APEC : Neo-Nazis

“Coward’s Pride” – FIGHTING CHANCE
(from: Thus Hope Fades CD)

There’s fear in their eyes but you call it pride
I can see through your fucking lies
You talk of a worldwide revolution
Some kind of bullshit final solution
There’s no room for your hateful creed
Your kind are a dying breed
It’s been sixty years since we beat you back
Now it’s time we fucking attack!

You better fucking run
You better fucking hide
Fuck off Nazi scum
Fuck your coward’s pride

Your heroes all preached perverse hate
And they all met their final fate
At the gallows or the knife
They paid for their crimes with their worthless lives
Still you preach their dreams of evil
We won’t let your creed kill any more people

Introduction

While the appearance of a few dozen neo-Nazis in anarchist drag obviously took many by surprise, in truth, the New Reich announced their intention to form a black bloc and to march at the APEC summit many months ago… only their statement, most likely authored by David Innes (‘Baron Von Hund’), idiotically refers to the summit as being a G20 event, and describes its supposed program in a (typically) conspiratorial, paranoid and completely garbled manner.

This fact confirms at least two things: one, Innes is indeed a politically illiterate and grossly ignorant pinhead; two, the exact nature of the summit, let alone its title, was of little importance in relation to its main function, which is — or rather, was — to provide a platform on which the group could pose; both for the cameras but, much more importantly, for their comrades. That their ‘Statement of Intent’ received far less attention than that of another group is unsurprising, given both the relative novelty of the New Reich in Australia, but also, more generally, because of the widespread ignorance, among the Left in particular, regarding the activities of the far right — a situation which has now, possibly, been remedied courtesy of the New Reich’s bold action; action for which I think the meatheads from New Reich deserve at least some credit.

Ironically, in its call for the disruption of the summit, while the other statement of intent was both the subject of much discussion and media profiling — and was completely unrealised — the statement of intent issuing from the New Reich was both ignored and (almost) completely fulfilled.

…The New Right Australia New Zealand and the National Anarchists are calling all politicly [sic] minded people to join us to demonstrate against the [“G20”] meeting. Let us unite to show the world that the people of Australia are against Globalisation and Big Business that is only interested in profit and doesn’t give a damn about our heritage and culture. Let’s show the world that we are prepared to stand up against the system and fight for our rights, our culture, our heritage and for a fair society. Are you game to be part of the “Black Block” [sic]? If so, contact us and help us to organise this demonstration. It doesn’t matter if you are from the political right or left. What we are looking for are people who care about the issues and are not slaves to a political dogma.

In the event, while the neo-Nazis claim 30–35 participants, other estimates place the number of participants at around 15 or so (not including former academic turned professional racist and amateur neo-Nazi ideologue Andrew Fraser and his wife). Seemingly inspired by televised images of the anarchist black bloc at the Seattle protests in 1999 — but also seemingly ignorant, as in so many other domains, of its history outside of this event — the 15 or 20 or 25 or 30 or 35 fascist pipsqueaks dressed in “menacing” black, formed a bloc, and headed off on their awfully big adventure.

And speaking of which, it’s time now to examine Peter Middleclass’ account of their school excursion.

Paint It Black, But It’s Still Brown: Neo-Nazis at APEC

To begin with, a few general observations. First, by their own admission, the neo-Nazis were shit-scared. This was largely because of fears of physical assault. In the event, this possibility was slightly mitigated by the fact that the APEC summit was accompanied by the largest and most expensive police operation in Australian history, involving thousands of uniformed and undercover police, army, intelligence and private security personnel: armed to the teeth; backed by legal immunity from prosecution for any misdemeanour; saturation media coverage; and spoiling for any excuse to employ violence. In other words, such actions, while perhaps worthy, are, in the context of a police state, almost literally suicidal.

Secondly, the appearance, on Saturday morning, September 8, outside the Sydney Town Hall, of the bloc and its banners, with slogans opposing globalisation and promoting ‘people power’, was based upon a quite conscious and ongoing attempt to recuperate nominally ‘anarchist’ imagery and polemics for the purposes of reactionary, right-wing politics. This is not a new trend in other parts of the world, especially Europe (the home of the New Reich), but was only introduced to Australia via the efforts of the leader of the group — a German-born, Sydney-based neo-Nazi by the name of Welf Herfurth — quite recently. Under his direction, the general strategy of this fraction of the local fascist milieu is based upon the successful aping of anarchist and other radical political formations by the far right in Germany — most prominently, the NPD and its various satellites (a grouping of which Herfurth, who moved to Australia in 1987, was once a member of and with which he remains in close collaboration).

As for the actions of the neo-Nazis at the protest itself, on the one hand, they did very little. On the other hand, they didn’t need to. For their purposes — relying as they did on a partial understanding of the importance of providing appropriate images of political dissent to the hungry hungry hippos in the mass media — their mere presence, unbloodied, was of sufficient propaganda value to render their efforts worthwhile. Thus upon arrival, having at first been mis-identified by police as anarchists (and subsequently warned to be on their best fucking behaviour), upon discovery that the group was merely composed of fascists of some description — and the realisation that, in exchange for their protection from the ravenous Communist hordes, the ‘conservative revolutionaries’ were only too happy to obey orders — the police were able to relax, and to transfer their energies from keeping an eye on the zany antics of the crazy anarchists to trying to ensure that none of the other protesters subjected the neo-Nazi ‘black bloc’ to the beating it so richly deserved.

Which, of course, they didn’t.

Shhh! Be vewy, vewy quiet: We’re fucking fascists!

Instead, for the perhaps 20–30 minutes the neo-Nazis, in their shiny new boots, staged their protest, the most savage attack came in the form of rude, cruel words. Having been instructed by their level boss to shut the fuck up and not respond to such ‘provocation’, the group of 15 (or 20 or 25 or 30 or 35) mostly young white males simply stood, in mute testimony to the arrival of neo-Nazism at APEC. Or as Peter Middleclass soberly describes the situation, “we had walked into the lion’s den: we were outnumbered, by an opponent [an opponent!], who would not let us march unmolested”. In fact, Peter’s portrayal of the protest is peppered with exclamations over the sheer audacity of the actions of he and his fascist comrades. Thus the brave boys (and one or two girls) bravely withstood an “impending communist assault” conducted by “old men wearing reflector vest jackets with ‘security’ written on the back”, one “tall, intimidating communist” who addressed the group “coldly”, another “old man, with a ‘dancing skeleton’ mounted on a pole”, etcetera. Worse yet, the National Anarchists were cunningly forced by the dastardly Reds — much like the US Army in Vietnam, with one hand tied behind their backs — “to play by the Marquess of Queensbury rules” (‘No shoes or boots with springs allowed’). Peter dealt with the situation like any proud fascist would: “I reached over and clasped the hand of one of the others”.

The degree of collaboration between the police and neo-Nazis is evident in the fact that the police allowed the neo-Nazis to maintain their disguises; a practice mirrored by the police’s own removal of their ID, rendering both safe from the prying eyes of citizens. But whereas insisting police identify themselves was largely pointless, removing the disguises of perhaps one or two of the handful of neo-Nazis would likely have motivated the group as a whole to disperse. The possibility of this action occurring, however, would have required no small degree of co-operation between anti-fascists present at the demonstration, as well as devising a means by which to do so which didn’t involve much in the way of physical conflict.

Notional Anarchism

According to Peter, “the communists” — a generic term for the numerous members of the crowd who took the opportunity to abuse he and his comrades for being fascists — “were in a complete state of confusion as regards to our ideology and aims”. Thus, the brochure distributed by the group, which featured a photograph of Subcommandante Marcos, apparently caused one elderly woman much consternation, while another, older man denounced them as police agents. Such confusion was supposedly only dispelled when a speaker on the main platform announced that the Men in Black were, in fact, neo-Nazis. In reality, this fact had been discovered independently by the anarchists present (and no doubt others), though Peter appears to believe that, on the basis that there was no anarchist black bloc, consequently, there were no anarchists. “Astonishingly”, this is untrue. Still, given his more general ignorance concerning anarchism, it’s not surprising that he should have arrived at such a daft conclusion on the basis of such a poor understanding.

Beyond the fact that the neo-Nazis were able to maintain a presence at the demonstration — according to Peter for several hours, according to other sources, less than half — there’s little else to add regarding the event, at least insofar as the fascists are concerned. Their movement forward, for example, and any possibility of their joining the march, was prevented by a handful of women holding a banner in front of the ‘bloc’ and, like the bloc itself, simply not moving until police instructed them to do so: “…a senior police office walked up and said to one of the co-ordinators: ‘Your part in the march is over: masks off, banners down’,” to which the group agreed. Further, “The senior officer had told us that he had received intelligence that the communists… were arranging an ambush for us. So he felt it best to avoid a confrontation which would result in violence, and [asked] for us to leave”, and so they did. In summary, “We were tremendously pleased, afterwards, that no arrests had occurred and that none of us had been physically assaulted. We had avoided identification, too”.

Lessons

For Peter, the main lessons he learnt from his brief excursion to APEC revolve around the nature of ‘communists’ and ‘communism’, and they are:

1) ‘Communists’ control the streets and prevent fascists from freely marching;
2) They do so in keeping with a long tradition of suppressing oppositional speech;
3) “Communists do such things in a state of high moral dudgeon”;
4) Communists are very odd-looking people;
5) They are many;
6) And they are muy peligroso.

Consequently, Peter is frustrated:

I would like to see marches by nationalists [sic], and I would like to attend gentlemanly seminars by nationalists, and gentlemanly debates between opposing nationalist factions. But, in order to hear Guillaume Faye and Alain de Benoist debate their respective points of view, we would have to smuggle them into Australia like rats. We have to do that already with visiting nationalists from overseas, lest they suffer the fate of de Benoist, who once had his glasses broken by an Antifa on a trip to Canada.

Hmmm. I wonder if Monsieur de Benoist has considered wearing contact lenses? Seriously though, I think perhaps Peter may be confusing, not only the need to bypass immigration authorities, but this supposed incident in Canada for an incident which occurred in Berlin, Germany. (Either that, or Alain is indeed, much like Hitler, a sucker for punishment.) “In early February 1993, about a dozen Autonomen interrupted a speech by Alain de Benoist, whom they considered “one of the chief theoreticians of French neo-fascism.” After escorting him from the lecture hall, they beat him, broke his glasses and left him in a distant part of the city.” Such actions formed a part of a more general campaign in Kreuzberg to combat gentrification, and to keep yuppies and fascists from moving into or settling in the area. A strategy, ironically, which the NPD has appropriated and applied elsewhere in Germany, with some degree of success (albeit with far less opposition from capital and state). Which, in turn, is obviously an example Peter and his comrades would dearly love to emulate. The chief problem in doing so, however, is obvious even to him: lack of numbers.

So how do we move forward? Well, we have to have more of the same as we had at the APEC demo: except we need more people… if half of the activists we had begged to come weeks before the rally… had shown up, our numbers would have been greater than what they were. We could have physically intimidated the communist enemy, simply by our presence, and without breaking the law (we at New Right do not endorse anyone breaking the law)… After the APEC demo, I was reminded of an old Oswald Mosley post-war interview. The interviewer harangued him for the ‘thuggish’ tactics of the British Union of Fascists in the pre-war era. Mosley replied simply, ‘We adopted those tactics in response to those of the Left’. Before APEC, I didn’t understand what Mosley meant; after APEC, I do. (And keep in mind that the communists of the 1930s were much more violent and forceful than those of today). A hundred, two hundred, NA activists… at APEC would have lead to the complete paralysis and demoralisation of the communist forces. We would have been able to appoint our own… ‘security’… and decide who can, and who cannot, attend the march. We could approach the communist ‘red bloc’ and say, ‘Commies, hey? Tsk, tsk, tsk… You no march here, man. You be gone’.

To be concluded…

    See also : Graham D. Macklin, Co-opting the counter culture: Troy Southgate and the National Revolutionary Faction, Patterns of Prejudice, Vol.39, No.3, 2005 [PDF] | Alan Wolfe, A Fascist Philosopher Helps Us Understand Contemporary Politcs, The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 2, 2004 [PDF]

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 2019 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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