On Saturday, May 13, the neo-Nazi groupuscule ‘National Socialist Network’ (NSN) organised a rally at Parliament House in Melbourne. Desperately unhappy at being unable to afford to leave their parents’ leafy homes in the eastern suburbs, approximately 30 NSN members attended the event. There, under the direction of their fuehrer Tom Sewell, the boys briefly unfurled a banner demanding greater Lebensraum — both for themselves but, more importantly, their infantile phantasies of racial superiority.
Having announced that they’d assemble at midday, the nazis cheekily rocked up several hours early. Happily, that meant they were treated to some good old-fashioned YARDing by local comedian Sean Bedlam. However, not long after having been granted the chance to realise their main aim — a photo opportunity — the slow-witted but fast-moving police who’d joined the nazis on the steps of parliament — placed under some pressure from oppositional elements (see below) — ushered them off the stage and into Spring Street. There, many more police — on foot, mounted and utilising capsicum spray — were mobilised in order to facilitate the nazi parade, and to defend it from hundreds of anti-fascists who’d gathered in opposition.
In the end — which was half-an-hour before the official kick-off time of 12 o’clock — police eventually decided to escort the nazis away from parliament and to the nearby Fitzroy Gardens. There the budding génocidaires spent a short while recuperating (and graciously providing an opportunity to be d0xxed) before leaving the city. Sadly, at least one of their vehicles — which included a 2012 blue Holden Captiva, registration number ZAY 124, a 2008 red Holden Commodore (WMM 800), a 2007 red Ford Falcon (URF 470) and a 2006 blue Holden Berlina (UHD 454) — had developed some serious tyre problems in the meantime.
As expected, media reportage obsessed over the fact that there was some conflict between members of the NSN and counter-protesters and that police used violence in order to ensure the brief rally could take place and the NSN could be safely escorted from the area. To date, only two arrests have been reported (both of which would appear to have been of anti-fascists) though this may change as police review their own, surveillance and media footage. The sight of seig-heiling neo-Nazis parading outside parliament also inevitably produced the usual denunciations by political leaders and various other worthies.
plus ça change
See : Federal government labels neo-Nazis ‘political lunatics’ following violent clash at anti-immigration rally, Andi Yu and Phoebe Hosier, ABC | Two arrested as neo-Nazi group clashes with police at Victorian Parliament, Lachlan Abbott and Ashleigh McMillan, The Age | Neo-Nazis clash with police and counter-protesters at anti-immigration rally in Melbourne, Nino Bucci, The Guardian.
Above : Former ‘mummawarrior’ against Safe Schools turned secretary of ‘March for the Babies’ turned Liberal MP Moira Deeming being interviewed for ‘The UnHinged’ blog by editor Tim ‘Right Wing Death Squad’ Wilms.
• Leaving aside their attendance at ANZAC Day commemorations, the last time Sewell and his Lads rallied in public was on March 18, when they joined fans of right-wing grifter Posie Parker in denouncing local trans* communities. On that occasion, the local Hitler Yoof were able to take advantage of the additional protection afforded by police not only to the ‘foreign agitator’ but to local Liberal MP Moira Deeming. Deeming’s participation in the rally subsequently created severe headaches for the Victorian Liberals, which culminated on Friday with her expulsion from the parliamentary party room (if not, as she insists, the party itself). The anti-abortionist/’women’s rights’ campaigner is definitely not the sort to turn the other cheek and, in this context, I would like to state — for the record — that, in my view, Moira Deeming is a brilliant woman with lots of well thought-out, practical ideas. She is ensuring the political stability of her party for years to come. Oh yes, and her social media is above reproach.
• Convicted spousal abuser and serial pest Avi Yemini, having given a chummy interview to Lady Parker after the March 18 rally and already a nodding acquaintance with various local neo-Nazi activists, took the opportunity of this second rally to have a friendly chat with aspiring Victorian Gauleiter Tom Sewell. Prior to this grilling, Yeminem was reported to have been bonked on the head, but mostly he seems to have suffered (and got vewy angwy) from being reminded of his cowardly abuse.
• Curiously, while police declared the area around parliament a designated area and thus subject to the provisions of the Control of Weapons Act 1990 (10KA), they chose not to avail themselves of the opportunity to unmask the young nazis they’d gathered in order to protect. For those of you coming in late:
The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Public Order) Bill 2017 was introduced into parliament by the Victorian Attorney General, Martin Pakula to allow “new measures to prevent serious disturbances of public order, including outbreaks of violence at protests, demonstrations and other public events.” The intense media and public outcry after the clashes between neo-nazi and Antifa groups in Coburg in May 2016 meant that the pressure was on to introduce laws that make it look like the government is doing something about this.
Of course, this has not prevented anti-fascists from unmasking several of the participants in Sewell’s latest stunt and, unfortunately for them, his hare-brained schemes are certain to expose others. The video above, produced by the White Rose Society, names Jack Bell, Will Casdorff, Jesse Casdorff, Graham Connolly, Kai Cooper, Stephen Eracleous, Vincent Grillo, Ethan Hendren, David Hiscox, Tim Lutze, Rebecca Morris, Michael Nelson, Brodie ‘Cousin Lover’ Potts, Jimmy ‘The Neck’ Roberts, Raphael Smith and Jeremy White as NSN members. (See also : “The NSN is dead! Long live the NSN!” (September 9, 2021).) Having long since come out of the closet as a neo-Nazi, in January Sewell was sentenced to an 18-month community corrections order with 150 hours of community service for affray and recklessly causing injury, but the silly bugger from Balwyn is back again in court in a few months when he’ll be contesting charges arising from an alleged altercation in the Cathderal Range. While Sewell says he works full-time as a labourer and apprentice, word on the street is that, in addition to public embarrassment and a flat tyre or two, a number of his flunkys have experienced technical difficulties of their own with regards gainful employment.
• Several years ago, a Queensland electrician called Simon Hickey gained a small measure of internet fame as the ‘Nazi Sparky‘ after he became the official sponsor of Andrew Anglin’s blog ‘The Daily Stormer’. (In Australia, its principal contributor was convicted stalker, Australia First Party activist and NSN critic Nathan Sykes.) More recently, another small business owner, Jack Eltis, was reported as being the leader of the NSN franchise in NSW: ‘The NSN’s New South Wales cell leader is Jack Eltis, a tradesman who has conducted training events for neo-Nazis in NSW … “The men in our organisation know that no temporary sacrifice is too great for the future of the white race,” he says.’
• While not exactly setting the streets alight with Aryan supremacy, the nazis can claim a little victory in helping to shutdown drag queen events. As Cait Kelly notes (Councils call off drag storytime and LGBTQ+ events in Victoria after far-right threats, The Guardian, May 13, 2023):
Several councils across Victoria have quietly cancelled drag queen storytime and LGBTQ+ events after threats from far-right groups’Last week Monash council cancelled a drag storytime event scheduled for International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) after angry protesters derailed a council meeting. Several other local government areas have quietly followed suit, calling off family-friendly queer events planned for IDAHOBIT on 17 May.
The lesson here is that threats of violence towards performers and audiences works wonders, especially when the targets include families, children and young people. And even if the NSN has been joined by numerous other motivated actors in pressuring authorities to cancel these events, the lengths police are prepared to go in order to protect public assemblies by nazis stands in vivid contrast to their willingness to defend LGBTQIA+ events from nazi and anti-queer attack.
Bonus! Reddit-ed Account
• The NSN arrived at parliament early, around 9.25am. While other anti-fascists began arriving from around 10am, the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (CARF) counter-protest was scheduled for 11.30am. Upon arrival, a small affinity group of antifascists penetrated the barricaded area surrounding parliament and ‘got up in the faces of the NSN, yelling at them by name. The nazis promptly lost their minds while police, who’d previously been having a laugh on the steps with the fascists, ran to push back the antifascists. Chaos ensued and, honeymoon over, the nazis scuffled with the cops as they were forced from the steps. One of the nazis, Nathan Bull (whose father is police), took a tumble and hit concrete. Another nazi, Jimeone ‘The Neck’/’Neckhole’ Roberts, got sprayed and arrested.’ (Roberts may have been the ’30-year-old Doreen man arrested for theft of a police body camera and assaulting police’.) Upon being given a move-on order by police, the NSN were followed by anti-fascists through side-streets, more scuffles followed and a can of something hit NSN leader Tom Sewell and he went down. Police responded with indiscriminate use of capsicum spray, hitting one of their own officers in the process, and detaining a number of people. Naarm Frontline Medics treated police casualties, while anti-fascists kept watch. The NSN had originally planned to crash the Nakba Rally at the State Library but needless to say, they never made it.