G20: Arrest #7

Police have been busy in Goongerah this week… and today laid charges against a seventh protester:

Man faces court over G20 protests
Catherine McAloon
The Age
December 15, 2006

A man has appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court to face charges over violent protests at last month’s G20 meeting of financial leaders.

David Caldwell, 29, of Goongerah, has been charged with affray, rioting and reckless conduct endangering serious injury.

Caldwell is the sixth [sic] person to be charged with offences relating to the protests. Police allege that Caldwell threw and rammed barricades and rubbish bins.

He was not required to enter a plea and did not apply for bail. The case has been adjourned until Tuesday.

Seventh person charged over G20 riot
Herald Sun [AAP]
December 15, 2006

POLICE have charged a seventh person over the G20 riots in Melbourne last month.

David Caldwell, 29, of Goongerah, in far east Victoria, has been charged with affray, reckless conduct endangering [serious?] injury and rioting.

Mr Caldwell will spend the weekend in custody while he waits for his mother to travel from Adelaide to provide surety for his bail, Melbourne Magistrates’ Court was told today.

His lawyer, Marita Altman, said her client would live in Adelaide if released, while he waits for the case to proceed through the courts.

Magistrate Daniel Muling adjourned the matter until next Tuesday…

The other six people facing charges are: Akin Sari (arrested November 19th, and the only one of the accused so far to have been denied bail); Julia Dehm (arrested December 11th while attending a court appearance in support of her friend); Danya Bryx (arrested December 8th); and Rosalie Delaney, Dominic Richardson and David Vakalis (December 6th).

NB. A few days ago, ASIO Director-General Paul O’Sullivan claimed that “there were about 70 individuals who sought to use the lawful G20 protests to engage in violent acts and confrontations with police”. If correct, according to my calculations, we may therefore expect about another 63 arrests to take place. And if Mick Armstrong of Socialist Alternative and Peter Blunden (editor) of the Herald Sun are correct, the majority of these arrests will be of psychotics from Aotearoa/New Zealand and football hooligans from England, Germany and Sweden. Revolutionary socialists should contact Operation Salver immediately if they hear anyone with a funny accent extolling the virtues of football-related violence or ordering “fush ‘n’ chups”.

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 2023 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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8 Responses to G20: Arrest #7

  1. Dave says:

    Hey matey, whats this about SA, are they actually dobbing on people? do you have a reference?

  2. @ndy says:

    G’day Dave,

    Mick Armstrong made the following comment on the Leftwrites blog on November 19:


    I was one of the organisers of the G20 demo from the [Melbourne?] Stop the War Coalition and I am also in Socialist Alternative.

    The anarchist crazies involved in the ultra-violence were in no serious sense part of the demo. Just like their black bloc mates in Europe they simply exploited the demo for their own purposes.

    Right throughout the lead-up to the demo they made clear their hostility to and contempt [for] other protestors. On the day they did all they could to disrupt the demonstration and were hostile, abusive, threatening [and] ultra-sectarian towards people on the demo.

    Australia[,] fortunately[,] has not previously been blighted by the sort of black bloc anarchist activities which [have] had such a disastrous impact on demonstrations in Europe. These people are simply provocateurs that open up protests to police repression. In Europe their ranks have been riddled by police agents and fascists.

    What gave them a certain critical mass at the G20 was the presence of considerable numbers of anarchists from overseas. One of our members from New Zealand said he recognised at least 40 NZ anarchists. HE KNEW AT LEAST 20 OF THEM BY NAME [my emphasis]. There were also a considerable number of black [bloc] anarchists from Europe. We know of people from Sweden, Germany and England. These people are like football hooligans who travel the world looking for violence.

    On top of that there were also a considerable number of anarchists from interstate.

    Because of the behaviour of these provocateurs the media [and…] the law and order brigade are having a field day.

    The left should offer no comfort to these crazies. We should do whatever we can to isolate them. They are wreckers. If they grow in Australia it will simply make it harder to build future protests and movements.





    Basically, Armstrong’s msg is for the benefit of local cadres (principally UniMelb students), who, like the police, are probably asking themselves ‘Who are these people?’ (Although, unlike the police, SA have no raw data drawn from the computers, mobile phones and other items impounded during raids — none of which have actually been reported in the state/corporate media…)

    Armstrong reassures The Kids by claiming that members of the ‘Arterial Bloc’ are all a bunch of fucking foreigners (or at least inter-staters) with ‘no politics’: BAD Protesters. Or: ‘crazy’ outsiders who are ‘exploitative’, ‘hostile’, ‘contemptuous’, ‘abusive’, ‘threatening’ and ‘ultra-sectarian’ in their attitudes towards GOOD Protesters.

    In psychoanalytic discourse this is referred to as ‘projection’.

    Further, BAD Protesters are provocateurs responsible for police repression, and their ranks are riddled with fascists and police informants. Just like their “black bloc mates” in Europe…

    My reading: one for the less-intelligent kids in SA, augmented by a further statement by SA of their position —


    — minus Armstrong’s more hallucinatory claims, but maintaining the same basic line: a recapitulation of Callinicos’ views as captured in, say, ‘An Anti-Capitalist Manifesto’ (the IST’s attempt to articulate a line on the ‘anti-capitalist’ movement).

    Of course, the SWP’s main front for capturing members, ‘Globalise Resistance’, having served its purpose, has been shelved in favour of Respec’.

    Big ups to you,


  3. @ndy says:

    Mick the Spamming Troll,

    My patience is wearing thin.

    1) Corporate TV (Seven) on G20 protest.


    2) N/A.

    3) N/A.

    4) 18 seconds of Greek anarchists fighting fascists.

    “…all I see are the lives of innocent people at risk!”

    That’s because — in the words of Sam Newman — “You’re an idiot”.



  4. Jonathon says:

    Hey there.

    I’m unsure what Alex Callinicos has to do with SA and Mick Armstrong. Alex was writing about a different situation to what we saw in Melbourne — a situation that you can also find leading members of the Tute Bianchi reflect on in a similar way; viz, looking for a different way forward. And I think this is important to emphasise, the specificity of what happened on November 18. It was not a Black Bloc containing police and fascists but a group of enthused radicals having a ball.

    There is no chagrin in us saying that we side with those radicals — go down the line of Marxist thinkers and what they’ve said about this sort of personal revolt – we’ve always supported the direction of this sort of action, we have wanted to contest the way forward (which may or may not include that action). This seems to be a difficult concept, that you can support some action but also want to criticise it. Must be those silly dialectics again! It might be overstating things to say that in modern autonomist / anarchist thought there is a tendency towards positivism; with the whole Deleuzian turn and all that.

    Anyway, I’m interested in your reaction to the ISO’s statement on the event, as this is actually a document of the IST, which you seem to have randomly slandered here. Ironic considering that we particularly single out SA for fucking up, or just being SA.


  5. @ndy says:

    Hi Jonathon.

    1) On Callinicos, SA and Armstrong:

    Socialist Alternative issued a statement regarding the events @ G20, which I’ve re-published (November 25) on my blog (along with a statement issued by Resistance). As indicated in my response to Dave, it may be found here:


    Socialist Alternative’s statement followed a response by Mick Armstrong, which I’ve also re-published (November 21) on my blog. It, in turn, may be found here:


    The above post also contains a response by Bob Gould (ALP); a joint statement by Paddy and Shannon of the Socialist Action Group and Solidarity; Margarita Windisch of the Socialist Alliance / Democratic Socialist Perspective; the Socialist Party; and, of course, the full text of the response written by yourself and issued on behalf of the ISO.

    Socialist Alternative wrote:


    “…The violence at the weekend did not combat [state] repression, but opens up the left to increased militarisation of policing when we do not have the mass grass roots organisation and support capable of repelling it.

    This is not just speculation. We have lessons of very recent history from which we should learn, in particular the experience of the anti-capitalist movement in Europe. British socialist Tom Behan who has strong links with the Italian revolutionary left documented how the Black Bloc, which was known for similar actions as those at G20, gave openings to police violence, police provocateurs and even fascists. They organised around the same combination of mindless violence, contempt for the mass of demonstrators and hostility to the socialist left. They are known for melting into peaceful crowds only to emerge to attack the police, bringing a violent response against the whole crowd. At the Genoa Social Forum protest in July 2001, in one peaceful contingent after another, the arrival of the Black Bloc was similar to what happened in a rank and file labour contingent: “organisers were unable to stop Black Bloc provocations which quickly led to a police charge”. Their provocations opened up a debate on violence. Behan concluded:

    “The fact that a small minority of demonstrators were intent on violence is an issue which cannot be ignored. The anti-capitalist movement needs to do all it can to engage with genuine protesters and try to convince them of the futility of random acts of destruction. Another related issue is that of the ‘non-genuine’ Black Bloc. There is now overwhelming evidence that not only were the Black Bloc allowed to engage in widespread destruction, the police often used their activities as a pretext to attack peaceful demonstrators. Furthermore, it is now certain that some of the Black Bloc were in reality police agents provocateurs, although it is equally likely that some Nazi and fascist groups pretended to be part of the Black Bloc.”


    The quote was not sourced, but is drawn from the essay ‘Nothing can be the same again’, ‘International Socialism’, #92, Autumn 2001. In responding to this part of the statement, I wrote:


    “Yeah. Tom Behan: “British socialist”; “strong links with the Italian revolutionary left”; friend to the animals. More to the point, a member of Socialist Alternative’s closest equivalent in the UK — and parent grouping for both SocAlt and the ISO — the Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP). At the time of writing, Behan was also a leading member of the SWP front group “Globalise Resistance”, and it was in this capacity that Behan first wrote about how ‘the black bloc were really fascists’ (‘Behind the provocations’, Weekly Worker, #394, Thursday, July 26, 2001). He wasn’t alone in denouncing the spoilsports who ruined Genoa for everyone:

    “Marginalizing Language in the Movement Post-Genoa : After Genoa, there has been a noticeable increase in marginalizing language in the Left press. Most of this language has been directed at the anarchist black bloc, but some of it has been directed at “militant” elements.”

    In fact, Behan — when he’s not offering his insights into the ‘anti-capitalist’ movement and the ways in which the SWP might best suck its blood — is the SWP’s “expert” on all things Italian. An example of his historical-revisionism-in-the-service-of-Trotskyism is ‘The Resistible Rise of Benito Mussolini’ (Bookmarks, 2003). A crazy, ultra-violent, hostile, abusive, threatening, ultra-sectarian, provocative, fascist-sympathising, football hooligan and bloody foreigner intent on wrecking all that is good and profaning all that is holy wrote a review of Behan’s book. And, despite labouring under harsh conditions (such as not having attended a local private school or Melbourne University), they reckoned somewhat different:

    “As will be discussed, it was only the anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists who supported [the militant antifa movement in Italy in the 1920s] wholeheartedly. Not, of course, you would know that from Behan’s account. Which is the reason for this review, namely to reclaim anarchist and working class history from those, like the SWP, who seek to misuse it for their own ends. Behan’s account of the Italian labour movement, the near revolution after the war, the resistance to fascism and the lessons to be learned are all skewed in favour of the SWP’s very peculiar version of anarchism and the needs to justify its non-revolutionary practice and ideology.

    So this review is an attempt to reclaim anarchist history by exposing the phoney revolutionary politics and scholarship of the SWP. A thankless task, of course, but an essential one. Anarchists need to care about our history and defend it against those more than willing to distort it as no one else will. To grow our movement needs to learn from and build upon the successes and failures of the past. And that will never happen if we do not know and understand our own history, how our ideas were applied in the past and why the likes of the SWP feel the need to lie about both…”


    Callinicos, as you are no doubt well aware, is (among many other titles) the author of ‘An Anti-Capitalist Manifesto’ (Polity Press, Cambridge, 2003). His account of anarchist involvement in ‘anti-capitalist’ actions and movements as provided in this rather slim volume is very much on a par with — and in fact is largely a recapitulation, albeit a more ‘scholarly’ one — of the SWP’s more general political line on this subject. (Not unexpectedly: he is, after all, their chief theorist.)

    In other words: Armstrong’s criticisms of the actions of a tiny minority of crazy, ultra-violent, hostile, abusive, threatening, ultra-sectarian, provocative, fascist-sympathising Kiwis and English, German and Swedish football hooligans (a/k/a the ‘Arterial Bloc’) is — insofar as such criticisms may be distinguished from xenophobic lies and slander — a crude amalgamation of the SWP’s views as regards anarchism and ‘anti-capitalism’ more generally; including, but not limited to, its analysis and understanding of the actions of some anarchist groups — in particular, the ‘black bloc’ — during the course of the protests in Genoa in 2001. As such, I’m well aware of the fact that Genoa in 2001 is not Melbourne in 2006, and my response to both Armstrong and SA’s statement is not, as you suggest, dependent upon conflating the two. Instead, what I am attempting to tease out is the ideological heritage and political origins of such remarks, and arguing that they can best be understood from within this broader context.

    2) On the ISO, radical politics, and Marxist analyses of “this sort of personal revolt”:

    The line of Marxist thinkers is very very long. As such, I’m not sure how to respond to your claim that the ISO “side[s] with those radicals” as a result of its Marxist political orientation. So too, your claim that the ISO has “always supported the direction of this sort of action”. Leaving aside the history of the ISO and the positions it has taken during the course of this history, what sort of action ‘it’ was, and in which direction ‘it’ may or may not be headed, is obviously a topic for discussion and debate.

    And I’ve no idea why you seem to believe that I have difficulty in acknowledging this, rather obvious, fact.

    I’m also unsure of what you mean by your claim that “in modern autonomist / anarchist thought there is a tendency towards positivism; with the whole Deleuzian turn and all that”. Finally, I’ve yet to record my thoughts on the ISO’s statement, but if you really are that interested, I’ll try my best to do so in the coming days; but I, in turn, would really like to know what you mean when you write that I have “randomly slandered” it, especially as I’ve yet to write one single word in response — rendering your accusation of “slander” (self-evidently) nonsensical.



  6. jimmy says:

    Socialist Alternative support the G20 arrestees, we just think what the Arterial Bloc did was strategically speaking, stupid. We are against all police brutality. In our branch meetings, we have raised a considerable amount of money for the G20 arrestees campaign.

  7. @ndy says:

    G’day jimmy,

    SAlt has shifted in its public expressions regarding the events at G20. Initially, Mick Armstrong issued a statement on the Leftwrites site, dated November 19, 2006. Mick went considerably further than stating his disagreement. Subsequently, SAlt produced a statement, dated November 21, 2006, titled The left must take a stand against the elitist violence of the “Arterial Bloc”:

    Such irresponsible provocation of the police opens up not just the tiny numbers involved in the rampage, but potentially the rest of the rally and others to state repression. There is some suggestion that peaceful protesters on the Sunday at the Museum were the victim of this logic.

    For this reason, we need to take a clear and unambiguous stand against these provocateurs. This bloc and those who support it in any way need to be isolated by the left because actions such as this will make it increasingly difficult to build on the growing discontent that clearly exists…

    After engaging in a political detout through the Italian left, the statement concludes:

    That’s why the left who want to reach out to masses of people need to:

    1. Politically oppose anyone coming to protest rallies wearing masks or other forms of disguise. We need openness and accountability in the movement. Such dress creates a sinister atmosphere, breeds distrust, and makes police infiltration more likely.

    2. Make it clear that there is a sharp dividing line between those involved in the violent provocations at G20 and the genuine left who want to relate to masses of people in order to change the world.

    3. Make no concessions to the idea that this is just a form of “diversity”, just another difference of opinion. These tactics are completely counterproductive and the left will pay the price if we make concessions to them.

    These questions are urgently in need of discussion as we are about to begin organising for the APEC forum next September in Sydney which Bush is expected to attend. If we are to maximise our ability to mobilise significant numbers, we have to take this clear stand and prepare to organise on the basis of genuine mass protest with no role for the kind of violent provocation we saw at G20.

    For unknown — to be precise, unstated — reasons, at some point between now and then SAlt removed this statement from its site. As such, the only statement SAlt has issued inre G20 is the one I’ve referred to, dated March 8, 2008. It downplays — in fact, in the manner of the withdrawal of the statement of November 21, 2006, largely erases from history — earlier, vociferous criticisms of the crazy Akin.

    The initial response of Mick Armstrong and SAlt, and the more than year-long silence on the issue since, has nothing to do with the issue of ‘police brutality’, and everything to do with a) political sectarianism and b) the need to repair whatever damage to SAlt’s credibility among the student left suffered as a result of its initial, hysterical denunciations of G20 protesters and in particular the ‘Arterial Bloc’.

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