[Update (March 24, 2019) : ABC’s ‘Background Briefing’ has published a report which documents the links the alleged Christchurch killer had with the Australian far right, including the fact that he described prominent neo-Nazi figurehead Blair Cottrell as his ‘Emperor’, and expressed a desire to join Cottrell, his then-group the United Patriots Front, members of the True Blue Crew, Combat 18 and Antipodean Resistance at the June 2016 racist rally in Coburg: “Communists will get what communists get, I would love to be there holding one end of the rope when you get yours traitor,” Tarrant posted. See : Christchurch shooting accused Brenton Tarrant supports Australian far-right figure Blair Cottrell, Alex Mann, Kevin Nguyen and Katherine Gregory, March 23, 2019.
In other news, following the massacre, Nathan Sykes, the notorious neo-Nazi troll, Australia First Party member, The Daily Stormer trollumnist and editor of ‘United Nationalists Australia’ blog got arrest: ‘The decision to arrest and charge Mr Sykes was made by senior NSW police just hours after The Age and Sydney Morning Herald revealed how officers had shelved an investigation’ into threats he made against freelance journalist and lawyer Luke McMahon. See : Police swoop on right-wing troll over alleged violent threats, Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker, The Sydney Morning Herald, March 22, 2019. See also : On Troll Hunting (Ginger Gorman), February 16, 2019.]
I haven’t had time to really process things inre the horrific massacre in Christchurch last week, but insofar as one of its effects has been to focus attention on the far-right in Australia & Aotearoa/New Zealand, I’ve endeavoured to share some of what I understand of the situation on Twitter. My initial reaction, in which I expressed shock but not surprise, is captured by Threadreader here; I examine some of the immediate effects of the massacre upon and provide a few details inre the far-right in Aotearoa/New Zealand here; I also took the opportunity to take a closer look at Senator Fraser ‘Final Solution’ Anning’s antics at his meeting in Moorabbin the day after the slaughter, along with ‘eggboy’, here. Finally, inre David Wroe and Max Koslowski’s article (March 19, 2019) on Australia’s right-wing extremist problem: Are we doing enough?, I provided some supplementary notes regarding the various groups they name here.
Obviously, a lot more could be said on the subject, has and will be. Some of this discussion has been useful and interesting, while other reflections have been far less so. Ghassan Hage’s White entitlement is part of the very structure of Australian society (The Guardian, March 18, 2019) provides useful context, while the ACRAWSA statement ‘For Muslim People’ of yesterday is worthwhile reading. Finally, Jason Wilson’s articles on Do the Christchurch shootings expose the murderous nature of ‘ironic’ online fascism? (March 16), Islamophobia is practically enshrined as public policy in Australia (March 17) & Eco-fascism is undergoing a revival in the fetid culture of the extreme right (March 20) are germane, as are the statements by Tame Iti and Marama Davidson.
See also : The Australian neo-fascists who swim in the same sewer as the Christchurch terrorist, Tom Coburg, The Canary, March 19, 2019.
At present, it seems likely that [T]he Christchurch killer did in fact have some interactions with other far-right figures in Australia at least, but given that investigations are ongoing, presumably those connections, if they exist, will come to light sooner rather than later. There’s also been a whole lot of other stuff going on that I’ve been unable to blog about, but a few highlights include:
• Senator Fraser ‘Final Solution’ Anning has doubled-down in the wake of the massacre, and continued to act like the compleat shitkvnt he is. Fortunately, I expect that his associations with (other) elements of the extreme-right in Australia, which are quite extensive, will also be explored in greater detail sooner rather than later.
• Predictably, the massacre has caused many on the local far-right to do one of two things: do an Anning, or run for cover. Of the former, Anning fanboy Neil Erikson has described the massacre as ‘karma’; others, chiefly (but not always) anonymously, have celebrated it. Among those choosing the second option are those gathered around ‘The Dingoes’ podcast, whose online presence has in the last day or two been scrubbed. This is presumably on the basis that one of the few concrete linkages between the killer and the local AltRight — in particular its resonance with various elements of their online culture — has been through way of the Aussie Shitposter meme, which The Dingoes helped to popularise and which the killer subsequently adopted, both on his Twitter account and on 8chan. See : Alleged mosque shooter’s meme popular with Australian far-right group, Patrick Begley, The Sydney Morning Herald, March 15, 2019. Begley writes that: ‘The Dingoes, who do not reveal their identities, run a podcast called The Convict Report that has in previous years hosted former Labor leader turned One Nation candidate Mark Latham as well as Nationals MP George Christensen.’ But while they may not reveal their identities, their identities have been revealed. See : TheDingoes.xyz /// The Convict Report /// DingoCon (July 8, 2017). And while The Dingoes have attempted to develop a more determined AltRight vernacular for Australian shitposters in particular, it’s also worth recognising their participation in a broader network centred on the US neo-Nazi website and podcast network ‘The Right Stuff’.
See also : Cabinet’s National Security Committee to receive briefing on right-wing extremist risk, SBS (AAP), March 18, 2019 | Only NSW Gov. program preventing far-right extremism had funding cut in 2014, Avani Dias, JJJ’s Hack (ABC), March 20, 2019.
• Another effect of the massacre has been to cause some mild embarrassment to the Australian government. Hence for the last nine months or more, various attempts have been made by local racists to import Milo Yiannopoulos to the country for a speaking tour. Currently, responsibility for the tour has been assumed by Damien Costas and Penthouse Australia. While the Minister, David Coleman, denied a visa to another speaker, Gavin McInnes, late last year, prior to the massacre, against the advice of his Department but following a campaign by Pauline Hanson and Newscorpse, he was happy to issue one to Yiannopoulos. After the massacre, that decision was reversed, and it appears as though the tour, after numerous other delays, will now be cancelled. See : Milo Yiannopoulos promoter Damien Costas on thin ice, Myriam Robin, Australian Financial Review, March 17, 2019 | Sydney porn king bankrupted over unpaid debts, Andrew Hornery, The Sydney Morning Herald, March 20, 2019.
• Finally, last week veteran anti-Muslim agitator Ralph Cerminara (‘Australian Defence League’ / ‘Left Wing Bigots & Extremists Exposed’) was sentenced to a spell in prison for assaulting his neighbour. See : Former leader of far-right movement jailed for foul-mouthed attack on neighbour, Sally Rawsthorne, The Sydney Morning Herald, March 14, 2019.
The massacre has generated a vast commentary. The following are just some of the items which have caught my eye and which I think are interesting. I may add to the list over time.
After New Zealand Shooting, Far-right, Racists Claim Victimhood, Hail Killer as Hero, Brett Barrouquere, Southern Poverty Law Centre, March 15, 2019
How a Spanish neo-Nazi became an international ‘hero’ of the far right, Juan Diego Quesada & Fernando Peinado, El País, March 26, 2019 (‘Josué Estébanez is considered a cult figure by extremists, including the New Zealand mosque shooter, for killing a left-wing activist on the Madrid subway in 2007.’)
kiwi far right
Along with the New Zealand National Front, another smol neo-Nazi group that has come under some scrutiny in the wake of the Christchurch massacre is the ‘Identitarian’ ‘Dominion Movement’. Its leader is a bloke called Jarrad Randell-Walsh. See also : Austrian far-right activist raided over possible donation from New Zealand shooting suspect, ABC, March 27, 2019.
Spotting the signs of white supremacy in New Zealand, Mava Enoka, Noted, February 21, 2018
The story of White Supremacy, William Ray, Radio New Zealand, March 26, 2019 (‘Since the attack in Christchurch, many people have called for New Zealand to examine its history of white supremacy. In this special episode of Black Sheep, William Ray looks at the origins of this ideology, how it warped and changed over time, and how people have fought against it.’)
The ‘growing’ white nationalist group with a ‘harmful and violent’ ideology, Thomas Manch, stuff, March 26, 2019
memes & manifestos
Shitposting, Inspirational Terrorism, and the Christchurch Mosque Massacre, Robert Evans, bellingcat, March 15, 2019
New Zealand Terrorist Manifesto Influenced by Far-Right Online Ecosystem, Hatewatch Finds, Michael Edison Hayden, SPLC, March 15, 2019
Decoding the racist memes the New Zealand shooter used to communicate, Tess Owen, Vice, March 16, 2019
White supremacism in Australia, long a virulent strain, is amplified by the Internet, Robyn Dixon, The Los Angeles Times, March 17, 2019
‘Replacement Theory,’ a Racist, Sexist Doctrine, Spreads in Far-Right Circles, Nellie Bowles, The New York Times, March 18, 2019
Nazis Have Always Been Trolls, Adam Serwer, The Atlantic, March 21, 2019 (‘They rely on murderous insincerity and the unwillingness of liberal societies to see them for what they are.’)
No mention of right-wing extremist threats in 10 years of GCSB and SIS public docs, Jane Patterson, Radio New Zealand, March 20, 2019
A single police officer in the Bias Crime Unit tasked with monitoring hate crime across NSW, Hagar Cohen and ABC Investigations, ABC’s Background Briefing, March 22, 2019
Social media giants face regulation as publishers, not just postmen, Max Mason, Australian Financial Review, March 22, 2019
Christchurch mosque attack prompts Home Affairs boss to threaten greater scrutiny on white supremacists, Andrew Greene, ABC, March 22, 2019
Today, we mourn. Tomorrow, we organise., Faisal Al-Asaad, Overland, March 17, 2019
Christchurch attacks are a stark warning of toxic political environment that allows hate to flourish, Greg Barton, ABC, March 17, 2019
In Australia, the terrorist’s homeland, anti-Muslim hatred is rife, Nasya Bahfen, The Spinoff, March 18, 2019
After Christchurch, the political class must stop positioning racism as a democratic demand, Aaron Winter & Aurelien Mondon, Open Democracy, March 20, 2019
Spencer Sunshine on the Implications of the Christchurch Massacre, It’s Going Down, March 20, 2019
Hi everyone, please stop doing some or all of the following things, Ketan Joshi, March 20, 2019
Christchurch terror: How did this happen?, Byron Clark, Daphne Lawless, Tyler West, and Ani White, Fightback, March 21, 2019
White Supremacy in Australia Set the Stage for the Christchurch Massacre, Antony Loewenstein, The Nation, March 21, 2019
Things I’ve Learned About Homegrown Terrorism by Following the Alt-Right, Royce Kurmelovs, Vice, March 22, 2019
Political Correctness — From The Other Side, Bashi Hazard, Meanjin, March 26, 2019
A history of recent attacks linked to white supremacy, Lois Beckett, The Guardian, March 16, 2019
Christchurch: True Blue Aussie Terrorism, Paul Gregoire, Sydney Criminal Lawyers, March 19, 2019
Radical White Terrorism, Intercepted [podcast], March 20, 2019
Statement From The Australian Muslim Community on Christchurch and Islamophobia
See the website (March 25, 2019):
As a community, we are shattered by the recent act of terror in Christchurch.
For years, we have warned against the use of racist and discriminatory language in media and politics. We warned that this creates a culture of fear and hysteria that would inevitably result in exactly this type of attack.
We also acknowledge our brothers and sisters in the Indigenous community who have resisted white supremacist violence on this continent for over two centuries.
We owe it to the victims of this massacre to bear witness to the truth of why they died. Their deaths cannot be used to whitewash the reality of how this occurred.
While our political leaders have expressed sympathy over the deaths of our brothers and sisters, there has been little responsibility taken for their own role in creating a political climate that has demonised the Muslim community for decades.
Sadly, we remember the numerous times the Coalition have used the Muslim community as targets in vicious debates around immigration, multiculturalism and national security.
We remember when Liberal Party Senators lined up to kiss, hug and shake hands with Pauline Hanson – a woman who has referred to Islam as a ‘disease’ – following her openly Islamophobic return speech to Parliament.
We remember when Liberal Party Senators openly congratulated Fraser Anning after his explicit reference to a ‘final solution’ when discussing Muslim immigration.
We remember when Peter Dutton suggested that sections of our community should never have been allowed into this country in the first place.
We remember when elected Liberal Party representatives campaigned to remove Section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act under the guise of protecting ‘free speech.’
We remember when Liberal Party Senators joined One Nation to vote in favour of the white nationalist slogan ‘It’s OK to be white.’
This climate of hostility breeds discrimination, harassment and ultimately violence.
A truly safe society is one where no community should fear that they will be made scapegoats or demonised for the sake of cheap political point-scoring.
If our leaders are truly committed to building a society where our community can live in safety, they must make real assurances that they will not resort to this language of racism and division.
Christchurch shooting: gunman Brenton Tarrant’s roaming on the dark side
March 19, 2019
There are few remaining clues of Brenton Tarrant’s social media connections, but the fragments online reveal evidence of years of links with right-wing ideologues, including to a Gold Coast machinist who admired 1930s fascist Oswald Mosley.
Tarrant wrote a five-star review on Facebook of 24-year-old Burleigh Heads machinist Marcus Christensen’s business.
Mr Christensen said yesterday he may have had an online conversation with Tarrant, but he could not be sure.
In the underground world of right-wing social media, on mainstream sites, but also platforms on the dark web such as 8chan, pseudonyms are used to hide true identities.
“I don’t know him directly,” Mr Christensen told The Australian. “As far as I’m aware, people I knew knew of him.
“But apparently he’s been in the community for over two years, in that sort of fringe far-right community.
“The vast majority of these people want to keep to themselves and want to have their own community. They don’t want to go around shooting up mosques.”
Mr Christensen has a mural of British fascist leader Mosley — who Tarrant claimed as his hero — on the wall of his Gold Coast workshop.
Tarrant shared videos of Mosley on his social media accounts in the days before Friday’s attack and described the fascist figure as “the person from history closest to my own beliefs” in his “manifesto”.
Mr Christensen describes himself as an “eco-fascist”, a term that Tarrant also references in his document. Asked what he meant by that label, Mr Christensen said he was passionate about the environment and referenced his solar-powered business. But when pressed on whether or not he identified with the racist theories behind eco-fascism — long associated with the Nazis — he said “we would have to sit down and talk about it”.
Little remains of Tarrant’s activity on his Facebook account, which was deleted after he live-streamed his attack on Friday.
Tarrant also connected with a Texas-based construction company, whose page was deleted after the attack. The owners of the business did not respond to phone calls or messages.
Tarrant also endorsed a 2016 post by a separate Brisbane-based neo-Nazi that claimed the downfall of “Europa” was due to “women and aliens” being allowed to vote. The post was published well before his claimed 2017 radicalisation, which Tarrant described in his bizarre “manifesto”.
Mr Christensen, who said he had watched the video of the attack and was familiar with parts of the manifesto, said Tarrant’s alleged actions had “dirtied” his political beliefs.
“I don’t believe that that was an appropriate thing to do. I think that’s a terrible thing he’s done. I condemn what he did.”
He said he couldn’t explain how Tarrant would have come to review his business.
“If it’s the profile I think it was, he stopped posting on that to my knowledge, or I stopped seeing anything, over a year ago,” he said.
Tarrant had used the Facebook account under a pseudonym, but reverted the account to his own name when he used it to stream his rampage.
He had shared the account’s details on the notorious internet forum 8chan, where he appeared to have a regular presence, and told other users of his plans to live-stream his alleged attack shortly before the shooting began.
Within minutes, 8chan users were praising him — with some seemingly expressing familiarity by calling him “BT”. Others expressed fears his actions would see the end of the 8chan community.
Mr Christensen said those he knew from far-right circles were now worried about the consequences of increased scrutiny of their activities.
“If anything, everyone’s panicking, ‘Oh God, this is the worst possible thing that could have happened’,” he said.
The NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team yesterday executed search warrants at the homes of Tarrant’s mother, Sharon, and sister Lauren, who have been helping police since Friday. There is no suggestion his family had any involvement in his actions.
Tarrant is believed to have been based in New Zealand since 2017, and had not been in Australia for several months.
On Facebook, Tarrant had detailed travels throughout the world after he received an inheritance following his father’s death. He shared videos of animals in an African savannah, soldiers in eastern Asia and North Korea, Pakistani mountain ranges and European castles. More recently, he uploaded videos about population trends and one depicting a cartoon koala setting fire to a building
His grandmother said he had “changed completely” from the “boy we knew” since he left his hometown of Grafton as a young man.
New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said it was alleged Tarrant was solely responsible for the deaths, but an “international” investigation was looking into whether other individuals had given him support.
“That doesn’t mean there weren’t possibly other people in support, and that continues to form a very, very important part of our investigation,” he said.
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