It’s been over six months since I last bothered creating some notes. Which, back when, was notes on antifa. The paucity of posts is partly due to some (ongoing) technical issues, but there’s obviously been a fair bit of water under the bridge since, so I won’t bother trying and failing to summarise the last half of 2020. Instead, I’ll refer to some more recent highlights regarding fascism (and ah, its gravediggers).
To begin with, old mate Phillip Galea was sentenced to 12 years in prison in November after being found guilty of plotting to blow up the ‘lefties’ at the Melbourne Anarchist Club, Resistance Centre and Victorian Trades Hall Council (see : CDPP v Galea  VSC 750 (20 November 2020)).
Galea made his first appearance on the blog back in November 2015, when he was arrested and charged with weapons offences following the anti-Muslim rally in Melton, one jointly organised by Reclaim Australia and the United Patriots Front (UPF). (The event helped give birth to the True Blue Crew (TBC), of which Galea was a YUGE fan.) Yet it was only after his arrest that I recognised Galea from an earlier, April 2010 “MASS RALLY AGAINST IMMIGRANTS AND ISLAM” at Flinders Street Station. I wrote in November 2015 that:
… Galea’s Facebook profile reveals him to have liked both [Reclaim Australia] and UPF pages, along with ‘Britain First’, ‘George Christensen’, ‘Good Night Antifa’, ‘Jews Killed Jesus’, ‘Kim Vuga’, ‘Right Wing Resistance Australia’, ‘Smash ANTIFA’, ‘Stop Being Such a Jew.’, ‘Stop the Mosque and Islamic School Melton’, ‘The Great Aussie Patriot’, ‘The Men’s Rights Initiative’, ‘UPF Media’, ‘White supremacy’ and numerous others.
In summary, his profile conforms to that of any number of ‘radical, right-wing extremists’.
Of particular interest is Galea’s links to the ‘Patriots Defence League of Australia’ (PDLA), the Bendigo-based group ‘The Victorian Resistance’, and the Melton-based ‘True Blue Crew’ (TBC). His Facebook friends include Damian Kourevellis, ‘President’ of the PDLA Eastern Victoria chapter, neo-Nazi and PDLA/’Right Wing Resistance Australia’ supporter Aaron De Keulenaer, and Julie Kendall of ‘Stop the Mosque in Bendigo’ fame.
In which context: the PDLA continues to maintain dozens of pages and groups on Facebook, and one of its lvl bosses, Torin ‘TJ’ O’Brien, was Pauline Hansons’s nominee for Rockhampton at the Queensland state election in October. You may remember TJ from such cunning stunts as registering the PDLA as an ‘advocacy group for domestic violence victims’; quite something for a body devoted to eradicating Muslims (sadly, the Queensland Office of Fair Trading disagreed with TJ, and deregistered the organisation). Anyway, TJ got 3,714 votes for Pauline, winning third place after Labor and the LNP.
As for the April 2010 event at which Galea starred, I think it says something that whereas that event (organised by one iteration of the ‘Australian Defence League’) attracted just a few dozen in support (and, of course, a much larger mob in vocal opposition), the Reclaim rallies of 2015 attracted many hundreds of bigots and racists. Leaving aside the Lindt cafe siege in December 2014, the critical factor which I think explains this relative increase is the utilisation of social media, in particular Facebook and YouTube, which encouraged (or ‘afforded’) a rapid proliferation of racist and xenophobic sentiment. A rather significant phenomenon in Australia — and for years swirling around the War on Terror™ inaugurated in 2001 — these fee-fees about ‘foreigners’ were eventually able to crystallise as a protest movement, attracting both right-wing militants and Ordinary Mum & Dad™ racists.
With regards Galea’s choice of targets, they make a kind of sense: ‘The Anarchists’, ‘The Socialists’ and ‘The Trade Unionists’ are all understood to be opposed to the program of ethnic and religious cleansing of Australia extolled by Galea and his mates, with the former groups especially understood as constituting sometimes quite active opposition. The fact that the UPF — in the persons of Blair Cottrell, Neil Erikson, Chris Shortis, Andrew Wallis and Linden Watson — paid a surprise visit to MAC and to 3CR ahead of the Melton rally (and prior to Galea’s initial arrest) suggests that his choice may have been … er … ‘guided’ by the wider concerns of the local fascist milieu.
Otherwise, Galea approximated many others, being an enthusiastic participant in and supporter of not only Reclaim Australia and the UPF, but also the TBC (who, in Galea’s imagination, would effectively sweep the ‘lefties’ off the streets, as they purportedly did in Coburg in May 2016), the ADL, the PDLA, Right Wing Resistance Australia and other, associated anti-Jewish, anti-leftist, anti-Muslim and generally fashy groupuscules. From the perspective of the state, its intelligence agencies and security apparatuses, the milieu from which Galea emerged is of notable and publicly-expressed concern, especially in the wake of the massacre in Christchurch conducted by Galea’s brother-in-arms in March 2019.
Sadly for him, support for Galea was relatively thin, with elderly Queensland pensioner and batshit blabbermouth Mike Holt probably the only local figure of any stature to offer much in the way of solidarity. Holt is of course another YUGE fan of my writing, such that it was only following a police request that he removed material he published online in March 2015 in which the silly olde bugger mis-identified me as Some IT Guy. Even more sadly, there’s a smol army of racist deadshits running about the place, and the dis-embraining machine that is social media is an unstoppable and extremely-profitable juggernaut of lunacy, so it’s likely only a matter of time before another Galea emerges.
Anyway, I wrote, in slightly more formal language, something for Overland about the sentencing: Galea in prison, Southern on TV: the state of the far right (November 25, 2020). See also : Right-wing extremist jailed for targeting left, Muslims, Sue Bolton, Green Left Weekly, December 3, 2020.
Earlier this week, the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain on 15 March 2019 released its Report to the public. Of particular interest is the killer’s connections to his local STRAYAN comrades, including but not limited to New Zealand-born Tom Sewell and his neo-Nazi groupuscule The Lads Society. I expect some useful analysis to appear in the next few days and weeks, but in the meantime I chucked some words at Giovanni Torre for The National: Christchurch terrorist attack report highlights failings by social media giants (December 8, 2020).
Of the murderer’s relationship to local budding génocidaires, the Report states:
The individual was one of more than 120,000 followers of the United Patriots Front Facebook page. United Patriots Front was a far right group based in Australia. Between April 2016 and early 2017, the individual made approximately 30 comments on their Facebook page. At that time, the United Patriots Front was led by Blair Cottrell. Several of the posts made by the individual expressed support for Blair Cottrell. For example, when Donald Trump was elected President of the United States of America, the individual posted on Facebook “globalists and Marxists on suicide watch, patriots and nationalists triumphant – looking forward to Emperor Blair Cottrell coming soon”. The individual also expressed support for Blair Cottrell on the True Blue Crew Facebook page. The True Blue Crew is another far right Australian group.
In one post to the United Patriots Front Facebook page, the individual threatened critics of Blair Cottrell by saying that “communists will get what communists get, I would love to be there holding one end of the rope when you get yours traitor”. In August 2016, he sent comments via Facebook Messenger to an Australian critic of the United Patriots Front, which included “I hope one day you meet the rope.” This threat was allegedly reported to Australian police but no action was taken. We see references to “the rope” as alluding to the “Day of the Rope” which features in The Turner Diaries and, as explained in Part 2, chapter 5, is sometimes used by those on the extreme right to refer to a race war.
Blair Cottrell told media he was aware of an AU$50 donation to the United Patriots Front made by the individual. We have been unable to verify this donation.
The last time the individual was active on the United Patriots Facebook page was in January 2017. Following Facebook’s removal of the United Patriots Front Facebook page in May 2017, several former members of that group created a new far right group, called The Lads Society, which had club houses in Sydney [Ashfield] and Melbourne [Cheltenham, Rowville: The Lads also established a club house in Brisbane]. Thomas Sewell (a New Zealander based in Victoria, Australia and a founding member of The Lads Society) contacted the individual online and invited him to join. However, the individual declined this offer, citing his upcoming move to New Zealand. He did, however, join a Facebook page created by The Lads Society and became an active member online. We will cover this in chapter 4 of this Part.
On 15 January 2017 and 17 January 2017, the individual made donations to right-wing organisations, Freedomain Radio (a podcast and YouTube channel created by Canadian Stefan Molyneux, who is [a] prominent member of the far right) and the National Policy Institute (a white supremacist think tank and lobby group based in the United States of America) [see : Richard Spencer] …
In 2017, the individual joined The Lads Society’s Facebook group, having changed his username to “Barry Harry Tarry”. Later, he joined The Lads Society Season Two Facebook page, which was a private group. He made his first post on 19 September 2017. He was an active contributor, posting on topics related to issues occurring in Europe, New Zealand and his own life, far right memes, media articles, YouTube links (many of which have since been removed for breaching YouTube’s content agreements) and posts about people who were either for or against his views. He also encouraged others to donate to Martin Sellner, a far right Austrian politician. Two sets of comments warrant particular mention. In early February 2018, the individual (under the Barry Harry Tarry username) engaged in online discussion with members of The Lads Society Season Two Facebook group about Mein Kampf. In particular, they discussed Hitler’s suggestion that grievance should be the focus of propaganda, “galvanising” those who see themselves as persecuted and “drawing in new sympathisers”. The individual commented:
Agreed, it is far better to be the oppressed than the oppressor, the defender than the attacker and the political victim rather than the political attacker. Though 1920’s Germany was a very different time to now and we face a very different enemy. Our greatest threat is the non-violent, high fertility, high social cohesion immigrants. They will boil the frogs slowly and by the time our people have enough galvanising force to commit the political and social change necessary for survival, the demographics in my opinion will have shifted so harshly that we would likely never recover…
What I am saying is that we can’t be a violent group, not now. But without violence I am not certain if there will be any victory possible at all.
“Boil the frogs” is a metaphor, the premise of which is that if a frog is put into boiling water it will jump out, but if placed into tepid water that is then brought to the boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger or change in circumstances, despite being boiled alive. For other members of The Lads Society Season Two, it would have been clear that the individual was referring to Muslim migrants when speaking of immigrants and what he said aligns with his manifesto, The Great Replacement. The assertion that “we can’t be a violent group” was made around the same time as the first of the planning documents discussed in the next chapter was created, a document that evidences a clear intention to carry out a terrorist attack.
As we set out in Part 2, chapter 5, those who subscribe to extreme right-wing ideologies often “tone down” their language to avoid endorsing violence but, at the same time, use divisive rhetoric towards different ethnic or religious groups. We see the language used by the individual in the posts as consistent with that used by those on the extreme right-wing. In addition, ethno-nationalists often implicitly support violence within closed groups. Having identified the apparent problem of Muslim immigration rates, but offering no democratic solution, we consider the post by the individual was an implied call to violence and, in this way, another illustration of his ethno-nationalist beliefs.
On 12 February 2018, the individual, still using the Barry Harry Tarry username, made several posts to The Lads Society Season Two Facebook page. Some we do not reproduce here, because they contain references to particular individuals and publishing them would give rise to privacy and safety concerns that cannot be practically mitigated by redaction. The drift of what he had to say however, emerges clearly enough from the comments that follow:
Across the road from my gym is an Islamic boarding school. It’s name is … To date I have just been using it as a source of rage for my lifts. Today I found out that this Islamic boarding school that sits in my area was once [a catholic] school. This is what happens as a society when you fail to have children then import the children of others to replace them.
Otago Muslim Association [official] was both surprised and delighted by the announcement. “I’m very, very pleased. It will be a great asset for the Muslim community in Dunedin, as well as New Zealand.” What in the fifty fires of fuck have I stumbled upon here? A … muslim bankrolling an Islamic learning school in New Zealand? This dude is No.1 on the prank list.
“a non-profit school under charitable status” … This is getting backed by tax payers money for sure. Absolutely sickening
Another bankroller was University of Otago [staff member] and member of the Dunedin Muslim community. … . The local university students are being taught … by a devout Muslim … . Jesus fucking christ.
Then, after comments from others about Muslim schools:
Though I must say, it is far better to have separate schools and it ensures they are always seen as outsiders, and there is no intermixing of cultures or races. Them having seperate schools is something we should support. Plus it makes them all gather in one place….JK JK JK
In this context, “JK” stands for “just kidding” but is often used ironically (that is by someone who in fact is not “just kidding”). In this instance, the individual was not “just kidding”. We know this because he had already completed a planning document that envisaged mass murder, as we discuss below.
When we put these comments to the individual, he acknowledged that the expression, “No. 1 on the prank list” could be seen as a threat of harm. We note that the 15 March 2019 terrorist attack is sometimes referred to on far right forums as “the mosque prank”. Consistently with what seemed to be a general reluctance on his part to acknowledge lapses of operational security, the individual did not accept that his comments would have been of concern to counter-terrorism agencies. He thought this because of the very large number of similar comments that can be found on the internet. Later in the interview, however, he said that these were the worst of the comments he had posted. We return to discuss this issue in Part 7: Detecting a potential terrorist.
On 9 April 2018, the individual left The Lads Society Season Two Facebook group. Six days later he deleted 134 Facebook friends, including those made through The Lads Society, such as Thomas Sewell. For the next six months the individual did not use his Facebook account. When he did return to Facebook it was in a careful and measured manner. He denied to us that his April 2018 departure from the group may have been as a result of concerns about the February 2018 comments, claiming that it was instead due to his social anxiety.
He used Facebook Messenger to keep in touch with his family and Facebook friends, and later on as a method of contacting people to whom he had sold goods online.
He reprimanded his mother for using the term “neo-Nazi” in Facebook Messenger when she commented on his shaved hair and rhetoric. His mother understood that he was not offended at being called a “neo-Nazi”, but rather was worried that her use of the term on a popular messaging platform would be detected. Similarly, in a conversation with his sister on Facebook, the individual expressed concerns about the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation tracking him and asked her to change names on banking details to anonymise transactions relating to him. When we interviewed him, he said that there was an element of play-acting in all of this and that it is common for those on the far right to pretend to believe that they are under surveillance. This explanation exemplifies the problem identified in Part 2, chapter 5 – that is, the difficulty in distinguishing between what is ironic and what is meant literally. We are inclined to see these incidents as evidence of his genuine concern about operational security.
The Report also details the donations the killer made to various organisations and projects he supported: While living in New Zealand, the individual made at least another 14 donations to far right, anti-immigration groups and individuals. Some of these donations were made directly from the individual’s Australian bank account through PayPal and totalled AU$6,305.78.
The fourteen included TRS / The Right Stuff and Rebel News Network Ltd. TRS is Mike Peinovich’s babeh (see also : The Extremist Next Door, Chip Rowe, The Highlands Current, May 17, 2019). Former ‘Young National’ Clifford Jenning’s podcast ‘The Convict Report’ was once part of Peinovich’s network, and the podcast utilised the same Aussie Shitposter meme to promote its associated hashtag #DingoTwitter as did the killer; Rebel Media helped give birth to the careers of both Lauren ‘The Great Replacement’ Southern (now employed by Murdoch’s Sky News) and to Claire Lehmann, editor of the amateur phrenologist publication Quillette.
Of the killer’s connect, Jim Malo writes (How Do You Solve A Problem Like Sky News?, Junkee, December 10, 2020):
Included in his thousands of dollars in donations to right-wing websites like Stormfront, were donations to overtly white nationalist publications like Rebel Media and Freedomain Radio.
The Christchurch shooter gave money to Rebel Media at the same time it’s contributor Mark Latham … was using his platform to raise funds for his defence against Junkee’s former Political Editor, Osman Faruqi, which the latter brought against Latham for calling him a race hustler.
Rebel Media also used to employ Lauren Southern, who has previously promoted the great replacement theory. Andrew Bolt has done the same.
A very able grifter, while previously sponsored by billionaires The Mercers, Southern’s propaganda is now sponsored by the billionaire Murdoch.
See also : Australia must reckon with the fact the Christchurch terrorist developed much of his hatred here, Jeff Sparrow, The Guardian, December 10, 2020.
Mr Potato Head announced the establishment of an inquiry into ‘extremism’ by way of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Security and Intelligence.
Tyler the Destructor
Also this week, a teenage nazi from Albury named Tyler Jakovac was arrested and charged with terrorism offences.
Jakovac (AKA Slavko Konovalenko) was Very Active online, one of hundreds if not thousands of Aussie teenyboppers immersed in nazi subculture: ranting about Jews, sharing dank memes, and advocating RaHoWa. In Jakovac’s case (but also that of others), it appears that this was mostly achieved by way of Snapchat, Telegram and TikTok.
According to police, Jakovac’s diatribes were extreme-ly concerning, and provided an opportunity for them to conduct an arrest. According to the other /pol/, his arrest was TRIGGERED! after he posted a Dylann Roof meme on Snapchat (though this claim is obviously very difficult, if not impossible, to confirm).
In terms of ‘radicalisation’, there’s an argument to be made about how, given that various MPs and media figures already regularly decry the supposedly damaging effects of IMMIGRATION! ISLAMS! THE UNITED NATIONS! MULTICULTURALISM! (((CULTURAL MARXISM)))! POLITICAL CORRECTNESS! etc. upon Australian society, based teens who wanna virtue signal are naturally drawn to The JQ (typically, the one form of racism the MPs and pundits will never openly espouse) as a distinguishing feature. And if ‘The Jew’ is ultimately responsible for embarking upon ‘The Great Replacement’ that Sky News’s Lauren Southern and Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Brenton Tarrant have jointly warned Us about, identifying Them as the source of such dastardly plans almost inevitably leads to some variant of Nazism.
Speaking of Uncle Adolphus, Jakovac was aware of and expressed support for the ‘National Socialist Network’, reposting some of their shite, along with a range of other neo-Nazi and White supremacist propaganda, on his Telegram. NSN is of course one of the latest and almost certainly the most notorious Aussie groupuscule to explicitly adopt Nazi doctrines. (The NSN, meanwhile, claims that Jakovac tried to join the group, but did not.)
Finally, advocating Nazism is lawful activity, though antisemitism may — as Ryan Fletcher (David Hiscox’s XYZ) has recently discovered — eventually bring about legal difficulties.
See also : Far-right groups have used COVID to expand their footprint in Australia. Here are the ones you need to know about, Kaz Ross, The Conversation, December 11, 2020.