A Current Affair, Tom Sewell, & Punching Nazis

[Update (March 3, 2021) : Today, Tom Sewell was charged with affray, recklessly causing injury and unlawful assault, and was bailed to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court in July. Jacob Hersant was released pending further enquiries. See : Victoria Police charge man with assault over neo-Nazi video at Channel Nine (ABC). Also, Sewell made another, brief appearance on ACA, but otherwise his alleged assault is being celebrated by nazi keyboard warriors the world over. See : FASCIST GROOMER PT. 2 – the ACA Interview.)

Update : 1) This evening VicPol issued a statement indicating that Jacob Hersant (21) and Tom Sewell (27) have been arrested. 2) Tom Tanuki has a h0ttt take. See/hear : A FASCIST GROOMER: ACA report & Sewell’s assault.]

Above : Tom Sewell, Jacob Hersant and other nazis with Sky News Australia’s Lauren ‘The Great Replacement’ Southern.

I don’t have much more to add really, but felt like I should at least take note of the fact that:

1) Last night, Channel 9’s tabloid TV show A Current Affair did a thing on the nazis who went hiking through the Grampians in January;
2) Unhappy at the prospect of what they presumed would be an unfair portrayal, two nazi leaders of the expedition — Tom Sewell and Jacob Hersant — attended the Channel 9 headquarters in Melbourne earlier that day in order to remonstrate with ACA;
3) While in the Channel 9 foyer, the dynamic duo attempted to film some agitprop for their Terrorgram channel, a security guard instructed them to leave, and the guard was then (allegedly) racially-abused by Hersant and assaulted by Sewell.

Otherwise:

4) If nothing else, ACA made it clear that Sewell & Co. are neo-Nazis;
5) As befits his status as a budding fuehrer, Sewell is unrepentant over his action, which he’s framed as self-defence and as constituting a legitimate form of confrontation with the (((media)));
6) Presumably, police may — at some point in the future — charge Sewell with assault, and there’s even an outside chance Hersant may also be charged with racial vilification;
7) Sewell’s insouciance makes sense because — if nothing else — the footage of him punching a black man in the face is xclnt meme fodder for the teenyboppers he desperately wants to join him on his quest for an Antipodean nazi Reich;
8) On the same episode, Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton declared that the Australian government intended to proscribe a neo-Nazi groupuscule called Sonnenkrieg Division;
9) Following the incident at Channel 9, Sewell was interviewed by a Canadian neo-Nazi called Brandon Martinez;
10) Martinez praised Sewell as his hero — though whether or not Sewell, like Adolf Hitler, eventually becomes An Hero is of course unknown at this stage.

See also : From Antipodean Resistance to the National Socialist Network (November 29, 2020).

Bonus!

• Sewell reckons he’s got nothing to hide … which I’m not sure is entirely correct.
• Tomorrow, Victorian parliamentary committee set to announce decision on banning Nazi symbols — which, it seems, may be ‘yes’. If so, exactly what this means in practice, in terms of law and enforcement, is going to be interesting to watch. In the article, I’m quoted as follows:

After going underground in the wake of the Christchurch massacre, experts say the extreme right is back — and bolder than ever. “The principal individuals in these groups have always had neo-Nazi politics. They just concealed them for pragmatic reasons,” said Andy Fleming, who runs the anti-fascist blog Slackbastard and has tracked the far right for several [16 or so] years. “For the most part, those pretences have been abandoned.”

This is certainly the case for the remnants of the ‘United Patriots Front’ (2015–2017), which went on to form ‘The Lads Society’ and then — along with the remnants of ‘Antipodean Resistance’ — to establish both the ‘European Australian Movement’ and the ‘National Socialist Network’. Further:

Andy Fleming agrees [with Dr Smith on the political impact of lockdown].

“It would be a surprise if they weren’t seeking to capitalise on the discontent over the past year,” he said.

On the subject of ‘banning Nazi symbols’:

On that question, Mr Fleming said he was ambivalent.

“We have experience with these sorts of measures being undertaken by various European states, along with the criminalisation of Holocaust denial. And that did put a brake on the development of [the] extreme and far right in places like Germany,” he said.

“However, it also meant those who would otherwise have been running around waving a swastika were forced to adapt. So they adopted new symbols.”

Dr Abramovich said failing to ban Nazi symbols would be a mistake.

Regarding the re-emergence of neo-Nazism in post-war Germany, see : The Beast Reawakens: Fascism’s Resurgence from Hitler’s Spymasters to Today’s Neo-Nazi Groups and Right-Wing Extremists, Martin A. Lee, Routledge, 2000. On the adaptation of the neo-Nazi movement in Germany to repressive legislation, see : When Nazis go Pop… New strategies of the extreme right in Germany (LFO DEMON, November 11, 2004):

In the good old times everything seemed to be easy: The symbols, clothes and ideology of the extreme right were quite easy to identify. This was the cliché of the right-wing version of skinhead outfit (“boneheads”). Since a few years there have been massive changes in the far-right in Germany. There is the strategy to adopt symbols and clothes of other youth cultures including the left one …

This is really an important point one should keep in mind: Germany has tough laws on demonstrations and on right-wing symbolism. Not only swastikas are banned but a growing list of symbols.

Even if some symbols are not banned, local authorities usually make strict requirements on right-wing demonstrations for their use. E.g. it´s quite often prohibited to use the number “88” (meaning “Heil Hitler” for the 8th letter in the alphabet), which was invented by the right to bypass the ban of “Heil Hitler” in Germany.

This seems to be an endless battle of repression-innovation of new codes-repression. Evaluating the results there are 2 points: on the one hand it´s good that the far-right is put under pressure. They have to deal with court decisions which costs time, money and nerves. On the other hand this stimulates their creativity in evolving new tactics all the time which also has some risks. So there are less racists and nationalists speaking out in public but hiding their intentions and trying to deliver them with unobtrusive codes not directly linked with right-wing ideology …

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.
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