“Just a bunch of guys playing music”

…is apparently how Ken, the manager of the Sherwood Elks Lodge in Sherwood, Oregon, the venue for this weekend’s Hammerfest neo-Nazi music festival, has described the event. “The Ad-Hoc Committee Against Racism and Fascism”, on the other hand, “urges all concerned groups and individuals to call Ken, the Elks Club booking agent, at (503) 625-5977, urging him to cancel the event”.

Oddly enough, Ken’s description is almost precisely how Gary, the manager of The Birmingham Hotel in Fitzroy, Melbourne, described the 2006 Ian Stuart Donaldson memorial gig: “It was a punk, skinhead gig that was the same as any night of the week.” Local scabs, naturally enough, agree, and are seemingly able and willing to do anything to excuse their support for a neo-Nazi venue; even, in the case of Chunga of The Worst, resorting to really bad comedy. (For this mob, apparently, punk is ‘just a bunch of fucking muppets playing music’.)

For more details on Hammerfest 2007, see Hammerfest Update: Nazi skinhead locations revealed, Willamette Weekly, October 7, 2007. See also : Hammerskins. Confederate, Western, Southern Cross… | “Stop! Hammer time!” Or: Boneheads and Baldies

Courage & Solidarity not Blood & Soil

In Bern, Switzerland, according to AP, 500 antifa managed to disrupt a march by 10,000 members and supporters of the People’s Party (SVP), described as a ‘nationalist’ party by AP (Swiss president calls for calm after pre-election violence in capital, International Herald Tribune, October 7, 2007). In other reports, the SVP is described as belonging to the far right. In 2003, “The party ran an anti-foreigner campaign, in which asylum seekers were portrayed as criminals and drug dealers”, and gained 27% of the vote in national elections, or 55 seats from a total of 200. The party’s leader, Christoph Blocher, is a billionaire industrialist, and “The party recently launched a campaign to deport criminal foreigners, illustrating its point with posters showing white sheep kicking a black sheep off a Swiss flag.”

Whoever suspected Swiss nationalists could wield such influence over the ideological pronouncements of Australian-based Tories?

Putin’s Russia: Blood & Soil

A few weeks ago, soon-to-be-ex PM John HoWARd entertained Russian President Vladimir Putin with stories about Our Don; Putin returned the favour by agreeing to buy Australian uranium for eventual re-processing in places like Angarsk. In July, local Russian boneheads — presumably working in collaboration with state authorities — helped to smooth out the wrinkles in this process by attacking a protest camp established at The International Uranium Enrichment Centre in Angarsk, and successfully murdering one of its occupants, a twenty-something anarchist named Ilya Borodaenko. State-sponsored / far right terrorism such as this is not unusual in Putin’s Russia, and October 7 marks the one-year anniversary of the murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya (1958–2006). Anna was assassinated for her reportage on corruption under Putin, as well as regarding his war on Chechnya.

    “‘If people in my country have no protection from this lawless regime, that means I survive here while others are dying… People who were my witnesses and informants in Chechyna have died for that reason, and that reason alone, as soon as I left their homes. If it again proves the case, then how can I go on living abroad while others are dying in my place?”

More here.

Otherwise, racist violence in Russia is a daily occurrence, most frequently taking the form of stabbings by gangs of boneheads (and of the sort that make the Hammerskins look quiescent by comparison). While noting that the inquiry into Politkovskaya’s murder is in disarray, the UCSJ also notes (Bigotry Monitor: Volume 7, Number 34, September 7, 2007):

RACIST KILLINGS RISE TO 38 THIS YEAR. So far this year, 38 people have been murdered in racist killings and well over 300 people have been injured, mainly in stabbings, according to Sova Information-Analytical Center. BBC called the data “shocking.” The most common victims are from the Caucasus and Central Asia. Sova researchers warn that [boneheads] have begun targeting other minorities, including homosexuals, with the tacit connivance of the authorities.

Sova says that Moscow, St Petersburg, and Nizhny Novgorod are the leaders in racist attacks. In Moscow alone, [boneheads] killed 24 people.

According to Sova, the toll of racist attacks is increasing and prosecutors remain reluctant to attribute racial motivation to killings of members of ethnic minorities. Instead, they charge suspects with “hooliganism.” Human rights activists explain that this is because the authorities have traditionally turned a blind eye to racist killings and used nationalism as a political weapon. Moreover, Sova noted, a substantial proportion of Russians voice opinions that would qualify as criminally racist in many European countries.

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.
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