The Great Australian Bikini March

Weird shit.

‘Nationalist’ Australian clothing company True Blue Productions — which, while claiming to be “100% Aussie”, uses t-shirts manufactured overseas by Gildan Activewear* — is engaged in a guerilla advertising campaign called ‘The Great Australian Bikini March’. According to ‘Christine Hawkins’, “outraged Australian women and their male supporters will reassert Australian values by taking to the streets in a bikini march on… mosques on Saturday December 9, 2006”. In Melbourne, Christine claims that “the march will end at the Islamic Information & Support Centre of Australia in Brunswick, headquaters of Sheik Mohammed Omran“.

The march follows hot-on-the-heels of another attempt (by the same company) to cash-in on Sheik Hilaly‘s well-publicised comments likening women to ‘uncovered meat’:

‘Uncovered meat wear’
The Daily Terror
November 9, 2006

WOMEN are being encouraged to “show the Sheik how things really are and Sheik your booty in this quality infidel clothing”.

An entrepreneurial Sydney man is cashing in on the controversy surrounding outspoken cleric Sheik Hilaly by flogging a range of “uncovered meat” t-shirts, aprons and g-strings.

Sold through US online site cafepress.com, the apparel [boasts] a pink cat embossed with the words “uncovered meat”.

Even if the event flops, which it will (who the hell wants to march to a mosque in a bikini?), it’s certain to draw attention to the fledgling business, contribute to economic growth, and be welcomed by all Right-thinking columnists.

    *True Blue reckon Gildan Activewear sell fair dinkum ‘non-sweat’ apparel, the company having received the tick of approval from WRAP. In reality, the Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production Certification Program (WRAP) is an industry controlled initiative of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, and has little support or credibility among human rights, faith, women, labour or non-governmental organizations. Such initiatives take the lowest common denominator approach on labour standards to gain buy-in from all member companies, and provide no information to the public on where products are made or the results of factory audits.

    Recent news on Gildan Activewear is available via the labour rights monitoring project the US-based Workers Rights Consortium: Final Update Report on Gildan Activewear (Honduras), 27 July, 2006 [PDF].

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2021 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
This entry was posted in !nataS, Sex & Sexuality, State / Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The Great Australian Bikini March

  1. Dreck says:

    It’s a strange world, Jeffrey.
    Anything for a buck, eh?

  2. I know the person responsible for the Uncovered Meat Wear you referred to and can confirm he has NOTHING to do with the other group.

    Googling has shown that “The Great Australian Bikini March” is probably the work of the Patriotic Youth Alliance, a far-right group to whom my friend wouldn’t give the time of day.

    Additionally, he does not conceal for a second that the Uncovered Meat Wear is made in the US, and in fact deliberately draws attention to this. Visit the site and note his comment “Manufactured in the Great Satan” as well as various “Made in the US” logos. It was also accurately reported in the Telegraph as quoted by yourself.

    We all found this USA angle to be an added bonus considering Sheik Hilaly’s awful comments about the USA.

    I suggest you check your facts, Mr Slack Bastard!

    P.S. Dreck, you’ll have to take my word for it, but noting the low prices, the shirts weren’t being sold ‘for a buck’, rather that humour is the best weapon and Hilaly, his beliefs about women and all those who share them with him, deserve our absolute ridicule. Uncovered Meat Wear is selling surprisingly well.

  3. @ndy says:

    G’day Anon,

    On its own, I’m not sure that yr claim, while plausible, is all that convincing. But I WILL try to check my facts regarding the r/ship b/w ‘Uncovered Meat’ and the mob organising the ‘Bikini Stoopid’. At this stage, it appears that the two individuals responsible for ‘organising’ (a term I use loosely) the ‘Bikini Stoopid’ are ‘Christine Hawkins’ and ‘Chris Smith’, while the person responsible for ‘Uncovered Meat’ is anonymous… like yrself. Further, the reasons I thought the two are linked (and am still thinking, though with far less certainty, given yr remarks) is because: a) there’s a number of similarities b/w the rhetoric employed by ‘Christine’ and ‘Chris’ and that used by the bloke what’s flogging the tees etc., and; b) the timing. Thus: the wiki on the ‘Bikini Stoopid’ was opened just two days after the article in *The Daily Terror* appeared, so… either a) the mob behind ‘Uncovered Meat’ is the same mob as the mob behind ‘Bikini Stoopid’ or b) the latter mob is simply taking advantage of some cheap publicity.

    Anyway, thanx for dropping by, and if what you’ve written is correct, I apologise for making the link, and am certainly happy to hear that the bloke responsible for ‘Uncovered Meat’ repudiates fascist groups such as the (now defunct) Patriotic Youth League (‘Patriotic Youth Alliance’).

    (Oh, and I dunno ’bout Hilialy’s comments on the USA — lemme guess, it’s “The Great Satan”? — but his observations regarding women and rape are certainly abhorrent.)

    Cheers,

    @ndy.

  4. Liam says:

    I just heard an interview with Christine Hawkins on ABC Radio National. She claimed to be a “grandmother of two” and “small business owner” but refused to give further information about herself.

    The web site trueblueproductions.com.au is registered to Chris Gemmell-Smith and has a PO box address in Endeavour Hills. The White Pages lists two numbers for “Gemmell-Smith” both of the same residential address in Endeavour Hills.

    I can’t find a direct link between Christine Hawkins and trueblueproductions.com.au though.

  5. David Ross says:

    Dear fellow Australians,

    I initially thought that it was a \’right wing\’ thing also. Then I took the trouble to suss it out, and here is the result. (I rang Christine and had a long conversation.)

    1/ Definitely NOT a \’right wing/patriotic youth league\’ thing.
    2/ Christine has written to the \’right wing\’ groups emphatically requesting they do not try to hijack the rally.
    3/ The coverage on the Patriotic Youth Leag[u]e web site… simply says they have no connection. BUT, that they are taking up the cause on their own, in support.
    4/ The general \”personality\” of the rally is to be controlled by Christine\’s team and anything of a racist nature will not be accepted.

    My only concern would be, as Liam pointed out, a possible connection between Christine and TrueBlue apparel, which could be viewed as a kind of \’self-interest\’ thing. But, even if this was the case (and having checked out TrueBlue), I would not worry greatly, because I think the assertion of Australian culture is far more important than worrying if a bit of money is made on T-shirts as a result.

    If I found there was a financial connection between TrueBlue and Christine, in the sense that she might benefit financially from this, I will without doubt raise this with her, and suggest very strongly that she discloses this, and chan[n]els any such benefit to a worthy cause.

    As it stands right now, the only connection is that the rally is sponsored by True Blue and this is an understandable relationship given that such a rally would need access to such apparel in harmony with its purpose.

    If any possibility of dubious connection is found (other than straight forward sponsorship) I recommend a few of us call Christine and point out the public relations danger of such a position.

    The impression I gained from speaking with her is that she speaks for the silent majority, those of us who have long been complaining and whining to ourselves, grumbling over this or that outrageous statement by some cleric, or whinging about refugees or immigration trends… but not actually DOING anything about these.

    Well, such a rally is a chance to DO something, to make an assertive statement that we DO have a culture and it matters to us. That will certainly be my position as I and all I can gather attend and participate.

    For those who have the slightest doubt about where the \’destination\’ of the rally is coming from in terms of its preferred future for Australia, please view this video on youtube, but ignore the title as it\’s a bit \’anti Muslim\’… the content however is factual and is the reality we will face if we don\’t take seriously our own responsibility to nourish and build up and protect Australian culture from [the] inroads… [of] outside influences[,] which are also backed by unlimited supplies of [o]il revenue.

    http://www . youtube.com/watch?v=l1ymxQZ-DLE

    *Warning* this video contains some Madrid bombing footage.

    It opens with Sheikh Nasrallah. Note that he, with his well-oiled political machine[,] is right at this moment seeking to topple the Lebanese government and take over. What this means for world peace is anybody\’s guess, but it won\’t be pretty.

    ASSERT YOUR CULTURE
    SUPPORT THE RALLY
    (even in normal clothes)

  6. @ndy says:

    Dear David,

    1) While you may address yrself to yr “fellow Australians”, pls be advised that people from many different countries read this blog.

    2) The Great Australian Bikini March is a right-wing event, an example of right-wing populism. This explains why it has not only drawn support from convicted neo-Nazi criminal Ben Weerheym (of the ‘Patriotic Alliance Down Under’ site/blog) but also a whole range of racists and fascists on sites such as Stormfront. (The ‘Patriotic Youth League’, on the other hand, which functioned as the junior version of the fascist ‘Australia First Party’ led by convicted neo-Nazi criminal Dr. James Saleam, is dead and buried.)

    3) I’m well aware of Hawkins’ attempts to distance herself and the March from explicitly racist and fascist groups. Nevertheless, members of such groups and adherents to such ideologies will attend the March.

    4) I believe you may be confusing the ‘Patriotic Youth League’ with the ‘Patriotic Alliance Down Under’ (ie, Ben Weerheym). (Perfectly understandable, of course.)

    5) The general ‘personality’ of the March will be determined by those who attend it, whatever Hawkins’ fantasies to the contrary. I expect there to be a gathering of suburban bigots such as Hawkins, supplemented by more explicitly fascist tendencies, including a handful of local neo-Nazis.

    6) The connection b/w the March and True Blue is presumably one of convenience. Local small businessman Chris Gemmell-Smith, owner of True Blue, is presumably either a friend or partner of Hawkins. The fact that True Blue has branded itself ‘Aussie’, while at the same time being responsible for flogging sweatshop apparel imported from Honduras (by way of the United States) is, I think, indicative of the general lack of nous of Hawkins and her mob.

    7) ‘Australian culture’ may not be reduced to ignorance, bigotry and profit-making wrapped in the Aussie flag… or maybe it can…

    8) Yr suggestion that True Blue’s “sponsorship” of the March is “understandable” on the basis that “such a rally would need access to such apparel in harmony with its purpose” is nonsensical. The fact is that there are any number of businesses flogging “Aussie” merchandise. The people who gathered at Cronulla last yr, draped in “Aussie” paraphenalia, is a case in point. In other words, I think that True Blue’s “sponsorship” of the March may be much more easily read as a simple exercise in profiteering on the basis of religious bigotry and racial antagonism.

    9) Yr impression that Hawkins speaks for the “silent majority” is of no doubt great comfort to you, functioning as it does to confirm yr own prejudices. But such rhetoric is so dull and thoroughly routine, it constitutes little more than a cliche.

    10) What is unusual about the comments by the Sheikh from Sydney is not their reactionary nature, but the attention paid to them — of which there has been absolutely no shortage. By way of contrast:

    “Shortly before the Hilali story broke, the media reported on a group of young men who had filmed themselves taunting and sexually assaulting a young woman in Werribee. Not one federal politician condemned the (white) perpetrators of this crime. Not one expressed the view that there was a deep problem of sexism in the communities in which they lived.

    In the same week, a survey by VicHealth found that a staggering 40 per cent of Victorians agree with the lie that men rape because they can’t control their sexual urges — essentially the same argument made by Sheik al-Hilali. Fifteen per cent believe that women say “no” to sex when they mean “yes”. But again, there were no politicians demanding that leaders of the “Victorian community” must “fix” this problem or face “permanent damage” to their standing within the “broader Australian community”…”

    — Jerome Small, ‘Muslim-bashing racists let off the leash’, Socialist Alternative, No.110, November 2006, p.8

    11) Yr comments regarding the “threat” we face, as well as yr approving reference to anti-Muslim propaganda, reveals the true nature of both yr own politics and that of the March: it has fuck-all to do with fighting sexism, and everything to do with anti-Muslim sentiment (religious bigotry).

    12) Finally, yr speculations regarding oil, the Madrid bombings, Sheikh Nasrallah, the political situation in Lebanon, and the prospects for ‘world peace’ reveal nothing other than yr own ignorance, bigotry and stupidity. As well as the political motivations of those who would march on a mosque ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE CRONULLA RACE ‘RIOT’.

    See you at the March,

    @ndy.

  7. David Ross says:

    Well, there is nothing worse than writing a comprehensive reply and then clicking on \’post\’ only to find it all evaporate as I forgot to put in that rotten number… grrr…

    2/ Right-wing event: I dispute this. It is being portrayed as such by a segment with a political interest in characterizing it that way.

    3/ Yes… they will, and as long as they don\’t manifestly display their prejudices they will be just other \’people\’. The march has rules… including no racist material.

    4/ Yep… slack on my part.

    5/ Welcome to the world of \’protest marches\’.

    6/ I\’ve advised Christine to try to make other apparel suppliers with more genuine Aussie content known. (I also am concerned with this issue and have listed it as a BIG worry to her if the ethics of the march are to be honest.)

    7/ Australian culture should NEVER be reduced to those things. Don\’t confuse genuine welling up of cultural identity / passion as \’bigotry\’. Only time and scrutiny will reveal if there is a prawn behind the rock (Malaysian proverb).

    8/ Answered.

    9/ Silent majority: Perhaps this might be better expressed as \’sizeable proportion\’? I\’ve found, almost universally, that when you ask people how they feel about \’multi-culturalism\’ they usually say it\’s fine, but then, when you probe deeper to some of the disadvantages, they begin agreeing passionately about the negative side — now that they know you are not going to whack them verbally as racists, etc..

    10/ There are many initiatives already under way to address this kind of thing. Sadly (and predictably) they include such pamphlets as this — *If he is violent, it\’s NEVER your fault* — which is there in the Boronia police station customer service area. I don\’t need to point out the feminazism in that title.

    11/ Threat: Andy, this is where I get very serious. I attended the pre-trial hearing for the 13 alleged terrorists in the county court on 2 occasions. Had a friendly chat with the brother of one of them, and generally soaked in the atmosphere. I assure you, it\’s not a joke. The *Anti-Muslim propaganda* is showing horrific things done, as you saw, and horrific things said. These are factual, they are not made up, and we have 13 men in Melbourne and 11 in Sydney on charges of planning similar actions. That there is an *Islamification* by stealth going on is undeniable. A 40,000 person mosque in London at the Olympic site? To the historically and geographically naive it\’s just *a big mosque*. To those of us who have lived under and experienced how political Islam actually works (like me), it is a threat of staggering proportions.

    12/ Ignorance, bigotry, stupidity: You were doing well up to that point. I reject this assessment, and believe I can back it all up with sound, reasoned and fact-based argument.

    I suppose we could change the date to October 10th (from the year 732) or July 14th (from 1643).

    But… as a young Jedi socialist-in-training, I should realize that the best chance for a better synthesis resulting from the Hegelian historical dialectic of social change comes from chaos, not order. But really, in my view, a little bit of symbolic posturing never goes astray. As the PLO well taught us, ANY publicity is good publicity, and they blew up planes. Do you support them and their cause today?

    Cheers but no beers,
    Hope to have a nose-to-nose some time,
    At the march? Look for the guy in protective gear…

  8. @ndy says:

    Dear David,

    2) You are, of course, free to dispute that this event is ‘right-wing’. Imo, employing a standard def of ‘right-wing’, it is. Thus:

    right-wing —
    noun : the conservative or reactionary section of a political party or system.
    origin : with ref to the National Assembly in France (1789-91), where the nobles sat to the president’s right and the commons to the left.

    An examination of the propaganda surrounding the (non-)event confirms this analysis (and I can elaborate on this if you insist). Further, those elements which have been drawn to and support the (non-)event have all come from the margins of the far right; a point which you have singularly failed to address in yr reply. You have also failed to comment on the TIMING of the (non-)event: the first anniversary of the Cronulla ‘riot’, described by the above-named as an ‘uprising’ of ‘Whites’ against non-‘Whites’. So, not only ‘right-wing’, but racist to boot.

    3) The March may well have ‘rules’. The q is: who is going to enforce them? Is Hawkins going to inform the boneheads herself that they aren’t welcome? What if they tell her to fuck off? (And why should they listen to anything she has to say anyway?) Fact is, racist right-wing nutters are going to be attracted to this (non-)event like flies to shit. After all, it’s got everything: the demonisation and denunciation of Islam PLUS ‘chicks in bikinis’!

    5) Yeah. Point is: why associate yrself with such scum?

    6) Hmmm. The ‘sponsorship’ (sic) of the (non-)event is obviously self-interested.

    7) Yeah, it shouldn’t. That’s why I oppose the March. As Samuel Johnson said, ‘Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel’; and for suburban idiots, it’s obviously the first. As for Islam and Australian history —

    http://www.icv.org.au/history.shtml

    Further, this is no ‘welling up’ of ‘Australian culture’, but a daft idea hatched by a suburban bigot to flog a few tees.

    8) Not answered: all you’ve done is claim to have expressed concern to Hawkins. And? The point stands.

    9) I obviously am unable to contradict yr exp: whatever it is, it is. So too yr interpretation of its meaning and significance. But you fail to define ‘multi-culturalism’, so it’s difficult to respond. Here’s one def —

    ======

    “Multiculturalism has been Australian Government policy since the early 1980s, and it was formalised in 1989 in The National Agenda for a Multicultural Australia. Three distinct areas were identified: Cultural Identity, Social Justice and Economic Efficiency as follows:

    * Cultural Identity: the right of all Australians, within carefully defined limits, to express and share their individual cultural heritage, including their language and religion
    * Social Justice: the right of all Australians to equality of treatment and opportunity, and the removals of barriers of race, ethnicity, culture, religion, language, gender or place of birth
    * Economic Efficiency: the need to maintain, develop and utilise effectively the skills and talents of all Australians, regardless of background.”

    ======

    In general, while ‘multi-‘ simply means many, ‘culture’ is usually employed as though it were synonymous with ‘national’ culture, which, if one employs a broad def of ‘culture — ie, way of life — is obviously inadequate. (And leaving aside the q of what is the nation?’.) On the whole, the subject is mired in confusion, esp in the minds of those who claim to oppose it.

    As for yr reply: and?

    10) Huh? I don’t think you understand my point, as you’ve completely ignored it.

    As for ‘feminazism’… Given yr other claims, I wouldn’t be surprised if you genuinely believed that yr opinion (ie, that “it’s sometimes / many times / always” the deserved fault of those subjected to patriarchal forms of violence) is, like yr opinion on other matters, *also* expressing the opinion of the ‘silent majority’. But given yr attempt to defend a March — which is ostensibly geared towards denouncing the opinions of some Sheikh from Sydney in claiming that women share responsibility for the sexual violence that is inflicted upon them — I can only conclude that yr either a hypocrite, confused, or both.

    11) Yeah, there’s currently a grp of about twenty men facing charges.

    And?

    In addition to believing that women are sometimes responsible for the violence inflicted on them by men — and that to claim otherwise is a sign of ‘feminazism’ — you believe “that there is an *Islamification* by stealth going on is undeniable.”

    Not true.

    Watch.

    THERE IS NO PROCESS OF ISLAMIFICATION OF AUSTRALIA BY STEALTH.

    See?

    Wasn’t hard.

    …And a mosque in London? Wtf has that got to do with ‘The Great Australian Bikini March’?

    I repeat — with further evidence in the shape of yr concern over two local cases, a friendly chat with the brother of one of the accused, the atmosphere in a courtroom, a planned 40,000 person mosque in London and historical refs: “the March has fuck-all to do with fighting sexism, and everything to do with anti-Muslim sentiment (religious bigotry).”

    12) Well yeah, you can try. And fail (see above).

    The remainder of yr reply is just stuff and nonsense.

    Cheers AND BEERS,*

    @ndy.

    *No beer? What are ya? A Muslim or something?

  9. David Ross says:

    I once ordered a lemon squash in a public bar and they said it wasn\’t a man\’s drink. No, not a Muslim.

    The Bikini March and the mosque in London: They are connected (at the idea/social force level). The mosque is part of the \’Cultural Islamification\’ goals of the Saudis (funding) along with local Muslim\’s goals in UK. I guess you have missed the calls to \”Make England an Islamic State\” by the more \’adventurous\’ Muslims there.

    The Bikini March is connected to the following socio/political/religious events:

    1/ The Cronulla riots were primarily a reaction to Lebanese Muslim behavior. (Hence the initial date of the march.)
    2/ The destination (Islamic Information centre) is Sheikh Omran\’s haunt He is a radical Muslim who would see nothing other than an Islamic Australia given time, funds and struggle.
    3/ The attire aspect is related to the comments of Sheikh Hilali about uncovered meat.

    Cheers and lemon squashes!

    🙂

  10. @ndy says:

    Briefly,

    So the “Saudis” and Islamic mentalists in the UK — and by “Saudis” I take it you mean the oil-rich, Wahhabist elites — wanna ‘Islamify the World’?

    Pffft. Good luck! Today’s empires, tomorrow’s ashes.

    More generally, see the anarchist pamphlet ‘Against War & Terrorism’ (October 2001):

    http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/issues/war/pamOCT01.html

    On the Cronulla bullshit:

    http://slackbastard.anarchobase.com/?p=495

    On Sheikh Omran, see “Saudis”.

    Have a lemon squash on me,

    @ndy.

  11. @nnoyed says:

    I believe anyone who attends or participates in this SAD Bikini March is just downright RACIST and has a lot of time on their hands and nothing better to do with it. We live in a multi-cultural Australia and there is no room for redneck racists. Let me remind you that Australia belongs to the Aborigines and the land was stolen by the British and their CONVICTS.

  12. David Ross says:

    Andy.

    An update to your point \”There is no Islamization by stealth\” happening in Australia.

    Well on this point the thing which determines \’true\’ or \’false\’ is evidence.

    Now.. you may or may not be aware of the deceptive purchase of some land in Sydney by an Islamic college, which portrayed itself as a residential land developer to the council in order to get the land which was allocated for \’residential housing\’. Once they got the land, they then expressed a desire to put an Islamic school on it. Here is a report from the local rag.

    http://www.theexpress.com.au/article/2007/07/17/1990_news.html

    Vern Faulkner, a Bass Hill resident of 37 years and a member of the committee, demanded answers as to how land bought for affordable housing was now to become an Islamic school.

    `That is the fundamental question that people I have spoken to this week have asked me,\’\’ he said.

    Gardenview Apartments directors Ghayath Alshelh, Bilal Homaysi and Amgad Arrfat were not available for comment but college principal Mohamad El Dana insisted the sale was legal.

    “Gardenview Apartments came to us and said they were reviewing their financial status and asked would we be interested in the land, and we said yes,\’\’ he said.

    He said the school became the owner of Gardenview Apartments after the land sale was completed, but according to ASIC documents, the school acquired the company from ABC Plumbing Greenacre on June 5, 2006, three months before the sale was completed.

    COMMENT to this, could be added the Baulkham Hills prayer centre affair.. but this story alone, could be described as GAME SET MATCH on the actual issue in point. If you cannot see this then.. I would seriously question your powers of reasoning.
    If you respond.. please email me [email protected] cc [email protected]

    Thanx.

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