In the last coupla weeks, various nazi dingbats active on the #altright in the US have been doXXed — seemingly as a result of some internecine online warfare.
The latest casualty in this war is Some Guy called Mike Peinovich, AKA ‘Mike Enoch’. Peinovich is the lvl boss of a popular altright site called ‘The Right Stuff’ (TRS), established in December 2012, which hosts podcasts ‘Fash The Nation’ (August 2015–) and ‘The Daily Shoah’ (August 2014–).
It all started when Red Ice Radio hosted a discussion with the pseudonymous “Reactionary Jew” asking if reactionaries Jews had any place in the alt-right. Many meme hardened Nazi keyboard warriors were angered that the question was even being considered, and took to the alt-right Internet to denounce Red Ice’s capitulation to the Jewish agenda. Some regular posters from the 504ums (the private forum of The Right Stuff, home to The Daily Shoah, Fash the Nation, and our old pal Ghoul) took the side of Red Ice in the face of these attacks.
This was enough to set off a trollstorm on other boards, leading to TRS heavies, including Mike Enoch (founder of TRS), Seventh Son, and Bulbasaur, to be roundly accused of being soft on Jews and gays, of using message boards to “shill” for their own site (based simply on a few folks having shared some links), and of course, of being secret Jews or gays themselves. This touched off a puerile feud between boards, consisting mostly of idiotic trolling, immature accusations, and denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
TRS was given an ultimatum: apologize on the air, or face a doxing. As defiant screencaps from the 504um were leaked by TRS insiders onto other sites, Bulbasaur from TRS allegedly responded to a dox threat by daring people to try it. They called his bluff. When the dust settled, two prominent hosts of The Daily Shoah, including Bulbasaur, had been doxed by their own white nationalist “comrades.” This release of info also comes as another prominent Alt-Right celebrity, Millennial Woes has reportedly fled Scotland after having their information released as well.
Apparently, ‘Millennial Woes’ is Some (Angry, Depressed) Guy called Colin Robertson, ‘Bulbasaur’ is Van Bryant II, and ‘Seventh Son’ — catchphrase Put ‘em in the oven! — is Jesse Craig Dunstan (AKA Jesse Bjorn, Jesse C. Densten). I’d never heard of the ‘Millennial Woes’ bloke, but this vid gives a pretty good breakdown of his batshittery:
As for Mike, originally published on Medium, the article ‘outing’ Enoch/Peinovich — Meet Mike Peinovich, the Upper East Side’s Neo-Nazi Media Kingpin — has since been unpublished by the site. The text reads as follows. Note that, for various reasons, I’ve removed some identifying content […] which the curious can probably find online elsewhere …
Mike Peinovich (alias “Mike Enoch”) is the founder and leader of The Right Stuff (TRS), an online hub of podcasting and networking for “Alt Right” neo-Nazis. TRS prides itself in its “edgy” podcasts, delighting in taking Alt Right politics to their logical conclusion, including favorable references to the Holocaust, ethnic cleansing, gaybashing, Islamophobic hate crimes, police shootings of black youth, and much more, often couched in a sizeable canon of hateful neologisms that require their own TRS-written lexicon to decipher. But don’t let the goofy jokes and veneer of irony fool you — TRS is dead serious, and central to a hard-core, explicitly neo-Nazi tendency in the Alt Right movement.
Peinovich’s pseudonym, taken from the white nationalist statesman Enoch Powell (and from removing a few letters from his own last name) is not as well known as the names Richard Spencer, Andrew Anglin, Milo Yiannopolous, and others who have forsaken private life and seem to revel in notoriety. But this does not make Peinovich any less important to the Alt Right than these figures. The only difference is Peinovich covets his anonymity, fearing the loss of his lucrative tech job (last listed as a company called Vook, which was renamed to Pronoun), backlash in his Upper East Side neighborhood, and alienation from his liberal family, rooted in the affluent suburb of Montclair, New Jersey. Far from the spotlight, Peinovich has created a dangerous neo-Nazi media and social network, out of […] a quiet street in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
[Grammar Nazi says : ‘He misspelled professional!’]
The TRS podcast “network” invokes a fictitious call number WKKK1488 FM, a reference to the KKK, the “14 words” of white nationalism, and the greeting “heil Hitler”. The network is home to the popular Alt Right podcast “Fash the Nation”, among many others with explicitly fascist, white nationalist, and neo-Nazi themes. Peinovich hosts TRS’s flagship podcast “The Daily Shoah” (a pun on the Shoah, or Holocaust), where he regularly rants, using every slur under the sun, in faux-intellectual stentorian monologues about the inferiority of anyone who is not a heterosexual white man. Peinovich and his fairly large cohort of radio hosts, bloggers, and activists advocate creating an “ethno-state” in the US by any means necessary, including the forced removal of all non-whites, Jews, and “deviants”, and a return to the patriarchal rule of white, heterosexual men.
Unsurprisingly TRS has been wildly supportive of Donald Trump, though they understand him not so much as the leader of their movement, but a great historical figure who has created an opening for their organization and related groups to function more effectively, while preparing the masses of white Americans for their message. As a part of their deliberate movement-building, TRS has provided an online platform for notorious white nationalists and Nazis such as Andrew Anglin of The Daily Stormer, Greg Johnson of Counter Currents, Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Youth Network, video blogger Colin Robertson (aka Millennial Woes), and many other heavy hitting haters, including the Nazi dork himself, who is a big supporter of the project. In short, TRS is no fash in the pan operation. Since its beginnings in 2013, the network now boasts over 100k listeners each week for The Daily Shoah alone.
Peinovich’s The Daily Shoah is also the source of the (((Jewish Name))) meme, which originated from making Jewish names echo on the air, and was subsequently translated into anti-Semitic online harassment on Twitter and elsewhere, a self-conscious digital incarnation of the notorious star Nazis forced Jews to wear to identify themselves. Until dropped by the online seller, TRS devotees could order t-shirts subtly celebrating the crematoriums of Auschwitz, the “helicopter rides” in which dictator Augusto Pinochet murdered activists, and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, allowing TRS devotees to safely advertise their affinities in daily life. Enoch is also responsible for the “white student union” hoax and maintains a noxious Twitter presence as @ThaRightStuff, instigating hateful trolling amongst his nearly 25k followers. In November Peinovich appeared in the closed session of Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute (NPI) conference, prior to Spencer’s now-notorious toast of “hail Trump”, in a rare public appearance. Peinovich opted out of the regular conference programming out of fear of losing his cherished anonymity, and was given a platform to fund-raise last-minute by his friend Spencer, as he had been the year prior when he appeared alongside TRS associates Henrik Palgren and Lana Lokteff of the neo-Nazi Red Ice Radio. Most recently, Peinovich (as Mike Enoch) joined the board of directors of the 501(c)3 Center for the Marketplace of Ideas, an explicitly “Alt Right” non-profit organization run by white nationalist lawyer Kyle Bristow.
Through building a private Facebook group and the TRS messageboard, Peinovich has been central to a growing national network of activists who network at regular “pool parties” (real life meetups for TRS-affiliates) aimed at building an activist presence off the Internet, where TRS has mostly lived since its inception. Members of this network recently joined the Traditionalist Youth Network and the National Socialist Movement, for a “White Lives Matter” rally in Chicago, marking a turn in TRS from the shadows of pseudonymous podcasting and Tweeting, toward street mobilization.
This comes as other prominent co-hosts of The Daily Shoah have been outed: Cooper “Ghoul” Ward (also a member of the American Vanguard, another group trying its hand at a public presence), Van “Bulbasaur” Bryant II, and Jesse “Seventh Son” Dunstan. While Ward and Bryant quickly disappeared from social media and TRS, with Ward even offering to give up information on TRS in exchange for his identity being protected, Dunstan continues to Tweet and podcast as “Seventh Son”, joking about his doxing, and advertising his recent purchase of a shotgun. In any case, TRS clearly has aspirations far beyond pseudonymous podcasting and Tweeting, and it is very likely that Peinovich, its founder and leader, will remain central to this project even after his identity has been revealed. To this effect, the group is said to have prepared for this possibility for a long time, and Peinovich has stated that with the rise of Trump, he expects the Alt Right to be able to shed its pseudonymous existence in the near future. This means the pressure must be put on, and kept on, to deprive these scumbags of any platform or comfortable existence aboveground.
Mike’s most recently listed employer is a publishing start-up called Vook (renamed Pronoun). [Note : In May 2016, major publishing company Macmillan, itself a subsidiary of the Stuutgart-based Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, announced that it had purchased Pronoun.]
Mike’s personal email address is [email protected], and his most recently listed phone number is (917) 747–9239.
In 2010 Peinovich had a whiny anarcho-capitalist blog called “The Emptiness.”
[I started writing this post some time ago, put it aside, and have only now got around to finishing it. It’s part of a backlog of numerous such posts LOL.]
Last year, the Arena magazine blog published a post titled ‘Reflecting on Solidarity after the Coburg Protest’, by Andy Blunden and Lynn Beaton. By examining the origins and meaning of the term ‘solidarity’, and then applying it to the events in Coburg on May 28, the authors are able to conclude that a minority which violates solidarity with the majority is called a scab; further, at least by implication, that the minority guilty of violating this principle were those groups of anti-racists who were determined to directly confront the racist groups on the day. Implying that the anti-fascists who confronted members of the True Blue Crew (TBC) and United Patriots Front (UPF) in Coburg on May 28 are ‘scabs’ is an interesting position to take, so I thought I’d examine the authors’ argument a little more closely, and offer a few more reflections on ‘solidarity’.
Leaving aside the authors’ account of the origins of the term ‘solidarity’ — while noting that ‘self-emancipation’ and ‘solidarity’ are the irreducible and inseparable foundations of the workers’ movement — it’s worthwhile looking at the basic facts. They write:
On Saturday 28th May a peaceful rally, ‘Moreland Says No to Racism’, was successfully held outside the Coburg library. The rally was organised many weeks beforehand; sixty local organisations (including the Moreland Council) endorsed the rally, and publicity was widely distributed. Racist groups from outside Moreland made their intention to disrupt the rally known. In response groups of anti-racists determined to directly confront the racist groups. The resulting brawl captured media coverage of the day almost completely. There was minimal communication between the two groups, and no agreement as to plans for managing the events of the day.
To which I’d add the following:
• The ‘Moreland Says No to Racism’ rally was announced some months prior to its occurrence and was endorsed by a variety of groups, including (somewhat controversially) Moreland Council. It was organised by Sue Bolton, a Moreland councillor and member of the Socialist Alliance, and organising began in February. Another councillor, Samantha Ratnam, who was scheduled to speak at the event, withdrew a few days prior, citing concerns over the possibility of violent clashes.
• The ‘True Blue Crew’ (TBC) announced their intention to disrupt the rally in late April. They were soon joined by the ‘United Patriots Front’, ‘Patriots Defence League of Australia’ (PDLA) and others. Their counter-rally was titled ‘Stop The Far Left’.
• I published an event page on Facebook, titled ‘Fascists Out Of Coburg’, less than a week prior to May 28. The blurb read as follows:
On Saturday May 28 a rally has been organised by local councillor Sue Bolton of the ‘Socialist Alliance’. The rally is to take place outside the Coburg Library in the Victoria Street Mall at 11am and to be followed by a short march to Bridges Reserve. Titled ‘Moreland says NO to racism’, the rally will call upon the federal government to:
• Stop the forced closure of Aboriginal communities – Treaty now
• Let the refugees in – Close Manus and Nauru
and to say
• No to Islamophobia.
Unfortunately, local fascists have decided to organise a counter-rally: in order to express support for mandatory detention and offshore processing, to denounce local Muslims as terrorists, and to attack the ‘far left’. This counter-rally is scheduled to take place at 10.30am at Bridges Reserve, the endpoint of the proposed march. It’s been organised by the ‘True Blue Crew’ (TBC), a small group of right-wing racists from Melton and Bendigo. They’ve been joined by their neo-Nazi friends in the ‘United Patriots Front’ (UPF) and a range of other far right elements can also be expected to attend.
The suburb of Coburg and Moreland generally is home to a diverse range of communities: ethnic, cultural, linguistic, national and religious. Many of these communities are ones that the UPF and Co. would like to see eliminated. The presence of an organised group of neo-Nazis, fascists and racists poses an immediate danger not only to locals but, if left unopposed, will further embolden these groups and individuals to continue to prosecute their divisive, racialised and reactionary politics.
Coburg has a proud history of resisting fascist intrusions into public spaces. It’s important to carry on that tradition and to let local fascists know that they are not welcome. Please attend the rally on Saturday, let others know about the rally, and be advised that a small group of fascists will be in the area, looking for opportunities to attack it and other targets.
Our solidarity is our weapon.
In which context, a few additional points.
First, I’d considered promoting attendance by anti-fascists earlier than this but was eventually convinced by anti-fascist comrades that it would be better to simply encourage others to attend the ‘Moreland Says No to Racism’ rally (ie, there was no need to create another Event page). A week out from the rally, however, I learned that rally organisers had cancelled their plans to march to Bridges Reserve and would do their best to avoid any possibility of confronting the TBC & Co. by marching in the opposite direction. I understood this to mean that a group of fascists would be free to assemble and to march in Coburg. For the reasons outlined in the blurb, I thought this was a Bad thing.
Secondly, my intention in promoting the possibility of driving ‘Fascists Out of Coburg!’ was, first, to try and ensure that a large number of people would attend the rally. The more people who attended, I believed, the less likely the rally would be disrupted or its participants attacked and, further, the more likely it would be possible to confine the fascists to Bridges Reserve and to prevent them from marching anywhere (or doing much of anything). On the day, when it became obvious that the rally was secure (ie, it was not going to be disrupted or attacked by fascists), I along with others elected to leave Coburg Mall — the site of the ‘Moreland Says No to Racism’ rally — to go to Bridges Reserve to attempt to stop the fascists from marching. Initially, a small group managed to do so before police blocked the Mall.
Thirdly, since the emergence of Reclaim Australia in early 2015, two major campaigning platforms have emerged in Melbourne: No Room For Racism (NRFR) and Campaign Against Racism & Fascism (CARF). Both promoted the rally and framed it in terms of ‘community self-defence’ from an unwanted fascist intrusion. The exact nature of their planning for the day is obviously best communicated by the group’s themselves, but I’m not sure it’s correct to claim that there was minimal communication between the two groups, and no agreement as to plans for managing the events of the day. Apart from anything else, the Socialist Alliance is a formal participant in CARF, and would therefore seem able to contribute to discussions and planning. On the other hand, it’s important to remember that, whatever plans were made in preparation for May 28, it was far from certain what would actually happen. For example, in light of a police and media campaign imploring others not to attend the rally, it was uncertain how many people would attend either event, whether or not the fascists would actually assemble at Bridges Reserve and, if so, if they would attempt to march — and would police facilitate this? That a decision not to march to Bridges Reserve was made by rally organisers only became apparent on the day, just as the fact that fascists did indeed assemble at the Reserve, were not present at the Mall, and did indeed intend to march.
Fourthly, it’s important to situate both the attempt to ‘Say No to Racism’ and to ‘Stop the Far Left’ in their context. Thus, the TBC emerged in late 2015/early 2016 in the wake of Reclaim Australia and UPF rallies in Bendigo and Melton. The targeting of Sue Bolton in May 2016 echoed the UPF’s first public demonstration in May 2015, which targeted another socialist councillor, Stephen Jolly. This underscores the fact that — as they’ve reiterated over and over and over again — it is ‘The Left’ which self-described ‘patriots’ and ‘nationalists’ understand to be the chief impediment to their desire to rid Australia of Muslims.
Finally, media coverage did focus upon the clashes which took place between TBC rally-goers and anti-fascists, and this obscured the fact that an ‘anti-racist’ rally was able to be held in Coburg. (See : The anti-racist rally in Coburg the media ignored, Sue Bolton, Green Left Weekly, June 3, 2016.) If the capacity to generate ‘positive’ news stories was compromised by these clashes, and if production of same was the chief aim of the (anti-racist) rally, then on this count it could be considered to be a failure. If, on the other hand, the aim of those participating in the (anti-racist) rally was to both manifest peacefully and to effectively prevent fascists from marching through Coburg, then the day may be considered as being successful. In either case, while an examination of the political economy of the mass media would suggest that, as Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky have written, it does not function in order to produce favourable accounts of political dissent, producing a systematic analysis of media reportage of protest and social struggle in particular is not my aim here. Rather, I’ll attempt to address the question of solidarity, how it’s applied by the authors in the case of May 28 in Coburg, and why I think this approach is problematic.
We have written the post below to highlight the importance of solidarity between activist groups who identify as being on the left, and as fighting right-wing agendas and, in particular, racism.
After elaborating upon the principles of communism (‘self-emancipation of the working class and solidarity’), the authors distinguish between class-conscious working-class activity and what amounts to charity; the philanthropic ‘rescue’ of the working class by elements outside of it. In the context of the Coburg events, the Socialist Alliance (SAll) is cast in the role of the (class-conscious) working class and the ‘groups of anti-racists who were determined to directly confront the racist groups’ are rendered as outside agents, coming to the aid of SAll but, crucially, unwilling to subordinate themselves to its direction. This failure means that the groups which confronted the fascists in Coburg and prevented them from marching may rightly be considered ‘scabs’. Or at least — minus the verbiage about communism, first principles, The First International, cavalry and strikes — that’s the basic lesson meant to be drawn from reading the article.
As I see it, there’s a few problems with this argument.
To begin with, there was more than one ‘stakeholder’ in Coburg on May 28. To put it another way, the presence of a small group of fascists in the suburb posed problems not only for those who gathered together under the umbrella of ‘Moreland Says No To Racism’, but to all locals — especially those who fail to qualify, for whatever reason, to be able to join the ranks of the Übermensch of the TBC, UPF & Co..
Secondly, the authors make reference to different sections of the (working) class exercising autonomy; an autonomy which ceases once they ‘voluntarily submit themselves to a shared discipline’. While it’s not entirely clear how the various ‘sections’ are meant to negotiate this process, it seems fairly certain that, however the term is applied, it was not the case that all those involved in the day’s events undertook this voluntary submission to the authority of the SAll or the (other) organisers of the rally (let alone those who participated in the TBC/UPF rally). Of course, it could be argued that, if the intention of those attending was to express solidarity with SAll, then they were obliged ipso facto to do so in ways that met with the group’s approval and according to whatever criteria they set. In this case, that meant joining the SAll rally, marching to which ever point they were instructed to, and otherwise acting in accordance with the wishes of the rally organisers and its marshals. In other words, as the authors write, they should have obeyed a simple rule: ‘when coming to the aid of another party, do so under their direction’.
But what if, as suggested above, the constituency ‘under attack’ is not singular but plural? That is, what if the threat posed by the fascist contingent was not just to the SAll but to Coburg locals, and to particular groups drawn from this community? In other words, what if, in reference to ‘the concrete conditions in which a group is struggling’, the ‘rescuer’ is not ignorant of the terrain, but inhabits it?
To conclude their analysis, the authors write:
To demonstrate how fundamental solidarity is to the workers’ movement, it should be observed that, alongside equality, solidarity is the guiding principle of majority voting which is the fundamental decision-making process of the workers’ movement. In any working class organisation actions are decided upon by majority vote (the principle of equality) and thereafter every member of the organisation is obliged to offer solidarity to the majority by adhering to the majority decision whether they like it or not. A minority which violates solidarity with the majority is called a scab.
Leaving aside the various forms of decision-making which have been employed by working class organisations, the relationships between such organisations, and their relationship to the workers’ movement (or movements), it’s obviously not the case that those who participated in the events of May 28 belong(ed) to one working class organisation, or took part in a meeting at which a decision was made, via a majority vote, regarding what tactics were to be employed on the day by its membership. Further, the use of the term ‘scab’ in this context seems needlessly inflammatory: given the complaints regarding the actions of those who more directly confronted the fascist rally in Coburg, the pejorative would appear to be directed at these elements, but in reality it was only via their action that a fascist march was prevented from taking place.
That said, having been arrested and charged with terrorism offences in August 2015, there wasn’t much news, apart perhaps from the fact that police allege that Galea was planning on blowing up the Resistance Centre (Socialist Alliance) in the CBD and the Melbourne Anarchist Club in Northcote (!).
Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg heard Mr Galea tried to get a contact — now a prosecution witness — to buy fertiliser, and that he had adopted the Anarchists Cookbook to become a “patriots cookbook”, which he planned to distribute.
“There’s a bit of irony, isn’t it, in that he’s against anarchists,” Mr Rozencwajg said.
According to Kieran Bennett, who also attended the hearing, the bulk of the police case appears to rely on telephone intercepts, however the case also involves the testimony of witnesses; Galea’s next court dates are in April and May.
Galea has been linked to a range of ‘patriot’ groups. He was an admin on the Reclaim Australia Melbourne page, supported and attended Reclaim rallies as well as established the RA Media website and Facebook page. (The site’s “International Allies” are Breitbart, Britain First, Knights Templar International, PEGIDA and UKIP.) He was also closely associated with the United Patriots Front, True Blue Crew and Patriots Defence League of Australia and has even been linked to neo-Nazi groupuscule ‘Combat 18’.
Of course, Galea reserved his biggest props for the TBC, and was terribly excited by their activities, especially when they organised an anti-leftist rally in Coburg in May. A handful of TBC gronks were arrested and charged with various minor offences as a result of their brave, racist expedition and this week one, Nicholas Edward Abbott, got a slap on the wrist for being naughty; another TBC-aligned meathead, Mathew Wingrave, has also been reprimanded by The Law.
Since their last anti-Muslim rally in Melton in August (where the TBC methgoblins got into a shouting match with the ‘Soldiers Of Odin’) and a previous flagwit rally in Melbourne in June (one of Galea’s last public appearances), the wheels seem to have fallen off the TBC hate bus, with at least three of its members, including its leader, Kane Miller, being either convicted or accused of domestic violence and, in Miller’s case, ‘financial impropriety’ (ie, running off with his supporter’s money). But whether or not the boys resurrect themselves as the ‘True Blue Crew’, capitulate to Blair Cottrell’s Führerprinzip, or create some other motley assortment of thugs, it’s highly likely that they’ll continue fighting the menace of the Islamic State from the safety of their keyboards.
In which context, two things: 1) NEVER READ THE COMMENTS; 2) I understand that police will be releasing images of the man captured on CCTV.
Finally, and briefly, Blair Cottrell (United Patriots Front), Neil Erikson (‘Australian Settlers Rebellion’) and Chris Shortis (Australia First Party) are due in court in March next year to face charges of racial and religious vilification (inter alia) as a result of their media stunt in Bendigo in October last year. In connection with the case, for some reason — the charges were laid several months ago — Cottrell appeared on Ten News last week (December 15):
The lying neo-Nazi’s appearance resulted in more likes for the UPF Facebook page and presumably further donations towards the fuehrer’s legal defence. In the meantime, Shortis — who recently had his gun licence revoked — is appealing for funds via the Australia First Party while Erikson has declared that, presumably in an attempt to provide some comic relief, he’ll be representing himself in court. Sadly, Shermon Burgess, the other half of ASR, has received a letter from Sutherland Shire Council claiming $170,287.58 in costs incurred following the legal battle over the Cronulla Riot Re-enactment of last year.
As I see it, this is not a surprising decision, given both Shortis’s public pronouncements and the need for the courts to sustain the police’s ability to intervene in such circumstances … but in any case, Shortis is due (back) in court on March 6 next year to face (criminal) charges, inter alia, of religious vilification. Joining him will be UPF fuehrer Blair ‘A picture of Adolf Hitler in every Australian classroom!’ Cottrell and ex-UPF member Neil ‘Give me the money Jew or else I will get you!’ Erikson. The case is one of very few (that I’m aware of) in which individuals have been charged with a criminal offence under the Act and it seems likely there’ll be a protest outside the court in support of the three men charged, as well as some kinda political campaign in support of the trio. It’ll be especially interesting to see whether or not trollumnists like BoltA jump on board the bandwagon …
Would-be politician Christopher Shortis stripped of gun licence
Peter Mickeburough Herald Sun
December 13, 2016
A SPORTING shooter and would-be politician who was part of an anti-Muslim group which beheaded a mannequin in Bendigo has been stripped of his guns.
Christopher Shortis argues he is a law-abiding citizen who has held firearms licences for years without incident.
Mr Shortis told the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal that he was a responsible firearms owner and gun club member who had done no more than express his religious and political views concerning Islam and Muslims in Australia.
Mr Shortis says when concerns were raised about videos he had published online, he removed them from the internet.
But VCAT Senior Member Ian Proctor agreed with police that Mr Shortis was no longer a fit and proper person to hold a firearms licence.
In April police cancelled Mr Shortis’ longarm gun licence for hunting, sport and target shooting and his handgun licence for target shooting and he surrendered his guns to a licenced dealer and asked the Firearms Appeals Committee to review the decision.
The committee ruled in Mr Shortis’ favour and Victoria Police then appealed to VCAT.
VCAT heard Mr Shortis claimed to be a Seventh-Day Adventist, a member of the Australia First political party and hoped to run for the Senate.
[Shortis left the UPF to join the AFP earlier this year. He had originally hoped to run for a Senate seat with ‘Fortitude’, the stillborn party of the UPF. His religious views are detailed on his website, SOSMINISTRIESREV1412, and YT channel. According to Shortis, ‘This world is to be judged and we are living in the last days, and God is calling us to repent and be saved and follow his commandments.’]
Ms Shortis has held gun licences for many years without incident and holds a Range Safety Officer accreditation with the Northern Districts Pistol Club.
In April last year he posted an image of a forbidding figure in medieval Crusader armour overlaid with the words: “In the Classic Battle between Good and Evil! God’s Will be Done! This time, … …Will be the last! And by GOD!, … We will finish! What you started! NO! Submission To Islam!”
Concerned police contacted a fellow pistol club member and suggested he tell Mr Shortis to “calm things down”.
Six months later Mr Shortis was part of a small group which beheaded the manikin near the Bendigo City council offices.
Mr Shortis, who was been charged in relation to this incident with a court date set for next year, said the act was a political statement concerning the growth of Islam in Australia.
VCAT heard that media described Mr Shortis as a central figure in the anti-Islam United Patriotic [sic] Front with a history of posting videos of himself posing with weapons and threatening to take up arms against the government and Muslims. His posts were likened to material published by Anders Brevic [sic], the extremist who killed 77 people in Sweden in 2011.
In one video, Mr Shortis stands in a small study at his home and uses one of his long arm firearms as a prop with some cartridges behind him.
His videos describe weapons as tools that have provided liberty against tyrants and anticipates using his weapon for self-defence when the enforcement of tyranny begins. They also talk of the Bible prophesying the creation of a one world government before Christ returns and the need to defeat Islam by war, saying “We’ll end up fighting them one way or another, but we should be doing it with absolute brutality,” and drawing comparisons with nuclear weapons in Japan and wiping out the German army in World War II.
In one video he describes the weapons he and his partner would take into the bush in a “s*** hits the fan scenario”, which he says is a “when not if prospect”. Mr Shortis confirmed his belief the world is in “end times” but claimed he was speaking of a time that he hoped he would never see — an Armageddon when law and order had broken down.
He told VCAT he wants to address issues through political change, not violence and said found it disturbing to be characterised as some sort of “Christian nutter” and have his conduct compared with that of Anders Brevik.
Mr Proctor said on the evidence presented there was no basis to draw parallels between Mr Shortis and Brevik but he still concluded Mr Shortis was no longer a fit and proper person to hold firearms licences.
He rejected Mr Shortis’ claim that denying him a gun licence breached his right to express opinions on political and governmental matters.
Mr Proctor found reasonable members of the community may fear what will happen if Mr Shortis flees to the wilderness with guns believing he needs to act in self-defence or decided it had reached the point where the Muslim community must be responded to with “absolute brutality”.
Mr Proctor found reasonable members of the community may also lose confidence in the licensing system if a person with Mr Shortis’ extreme views retained firearms licences.
He said Mr Shortis’ conduct in posting his views that he and others are at war with Islam and viewers should prepare for that conflict risked inciting violence and was not the conduct of a person who is fit and proper to hold firearms licences.
And while Mr Shortis had appeared a polite, intelligent, articulate man, who expressed his views with force but not inappropriately, Mr Proctor said he was “not confident I met the ‘real’ Mr Shortis”.
In June 2015 I wrote A (very) brief guide to the Australian far right, a summary of most (but not all) of those groups and projects which I think could reasonably be placed in this category. Eighteen months later and as 2016 draws to a close, I thought it appropriate to update it. New entries are marked with an asterisk, and where appropriate old entries have been updated to take into account developments since mid-2015. Otherwise: Facebook is awash with hundreds of pages and groups dedicated to propagating racism, fascism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and White nationalism and I’ve not bothered to detail any but a handful of these; a few articles have appeared in the interim which provide some insight into the far right and White supremacist milieu in Australia, including: Extremism taking us to dark places, Paul Toohey, news.com.au, June 18, 2016, Far-right fringe raises profile by reclaiming immigration debate, John Lyons, The Australian, August 8, 2015 and Inside the strange dynamic of Reclaim Australia’s rallies, Martin McKenzie-Murray, The Saturday Paper, July 25, 2015.
A long-running project centred on Gerald Fredrick Töben and based, as the name suggests, in Adelaide. The Institute promotes Holocaust denial and (a very specialised form of) ‘historical revisionism’.
Anti-Antifa Australia (AAA)
Anti-Antifa Australia was a project of neo-Nazi skinhead and Brisbane resident Chris Smith. Smith has a criminal record for robbery and assault and was a key figure in the now dissolved bonehead gang Volksfront (see below). AAA was an attempt to monitor and expose anti-fascists in Australia, details of which were published on Smith’s blog. The AAA blog ceased updating in March 2015 and its Facebook page, after a few twists and turns, was eventually turned over to Geelong neo-Nazi (and ex-PUP candidate) Buddy Rojek.
*Antipodean Resistance (AR)
A new kid on the neo-Nazi bloc, AR evolved on tumblr and made a splash in October when the boys claim they plastered the Hawthorn campus of Swinburne University in homophobic propaganda. In early December, they threw up racist posters at the University of Melbourne. Modelled on National Action in the UK, and closely associated with other boys on the altright in Melbourne, it will presumably seek further publicity through staging similarly provocative stunts. Member/s attended a number of nationalist rallies in 2015–2016.
AFP is the largest and most well-established of the far-right groups, one dedicated inter alia to the resurrection of a White Australia policy. Founded in 1996 by former Labor MP Graeme Campbell, AFP is a registered political party and in 2016 the AEC also confirmed the Eureka flag as its official logo. Dr James Saleam is the party’s current leader, a position he assumed a few years after being let out of prison for organising a shotgun assault upon the home of Eddie Funde (then the African National Congress representative in Australasia). Previously, Saleam was the leader of neo-Nazi group National Action and in the late 1960s/early 1970s a member of the Australian Nazi Party. The party regularly contests elections, with generally meagre results, and its HQ is in Tempe in Sydney — where it has the largest following. Two AFP members have been elected to local council (Bruce Preece in Adelaide and Maurice Girotto in Penrith – both resigned their memberships following their elections). Saleam and other party members frequently post on Stormfront (the world’s leading neo-Nazi/White supremacist website) and occasionally on Daily Stormer (another US-based neo-Nazi site). In 2015, AFP absorbed the rump of the One Nation Party in WA.
*Australian Coalition of Nationalists (ACON)
The formation of the Australian Coalition of Nationalists was announced in October 2016. It consists of the Australia First Party, Australian Protectionist Party and Nationalist Alternative; the Eureka Youth League and the Hellenic Nationalists of Australia are considered ‘associate’ groups. The coalition represents an attempted reconsolidation of White nationalist and national socialist organisations in Australia.
Australian Defence League (ADL)
The ADL formed within the space of a year following the establishment of the English Defence League in 2009. Gaining only a fraction of the support the EDL did, the ADL has undergone numerous splits, fractures and changes in leadership, but of those who’ve nominated themselves its leader Martin Brennan and Ralph Cerminara – along with Nathan Abela – are probably the best-known, along with Shermon Burgess (‘The Great Aussie Patriot’). There have been dozens of Facebook pages created by and for the ADL and it exists as a very loose network of anti-Muslim activists. Sporadic public rallies in Melbourne and Sydney have been poorly-attended but the group has been very active on social media. See : Who Are The Australian Defence League?, New Matilda, January 29, 2014. As of December 2016, the ADL remains a moribund institution.
Australian League of Rights (ALOR)
The Grand Old Man of Australian fascism, the ALOR has been around for a very long time, successfully defending God, Queen & Country from the ravages of International Communism. The group’s weekly newsletter may be read online and is useful for gaining some insight into the ‘Lunar Right’ and the many … er … ‘interesting’ characters which populate its ranks.
Australian Liberty Alliance (ALA)
A creation of the Q Society (see below), the ALA was formally registered with the AEC in July 2015. Modelled on Geert Wilders’ Dutch party — Wilders attended the ALA’s official launch in Perth in October 2015 — it fielded a number of candidates at the 2016 federal election but failed to attract much support, with the anti-Muslim vote largely being attracted to ONP. In September 2016 the ALA announced it would be going into a temporary hiatus.
Australian Patriots Defence Movement (APDM)
Established by Darren Beatle Bailey-Morris, the APDM is (was) a short-lived, Brisbane-based project very similar to the ADL and PDLA. The APDM is largely defunct but may continue to eke out an existence online and has most recently been invoked as a supporting organisation to the UPF. As of December 2016, it remains defunct.
Australian Protectionist Party (APP)
The APP formed as a split from AFP in 2007 when one of its Sydney branches – the two most prominent members of which were Nicholas (Hunter) Folkes and Darrin Hodges – elected to defect. It was active for a few years, producing propaganda and holding events, but is now largely moribund. Tasmanian Andrew Phillips is its leader.
In 2016, the APP joined the AFP, NAlt and Golden Dawn (AKA Hellenic Nationalists of Australia) in forming the Australian Coalition of Nationalists. Hodges has retired from political activity while Folkes split from the APP to form the Party for Freedom (see below).
*Australian Settlers Rebellion (ASR)
In essence, the Facebook page of Shermon Burgess and Neil Erikson. Launched in August 2016, the ASR is yet to organise any activities in meatspace and is mostly dedicated to promoting the pair’s views and opinions.
*Australians Resistance Network (ARN)
Originally established by Neil Erikson as ‘Generation Identity Australia’, ARN is one of many Facebook pages dedicated to anti-Muslim, anti-leftist and White nationalist propaganda.
A tiny neo-Nazi grouplet based in Bundaberg (QLD), largely active online and seemingly consisting of Damien Pearce, Wil Herbener and a handful of other boneheads.
Blood & Honour (B&H)
B&H is a neo-Nazi musical network, originally established in England in the late 1980s, and has been operating in Australia for over 20 years. Activities are generally confined to selling neo-Nazi muzak and merch (via 9% Productions) and holding gigs. It functions essentially as an adjunct to the SCHS (see below).
Christian Identity (CI)
CI is a tiny sect on the fringes of the far right with a handful of adherents and a minuscule social media presence. One, James Lawrence, popped up at the May 31, 2015 UPF rally and attended subsequent nationalist rallies. According to the ECAJ (Report on Antisemitism in Australia 2016): Christian Identity churches, unlike almost all other denominations of Christianity, place the concepts of race and racial purity high on their priorities. They are expressly anti-Jewish from a medieval Christian theological perspective. There are several Identity type churches. The one with the most prolific and popular website is Bible Believers.
A tiny, bizarr0 White supremacist kvlt. ‘Pastor’ Ken Cratchley is its chief propagandist in Australia.
Citizens Electoral Council (CEC)
The CEC is the name under which the LaRouchite kvlt travels Down Under. Seemingly most active in Melbourne, the group presents a range of entertainingly batshit theories about the world Lyndon LaRouche inhabits. It contested the 2016 Australian federal election and gathered a tiny fraction of votes.
Combat 18 (C18)
C18 is another foreign import, having its origins in England in the late 1980s. The group was established in order to protect B&H gigs and other fascist events from disruption by anti-fascists and has a rather bloody history. It’s widely suspected that it was infiltrated by British intelligence on account of the close relationship between C18 and Ulster paramilitaries. In Australia, the ‘brand’ has been adopted by a number of different neo-Nazis including in WA, where C18 was responsible for a poorly-executed attack upon a mosque (see Bradley Trappitt). AFAIK, its only active ‘branch’ currently is in Melbourne under Patrick O’Sullivan. As of December 2016, O’Sullivan seems to have been joined by a handful of others, media has reported on various instances of C18 propaganda appearing around Melbourne and several boneheads in the orbit of C18 have attended various nationalist rallies during the course of 2015–2016.
A bizarre, White supremacist ‘religion’ established in the US some decades ago. It’s undergone numerous, often violent splits: its main exponent in Australia is Colin Campbell (Adelaide) and Patrick O’Sullivan (Melbourne). Scott Harrison was a ‘Reverend’ in the ‘church’ for many years before joining the Young Liberals.
Eureka Youth League (EYL)
The EYL is AFP’s putative youth wing and its ideology mirrors that of the AFP. It’s largely inactive, and is currently presided over by (and may only consist of) a right-wing youth from Canberra, Matthew Grant. Grant is a Presbyterian, a White nationalist, an anti-Semite, and spoke at an anti-Muslim rally in Bendigo in October 2015.
European Australian Civil Rights League (EARL)
A one-man band established a few years ago by Melbourne-based neo-Nazi activist Neil Erikson. EARL later morphed into NRG (see below). Erikson has a criminal conviction for harassing a Melbourne rabbi and was close to the ‘Crazy White Boys’, a short-lived neo-Nazi group responsible for badly beating Vietnamese student Minh Duong in 2012. As of December 2016, EARL remains defunct.
*Expel the Parasite
A neo-Nazi website run by 30-something Brett Light. Light identifies with Christian Identity and there are no prizes for guessing who he believes the ‘parasites’ are.
Full Blooded Skips (FBS)
A White yoof gang based in Melbourne which emerged shortly after the SCS (see below), the FBS was closely-linked to NRG and a shifting network of neo-Nazi skinheads. Several FBS members were present at the April 4 Reclaim Australia rally in Melbourne and the May 31 UPF rally in Richmond. As of December 2016 it remains moribund.
Golden Dawn (GD) / Hellenic Nationalists of Australia (HNA)
Golden Dawn is the Australian branch of the Greek neo-Nazi party. Its chief spokesperson in Australia is Iggy Gavrilidis while other organisers include Christos Cakouros in Adelaide, Christina Tsimtsirids and Sofia Krokos in Melbourne, Elias Vamiakis in Sydney, Peter Poulos in Queensland and Nikolaos Mitsakis in Tasmania. GD has a very small support base, chiefly concentrated in Melbourne and Sydney, and over the last few years has raised funds for its parent body and organised a handful of protests in conjunction with AFP and a smattering of local neo-Nazis and fascists. In December 2015, GD registered in NSW as an incorporated association named Hellenic Nationalists of Australia. GD held its first national conference in Sydney on October 28, 2016 at which over a hundred supporters attended along with Saleam of AFP and a handful of Russian fascists.
Klub Nation/Klub Naziya
A bizarr0 groupuscule based in Sydney. At one point KN attempted to infiltrate and take over the Humanist Society of NSW. It didn’t work, but the nazis had a red-hot go. Presumably, its membership continues to be active but not publicly.
Ku Klux Klan (KKK)
With an obvious indebtedness to the US, in numerous, generally short-lived permutations and combinations, the KKK has been a minor player on the far right for decades. In one form or another, it continues to generate occasional stories and the image of the KKK is regularly invoked in various rural and regional settings, but the organisation itself is largely moribund.
*Love Australia Or Leave (LAOL)
The creation of TV personality Kim Vuga (Go Back To Where You Come From, SBS), the party achieved registration in October 2016. Vuga attended and spoke at many nationalist rallies in 2015-2016. Contesting the 2016 federal election as a Senate candidate in Queensland, Vuga received 172 votes (0.01%). LAOL is unlikely to challenge ONP for hegemony over the (White) nationalist vote.
Nationalist Alternative (NAlt)
NAlt is a neo-Nazi group which has its origins in anti-Muslim agitation in Melbourne. Its leader is Mark Hootsen, who has travelled to the US in order to receive political training with Stormfront. NAlt was present at the April 4 Reclaim Australia rally in Melbourne. As of December 2016 its activities are largely confined to the keyboard, though the group can boast of having produced figures such as Blair Cottrell and Thomas Sewell of the UPF (see below) and Neil Erikson.
NRG is EARL rebranded and since the beginning of 2015 worked closely with Reclaim Australia, UPF and Shermon Burgess in order to produce agitprop promoting these groups and individuals.
NRG has now essentially collapsed and forms one iteration among many centred on Erikson. Other stillborn projects include Generation Identity Australia (now known as Australians Resistance Network), Aussie Patriot Army (deceased) and United Patriots Front – Originals (defunct).
New Right (/National Anarchists) (NR)
The New Right emerged in the mid- to late-2000s as a project of Sydney-based fascist Welf Herfurth – Herfurth envisaged NR as the theoretical expression of ‘national anarchism’, a tendency on the far-right with origins in the UK fascist movement. It has produced some propaganda, staged a few publicity stunts, and attracted a handful of neo-Nazis (eg, Bradley Trappitt) and other fascists to its banner but is currently largely inactive. As of December 2016, it remains a dead horse in Australia.
One Nation Party (ONP)
See : Pauline Hanson. Initially a deeply attractive formation for the far right, the history of ONP since the late ’90s is long and complex. Its activists belong to a broader far-right milieu, with some degree of overlap with groups like AFP. The possibility of a reconsolidation of the far right in AFP remains, though is somewhat complicated by Hanson’s periodic political revivals.
ONP’s success at the 2016 federal election, when it won four Senate seats — Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts (QLD), Brian Burston (NSW) and Rod Culleton (WA) — has helped revive its fortunes. By the same token, ONP’s success has meant failure for the ALA, and ONP is now the primary expression of politically-organised anti-Muslim sentiment. Finally, despite a deserved reputation for harbouring anti-Semites, ONP was invited to hold a meeting in Caulfield (Melbourne) in December 2016. In the face of local Jewish opposition, the two Senators invited to speak — Pauline Hanson and Malcolm ‘Jew World Order’ Roberts — elected to cancel the circus.
Party for Freedom (PFF)
Modelled on Geert Wilders’ Dutch party, PFF is what happened when the Sydney branch of APP decided to hold a public rally in mid-2012 demanding that the Australian government blow up refugee boats. APP disavowed the action and so the Sydney branch of APP decamped to form PFF. It holds regular events in Sydney but has little discernible support outside of it. Is chief and seemingly only spokesperson is Nicholas (Hunter) Folkes, a publicity whore who delights in provocative stunts (see : Cronulla). In April 2016 the PFF travelled to Melbourne to protest outside a halal expo and got a clip around their ears for their troubles; in November 2016 they returned to Melbourne and the suburb of Eltham to protest a refugee housing project. Joined by the SOO and TBC (see below) they were again defeated by a combination of butterflies and unicorns.
Patriotic Youth League (PYL)
The PYL was established in the early 2000s as the yoof wing of AFP. It was not a successful venture and collapsed a few years later to be replaced by the EYL.
Patriots Defence League of Australia (PDLA)
An ADL splinter, the PDLA is largely a Facebook creation, with numerous, very small branches across the country which hold semi-regular, private meetings. In its latest incarnation, the PDLA was established as an incorporated association (Australian Defence League) which later changed its name to PDLA. Mark Lenthall, TJ (Torin) O’Brien and Daniel Sutcliffe are its current office bearers. Also prominent is John Oliver of Newcastle, who helped organise and spoke at the Reclaim Australia rally in Newcastle on April 4. In November 2016 its Melbourne organiser, Shannon Wallace, deaded.
The Q Society is an anti-Muslim propaganda group which functions as the ideological ballast for the anti-Muslim movement in Australia and largely consists of educated, middle class, bigots. See : International guests Q up for bigotry, Andy Fleming, Overland, March 10, 2014.
Reclaim Australia (RA)
Largely the brainchild of online activist and (former) ADL member Shermon Burgess (‘The Great Aussie Patriot’), RA was the first anti-Muslim project of its kind to generate anything more than minimal public interest and to successfully mobilise anti-Muslim networks. Its April 4, 2015 rallies attracted several thousand supporters who attended over a dozen rallies across the country — to which the largest and most effective opposition was in Melbourne. Following April 4, RA split and Burgess established the UPF (see below). RA’s next series of anti-Muslim rallies took place on the weekend of July 18/19 while a third and final round of protests organised by RA took place in November 2015. In general terms, RA attracted every Tom, Dick & Harry ‘patriot’, (White) nationalist, racist, fascist, neo-Nazi and xenophobe in the country, but experienced a good deal of internal difficulties, with a rump faction led by John Oliver eventually going on to establish itself as an incorporated association in NSW in January 2016. The majority faction intends on rallying in Sydney on January 26, 2017.
Another one-man band, Restore Australia is the political vehicle of Queensland-based anti-Muslim activist Mike Holt. Holt/Restore Australia is part of a shifting network of anti-Muslim activists, largely active online on sites like Facebook. Last year Holt wrognly claimed that I was a man named Robert Godino (with predictable results).
*Right Wing Resistance (Australia) (RWRAU)
With origins in Aotearoa/New Zealand, the Australian branch of RWR has a very patchy record, assembling a mere handful of neo-Nazi skinheads under its banner; Kyle Chapman, a veteran neo-Nazi activist, was RWRNZ’s fuehrer until his resignation in September 2016. Members of RWR in Australia have distributed propaganda and attended a small number of nationalist rallies over the course of 2015–2016, but its only real claim to fame was in September 2016 when its putative 2IC, Ricky White, was arrested and charged with the arson of a church in Taree (NSW).
RUAP is the political vehicle of Christian fundamentalist Pastor Danny Nalliah (‘Catch the Fire Ministeries’), a man who is perhaps best known for blaming the Victorian bushfires of 2009 on the state government’s decision to decriminalise abortion. In 2015, RUAP entered into a loose alliance first with RA and then the UPF, the Christian fundamentalists happily joining neo-Nazis on stage to promote hatred of Muslims and refugees. Other than Nalliah, deputy leader and Casey councillor Rosalie Crestani has been very active in promoting bigotry (see : Rosalie Crestani really is deplorable, Kieran’s Review, November 28, 2016).
*Soldiers of Odin (SOO)
Founded by Finnish neo-Nazi activist Mika Rata in late 2015, the Soldiers of Odin formed a branch in Melbourne in early 2016 and the organisation claims support in a number of other cities, though none seem to be especially active. Its President is Jason Moore, a former activist with the PDLA. See also : Who are the Soldiers of Odin?, Kieran’s Review, October 10, 2016.
Southern Cross Hammerskins (SCHS)
SCHS is the Australian franchise of neo-Nazi skinhead gang the Hammerskins. It was introduced into Australia 20+ years ago via Scott McGuinness, the lead singer in neo-Nazi band Fortress (now defunct). The Hammerskins last came to world attention when in 2012 one of its members, Wade Michael Page, shot dead six worshippers at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. The SCHS organises several social events a year.
Southern Cross Soldiers (SCS)
A short-lived yoof gang from Melbourne which came to public attention following the police killing of Tyler Cassidy in 2008. The name of the group was re-invoked by Shermon Burgess in 2015 as a supporter of the UPF but as of December 2016 it remains deaded.
Squadron 88 (S88)
S88 was a tiny neo-Nazi group based in Sydney. Its titular head was Ross ‘The Skull’ May, an ageing bonehead and one of Dr Jim Saleam’s closest allies. S88 organised a protest against the construction of a mosque in Penrith and obtained some small media traction via stuffing letterboxes in Sydney with badly-composed anti-Semitic tracts.
*True Blue Crew (TBC)
The True Blue Crew formed during late 2015 and early 2016, largely in response to anti-Muslim campaigns in Bendigo and Melton. Building upon pre-existing social networks, the TBC made its formal debut in Coburg in May 2016, where it attempted but failed to disrupt an ‘anti-racist’ rally. It organised two further rallies — a flag-waving event in Melbourne in June and an anti-Muslim rally in Melton in August — but most recently has been subject to internal dissent following the conviction of several of its members for ‘domestic violence’ and allegations of abuse and financial impropriety by its leader, Kane Miller. Its most infamous supporter is alleged ‘terrorist’ Phill Galea. See also : Galea intended to bomb “left wing premises” according to police, Kieran’s Review, November 1, 2016.
United Australian Front (UAF)
The UAF was a new player on the far right bloc in July 2015, bringing together a number of the leading organisers of RA and UPF. Its members were present at the RA rally on April 4 and UPF rally on May 31 in Melbourne sporting UAF merch. The establishment of the UAF was largely the responsibility of UPF member Kris0 Richardson; the UAF was eclipsed by the emergence of the UPF when it formed in early- to mid- 2015. Around mid-2016, the UAF Facebook page re-badged itself as ‘Order 15’ and now promotes neo-Nazism and White supremacism. (Richardson states that he is no longer responsible for the page.)
United Patriots Front (UPF)
Established in April/May 2015, the United Patriots Front emerged as a splinter group within the network of anti-Muslim activists known as ‘Reclaim Australia’, bringing together neo-Nazis, fascists, White supremacists and Christian fundamentalists and conceiving of itself as the Antipodean expression of various European fascist parties and movements. It organised an unsuccessful rally in Richmond on May 31, 2015 to protest socialism which attracted around 50-70 participants. On June 27 2015, the UPF staged a tiny rally outside ABC HQ in Melbourne to protest Islam and the presence of Zaky Mallah on the previous week’s episode of Q&A. Members present were Troy Bloodstone, Warren Broadhead, Blair Cottrell, Neil Erikson, Kris0 Richardson, Chris Shortis, Thomas Sewell and Linden Watson.
Since then, the UPF has staged a number of other media stunts, harassed left-wing activists and institutions, and organised a number of rallies. While the group’s Facebook page has a relatively large number of likes (as of this date, over 83,000), in terms of its mobilising capacity it seems to have peaked in late 2015, when two anti-Muslim rallies in Bendigo in August and October attracted many hundreds of supporters. In February 2016, the UPF embarked upon a tour of Toowoomba (QLD), Orange (NSW) and Bendigo (VIC) in order to recruit members to its political party, ‘Fortitude’. The tour failed to attract sufficient interest and members and the party remains stillborn.
Subject to many ups and downs over the course of its existence, the UPF in Melbourne is now largely reduced to its neo-Nazi leader, Blair Cottrell, his sidekick, Thomas Sewell, and a small number of hangers-on. It also has a presence in Perth, where Dennis Huts and Kevin Coombes (AKA ‘Elijah Jacobson’) constitute its leadership. Formerly prominent UPF members Shermon Burgess, Neil Erikson and Chris Shortis have all left the organisation, Burgess and Erikson currently constituting the ASR with Shortis joining the Australia First Party in mid-2016. Cottrell, Erikson and Shortis are all due in court in March 2017, charged with a number of offences including racial and religious vilification. The charges were laid as a result of a stunt in Bendigo to promote a UPF rally.
*United Nationalists Australia (UNA)
A blog and Facebook page that has taken on the functions of the defunct AAA and WLT blog and Facebook pages. Closely-aligned to AFP, it features the writings of AFP member and Daily Stormer writer Nathan Sykes (AKA ‘Hamish Patton’) and a handful of others.
VF is (was) another neo-Nazi skinhead organisation, a US import which was active for several years. Its parent body in the US was declared dissolved after the massacre at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin by VF associate Wade Michael Page. Its principal activist is (was) Chris Smith (Anti-Antifa Australia) and while active VF worked closely with the NR (Welf Herfurth). As of December 2016, VF remains defunct.
White Pride Coalition of Australia (WPCA)
Chiefly of historical interest, the WPCA was established in the early 2000s as a coalition of neo-Nazi and White supremacist groups. It was eventually disbanded but briefly re-emerged in 2014 as a Facebook page before disappearing again. Prominent members include(d) neo-Nazis Peter Campbell (Sydney) and Jim Perren (Brisbane). Both men were responsible for the ‘Whitelaw Towers’ blog.
Women for Aryan Unity (WAU)
In Australia, WAU is a tiny group very closely associated with the SCHS. Recently, it raised funds to support the Azov battalion in the Ukraine, to which many neo-Nazis and other fascists across Europe have been drawn.
*Whitelaw Towers (WLT)
A long-running blog that shut up shop at the beginning of 2016, shortly after wrognly declaring that this blog was authored by a Monash academic, Rob Sparrow. Its two principal authors were Peter Campbell and Jim Perren, later supplemented by the efforts of Nathan Sykes. Campbell died a few years ago while Perren had a brief association with the UPF and Fortitude, helping them to organise a rally in Toowoomba and even being assigned a role by the UPF in Queensland: Perren has since repudiated the UPF.
Established in May 2015, XYZ is a website posing as a news organisation and is explicitly pitched against the ABC, which is understood to be a purveyor of ‘Cultural Marxism’. Its contributors are young Tories who share similar concerns with the altright and partisans of ‘Traditionalism’.
From The Department Of “And I Would Have Gotten Away With It Too, If It Weren’t For You Meddling Kids” …
Local gym owner Avi Yemini’s invitation to One Nation Party senators Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts to address a public meeting in Caulfield this weekend (Sunday, December 4) was rejected by the dynamic duo on Wednesday (November 31), ostensibly as a result of security concerns.
The meeting attracted opposition organised under the umbrella of ‘Jews against fascism’ — a dangerous rabble described by Malcolm ‘Jew World Order’ Roberts as being ‘horrid’, ‘vicious’, ‘vile’ and ‘violent’. The cancellation of the meeting has deeply upset Hanson fanboys, from Yemini to professional trollumnist Andrew Bolt. Bolt himself has pleaded — from the safety of his plush office — for Victoria police to stage a showdown with the far left, and to rid Melbourne of these meddling kids.
Originally scheduled to take place at Glen Eira council, the venue was changed to Yemini’s gym and finally — thanks to the active support of its president and board — to Caulfield Bowls. While Yemini has assumed responsibility for arranging the meeting, also invoked as supporting the initiative is the ‘Independent Jewish Council of Australia’ (IJCA), an obscure group that apparently formed in 1996 but only acquired a website a few weeks ago … though judging by the site’s contents, it’s far from certain that the site is, er, legit.
Other Jewish organisations responded negatively to the proposed meeting.
As many would be aware, One Nation senators Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts will be coming to Caulfield to spruik their divisive and racist politics to the Jewish community. Along with many others in the Jewish community, AJDS stands firmly opposed to the ideas which they put forward, standing instead for principles and practices of inclusion, diversity, and real, substantial multiculturalism.
… those of us who do not share those sympathies, who are prepared to stand up to bigotry and defend the rights of minorities, are entitled to protest: to say that while Hanson and Roberts may be speaking in our heartland, the majority of us do not feel they are welcome.
While people are entitled to express their views, we hope that Senators Hanson and Roberts do not use this platform to scapegoat, single out and demonise any religious and ethnic group, which only undermines our multicultural society and contributes to a climate in which bigotry and hatred become mainstream and acceptable …
Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV):
Whilst the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) and the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) generally support the right of people to express their opinions and speak publicly, neither the ECAJ nor the JCCV supports the planned One Nation event being organised in Caulfield in December by the self-styled Independent Jewish Council of Australia (IJCA).
(In its Annual Report on Anti-Semitism for 2015, the ECAJ notes that “Reclaim rallies have included neo-Nazis, and other far Right people, Pauline Hanson as a speaker, white pride groups, racist sentiment, and swastika tattoos. One major Reclaimer, neo-Nazi Neil Erikson [see below], was convicted of making abusive and racist phone calls to a Melbourne rabbi. Australia’s most prominent neo-Nazi, Ross ‘The Skull’ May, has given support to Reclaim.” In which context, it’s worth noting that, as well as being arguably ‘Australia’s most prominent neo-Nazi’ and Reclaim Australia supporter, ‘The Skull’ was on board the bus from Sydney to Melbourne in order to attend the July 18 Reclaim Australia rally, along with John Oliver of the Patriots Defence League of Australia. Oliver tried to bring a gun with him, and had previously threatened to kill me. He now appears to be active on Twitter as @Ban_asslam.)
We stand firm against the policies and politics of those such as Pauline Hanson, Malcolm Roberts and the One Nation Party. We believe that people should not be judged by their ethnic origin or religion, but by their actions towards peace and the harmony of our community.
The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council did not release a position statement on the affair, but Tzvi Fleischer wrote about ‘Senators in glass houses’ and attempted to trace connections between Malcolm Roberts and anti-Semitism in particular. Dean Sherr, writing for the AJN (Not in our backyard!, November 25, 2016), notes that:
… across the two federal seats that cover Caulfield and much of Glen Eira, Goldstein and Melbourne Ports, Hanson’s One Nation polled between 0.38 per cent and 0.40 per cent. In the six booths across Caulfield, One Nation polled a total of 26 votes, a similar percentage. Even combined with the more explicitly anti-Islam party, the Australian Liberty Alliance, the anti-Islam bloc failed to total one per cent in the heart of Melbourne’s Jewish community. To paraphrase Senator Roberts, where’s the “empirical evidence” of a Jewish undercurrent of One Nation support?
When One Nation first emerged in the late ’90s, its relationship with the far right was a key issue. In 2001, Danny Ben-Moshe wrote (One Nation and the Australian far right, Patterns of Prejudice, Vol.35, No.3):
One Nation, the Australian anti-immigration political party established in April 1997 by independent MP Pauline Hanson, was defined by its founder’s explicit and hostile attitude towards Aboriginal reconciliation, Asian immigration and the resulting multiculturalism. With similar views being espoused by Australia’s organized racist groups, there was constant speculation about the nature of One Nation’s ties to the racist right. Theories ranged from active recruitment to subversive infiltration, but the truth is somewhere in between. Almost every racist group endorsed One Nation and their members joined the party and sought to exert influence over it, both at a leadership and grassroots level.
The furore over Yemini’s invitation to Hanson and Roberts to address a meeting in Caulfield, and its subsequent cancellation, has similarly provoked a number of racist groups, including the Facebook group ‘Australian Settlers Rebellion’, which offered the following meme as a puny defence:
In which context:
• ‘Australian Settlers Rebellion’ (ARSE) is the Facebook safe space for Shermon Burgess and Neil Erikson: the racists the United Patriots Front (UPF) rejects;
• Erikson, a former member of the neo-Nazi groupuscule ‘Nationalist Alternative’, spent years as a neo-Nazi activist in Melbourne and, as noted by the ECAJ Report, has a criminal conviction (February 2014) for harassing a Melbourne rabbi:
Neil Luke Erikson, 29, phoned Rabbi Dovid Gutnick of Melbourne City Synagogue on three occasions, telling him “Give me the money Jew or else I will get you” and abusing him for his faith.
He also spoke of circumcisions, blood money and Jewish sidelocks and told Rabbi Gutnick he knew his location and was coming to get him.
Magistrate Donna Bakos said she had no doubt Erikson’s calls were motivated by prejudice and found he had little remorse for his crime.
Erikson is due back in court in March next year, along with UPF fuehrer and neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell and fundamentalist Christian and White nationalist Chris Shortis (Australia First Party), for alleged racial and religious vilification arising from the publicity stunt the trio (along with John Wilkinson and Linden Watson) staged in Bendigo last year in order to promote an anti-Muslim rally;
• The photo the simpletons have used is actually of Manny Waks (R) and his father, Zephaniah (L). Avi Yemini, the captain of the Hanson failboat in Caulfield, is brother to Manny;
• The protest was organised by Jewsagainstfascism. Burgess and Erikson, on the other hand, happily and knowingly collaborated with a range of neo-Nazis and fascists in both Reclaim Australia and the UPF before spitting their dummies and embarking on a number of other failed projects, of which ARSE is merely the latest;
• Can you spell ‘anti-Semitic’? LOL.
See also : Jews United: Pauline Hanson And Malcolm Roberts Sent Packing, Michael Brull, New Matilda, December 2, 2016. Brull (and New Matilda) takes note of Avi Yemini’s desire to have Waleed Aly removed from television and from the country, but he is also on record as wanting to impose a total ban on immigration from Africa and the Middle East on the basis that such people will dirty the streets.
• This Sunday, November 27, the Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union (AUWU) is holding a public meeting @ the Unitarian Peace Memorial Church in East Melbourne to discuss ‘Solving Our Job Agency Crisis’. Confirmed speakers include David Thompson (CEO Jobs Australia), Sue Bolton (Socialist Alliance, Moreland City Councillor), Duncan Storrar (Freedom From Poverty), Pas Forgione (Coordinator, Anti Poverty Network SA), Owen Bennett (President, Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union) and Godfrey Moase (Assistant Secretary, National Union of Workers). See also : How Malcolm Turnbull’s Men Keeps The Dole Bludger Boogeyman Alive, Owen Bennett, New Matilda, November 20, 2016.
• Next Sunday, December 4, Jewsagainstfascism have organised a counter-rally — We Remember: Celebrate Multiculturalism, Oppose Pauline Hanson — to welcome *cough* One Nation MPs Pauline ‘Please Explain?’ Hanson and Malcolm ‘Jew World Order’ Roberts to Caulfield. The MPs have been invited to speak in Melbourne by a handful of her racist, right-wing fanboys at IDF Training (105 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield North); the counter-rally starts at midday.
One Nation Senators Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts are slated to “speak to, and take questions from, the Jewish community” in Caulfield on December 4.
Pauline Hanson and One Nation have been at the forefront of promoting Islamophobia. Malcom Roberts’ antisemitic conspiracy theories, are too far out there even for Andrew Bolt.
In the late nineties, the Jewish community was heavily involved in the fight against Pauline Hanson and her racism. We defeated her then and we can do it again.
This is a great opportunity to come together as a community and assert Jewish social justice ethics in a time of great uncertainty and heightened racism.
Multicultural street party against Hanson!
Defend multiculturalism! Fight racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism!
Upon the announcement of Donald Trump’s successful bid to become Presidente of the US of A, a local fanboy in Melbourne decided to dub himself ‘Supreme Leader President Donald Trump’ and to organise a public celebration. First aiming to have a victory party at Federation Square on Saturday, November 19, after discovering the fact that a rally to #BlockTheBill was also scheduled for the Square on that date, the time and place was changed to Parliament House and Sunday, November 20. The Facebook event page attracted a large number of interested parties which, as well as all The Usual Suspects of the far right, included a much larger number (hundreds!) of racist teenyboppers. Naturally, shortly after fanboy made his bold declaration, the methgoblins of the True Blue Crew jumped on the Trump bandwagon, as did the neo-Nazis in the United Patriots Front. And so, naturally, anti-fascists organised a counter-protest …
Despite a good deal of hype — bizarrely, The Age decided to explicitly link the Trump rally to the Springvale fire (Far-right group to rally in Melbourne as Springvale fire tragedy fuels racism on social media, Neelima Choahan, November 19, 2016) — barely a handful of people elected to rally for Trump: just 20 according to Adam Carey (later amended to 30), with most reports suggesting perhaps twice that number (40-50). On the other hand, something in the order of 300 or so people attended the anti-Trump rally, including the FIVE FLAG GENERAL — who proved once again to be unbashable.
So … all in all, the Trump train appears to be stranded somewhere between Frankston and Melton stations, the altright in Melbourne remains a fringe enthusiasm for keyboard warriors, and the TBC and UPF failed to paint the town orange. They did, however, once again retreat to The Pumphouse Hotel, confirming the pub’s status as a fascist-friendly venue: boo! mAd props to all the good folk who rocked up to tell Trump and his handful of supporters to bugger off — you rock! See youse next time … and remember that your pressure really does place real limits on the ability of the far right to mobilise and to build.
Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, racists and fascists the world over have been emboldened by President-elect Trump and Australia is no exception.
Local fascist thugs the True Blue Crew and United Patriots Front have organised a public celebration of Donald Trump’s victory. Their celebration is scheduled to take place at Federation Square Parliament House on Saturday November 19 Sunday November 20, between 2.00pm and 5.30pm.
A counter-rally has been organised under the auspices of Campaign Against Racism & Fascism and No Room For Racism, which is scheduled to begin at 1pm outside Parliament House. See the Facebook event page for more details.
In addition: a rally has been called to #BlockTheBill — starting at 1pm and concluding at 4pm — on Saturday, November 19. (NB. Another rally has been organised to take place at the Square to support political reform in Malaysia between 2 and 4pm.)