Dr. James Saleam’s fascist Australia First Party is organising a conference to take place in Sydney on the weekend of August 26/27, but so wary of possible “disruption” to the event are they that they’ve decided to keep its location secret until the morning of the first day’s events. (The second day’s events will be taking place at the same location as last year’s conference: Saleam’s bunker at 725 Princes Highway, Tempe.) According to the organisers, the speakers at this year’s Forum, the sixth, include:
Neil Baird — a former Treasurer of NSW One Nation whose scribblings, titled ‘The News Report’, he regularly emails to other members of the Australian far right milieu;
Jim Cassidy — the current President of the NSW branch of One Nation (curiously, according to a report in The Australian, “Since February, Dr Saleam has been asked not to attend meetings of the NSW branch of One Nation. Jim Cassidy, One Nation state president, said this was because of Dr. Saleam’s past connections to “white supremacist” organisations”);
Greg Clancy — author (of a little-known and — by the sounds of it — rather silly tract called The People Smugglers (2002)) and apologist for the HoWARd Government’s policy on refugees;
and “a bloody funny sheila” named Sandy Thorne, whose unique comedy stylings will be supplemented by tales based on her experiences as a screw at the Woomera and Curtin concentration camps for refugees (which she later published as Beyond the Razor Wire).
To get the venue details, interested parties will have to telephone either 0407 732 868 or 0411 669 181 after 7.30 am on the Saturday morning, August 26. The organisers — among whom ranks the German neo-Nazi Welf Herfurth — promise that plenty of time will be available for any Sydney resident to reach the venue by 9.15am for a 9.30am start.
Extract from Beyond The Razor Wire, supposedly from Sandy Thorne’s diary, Woomera, June 24 2001:
Another boat arrived at Ashmore Reef. The fighting and unrest in Main compound escalated as the Centre became crowded with more and more boat people, many of whom had no concept of queuing and taking their turn, being patient, or sharing and caring for their fellow Man. This fact, coupled with the fact that many of Main Compound’s resis had been rejected, presented an extremely volatile situation.
Many of the rejected detainees would crowd at Golf Three gate, demanding the DIMIA… manager, or the Detention Centre manager, or their lawyer, come to the gate immediately to hear their grievances, shaking their fists, smacking their fists into their palms and yelling furiously, as if they had a right. Their attitude would burr us right up, but we had to remain calm and polite. It would have done the do-gooders good, to have a bunch of angry Arabs in their faces, as we did every day. I’d think of men of my father’s and grandfather’s era – the men who’d fought in the Middle East – what would they think to see these ratbags trying to get into our peaceful country?
“Cert One Medical! Main Compound, detainee self-harm”, became an almost daily broadcast as one of them would scratch at his arm to gain attention. The ensuing melodrama from the slasher and his mates would be like an Italian opera. Then the lip-sewing began. It was a pitiful, sickening sight. That night I sat on my verandah listening to Slim Dusty and comparing the world I’d been used to, with what was going on in the Centre. No way a mother from Thargomindah or Blackall could sew her kid’s lips together… Less than five kilometres away from my flat, alien things were happening. For the thousandth time, I thanked God for giving us razor wire fences.
We all knew Main was going to boil over soon and later that night, it was on. I’d been sleeping in my uniform, expecting to be pulled out of bed any time, so when the pounding began on everyone’s doors, I was instantly awake and on my feet, pulling my boots on, ready for anything. “Main’s going off! C’Mon! Main’s going off!”
Speeding out of town, along the four ks to the Centre, the adrenalin was already pumping and increasing, as we came within sight and sound of our friends, the asylum-seekers, smashing, burning, shouting “F… A.C.M.!” “F… Australia!” over and over. The razor-wire fences were protecting the outside world from these violent people, but we had to go in and take control. There would be people in there, frightened, who wanted no part of the anarchy. I spared a thought for my friends in there. Were Laila, Mina and Masomeh, young Hamid and a few others I really liked, cowering in their dongas, or… the thought suddenly hit me with a shock… would I see them pelting rocks… at me? Mina and Masomeh – no. Hamid and Laila? Maybe… Yes, it was feasible, but highly unlikely, I liked to think.
As we rounded the corner of Admin and came into view of Main compound, the shouting and abuse hurled through the fence at us from the charming residents, was deafening. It sounded like all six hundred were after our scalps. Main was a sea of angry, yelling, spitting, swarthy whiskered faces, beneath a forest of shaking fists – a very scary sight for an unarmed person. Clutched in their fists were the weapons they had accumulated and fashioned: steel posts to ram into our knees, shards of glass, sharp pieces of tin, and knives fashioned from stolen cutlery and razors to stab us with. Their lovely veiled ladies and delightful children were ready to pelt us with the rocks and pavers they’d stacked up in heaps. Buildings were burning in the background and we could hear glass being smashed everywhere.
The kit-up room was in semi-organised crowded chaos, with officers grabbing helmets, shields, batons, elbow and kneeguards, adjusting straps and hanging flexicuffs on belts with grunts and sighs of exasperation. We all walked outside to join the others, now waiting in a formidable formation outside Operations. We could hear buildings being wrecked, Australia being condemmed, and our lives being threatened, as we lined up ready to go in. By then I felt like a leashed Doberman…