Damien Costas Presents : Gavin McInnes & Tommy Robinson Live in Australia (December 2018)

Update (November 30, 2018) : McInnes has been denied a visa. See : Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes denied visa to tour Australia, Matthew Doran, ABC, November 30, 2018. In other news, Costas has added Milo Yiannopoulos to the bill.

Update (November 29, 2018) : Damien Costas has elected to delay the tour until February 2019.

Update (November 22, 2018) : The shepherd has abandoned his flock. See : Proud Boys Founder Gavin McInnes Claims He’s Quitting Far-Right Group, Will Sommer, The Daily Beast, November 22, 2018 | Proud Boys Founder Gavin McInnes Quits Group A Day After FBI Calls It ‘Extremist’, David Moye, The Huffington Post, November 22, 2018 (“I’m told by my legal team and law enforcement that this gesture could help alleviate their sentencing” McInnes said in a 36-minute YouTube video.) | Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes ‘reluctantly’ quits the group in the wake of news that FBI considers them ‘extremists’, Noor Al-Sibai, Raw Story, November 21, 2018.

In the meantime, professional Pommy whinger Stephen Yaxley-Lennon has announced that he’ll be attending a pro-Brexit rally in London on December 9, slap-bang in the middle of his tour of The Colonies …

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“We will kill you. That’s the Proud Boys in a nutshell.” “Can you call for violence generally? ‘Cause I am. Fighting solves everything. We need more violence from the Trump people. Get a fuckin’ gun. Get ready to blow someone’s fuckin’ head off.” ~ Gavin McInnes


img via Aussie Anarchist Meme Squat c/o Aussie Violent Leftie Memes for Authoritarian Terrorist Teens

Mouthy little Pommy gobshite Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson AKA Andrew McMaster AKA Paul Harris) and Proud Boys founder Gavin ‘Chinless’ McInnes are touring The Colonies next month. The tour kicks off in Adelaide in two weeks time, with the Melbourne leg a week later. While venues will not be announced until 24 hours prior to the two racist meatheads taking to the stage, previous venues are shown (below):

• ADELAIDE : WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 5 (Festival Functions in Findon)
• PERTH : FRIDAY DECEMBER 7 (Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre)
• MELBOURNE : TUESDAY DECEMBER 11 (Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington/La Mirage in Somerton)
• GOLD COAST : THURSDAY DECEMBER 13 (Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre)
• SYDNEY : SUNDAY DECEMBER 16 (Le Montage/International Convention Centre Sydney)

The tour is being organised by Damien Costas under the umbrella of Penthouse Australia.

Costas is a savvy profiteer, having instructed Victoria Police to go fuck themselves when presented with an invoice for services rendered following the MILO tour of December 2017, and presumably his legal battle with publicist Max Markson is going well, even if:

… the “bromance” is over amid wild accusations on both sides and a trail of debt, with Mr Markson claiming Mr Costas owes him $90,000.

Mr Markson and Mr Costas are also at war over hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid bills from the tour, with money owed to everyone from venue operators to security guards, Yiannopoulos and the family of one of Australia’s biggest drug smugglers.

Mr Costas confirmed Yiannopoulos was still owed money from the tour, but he wasn’t the one owing it. Mr Markson said Yiannopoulos, who agreed to do the tour in return for a $250,000 fee, was still owed several thousand dollars, but denied he was responsible.

On Thursday Mr Markson called Mr Costas a “lying conman”. Mr Costas, the publisher of Penthouse Australia and owning a company alongside one of Australia’s biggest drug dealers, convicted ice importer Sean Dolman, retaliated by calling Mr Markson “a very naughty boy” who “had his finger in the till”.

Etc..

Note that in April, Queensland businessman Dan Spiller (AKA Future Now Australia AKA AE Media) announced that he’d be bringing McInnes Down Under. That effort immediately collapsed in a heap. Undeterred, a few months later Spiller announced that he’d mos def be bringing paedophile apologist Milo Yiannopoulos and wealthy blabbermouth Ann Coulter to Australia. That too quickly boarded the failboat, with gormless ticket-holders being told to go see McInnes and Yaxley-Lennon instead.

At this stage, it’s unclear if either McInnes or Yaxley-Lennon will be able to obtain a visa to enter Australia, the possibility of them doing so entirely dependent upon the whim of the Immigration Minister, David Coleman. Still, Melbourne lawyer Nyadol Nyuon has created a petition, calling upon the Minister to refuse the pair visas, a petition which has won the support of the Federation of Community Legal Centres and to date has been signed by over 53,000 people. For his part, the Shadow Immigration Minister, Shayne Neumann, has also written Coleman, requesting that McInnes be denied entry.

By the same token, a petition by ‘Tiny’ Avi Yemini — the Australian Liberty Alliance candidate for Southern Metropolitan Region at the upcoming Victorian state election — has attracted over 21,000 signatures, while another by Luke Chandler (AKA Luke Izaak) has garnered a mere 600.

As for the Piss Boys, today it was reported that the FBI now classifies far-right Proud Boys as ‘extremist group’, documents say (Jason Wilson, The Guardian, November 20, 2018):

The FBI now classifies the far-right Proud Boys as an “extremist group with ties to white nationalism”, according to a document produced by Washington state law enforcement.

The FBI’s 2018 designation of the self-confessed “western chauvinist group” as extremist has not been previously made public …

The document also says: “The FBI has warned local law enforcement agencies that the Proud Boys are actively recruiting in the Pacific north-west”, and: “Proud Boys members have contributed to the recent escalation of violence at political rallies held on college campuses, and in cities like Charlottesville, Virginia, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington.”

Of course, what impact this has on the Immigration Minister David Coleman is anybody’s guess.

In any case, on Saturday in Philadelphia, over a thousand anti-racists rallied against a small far-right rally of a few Proud Boys, 3% militia supporters, and others (Anti-Racist Crowd Overwhelms Small Far-Right Rally in Philly, Unicorn Riot, November 17, 2018). See also : The Gritty City Antifascist Committee, Michael Nolan, Splinter News, November 18, 2018 | WATCH: Right-wing Proud Boys forced to walk home from Philadelphia rally after taxi drivers refuse them, Bob Brigham, Raw Story, November 17, 2018. On the same date in Portland:

In other sad news, Comcast fires employee for alleged membership in the Proud Boys hate group (Elise Solé, Yahoo Lifestyle, November 17, 2018), while in New York, some other Proud Boys have gotten themselves into all sorts of legal difficulties. As noted previously, on October 12 McInnes was invited by the Metropolitan Republican Club to celebrate the anniversary of the assassination of Japanese socialist Inejiro Asanuma by a fascist teenybopper on that date in 1960; following the fuehrer’s blah, some of his meatheaded supporters attacked some folks in the streets. As a result:

The Proud Boys finally used up their copious spare lives after a brutal gang beatdown was caught on camera after a GOP-sponsored event in Manhattan. The Proud Boys’ leader and founder, Gavin McInnes, has gone on record saying explicitly that the Proud Boys are ‘a gang.’ It beggars belief that the Proud Boys are suddenly confused about facing gang assault charges. This is the latest in a sequence of nationwide violent incidents, and the Proud Boys might be pissing themselves (without even drinking it).

Those so far listed by First Vigil as facing charges are: David E Kuriakose; Douglas Lennan; Geoffrey B Young; Irvin Antillon; John W Kinsman and; Maxwell Hare.

Another sometime Proud Boy, Jeffrey Rafael Clark, Jr., is also experiencing some legal problems. First Vigil again:

Jeffrey Clark is the brother of the late Edward Clark, who allegedly killed himself hours after his Gab contact, Robert Bowers, allegedly murdered eleven people in a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Both Clark brothers were active in the DC alt-right scene, attended Unite the Right in Charlottesville, and were apparently close with organizer Jason Kessler. Jeffrey was charged with weapons charges after his family members contacted the FBI concerned about his social media posts.

In Melbourne, in response to the tour, both the Campaign Against Racism & Fascism (CARF) and new-ish project Stand Together Against Racism (STAR) have organised events. Thus on Friday, November 30 STAR has organised a rally, Nazis not Welcome – No Visas for Robinson & McInnes, outside the Immigration Department in the city. For its part, CARF have organised an action on December 11 (Protest British fascist Tommy Robinson + Proud Boy Gavin McInnes).

See also : The Proud Boys, the bizarre far-right street fighters behind violence in New York, explained, Jane Coaston, Vox, October 15, 2018 (‘They hate Muslims and refuse to masturbate: Meet the shock troops of the weirdo right’) | North America: violence comes from the right, Joel Bergman, marxism dot com, November 16, 2018.

Bonus Tommy!

With the prospect of being sent to jail (again) in temporary abeyance, last week ex-British National Party stooge Yaxley-Lennon was denied a visa to the United States, where he was expected to address Republican lawmakers at an anti-Muslim event in Washington organised by Daniel Pipes. (Pipes came to Australia earlier this year to talk the same shit as a guest of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) — see : The Pipes They Are A-Blowing: An Extremist Tour Down Under, Michael Brull, New Matilda, March 10, 2018.) On Sunday, the little shit and some hired goons made the mistake of attending a Luton Town match. For what happened next, see : When ‘Tommy’ came back to Luton Town, Football Lads and Lasses Against Fascism, November 20, 2018.

Neo-Nazi group ‘The Lads Society’ @ 34 Thomas Street, Ashfield, Sydney : Help shut it down!

Neo-Nazi grouplet ‘The Lads Society’ — which arose from the ashes of the ‘United Patriots Front’ (UPF) and its stillborn political party ‘Fortitude’ (2015–2017) — currently operate two social centres, one in the south-east suburb of Cheltenham in Melbourne and the other in Ashfield in inner-west Sydney.

The centre in Cheltenham (Unit 9/158 Chesterville Road), which opened in October 2017, is scheduled to close in January 2019.

No reason has been given for the closure of the bunker in Cheltenham, but it’s worth noting that the estate agents listed the property as being available on November 7, just a few short weeks after an ABC exposé (in which Lads members starred) on neo-Nazi infiltration into the NSW branch of the Young Nationals.

The centre in Ashfield also featured in the exposé.

Spearheaded by the former fuehrer of short-lived neo-Nazi grouplet ‘Squadron 88’, Mark McDonald, The Lads Society centre in Ashfield is located at No.34 Thomas Street, and leased by way of the Colemon Property Group.

You may remember Squadron 88 from such exciting escapades as when they stuffed letterboxes in Bondi with anti-Semitic tracts in August 2014. And again in September 2014. Or, when they briefly adopted geriatric neo-Nazi Ross ‘The Skull’ May as the group’s mascot.


Above (L to R) : John Bolton (Cottrell’s lawyer/ex-Australian Liberty Alliance), Blair Cottrell (UPF/Lads), Mark McDonald (Squadron 88/Lads), Oscar Tuckfield (Young Nationals/Lads).

In response to the establishment of The Lads in Cheltenham, a local group formed, ‘South East Community Action’, to campaign to close the neo-Nazi organising space.

Now, in response to the establishment of The Lads Society in Ashfield, another campaigning group has formed: ‘Ashfield Community Action’ (Facebook /// Twitter). To keep abreast of its progress, please like/share/follow their social media.

Finally:

• Ashfield was the site of a previous neo-Nazi infestation in the 1960s.

• The Lads have been making noises about setting up shop in both Adelaide and Brisbane. Something of the flavour of the group’s membership was given when two were chucked out of a bar in Brisbane for throwing up Nazi salutes.

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2018 Victorian state election : far right (and left) candidates

Below : Serial pest Neil Erikson interrupts a Channel 7 broadcast from Bourke Street yesterday. ALA candidate Avi Yemini also sought to capitalise upon the tragedy, today holding a smol rally at the site. This political opportunism is explored by the Online Hate Prevention Institute in Bourke Street Attack November 2018.

In a truly shocking development, serial pests Neil Erikson and Ricky Turner (‘Cooks Convicts’) will not be standing for office at the Victorian state election on November 24. Shocking and surprising, given that back in June, barrister John Bolton successfully argued for an alteration to their bail conditions on the basis that they needed their freedumbs to be political ‘n’ that (Right-wing activists face court, then announce plans for own party, Amber Wilson, The Age, June 8, 2018):

Outside court, Mr Erikson said Mr Turner, aka “Ricky T”, planned to stand as a political candidate for a yet-to-be established far-right political party called Cooks Convicts with a focus on “Australian values”.

He said he hoped the group could register before the November Victorian election, but couldn’t confirm which electorates they would contest.

“We’re going to be running on old-school, anti-PC policies,” Mr Erikson said.

Instead of and/or, Erikson is urging a vote for Lobster Guy and the party of Law & Order:

Australia First

Susan Jakobi is running for the Australia First Party in the seat of Cranbourne as an independent (the party is not registered in Victoria). Jakobi contested the federal seat of Lalor for the party in 2016, gaining 3,232 (3.0%) votes and placing fifth of five candidates.

Australian Liberty Alliance

With the decision by Cory Bernardi’s Conservatives and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation not to field candidates, together with the departure of the Australian Christians, Family First and Rise Up Australia Party, the ALA is the only right-wing micro-party still having a crack in 2018. Antony Green:

The overall fall from 545 to 507 candidates masks a significant shift to the left in the party composition of nominations.

Three small moral conservative parties that contested the 2014 election are no longer registered, Family First, Rise Up Australia, and the Australian Christians.

Family First contested all 88 electorates in 2006, 69 in 2010 and 39 in 2014. The Australian Christian[s] contested 30 electorates in 2014 and Rise Up Australia 32. In total this means there are 101 fewer candidates representing small parties of the right …

Family First and parts of the Australian Christians have been absorbed by [Cory] Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives, hoping to improve conservative prospects of winning Senate seats at the next federal election. The absorption of Family First into the Australian Conservatives was also a consequence of former Senator Bob Day’s departure from politics.

Despite having registered for the 2018 election, neither the Australian Conservatives nor Pauline Hanson’s One Nation have nominated candidates for the election. This leaves a hole on the right of Victorian politics that may boost the Coalition primary vote but will have little other impact on the overall result.

Funnily enough, in every Upper House region the ALA will be pitted against the newly-formed Victorian Socialists:

Eastern Metropolitan
Indhira Bivieca & Royston Wilding* (ALA) vs Norrian Rundle & Liam Ward (VS)
Northern Metropolitan
Russell Gomez & John Reisner vs Stephen Jolly, Sue Bolton & Colleen Bolger
South-Eastern Metropolitan
David Sydney Maddison & Ralf Schumann vs Aran Mylvaganam & Ben Reid
Southern Metropolitan Region
‘Tiny’ Avi Yemini & Kaylah Jones vs Catheryn Lewis & Ivan Mitchell
Western Metropolitan
Francine Cohen & Terri Franklin vs Jorge Jorquera & Andrew Charles

Eastern Victoria
Mark Brown & Daniel Jones vs Lainie Cruse & Russell Forden
Northern Victoria
Ewan McDonald & James Wylie vs Moira McDonald & Michael McKenna
Western Victoria
Kenneth Nichols & Daniel MacDonald vs Tim Gooden & Nada Iskra

*Wilding stood as a candidate for the Secular Party for the seat of Melbourne in the 2013 federal election and with 230 votes (0.27%), Wilding came 12th of 16 candidates.

**Jones is best-known for being ‘Tiny’ Avi Yeminem’s personal bodyguard and as a semi-professional cosplayer (Melbourne’s answer to George Jameson), but was last seen helping to provide, along with some Lads, security for the March for Babies. He’s pictured below in the company of Tiny and members of The Lads and True Blue Crew at the Milo Yiannopoulos event at Melbourne Pavilion in December 2017. (In the second image Jones, who works in the security industry, fantasises about being given a licence to kill.)

The ALA is also running a candidate, Siobhann Brown, in the Lower House seat of Yan Yean.

Victorian Socialists

As for the Victorian Socialists, they’re running candidates in no fewer than 15 districts: Bellarine (Jackie Kriz); Broadmeadows (Jerome Small); Buninyong (Jane McKendrick); Geelong (Sarah Hathway); Lara (Dean Cardigan); Lowan (Trevor Grenfell); Melton (Ron Guy); Pascoe Vale (Gerry Beaton); Polwarth (Brendan Murphy); Preston (Stephanie Price); Ripon (Bronwyn Jennings); South Barwon (David Ball); South-West Coast (Terry Riggs); Thomastown (Kath Larkin) and; Wendouree (Jeremy Smith).

While the Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative have thrown their weight behind the Victorian Socialists, sadly, the Socialist Equality Party (which ran four candidates at the 2015 NSW state election), will not be running any candidates at this election (and has denounced the Victorian Socialists as ‘pseudo-left’). Solidarity, for its part, took note of the Victorian Socialists in a recent article on the election.

Tom Sewell & The Lads Society ~versus~ Nathan Sykes & The Australia First Party

Tom Sewell & The Lads Society

For those of you coming in late, Tom Sewell is a 20-something, New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based neo-Nazi activist. With a background in right-wing nationalist politics, Sewell emerged onto the political landscape in April 2015, alongside Blair Cottrell, at the first ‘Reclaim Australia’ rally in Melbourne, and later served as Cottrell’s sidekick in the ‘United Patriots Front’ (UPF). Unfortunately for Sewell, the UPF collapsed in a heap after Facebook deleted it from the platform in mid-2017, and its proposed political party, ‘Fortitude’ — which was launched at the home of the short-lived ‘Aryan Nations’ in Perth in late 2015 and for which Sewell was slated to stand for a seat in Victoria — met a similar fate. (As for the Aryan Nations, it folded after several of its members were arrested and later convicted of the murder that took place several months after the party launch.)

Undeterred by failure, Sewell pressed on and, in 2017, alongside his comrade James Buckle (former President of gun lobby group ‘Firearm Owners United’), Cottrell, Stuart Von Moger, and a handful of other AltRightists and neo-Nazis, he established something called ‘The Lads Society’.

Describing itself as a fraternal organisation, The Lads opened up an organising space in the suburb of Cheltenham and packed it with weight machines, various species of nazi, and one colossal ego. Further, in addition to attending a number of political rallies and other events, under Von Moger’s leadership The Lads were hired by Axiomatic Events to provide security for Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern during their July tour and were most recently employed by the organisers of the ‘March for Babies’. The March was organised by a number of principally religious, anti-abortion groups, and starred His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke.

Largely ignored by media, The Lads finally got their moment to shine last month when an attempt to hijack the Young Nationals in NSW, in which members of the Lads participated, was exposed by the ABC’s Alex Mann. Now, sadly, not only has The Lads’ bunker in Ashfield in Sydney, along with several of its members, been exposed, but this week real estate agent richardson french placed the property in Melbourne, located at 9/158 Chesterville Road, back on the market. To add some spice to proceedings, a few months ago a Facebook account called ‘ladsleaks’ popped up and began posting internal discussions taking place among The Lads on their secret page. Among other things, ladsleaks posted images of Lads in Brisbane sieg heiling ‘peasants’ and a video of Cottrell’s angry react. (The content below was posted a few weeks ago.)

Nathan Sykes & The Australia First Party

Nathaniel Jacob Sassoon Sykes (below, centre, with Lads) is a middle-aged Sydney resident, member of Dr Jim Saleam‘s ‘Australia First Party’ (AFP), principal author of the blog ‘United Nationalists Australia’ (UNA) and former contributor to leading US neo-Nazi website ‘The Daily Stormer’. Oddly enough, he’s also Jewish.

The UNA blog functions as a kind of unofficial online shit-sheet for the AFP, taking pot-shots at various of its rivals on the right and its enimies on the left. The former category includes the (now-defunct) ‘Party for Freedom’ (PFF), UPF, ‘Klub Nation’ and, of course, The Lads Society.

Tom Sewell & The Lads Society ~versus~ Nathan Sykes & The Australia First Party

As noted above, a small amount of material sourced from The Lads private Facebook group has appeared elsewhere on the site by way of ‘ladsleaks’. As well as confirming that the group is mostly comprised of neo-Nazis (who are well aware — duh — that most folks hate ‘nazis’, and thus they have to lie and dissemble about their politics when in public), the conversation below reveals no small amount of anger and upset directed at Sykes and his lvl boss, Jim Saleam. In addition to Sewell and Von Moger, among those participating in the disco are wealthy German-Australian businessman and ex-NPD member turned ‘national anarchist’ Welf Herfurth, batshit scribbler David Hilton (‘Moses Apostaticus’), fellow Queenslander, former AFP member, ‘Whitelaw Towers’ and UNA blog contributor Jim Perren (who helped organise Fortitude’s failed launch in Toowoomba) and ‘Tyler Winchester’ (AKA Mark McDonald, founder of ‘Squadron 88’ turned Lad).

Choice quote: ‘AFP is a cancer and a waste of time’; Jim Saleam ‘smears and destroys everything that is not on his [side]. When I refused to further bankroll the Sydney Forum he turned on [me] like a dog’ (Herfurth).




















‘Remembering the 43 Group’ (Marcus Bennett, Tribune, Nov–Dec 2018)

Remembering the 43 Group
Marcus Bennett
Tribune
November–December 2018

When 24-year-old Morris Beckman returned to his house on Amhurst Road in Hackney, he’d experienced quite a lot. His time fighting fascism abroad had seen him survive two Nazi torpedo attacks on a British Navy ship in the Atlantic. While his relieved mother showered him with affection on his return home, his father’s message was rather starker: ‘The bastards are back,’ he warned.

Indeed, the London that Beckman returned to fell far short of the expectations of himself and millions of other ex-servicemen. Though it may run counter to the popular narrative of the triumph over Hitler, fascism grew rapidly in Britain immediately following the Second World War. Fascist prisoners interned during the war began to reorganise their crippled movement, while a new presence of captured Nazi soldiers being released from prisoner-of-war camps and into British society prompted a far-right renaissance.

Within months of the war’s end, fourteen fascist groups and at least three bookshops operated openly across the city. Newspapers with names like Britain Awake and The Patriot were readily available on street corners. Most alarmingly of all, fascists began staging outdoor rallies in the densely-Jewish East End once again. ‘Openly in the streets you had public meetings shouting out the same antagonism and the same filth as before the war,’ commando veteran Jules Konopinski recalled, ‘and now even worse — they were saying the gas chambers weren’t enough.’ Alarm spread among the Jewish community that anti-Semitism could find a foothold so soon after the defeat of the Nazis.

Emergence

Nowhere was alarm at the situation felt more strongly than in Maccabi House, a Jewish sports club in Hampstead. Morris Beckman recalled that the club had a ‘subdued ambience’ that reflected the ‘weariness and uncertainties’ of the times. Polish-Jewish veterans of the Allied forces with no families or homes to return to were forging friendships in a new city. Several pre-war Maccabi regulars died fighting Hitler. The ones that had survived, once awash with optimism, were now world-weary veterans who mixed uncomfortably with jovial teenagers who hadn’t served.

In those days the true enormity of the Holocaust wasn’t known, and as the full picture began to emerge it had a profound effect on the community. Jewish ex-servicemen in particular carried a ‘sick sense of shame’, Beckman said, that no Allied action had been taken to prevent Nazi operations in the death camps. This consciousness was emerging at the same time as walls in London — whose Jewish community had only escaped the fate of their European neighbours by geographical quirk — were once again being daubed with swastikas.

To many, it felt as if Britain hadn’t learnt a thing. The Truth, a magazine whose editor, Colin Brooks, was a close confidante of Daily Mail owner Lord Rothermere, called for Jews to give up their houses to ‘British’ ex-servicemen. In October 1945, thousands signed an ‘anti-alien’ petition in Hampstead which called to expel the area’s large Jewish refugee population.

In February 1946, while driving for a pint in Hampstead Heath, four young Jewish ex-servicemen — the former Hurricane ace Alec Carson, Gerry Flamberg, Len Sherman, and Morris Beckman — witnessed a rally by the British League of Ex-Servicemen and Women, the organisation of Jeffrey Hamm. A familiar face of pre-war fascism, Hamm was interned for his loyalty to Hitler and was now seeking to rebuild Oswald Mosley’s movement. Addressing a sixty-strong meeting, Hamm chose his words carefully, denouncing the ‘aliens in our midst’ who ‘waxed fat in the black market’ while British soldiers died.

Pretending to buy a copy of Britain Awake, Sherman abruptly knocked two fascists unconscious by banging their heads together. Flamberg toppled the makeshift stage and knocked Hamm over. As the crowd scattered, an elderly German Jew stayed to shake their hands. It occurred to all four that they could face serious charges for their actions. ‘Well then,’ Carson said, ‘it’s about time they change the laws.’

Their action was widely supported, and an organising meeting at Maccabi House was arranged to push back the fascist threat. Thirty-eight ex-servicemen and five women turned up. The vast majority were Jewish, but the group also included non-Jewish socialists like Joe Zilliacus, a former Marine and son of left-wing Labour MP Konni Zilliacus. What united them was their conviction that the Jewish community must not be passive in the face of provocations.

Alec Black, a veteran of the D-Day landings, proposed establishing an organisation that could effectively fight fascism and anti-Semitism. He knew this would be a serious endeavour and emphasised that everyone involved would risk serious harm and jail time. Anyone feeling nervous about this activity could leave without any judgement or prejudice against them. No one moved an inch or said a word.

The organisation had two aims: to prevent fascist activities by physical force if necessary, and to pressure Parliament into making racial incitement a criminal offence. Since those present had few motivations beyond completing the tasks at hand, no grandiose names were suggested. It was decided they would be called ‘The 43 Group’, after the number of people in the room. But, by April of that year, the name seemed misplaced; over 300 people had bolstered the Group’s ranks.

Confrontation

After encountering their first post-war instances of physical resistance, London’s fascists dropped their respectable veneer. Rather than hiding behind dog-whistle phrases, the seasoned repertoire of Hitler salutes, ‘Heil Mosley’ chants, and renditions of the Horst Wessel Lied, the Nazi anthem, returned. In the face of constant physical attacks in their communities and workplaces, fascist anger grew increasingly frenzied. A bomb was pushed through the door of Gerry Flamberg’s home, while two 43 Group commandos beat unconscious a young fascist who had stitched razorblades into a flat cap and charged through Stamford Hill slashing people’s faces.

In November 1946, 43 Group militants published a letter in the Jewish Chronicle appealing for further assistance. It inspired a swell in members, but provoked an angry response from Louis Hydelman, who sat on the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Accusing the young commandos of acting ‘counterproductively’, Hydelman ordered the Group to disband. His intervention only highlighted the divide between young Jews committed to tackling the fascist presence and the older communal leadership, who remained legalistic in outlook.

Hydelman’s letter, derided for its patronising tone, fell on deaf ears. The Group’s impressive infrastructure, convinced members they could afford to ignore their critics. Not only could they boast of an active base of 1,000 members, but they had also made influential friends. Left-wing Labour MPs such as D.N. Pritt, John Platt-Mills, and
Woodrow Wyatt were keen supporters, while entertainment giants Jack Solomon and Bud Flanagan regularly donated significant sums to the organisation.

On the streets, confrontations intensified. Tightly-organised 43 Group units would form human ‘wedges’ at rallies, pushing through fascist security to attack the stage, and use ‘supporting parties’ to heckle and break up fascist proceedings. On Sunday, 1 June 1947, these skirmishes came to a head in Ridley Road, a market area of Hackney known for its vibrant Jewish life. The fascists’ decision to demonstrate here was particularly provocative as it had been a favoured site of Mosley’s British Union of Fascists in the 1930s.

The 43 Group organised for the ‘Battle for Ridley Road’ with military precision. Commandos were given maps of the surrounding streets with entry and exit points for ambush attacks. But walking up to the platform they were still taken back by the size of the far-right crowd. With police backing too, the fascists hugely outnumbered the 43 Group. But they nonetheless infiltrated the audience in front of the stage and, when fascist leader Alexander Raven Thomson began to speak, started heckling.

‘Going back to the Isle of Man for your holidays?’ one commando shouted. (Thomson had been imprisoned in a detention camp on the Isle of Man during the war.) ‘They should have hanged you with William Joyce!’ said another. Then the wedge struck and ferocious fighting broke out. A description of scenes by Morris Beckman recalls the intensity.

A young fascist about eighteen years of age appeared in front of me and called me a ‘Fucking Jew bastard’, catching my left thigh with a nearly well-aimed kick. I hit his nose square on and it spurted blood … I kicked his backside as hard as I could and he staggered off. A hard blow landed smack on my right ear and completely unbalanced me. For a moment, I was dazed, disorientated. My assailant was about to close and finish me off when Sam grabbed him around the neck and pulled him to the ground. Then Sam jumped on him. The genial, good-humoured Sam said, ‘I’m just breaking the bastard’s ribs so he won’t attend any more meetings.’

Victory

Ridley Road was the high point of a two-year period where the 43 Group had broken up around fifteen fascist meetings a week. The exhaustion of the original core Group members was evident, and younger comrades arrived to replace them. Jules Konopinski, who fled Poland in 1939, lost nine aunties and uncles in the Holocaust. His uncle, an Auschwitz survivor, moved to London to live with him, and was the ‘eyewitness evidence’ of the Holocaust he needed to motivate him in the fight against fascism. Alongside his friend Vidal Sassoon, an apprentice hairdresser whose attitude was that ‘after Auschwitz, there were no more laws,’ he became a militant; both of them armed with scissors, scrunched-up newspapers, and fisticuffs.

With a new layer of youth rejuvenating its ranks, the Group felt a sense of impending victory. Broader political developments were encouraging. Printworkers’ unions began to refuse to print fascist material, while both workers and union officials pressured the government to take action against Mosley. Widespread confrontations during the 1948 May Day rally broke the organisational backbone of the nascent Union Movement, which had amalgamated many fascist groups. 43 Group spies within fascist circles reported that, in drunken moments, Mosley’s ardent followers bitterly bemoaned the unpopularity of their leader, as it began to dawn on them that their days of glory were over.

Exhausted but satisfied that an immediate threat had passed, the 43 Group disbanded in April 1950. Following the war, bomb-marked Britain, Reynolds News noted, was the ‘only country in Europe, outside of Spain or Portugal, where one may preach undiluted fascism with full police protection.’ The 43 Group offered uncompromising resistance to Hitler’s would-be successors in Britain. Hardened by their experiences, they managed to close down the majority of post-war fascist meetings. During his retirement, Vidal Sassoon recalled that the 43 Group symbolised the moment that London’s Jews ‘turned their cheek for the last time.’ Their struggle should be remembered.

See also : Hidden Histories #6: “Fight Fascism Now!” — The 43 Group, Daniel/politicscurator, Medium, May 3, 2018 | Anti-fascist Hackney: The 43 Group – in their own words, the radical history of hackney, April 12, 2018 | hatful of history blog on 43 group | The 43: Story of how UK Jews fought a wave of post-war anti-Semitism to be subject of new TV series, Cahal Milmo, The Independent, October 2, 2015 | The 43 Group, Morris Beckman (1993).

Bonus STRAYA!

A few years after The 43 Group smashed Mosley & Co, on the other side of the worlde the ‘Australian National Socialist Party’ had set up shop in the Sydney suburb of Ashfield. In 1964, ABC’s 4 Corners dedicated an episode to the party and its fuehrer, Arthur Charles Smith. Shortly after the episode screened, the nazi headquarters was raided by police. Even more interesting, in David Harcourt’s classic 1972 text Everyone Wants to be Fuhrer: National Socialism in Australia and New Zealand, it’s claimed that the police raid was to avoid the embarrassing prospect of the site being demolished by angry Jews. As detailed elsewhere in the book, this actually happened a few years later in Melbourne, when an angry mob demolished a similar venue: on Sunday, January 31, 1971 a crowd of anti-fascists (including many Jews, members of the Maoist Worker-Student Alliance and others) descended on the headquarters of the National Socialist Party of Australia and proceeded to smash it. (Below : ‘Nazis arrested in night raid’, The Canberra Times, June 27, 1964; extracts, Everyone Wants To be Fuehrer …)



NB. Ross ‘The Skull’ May features in Harcourt’s book. ‘The Skull’ actually ran as an NSPA candidate against Gough Whitlam for the seat of Werriwa in 1974 (gaining 82 votes/0.1%), as an independent in 1975 (263 votes/0.4%) and in 1977 (1,079/1.6%). A few years ago, he was adopted as a mascot for the short-lived neo-Nazi group ‘Squadron 88’ in Sydney. The group’s leader, ‘Mark McDonald’, has since become the lvl boss of ‘The Lads Society’ in Sydney, and its headquarters in Ashfield is a grim reminder of a previous nazi occupation (albeit one with a happy ending).