset. We marched to meet them, and it was immediately apparent that we outnumbered them. Their planned march was cancelled due to us blocking the entrance to the square. Congratulations to everyone who attended the counter-rally!

See : Police separate opposing protesters at Reclaim Australia rally in Adelaide, Meagan Dillon, The Advertiser, November 23, 2015.


Sadly for Reclaimers, the Brisbane rally appears to have suffered from some serious PA problems, which have been the subject of many complaints online from the 1-200 or so who rocked up. The presence of several CFMEU flags at the counter-rally irked others.

Among those who did join the Reclaimers was an Adolf Hitler impersonator (!) and a handful of boneheads belonging to tiny neo-Nazi groupscule ‘Right Wing Resistance Australia’, the local branch of the New Zealand organisation. (See : Right Wing Resistance New Zealand.) On July 18, members of RWR, PDLA and other nazis acted as marshals at the event.

A comrade from Brisbane writes:

In total, there were maybe 250 on our side & 100 on theirs. It was scheduled to start @ Emma Miller Place @ noon. I got to the Roma Street station @ 11.30am & was kinda surprised that I had to walk past the RA area to get to where around 100 ‘Say No To Racism’ folk were already pressed against police barriers & in full voice.

Noticing a way to get past police into their area I went in & ripped out anything I could see plugged in before some RA & cops came to stop me. The cops were a wee bit unsure what to do with me as I looked like ‘commie scum’ but needed a walking stick. I made a bit of a fuss & the RA wanted me arrested but cops just took me to our side haha.

Apparently each mob ended up where they did because our mob pushed through initial police lines while they were still setting up. Highlights: their PA not working; seeing Hitler, more than a few boneheads. Swastika & SS tatts got a guernsey & we genuinely made them really fucking mad. Catching a cop tapping his foot to “FUCK OFF NAZI FUCK OFF! FUCK OFF NAZI FUCK OFF!” was great. There was one arrest when a RA supporter tried to get over the police barrier: an exercise in futility as they had a line of cops stopping them & we had PSRT (Public Safety Response Team) riot cops stopping us.

The energy this time was amazing. It was an almost celebratory mood on our side, despite their increase in numbers & increase in bonehead presence.

An hour earlier out at Logan the PDLA held an anti immigration rally, so if they’d been there there may have been even more aggression from them as they seem to have some proper psychos in their ranks. Fuck knows why they did their own thing Sunday but aside from a small group of bikies turning up to the RA rally late I don’t think many from their rally rocked up.

Kim Vuga was at the RA rally but we could hear & see fuck all as when they had speakers they were forced to huddle together in the back of their area to hear anything. PA probs apparently. As I say it was a real party atmosphere on our side.

After a few hours RA organisers started rounding up their mob & they drifted off with police protection as usual (we weren’t able to leave our area) to the sounds of “YOU’LL ALWAYS LOSE IN BRISBANE” & “FUCK OFF NAZI FUCK OFF”. Our mob, when able to leave (about 30 mins after the fash) spontaneously took to the streets & marched to King George Square where people milled around before drifting off. We should’ve done a march through the city or had a street sit-in but hey …

Finally, another highlight was a number of new faces on our side who had attended as a direct result of Paris. It was the most anarchist comrades I’ve seen in one place for a while too and it was nice to catch up with people. Ummm … the cops even seemed to be a bit more receptive to our presence & a bit put out by RA causing them to use up so many resources this time. Their whole demeanour when dealing with us was quite reasonable. Police negotiators didn’t even bother with us either, just went straight to their mob. Anyway that’s about it … aside from some positive talk among anarchists about doing stuff out my way. Yay!

See : The face-tattooed protesters and Adolf Hitler lookalikes whose appearance at a Reclaim Australia rally mocks the group’s claim that it stands for ‘ordinary’ people, Lucy Mae Beers, Daily Mail (Australia), November 23/4, 2015.


In Cairns, around 300 or so people attended the RA rally, and just a handful were present to express disagreement.



A small number of Reclaimers — perhaps 100 or so — attended the Canberra leg of the event. A crowd roughly similar in size counter-protested. Among those who spoke at the RA rally were Shermon Burgess (‘The Great Aussie Patriot’) and close ally Ralph Cerminara (above) of the ‘Australian Defence League’. A month or so prior to his address outside Parliament House, and in the wake of the Parramatta shooting, Cerminara called upon his 5,000 or so followers on Facebook to launch “lone wolf” attacks upon mosques and imams. His Facebook page was subsequently closed, though he remains very active on another page called ‘Left Wings Bigots & Extremists Exposed’, which identifies alleged ‘extremists’ and documents some of his encounters with them. His most recent focus has been upon Black Rose infoshop in Newtown. Joining him in his crusade is Nick Folkes of the ‘Party for Freedom’. Folkes along with Burgess are currently organising and promoting a Cronulla riot re-enactment, scheduled to take place on December 12.

Roxley Foley writes:

Unreported by any news outlet was the amazing rejection of the theatre of hate and division seen across the nation. Amongst the anti racism protesters arrived a delegation of first nations representatives from all corners of the country. The delegation had taken time out of a week long series of meetings at the tent embassy to make a unified denouncement of Reclaim Australia but also to teach the anti racism protesters that hate cannot be beaten by hate. Warriors and healers lit a sacred fire and spoke of the need to confront the wound and legacies of racism to which Reclaim are just a modern symptom and were urged not to fall into the trap of fueling the energy of the opposing side. Unfortunately the initial arrival of howling Reclaimers was too much and anti racism organisers urged the crowd to yell and scream at Reclaim. The resulting spectacle was predictable and depressing. At the peak of sides hurling abuse the warriors made the call to the crowd to turn their backs and walk away back to the circle. The change in energy was almost immediate and without a source to reflect their outrage Reclaimers taunts were pitiful and almost humorous, provoking laughter as we sat in a circle together. Within a very short amount of time Reclaim lost its steam and faces of regret, shame and humiliation amongst their side could be seen. Federal police officers approached us after Reclaim had left, amazed at how we had deescalated the situation and sincerely thanked us. Hate and anger are vicious circles that can only be beaten by compassion, understanding and a little bit of laughter. The true spirit of this land and people shined that day and the media chose to report a story of a nation tearing itself apart, but those who were there experienced something special.

See : Reclaim Australia and Canberra Anti-Racism Network members face-off outside Parliament House, ABC, November 22, 2015 | Protesters face-off in Canberra: Reclaim Australia and ‘anti-racism’ rallies at Parliament House, Christopher Knaus, The Canberra Times, November 22, 2015.



Around 50 or 60 people attended the RA rally in Hobart with well over twice as many assembling to oppose them.

An anti-fascist in Hobart writes:

On 22 November approximately 40-50 racists, bigots and assorted potatriots assembled in the car park of Franklin Square. (Franklin Square was closed for renovations so they had to make do with the car park.) Anti-racists and anti-fascists had booked Parliament lawn to hold a counter rally in the knowledge that Franklin Square was closed and to disallow the bigots use of the space.

The counter rally attracted between 200-250 people from a broad range of society and had a local band performing. Speeches were given by a local Indigenous representative, a spokesperson from Tasmania Welcomes Diversity and several refugees.

There was about 20 police in attendance and the bigots, headed by Danny Bell (former admin of UPF-Tasmania) were told to disperse from the car park. They then attempted to rally at Parliament lawns but were held back by a line of police. Rally organisers and attendees made the collective decision to continue listening to speeches and let the bigots make themselves look stupid, which they happily obliged in doing.

Yelling ‘paedophile lovers’, ‘traitors’ and ‘flag burning scum’ through a single megaphone, the UPF drew the ire of passers by and laughter from the anti-racism rally. Locals in the area were also overheard voicing their disgust at the sad spectacle.

The UPF continued their rally from behind police lines for another 20 or so minutes before dispersing and heading to one of the few local bars that will have them.

It’s worth noting that their numbers were considerably larger than at their previous event, but that is most likely owing to Reclaim Australia’s involvement and the events in Paris. Reclaim Australia had pulled out of organising the event just days prior, and the UPF had stepped up. UPF involvement caused considerable angst amongst some RA supporters, and the turn-out reflected this.

The decision by counter protesters not to physically or verbally engage with the UPF was a tactical one, and done in the knowledge that the Tasmanian UPF and RA have very little capacity for organisation or ability to have a broad impact. In this circumstance, the tactic worked well, and the UPF showed themselves to be a small group of sad, incoherent fools with very little support in the broader Tasmanian community. That said, we stand firmly in solidarity with all anti-fascist and anti-racist groups who mobilised around Australia on the day and do so with an appreciation that fighting fascism requires a number of tactics across many fronts.

See : Police keep the peace between United Patriot Front, Reclaim Australia and rival protesters in Hobart, Lucy Shannon, ABC, November 23, 2015.



Farmer John, from United Patriots [Front], spoke to the crowd while it chanted “No Muslims in Melton”, and threatened more violent action.

“We’re going to burn every mosque down if they build them … Let’s stick it up them,” he said.

~ Anti-Islam, anti-racism protesters clash at violent Melton rallies, Cassie Zervos, Andrew Jefferson, Kara Irving, Herald Sun, November 23, 2015.

The RA rally in Melton — ostensibly called in order to protest the construction of a mosque and an Islamic skool in the area — witnessed a number of scuffles between Reclaimers and counter-protesters, and a handful of arrests. Media scrutiny was intensive and the conflicts occupied center-stage in media reportage, though there were no serious injuries.

It’s widely estimated that around 3-500 people attended both the rally and counter-rally (though some reportage claims up to 1,000 attended the counter-rally, which I think is an over-estimation). A handful of boneheads — including James Lawrence (see below) — attended the event, as did naughty boys Zane Chapman and Corey Hadow.

Speakers at the RA event included John Bolton of Adelaide and ‘Aunty Marj’, the UPF’s ‘Farma john’ and ‘Hugh Pearson’/’John Sobieski’/’Koala732’ — real name: Julian De Ross — while ‘Rise Up Australia Party’ (RUAP) deputy leader and Casey councillor Rosalie Crestani acted as MC. Another RUAP candidate, Jonathan Willy Eli, sang the national anthem at the rally. Reclaim rally ends in racist scuffles, Lachlan Moorhead, Berwick Star, November 24, 2015:

Cr Crestani said she was a member of Reclaim Australia and not a member of the far-right group United Patriots Act [sic], whose members also attended Sunday’s rally, but she said the UPF had a “pure motive”.

“We can all criticise different parts of their approach … but they have a pure motive,” she said.

“It doesn’t come across as pleasant to some, sometimes it’s a cold-hard truth.

“It’s something we have to be careful of but I meet many of these men and women and they have Australia’s best interests at heart.”

The open embrace of neo-Nazis and fascists belonging to the UPF by Christian fundamentalists such as Crestani and RUAP suggests that my initial feeling — that a coalition of fundamentalist Christians and fascists may prove untenable — was possibly mistaken: fear, hatred and contempt for Muslims — combined with both group’s marginal political status — appears able to trump any wider political disagreements.

The presence of one particular group of anti-fascists, ‘Brigada Anti-Fascista’, has caused a good deal of consternation on the part of ‘patriots’/fascists. Here they are spreading love and good cheer:


An anti-fascist writes:

So this is the Antifascist Fighting Brigade. They were awesome. They had our backs all day and helped protect the triage area from frequent attempts by hatriots to harass and perpetrate violence against medical staff — thank you guys!

It was another tense day but not nearly as tense or threatening as Bendigo. A few people did dumb things like not just getting out of the way of police horses but overall it was pretty sensible. The antifa guys (and one girl — yay!) were pretty focused on just keeping people safe and ejecting the hatriots who tried to get among the counter protesters. There was one incident where the riot squad pepper sprayed their way into our counter protest and dragged out some guy I’ve not seen before … I have no idea what that was about but a dozen people just standing peacefully paid the price and were treated by the legendary angels from Melbourne Street Medics.

There were some funny chants, I had a long exchange with some demented ranter across the line who didn’t take to kindly to being told I was having trouble understanding him ‘cos I don’t speak bogan. He was even more feral when I asked if his Mum knew he was at a bigot protest and he mortally wounded me by calling me a “fairy” (WTF?) when I told him he could tell his Mum when he got home to the basement tonight. It was funny but I guess you had to be there.

So we had some speeches, a bit of chanting at bigots, Ezekiel Ox beat-boxing for everyone and then doing a pretty fair John Farnham rendition (if you’re into that sort of thing). Then we waved goodbye to the hatriots as they packed up and wandered off to a local park to presumably smear themselves in pig fat and eat some non-halal babies or something. Sadly, Sparkles The Unicorn couldn’t come and Anarcho-Panda didn’t feel she was safe enough to attend either, but we blew them away with energy wit, and compassion, so until next time antifascista siempre!

Another account, paying particular attention to the police deployment of chemical weaponry on the counter-protest:

I attended the Melton counter-protest and my observations were that the police were way too eager to deploy cap spray every chance they got, so much so that they inadvertently sprayed their own horses. It was secondary mist but the horses were distressed and it was fucking disgusting. All instances of capsicum spray were due to flagwits infiltrating the counter-protest and becoming violent … The suffering I witnessed at the hands of the police was awful. One woman was capsicum sprayed in the face for no apparent reason and spent around an hour at the triage area in unrelenting agony. There was a man who was affected so badly by the capsicum spray that he was shaking uncontrollably. Another woman was taken away in a wheelchair with a broken foot. There was much disappointment to say the least but we at least succeeded in countering the proto-Nazi nationalist dickheads and we will do it again and again.

At their BBQ picnic — conducted in a local park following a march after the end of the hate rally — some Reclaimers squabbled among themselves (see : Police separate Reclaim Australia protesters during infighting at barbecue, Jason Young, Herald Sun, November 23, 2015).

Finally, upon leaving the ‪counter-protest in ‪‎Melton‬, a number of anti-fascists/anti-racists were escorted by police to a bus station. They were followed and harassed at the station by Reclaimers/local racists. Among those who assembled were bonehead James Lawrence (also prominent at the May 31 ‪UPF anti-socialist demonstration in Richmond) and Damian Kourevellis — friend of Phill Galea and ‘President’ of the ‘Patriots Defence League of Australia’ Eastern Victoria chapter.

Allegedly, one Reclaimer was arrested, but on being called out Damian and James preferred to hide behind riot police.

At Melton station, anti-fascists/anti-racists were greeted by a contingent of fascists emerging from their cars. One sported WP and Nazi tattoos (including swastikas on his shoulder blades). He did a “sieg heil!” salute in response to being called out.

Local racists were happy to roll with the nazis on both occasions (just like the Diggers did in WWII).

See : Melton: A Firsthand Account, angryrecluse, November 24, 2015 | Mixed Agendas and Dumb Fights: Reclaim Australia Held a Classic Protest in Melton, Julian Morgans, VICE, November 23, 2015 | Reclaim Australia, No Room For Racism rallies clash in Melton, ABC, November 22, 2015 | At least seven arrested in anti-Islam and anti-racism protests, 9 News, November 22, 2015 | Arrests as violent clashes break out at Reclaim Australia rallies, Michael Safi, The Guardian, November 22, 2015.


A small RA rally consisting of about 70 people was held in Mildura on Sunday, at which local members of the Australia First Party were prominent. See : Rally takes to streets: Reclaim Australia protesters voice concerns, Toni Brient, November 22, 2015.



Newcastle witnessed a large contingent of many hundreds of Reclaimers take to the streets, including sometime PDLA leader John Oliver (above, holding megaphone). You may remember John from when he posed as a ‘Concerned Dad’ on the 7 Network’s Sunday program, or perhaps as the man who attempted to bring a gun to the July 18 joint RA/UPF rally in Melbourne — or as I do, which is as the man responsible for establishing a fund to d0x me and who opined that I should be hunted down and beaten and further that I should have my testicles removed and attached to my forehead(!). Oliver spoke alongside a nazi from the Australia First Party.

See : Nathan Paterson, the man behind the Cessnock Reclaim Australia photo, Michael McGowan, The Newcastle Herald, November 24, 2015.


The RA rally in Perth was significant if for no other reason than that RA splinter group the ‘United Patriots Front’ had declared it would be travelling to Perth to join with the rally (previously, the focus of the UPF was in Bendigo, where they organised rallies on August 29 and October 10). Among those UPF members who travelled to the event were UPF fuehrer Blair Cottrell, convicted anti-Semite Neil Erikson and Christian fundamentalist Chris Shortis. They were joined by local boy Dennis Huts, now the UPF’s spokesperson in Perth.

Cottrell gave his usual Hitleresque performance, which was very warmly received by the small crowd of around 300 who gathered to see him perform. The UPF also took the opportunity of their Perth visit to announce that they would be forming a political party to contest elections. See : Far-right United Patriots Front to form political party ahead of federal election, Michael Safi, The Guardian, November 24, 2015 | United Patriots Front to start political party called Fortitude, Joseph Young, Rebekah Cavanagh, Herald Sun, November 24, 2015.

An anti-fascist reports:

It was very good. We had a crankin’ PA system. Didn’t quite outnumber them by my count, but looked fairly equal. I went down to the RA/UPF side, and the PA was completely drowning them out, Victoria’s voice thundering out across the oval. Blair Cottrell ended up having to give his Hitleresque speech to the backing of ‘it’s like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder how I keep from going under.’ I’m not sure if he meant it, but to me it sounded like he was talking to the beat. Quite a surreal sound, and made his entire rant seem [even more] absurd.

Another anti-fascist writes:

The Reclaimers advertised their rally as starting at 12 noon, at Parliament Place, where all prior rallies had taken place. The began assembling very early, as did the police.

Indeed, one of the most striking things at this event was the extensive police presence. They cordoned off not just the park where RA assembled, but the adjoining street was closed off to traffic – and to all of us passing through. With the exception of those attending the RA rally. Effectively (and unsurprisingly), the cops shielded and protected the Reclaimers.

By noon, their presence had grown to about 400, as people continued to arrive. I would estimate their crowd at 4-500.

We assembled on the hill overlooking the park – about 200 of us. This is Perth, and it is unlikely that we will ever outnumber the RA. But we were loud and better-looking.

Their rally opened with the national anthem, and of course, no welcome to country (unlike us). Blair spoke several times, and on one occasion (the only one I wished I had earplugs) read his ‘poetry’. His followers had prominent presence with several UPF flags flying, AND a ‘Blair Cottrell’ flag that has now become a bit of a joke in the anti-RA crowd …

See : Perth’s Anti-Islam Protest Was Really Weird, Royce Kurmelovs, VICE, November 23, 2015 | Large police presence at Reclaim Australia rally near Perth Parliament, Briana Shepherd, ABC, November 22, 2015 | Heavy police presence at Reclaim Australia rally at Parliament House in Perth, Brendan Foster, WA Today, November 22, 2015 | Hundreds at WA Reclaim Australia rally, SKY News (AAP), November 22, 2015.



The Sydney rally attracted relatively fewer participants than previously, and appears to have been easily outnumbered by opponents. The event ended in some controversy, however, one account of which appears in this ‘Open letter to the organising committee of [the] Sydney rally against Reclaim Australia on November 22’.


On Sunday, Radio National’s ‘Background Briefing’ broadcast an episode on the anti-Muslim movement in Australia. Anti-Muslim extremists: how far will they go? by Christine El-Khoury (ABC’s The Drum, November 24, 2015) further reflects on the development of the movement and argues that it should be viewed with some concern. Max Chalmers in New Matilda writes Comic And Terrifying In Equal Measure: What We Learned From The Reclaim Australia Rallies, November 23, 2015. Previously, Jeff Sparrow wrote Members Of The Far Right Are Threatening Political Violence. Whatever Happened To Those Anti-Terror Laws? (New Matilda, November 21, 2015). See also : Reclaim Australia: Government accused of failing to condemn violence from anti-Islam extremists, Stephanie Anderson, ABC, November 23, 2015 | Melbourne rally violence: Is the worst yet to come?, news.com.au, November 24, 2015.

See also : Believe in Bendigo : Businesswoman Margot Spalding leads campaign to fight anti-mosque ‘hate’, Janine Cohen, Australian Story (ABC), November 23, 2015.

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#ReclaimAustralia Goes To #Melton

Update (November 20, 2015) : Reclaim Australia member Phillip Galea jailed for possessing tasers and mercury, Adam Cooper, The Age, November 20, 2015. Gallea attended the tiny April 9, 2010 MASS RALLY AGAINST IMMIGRANTS AND ISLAM in the company of a t i n y mob of nazis:


G’day patriots.


Police today executed a search warrant on the home of Braybrook man Phill Galea. He appeared in court on Thursday afternoon and an application for bail was denied.

Prominent anti-Islamist in Melbourne arrested after police seize weapons, Brendan Roberts, Nicholas McCallum and AAP, 7News, November 19, 2015
Anti-mosque group member charged in Vic, 9News (AAP), November 19, 2015
Melton anti-Islam rally: Man charged over weapon found ahead of Melbourne protest, ABC, November 19, 2015
Police find Anarchist Cookbook in Melbourne home of United Patriots Front member, Anthony Galloway, Wes Hocking, Herald Sun, November 19, 2015
Police make arrests over claims weapons were to be brought to Melton anti-immigration rally, Aisha Dow, Alana Schetzer, The Age, November 19, 2015

Galea has been variously nominated as a member and/or supporter of both Reclaim Australia (RA) and the United Patriots Front (UPF). He himself claims to be an admin on the RA Melbourne page:


Certainly, Gallea’s Facebook profile reveals him to have liked both RA and UPF pages, along with ‘Britain First’, ‘George Christensen’, ‘Good Night Antifa’, ‘Jews Killed Jesus’, ‘Kim Vuga’, ‘Right Wing Resistance Australia’, ‘Smash ANTIFA’, ‘Stop Being Such a Jew.’, ‘Stop the Mosque and Islamic School Melton’, ‘The Great Aussie Patriot’, ‘The Men’s Rights Initiative’, ‘UPF Media’, ‘White supremacy’ and numerous others.

In summary, his profile conforms to that of any number of ‘radical, right-wing extremists’.

Of particular interest is Gallea’s links to the ‘Patriots Defence League of Australia’ (PDLA), the Bendigo-based group ‘The Victorian Resistance’, and the Melton-based ‘True Blue Crew’ (TBC). His Facebook friends include Damian Kourevellis, ‘President’ of the PDLA Eastern Victoria chapter, neo-Nazi and PDLA/’Right Wing Resistance Australia’ supporter Aaron De Keulenaer, and Julie Kendall of ‘Stop the Mosque in Bendigo’ fame.

The TBC has been very active over the last few weeks promoting the RA rally in Melton on Sunday. Among its members are Zane Chapman and Corey Hadow. Both boys were detained by police on July 18 in Melbourne, and were subsequently fined for being naughty. Their fines were paid for by RA and UPF supporters, which made them both very happy and free to Carry On. Below is an img of the boys throwing bottles at the Street Medics crew on July 18 — the Medics were subsequently pepper-sprayed by police (see : Further notes on #ReclaimAustralia/#UnitedPatriotsFront rallies (July 18/19) (July 23, 2015); Medics’ Statement on July 18 anti-racist/fascist Demonstration, July 18, 2015).


As for Kourevellis, he and a handful of other PDLA members were also present in Melbourne on July 18; his criminal background is outlined in Court told violent man not detained, Steve Butcher, The Age, March 26, 2009. Among those who offered the PDLA and a handful of other neo-Nazis support on the day was Julie Kendall: at one point, local neo-Nazi Glenn Anderson/Androvski, along with other PDLA members, was asked to leave the RA/UPF rally; supposedly Kendall intervened on his and their behalf.


In any event, here’s Kourevellis and Co looking a bit downcast:



As noted, RA has shifted the location of its November 22 anti-Muslim rally from Parliament House to opposite the Melton City Council in Melton. They claim this is because Melton Specialist School had planned to re-locate from Coburns Road (its current location) to the former site of Victoria University’s Melton campus in Rees Road, Melton South, but was forced to abandon the site to make way for the Al Iman College.

This is a lie. Melton Specialist School distances itself from protest rallies, Ami Humpage and Paige Ricci, Melton Leader, November 17, 2015:

Melton Specialist School council president Elle Gillard said the priority for many years had been for a new school to be built on its existing site.

“From what I can remember there were only talks about moving to the VU site. Nothing was set in concrete or stone,’’ Mrs Gillard said.

“We would be better off with a masterplanned school here. That’s our priority.”

The school had not been contacted by Reclaim Australia and Mrs Gillard said it was also unlikely the school would accept any money raised from a barbecue planned at the Melton rally.

“The school is not involved with either of these groups and I’m not happy it has been dragged into something so political,” Mrs Gillard said.



• I dunno why, but but VICE News has republished this interview I done with Nelson Groom back in April 2014.
• Radio National’s Background Briefing has produced an episode titled Anti-muslim extremists: how far will they go? (November 22, 2015).
• SOSBlakAustralia has produced a terrific statement (November 10, 2015) denouncing RA and the UPF and in support of the November 22 rallies against racism, fascism and Islamophobia which you can read here.
• For news and views on anti-fascism in Melbourne, see the Melbourne Antifascist Info Facebook page and blog.

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A few things.

1) This fella’s analysis seems especially apt:


See also : New Islamic State Publication Touts Progress in Clash of Civilizations, Murtaza Hussain, The Intercept, February 13, 2015 | Muslims Around the World Condemn Paris Attacks, Adam Johnson, AlterNet, November 14, 2015.

2) Alternative Libertaire have issued a public statement:

Attentats de Paris : Contre leurs guerres, nos solidarités /// Attacks in Paris : Against their wars, our solidarities
November 14, 2015

A wave of deadly attacks took place last night in Paris and Saint-Denis. The French government has been conducting wars in several countries (Libya, Mali, Syria …) for years. These wars today have an impact on the French territory.

We are confronted [by] attacks aiming to spread terror and to stir up divisions within the population. Alternative Libertaire condemns these attacks: killing people at random in the street [with] the sole purpose of frightening is abject. These attacks are the work of a political movement – the Salafist jihadism – whose first victims are the civilian populations of the Middle East and which has already hit Beirut in recent days. This same political movement that continues to wage war against Kurdish progressive forces in Syria.

Following these attacks, we will witness a securitarian frenzy maintained by political forces who use fear to draw us against each other. Already, immigrants and the Muslim minority in this country are beginning to be affected by political statements and are subject to indiscriminate reprisals.

Strengthening freedom-restricting devices will not prevent new attacks. The state of emergency is the suspension of many democratic rights, the legalization of large-scale repressive measures with regard to various layers of the population that have nothing to do with the attacks.

We stand against government taking this opportunity to ban unionist and ecologist mobilizations to come. All this will lead to [division] and strengthen fears and hatreds. All this will only lead to an escalation between terrorist attacks increasingly bloody and security responses increasingly repressive. The answer is neither the withdrawal nor the militarization of society.

The solution will not come from those who have contributed to this situation by their militarist policies, imperialist, discriminatory, hateful. They use this to impose an increasingly police state and a national unity between exploiters and exploited, which we reject and denounce.

The solution requires the strengthening of solidarity, in the neighborhoods and at our workplaces, and through the consolidation of all those and all those who refuse all regimes of terror. Do not remain isolated! Let’s get together to discuss our responsibilities to the situation, particularly in terms of joint actions of all social transformation forces.

[Translation via Workers Solidarity Movement (Ireland).]


See also : Paris terror attacks: France now faces fight against fear and exclusion, Aurelien Mondon, The Conversation, November 14, 2015.

3) The reaction on the part of local fascists has been predictable. A sample of some of the batshit commentary on the ‘United Patriots Front’ page:


4) This cartoon sums it up as far as the reaction of the far right is concerned:


See also : After the Paris killings (Le Monde Diplomatique) #CharlieHebdo (February 3, 2015) | Kurd/Yezidi forces liberate Sinjar from ISIS: reports/photos/video, UndercoverInfo, November 13, 2015.

Posted in !nataS, Anarchism, Anti-fascism, Broken Windows, Death, History, Media, State / Politics, That's Capitalism!, War on Terror | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

antifa notes (nov 10, 2015) : #UnitedPatriotsFront and moar …


G’day patriots,

Here’s a few notes about recent developments on the far right.

1) Chris Shortis : “It’s in Revelations, people!”

United Patriots Front (UPF) leader Chris Shortis appears in an article in The Age, which details his rather bizarre religious and political convictions: Gun-toting anti-Muslim ‘crusader’ at lead of United Patriots Front (Luke McMahon, The Age, November 7, 2015). Dr Chloe Patton states: “Here we have an individual who is clearly radicalised, who is brandishing firearms while preaching holy war. The intricate conspiracy theories and crusader symbolism immediately brings to mind Anders Breivik“. The Daily Mail also features Shortis in ‘We should be doing it with absolute brutality’: Outrage at new leader of anti-Islam group’s online rant calling for Muslims to be wiped out ‘like the Japanese in WWII’ (Leith Huffadine and Nelson Groom for Daily Mail Australia, November 8) while Channel Ten aired a segment about Shortis and the UPF on November 8.

2) UPF ~versus~ 3CR


Chris Shortis was one of five UPF members who invaded the Melbourne Anarchist Club (MAC) and 3CR last weekend (November 1). The MAC released a statement and held an ‘Open Day’ on November 8. 3CR has also issued a statement, and a report on the invasion is carried by Crikey. I republish them below:


On Sunday 1st November, five members of the fascist group United Patriots Front (UPF) gained entry to the premises of 3CR Community Radio and filmed throughout the building without permission. In an effort to intimidate the station and its programmers, they then posted the video on their Facebook page.

3CR reasserts its commitment to progressive politics and our core mission of providing a voice to people denied one elsewhere in the media and in society. We stand by our commitment to providing a voice for Muslims, newly arrived migrants, Indigenous people, unions, women, queers, the working class, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and people with a disability.

3CR was established in 1976 and the station currently has about 400 programmers broadcasting over 120 programs a week in 19 different languages. There are a diverse range of organisations affiliated to the station ranging from trade unions to housing groups to music appreciation clubs.

The behaviour of this far-right group is therefore utterly ridiculous.

However the UPF is of concern because of its racist, Islamophobic and anti-semitic beliefs, its hostility to the left and its capacity for violence.

On the same day the UPF came to 3CR, they also made an unwelcome visit to the Melbourne Anarchist Club.

We totally reject these tactics of intimidation and express our solidarity with other groups subjected to their harassment and vilification.

We call on the people of Melbourne to join us in rejecting this amateur schoolyard bullying and the politics of fear that make it possible. The routine Islamophobia present in mainstream politics and the media must stop and the indefinite detention of refugees must stop. We call on our political leaders to take some responsibility.

3CR urges all people concerned with upholding basic principles of human dignity, diversity and fairness to attend the protest against racism and fascism on Sunday 22 November, 11AM on the steps of Parliament House. Gather around the 3CR banner.

We also encourage people to attend the Melbourne Anarchist Club Open Day on Sunday 8 November from 12PM.

To support proudly independent and diverse radio, donate online or subscribe.

For more information contact Marian McKeown or James McKenzie on 9419 8377 or email [email protected]

4) 3CR /// UPF /// Crikey

Nationalist group invades 3CR Community Radio office, uploads dramatically scored video
Myriam Robin
November 9, 2015

Melbourne community radio station 3CR has accused the United Patriot’s Front of “amateur, schoolyard bullying” and “threatening” behaviour, after the far-right nationalist organisation gained entry to the radio station’s premises and filmed it without permission, then uploaded the video to its Facebook page.

The incident took place last Sunday. The UPF’s video shows several burly men approaching the front door of 3CR to find it shut (as it always is on weekends). A man describes the radio station as a “government-funded radio production company of some sort” (3CR is overwhelmingly funded through memberships and donations). But, he says, “so-called anarchists like to speak on radio here and are given a platform here, which confuses me … So we came here to ask some questions to clear up the confusion.” Once a month, Andy Fleming, a progressive campaigner and anarchist, is involved with a radio program on 3CR, and has been for some years. Fleming, using his online pseudonym of Slack Bastard, is one of the key irritants to the UPF, tracking and reporting their movements and arguing that they are best understood as “fascists”.

After an introduction, the video reveals the men inside the 3CR offices talking to a man, understood to be one of 3CR’s programmers. Meanwhile the UFP member holding a camera walks through the building, filming walls of photos, including close-ups of the faces of those involved in the station, as well as the studios. Tense music plays throughout the video. In the Facebook comments, many applaud the UPF’s initiative and suggest other places the group could “visit”, including Moreland City Council, which has an anti-racism banner along its front.

Crikey understands one of the 3CR’s programmers opened the door to the UPF members, who had rung the buzzer. “He didn’t really know who they were, but became pretty suspicious,” station manager Marian McKeown told Crikey. The UPF members told him they were there to do some filming, she says. “He’s on crutches. He’s not physically mobile. So he leans across to open [the] door without looking in [the] peephole. Then there’s five big guys in the building — he doesn’t really feel like in a position to create conflict.”

While this isn’t recorded in their video, 3CR says its own CCTV footage shows the men pocketing one of the photos off a photo board.

Given the UPF’s hostility to 3CR and its activities, which include explicit support for progressive politics and of providing a voice to minority groups who aren’t given a voice elsewhere, McKeown says it’s hard to view the incursion as anything but a “very threatening” and “antagonistic” act.

“I think it is about Slack Bastard, but also what 3CR represents,” she said. “It’s about the kind of voices we give airtime to. They clearly have an agenda that is about intimidating those sections of our community. Refugees, Muslims, any kind of leftist who is going to call out their threatening behaviour.”

The same day, the UPF visited the Melbourne Anarchist Club, where a man immediately told them to leave. Their encounter was also filmed and put on the group’s Facebook page.

The UPF has not targeted many media organisations in the past, with the exception of a June protest outside the ABC in Melbourne during the Zaky Mallah saga that involved the group roasting a pig on a spit.

“What was interesting about [their incursion into 3CR is that it] was an escalation of their activities, and of a willingness to confront those they consider their political enemies on their own soil,” Fleming told Crikey. He notes the group’s main base appears to be in Melbourne, though it has made moves in recent months to expand, including through a picket in Bendigo (or “Bendgio”, as they have it) and a planned trip to Perth later this month.

3CR says it is not telling its programmers to change their behaviour, but is warning them to have a heightened sense of awareness. Police were called about the incident, but McKeown sounds pessimistic about their approach to the situation.

“At the time we contacted police. They told us the United Patriot’s Front hadn’t committed an offence. We’re still getting legal advice — we think it’s debatable. And they stole the photograph.”

Crikey contacted the UPF through their Facebook page. We did not hear back by deadline.

5) Kriso Richardson : UPF + CFMEU


In addition to neo-Nazis Blair Cottrell and Neil Erikson and Xtian fundamentalists Chris Shortis, Scott Moerland and Danny Nalliah (“He’s anti-Islamic, claims to have raised people from the dead and once blamed the Black Saturday bushfires on Victoria’s abortion laws.”), another leader of the UPF in Melbourne is Kriso Richardson.


On November 7, Richardson uploaded a propaganda video to the UPF Facebook page about nationalism: he did so while wearing a CFMEU top. On May 31, Richardson also appears to have attended the UPF rally in Richmond, also sporting CFMEU gear.


The rally — which was targeted at Socialist Party councillor (and CFMEU shop steward) Stephen Jolly — was followed by the arrest of a man for allegedly making death and rape threats against him (‘Nazi’ charged over death, rape threats to Socialist Party Councillor Stephen Jolly, Chloe Booker, The Age, August 7, 2015):

A man has been charged after making death and rape threats to Yarra Councillor Stephen Jolly and his family.

It comes days after United Patriots Front administrator Neil Erikson’s name was attached to threats on social media to kill the Socialist Party councillor.

In what appears to be a separate incident, a 38-year-old Moe man is alleged to have left messages on the Socialist councillor’s mobile and office phones.

“Hey Stephen Jolly, I’m going to f—ing rape your face,” the man allegedly said in a message left at 4.15am on July 29.

He then used further expletives before hanging up.

Richardson also attended the Reclaim Australia (RA) and UPF rallies in Melbourne and Bendigo and a protest against the ABC in June.

3CR is of course home to hundreds of union and community groups and projects, including the CFMEU show ‘The Concrete Gang’:

Since 1976, The Concrete Gang has been the most cutting and funny source of construction industry news and views.

Raw community radio at its best, The Concrete Gang is most (in)famous for “Scallywag of the Week” where names are named and the gloves come off.

It’s CFMEU radio for construction workers in the tradition of the late and great John Cummins who was a long-term host of the show.

Listen live at 9:30am Sunday mornings on 3CR Community Radio 855AM or get the podcast at 3cr.org.au/concretegang (or search The Concrete Gang on your podcast provider).

I doubt ‘Cummo’ would’ve been impressed to see fascist thugs attacking the station he broadcast on — or to witness one of their comrades making fascist propaganda in construction union clothing.

Finally, note that the UPF has declared itself to be in political solidarity with a range of neo-Nazi and fascist groups and movements in Europe, including the Greek neo-Nazi organisation ‘Golden Dawn’. In May 2014, the CFMEU participated in an anti-fascist rally in Brisbane, called in order to denounce both Golden Dawn and the Australia First Party.

6) Reclaim Australia /// November 22

The UPF has declared that they will be heading to Perth on November 22, the date of the third round of RA rallies. In Melbourne, RA has recently declared that they’ll be protesting in Melton against the construction of a Muslim skool rather than at Parliament House. Counter-protests have been organised at the following locations:

Adelaide counter rally to Reclaim Australia – stop racists and nazis

STOP ISLAMOPHOBIA! Rally against racist Reclaim Australia (United Against Islamophobia and Bigotry Brisbane)

Canberra Rally Against Racism: No to Reclaim Australia, No to Islamophobia! (Canberra Anti-Racism Network)

Counter rally – Oppose Reclaim Australia and the UPF (Tasmania Welcomes Diversity)


No to Racism, No to Fascism: Stop Reclaim Australia (Campaign Against Racism & Fascism)
RALLY AGAINST RACISM – Stop ‘Reclaim Australia’ – Melbourne (No Room For Racism)

RALLY AGAINST RACISM – Stop ‘Reclaim Australia’ – Newcastle (RALLY Against Racism -Community organizing space)

Reclaim Australia – No Way! (United Against Bigotry and Racism)


No to Racism, No to Reclaim Australia – Muslims are Welcome (No to Racism, No to Fascism, No to Islamophobia)

7) Australia First Party ~versus~ Party for Freedom

There’s a ding-dong battle going on in Sydney between Dr Jim Saleam’s Australia First Party (AFP) and Nick Folkes’ Party for Freedom (PFF). The last week has seen the PFF stage a banner drop denouncing Saleam and also, curiously, publish a video which documents Saleam’s attendance at a meeting of neo-Nazis to pay tribute to dead Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi:

Also in attendance at the commemorative meeting was Alex Norwick, a former National Action member, candidate for the AFP (Wyong 2015, Chifley 2013, Deakin 2010) and editor of the party’s newsletter Audacity; it also seems to have attracted notorious neo-Nazi Ross ‘The Skull’ May.

The PFF’s attacks upon the AFP follow similar attacks launched by Shermon Burgess (‘The Great Aussie Patriot’), who has denounced not only Saleam and the AFP as ‘nazis’ but so too Melbourne-based neo-Nazi grouplet ‘Nationalist Alternative’. Odd behaviour given that Burgess was more than happy — proud, even — to work alongside neo-Nazis like Cottrell and Erikson throughout 2015, and even helped to promote Squadron 88’s anti-Muslim agitation in Penrith.

For his part, Saleam denies any and all association with neo-Nazis and blames the campaign upon local Liberals, engaged in a conspiracy with the PFF and neo-Nazi grouplet ‘Squadron 88’ in order to damage the reputation of the AFP.

Otherwise, while Burgess has left the UPF in the capable hands of Cottrell in Melbourne, in Sydney he’s continued to maintain his years-long commitment to Ralph Cerminara, valour thief and sometime leader of the ‘Australian Defence League’. Burgess and Cerminara both now appear to be aligning themselves with Folkes and the PFF against the AFP — Burgess and Folkes are also talking up the PFF’s historical re-enactment of the December 2005 Cronulla pogrom.

See also : CRONULLA /// NEVER AGAIN (October 28, 2015).

8) Australia & the Fascist Idea of Greater Britain

Evan Smith of the Hatful of History blog has written an interesting account of the British Union of Fascists’ approach to Empire and Australia:

Part of this view of Australia as an integral part of Greater Britain’s trading relations was the country’s perceived promise as a destination for British migrants to take opportunity of the vast space offered and its potential for agricultural and industrial development. This was a widely held view since the early days of the Australian colonies and the BUF reinforced the idea of the British colonial settler as imperial pioneer.

Read the rest at the Imperial & Global Forum here.

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antifa notes (november 2, 2015) : 3CR, MAC, UPF and moar …


On Sunday, five members of the fascist groupuscule the ‘United Patriots Front’ (UPF) — Blair Cottrell, Neil Erikson, Chris Shortis, Linden Watson and one other man — paid a visit to the Melbourne Anarchist Club (MAC) in Northcote and then to community radio station 3CR in Collingwood. Both incidents were filmed by UPF member (and convicted anti-Semite) Erikson, uploaded to the UPF’s Facebook page, and presented as being evidence of the UPF’s ability and willingness to take the fight up to its political opponents; a long list which includes Muslims, anti-racists, and all those who don’t share their paranoias or rejection of multiculturalism.

This bizarre and disturbing behaviour by the UPF confirms their basic fascist character and suggests that, following two relatively large rallies in Bendigo, they’re feeling quite confident and, seemingly, intent on provoking some kind of physical confrontation with ‘the left’ in Melbourne. Certainly, they are very angry and upset that 3CR has the temerity to allow me to occasionally broadcast anti-fascist news and views … but I suspect that, in picking on the community broadcaster, they’ve simply succeeded in antagonising a much broader range of groups and projects.

While 3CR has yet to formally respond to the UPF’s brief occupation, the MAC has called on friends, comrades and supporters to attend an Open Day at the MAC this Sunday, November 8, from midday ’til close. Hopefully, a good number of local anarchists and other anti-fascists will attend.

See also : ‘Nazi’ charged over death, rape threats to Socialist Party Councillor Stephen Jolly, Chloe Booker, The Age, August 7, 2015 | Jay-Leighsa Victoria Bauman sentenced to community service over online abuse, Brisbane Times (AAP), May 29, 2015 | Patriots Defence League president allegedly spat on Canberra driver, Christopher Knaus, The Sydney Morning Herald, December 18, 2014.



Having recently junked the UPF (again), Shermon Burgess (‘The Great Aussie Patriot’) has been attempting to rehabilitate his public image somewhat by angrily denouncing ‘nazis’, which now extends from Blair Cottrell’s mates in Nationalist Alternative to Dr Jim Saleam’s Australia First Party. Joining him in this denunciation is Nick Folkes of the Party for Freedom: the dynamic duo is busy promoting a happy 10th birthday party for The Cronulla Riots. Oddly, while Burgess has suddenly come to the conclusion that Saleam is an horrible nazi, it was only a few months ago (June 28) that his mate Erikson published a video interview with Saleam regarding his analysis of anti-racist and anti-fascist activists (“Dr. Jim Saleam (AFP) Exposes Left Wing Terrorists.”) on the UPF Facebook page.

Which at the time produced not a whimper from ‘The Great Aussie Patriot’.


The ASIO Annual Report for FY2014-15 contains the following relevant extract (pp.9-10):

Communal violence and violent protest

Lawful advocacy, protest and dissent are an inherent part of Australia’s political and social culture. Most protests are peaceful, and there is little public support for the use of violent or destructive protest tactics. During 2014–15 protests in Australia were mostly peaceful. When violence occurred, it was typically not premeditated and it took place between groups with opposing views on emotive issues. Violence was also used against police attempting to maintain order.

There was increased participation in the activities of Australia-based anti-Islam groups; mostly this was online activity but ‘real world’ events attracted increased numbers. The conflict in Syria and Iraq, and widespread mainstream and social media coverage of the conflict—in particular, graphic reports of egregious acts—provided a ready stream of material used by anti-Islam activists as evidence that Islam is not compatible with Australian values or the Australian way of life. Anti-Islam groups whose activities were previously mostly limited to online posts and occasional inflammatory publicity stunts began to attract increased numbers to real-world events, such as the Reclaim Australia rallies and the Stop the Mosque protests. The reporting period saw a number of well-attended, coordinated Australia-wide protests with an overt anti-Islam and anti-immigration message; these protests attracted large numbers of supporters and counter-protesters.

Small-scale violence occurred between opposing protesters at the Reclaim Australia rallies in Melbourne in April 2015. Reclaim Australia rallies will continue to be held throughout the next financial year and, due to their potential for violence, will remain of concern. While anti-Islam numbers increased, there was a concurrent increase in counter-protests on platforms of social inclusion, anti-racism and anti-fascism.

In January 2015, members of Sydney’s Muslim community and their supporters gathered in a peaceful ‘We will not abandon our Prophet’ rally organised by Hizb ut-Tahrir, at Sydney’s Lakemba train station. The event was held in response to perceptions of anti-Islam sentiment following the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris. While the event was vocal, it passed without major incident.

Environmental issues, refugee and Indigenous advocacy, animal rights and anti-government policy protests attracted the most significant numbers to protests in 2014–15. While some capital city protests on these issues attracted large, vociferous crowds, most concluded without incident and complied with protest preconditions and directions of police.


Reclaim Australia (RA) will be holding a further series of rallies across the country on Sunday, November 22. The UPF has declared that it too will be attending, and acting as the fascist vanguard of RA in Perth.

The rallies will be the subject of counter-protests.

Adelaide counter rally to Reclaim Australia – stop racists and nazis

STOP ISLAMOPHOBIA! Rally against racist Reclaim Australia (United Against Islamophobia and Bigotry Brisbane)

Canberra Rally Against Racism: No to Reclaim Australia, No to Islamophobia! (Canberra Anti-Racism Network)


No to Racism, No to Fascism: Stop Reclaim Australia (Campaign Against Racism & Fascism)
RALLY AGAINST RACISM – Stop ‘Reclaim Australia’ – Melbourne (No Room For Racism)

RALLY AGAINST RACISM – Stop ‘Reclaim Australia’ – Newcastle (RALLY Against Racism -Community organizing space)

Reclaim Australia – No Way! (United Against Bigotry and Racism)


No to Racism, No to Reclaim Australia – Muslims are Welcome (No to Racism, No to Fascism, No to Islamophobia)

I’ll add other locations as I become aware of them.


Finally, the final chapter in Alexander Reid-Ross and Joshua Stephens’ exposé on South African writer Michael Schmidt has been published (though the fallout has barely begun I suspect).

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[‘Decadence’ by Alex Trotter. Originally published in Drunken Boat, No.2, 1994.]


There is no decadence from the point of view of humanity. Decadence is a word that ought to be definitively banished from history. ~ Ernest Renan

The word “decadence” has been thrown about so much it has become a banality. Authorities or would-be authorities of all kinds (religious or political ideologues, the media) lecture to us about the decline of western civilization. On close examination the meaning of this term, whether used as an epithet or as a badge of honor, turns out to be elusive. In a general sense decadence seems to be connected to fatalism, anomie, malaise, and nostalgia. It describes a falling away of standards of excellence and mastery associated with a bygone age of positive achievement; heroism yielding to pettiness; good taste yielding to vulgarity; discipline yielding to depletion, corruption, and sensuality. A decadent world is one in which originality has ended and all endeavors are derivative, in which pioneers and geniuses have given way to epigones. Decadence has connotations of (over) indulgence in carnal appetites, derangement of the senses, and violation of taboos. It is supposed to be a frivolous pursuit of exotic and marginal pleasures, novelties to serve jaded palates. Decadence makes you think of sin and overripeness.

Physics recognizes a law of decay and decline with universal application to all natural processes. It is called the second law of thermodynamics, or “entropy,” as it was dubbed by the German physicist Rudolf Clausius in 1850. According to this law, there is a natural and increasing tendency in the universe toward disorder and the dissipation of energy. Efforts to arrest the process of decay or reestablish order are only temporary in effect and expend even more energy. Through this inexorable process of entropy, astronomers tell us, the sun will eventually burn out, and the entire universe may well collapse back upon itself in a “Big Crunch” that will be the opposite of the theorized “Big Bang” with which it supposedly began. There’s nothing anyone can do about this cosmic decadence, but the time frame is so immense that there’s no point worrying about it, either. Besides, it’s just a theory. For the purposes of this essay, I will restrict myself to a consideration of the earthbound and largely historical dimensions of decadence.

Health And Disease

In a grand historical sense, the concept of decadence has been used to describe epochs of civilization in biological metaphor, as beings that are born, come to maturity, then sink into senescence and die because they have been condemned “by History” (or God). In this sense decadence is connected to a moralistic as well as a fatalistic vision. The word implies judgment of human experience on a scale of values and measures it against a ‘correct’ or ‘healthy’ standard. Decadence first appeared as a word during the Renaissance (1549 in the English language, according to Webster’s) but its use remained sporadic until the nineteenth century. It can therefore be thought of as primarily a modern concept, and as such it it inescapably linked to the notion of Progress, as its opposite and antagonistic complement.

What lies on either side of Decadence, before or after it, is the myth of a golden age of heroism and (near) perfection. The ancient civilizations tended to place the golden age of their mythologies in the past. Judaism and Christianity (and by extension, Islam) also have a golden age, the Garden of Eden, located in the past. But it is with the monotheistic religions that the dream of cosmic completion was first transferred to the future, in an eschatological and teleological, semihistorical sense. After holding people’s minds in nearly undisputed thrall for centuries, Christian theology underwent a long decay through Renaissance humanism, the Reformation (in particular its unofficial, suppressed antinomian and millenarian currents), and the rationalist, materialist philosophy of the Enlightenment. The French and American revolutions partially destroyed the Christian time line and opened up the horizon of a man-made history. The violent irruption of the bourgeois class into terrestrial political power replaced the inscrutable cosmic narrative written by God and shrouded in grandiose myth with a historical narrative authored by abstract Man and wallowing in the Reason of political ideologies. The dogma of determinism survived, however. Apocalypse, Heaven, and Hell were shunted aside by capitalism, which offered instead its absurd dialectic of progress and decadence. As the nineteenth century unfolded, liberalism, Marxism, and leftism continued with industrial development and the expansion of democracy.

All of the great epochs of civilization (slavery, Oriental despotism, feudalism, and capitalism) are considered by Marxist and non-Marxist historians alike to have experienced stages of ascendancy, maturity, and decline. The Roman Empire is one of the chief paradigms of decadence, thanks largely to the eighteenth-century English historian Edward Gibbon, the most well known chronicler of its decline and fall. The reasons for the end of the ancient world are not so obvious, in spite of a familiar litany of symptoms, most of which have been attributed to economic causes: ruinous taxes, overexpansionism, reliance on mercenary armies, the growth of an enormous, idle urban proletariat, the slave revolts, the loss of the rulers’ will and purpose in the face of rapid change, and — the most obvious and immediate reason — military collapse in the face of the ‘barbarian’ invasions. Can it be said that Christianity’s rise to power amid the proliferation of cults was an integral part of the decay, or was it rather part of a “revolution” that transcended decadence? It is not at all clear that the Roman Empire ended according to an iron law of historical determinism. If that were the case, it is not likely that decadence could be imputed to ‘moral decay.’ The actual collapse of the Western Empire came centuries after the reign of the most depraved emperors, such as Nero and Caligula. And should it be said that the Empire was decadent, while the Republic was not? Both were supported by the slave-labor mode of production, and both were systems of extreme brutality and constant warfare. The notion of progress and decadence, retrospectively applied to this case, implies that the civilization based on slavery was not only tolerable and acceptable, but indeed healthy, in the bloom of its historical youth, and only later became poisoned and morbid.

The same observation applies, of course, to the other ancient civilization of the West — Greece, which was superior to Rome in so many ways because of its democracy and its fine achievements in art, literature, science, and philosophy. The Athens of Pericles is usually considered to have been the high point of that civilization, in contrast to the “decadence” of the Alexandrian or Hellenistic age. But there would have been no Greek art or Athenian democracy without Greek slavery. There is the great tragedy: The beautiful things of civilization have always been built on a foundation of bloodshed, mass suffering, and domination.

The other great classic of decadence in the grand historical sense is the ancien régime in France. This example serves as the core vision, dear to the modern Left, of a tiny handful of identifiable villains, the corrupt, obscenely privileged, and sybaritic aristocrats, oblivious to the expiration of their heavenly mandate, partying away on the backs of the impoverished and suffering masses, but who get their just desserts in the end. This was of course a partial truth, but it was built into a myth that has fueled similar myths well into our own time, the classic modern example being that of the Russian Revolution. The great revolution that chases out decadence has been multiplied more than a dozen times since. But this dream that has been played out so many times is still a bourgeois dream, though draped in the reddest ‘proletarian’ ideology. It is the dream of the Democratic Republic, which replaces one ruling class with another, and it has always turned into a nightmare.

Against the decadence of the old world of the feudal clerico-aristocracy, the Jacobins proclaimed the Republic of Virtue. The mode of cultural representation with which the revolutionary bourgeoisie chose to appear at this time — as a reincarnation of the Roman Republic — deliberately broke with Christian iconography. But it set a precedent for conservative, and eventually fascist, cultural ideology — the identification of social health with the classical, the monumental, and the realistic. The Jacobin regime of emergency and impossibly heroic ideals quickly fell, and the entire political revolutionary project of the bourgeoisie in France was rolled back (more than once) by a resilient aristocracy. But the reign of Capital was assured, for its real power lay in the unfolding, irresistible juggernaut of the economy. This juggernaut was already much further under way in England, while in Germany the bourgeoisie advanced under the banner of philosophy and the arts.

Continue reading

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Serial pest Nick Folkes and his micro-Party for Freedom have organised a party to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the racist pogrom in Cronulla. Joining him in this effort to stir up racial, religious and ethnic antagonism will be ‘The Great Aussie Patriot’ Shermon Burgess and, presumably, an assortment of other racist thugs.

Anti Fascist Action Sydney is organising to oppose the racist rally. To keep up-to-date, please see the AFA Sydney blog and Facebook page and please spread the good word: — download a PDF version of the poster below here : cronullaneveragain.


See also : Anti-Islam ‘patriots’ set their sights on Cronulla, where it all began, The Sydney Morning Herald, October 22, 2015.

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#ReclaimAustralia Rallies : Sunday, November 22


Leb and wog bashing day : Cronulla redux

Nick Folkes of the ‘Party for Freedom’ has declared that he’s obtained the approval of NSW police to hold a party in Cronulla (midday, December 12, Don Lucas Reserve) to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Cronulla riots (aka ‘Leb and wog-bashing day’).

Originally sponsored by shock-jock Alan Jones, the celebration of racist violence has now won the support of Shermon Burgess and the United Patriots Front (UPF), who will presumably be joined by a range of other thugs keen to remind ‘Lebs’ and ‘wogs’ in Sydney of their place. Note that Cooma boy Burgess (aka ‘The Great Aussie Patriot’) has previously declared that ‘Cronulla was Australia’s Muslim Holocaust’ (Eureka Brigade, ‘Border Patrol’), and was deeply thrilled to witness and to participate in the ‘White Civil Uprising’ in 2005. See : Anti-Islam ‘patriots’ set their sights on Cronulla, where it all began, Bianca Hall, The Sydney Morning Herald, October 22, 2015.

Teh Grauniad

I wrote an article for Teh Grauniad: The UPF and Reclaim Australia aren’t ‘concerned parents’ or a bad joke (October 20).

A few additional notes:

• Blair Cottrell’s “taking over” the leadership of the UPF was quickly followed by his resignation from the group and denunciation of its former leader, Burgess, as emotionally weak and greedy (Burgess fleeced his followers of several thousand dollars before returning from his all-too-brief retirement). Cottrell also denounced Burgess’s NSW comrade Ralph Cerminara (Grand Poobah of the Australian Defence League) as a “cancer” on the movement.
• The period between Burgess’s short-lived retirement and the resumption of Business As Usual by the UPF witnessed a range of bizarre postings on the UPF page, including one from Melbourne neo-Nazi and UPF leader Neil Erikson, in which he declared that he would spend the weekend getting drunk and playing with pig’s heads. Fellow neo-Nazi and UPF yoof leader Thomas Sewell declared that the whole, sordid affair was the result of a government plot. Cottrell also span a ridiculous story about a government agent (‘Jason Evans’) giving him a bugged phone.
• A few weeks ago Burgess denounced Melbourne-based neo-Nazi groupuscule Nationalist Alternative and boneheads, declaring that the UPF would attack them on sight. This obviously places him in a difficult position as the UPF leadership in Melbourne contains numerous neo-Nazis and Cottrell is closely linked to Nat.Alt. Which is presumably why the video was deleted.

• John Oliver (Patriots Defence League of Australia), featured in the Sunday TV show, established a fund earlier this year to d0x me. He also declared that I should be hunted down like a dog, have my testicles removed and then re-attached to my forehead. Many concerned Dad.
• “Catherine Brennan” is better-known as Elizabeth (Liz) Shepherd, one of several people — along with Burgess, Oliver and Monika Evers — to have formed a committee to administer RA when it formed early in 2015. Shepherd also established a bank account for the group.

Reclaim Australia

Reclaim Australia will be holding a further series of rallies across the country on Sunday, November 22. The UPF has declared that it too will be attending, and acting as the fascist vanguard of RA.

The rallies will be the subject of counter-protests.

Adelaide counter rally to Reclaim Australia – stop racists and nazis

STOP ISLAMOPHOBIA! Rally against racist Reclaim Australia (United Against Islamophobia and Bigotry Brisbane)

Canberra Rally Against Racism: No to Reclaim Australia, No to Islamophobia! (Canberra Anti-Racism Network)


No to Racism, No to Fascism: Stop Reclaim Australia (Campaign Against Racism & Fascism)
RALLY AGAINST RACISM – Stop ‘Reclaim Australia’ – Melbourne (No Room For Racism)

RALLY AGAINST RACISM – Stop ‘Reclaim Australia’ – Newcastle (RALLY Against Racism -Community organizing space)

Reclaim Australia – No Way! (United Against Bigotry and Racism)


No to Racism, No to Reclaim Australia – Muslims are Welcome (No to Racism, No to Fascism, No to Islamophobia)

I’ll add other locations as I become aware of them.

Fascism, bread and circuses

Finally, a *slow clap* for Lennon Bros Circus. Informed that Shermon Burgess had destroyed some posters promoting a protest over concerns for animal welfare (Burgess also threatened that the UPF would be present to deal with the dirty-smelly-hippies assumed to be responsible), the Circus rewarded the fascist clown with free tickets to their Cooma show. See : United Patriots Front leader given circus tickets for ripping animal rights posters, Henry Belot and Michael Inman, The Sydney Morning Herald, October 23, 2015.

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#UnitedPatriotsFront /// The Days Of Our Patriot Lives

G’day patriots,

It’s been a week full of drama for the network of racists, fascists and yes, neo-Nazis, that support the fascist groupuscule ‘United Patriots Front’ (UPF). Tonight, Channel 7’s Sunday program broadcast an advertisement for ‘Reclaim Australia’ (RA) and the UPF, one which will presumably help RA and UPF attract a much wider level of support. That aside …

To begin with, on Thursday ‘The Great Aussie Patriot’ (aka Shermon Burgess) — who’s acted as the face of the UPF since its establishment in late April/early May — announced the closure of his Facebook page and his withdrawal from the UPF. In so doing he also handed over responsibility for the group to two local (Melbourne) neo-Nazis: Blair Cottrell and Neil Erikson. Ostensibly, the reason Burgess took this action was because he was ‘done. fucking done’ with pol.activism after another ‘patriot’, Mick Beeche, made a video mocking him. The Facebook page on which it was uploaded, ‘The Great Aussie Potato’, has since been deleted: curiously, the video itself was published on Facebook on February 4 — over eight months ago.

Burgess’s retirement lasted less than 48 hours. Between his departure and his return, his followers established a fund via GoFundMe asking patriots to donate money to Burgess in order to help him ease into (temporary) retirement. In the end, patriots managed to raise over $3,000 for Burgess, whereupon he returned to the UPF and republished his page.

Burgess’s departure briefly elevated Blair Cottrell to the position of UPF fuehrer. Within the space of 24 hours, however, Cottrell himself declared — in two videos uploaded to the UPF Facebook page but since deleted — that he was leaving the UPF, that Burgess was weak, and that Ralph Cerminara, the ostensible President of the ‘Australian Defence League’, was a ‘cancer’. Today it appears that Cottrell has gone back on his word and re-joined the UPF. He has also nominated a man by the name of ‘Jason Evans’ as being an infiltrator and as somehow or other responsible for the drama of the preceding days. (For another (already, slightly outdated) account of recent in-fighting among the fascists patriots, see : New leader of anti-Islam United Patriots Front quits, Raili Simojoki, October 17, 2015.)

Burgess’s brief abandonment of ‘The Great Aussie Patriot’ Facebook page and departure from the UPF generated a considerable amount of media coverage:

Great Aussie Patriot resigns as head of extremist group after being teased online, 9News, October 16, 2015
United Patriots Front: Anti-Islam group leader Shermon Burgess quits over mocking by other patriots, Andrew Dickson, ABC (7.30), October 16, 2015
United Patriots Front head Shermon Burgess resigns over video mocking him, The Guardian, October 16, 2015 | Video mocks Shermon Burgess who quit United Patriots Front leadership – video, The Guardian, October 16, 2015
United Patriots Front leader steps down after video mocking him surfaces online, Allison Worrall, The Age, October 16, 2015
After Years of Hassling Muslims, ‘The Great Aussie Patriot’ Quits Because Someone Gave Him Shit, Julian Morgans, VICE, October 16, 2015
UPDATE: Far right leader un-quits from United Patriots Front a day after resigning over Facebook mockery, Ben Brennan, 7News/Yahoo, October 16, 2015
Anti-Islam Movement Leader Upset People Said Mean Things About Him, The Backburner (SBS), October 16, 2015

Also generating some media interest was Burgess’s sometime replacement, Blair Cottrell, whose views on the parasitical nature of The Jew, fanboy love of Adolf Hitler and generalised misogyny features in Blair Cottrell, rising anti-Islam movement leader, wanted Hitler in the classroom, Michael Bachelard and Luke McMahon, The Age, October 17, 2015. Notable in this context is that not a single UPF follower has raised any concerns at the organisation being led by a neo-Nazi.

See also : Quotations From Chairman Blair Cottrell (July 27, 2015) | Street fights and ‘internet vigilantes’: Inside Australia’s anti-Islam movement, Bianca Hall, The Age, October 17, 2015.

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October 10 “Global Rally For Humanity”


A month or two ago, October 10 was declared by US anti-Muslim activist Jon Ritzheimer to be the date of a ‘Global Rally For Humanity’. Several small rallies were held in the US and one was organised by the English Defence League in the town of Aylesbury, but among those who quickly jumped on board the hate train was the Australian fascist groupuscule ‘United Patriots Front’ (UPF), which organised an anti-Mulsim rally in the Victorian town of Bendigo on Saturday. That rally attracted hundreds in support and was almost certainly the largest anti-Muslim rally on the day. Elsewhere in the country, very small rallies were held in Canberra and Hobart (and Brisbane and Perth), but the great majority of anti-Muslim activists traveled to Bendigo for the occasion. The national mobilisation by the UPF managed to attract perhaps as many as 500 supporters — and a slightly smaller number was organised in opposition to the UPF by the Bendigo Action Coalition.


See : Bendigo mosque: Anti-mosque protesters face off with counter activists, ABC, October 10, 2015 | Bendigo mosque protests: Anti-racism demonstrators face off with nationalists, Chris Vedelago, The Age, October 10, 2015 | Pro-diversity and anti-mosque protesters rally in Bendigo, The Guardian (AAP), October 10, 2015.

The bestest coverage of the Bendigo rally came by way of Paul Anderson and Andrew Jefferson (Pro- and anti-Islamic groups protest as Bendigo mosque rages, Herald Sun, October 11, 2015), in which True Australian Patriots were pitted against pirates, environmentalists, clown wigs, masked vigilantes and militant skinheads:


Previously, on October 9, Nick Folkes’ Party For Freedom held a very small anti-Muslim rally at Parramatta mosque. Among the very few who joined him was Australian Defence League Grand Poobah Ralph Cerminara. The previous weekend on his (since deleted) Facebook page, Cerminara called upon his followers to launch ‘lone wolf’ attacks upon mosques and imams. (Cerminara was also in Bendigo on October 10.) The callout received some attention from media but seemingly none from police.


See : Tiny turnout to anti-Muslim protest in Sydney’s west, ABC (AM), October 10, 2015 | Police outnumber demonstrators outside Parramatta mosque, Anne Davies and Eryk Bagshaw, The Sydney Morning Herald, October 9, 2015.

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