slackbastard 1 /// catallaxyfiles 0

Just a quick post to note the death of crankypants proprietarian blog ‘Catallaxy Files’.

Fittingly, the deceased’s body is now hosted by the NLA.

Liam Hogan writes:

At its worst, and there is no kind way to say this, it was a hatefully racist and sectarian sewer, and was a predecessor of the kind of filth-as-speech that is now the worst, and most dangerous, of social media. It would be kind, but unfair, to remember only its good moments, without the horrible.

That said, I did appreciate the following:

See also : Obituary for Catallaxy, John Quiggin, August 4, 2021.

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Neo-Nazi Serial Pest Neil Erikson Goes To Jail (Again)

[Update (August 3, 2021) : Extremist bailed to appeal abuse sentence, Karen Sweeney, The Canberra Times, August 2, 2021.]

Today, neo-Nazi serial pest Neil Erikson was sentenced to 10 weeks in jail after being convicted of disrupting a Christian religious service in Hawthorn in May 2019.

See : Vic extremist jailed for LGBT church abuse, Gus McCubbing, The Canberra Times, July 30, 2021 | Far-Right Extremist Jailed For Homophobic Abuse At Queer-Friendly Melbourne Church, Star Observer, July 30, 2021.

Erikson’s jail sentence follows soon after a previous one, having been found guilty in May of this year of disrupting a Muslim gathering in Federation Square in April 2019 (just a few weeks after the Christchurch massacre).

Prior to this, in February 2014, Erikson was found guilty of stalking a Melbourne rabbi but was spared a custodial sentence, the magistrate remarking that ‘she had no doubt Erikson’s calls were motivated by prejudice and found he had little remorse for his crime’; in handing down today’s sentence, Magistrate Angela Bolger told Erikson ‘It’s appalling and shameful conduct, but I suspect you might be beyond shame, because you’ve done this before’.

Indeed, Erikson has spent the last 15 years or so engaged in similar behaviour, had numerous court appearances, and never once expressed remorse. In May 2019:

Having disturbed a gathering of “faggots” on Sunday, on Monday Erikson was in court, along with [Ricky] Turner, to face charges arising from the Milo stoopid of December 2017. Erikson was later found guilty of affray & assault with a weapon, and received a 120-hour community corrections order as punishment; Turner accepted a plea deal of a $1,000 fine and a 12-month good-behaviour bond. (Last month, Erikson’s olde nazi chum Richard Whelan had his charges dropped, and earlier Dwayne McKenzie and Garry Hume received diversion orders, as did Soldier of Odin Garry Mattsson.)

Finally, shout-out to the two ostensible Christians who accompanied Erikson on his expedition to Hawthorn but who escaped charges. One of these was Claudia Benitez (AKA ‘Dia Beltran’; see : Victorian Liberals fear far-right incursions as YouTuber attends party event, Christopher Knaus and Michael McGowan, The Guardian, June 5, 2019). Benitez is one of numerous YouTube and social media propagandists who provide a platform for a range of neo-Nazis, White supremacists, AltRightists, conspiracy theorists, Christian fundamentalists, COVID-19 denialists and others, both (in)famous — Fraser ‘Final Solution’ Anning, LNP MP George Christensen, Russian fascist ideologue Aleksandr Dugin, PHONy’s Mark Latham, Proud Boy founder Gavin McInnes and convicted spousal abuser Avi Yemini — and more obscure.

See also : Political philosophy and Australian far-right media: A critical discourse analysis of The Unshackled and XYZ, Imogen Richards, Maria Rae, Matteo Vergani, Callum Jones, Thesis Eleven, Vol.163, No.1, April 2021.

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Better Read Than Dead ~versus~ Retail & Fast Food Workers Union

TLDR : heaps progressive bookshop ‘Better Read Than Dead’ in Newtown, Sydney is currently trying to stop workers from joining a union and obtaining minimal wages and conditions, viz:

… their first ever enterprise agreement to secure the most basic provisions:

• safety policies covering bullying, workplace harassment and discrimination;
• job security rights including conversion from casual to part time employment and protections in the case of redundancies; and
• a living wage of $25 per hour.

Workers are calling on Better Read Than Dead to treat them with respect and come to the table with a fair offer, and to end the union busting.

All of which seems fairly reasonable eh.

But while for over two decades Better Read Than Dead bookshop has thrived in the heart of Newtown’s King Street, which houses a vibrant community and offers one of the most eclectic shopping experiences in Sydney, and the business modestly describes itself as a literary landmark that nourishes the neighbourhood’s intellectual dynamics with a specially curated collection of books and regular author and community events, it seems that commerce triumphs over ‘community’ in this instance, and their staff’s collective decades of bookselling experience, diverse tastes and deep love of reading counts for nought.


In any case, you can support BRTD workers by donating to Welfare Support Fund for RAFFWU Members at Better Read Than Dead, sending messages of solidarity and support to RAFFWU and, if you scribble for a living, read and sign the petition Our words are in their hands: authors for Better Read Than Dead workers.

Posted in Art, Broken Windows, Film, Media, Music, Poetry, Sex & Sexuality, State / Politics, That's Capitalism! | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Yeah Nah Pasaran! #078 w Mike Rothschild on ‘The Storm is Upon Us’ : July 22, 2021

Oh hai.

On this week’s episode of Yeah Nah Pasaran!, I rejoin Cam to talk to Mike Rothschild [Twitter] about his NEW! book The Storm Is Upon Us: How QAnon Became a Movement, Cult, and Conspiracy Theory of Everything (Hachette Australia, 2021) — which is pretty much what it says on the tin.

See also : What Makes a Cult a Cult?, Zoë Heller, The New Yorker, July 5, 2021 | Why Does the QAnon Conspiracy Thrive Despite All its Unfulfilled Prophecies?, Time, June 30, 2021 | QAnon and on: why the fight against extremist conspiracies is far from over, Tim Adams, The Observer, June 20, 2021.

And in case you missed it, last week (July 15) Cam spoke to Talia Lavin, the author of Culture Warlords, about the January 6 Capitol riot/insurrection and Deplatform Hate, while on July 8 The Good Doctor spoke to Dr Kaz Ross about every ABC journalist’s favourite ‘Leninist’, Steve Bannon.

4.30pm, Thursday, July 22, 2021 /// 3CR /// 855AM / streaming live on the 3CR website

• Please note that the podcast version of this episode contains a longer discussion with Mike.
• You can listen to the podcast on Apple, Spotify and other platforms.
• We also have a Facebook page for the show, which you’re invited to ‘Like’ and to ‘Follow’.
• I have a Patreon account which youse are also invited to support.

Posted in !nataS, Anti-fascism, Broken Windows, History, Media, State / Politics, Television, That's Capitalism!, War on Terror | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yeah Yeah Nah Pasaran!


Just a brief post to note that:

a) During 3CR’s annual radiothon, Yeah Nah Pasaran! hit our target of $800 and then some, raising over $2,000 to help keep community radio on the air!


b) I’m taking a short break from broadcasting, but will be back very soon.


Posted in Anti-fascism, Collingwood, Media, State / Politics, That's Capitalism!, War on Terror | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Yeah Nah Pasaran! #075 w Jason Wilson on The GOP, the far-right & the coming water wars : July 1, 2021

On today’s episode of Yeah Nah Pasaran! Cam Smith talks to Jason Wilson.

4.30pm, Thursday, July 1, 2021 /// 3CR /// 855AM / streaming live on the 3CR website

• Please note that the podcast version of this episode contains a longer discussion with Jason.
• You can listen to the podcast on Apple, Spotify and other platforms.
• We also have a Facebook page for the show, which you’re invited to ‘Like’ and to ‘Follow’.
• I have a Patreon account which youse are also invited to support.

Posted in Anti-fascism, Broken Windows, Death, Media, State / Politics, That's Capitalism!, War on Terror | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

It’s a Nazi Supanova!?!

[Update (June 24, 2021) : Supanova expo under fire after vendor sells far-right merchandise in Sydney, Josh Taylor, The Guardian, June 24, 2021.]

aw geez

Supanova Comic Con & Gaming is Australia’s BIGGEST and BEST pop culture expo. It’s comic con, down under!

Supanova Comic Con & Gaming has been the welcoming home of Australia’s pop culture fandom since 2000; a place where fans inspired by imaginary worlds emanating from comics, sci-fi, fantasy, anime, gaming, nostalgia and literature have been able to come together to celebrate. A place to rejoice in cosplay (‘cos’tume role-‘play’) in expressing your inner geek, your inner child.

Supanova was founded and is run by a bloke called Daniel ‘Y U No Like Safe Schools’ Zachariou.

Anyway, the Sydney leg of Supanova (June 19/20) generated some (further) controversy after it was revealed that a batsh!t exhibitor called ‘Celtic Panzer’ was selling racist and ‘nazi’ paraphernalia. This was apparently brought to the attention of expo organisers on Friday evening, but it was seemingly only after word leaked on social media that on Sunday the Panzer division was eventually asked to pack up their troubles in their old kit bag and resile, resile, resile.

See : Supanova Under Fire After Vendor Sells Merchandise Featuring Swastikas At Sydney Show, Alex Walker, Kotaku, June 23, 2021.

While unreferenced in the Kotaku report, ‘Celtic Panzer’ is boomerwaffen cartoonist Mike McGann, who’s been pumping out propaganda for the ‘anti-immigration’ — that is, white nationalist — ‘Australia First Party’ (AFP) for some years now.

See : The Pioneering Art and Apparel of Australian designer Mike McGann, The Aither, May 16, 2019 | ART TALK VIDEO – Interview w/ Mike McGann (Dec. 2017), Art Whore, January 21, 2018.

Mike’s cartoons have expressed a certain, ah … antipathy … towards Teh anTEEfas. Thus, in response to a cartoon promoting opposition to the ‘Reclaim Australia’ rally in Sydney in April 2015, Mike — as the ‘Kooky Koalas Kollective’ — produced a cartoon for the AFP featuring a version of the same woman — tied up, and with her baseball bat shoved into her mouth — and a ‘Kooky Koala’ quipping ‘Well, Try That You Lefty Whore’. Later, again on behalf of the AFP, Mike celebrated the tremendous ‘victories’ Reclaim allegedly won over anti-fascists in 2015, declaring ‘Moslems Out!’, ‘Antifa Out Of Australia!’, and featuring a woman being disemboweled by another ‘Kooky Koala’. These are not the only cartoons Mike has produced for the AFP, but I think they give some sense of his political perspective.

As for Supanova, a number of sponsors and other participants withdrew from the event in the wake of the publicity surrounding the ‘Celtic Panzer’ stoopid, but today organisers published a statement commencing ‘We owe you all a massive apology’. In the meantime, a petition has been launched calling upon Zachariou to stand down. Also:

Kotaku Australia has also seen internal Supanova communications stating that Celtic Panzer, the booth responsible for selling the material above, has been banned from all future Supanova events. The vendor would also be “getting their money back”.

“Oh yeah, last thing, cancel culture really sucks,” the message from Supanova’s founder Daniel Zachariou added.


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Yeah Nah Pasaran! #074 w Julie Gottlieb on ‘Feminine Fascism: Women in Britain’s Fascist Movement’ : June 24, 2021

On this week’s episode of Yeah Nah, we talk to Julie Gottlieb [Twitter]. Julie is Professor in Modern History at the University of Sheffield and the author of Feminine Fascism: Women in Britain’s Fascist Movement, 1923-1945 (I. B. Tauris, 2021), a new edition of which has just been published.

The British Fascisti, the first fascism movement in Britain, was founded by a woman in 1923. During the 1930s, 25 per cent of Sir Oswald Mosley’s supporters were women, and his movement was ‘largely built up by the fanaticism of women.’ What was it about the British form of Fascism that accounted for this conspicuous female support? Gottlieb addresses these questions in the definitive work on women in fascism.

This book continues to fill a significant gap in the historiography of British fascism, which has generally overlooked the contribution of women on the one hand, and the importance of sexual politics and women’s issues on the other. Gottlieb’s extensive research makes use of government documents, a large range of contemporary pamphlets, newspapers and speeches, as well as original interviews with those personally involved in the movement.

This new edition includes a preface analysing the current affairs of the last 20 years, reframing the book according to contemporary context. Here, Gottlieb looks at the resurgence of populism, the rise of women as leaders of far-right parties across Europe and North America, and the normalisation of fascism in fiction and political discourse.

See/hear also : Britain’s Fascist Thread, in which Camilla Schofield explores the unbroken thread of fascism in Britain (BBC Radio 4).

4.30pm, Thursday, June 24, 2021 /// 3CR /// 855AM / streaming live on the 3CR website

• Please note that the podcast version of this episode contains a longer discussion with Julie.
• You can listen to the podcast on Apple, Spotify and other platforms.
• We also have a Facebook page for the show, which you’re invited to ‘Like’ and to ‘Follow’.
• I have a Patreon account which youse are also invited to support.

Posted in Anti-fascism, Broken Windows, History, Sex & Sexuality, State / Politics, That's Capitalism! | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

From a person not in certain positions of authority in some educational establishments

[Update (June 25, 2021) : A Public Letter to Annamarie Jagose, A group of concerned students from within the Gender and Cultural Studies Department, Honi Soit, June 25, 2021.]

Dear All,

A couple of years back, while I was in bed because I’m slack, a ‘United Patriots Front’ stunt was held at 3CR with a very smol crowd of nazis holding “Jews Will Not Replace Us” and “The Great Replacement” beliefs. I know this because I wrote about ’em for The Guardian a week or two before the stoopid and, scrolling through my social media feeds later that night, a handful of people mentioned the incident.

It was a beautiful Melbourne morning, clear blue skies and bright. Following speeches, an imaginary drum, a tambourine and horns marked time as the group gained entry, 3CR later reporting that they ‘filmed throughout the building without permission. In an effort to intimidate the station and its programmers, they then posted the video on their Facebook page.’ I admit it was a strange feeling when—sitting in my shitty Melbourne rental, catching up on the day—I realized that 3CR, even when empty, is an activatable ideological site. Not-so-strange to hear, for the umpteenth time, in a short video clip of the group walking around 3CR offices, my own name in an angwy rant by a man previously convicted of anti-Semitism (and, in June 2021, one just recently released from prison after being convicted following a further, Islamophobic stunt carried out in the wake of the Christchurch massacre).

You don’t have to be much of a queer theory maven to understand wage theft, but ‘the complexities of the interpellative moment that hails into being what it purports only to recognise’ is, I suppose, one way of saying ‘nazis gonna nazi’. I’d heard, of course, previous rallying cries against ‘Zaky Mallah’, whose cadences were maintained in the more recent switch to ‘Critical Race Theory’, so I didn’t take personally my own name being set down to a familiar marching-beat rhythm: ‘Andy, get out. We know what you’re all about.’ But while taking up the clear-eyed, all-knowing, hermeneutically suspicious position of the nazi thug who sees through the spin to the real core of (((managerial corruption)))), this chant also made an insinuatingly racialised recourse to my broadcasting.

I’m not the first person to note that, while the authority of the nazi thug is augmented by platforming him via the ABC, Channel 7, or Sky News Australia, the authority of media pundits is undermined by ignorance. In January 2019, when Alan Sunderland was attempting to comment on a rally organised by Fraser ‘Final Solution’ Anning in St Kilda, for example, it was notable that he wrote: ‘Personally, I wouldn’t call them Nazis. That implies a formality and consistency of belief that is not warranted by the facts. I’d call them people making nazi salutes. Accuracy matters.’

Or perhaps in my case, some uncertainty hangs over my surname—the relative exoticism of which causes some to hark back to the semi-legendary Melbourne anarchist John William ‘Chummy’ Fleming (1863–1950), described as having been a ‘gentle man, affectionately regarded by later generations, [who] looked forward to a millenium in which happiness and brotherly love would prevail’ and who, for ‘his part in the growing militancy of the unemployed … was beaten up by paid thugs and isolated from mainstream politics’. Hard to shout convincingly through a megaphone when you’re bruised and bloodied. (For the record, the emphasis remains on class struggle.)

But either way, wage theft is bAd, mmmkay?



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“That’s not Balwyn calling!” Soup But No Bail for Tom Sewell

TLDR : Charged with numerous offences following an alleged incident at Cathedral Range on May 8, a bail application by neo-Nazi leader Thomas (Tom) Sewell was refused yesterday. He remains in custody, and his next scheduled court date is August 2 — a committal hearing stemming from an earlier incident when it’s alleged Tom assaulted a security guard outside the offices of Channel 9.

See : Thomas Sewell to remain behind bars after being bail denied on armed robbery, assault charges, Danny Tran, ABC, June 9, 2021 | Neo-Nazis leader Thomas Sewell refused bail over alleged attack on hikers, Adam Cooper, The Age, June 9, 2021 | Neo-Nazi Tom Sewell denied bail over alleged Victoria state park attack, Michael McGowan, The Guardian, June 9, 2021 | Police tell court neo-Nazi Thomas Sewell is ‘prepared for and expects confrontation’, Sam Cucchiara, Channel 9 (A Current Affair), June 9, 2021 | Self-confessed white supremacist Thomas Sewell denied bail over alleged armed robbery and assault, SBS (AAP), June 9, 2021.

Briefly, then:

• Sewell is variously described as a ‘neo-Nazi’ ‘leader’, a ‘self-confessed’ ‘white supremacist’, ‘the national leader of the European Australian Movement [EAM], and … heavily involved in the National Socialist Movement’. In which context: while there is a rudimentary ‘national socialist’ movement in Australia (one that is linked to its counterparts in other countries), the NSM is a US organisation and Sewell is the leader of the National Socialist Network (NSN). Inre the relationship between the EAM and the NSN, the EAM was ‘officially’ launched at the beginning of 2020, and was intended to function as a ‘front’ group for the NSN: a public-facing, less-obviously neo-Nazi project which would provide a political space for White supremacists not yet prepared to ‘Go Full Nazi’. In other words, the two organisations should be considered as being basically synonymous. As I wrote in June last year:

For a brief period of time after the establishment of its new bunker in Rowville, [The Lads Society] engaged in a discussion about establishing a front group. Thus at the start of 2020 TLS rebranded itself as the ‘European Australian Movement’, and even managed to obtain a website for the projekt … For reasons, EAM was junked in favour of a more straight-forwardly nazi project: the NSN. This is an interesting development insofar as The Lads are no longer pretending not to be what they are: neo-Nazis. This also has the benefit of making it a little more difficult for members of the commentariat to pretend otherwise (though they will of course try). Beyond this, in being more honest about their politics, The Lads have abandoned any real attempt to ‘go mainstream’ while wrapped in the national flag, and the semi-mythical Ordinary Mums & Dads™ have similarly been abandoned in favour of recruiting from among Angry Young Men. The explicit embrace of neo-Nazism also seeks to draw upon the teenyboppers who’ve been radicalised by way of Iron March, Fascist Forge and other, more obscure forums …

TLDR : EAM is NSN is EAM is NSN; Sewell is/was the leader of both but, while incarcerated, responsibility has been handed over to his sidekick, Jacob Hersant, the 22-year-old ‘veteran’ of defunct nazi grouplet ‘Antipodean Resistance’.

• According to Cucchiara’s report, the prosecution claimed that ‘Mr Sewell had links to bikies, being “close friends” with a Finks member’ — which is interesting. In general, there are often informal links between OMCGs and nazi gangs in Australia, but such relationships are typically much more pronounced in Europe (see, for example : Hells Angels in Germany and Portugal) and North America. Thus when Mr Sewell and his comrades in the ‘United Patriots Front’ decided to launch their abortive political party ‘Fortitude’ in Perth, they did so at the ‘headquarters’ of the Aryan Nations, a short-lived branch of the ‘Aryan Nations Sadistic Souls MC’ (Illinois), and there are several individuals in the orbit of defunct groups like the UPF, the ‘Soldiers of Odin’ and the ‘True Blue Crew’ who’ve drifted in to and out of bikie gangs. Certainly, any ongoing association between nazis and bikies is guaranteed to generate interest on the part of law enforcement. See also : ‘Neo-Nazi’ who claims he was discriminated against in Canberra’s jail loses tribunal bid for anonymity, Harry Frost and Michael Inman, ABC, May 26, 2021.

• Supposedly, Sewell and his kameraden believed that the hikers allegedly attacked by them were anTEEfas, but there’s ‘no evidence the six hikers had any connection to Antifa or any other left-wing organisation’. That said, given rampant paranoia about anTEEfas in Sewell’s gang — see, for example, Jarrad ‘Jaz’ Searby stalking an old-age pensioner after he made an unkind comment about ‘Hard Knocks’ on The Facebooks — this reaction is understandable. This paranoia was further reinforced by way of subsequent commentary by Sewell’s kameraden David Hiscox and Matthew Roebuck (XYZ) and Searby’s #BFF Timmeh Wilms (The Unhinged). According to Timmeh! (‘Timmeh!’s News Explosion’, YouTube, May 17, 2021), the subjects of the alleged assault were likely either anTEEfas or, possibly, infiltrators. According to Hiscox and Roebuck, those allegedly assaulted were likely degenerate Communists (in which case, their testimony may be safely disregarded).

• More seriously: The court heard the alleged victims called police but since then some had been too afraid to make a statement to investigators. “We’re in discussions with these two victims but they are adamant that they are too petrified of persecution and not willing to provide sworn statements,” Senior Constable Taylor said. Further: Senior Constable Taylor told the court that since being in custody, Mr Sewell has been heard on prison phone calls urging his members to “investigate the victims to gather evidence”. “Sewell reinforced to those members that they read the witness statements and look for clues, stating, ‘It’s so important for you guys to keep researching and keep investigating,'” Senior Constable Taylor said. If so, this would not be surprising, and it’s certainly possible that, if the complainants were to be publicly identified, they would be the subject of harassment and/or intimidation.

• Finally, while a number of her protectors continue to work in the security industry, at this stage it does seem likely that Sky News Australia’s Lauren ‘The Great Replacement’ Southern will have to wait some time before Mister Sewell is able to once again to place himself at her disposal.

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