[Update (October 5, 2017) : snopes has an article up debunking the ‘Melbourne Antifa’ account here: Did ‘Melbourne Antifa’ Claim Responsibility for the Vegas Massacre?, Kim LaCapria, October 4, 2017.]
1) Stephen Johnson, The Daily Mail & ‘Melbourne Antifa’
In response to the massacre in Las Vegas, Stephen Johnson of The Daily Mail has republished a statement by ‘Melbourne Antifa’ — a troll page on Facebook — praising the killer. Titled ”One of our comrades has made those Trump supporting dogs pay’: Left-wing ‘Melbourne Antifa’ extremists condemned for praising Las Vegas shooter after he shot dead 59 people’ (October 3, 2017), the article has been widely-shared on social media: by the stupid, the gullible, the malicious, and spambots.
This is the third occasion upon which Stephen has relied upon his friends on the AltRight to help propagate obviously fake material, previously having republished two other statements by the same troll page regarding Mohamed Elmouelhy (‘With friends like these … Left-wing extremist group DEFENDS halal boss’ claims Australian women need Muslim men to fertilise them – calling critics ‘racist”, July 31, 2017) and Andrew Bolt (”List them as a terrorist organisation’: Malcolm Turnbull urged to formally declare group that attacked Andrew Bolt as dangerous extremists’, June 11, 2017).
Of course, Stephen knows this material is nonsense, but it makes for very good clickbait, which for a hack is the only thing that matters. As such, it’s highly unlikely that this is the last time he’ll contribute another small pile to the mountain of ‘fake news’ in circulation, and other dickheaded statements by the troll page will continue to be republished by him.
Finally, the ‘Melbourne Antifa’ Facebook account is one of several such troll pages, which include Antifa Adelaide, Antifa Adelaide – Australia, Brisbane Antifa, Hobart Antifa, Sydney Antifa, Antifa Sydney, Antifa Townsville and presumably others. Fair dinkum pages include: Antifascist Action Brisbane, Antifascist Action Canberra, Melbourne Antifascist Info and Anti Fascist Action Sydney.
See also : Facebook and Google promote politicized fake news about Las Vegas shooter, Sam Levin, The Guardian, October 3, 2017 | A running list of viral hoaxes and misinformation about the Las Vegas shooting, Abby Ohlheiser, The Washington Post, October 3, 2017 | Here Are All The Hoaxes Being Spread About The Las Vegas Shooting, Ryan Broderick, Buzzfeed, October 2, 2017 | Was Las Vegas Shooter Identified at an Anti-Trump Protest?, Dan Evon, snopes, October 3, 2017.
2) Blair Cottrell is appealing
Blair Cottrell, the former leader of the now moribund ‘United Patriots Front’ (UPF), was in court again yesterday to lodge an appeal against his conviction last month — along with former flunkeys Neil Erikson and Chris Shortis — of serious religious vilification.
United Patriots Front member Neil Erikson gives up fight against revulsion charge
October 3, 2017
UNITED Patriots Front leader Blair Cottrell will continue the fight to clear his name of hate speech charges alone after his mates left him holding the can.
Cottrell fronted the County Court today where an appeal date was set for next year.
But the court heard his alleged co-offender Neil Erikson had failed to lob into court a day earlier, thus abandoning his appeal.
Cottrell, 27, Erikson, 32, and Christopher Neil Shortis, 46, were each convicted and fined $2000 last month for knowingly engaging in conduct with the intention of inciting serious contempt for or revulsion of a class of people, namely Muslims, under the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act.
The tough talking Erikson had previously been staunch in his defiance of the charge, calling on Victoria Police Commissioner Graham Ashton to appear at an earlier hearing at the magistrates’ court.
“They are corrupted. They have pushed for this case. They have pushed for us to be at court today. I think it’s a conspiracy against right-wing politics and conservative values,” he said at the time.
The men were the first to be convicted of the crime since the Act came into force in 2001.
They were charged in 2015 after they made a video protesting the construction of a mosque in Bendigo in which they beheaded a dummy with a toy sword and spilt fake blood on the footpath outside Bendigo City Council offices.
In finding the men guilty, Magistrate John Hardy condemned their behaviour, declaring they had each “crossed the line”.
At the end of last month’s hearing, each of the men claimed they would appeal their convictions.
A County Court spokesman said the court still had no record of Shortis ever lodging an appeal.
The wannabe politician had been highly critical of the government throughout his court proceeding.
On conviction, he maintained he did not recognise the little-used law and complained that people had mocked his Christian faith without recourse.
“A court of law is not a place for hurt feelings,” he said.
Today’s appearance by Cottrell drummed-up none of the drama seen at previous hearings.
On those occasions, city streets needed to be blocked-off to accommodate scores of protesters and television reporters jostled with Cottrell’s supporters outside court.
Cottrell’s appearance today attracted no more than three reporters, with not a single UPF supporter in attendance.
Cottrell initially missed the hearing, which was promptly struck out by Judge Barbara Cotterell.
But the UPF frontman arrived shortly after and he was allowed to continue the appeal.
He told the court he was in the process of seeking new lawyers.
It remains unclear on what grounds Cottrell hopes to run his appeal.
Neo-Nazi Cottrell is presumably hoping to replicate the successful appeal (2006/7) of similar charges brought against Christian fundamentalist preachers Daniel Nalliah and Daniel Scot.
3) Neil Erikson & Michael Holt
Speaking of courts, hatred, Neil Erikson and the UPF, last week another one of Neil’s former chums, Michael Holt, was sent to jail. See : White supremacist Michael Holt sentenced to 4.5 years for weapons, child porn offences (Harriet Alexander, The Sydney Morning Herald, September 29, 2017). This is not the first time Neil’s mates have found themselves in trouble with the law. Previously, in December 2012, other former comrades of Neil Erikson’s, members of the ‘Crazy White Boys’, were sent to jail for a vicious assault upon a Vietnamese student. Currently, members of the Perth-based Aryan Nations (Melony Attwood, Robert Edhouse, Corey Dymock and a 17-year-old who cannot be named), comrades of Neil’s but also the UPF’s, are awaiting trial for the murder of 42-year-old Alan Taylor, found beaten to death in his Girrawheen bedroom in April last year (Teenager admits lie and avoids jail, Tim Clarke, The West Australian, August 10, 2017).
Top Blokes, these nazis.
See also : Slideshow: Rise And Fall Of Aryan Nations In North Idaho, James Dawson, Boise State Public Radio, October 2, 2017.
4) David Hilton : Ace Detective
AltRight blogger David Hilton (AKA ‘Moses Apostaticus’) has published a post on his website tradnash[dot]net claiming that I’m somebody called PD (and his wife). As on the two previous occasions David has ‘outed’ me, the allegation is untrue, but his fellow meatheads are of course delighted. Peter Grace:
In addition to The Daily Mail, the Las Vegas massacre has produced a phantastic range of batshit. These articles document some of the best additions to the rich, creamy discourse:
Alex Jones Is Already Floating A Conspiracy Theory About The Vegas Mass Shooting Being A Hoax, Kimberly Ricci, Uproxx, October 2, 2017;
Misinformation Is the New Normal of Mass Shootings, Ben Strauss and Derek Robertson, Politico, October 2, 2017 (‘Conspiracy theories and other deliberately false assertions have become as predictable as the gun control debate’);
Out-of-Control Alex Jones Blames Leftists, Communists, Globalists, ISIS, Antifa for Las Vegas Shootings, Jarrett Lyons, AlterNet/Salon, October 2, 2017;
Reddit’s Trumpkins on the Vegas shooting, before and after they learned it was a rich old white man, boing boing, October 3, 2017;
Alex Jones Justifies Las Vegas Conspiracy Theories: ‘I Talk To The President Sometimes’, Jared Holt, Right Wing Watch, October 3, 2017;
Las Vegas conspiracies are still spreading on Facebook, Noah Kulwin and Rex Santus, VICE, October 3, 2017;
Las Vegas Shooter Stephen Paddock Was ‘Antifa,’ According to Persistent Alt-Right Conspiracy, Michael Edison Hayden, Newsweek, October 3, 2017.
Daily Mail falls for Vegas hoax …
October 4, 2017
Daily Mail Australia has fallen for one of the many online hoaxes running in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting. A Facebook page called “Melbourne Antifa” claimed responsibility for the attack in a now-deleted post — something that had been debunked early yesterday. Authorities in the US have not said what the shooter’s motivations were, and the Facebook post sparked claims in far-right media and online that the shooter was connected with Antifa — a loose term for anti-fascist activists.
The Mail‘s journalist Stephen Johnson published his story yesterday about 11am — well after the fake news about Antifa’s involvement had been listed in multiple stories about Las Vegas hoaxes. His story doesn’t include any reference to official comments about the shooter’s motivation, and was still online this morning.
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