Nazis in Sydney : Groundhog Day

[Update (January 31, 2024) : Cameron Brodie-Hall, the leader of the Adelaide cell of the NSN, has plead not guilty to a charge of possessing extremist material: ‘A book outlining how to spark a Nazi revolution in Australia with bombings and the murder of ‘soft targets’ was found in the home of an alleged neo Nazi leader, a court has heard.’]

I wasn’t gonna bother but then I thought, what the Hell, may as well.

So …

Some commentary on some commentary.

See : NSW Police has been praised for its ‘textbook’ approach in shutting down a ‘neo-Nazi demonstration’. This is why, Jamelle Wells, ABC, January 28, 2024 | It’s no accident neo-Nazis tried to rally on Australia Day. Denialism of our dark history aids their cause, Jason Wilson, The Guardian, January 29, 2024 | Neo-Nazi rallies in Sydney a publicity stunt to boost their profile, experts say, Ariel Bogle, The Guardian, January 29, 2024 | Sydney scout hall hired by person linked to ‘neo-Nazi demonstration’ under the guise of ‘family-friendly event’, Michael Workman and Millie Roberts, ABC, January 29, 2024 | Nazis blocked from gathering on Australia Day in Sydney, Oscar Grenfell,, January 29, 2024 | Melbourne Nazis Reveal Tougher Police Powers in Sydney as Officers Issue Them a Public Safety Order, Paul Gregoire, Sydney Criminal Lawyers, January 29, 2024.

In which context:

• Despite The Australian‘s (frankly idiotik) avowal to the contrary: Yes, Virginia, nazis exist. Both in Melbourne, Sydney and elsewhere.

• Just as fascist groupings first emerged in Australia in the 1920s, Nazi associations quickly followed in the 1930s. Following the end of the Second World War, and the collapse of Italian Fascism, German Nazism and other European fascist regimes and movements, local expressions were — unsurprisingly — rather subdued, and didn’t really start cracking again until the 1960s. That said, the Australian state, as part of a wider program by the victorious Anglo-American franchise, also rolled out the welcome mat for some select Nazi criminals along with other fascist migrants/refugees. Of particular note in this regard is the Ustasha, which continues to attract some degree of support from within the Croatian-Australian community and whose leader, Ante Pavelic, is still accorded a place of honour in a number of community centres. See also : Fascists in Exile: Post-War Displaced Persons in Australia, Jayne Persian (Routledge, 2024).

• Formal neo-Nazi associations such as Tom Sewell’s National Socialist Network (AKA European Australian Movement) are relatively rare. Thus, while Antipodean Resistance, Aryan Nations, Blood & Honour/Southern Cross Hammerskins, Creativity, Squadron 88 and other groupuscules have been in existence over a period of several decades, none have drawn the same degree of ‘mainstream’ attention as the NSN/EAM. See : A Brief Guide To The Australian Far Right (September 2021 Edition).

• The NSN/EAM did not fall from the sky. Rather, the grouping around Sewell evolved out of previous articulations of racist and fascist organising. Hence, prior to Sewell’s decision to Go Full Nazi — a tactical decision which his former kamerad Blair Cottrell eschewed, preferring his political perspective stayed in the closet – he organised with The Lads Society, which in turn emerged from the collapse of the United Patriots Front; itself the (rather self-)conscious ‘vanguard’ of Reclaim Australia. To put it simply, the NSN is the product of years of far-right and neo-Nazi organising and mobilisation: a culmination rather than, as it’s often framed, a ‘sudden’ explosion (and one helped along its way by sometimes quite favourable treatment by those who may now want to distance themselves from this specific projection). A useful account of important elements in this process is provided in The Rise of the Fascist Cadre: Shifts in Far-Right Organising in Australia, Jordan McSwiney, C-REX – Center for Research on Extremism, May 18, 2021.

• I could go on (and one day I hope to), but finally, it’s simply not possible to understand the antics of the boy from Balwyn and his flunkeys without first situating them in the recent history of far-right organising and the wider political context in which they find themselves and to which they respond. This also requires that particular attention is paid to the relationship of these ‘extreme’ political expressions and the altogether ‘mainstream’ obsessions of media and politics over borders and immigration, race and nation, xenophobia and Islamophobia. This necessarily includes examining, on the one hand, the parliamentary cretinism of PHONy (It’s OK to be White!), the anti-Indigenous racism associated with the failed ‘Voice’ campaign and the murderous brutality of the Australian border regime and, on the other hand, the deeper wells of ultra-nationalism, white supremacy and colonial-settlerism from which it draws and which form its foundations.

In essence: ‘Whoever is not prepared to talk about capitalism should also remain silent about fascism.’ ~ Max Horkheimer

See also : VIDEO: The risks of unmasking and shaming neo-Nazis, Adam Harvey, The 7.30 Report (ABC), January 30, 2024 | The north-west Sydney tradie leading the state’s neo-Nazis, Jordan Baker and Jessica McSweeney, The Sydney Morning Herald, August 30, 204 | Man accused of Nazi salute faces maximum penalty of year in jail, Marta Pascal Juanola, The Age, January 16, 2024.

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 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
This entry was posted in Anti-fascism, History, Media, State / Politics, That's Capitalism!, War on Terror and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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