Tens of thousands of people attended Invasion Day rallies across the country, with the rally in Melbourne attracting anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000. See : Invasion Day: the tide is turning, Lalitha Chelliah & Jacob Andrewartha, Green Left Weekly, February 2, 2018 | Invasion Day marked by thousands of protesters calling for equal rights, change of date, ABC, January 27, 2018 | ‘People are starting to understand’: huge Invasion Day protest stuns Melbourne, Calla Wahlquist, The Guardian, January 26, 2018 | ‘Invasion day’ rally draws crowds as agitator barred from ceremony, Tammy Mills, Gene Efron, Tom Cowie, The Age, January 26, 2018.
Apart from its size, the rally in Melbourne was fairly unremarkable — people assembled, listened to speeches, and marched. A comment by Tarneen Onus-Williams, however, enshrined her as the latest entry in STRAYA’s Hate Week:
“Fuck Australia. Hope it burns to the ground,” Onus-Williams said.
“If you celebrate Australia Day, fucker, you’re celebrating the death of my ancestors. All you fellas with the Australian flag should be so embarrassed with yourself. It’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing that you celebrate people’s deaths, the people of this land’s death. You make me sick to my stomach.”
In response to the Melbourne rally, Warren Mundine’s Knee demanded that the ‘Koorie Youth Council’/KYC (for which Onus-Williams works as a volunteer) be immediately defunded:
I support moving Australia Day to 1 January. But this lot says “We don’t want to celebrate Australia Day at all.’’ They’re ashamed of Australia. They insult all Australians and Aboriginal people who campaigned for equality & inclusion. Koorie Youth Council should be defunded. I call on Daniel Andrews, Matthew Guy, Senator Richard Di Natale, Bill Shorten MP, Malcolm Turnbull and Senator Nigel Scullion to take all steps necessary to immediately defund KYC[.]
Note that the principal organiser of the rally was a group called ‘Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance’ (WAR), not the KYC; the KYC later issued a statement reiterating this fact and distancing itself from Onus-Williams’ remarks. See also : Australia Is Tearing Down Another Woman Of Colour For Daring To Have An Opinion, Osman Faruqi, Junkee, January 31, 2018 | The Audacity of Anger, Chelsea Bond, IndigenousX, January 29, 2018.
WAR issued its own response to the kerfuffle, which you can read here, while #IStandWithTarneen became A Thing, and Tarneen elaborated on her views in ‘Invasion day’ rally organiser says her comments Australia should ‘burn to the ground’ should not be taken literally, Melissa Cunningham, Adam Carey, The Age, January 26, 2018.
As The Age report notes, earlier in the day Neil Erikson and ‘Patriot Blue’ — which on this occasion consisted of Neil and a handful of his mates — assembled at Moreland Council chambers in the morning to protest against Creeping Shariah & Cultural Marxism outside a citizenship ceremony; proceeded to the CBD to briefly occupy the steps of Parliament (long after the Invasion Day rally had left the assembly point); before eventually making their way to St Kilda, where the methgoblins of the ‘True Blue Crew’ and the remnants of the ‘United Patriots Front’ — now known as ‘The Lads Society’ — had organised a celebratory BBQ. About 50 or so patriotik volk rocked up. See : No clashes as patriots party with flags, cricket and racist slurs, Tom Cowie, The Age, January 26, 2018 | Fascists frolic on the foreshore, Ben Hillier, Red Flag, January 26, 2018.
local &/or general
In Sydney, the micro-Party for Freedom would appear to be in pretty dire health, with ‘Patriot Blue’ boy George Jameson leaving the group and Nick Folkes handing over the reins to Toby Cook, who’s recently come out as a neo-Nazi:
Some recent articles of interest include:
• The neo-Nazi has no clothes: In search of Matt Heimbach’s bogus ‘white ethnostate’, Caitlin Dickson, Yahoo News, February 2, 2018;
• Antifa vs. Milo Yiannopoulos: Who won?, Mark Bray, Salon, February 1, 2018 (‘It’s been a year since anti-fascist protests shut down a Yiannopoulos gig at UC Berkeley, to much media criticism’);
• An Investigation Into Red-Brown Alliances: Third Positionism, Russia, Ukraine, Syria, And The Western Left, libcom/Ravings Of A Radical Vagabond, February 1, 2018 (‘… is a comprehensive summary of Third Positionist fascist currents old and new, and the successful insertion of their ideas into leftist milieus and alternative media outlets’ — but one which requires some editing for clarity);
• The Rise of Australia’s Activist Far Right: How Far Will It Go?, Julie Nathan, ABC Religion and Ethics, January 31, 2018;
• How the far right has perfected the art of deniable racism, Gary Younge, The Guardian, January 26, 2018 (‘Electoral successes in Europe and the US are the result of a process whereby bigotry is made palatable’);
• A Decade of Resistance, Gabriel Hershman, Eye On Bulgaria, January 24, 2018 (‘Not even 10 years inside has quashed Jock Palfreeman’s spirits. A lesser man might have crumbled. To most people the processes that jailed Palfreeman, and then upheld his conviction for the murder of Andrei Monov, were marked by blatant corruption and lies’);
• Postmodernism Did Not Take Place: On Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life, Shuja Haider, Viewpoint, January 23, 2018 (‘A specter is haunting North America — the specter of postmodernism. Or at least, that’s what Jordan Peterson would have you believe. Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, has entered into an unholy alliance with all the powers of the alt-right to exorcise this specter. Though he calls himself a “British classical liberal,” Peterson’s appeal feeds into the most reactionary tendencies in contemporary politics’).
Finally, in the US, Samuel Woodward, a member of neo-Nazi grouplet ‘Atomwaffen Division’, has been arrested and charged with the murder of a 19yo Jewish antifascist, Blaze Bernstein. The group has been linked to other murders as well. See : Suspects in five killings reportedly linked to macabre neo-Nazi group, Kyle Swenson, The Washington Post, January 29, 2018 | The Suspect in the Killing of Blaze Bernstein Belonged to a Neo-Nazi Group Allegedly Connected to Four Other Murders, Molly Olmstead, Slate, January 31, 2018 | 1 Neo-Nazi Group. 5 Murders In 8 Months., Christopher Mathias, The Huffington Post, February 1, 2018 (‘The Atomwaffen Division has emerged as one of the most disturbing and volatile hate groups in America.’) | What Is Atomwaffen Division, The Nazi Group Tied To The Murder Of Blaze Bernstein?, Sam Kestenbaum, Forward, February 1, 2018.
A very rare Pepe made an appearance at the Brisbane Invasion Day rally!