A group of anarchists and anti-fascists have been sentenced to lengthy jail terms after being convicted of belonging to a fictitious terror network imaginatively dubbed ‘The Network’ by Russian authorities.
… if I were a betting man, I would wager that our tiresome planet’s obnoxious pillars of liberal truth—the New York Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post, and Al Jazeera, among others—will suddenly weigh in on the case after blithely ignoring it for two years, as will many if not all of the crypto-Putinist “Russia watchers” in our midst, eerily silent until now. Barring a sudden revolution, don’t imagine this is the last such case in Russia, a country that has worried so many people around the world for the last several years that they’re determined not to know anything particular about it except “Putin” and “troll factories.” And don’t imagine that a show trial just as juicy and unjust won’t be coming to a theater near you. Please don’t reprint, repost or otherwise reference this article without prefacing it with my remarks. I’d like to preempt “spontaneous” shows of “solidarity” by people who couldn’t be bothered to do anything when it would have made a difference. Despite the well-known saying, it IS a popularity contest, and seven innocent young men in Penza have lost it. [TRR]
For background to the case, and the situation of the seven convicted men — Dmitry Pchelintsev (18 years jail), Ilya Shakursky (16), Maxim Ivankin (13), Andrei Chernov (14), Mikhail Kulkov (10), Vasily Kuksov (9) and Arman Sagynbayev (6) — see : rupression.com.
KIDNAPPING, ELECTROCUTING, BEATING UP
The FSB fabricates the case about terrorism against antifascists
On the eve of the presidential election and the World Cup repressions began in Russia. Activists are being kidnapped, beaten up, electrocuted, forced to sign and learn investigative evidence, in which law enforcement investigation interested, by heart. Besides tortures and battery, detainees are threatened to be imprisoned for long time: secret services incriminate participation in mythical terrorist organization called “Network”.
A while ago some body asked me to recommend some (anarchist/left/progressive) /pəˈlɪtɪk(ə)l/ podcasts. As a slave to the market, below is a list of a few dozen that I think may be of interest. Most are published on multiple platforms, but where they’re not I’ve included links to specific instances; most are also Yanqui, gotta Patreon, and Twitter account. Obviously, there’s hundreds and thousands of other interesting podcasts out there. Equally obviously, this list is not exhaustive, and I may add to it as time goes by, so feel free to leave a comment with suggestions.
• I do monthly radios on Melbourne community radio station 3CR with my co-host Dr Cam. It’s Radiothon time and we need your filthy lucre. Please feel free to make a donation. Cam is holding our old shows ransom at the moment, and stated that he’ll only release them if we hit our target, when I can then upload them to Patreon.
‘A podcast about fascists, nazis, and [the] far right, from the perspective of the left’ [Patreon/Twitter].
Against the Grain
‘Against the Grain is a radio and web media project whose aim is to provide in-depth analysis and commentary on a variety of matters — political, economic, social, and cultural — important to progressive and radical thinking and activism’ [via KPFA].
‘Since the millennium change John Zerzan has been expressing his anti-civilization views on his one hour live radio show‘, smashing civilisation one broadcast at a time.
‘A comedy and politics podcast from the leftest reaches of the left. Get that Antifada Mindset’ [Patreon/Twitter].
‘The period in which Western liberal democracy was held to be ‘the final form of human government’ is now over. Aufhebunga Bunga is the left-wing podcast that is charting what’s emerging and what comes next’ [Patreon/Twitter]. Sidenote : Aufheben is one of the more interesting Marxist zines.
Behind the Bastards
A podcast (via HowStuffWorks) by a bastard otherwise known as Robert Evans, which profiles some of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet [Twitter].
Behind the News
‘Host Doug Henwood covers the worlds of economics and politics and their complex interactions, from the local to the global] [KPFA].
A podcast sponsored by Dissent magazine and hosted by Josh Eidelson and Sarah Jaffe, Belabored examines the trials and tribulations of the US lab0ur movement: ‘Every week, they’ll take listeners behind the scenes of the latest stories in labor journalism. They’ll interview high-profile guests and working people.’
‘Citations Needed is a weekly podcast about the intersection of media, PR, and power, hosted by Nima Shirazi and Adam Johnson’ [Patreon/Twitter].
Coffee with Comrades
‘Coffee with Comrades is rooted in militant joy. We make a conscious effort to eschew pretentious sectarian shenanigans. Instead, our hope is to cultivate a warm and inviting atmosphere, like walking into your favorite coffee shop to sit down with some of your closest comrades and share a heart-to-heart conversation’ [Patreon/Twitter].
The zine with a podcast. ‘Every other week our editorial team brings you a mixture of discussion, analysis, and whimsy’ [Patreon].
David Harvey’s Anti-Capitalist Chronicles
David Harvey is a Marxist geographer: these are his stories.
Dead Pundits Society
Democratic Socialism, yeah? ‘Forging a new left agenda in the midst of our neoliberal hellscape — Join us weekly for the best news and analysis from a left perspective’ [Patreon/Twitter].
Delete Your Account
‘Hosted by journalist Roqayah Chamseddine and her plucky sidekick Kumars Salehi. Every week we will talk about important stories from the worlds of politics and pop culture, both on and off-line, in a way that will never bore you’ [Patreon/Twitter].
‘A Podcast of Anarchist Ideas and Action For Everyone Who Dreams of a Life Off the Clock’ — a part of the sprawling CrimethInc media empire.
‘The Floodcast is Flood Media’s regular political podcast. It brings together a range of Brisbane-based commentators to discuss and analyse contemporary political issues from a radical left standpoint.’
‘A podcast focused on social movements and international politics from a libertarian socialist perspective, brought to you by members of Black Rose/Rosa Negra Anarchist Federation.’
General Intellect Unit
‘Podcast of the Cybernetic Marxists. Examining the intersection of Technology, (Left) Politics, and Philosophy’ [Patreon/Twitter].
‘A Marx-ish™ podcast about history, politics, pop culture, and the end of the world’ [Patreon/Twitter].
Pluto Press: Radicals in Conversation
‘Radicals in Conversation is a monthly podcast from Pluto Press, one of the world’s leading independent, radical publishers.’
Proles of the Round Table
From The Department Of Communism Will Win, ‘a podcast where a group of communists sit down, have some drinks (usually beer or La Croix), and talk about leftist history. Sometimes we have guests and sometimes it’s just us, but it’s always spicy. The only thing that will never change is the heat of the takes’ [Patreon/Twitter].
Sigmarxism is surely among the top 100 podcasts ‘dedicated to discussing Warhammer 40k and Age of Sigmar from the perspective of leftist ideology’ [Twitter].
SRB Podcast (Sean’s Russia Blog)
Cool story, comrade: a podcast examining Soviet/Russian history, politics and society, brung to you by Sean Guillory.
Srsly Wrogn ‘is a podcast about: liberalism, marxism, utopianism, anarchism / the personal as political / alleged paradoxes / world peace / common ground / phronesis/praxis / metamodernism’ [Patreon/Twitter].
‘We’re a comedy podcast based in London. We talk about the grasping moronic politicians, the serenely evil tech zillionaires, the garbled nonsense culture, and all the other dumb shit around the globe that makes our current horrible existence possible’ [Patreon/Twitter].
‘A debatably Jewish podcast … Recorded at CKUT on occupied Kanien’kehá:ka territory (Montreal), Sam Bick and David Zinman reflect on the political discussions that are happening (and not happening) in North American Jewish communities’ [Patreon/Twitter]. See also : Mazel Tov Cocktail (2017), ‘A Jew-ish left podcast from the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation (Melbourne)’.
Trillbilly Workers Party
‘Trillbilly Workers Party is a podcast about a town called Whitesburg, Kentucky’/’Voted best left politics podcast in the Appalachian region—three years running’ [Patreon/Twitter].
What is says on the tin … History is not made by the actions of a few rich and powerful individuals, like so much of the history we learn in school. History is made by the combined everyday actions of hundreds of millions of us: women, men, youth, people of colour, migrants, indigenous people, LGBT people, disabled people, workers, older people, the unemployed, housewives – the working class.
Another year done gone, and another opportunity to review what the Hell I’ve been writing about.
Please note that, at this stage, I’m unsure if I’ll continue blogging in 2019 as — combined with having a social media presence on Facebook and Twitter (which have more-or-less completely destroyed the so-called ‘blogosphere’) — it’s extremely time-consuming, and completely unrewarding financially, making the whole thing rather unsustainable. So, I’m going to take a break in January, and think about ways I may be able to make it so. In the absence of financial support of some kind, chances are I’ll simply abandon the field to others, who can undertake their own research.
With that said …
January saw the release of Romper Stomper on Stan, in which I was virtually cast in the role of ‘the ideological ringmaster, McKew’, a University lecturer who functioned as the bRanes behind ‘Antifasc’, and who published his insights on a website named ‘The Slacker’s Guide To Fascists’.
The journalist responsible for the report, Jodi Lee, was given the opportunity to gain some greater insight into the nature of the milieu Channel 7 was promoting when, 10 months later, serial pest Neil Erikson attempted to sabotage her broadcast from the scene of Hassan Khalif Shire Ali’s awful crime, and he was later to remark that, given her obvious irritation, she may have secretly desired him to rape her.
At best, this remark was in very poor taste, but has added menace given that the leading members of both TBC and The Lads have criminal convictions for violent crimes against women. Not normally the kinds of men you’d want to entrust with ‘community safety’, but what would I know eh.
In any case, the following synopsis of the inglorious history of the TBC by Tom Tanuki bears repeating:
The TBC were formed after a few of their original core crew got into a scrap with some Antifa kids after a 2015 rally. ‘Never again,’ they said! So, the TBC were originally meant to be a patriot answer to black bloc Anteefa contingents.
Their red letter day came in May 2016, when they took part in an organised attempt to have the far-right march through Coburg. Their brief, televised fights with masked lefties were a big popularity boost for them. TBC started charging membership fees – $20 a week, $10 for ‘casual’ members. At one point, they were earning tens of thousands of dollars in just a few months! The money was being managed by TBC ‘President’ Kane Miller’s partner and her sister and all of that money was going to Kane. He was largely spending it as he liked.
Behind closed doors, the ‘President’ was abusing his partner. He even broke her back. He wasn’t the only woman-bashing TBC member, either – and when photographic evidence of another member’s brutal assault on his wife was made public, Kane avoided the increasing media spotlight on TBC by kicking Mark out. Members knew that decision made Kane a bit of a hypocrite, for the abovementioned reasons… So they started leaving the TBC. Kane’s abused partner finally left him too and the money management side of TBC went down the drain. The things she revealed about the abuse meant even more TBC members left the group – and they took their membership fees with them.
Kane went quiet for a long while, feeling defeated. TBC ‘club meetings’ dwindled after a time to little more than 12 unemployed blokes sitting around sucking cones in Kane’s mum’s living room. But the lure of conning working class Aussies out of their hard-earned wages still called to Kane. So TBC returned somewhat with an Australia Day BBQ in St Kilda (a genius idea he came up with after a sesh watching the new Romper Stomper). And he had some stupid fucking idea to wander around parks with a bunch of other losers looking for Sudanese children to fight. A meeting he held at Tom Sewell’s Cheltenham clubhouse was televised, with Channel 7 airing a description of the TBC’s initiative as being ‘like a Neighbourhood Watch’ – and it seemed to the world like the TBC were back!
It was not like a Neighbourhood Watch. It was just more hare-brained, shard-addled fantasy garbage from a man who was desperate to be given more membership fees to enjoy himself with. He says it’s for a ‘clubhouse’ but it isn’t and it never will be. TBC only have about 5-10 people contributing membership fees and they get most of their cash from merch. It’s not enough. Kane just wants to siphon more money out from poor, angry, confused Aussies.
That money won’t do anything but fund the TBC ‘President’ and his lifestyle. This is a man who gets cash-in-hand from his Muslim boss (serious!) and has membership fees go into his mates’ bank account so child support can’t take it. This is a man with convictions for domestic violence (he was also violent to his last ex, who also dumped him), multiple AVO breaches and firearms charges who won’t pay for his own child. Money given to TBC is fleeced money, and it pays for a shit fucking dude.
Finally, in January Victoria Police began to undertake arrests and charge various individuals, including Erikson, with various alleged offences arising from confrontations outside the Milo Yiannopoulos event at Melbourne Pavilion in December 2017. (VicPol also declared that the organisers of the event would face a phat invoice for the cost of policing it — a bill which main organiser Damien Costas declared that he simply would not pay.)
In February I took note of the very large march through Melbourne on Australia/Invasion/Survival Day.
I also took the opportunity to examine Keyboard Warriors of the Australian #AltRight : XYZ & David Hiscox, an online publication which, like others of its ilk, has become increasingly brazen in its commitments to promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, White supremacy, and other fun stuff. Regular XYZ columnist Ryan Fletcher:
Finally, Oxford University Press released The Oxford Handbook of the Radical Right, to which myself and Aurelien Mondon contributed a chapter on the radical right in Australia. I also drew attention to the Perth trial of members of Aryan Nations for murder, the fact that they played host to the UPF when they journeyed to Perth for the ‘Reclaim Australia’ rally in November 2015, and the fact that the Aryan Nations household was used as the location for the UPF’s announcement that they were going to form a political party, ‘Fortitude’.
Just two posts this month, one on ‘Firearm Owners United’ — a gun lobby whose President, James Buckle, was one of the founding members of The Lads Society — and another detailing a whole load of stuff, including the murder convictions of Aryan Nations, the beginning of the end of the Sydney-based Party for Freedom, alleged terrorist Phill Galea being deemed fit for trial, and more besides.
In April I began to examine some of the chancers and spivs on the right who, looking at the lucrative tour by Milo in December, decided that they too wanted a piece of the action; took note of a whiny Blair Cottrell; outed a member of neo-Nazi grouplet ‘Antipodean Resistance’; and wrote a reply to an article in the US radical press which claimed anTEEfa was a species of ‘liberalism’.
On a rather different note, I also profiled Melbourne’s second-hand bookshops.
Again, just two posts this month (‘antifa notes’), including infos on the forced cancellation of a neo-Nazi heavy metal gig in Melbourne, Aryan Nations, Right Wing Resistance, the disruption of a church service in Gosford by serial pest Neil Eikson & Co., and a bizarre interaction with a right-wing propaganda outlet in the US.
I was a bit more busy in June. First, I detailed the role of the Arcadia Hotel in South Yarra as the favourite watering-hole for the Australian Liberty Alliance (the owner is also an anti-Muslim bigot), then detailed preparations by ‘Axiomatic Events’ for the tour Down Under of batshit right-wing propagandists Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern (both celebrated by Newscorpse), and its battles with rival hate-profiteers ‘Future Now’. I also promoted solidarity with Flemington estate arrestees (cf. Milo Yiannopoulos), recounted the TBC’s annual flagwit parade, published an extract from Roger Griffin’s new title on the fascist concept of the ultra-nation, and finally detailed Neil Erikson’s various battles with the forces of law & order.
In June, I also done a interview with socialist group Fightback in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
July was dedicated to Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern’s tour of Australia, including by way of drawing attention to its support by the AFL in Cairns. (Nobody else cared.)
September saw alleged terrorist Phillip Galea back in court. The Age : ‘An accused far-right extremist spoke often about bombing two left-wing groups in Melbourne and said any innocent bystanders hurt would be “casualties of war”, an associate says. Phillip Galea is charged with making preparations for terrorist attacks on the Melbourne Anarchist Club and Melbourne Resistance Centre between November 2015 and August 2016.’ It also saw Nigel Farage in The Colonies. In Melbourne, Farage — whose tour was organised by Damien Costas — was hosted by the Sofitel Hotel. Among those in attendance were serial pest Neil Erikson (who was briefly detained by police) and his kamerad Andy Nolch, the man responsible for vandalising the memorial to murdered woman Eurydice Dixon.
Also in September, I republished a letter from philosopher Simone Weil, recounting her experiences in the Spanish Civil War and involvement with a CNT militia, and made some notes on the role of the International Brigades in the conflict, updated the Trot Guide, and published an extract from an essay Elizabeth Humphrys wrote on ‘Halcyon Days? The Amalgamated Metal Workers’ Union and the Accord’. In the Trot Guide update I also made reference to the recently-published book The Far Left in Australia since 1945 (Routledge, 2018), edited by Jon Piccini, Evan Smith & Matthew Worley.
On October 6, go-to lawyer for the far right, John Bolton, organised a tiny rally outside Lakemba. It attracted the support of All The Usual Suspects, including a handful of neo-Nazis, at least one of whom was implicated in later political shenanigans in NSW. Thus October also brought the sensational news that a bunch of nazis had infiltrated the Young Nationals in that state. Finally, in mid-October, right-wing Christians in Melbourne held a ‘March for Babies’. The organisers also employed neo-Nazis from The Lads Society to provide security.
Typically, no reference was made to this in media coverage.
*Oh. Also in October, I closed my blog and social media accounts for a few days. Which prompted various right-wing meatheads to proclaim that I’d been arrested and prolly flown to Guantanamo or something. LOL.
Finally, I examined the denunciations of Australia First Party propagandist Nathaniel Jacob Sassoon Sykes by members of The Lads Society (as detailed in their secret Facebook group) and highlighted the ongoing campaign to shutdown The Lads’ organising space in the Sydney suburb of Ashfield.