On Friday night, a small group of neo-Nazis armed with knives attempted to disrupt an anti-fascist benefit gig in Thornbury. Happily, the cowards were chased away by attendees. Currently, while several have previously been identified as belonging to Tom Sewell’s ‘National Socialist Network’ (NSN), help is being sought in identifying several of the other individuals who took part in the failed attack.
Because footage of the incident was made available to them, both 9 News Melbourne and 7 News Melbourne carried reports. The 9 News account was fairly straightforward, if inevitably tabloid.
The 7 News report, on the other hand, as well as being sensationalist, was also reliably stoopid, rendering what happened as a random clash between two groups of ‘extremists’, both exotic to the area, and each acting without regard for locals.
In reality, the nazis had gone to Cafe Gummo — a well-known, queer-friendly dive bar in Thornbury, popular with locals — because that evening it was hosting a benefit gig for a local Indigenous group (the Black Peoples Union) and anti-fascist research group The White Rose Society. The gig was organised by local anti-fascists, including Melbourne SHARPs (Skin Heads Against Racial Prejudice), a local chapter of a global network of anti-racist skinheads which has been fighting racism and fascism for decades. The performers included local bands An Effigy To Extinction, Dire Need, Louts and The Victim’s Ball.
The nazis were also members of the NSN, recently made infamous by, inter alia:
• their fuehrer, Thomas Sewell, pleading guilty (August 1) to a violent attack on a group of hikers at a Victorian state park;
• hosting (July 30) an organising event at Altona RSL;
• the recent jailing (June 2) of two members in Adelaide for terrorist offences;
• their attendance at an anti-trans rally (March 18) hosted by Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull (AKA ‘Posie Parker’) and starring disgraced Liberal MP Moira Deeming.
The nazis — whose ranks include the son of a Melbourne police officer — wore their typical black uniforms (including masks) and were armed with GoPro cameras and knives.
(In this context, it’s important to note that, along with Adolf Hitler, the NSN worships the Christchurch terrorist, who wore a GoPro in order to film the mass murder of 51 Muslims he committed in March 2019. Further, that another NSN member has recently been charged with making violent threats against federal Senator Lidia Thorpe.)
To cut a long story short, upon arriving at the gig, the nazis were spotted and chased away from the venue by attendees, fleeing north up High Street and into the surrounding area.
Finally, 7NewsMelbourne has a very poor record of reporting on fascism and the far-right in Melbourne. Most notoriously, in 2018, it portrayed the formation of a racist vigilante group — one directed at and attempting to capitalise upon Liberal Party hysteria over African youth crime — as ‘a kind of Neighbourhood Watch’.
The leadership of 2018’s racist vigilante gang is now the leadership of the nazi gang who attacked the benefit gig.