Apparently there was an article in The West Australian this weekend on the same subject. Note that this story concerns a bloke who, among other things, threatened to set his dog onto my cat. It will be interesting to discover if he is any more honest in that article than he is in the following:
I’ve Changed – Ex Neo-Nazi Begs for Forgiveness
June 28, 2007
ONCE he was a hate-filled white supremacist. Today he is pleading for forgiveness.
Albany resident Benjamin Weerheym, a former Australian Nationalist Movement recruit who now goes by the name of Benedict Williams, faced Albany Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, where he pleaded guilty to gains benefited by fraud and driving with no driver’s licence.
Williams, who had attempted to obtain a driver’s licence under his current name, received a 120-hour community-based order and a nine-month accumulated suspension of his driver’s licence.
After the hearing, he contacted the Albany Advertiser to tell his story of rehabilitation and growth.
Williams was recruited to the ANM in 2003. He admitted earlier this year in front of a Perth District Court jury that he and several other men had met with ANM leader Jack van Tongeren to discuss a campaign.
At the time, Williams told the court van Tongeren had given instructions to put up politically-motivated posters throughout Perth in 2004.
The Albany Advertiser understands Weerheym changed his name to Benedict Williams by deed poll in September, 2006.
Williams told the Albany Advertiser he had moved to Albany to “get away from it all” and claims he is not a racist or a white supremacist.
“That part of my life is finished and I am finished with those sorts of court appearances,” Williams said.
Williams said he had made some mistakes in his life which he desperately wanted to move away from.
“I came to Albany in February and I have found it to be a beautiful place with understanding and friendly people,” he said.
When Williams started to reflect on how he got drawn into the ANM he said: “After my father died I started looking at extremist websites and one year later, my mum died of cancer.
Williams forwarded to the Albany Advertiser details of an internet blog that he believed had been removed from the internet by “left-wing extremists” [! It’s still there: benweerheym.blogspot.com].
Excerpts from that blog include: “In July that year (2004), I, along with about eight members and associates of the ANM, were arrested as a result of a spate of graffiti and posters that were put over the front of Asian restaurants, a refugee advocate private residence and a Synagogue and mistakingly the wall of a War Widows Guild.
It continued: “I was not responsible for doing any of the graffiti, however I admitted to driving the vehicle for two others who did.”
According to the blog, Williams faced a six-month jail sentence, which was suspended for 12 months.
The blog reads: “At no time do I want anyone to think I am trying to make excuses for my actions, yet I am more hoping that people of more of an open mind that are understanding will take into account that there are always contributing factors and that those always deserve to be taken into consideration.”
Both Williams’ parents died within a short time of one another.
He describes his last moments with his mother who suffered from ovarian and bowel cancer: “I sat down and took her head in my hands and wept with my head against hers, this was the last time I would smell the life of my mother.”
Although these acts of life are not an excuse, he believes he was soon in a situation where he “felt obliged to undertake particular things that I was not comfortable with” within the ANM.
“I have been punished for my actions many times over, yet to this day I am attacked by people who would have us believe they are decent and welcoming members of society,” Williams said in his blog.
“I regret being involved with the ANM and its actions and am rather ashamed of it. I admit I made conscious decisions and getting myself involved in the goings-on of the group was my own doing.”
Williams affirms that to this day he is “still being vilified and victimised by certain people, people who are connected to, and even behind, anonymous phonecalls and emails to members of the community, employers, and the media”.
And in other news…
- Neo-Nazi party demo triggers violent protests in Frankfurt
Berlin, July 7, IRNA
A demonstration by the neo-Nazi [NPD] has sparked violent protests by radical leftist and anarchists groups in Frankfurt on Saturday, according to local police.
Protesters have blocked major municipal mass transportation lines, partially crippling public transportation services in Frankfurt.
Some 500 people held a [sit-in] at two of the city’s train stations, forcing police to drag them away one by one.
Dozens of protesters have been arrested so far as some 8,000 baton-wielding riot police from all over Germany were deployed to the south German city in a bid to prevent clashes between neo-Nazis and counter-demonstrators.
Frankfurt police have been put on high alert for the demonstration following last month’s riots in the northern port city of Rostock ahead of the Group of Eight (G8) summit in the German Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm.