- So I include with one concern, that
You must learn
~ KRS-ONE, ‘You Must Learn’
Canadian punk legends DOA are returning to Australia in October after a 14 year absence to play The Arty in Melbourne on Friday October 19, with No Idea, Rule 303 (NSW) and The Worst. (DOA last played in Melbourne at The Prince of Wales on September 18, 1993, with Nomeansno and Front End Loader. About the only thing I can remember about that gig is that I succeeded in convincing Bren to join me in screaming for them to play ‘Disco Sucks’; they didn’t.) Unfortunately, both No Idea and The Worst have scabbed on the boycott of a local neo-Nazi venue The Birmy: No Idea playing there on ANZAC Day (April 25, 2007) and The Worst on no less than three separate occasions, on November 18, 2006, April 25 and July 7, 2007.
- A LOCAL woman who was intimidated and racially abused by a group of men last month will attend a protest against neo-Nazism outside a Fitzroy pub. A coalition of local groups is organising the “peace movement” in response to a neo-Nazi concert at the Birmingham Hotel on Saturday, September 23, held to commemorate the death of British white supremacist Ian Stuart. Blondien (not her real name) says she was walking alone to her car on Johnston Street the same night when she was surrounded by about seven men. She says the men screamed abuse at her, calling her a black c..t and forcing her to repeat the insults. “It’s disgusting that people would single out one person and you have to say stuff about your race to get out of it,” Blondien said. ~ ‘Victim of white supremacist abuse returns to join protest chorus’, Marika Dobbin, The Melbourne Times, October 18, 2006
Also in October, on Saturday October 13, Blood & Honour Australia and the Southern Cross Hammerskins — local franchises of international neo-Nazi networks, of which B&H in Germany and Spain is banned, and under threat of banning in Belgium and Holland — are holding their annual tribute concert to dead bonehead Ian Stuart Donaldson; the person responsible, alongside of another good fascist, Nicky Crane, for establishing Blood & Honour in 1987. The two events — the DOA gig and the ISD gig — are intimately connected, as the 2006 concert was held at The Birmy, and both No Idea and The Worst have actively supported The Birmy since that time — and, by extension, local neo-Nazi networks.
This post is dedicated to explaining what the slogan ‘Talk – Action = 0’ means in the context of the local punk milieu, especially with regards the politically reactionary elements within it that support those institutions, such as The Birmy, who most actively collaborate with the propagation of neo-Nazi ideology and its associated practices. By way of introduction, here’s a recent post on Stormfront on the subject of the 2007 ISD gig:
“einzelkampfer” : I’m an American who is seriously considering going to the Fortress show in OZ in Oct. They have been one of my favorite bands for years. My question is, what is the scene like in OZ? [Specifically], do shows get shut down often? What is the success rate for shows there, as in pulled off without a hitch.
Thanks in advance!
“Clockwork Violence” : The shows have never been shut down and there is never any trouble before, during or after the gigs… of course there are always the idle threats made by various red wanker factions, but nothing ever comes of it.
Last year they knew the location of the ISD Memorial (that took some real super sleuthing btw) and all they could do was muster up some prank phone calls and then organise a protest a month after the gig.
So yeah, it will be well worth the trip as this will also be Fortress’ last gig. If you’re interested, you will need to contact [email protected] and let them know that you would like to attend.
Hope you can make it.
Blood & Honour Australia / Southern Cross Hammerskins
Clockwork Violence is from Adelaide, and like most of the other boneheads who form the membership and outer circle of B&H and the Hammerskins in Australia, is in his mid-30s. Like his fascist comrades, he’s also quite cheeky, but nevertheless — sadly — largely correct in his assessment of the history of B&H in Australia. To the best of my knowledge, the shows B&H have organised have never been shut down, and the only trouble that has occurred before, during or after the gigs has been of the sort experienced by Blondien; that is, a woman being surrounded by about seven men, having the men scream abuse at her, call her a black c..t and forcing her to repeat the insults. And as Gary, the manager of The Birmy (and the scabs who’ve continued to play at his pub) might say — “Who gives a shit?”
- Reject an alien government, don’t recognise their laws
It’s time to close the floodgates, it’s time to shut the door
Repatriate, ship ’em out, send the bastards back
If they don’t fucking like it, it’ll be in body bags
Get out! We don’t want you around
Get out! Want the people to shout
Get out! Get outta my sight
Get out! Parasites… Parasites… Parasites
~ Fortress, ‘Parasites’
For better, but largely for worse, I do — which is why I’ve dedicated a considerable amount of time to first exposing the fact that the 2006 ISD memorial gig took place at The Birmy, and then promoting first a protest outside, and then a boycott, of the pub in question. In the process of which, I’ve also highlighted the fact that The Birmy has been used on many previous occasions for the same purpose. On Saturday April 20, 2002, for example, Gary — after allowing local neo-Nazis the use of the pub to hold their meetings — further allowed B&H to organise a gig to celebrate Hitler’s birthday. Interestingly, while last year’s ISD gig was conducted in relative secrecy, in honour of Adolf, B&H’s swastika banner was clearly visible from the pub’s Johnston Street windows. (Note also that Charter 77, another one of the bands that has scabbed on the boycott, were approached following this gig and asked for their support. Their response then, as now, was “fuck off”. Punk, innit?)
On the other hand, while B&H and the Hammerskins have been operating within Australasia for over a decade now, they’ve operated largely under the radar (with the exception, naturally, of ASIO and other state agencies). Further, while Clockwork Violence is technically correct with regards the rather meagre level of opposition last year’s gig generated, this was attributable to two main factors: one, the fact that the actual location of the gig was discovered less than 24 hours prior to its occurrence; and two, the near-complete absence of an organised anti-fascist presence in Melbourne, whether within the punk milieu or outside of it. Worse, not only is there an absence of an organised movement of any kind, but fascist and neo-Nazi elements find a happy home among local ‘punks’, of which the following are just a few examples.
- Spreading lies and muck behind our backs
A vicious cowardly attack
A spiteful scheming slimeball with a huge ego
Your pathetic negative actions make me want to throw
I can’t believe the depths to which you’ve sunk
You’ve got some nerve to call yourself a punk
But you’ll pay for your trouble making and your deceit
For as ye sow so shall ye reap
~ Oi Polloi, ‘Lowest of the Low’
Bulldog Spirit ♥ neo-Nazism
- The Wasted Festival was organised in large part by local bonehead Fiona Walsh, who expresses her support for neo-Nazism by flogging White Power muzak via her distro Deadset Music and through her personal attendance at last year’s ISD memorial gig.
Originally from Canberra, the band — unquestionably in possession of ‘nationalistic’, but otherwise generally facile politics — has for a number of years flirted with more overt expressions of reactionary ideology, whether by playing on the same bill as neo-Nazi bands, denigrating anti-racist and anti-fascist punks and skinheads, or otherwise lampooning what are presumed to be the scum who inhabit working class suburbs like Footscray. I’ve made a note of these tendencies on my blog — an action which has resulted in the singer for the band, Doug Smith, calling me (among other things, no doubt) a ‘clueless cunt’; ironically enough, partly in connection to my supposed misunderstanding of the history of skinheads and sharpies (the irony, in this case, best understood by those who are more familiar with my upbringing; an upbringing, I imagine, quite removed from Doug’s).
Naturally enough, when pressed, Doug has denied any interest in ‘politics’, claiming that the band lives in the same, parallel universe all those other people do where icky things like ‘politics’ fail to interfere with their otherwise untroubled (yuppie) lifestyles. Unfortunately, Doug has since proven to have been exceedingly economical with the truth for, leaving aside the band’s antics on stage (such as dedicating a Pogues’ song to Ulster), the drummer for the band, Joel, is a bona fide bonehead, who has for many years played, recorded and even toured with neo-Nazi bands, including Fortress, Ravenous and — of most interest given the situation in Russia (of which more below) — the band Deaths Head, author of such smash hits as ‘More Dead Niggers’ (Hang the Traitors demo, 1999) and ‘Swastika’ (Onslaught, Panzerfaust, 2001). Still, 9 out of 10 people who play in Melbourne working class punk bands agree that: 1) wanting to see more dead niggers has nothing to do with icky things like politics and; 2) who cares anyway — if they’re not niggers, they’re just black c..ts.
Boneheads. Melbourne boneheads
Jesse’s not a friend
Yeah, I know he’ll never
be a good friend of mine
But lately something’s changed
that ain’t hard to define
Jesse’s got himself a drummer
and I think he’s fucking swine
On May 2, 2007, Jesse of neo-Nazi metal band Deaths Head was interviewed by a geek from US neo-Nazi group Label 56. Here’s some of what Jesse had to say. It gives the reader some further idea of the kind of people, in addition to Bulldog Spirit, Joel likes to play, record and tour with.
Obviously everyone knows you from your band Deaths Head. Can you give readers a little background info on you and your bands?
Well as you stated above I am a founding member of [National Socialist; that is, Nazi] metal band Deaths Head. We’ve been gigging and releasing CDs promoting National Socialism for going on 8 years now and we’re not tired of it yet. Personally I’ve been a bonehead for going on 15 years. During this time I’ve been an active supporter of Blood and Honour Australia and I’ve also been a member of the Southern Cross Hammerskins for near on 7 years now.
I understand you have a lot of refugees floating to your shores like we in America do with Cubans…
…All sorts of other human shit has come here… we have many Muslims who continually stir up shit, and a fuck of a lot of Jews as well. The latest bunch is African niggers, and these ones people actually have a problem with, they don’t assimilate at all and even the federal government is trying to back peddle and restrict their numbers though now they have lobby groups and it’s too late…
It’s obviously tough, then, to be a bonehead and to live in Melbourne. But not as tough as it is to be a punk and to not play neo-Nazi venues, as the following should make clear:
punk? i’m glad you’re here to set me straight. there i was thinking it was just about having a laugh and having a say. but when did i claim to be the king of punk? Lin “Spit” Newborn and Dan Shersty, Timur Kacharava and Aleksandr “Shtopor” Ryukhin, Tomek Wilkoszewski and Augustin Kraus? never heard of any of them.
Which I think is an opportune moment to remember why it is that neo-Nazi ideology and political projects — especially those centred on global terror networks such as B&H and the Hammerskins — should be opposed. Further, to remember that this opposition is, in fact, international, and takes place in societies where the penalties for so doing, unlike Australia, can sometimes be death. At present, one of the places where neo-Nazism is most virulent is Russia (and it is resurgent in Germany: see A German Ritual of Hand-Wringing and Helplessness, Spiegel Online, August 27, 2007). Several years ago, Melbourne band Deaths Head toured Europe, playing in Germany to large numbers of neo-Nazis, and allegedly also playing in Russia. And while the band is not scheduled to play on October 13, Fortress, another local Melbourne band, is, and Fortress is a band that has toured far more extensively, in both Europe and North America, and probably done more to support the propagation of neo-Nazi propaganda, than just about any other in the world. Not that you’ll read or hear about any of this in the corporate or state media, of course. In any case, if you’ve never heard of Lin “Spit” Newborn and Dan Shersty, Timur Kacharava and Aleksandr “Shtopor” Ryukhin, Tomek Wilkoszewski and Augustin Kraus, you have now:
On July 4, 1998, two skinheads — Lin “Spit” Newborn, 24, and Dan Shersty, 20 — were murdered by boneheads in the rocky desert northwest of Las Vegas, USA. The only person to be convicted of their murders, John Edward Butler, was initially sentenced to death for the crime in 2001, but, after failing in his first attempt in 2002, was eventually successful in winning an appeal against his sentence in 2004. However, prosecutors say that at least four people were involved in the plot to kill Lin and Dan, although so far no others have been charged. Further, “While hate crimes such as the torture of a gay man in Wyoming and the dragging death of an African-American man in Texas have received national attention, the deaths of Lin Newborn and his friend Dan Shersty are chronicled more by friends and activists than the national press”.
Prosecutors from the Las Vegas district attorney’s office were slow to prosecute the case despite holding the key evidence necessary to try the case only a week after the murders. It was not until after a 500 person Anti-Racist Action protest in the fall of 1998 in John Butler’s neighborhood, and a similar protest in 1999, where activists marched down the Vegas strip distributing information on the case to tourists and demanding the case be prosecuted, that the district attorney acted. Allegedly, Butler had received money in the past from the Las Vegas police department as a police informant.
Ross Hack, who fled to Europe when he was identified as a suspect two years ago, has never been charged for his involvement in the murder. According to the defense attorney, Ross Hack has been on a “two-year vacation in Europe,” courtesy of his rich father. Prosecutors say they have no plans to pursue charges against Ross Hack. Melissa Hack also remains uncharged in the case.
Lionel Newborn said his son had told him that he was involved in various organizations that opposed racism. After the slayings, the father learned with some pride that his son played a leading role in this effort. “I had no idea that he was involved to the extent that he was,” Lionel Newborn said. “I probably wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night.”
…It pains [Dan’s father] that his son’s sacrifice is unheralded while the media obsesses on the cultural war between liberal and conservative values. It’s a war, he says, that demands no risk whatsoever from its TV-talking head combatants. “Dan died as a soldier who believed in his cause — anti-racism,” says Walter. His son’s ARA troops are still fighting for the cause, though police advised them to leave when rumors surfaced that the Nazis had created a hit list. The cause unites them with something valued in military custom: courage and a code of honor.
August 30, 2007
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia | A man is a murderer when he cuts another man’s throat in a deliberate attack, right? But the question then arises: are the people that hold the victim’s feet, punch him, tie him up and prevent him from escaping also culpable in the crime?
However obvious the answer may seem, regardless of forensic or legal expertise, a Russian court can often rule otherwise.
A notorious trial that ended in St. Petersburg in August concluded that Alexander Shabalin, the person charged with fatally slitting the throat of 20-year-old anti-fascist activist Timur Kacharava in November 2005, was a murderer. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison. But six other people who held Kacharava and prevented him from resisting were not charged as accomplices in the murder, but rather for inciting social hatred. Three received suspended sentences, the others got up to three years in prison.
The lawyer who represented the Kacharava family in the trial suggested a mistake had been made – either deliberately or because of incompetence – when the case was classified during preliminary investigations.
Despite testimony from Kacharava’s friends that he had been followed, received threats by telephone and been targeted before, the investigators accepted the scenario in which the murderer said he had spontaneously suggested beating up an anti-fascist and taken the initiative in attacking him, with the whole thing getting out of control.
Kacharava’s relatives, friends and colleagues remain convinced he was the victim of an organized and well-armed neo-Nazi group. The fatal stabbing occurred outside a St. Petersburg bookshop on a Sunday evening, as Kacharava and friend Maxim Zgibai were talking. Zgibai survived the attack by the seven young men.
“St. Petersburg’s fascists aren’t a disorganized gang. They are a full-fledged, militarized group, boasting a diverse structure, complete with scouts, guerrillas and access to classified databases containing personal information on local citizens,” one of Kacharava’s friends told me. “Timur had been attacked by fascists before. Just three days prior to his murder, he told his girlfriend he felt threatened and worried for his life.”
In the context of other recent trials for hate crimes in Russia, a disturbing pattern is emerging. The victim is typically attacked by a group of assailants but in the end they either escape punishment, get charged for hooliganism, or guilt is piled upon the attacker responsible for the mortal wound, while accomplices enjoy a lucky escape.
In October 2006, the St. Petersburg City Court acquitted a group of young people suspected in the murder of Vietnamese student Vu An Tuan, who was stabbed to death in October 2004 during an attack by a group of drunken youths. Also in 2006, another group – suspected in the murder of 9-year-old Tajik girl Khursheda Sultanova – was cleared of murder charges and convicted of hooliganism.
The Kacharava case illustrates that for the Russian state, the problem is an individual killer rather than a broader problem with Russian society, where neo-fascist groups are gaining strength.
The verdicts mirror far-reaching xenophobic sentiments in society and the unsympathetic way many people feel toward non-Slavs, as well as those who speak out.
In the middle of August I attended a discussion between a group of Russian journalists and several Western editors in Prague, Czech Republic. One of the issues discussed was the elections to the Russian Duma in December.
“We will vote for anyone who helps to get rid of the Chinese,” said one Novosobirsk journalist, eyes full of rage, to a question about the possible electoral preferences during the campaign. “This Chinese invasion is by far the biggest problem here,” the journalist added to dispel any doubts about his views the audience may have had.
In other Russian cities a Tajik construction worker and an unlicensed Azeri driver have become a faceless stereotype, like the Polish plumber in Western Europe.
IT’S ALL HOOLIGANISM
The Russian authorities have not yet been able to introduce an efficient mechanism against racism and ethnic and religious intolerance. They often turn a blind eye to the scale of the problem by classifying many of the attacks as ordinary murders or “hooliganism” to create more positive statistics.
When Valentina Uzunova, one of Russia’s leading experts on ethnically motivated crimes, complained to the police this spring about being followed and receiving threats, and asked for protection, her request was turned down owing to “lack of evidence.” In July, Uzunova survived a violent street attack and was hospitalized with severe head injuries. Files she had on an important legal case – involving a nationalist gang – were stolen. Was the attack that missing piece of evidence the police required to give the expert the protection she clearly needed?
Several years ago, when human rights advocate Yuly Rybakov was a deputy in the State Duma, he learned that two extremist groups had been planning to assassinate him.
The lawmaker contacted the police and, providing all evidence available to him, asked for protection, or at the very least, for his phone calls to be monitored and recorded. His request was turned down.
“I then went public about the threats, and made a speech at the Duma about it to protect myself,” Rybakov said. “In most cases, prosecutors openly show their contempt to anti-fascists and democrats, sometimes with outright insults, because we challenge and criticize the authorities.”
Naturally, if the police really reacted to every signal like that, then the scale of the problem would be impossible to ignore, and they would have [to] develop a counterstrategy.
But the climate of xenophobia benefits the authorities as it provides a convenient channel of routing people’s anger. If ordinary Russians blame ethnic minorities for a poor quality of life, corruption, high crime rates and the enormous wealth gap, the major consequence will be a high level of intolerance and ethnic hatred. But if the people turn their anger against the authorities, then the state would face an uncomfortable level of social unrest.
Russians should care more about creating a state to protect to their rights, liberties and interests and be less concerned about a few more Chinese restaurants opening in the neighborhood or a few more Azeri drivers giving them a cheap ride at a quarter of a regular taxi price.
And they should care more about having courts handing out verdicts that illustrate the strength of law, rather than the power of all sorts of biased attitudes.
If they did, they might be less afraid of external enemies – real or imagined.
On April 16, 2006, Ryukhin and a friend who managed to escape were stabbed by six fascist youths. Ryukhin died. He was murdered near the nightclub Planeta Lda, where a German hardcore punk band was about to play. Aleksandr was approaching the club with a friend when they were jumped. Aleksandr was stabbed in the heart and died before paramedics arrived 30 minutes later.
Tomek Wilkoszewski began a 15-year sentence in Sieradz prison in 1996, after being convicted of the murder of a neo-Nazi in a street brawl. In passing judgement, the presiding judge ignored the fact that Tomek had for few years preceeding the attack been harassed and assaulted by local boneheads. In addition, as a poor worker from a poor village, Tomek was unable to afford a good lawyer, and the fact that the bonehead died as a result of actions Tomek was forced to take in his own defence was not taken into account in his sentencing. He is currently fighting for justice from behind bars and with the support of Polish and international comrades.
Augustin Kraus is an antifascist from the Czech city of Most, who was sentenced in March to 14 months prison for anti-fascist activities.
- And to end on a more positive, musical note, check out:
RAZOR BOIS is an antifascist band from Moscow, Russia. We try to play fast and hooky mix of traditional Oi!/street-punk, old school hardcore and ska-punk.
RAZOR BOIS has a strong position against any forms of fascist crap (such as racism, sexism, homophobia etc), government oppression and nazi pigs in uniform (they also known as “police”). We also never hesitate to laugh in your pathetic face, elitist PC-snobs. Get a life!
The band was involved in [the] setting [up] of DIY non-profit all-ages gigs in Moscow which were open for everyone except nazi-boneheads and violent fucks.
We just recorded brand new stuff and even played our noise in the USA (while our other band – FRANK CASTLE GONNA BREAK YOUR NECK! was on a lil’ tour there). Our old CD “BAD NEWS FOR THE SCUM” is sold out, but the new CD/Record with both new and old shit is coming soon.
If you’re a racist, sexist or any other kind of fascist shithead, don’t add us. If you’re a friend of nazis or go to their gigs or play with their bands – don’t add us! Our label called “BOYCOTT THE FENCEWALKERS” – does it ring any bell?