Around 70 or so people attended “The Battle Of Eltham” today, the great majority non-locals from Sydney (Party For Freedom), Bendigo and Melton (True Blue Crew). All The Usual Suspects were present: Sergio Redegalli; Nick Folkes (pictured above), Toby Cook and George Jameson (PFF); Kane Miller, Paul ‘Guru’ Franzi & Co. (TBC); The Angry Gnome Jay B Moore & his wannabe bikies (Soldiers Of Odin) et al. Also guest starring (sic) were valour thief and serial pest Ralph Cerminara and (!) Richard Lalich (Australian Defence League); Blair Cottrell and Thomas Sewell (United Patriots Front); UPF lackeys Julian de Ross and John Wilkinson; John Bolton (Reclaim Australia, Adelaide) and a handful of other boofheads.
The relatively small number who rallied under Folkes’ PFF banner is indicative of two things. One, there’s very little sympathy for those opposed to the housing project in the local community, especially when this opposition is being proclaimed by racist thugs. Two, the brief popularity enjoyed by Reclaim Australia and the UPF as a vehicle for racist, right-wing and xenophobic discontent — especially in Bendigo and, to a lesser extent, in Melton — has largely collapsed. This is likely due both to opposition and the failure to achieve very much through public mobilisations, but is also likely related to the various legal problems encountered by some of its adherents, most obviously in the case of alleged terrorist and TBC supporter Phillip Galea. So too, the prosecution of Blair Cottrell, Neil Erikson and Chris Shortis for racial and/or religious villification. As noted previously, John Wilkinson and Linden Watson, though also taking part in the UPF stunt in Bendigo, have escaped prosecution. Notably, Wilkinson had close dealings with Galea, allegedly providing him with cattle prods for use on leftist demonstrators.
At this stage, the next hate rally is scheduled for January in Sydney under the auspices of Reclaim Australia. In any event, the photo below, courtesy of JE, sums things up in Eltham today I think: a racist teenybopper from the True Blue Crew giving the finger to locals.
This Saturday, November 5, a small group of people from Sydney, Bendigo, Melton and Melbourne will be descending upon St Andrew Park in Eltham in order to engage in what the organisers of the rally, the Sydney-based micro-sect ‘Party For Freedom’, are referring to as “The Battle Of Eltham”. The ‘Battle’ is to stop St Vincent’s Care Services in Eltham from providing housing to a number of Iraqi and Syrian refugees, a joint project of St Vincent’s Health Australia and CatholicCare. According to St Vincent’s, the proposal is intended:
… to help settle and support vulnerable refugees from Syria and Iraq – with priority given to women and children.
The refugees will be provided with medium-term rental accommodation in 60 units on the site of St Vincent’s Care Services Eltham. These units are stand-alone and separate from the residential aged care and independent living facilities on site.
The 60 units have been vacant for a number of years and have been refurbished by St Vincent’s Care Services to make them liveable.
The refugee housing project will run for two years and then the accommodation will be transitioned to be used as affordable housing for seniors.
There will be no impact on the residential aged care or independent living residents who live at the Eltham site.
You can read more about the project on the fact sheet (October 5, 2016) St Vincent’s has provided here.
In any case, while St Vincent’s claims that ‘We bring God’s love to those in need through the healing ministry of Jesus’, others, including the Party For Freedom, Soldiers Of Odin, True Blue Crew and United Patriots Front, have other ideas. Thus according to the PFF, in its promotional material for the ‘Battle’, ‘the decision to house the refo invaders in an aged care facility is a slap in the face of locals’, and those who support the proposal are ‘deranged and irresponsible advocates for open borders’. Further, ‘both major parties are working together to destroy Australia by using taxpayers’ money to facilitate the third world colonisation of Australia’: a dastardly plot which now implicates the Christian charities St Vincent’s and CatholicCare. Of course, the PFF also advocates the forcible sterilisation of refugees from the ‘Third World’, and is otherwise infamous for staging an invasion of a church service in Gosford (August 2016) and for attempting to stage a recreation of ‘The Battle of Cronulla’ (December 2015).
Those scheduled to speak at St Andrew Park as part of the ‘Battle’ are all familiar faces on the far right. Thus in addition to PFF Chairman Nick Folkes and his teenybopper sidekick Toby Cook, Sydney-based anti-Muslim activist Sergio Redegalli, ex-Australian Liberty Alliance candidate John Bolton of Adelaide, and local boys Paul ‘Guru’ Franzi (True Blue Crew), Julian de Ross (AKA ‘Hugh Pearson’, United Patriots Front) and John Wilkinson (AKA ‘Farma John’) will all be delighting the crowds with their verbal wit. One person who won’t be joining the patriotik mob will be Phillip Galea, currently a resident at Thomas Embling hospital, but otherwise on trial for alleged terrorist offences. A friend of Reclaim Australia, the TBC and the UPF, Galea’s previous legal entanglements revolved around Wilkinson’s alleged provision to him of a number of cattle prods; Wilkinson was also one of those who participated in the UPF dummy stunt in Bendigo in October last year, though has escaped facing any charges. Not so lucky are UPF fuehrer Blair Cottrell and former UPF members Neil Erikson and Chris Shortis (now a member of the White nationalist Australia First Party): they are due to face court in March next year.
The fascist plan to grunt and squeal in St Andrew Park has also resulted in the organisation of some other activities by Diamond Yarra Valley Resistance Solidarity on Saturday morning. Titled SAFE – Stand Against Fascism in Eltham, the DYVRS day begins at 10am. In which context, it’s worthwhile noting that this is NOT a counter-rally and DYVRS is seeking to avoid any and all confrontation on the day. DYVRS:
DYVRS is staunchly antifascist, and firmly believes that hatred and bigotry on our streets should be shut down. In this instance though, due to circumstance and location, direct opposition to thugs and bigots is not a workable tactic.
If your desire is to shout at and engage with right wing undesirables, while in other circumstances we might agree, in this case we must respectfully ask you not join us on the day. We cannot emphasise this enough – this is a peaceful protest aimed at avoiding conflict. There is much at stake in this issue and no one to profit from conflict but the groups we oppose.
Note that further details on the day’s events (which are scheduled to finish at 1pm, ie, before the fascist rally ends at 2pm) may be found by checking the DYVRS Facebook event page on Friday night. Just a reminder the first stop on Saturday’s event at 10am is a very long way from the shouty asshats and is in an easily secured location. You are most welcome to just attend that part if you’d like. This stop will have the speeches and the banner drop. Afterwards we’ll be moving a little closer to their group but not in contact and if you’d prefer not to do that, that’s fine too. See you Saturday – remember to check for maps and further instructions on Friday on this page or Twitter.
As always, much love and respect to all the good folk taking a stand against racism and bigotry — see you on the streets!
The Age article contains a Channel 7 News report which states that Galea attended the May 31, 2015 United Patriots Front (UPF) anti-leftist rally in Richmond armed with a 25cm kitchen knife; ‘according to Federal police that was just the beginning of his violent plan’. (Incidentally, the protest was a bizarre attempt to remove Yarra councillor and socialist Stephen Jolly from office. Happily enough, Jolly was re-elected to his position on the weekend.)
Galea is scheduled to be back in court on December 19.
A few points:
In addition to being linked to Reclaim Australia (Galea attended their protests and claimed to have been an admin on one of their Facebook pages; he also appears to have helped establish the RA Media website and ‘RA media newsgroupe’ Facebook page), the True Blue Crew (TBC) and UPF (Galea attended various of their functions, both public rallies and more private meetings), it’s alleged that he had an association with neo-Nazi grouplet ‘Combat 18’, which has maintained a shadowy presence in STRAYA for some years. A few years ago (2010), several C18 members were convicted of having shot at a mosque in Perth, while in Melbourne it’s more closely associated with Creatard bonehead Patrick O’Sullivan, though others have also claimed an association and have attended various public protests organised by the TBC and UPF, including in Coburg in May and the ‘Blue Lives Matter’ demonstration in the CBD in July. Note that Galea also attended a farcical anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rally in Melbourne organised by the ‘Australian Defence League’ back in April 2010.
Above : Galea with comrades at the United Patriots Front rally in Bendigo, October 10, 2015. L to R : Galea, Chris Shortis, Linden Watson and Ralph Cerminara.
Above: Galea chillin’ like a gangster with the True Blue Crew.
The True Blue Crew will be hopping on a bus from Bendigo and Melton to Eltham on November 5 in order to attend a protest organised by the Sydney-based Party for Freedom (PFF). The PFF maintain that the decision by St Vincent’s Care Services to temporarily house 100 or so refugees from Iraq and Syria at its site is tantamount to rape and murder. Then again, the PFF has also floated the idea that peoples in the Third World require sterilisation, so we’re not really talking about rational political actors. The boys from Sydney, Bendigo and Melton will be joined by the Soldiers of Odin, who were the subject of a recent column by Jason Wilson: Fear and loathing on the streets: the Soldiers of Odin and the rise of anti-refugee vigilantes (The Guardian, October 28, 2016): ‘Far right groups are gaining a global foothold because they echo mainstream discourse which has shrunk the political horizon to issues of border paranoia, terror, and security.’
The ASF is pleased to announce a win for Shawn in his dispute with Northcote Social Club.
On Tuesday 18 October, during a Fair Work Australia conciliation meeting, Northcote Social Club backed down and agreed to pay Shawn compensation for his unfair dismissal. While Shawn is not at liberty to disclose the details of those discussions, nor the nature of the resolution, the ASF understands he is very happy with the result.
In light of what we previously knew, we understand this to mean that Shawn feels fully compensated regarding the pro rata long service leave entitlement he would have become eligible for this October had he not been illegally sacked from his role in July.
The ASF would like to thank all of those who helped by participating in the picketing of Corner Group’s four pubs:
– The Northcote Social Club (Northcote, Vic.)
– The Corner Hotel (Richmond, Vic.)
– The National Hotel (Richmond, Vic.)
– The Newtown Social Club (Newtown, NSW).
This win would not have been achieved without the pressure exerted on Corner Group’s bosses by the ASF’s direct action methods.
For the time being, Shawn has requested that the ASF and all the people who supported him during this dispute refrain from taking any further action in his name against the company.
While the ASF will continue to support other underpaid workers from Northcote Social Club, we will be observing a 30 day hiatus of action in order not to jeopardise the agreement reached between Shawn and Corner Group.
Well done to all involved. And thank you for your support!
Apparently, the Northcote Social Club (301 High Street, Northcote), which is part of the Corner Group of venues (owners of The Corner Hotel and The National Hotel in Richmond and the Newtown Social Club in Sydney), has been screwing over some of its workers. The situation has been developing over some months and it seems that management has been intransigent in refusing to fulfill its obligations with regards at least one and possibly more workers. This is disappointing as the venues are very popular and generally well-regarded and myself and a shitload of people I know like to drink and perform there. In any case, as a consequence of management’s poor behaviour, a boycott of the Northcote has been initiated — until such time as The Corner Group agrees to do what’s right. Hopefully, this is soon, as a failure to do so will permanently scar the venue’s reputation among locals, especially unionists and music-lovers.
The Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation (ASF) is calling upon patrons, bands, booking agents to boycott Northcote Social Club (NSC) to support Shawn, in a case of wrongful dismissal.
After reviewing the facts associated with this case, the ASF is of the opinion Shawn’s dismissal was engineered by NSC management to avoid becoming liable to pay Shawn pro rata long-service leave to which he was 3 months short of becoming entitled to under Section 58(1) and (2) of the Long Service Leave Act 1992 (Vic.).
Five of Shawn’s fellow workers at NSC have since resigned in protest at his treatment. The ASF also believes that NSC has been illegally underpaying its employees for the last 7 years, by using their annual leave entitlements to pay certain public holidays in contravention of Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), Sections 114–116.
We note the cynical hypocrisy of these actions in a pub whose branding seeks to cultivate an image of working class values.
The ASF requests your assistance in boycotting NSC until these grievances are addressed.
Furthermore we encourage the boycott of all CUB products in solidarity with the CUB55 (incidentally CUB is the Northcote Social Club’s main supplier).
You can’t quench a hard earned thirst with a cold, scab beer, especially not at the NSC!
Update (October 15) : I haven’t linked to the many online discussions re D666 or to anecdotal accounts of their shows attracting nazis. But I will post this extract from an interview with local comedian Aamer Rahman about his experience at a D666 show back in 2003.
Black/death/thrash heavy metal band Deströyer 666, which originally formed in Australia over two decades ago, are touring the country in November. The tour comes on the heels of the release of their new album Wildfire (on French label Season of Mist — you can read a hostile review here); their first since 2009’s Defiance (also on Season). The band is playing the following dates and venues:
Friday, Nov 4: Brisbane – Crowbar
Saturday, Nov 5: Sydney – Manning Bar
Sunday, Nov 6: Canberra – The Basement
Friday, Nov 11: Melbourne – Max Watts
Saturday, Nov 12: Adelaide – Enigma
Sunday, Nov 13: Perth – The Rosemount Hotel
Back in July, the band copped some heavy criticism on the Metal Sucks website, which called them ‘racist douchebags’, and in a series of three articles — since removed from the MS site — made various claims about the band and in particular its lead singer, KK Warslut (AKA Keith Bemrose), concluding that, inter alia, Keith is a ‘proven racist, misogynist and asshole’ who has ‘alarmingly racist, misogynistic and violent tendencies’. (The deleted articles were titled ‘Deströyer 666’s Set at Denmark’s Metal Magic Fest Marred by Fight Between the Audience and the Band’, July 11, 2016; ‘Deströyer 666: Officially Racist D-Bags’, July 12, 2016; ‘Deströyer 666 Frontman K.K. Warslut Digs in on Racist Comments at NYC Show’, July 15, 2016). On July 18, the site published an ‘apology’ to the band — this too has been deleted.
At the time, I made the mistake of sharing one of the articles on my Facebook page. This apparently triggered two of the band’s local fanboys.
(Note: Ryan Marauder formerly played gits with Melbourne heavy metal band Gospel of the Horns (1997-2005; 2007-2011) and bass with neo-Nazi rockers Deaths Head (2003-2011); the neo-Nazis are assembling again this weekend in Melbourne for the annual Ian Stuart Donaldson memorial gig.)
So what’s all the fuss?
The publication of the articles sparked a virtual storm in a verymetal teacup, and mostly assumed the forms you’d expect, ie, HAILS! from fans, tut-tutting from critics, and bemusement on the part of the rest. The fact that Keith and D666 have a deliberately kvltivated reputation for being meanies seems to have escaped most commentators, as has the fact that his shtick forms an important part of his appeal (among the band’s fanbase, at least). One site that attempted to provide a more nuanced response was ToiletOvHELL: On Threats, Censorship, and Destroyer 666 (July 19, 2016).
I’ll try my best to lay out a timeline here: On July 9th, a drunk KK spent a good amount of time on stage at Metal Magic festival in Denmark expressing his hatred for the audience. He was particularly “sick of” the men, who had descended from Vikings, but were now living in a “matriarchal” society. He also became outraged at a concertgoer in an Antifa mask, but in fairness, that outburst was far more understandable due to the militant nature of the Australian left-wing extremist group, who tends to default to immediate violence themselves. Several fans jumped on stage at different times in an attempt to fight KK, who had to be held back himself. Luckily, their set ended without violence. This unprompted display of misogyny resulted in perplexed coverage from a few metal websites; Metalsucks paired it with a discussion of KK’s Nazi-associated tattoos, his identification of the white wolf (which is standing over its mutilated brown prey) on their Unchain The Wolves album as “the spirit of the white man,” and his former membership in the openly racist band The Raven’s Wing.
In which context, a few things:
• Keith’s concerns about The Emasculation Of Danish Society are kinda silly, while his drunken antics can be read in at least one of two ways: a) he acted in ways he wouldn’t when sober; b) in his inebriated state, the filter that would normally separate his bRanes from his mouth wasn’t working very well, and so he expressed himself more crudely than he would otherwise. In either case, his views about the threat posed to Men by Feminisms is reasonably widely-shared, and not only among metalheads …
• According to Keith, speaking in another interview (Bardo Methodology, July 27, 2016), the so-called ‘antifa’ who jumped on stage to pick a fight was just Some Guy in a mask: ‘As it turns out, this clown was no left-wing extremist at all; just an idiot who thought it would be cool to wear a mask to a show. I believe the common term for such types is twat.’
• It seems a bit odd to link this incident to an article in The Sydney Morning Herald on Those Mysterious Antifa, especially as D666 is now based in Europe. A more relevant link would be to the ambush of Polish NSBM band Tormentia … but that’s another story.
• Keith does have a ‘Nazi’ tattoo on his tummy — the Wolfsangel or Wolf’s Hook. In his interview with Bardo Methodology (cited above), Keith reckons he got it because he likes wolves ‘n’ shit — and besides, it’s an ancient rune.
• Keith’s quip about the wolf on the cover of the band’s 1997 album Unchain The Wolves occurred during a radio interview on 3RRR’s The Hard Report in June of the same year. You can read more about that interview here.
• Asked about Raven’s Wing, Keith (Bardo Methodology) says: ‘What a fuckin’ joke. I challenge anyone to find a single phrase on that album (“Through the Looking Glass”, 1997) that denigrates any race’, adding that ‘I respect all ethnicities, my own included. I believe that all peoples deserve respect and access to live as they wish in their own homelands – without outside influence or coercion.’ For the record, the Raven’s Wing album Through The Looking Glass was recorded for German neo-Nazi label Destiny Records. Originally released in 1997, it was re-released by Rock-O-Rama in 2008, and featured the talents of Keith, ‘Aussie’ Nigel Brown and Mark Costello (AKA ‘Coz’ and ‘Howitzer’) on drums. The chief vocalist on the projekt was Scott McGuinness, better known as the singer for neo-Nazi reich ‘n’ roll band Fortress. Leaving aside the lyric content — mawkish laments for a better, Whiter Australia and tributes to The White Man’s Struggle, for the most part — it beggars belief that Keith was unaware of the nature of the recording. In any case, while Fortress is defunct, Brown apparently now resides in the Netherlands and occasionally performs live at ‘Rac’n’Roll Place’ in Veendam:
Veendam is about an old gym just outside the center, where a portion from July 2014 was opened as a tavern. Martin pivotal figure of the grind (1969) from Winschoten has been running for over thirty years around in the extreme right scene and this gym has been converted into ‘Rac’n’Roll Place’. Here is sold as in Ravenstein drink and far-right propaganda material distributed. As the southern Nationalist Flemish guests also pulling know, so Rac’n’Roll Place focuses successfully on German sympathizers. The difference between these spots is that there are gatherings take place more often in Veendam, where significantly more visitors coming. There is also a space where archery, strength training and kickboxing can be practiced. Furthermore they occasionally musicians, such as the Australian guitarist Nigel Brown (1967). Brown has played in a number of imaginative Nazi bands and was sentenced in Australia to nine months’ imprisonment for ‘gay bashing’. In 1995 he takes in the North Holland village Zwaag a CD with his band Celtic Warrior. During this recording, the band members were arrested by police. Two years later, Brown was sentenced to a fine of 1500,- for insulting Jews. In the old&new party which 2014 ended the visitors could admire Rac’n’Roll Brown a fee of € 15,- entree.
• While Keith’s status as a ‘neo-Nazi’ is questionable, and it seems he rejects the term, it appears equally obvious that he shares at least some of their views regarding the natural *cough* order of things, and provides at least tacit support for the concept of a Safe European Home for Whites. That said, the recordings he’s made and the associations he’s had over the last two decades seem just as much social as they are political. Partly, this is a product of sharing common origins with the Whyalla thrashers of the 1980s, with Keith doing time in Corpse Molestation, Bestial Warlust and D666; Rob ‘Death Dealer’ Currie in Vomitor and Spear of Longinus; Mark ‘Howitzer’ Costello in D666 and Gospel of the Horns; Brad ‘B.C.’ Chung in Corpse Molestation, Vomitor and Razor of Occam; and Matt ‘Razor’ Schneemilch in D666 and Razor. In other words, it’s a close circle of Happy Metal Friends (which happens to include neo-Nazis).
Back to ToiletOvHell:
This brings us to July 17th. Destroyer 666 posted a long tour wrap-up on Facebook, and spent most of it calling out metal blogs and SJW culture (ah yes, the old standby attack). In a truly deplorable display, KK railed against Blair Hopkins, calling her a “little lying dishonest whore.” He accused her of being “more intent on advertising her attractiveness to drunks than she was in writing an honest review.” Then, switching to a second person narrative (while drastically upping his typo-per-sentence rate), he finished with “Clearly your insecure about your looks woman and felt a burning desire to advertise just how irresistible you are.To drunks.Sad desperate bitch.”
These are not very nice things to say in response to a review, but do seem to accurately reflect Keith’s approach to critics.
Next, and most deplorably (although finding new lows seems difficult at this point), he targets the editors of Metalsucks. Like several other metal blogs (and grown men who call themselves KK Warslut), each contributor writes under a pseudonym … KK took great offense to [their articles], and posted the real names of both editors, and a picture, the home address, and personal phone number of the site’s founder in their rambling nonsense.
In other words, Keith d0xxed the site’s eds.
Finally, Stockhausen decries Keith’s misogynist response to Blair Hopkin’s review, but I would suggest that the lyrics to the song ‘Raped’ (from 2002’s Cold Steel … For An Iron Age) are relevant:
So too, his response to a question (Bardo Mythology) regarding the incident in Denmark:
[BM] KK once lived in Denmark for a few years, and I’m curious if this is where his resentment stems from. — On the contrary, he proclaims, of all the Scandinavians I’ve found Danes to be the least emasculated. Sweden on the other hand, I’d say is the first real matriarchal society we’ve seen in the West – famous also for their staggering rape statistics. How’s that working out for ya’s, ladies?
In introducing the song to the DeathKult Open Air Festival 2012, Keith states: This one’s for all the Muslim immigrants who are invading — who are invited to invade our fucking continent. Fuck you Allah. Yeah everyone’s busy being anti-Christian. Fuck being anti-Christian, let’s be fucking anti-Muslim for once. This is our fucking land …
Several months after they began parading around the Melbourne CBD, The Age has taken notice of the Soldiers of Odin. See : Vigilante-style group Soldiers of Odin patrolling Melbourne CBD, Chris Vedelago and Cameron Houston, October 10, 2016. According to The Age: “The Soldiers of Odin appear to operate similarly to the Guardian Angels network, founded in New York City in 1979 to patrol the subway system amid growing crime rates.” I would suggest that a better model would be the street patrols of Greek neo-Nazis Golden Dawn. Be that as it may, a few points:
• The SOO were founded in October 2015 by Mika Ranta, a Finnish neo-Nazi activist with links to the Suomen vastarintaliike or Finnish Resistance Movement (FRM), the local branch of neo-Nazi grouplet Nordic Resistance Movement. Like others belonging to SOO, Ranta has a violent criminal record.
• Members of the FRM are allegedly responsible for the recent killing of an anti-racist activist, 28-year-old Jimi Karttunen: “The man arrested in connection with assaulting a man to death at the Helsinki Central Railway Station is a key figure in the Finnish Resistance Movement (SVL), confirmed the police. A passer-by was beaten up outside the Helsinki central railway station where the Finnish Resistance Movement was holding a demonstration on September 10. The man succumbed to his injuries at the Helsinki Meilahti hospital on September 16” (Helsinki murder suspect key figure in SVL, FTimes-STT Report, September 21, 2016). His murder sparked a massive protest in Helsinki, one of the largest in recent memory.
• Since its formation in Finland, the SOO — rather like the (now largely-moribund) English Defence League — has expanded to a number of other territories, including Canada. Anti-Racist Canada has exhaustively documented SOO’s links to neo-Nazism and criminal violence.
• The leader of SOO in Melbourne is Jay B Moore. Like other Soldiers, Moore has an association with other patriotik groups, in particular the Patriots Defence League of Australia (PDLA). Below he’s pictured at the joint Reclaim Australia/United Patriots Front (UPF) anti-Muslim rally in Melton in November 2015 and at the UPF rally in Bendigo in February 2016 sporting PDLA merch. (Another member of the SOO, Cam ‘Moody’ McCann, was present at the Reclaim Australia rally in Melbourne in April 2015 in the company of a small clutch of neo-Nazi methgoblins.) Given the apparent collapse of the PDLA, it makes sense for Moore and others to have hitched their wagon to yet another anti-Muslim vehicle; an ever-present dynamic within the broader milieu. Or: same shit, different pile.
• The SOO joined the True Blue Crew (TBC) and UPF at their anti-Muslim rally in Melton in August this year at which members of the TBC and SOO clashed. The TBC eventually booted the SOO from Melton, with most of their animosity seemingly being directed at SOO President Jay B Moore. Despite this, the SOO — minusincluding Moore — joined with the TBC at an anti-refugee rally in Eltham on October 1.
2) DYVRS – Diamond Yarra Valley Resistance Solidarity
The Party for Freedom (PFF) is holding another anti-refugee rally in Eltham on November 5. The ostensible target of their ire is St Vincent’s Care Services, which has recently won a contract to provide housing to something in the order of 100 Iraqi and Syrian refugees. St Vincent’s has published a fact sheet explaining the initiative here.
In response to this rally and the rally of October 1 a new group has formed: Diamond Yarra Valley Resistance Solidarity (DYVRS). On the DYVRS blog it notes that a majority of those present at the rally on October 1 were drawn from the TBC, SOO and other satellites; the Soldiers, the Crew, the UPF, the PFF and All The Usual Suspects (even Ralph Cerminara!) have announced their intentions to return on November 5, making it a fun day for the whole racist family. Those unhappy at the prospect of another assembly of racist and fascist bigots should follow DYVRS for more announcements.
3) Blood & Honour / Southern Cross Hammerskins
FTR, Benson & Hedges and the Southern Cross Hammerskins are holding their annual Ian Stuart Donaldson memorial gig this weekend in Melbourne. The event commemorating the death of the Skrewydriver has been held every year for the past two decades with only occasional fanfare in the media — even the massacre conducted by Hammerskin Wade Michael Ppage at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin 2012 barely registered in Australia. In any case, their cheeky kameraden in the UK managed to fool keen-eyed and whip-smart Cambridgeshire Police a few weeks ago as ‘Hundreds of people attended a neo-Nazi rally that was not opposed by police in the belief it was a charity event’ LOL (Cambridgeshire neo-Nazi rally allowed as ‘charity’ event, Sally Chidzoy, BBC, October 6, 2016).
Update (October 1, 2016) : A small rally protesting a proposal to house refugees at St Vincent’s in Eltham took place outside Jenny Macklin’s office this morning. In addition to a handful of locals, a few members of the Party for Freedom (SYD) participated, as did around one dozen ‘Soldiers of Odin’ and 20 or so members and supporters of the Melton-based ‘True Blue Crew’.
Three men — Neil Erikson, Chris Shortis, and one other — have been charged with offences allegedly committed during the course of a publicity stunt by the United Patriots Front (UPF) in Bendigo on October 4 last year. According to police:
Detectives charge trio in relation to Bendigo incident
Tuesday, 27 September 2016 16:15
Bendigo Crime Investigation Unit detectives have charged three men in relation to an incident that took place in Bendigo last year.
It is alleged the men beheaded an effigy and damaged property in a public area on 4 October 2015.
A 31-year-old man from South Morang [Erikson], a 34-year-old man from Frankston [?], and a 45-year-old man from Wallan [Shortis] have each been charged with:
The men have been charged on summons and are expected to appear before Melbourne Magistrates Court on 6 March 2017.
Erikson has a previous (February 2014) criminal conviction for harassing a rabbi:
A man has avoided jail for abusing a Melbourne rabbi in a series of racially-motivated phone calls he tried to explain as a prank.
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.
Shortis, who has recently left the UPF in order to join the Australia First Party, is currently engaged in a legal dispute with the Chief Commissioner of Police in Victoria after having had his gun licence revoked. Shortis subsequently won his appeal to the Firearms Appeals Committee (August), and while it’s unclear if the Commissioner will seek to have the decision reversed, it seems likely.
Today, Erikson, pretending to be a journalist, paid an unscheduled visit to St Vincent’s Care Services in Eltham. The facility is planning on housing a number of refugees from Iraq and Syria. Opponents of the plan have organised a protest at Jenny Macklin’s electoral office in Heidelberg on Saturday.
Among those promoting the rally in Heidelberg on Saturday is the Sydney-based ‘Party for Freedom’ (PFF). An unregistered but active micro-sect, the PFF regularly organises very small but vocal protests, generally directed at African migrants, Muslims, asylum seekers and refugees, leftists, equal marriage proponents, Chinese developers and so on. A handful of PFF members were present at the ‘True Blue Crew’ (TBC) rally in Melton in August, at the TBC/UPF rally in Melbourne in June, at the TBC/UPF rally in Coburg in May, and at the halal exhibition in Ascot Vale in April. This week the group, comprising a dozen or so members, staged a rally outside a Sydney court where three people are facing charges arising from an incident in January outside Black Rose infoshop in Newtown. Joining them was the Million Flag Patriot, who has now extended his control of Melton to the Sydney CBD.
The leader of the UPF, Blair Cottrell, was a special guest of Hack Live the other week. I won’t bother to assess the program in any great detail, but briefly:
a) It’s somewhat curious that while Cottrell — a neo-Nazi with a string of criminal convictions for violence — was considered a fit person to join a panel on the subject of ‘patriotism’, Zaky Mallah’s appearance on QandA in June 2015 triggered a media shitstorm. Indeed, on this matter, not a single peep has been made by the commentariat.
b) Another extra-special guest was a geek named ‘Damien Rieu’ (r/n: Damien Lefèvre) from fascist projekt ‘Génération Identitaire’, who joined in the chorus supporting a ban on Muslim migration to Australia. Note that for a very brief period Neil Erikson touted establishing an Australian equivalent before abandoning the idea and handballing responsibility for the stillborn group’s Facebook page over to another neo-Nazi. (The page is now known as ‘Australians Resistance Network’.)
c) At about 8:22, former soldier Andrew Fox makes reference to a YouTube comment made by Cottrell condoning violence against women. The comment Andrew refers to reads: ‘Women have manipulated me using sex and emotion; demoralization, and I have manipulated them using violence and terror. We use what we have to get what we want.’ Blair denies ever having written this, stating: ‘I never said that and I never wrote that. False statements are attributed to my person all the time.’
The statement in question has long-since been deleted from YouTube, presumably by Blair, along with dozens of other, similarly objectionable comments about women, Jews and the like — I published a number of these on my blog on July 27, 2015. The comment he claims not to have made was reported on October 17, 2015 in an article for Fairfax by Michael Bachelard and Luke McMahon, who were in a position at that time to independently verify this statement, along with the others included in their article.
With regards Blair’s criminal record, he provides his own account (as ‘Bruce’) in a segment of a documentary about youth incarcerated in Port Phillip prison, Stories From The Inside (2014). I transcribed his testimony in a blog post published on February 23, 2016. In it he describes how he abused steroids, stalked his former partner and her boyfriend, tried to kill him, set fire to their house, and eventually got arrested, convicted, and sent to prison. This was later reported by Geir O’Rourke and Angus Thompson for the Herald Sun (June 11, 2016). Of his offending, they write:
Cottrell, 26, was sentenced to four months in prison in May 2012 after being convicted of 13 charges, including seven counts of intentionally damaging property. County Court Judge Michael Tinney convicted the then-22-year-old of throwing a missile, stalking, failing to comply with a community-based order, and two counts of recklessly causing serious injury. In December 2013 he was fined $1000 and sentenced to seven days in jail by a County Court judge for aggravated burglary, property damage, arson, trafficking testosterone, possessing a controlled weapon and breaching court orders.
Speaking of neo-Nazis: ‘A white supremacist from Sydney’s south-west has been charged with setting fire to a Pentecostal church on the NSW mid-north coast. Ricky White appeared in Taree Local Court on Monday accused of deliberately starting the fire at the Destiny Church at 1:30am on Sunday’ (White supremacist charged over Taree Pentecostal church fire, Nick Ralston, The Sydney Morning Herald, September 19, 2016). Described as a ‘skinhead’ (sic) with Nazi tattoos, ‘It is understood that Mr White is also the head of the Wotansvolk fraternity in NSW and the second in charge nationally’. This may be so, but Ricky is also known as ‘SGT Hatchet’, the 2IC of tiny neo-Nazi groupuscule ‘Right Wing Resistance Australia’. A handful of its members have rocked up to various Reclaim Australia and patriotik rallies over the course of 2015/2016.
Local council elections are being held in Victoria on October 22. Among those vying for electoral glory are the Australia First Party, which is standing in Brimbank (John Carbonari, Harvester Ward) and Wyndham (Susan Jakobi, Harrison Ward). In Bendigo, Elise Chapman (Lockwood Ward) is running and, rather oddly, using a Chumbawamba song as her campaign anthem; further, ‘Chapman has been given extra time to plan her appeal against a councillor conduct panel ruling ordering her to apologise for an obscene tweet’, and is now expected at VCAT on November 14. Another anti-mosque campaigner, Julie Hoskin, is running in Whipstick Ward. Note that Hoskin led an unsuccessful (and rather xpnsv) legal challenge to the mosque proposal: ‘One of those who made the appeal, Julie Hoskin, said the legal process had so far … cost more than $200,000, which was mostly crowd-funded.’
On this month’s edition of Floating Anarchy on The SUWA Show (5.30pm /// Friday, September 23 /// 855AM /// streaming live on 3CR), Dr Cam and I have a yarn with uber-special-lovely-Berlin-squatter-guests Lukas, Patrick & Rizo all about Rigaer94, squatting in Berlin, anti-gentrification, anti-fascism, naughty pixies and moar!
George Katsiaficas’s account covers the period 1968-1996 and pays special attention to the role of autonomous feminist movements, the effects of squatters and feminists on the disarmament movement and on efforts to shut down nuclear power, and the antifascist social movements developed in response to the neo-Nazi upsurge.
In addition to providing a rare depiction of these often overlooked movements, Katsiaficas develops a specific notion of autonomy from the statements and aspirations of these movements. Drawing from the practical actions of social movements, his analysis is extended into a universal standpoint of the species, a perspective he develops by uncovering the partiality of Antonio Negri’s workerism, Seyla Benhabib’s feminism and notions of uniqueness of the German nation.
1) Blair & Thomas Go To East Melbourne Collingwood
The United Patriots Front (UPF) staged another dingbat stunt on Saturday night, on this occasion targeting Yarra councillor Stephen Jolly. The event the UPF attempted to gatecrash was titled ‘Re-elect Stephen Jolly – Vote socialist for Yarra!’ and was held at Collingwood Gallery in Smith Street, Collingwood; Jolly is hoping to be re-elected to council on October 21.
Like almost all their stunts, this one was filmed and the footage uploaded to the UPF Facebook page. In a subsequent video, UPF fuehrer Blair Cottrell states that the UPF had considered assembling 50 boys to go to the event and shut it down, but in the end decided on sending just 5 (including Cottrell and his sidekick, Thomas Sewell). As the few minutes of footage reveals, Cottrell & Co enter the campaign launch and start to shout questions at Jolly, who is one of several to ask the men to leave. Eventually, the UPF are forced from the venue, campaigners and supporters joined in their efforts removing the annoying gits by several workers from the CUB site, currently on strike/locked-out of their jobs in Abbotsford. Jolly has spoken in support of the strikers’ claims, which has attracted widespread support among unionists, including the AMWU.
In any case, this is not the first time that the UPF and other fascists have objected to Jolly’s presence on council. Indeed, about 70 or so went to the UPF’s first public action in Richmond last May. Cottrell even promised to physically remove Jolly from office if, for some mysterious reason, their protest rally failed to do so. Otherwise, the failed disruption is another moment in a long line of attention-seeking stunts, from roasting a pig outside ABC studios in Melbourne last June to beheading a dummy outside Bendigo council offices last October; attending MAC and 3CR the following month to April’s foolish banner drops at the footy. Before proclaiming himself an opponent of Black Lives Matter (July), Cottrell and the UPF tried jumping on the dairy farmers’ bandwagon — only to be told to bugger off.
Whatever the immediate impact, all these performances are really for the camera, producing footage intended to capture the attention of like-minded individuals, almost exclusively via Facebook. Thus the UPF page recently celebrated gaining 70,000 likes; IRL, it can (still) barely gather together 70 boys to act like fascist boofheads in public. Saturday’s stoopid is rather ironic, however, as the UPF made a whole lotta noise about the political blitzkrieg Fortitude would become, and yet in September 2016, where is Fortitude? Rather than speaking from the floor of the House, Fortitude is a shambles, its supposed Senatorial candidate, Chris Shortis, has decamped for the Australia First Party, and the UPF is reduced to whining disingenuously at the campaign launch for a goddamn Commie. As for unions, they’re generally regarded, alongside Muslims, as Teh Enimy — the one, partial exception being UPF lackey Kris0 Richardson, who’s proudly worn CFMEU gear while touting the virtues of a White Australia. Before joining the UPF, Kris0 established the ‘United Australian Front’ (UAF) website and Facebook page. In-between noting the UAF’s development (August 18, 2016) into a straightforwardly neo-Nazi project, the Facebook page has been closed re-badged as ‘Order 15’.
2) Ralph Choo-Chooses The AMWU
Serial pest Ralph Cerminara was in Melbourne a few weeks ago to join the True Blue Crew (TBC) at an anti-Muslim protest in Melton. When he returned to Sydney, Cerminara drunkenly declared himself to be the Grand Poobah of the TBC in Sydney — which came as a surprise to the TBC in Melbourne …
This week, Cerminara has stated that he’ll be attending the AMWU office in Sydney on the weekend, presumably to film himself muttering and cursing outside its closed doors. In addition to documenting the nefarious influence of unions on Australian politics, the valour thief has been keeping busy filming himself muttering and cursing at socialist students. See : Right wing bigots and extremists exposed 1, September 2, 2016; note also that WordPress has deleted Cerminara’s blog.
3) STRAYA First Goes To The Polls
The Australia First Party ran several candidates in the local council elections in NSW on the weekend. In Blacktown, Cassie Orrock (AKA Lili Chel), Terry Cooksley and Thomas Bell did reasonably well to collectively gain 2,184 votes (8.30%) but seem unlikely to gain a seat. In the Blue Mountains, Matt Hodgson, Mark Slater and Gordon Gilroy fared less well, receiving 343 votes (2.95%). Finally, in Wagga Wagga, Lorraine Sharp, Robbie Williams, Jean Williams, Chris Sharp and Jean Hughes got 1,302 votes (4.03%). In Hawkesbury, a former Australia First Party activist and serial candidate Tony Pettitt ran on the Liberal Democrats ticket.
Finally, the party has announced the formation of a United Nationalist Front or ‘Australian Coalition of Nationalists’, which at this point consists of the AFP, (whatever remains of the) Australian Protectionist Party and Nationalist Alternative, with the AFP Jnr. (AKA Eureka Youth League) and Hellenic Nationalists Australia Inc. (Greek fascists) nominated as ‘associates’ of the Coalition (as opposed to ‘partners’).