A Brief Guide To The Australian Far Right (April 2019 Edition)

In December 2016 I wrote A (very) brief guide to the Australian far right, itself an updated version of an earlier post published in June 2015. Both were triggered by public demand for somesuch guide, though others have of course been published elsewhere (see, for example, Crikey’s updated pocket guide to the far-right (yes, there are more), Charlie Lewis, January 14, 2019). Given the recent massacre in Christchurch and the documented links between the alleged killer and the Australian far right, April 2019 seems like an opportune moment to provide another brief guide. But first, some preliminary remarks.

To begin with, in media reportage on the killer’s situation within the Australian far right milieu, much attention has been drawn to three organisations in particular: ‘Antipodean Resistance’ (AR), ‘The Lads Society’ (TLS) and the ‘United Patriots Front’ (UPF). In this context, it’s important to note that, first, while there are critical differences between them, and only AR openly espouses neo-Nazism, all three are the natural outgrowth of the wave of public organising undertaken by the far-right under the umbrella of ‘Reclaim Australia’ (2015–). Secondly, members of all three groups remain politically active and, finally, all can be read as particular expressions of much (much) larger political and social networks, for which the dominant social media and publishing platforms — Facebook, Twitter and YouTube — have provided and will continue to provide a critical part of their organisational framework.

In a recent public statement, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, declared that, using its AI tools, AR, TLS and UPF, along with the ‘National Front New Zealand’, were being removed from Facebook. As noted, the UPF page was deleted in May 2017, AR did not have a public page on Facebook … though The Lads Society page has indeed since been removed from the platform. Since the statement, a handful of other pages and groups have also been removed, including pages for NSW, QLD, SA and WA franchises of the ‘True Blue Crew’ (TBC) and a right-wing fanboy page titled ‘Australian Meditations’. Hundreds of other similar, Australian-based pages and groups of course remain.

In addition to AR, TLS, UPF and TBC, also getting a guernsey in the context of links between the Christchurch killer and the Australian far right has been ‘Order 15’ (O15). According to the US-based ADL (White Supremacist Terrorist Attack at Mosques in New Zealand, March 15, 2019):

The manifesto and writings on the weapons used by Tarrant identify him as a white supremacist. His manifesto opens with an image used by other white supremacists and similar to one that previously appeared on a white supremacist website, Order 15, a group with an international presence which is focused on building a parallel, self-sufficient white society because they believe the societies of most western nations are “irreversibly broken.” The manifesto subtitle includes the words “Towards a new society,” also from the Order 15 website.

Be that as it may, in Australia O15 maintains a presence on Facebook. (But note that, like others, O15 has a tendency to appear, disappear, and then reappear, both under this name and by way of other handles.) O15 is linked to the UPF by way of one of its central members, Kris0 Richardson. Thus before joining the UPF, Kris0 established the ‘United Australian Front’ (UAF) website and Facebook page. In-between noting the UAF’s development (August 2016) into a straightforwardly neo-Nazi project, the Facebook page was closed and re-badged itself as O15, though ostensibly under the control of some of Richardson’s mates. Another right-wing activist associated with O15 in Australia is Newcastle-based Shane Worrall, who was a key organiser for Reclaim Australia in 2015. Currently, Worrall stands accused of ripping off farmers via a fund he established in 2016, and goes to court over the matter in June.

With all that said …

• The list below is intended to be illustrative, not exhaustive;
• Hundreds if not thousands of Facebook pages and groups, Twitter accounts, and YouTube channels are utilised by the far right in Australia. Documenting these is beyond my capabilities and I choose instead to focus upon more stable expressions of same;
• A number of groups and projects are now defunct. This is indicated by use of a strike. I’ve included them for the purposes of historical accuracy but, in the event I publish another guide in the future and assuming that they remain inert, I will remove them;
• New entries are marked with an *;
• The number of people in Australia engaging with far right propaganda has expanded considerably in the intervening period, as has social media’s monopolisation of online communications;
• There’s a good deal more material on all of the groups listed available elsewhere on the blog;
• The far right in Australia must necessarily be understood in terms of its history and a broader political and social context. This post does not attempt to provide that context, but a glimpse is available by way of ‘The Radical Right in Australia’ (Andy Fleming and Aurelien Mondon, The Oxford Handbook of the Radical Right, Edited by Jens Rydgren, Oxford University Press, 2018):

Compared to its European counterparts, Australia was for the most part spared the rise of powerful extreme right movements, and at times appeared immune to their appeal. However, rather than immunity, the absence of extreme right politics can be explained by the ability and willingness of mainstream politics to readily, openly, and officially absorb such values. This chapter discusses how, for most of the country’s history, Australian mainstream politicians suffocated the extreme right, not merely by borrowing some key ideas of the extreme right, but by negating entirely its ability to appear as an alternative to the power in place. It then turns to the 1990s and explores the rise of Hansonism and its impact on mainstream politics. The final part of the chapter is dedicated to the current state of radical right politics in Australia.

*A26A

One of numerous tiny groupuscules that emerged (2017) in the wake of Reclaim, A26A are Melbourne-based modern-day vigilantes, fighting (African and/or Muslim) crimens. Under the wise stewardship of Daniel Purton, A26A has also operated in loose association with Asolate Security Group and the TBC, and sometimes appears in public as ‘The Crew’. See also : The ‘African gangs’ narrative: associating Blackness with criminality and other anti-Black racist tropes in Australia, Mandisi Majavu, African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal, 2018.

Adelaide Institute

The Institute promotes Holocaust denial and (a very specialised form of) ‘historical revisionism’. Still carrying on like pork chops in April 2019, in May 2016, the Institute was apparently planning on republishing an edition of Mein Kampf with a German group. Among those associated with the Institute is veteran Kiwi agitator Kerry Bolton, who in March of this year avoided going to jail for naming a victim of sexual assault; he’s also been linked to the naughty young boys of the Wellington-based ‘Dominion Movement’, who in the wake of the massacre have gone into semi-hiding.

    Note that a new website called Paparoa has recently emerged. It was launched on March 31, 2019, ‘primarily as a response to the horrific terrorist attacks on the Alnoor and Linwood Mosques in Christchurch’. The site is dedicated to monitoring, analysing, and responding to the far right in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Read An Introduction to the Organised Far Right in Aotearoa/NZ.

Anti-Antifa Australia (AAA)

A defunct blog and organising project which passed from Volksfront’s Chris Smith to the UPF’s Jim Perren to nazi crackpot Buddy Rojek. Much of this sort of activity is now being conducted by a range of others, including by way of XYZ (see below).

Antipodean Resistance (AR)

One of the newer kids on the neo-Nazi bloc, AR evolved on tumblr and made a splash in late 2016 when the lads plastered university campuses in homophobic propaganda. Modelled on National Action in the UK and Atomwaffen in the US, and closely associated with other boys on the AltRight in Melbourne, as predicted in December 2016, it did indeed obtain lots of ‘further publicity through staging similarly provocative stunts’ — at last count, something like 80 or more ‘actions’ have been staged since then, though the group’s webshite has been closed and their gab account has been inactive since late last year. See : Who are Antipodean Resistance? (August 2018 Update).

Aryan Nations (AN)

Since the last update, two members of AN in Perth, Wayne Edhouse and Melony Attwood, have been jailed for the murder of Alan Taylor. See : Neo-Nazi Aryan Nations lovers Robert Edhouse and Melony Attwood jailed for murder, Joanna Menagh, ABC, May 8, 2018. Note that the AN HQ was used by the UPF to announce the formation of their stillborn political party, ‘Fortitude’; other members of AN have carried on doing their nazi thing but — sneakily — have re-branded.

Australia First Party (AFP)

AFP is the largest and most well-established of the far-right groups, one dedicated inter alia to the resurrection of a White Australia policy. Founded in 1996 by former Labor MP Graeme Campbell, AFP is a registered political party and in 2016 the AEC also confirmed the Eureka flag as its official logo. Dr James Saleam is the party’s current leader, a position he assumed a few years after being let out of prison for organising a shotgun assault upon the home of Eddie Funde (then the African National Congress representative in Australasia). Previously, Saleam was the leader of neo-Nazi group National Action and in the late 1960s/early 1970s a member of the Australian Nazi Party. The party regularly contests elections, with generally meagre results, and its HQ is in Tempe in Sydney — where it has the largest following. Two AFP members have been elected to local council (Bruce Preece in Adelaide and Maurice Girotto in Penrith – both resigned their memberships following their elections). Saleam and other party members frequently post on Stormfront (the world’s leading neo-Nazi/White supremacist website) and occasionally on Daily Stormer (another US-based neo-Nazi site). In 2015, AFP absorbed the rump of the One Nation Party in WA.

April, 2019 : Saleam stood for the seat of Cootamundra at the 2019 NSW state election. At last count, the good doctor got 1% of the vote, and placed last of the six candidates contesting. Also in the news recently has been AFP member Nathan Sykes, editor-in-chief of the UNA blog (see below). Sykes has been ‘charged with multiple counts of using a carriage service to threaten serious harm, and with using a carriage service to menace, harass or offend’ (see : Right-wing troll to plead not guilty to threatening journalist, Angus Thompson, The Sydney Morning Herald, April 4, 2019). While a registered micro-party which has been active in promoting the white nationalist cause for decades, AFP has been effectively shunted aside by first Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party and now Fraser Anning’s Conservative Nationalists.

Australian Coalition of Nationalists (ACON)

The formation of the Australian Coalition of Nationalists was announced in October 2016, and consisted of the AFP, Australian Protectionist Party and Nationalist Alternative; the Eureka Youth League and the Hellenic Nationalists of Australia were considered ‘associate’ groups. The coalition represented an attempted reconsolidation of White nationalist and national socialist organisations in Australia, but failed to register as much more than a paper tiger, and this failure briefly triggered the inevitable round of recriminations which follow in the wake of such manouevres.

Australian Defence League (ADL)

The ADL formed within the space of a year following the establishment of the English Defence League in 2009. Gaining only a fraction of the support the EDL did, the ADL has undergone numerous splits, fractures and changes in leadership, but of those who’ve nominated themselves its leader Martin Brennan and Ralph Cerminara – along with Nathan Abela – are probably the best-known, along with Shermon Burgess (‘The Great Aussie Patriot’). There have been dozens of Facebook pages created by and for the ADL and it exists as a very loose network of anti-Muslim activists. Sporadic public rallies in Melbourne and Sydney have been poorly-attended but the group has been very active on social media. See : Who Are The Australian Defence League?, New Matilda, January 29, 2014.

As of December 2016, the ADL was a moribund institution, and remains so in April 2019. While Burgess has gone on to embrace neo-Nazism, Flat Earth theory, Odinism, and whichever other crackpottery registers in his fevered bRanes, Cerminara has been in serious trouble with the law, and earlier this year was sentenced to jail for assaulting a neighbour. In good news for Cerminara, he was released on appeal, and — irony of ironies — has apparently successfully applied for legal support from the Aboriginal Legal Service in NSW to aid in his efforts to free himself from the politically-correct courts. (Note that there remains at least one ADL page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pg/AustralianDefenceLeagueOfficialAdlEst2009), one of thousands of similar pages pumping out an endless stream of anti-Muslim propaganda. Oddly, while three admins are based in Australia, two are in the UK and one in the US.)

Australian League of Rights (ALOR)

The Grand Old Man of Australian fascism, the ALOR has been around for a very long time, successfully defending God, Queen & Country from the ravages of International Communism. The group’s weekly newsletter may be read online and is useful for gaining some insight into the ‘Lunar Right’ and the many … er … ‘interesting’ characters which populate its ranks. April 2019 : ALOR remains largely inactive outside of publishing tracts for its diminishing number of followers, but in its heyday did reach a much larger audience. See : The many careers of Twiggy Forrest, Ramon Glazov, The Monthly, July 2013.

Australian Liberty Alliance (ALA)

A creation of the Q Society (see below), the ALA was formally registered with the AEC in July 2015. Modelled on Geert Wilders’ Dutch party — Wilders attended the ALA’s official launch in Perth in October 2015 — it fielded a number of candidates at the 2016 federal election but failed to attract much support, with the anti-Muslim vote largely being attracted to ONP. In September 2016 the ALA announced it would be going into a temporary hiatus.

April 2019 : The ALA has resurfaced on occasion in order to contest elections — most recently at last year’s Victorian state election — but has failed dismally each time. Its star candidate last year was Melbourne-based serial pest Avi Yemini, whose batshit antics have gained him a considerable social media following, a platform alongside Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, and the financial support of Rebel Media in Canada, but little else of note. Otherwise, while the Arcadia Hotel in South Yarra has emerged as a key hub of support and venue for the ALA’s activities, and its base is among older professionals, so Badly has the ALA performed that earlier this year it applied to change its name to ‘Yellow Vest Australia’. Whether or not this re-branding was a serious attempt to crib from the French movement or simply a terrible joke is of course unknown at this stage.

Australian Patriots Defence Movement (APDM)

Still deaded.

Australian Protectionist Party (APP)

The APP formed as a split from AFP in 2007 when one of its Sydney branches – the two most prominent members of which were Nicholas (Hunter) Folkes and Darrin Hodges – elected to defect. It was active for a few years, producing propaganda and holding events, but is now largely moribund. Tasmanian Andrew Phillips is its leader. Hodges has retired from political activity while Folkes split from the APP to form the Party for Freedom (see below). April 2019 : The APP continues to maintain an online presence, but remains politically-moribund.

Australian Settlers Rebellion (ASR)

In essence, one of the Facebook pages of Shermon Burgess and Neil Erikson. April 2019 : Not long after its launch in 2016, ASR became ‘Nationalist Uprising’, but like ASR was chiefly a vehicle for the antics and propaganda of serial pest Erikson, and one of numerous social media platforms he used to publicise his activities. At its peak the page had over 70,000 followers but it was deleted in the wake of the Christchurch massacre. See also : ARN, EARL, NRG, Cooks Convicts, Patriot Blue, Aussie Patriot Army, Ban Islam Party, Generation Identity Australia, Neil Erikson Media, NRG Media, OzConspiracy, Pauline Hanson’s Guardian Angels and United Patriots Front — Originals.

Australians Resistance Network (ARN)

Originally established by Erikson as ‘Generation Identity Australia’, ARN is one of many Facebook pages dedicated to anti-Muslim, anti-leftist and White nationalist propaganda. Almost three-and-a-half years after it was first published, ARN continues to grind out the usual, but like others its current admins are paranoid that it may fall foul of Facebook’s new regime/AI tools, and thus be deleted.

Battalion88

One of dozens of short-lived neo-Nazi groupuscules, now deaded.

Blood & Honour (B&H)

B&H is a neo-Nazi musical network, originally established in England in the late 1980s, and has been operating in Australia for over 25 years. Activities are generally confined to selling neo-Nazi muzak and merch (via 9% Productions) and holding gigs. It functions essentially as an adjunct to the SCHS (see below). April 2019 : Last year, veteran Aussie reich ‘n’ rollers Fortress reformed, recorded a new album, and toured Europe, playing to thousands of neo-Nazis.

Christian Identity (CI)

CI is a tiny sect on the fringes of the far right with a handful of adherents and a minuscule social media presence. One, James Lawrence, popped up at the May 31, 2015 UPF rally and attended subsequent nationalist rallies. According to the ECAJ (Report on Antisemitism in Australia 2016): Christian Identity churches, unlike almost all other denominations of Christianity, place the concepts of race and racial purity high on their priorities. They are expressly anti-Jewish from a medieval Christian theological perspective. There are several Identity type churches. The one with the most prolific and popular website is Bible Believers. In April 2019, advocates of CI presumably continue to eke out an existence, while Lawrence has reportedly been in and out of hospital with various mental health issues.

Christian Separatist

A tiny, bizarr0 White supremacist kvlt. ‘Pastor’ Ken Cratchley is its chief propagandist in Australia. Last year, Cratchley re-emerged as a supporter of The Lads Society (see below) in Sydney.

Citizens Electoral Council (CEC)

The CEC is the name under which the LaRouchite kvlt travels Down Under. Seemingly most active in Melbourne, the group presents a range of entertainingly batshit theories about the world Lyndon LaRouche inhabits. It contested the 2016 Australian federal election and gathered a tiny fraction of votes. In April 2019, the CEC has been robbed of its leader, Lyndon LaRouche, who died in February this year.

Combat 18 (C18)

C18 is another foreign import, having its origins in England in the late 1980s. The group was established in order to protect B&H gigs and other fascist events from disruption by anti-fascists and has a rather bloody history. It’s widely suspected that it was infiltrated by British intelligence on account of the close relationship between C18 and Ulster paramilitaries. In Australia, the ‘brand’ has been adopted by a number of different neo-Nazis including in WA, where C18 was responsible for a poorly-executed attack upon a mosque (see Bradley Trappitt). AFAIK, its only active ‘branch’ currently is in Melbourne under Patrick O’Sullivan. As of December 2016, O’Sullivan seems to have been joined by a handful of others, media has reported on various instances of C18 propaganda appearing around Melbourne and several boneheads in the orbit of C18 have attended various nationalist rallies during the course of 2015–2016. April 2019 : C18 continues to produce and distribute shitty B&W stickers, chiefly in Melbourne but also Sydney and other towns and cities, thereby occasionally generating local media reportage, and boneheads across the country still invoke its name.

*Conservative Nationals (CN)

A newly-formed (March 2019) political party and vehicle for Senator Fraser ‘Final Solution’ Anning. More on CN at a later date.

Creativity

A bizarre, White supremacist ‘religion’ established in the US some decades ago. It’s undergone numerous, often violent splits: its main exponent in Australia is Colin Campbell/Cailen Cambeul (Adelaide) and Patrick O’Sullivan (Melbourne). Scott Harrison was a ‘Reverend’ in the ‘church’ for many years before joining the Young Liberals. April 2019 : To the best of my knowledge, O’Sullivan has swapped Creativity for Combat 18. As for Campbell/Cambeul he was ‘Pontifex Maximus’ of one wing of the movement until 2016, and in 2017 became a ‘Church Administrator’. (In February 2017, Cambeul got a guernsey in this article about a very Creative lad in Georgia who got caught playing with ricin.)

*The Dingoes

The Dingoes is the name adopted by a smol number of chiefly Sydney-based neo-Nazis in order to produce a podcast called ‘The Convict Report’. The Report has attracted the participation of a wide array of white nationalists, AlRightists and other racist cranks, most notoriously QLD LNP MP George Christensen (whoops) and newly-elected PHONy Senator and ex-ALP Prime Ministerial candidate Mark Latham. The Dingoes were present on Twitter employing the hashtag #DingoTwitter and were reasonably-successful in having their bon mots shared by ABC’s TV show Q&A. Following the Christchurch massacre, The Dingoes have gone a bit quiet (their Facebook page and Twitter account are down and their site is offline), but are otherwise active in the networks which infiltrated the Young Nationals in NSW last year and which are currently taking advantage of Fraser Anning’s considerable social media presence to shitpost on Facebook and Twitter to an audience of tens of thousands.

See : Alleged mosque shooter’s meme popular with Australian far-right group, Patrick Begley, The Sydney Morning Herald, March 15, 2019 | TheDingoes.xyz /// The Convict Report /// DingoCon (July 8, 2017) | Alt_Right White Lite: trolling, hate speech and cyber racism on social media, Andrew Jakubowicz, Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: an Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol.9, No.3, 2017:

The example used in this article of the trolling/ 4chan approach, set up in Australia during the US Presidential elections, is a project of a group calling itself TheDingoes. Perched on a service provided by .xyz (a new service platform that hosts many thousands of clients), TheDingoes exemplifies all the various elements of state of the art antisemitic and racist online presence; Buzzfeed reported that the founders of the TheDingoes were intentionally using as wide a range of social media as they could, skirting rules and testing boundaries, in order to normalise racist hate speech. Typically the members remain disguised behind pseudonyms and delight in their anonymity, particularly the opportunity it gives them to ‘bant’ (banter).

Their use of the .xyz demonstrates a close knowledge of Internet trends. The .xyz domain name was released to the general public in mid-2014, as part of a refreshing by ICANN of generic top-level domain names. Google adopted it for its corporate Alphabet site, (abc.xyz), and by June 2016 it was the fourth most registered top level global domain name after.com, .net and .org. The name is managed by a company called Generation XYZ, (http://gen.xyz), which describes itself as ‘a global community inspired by the Internet and its limitless potential… to connect with the world in a whole new way… you can focus on connecting with your audience anywhere in the world’. It represents a further layer of defence for users, from any retributive pursuit by people they harass.

TheDingoes appeared online in 2016, their website registered in January, followed up with a Twitter account in June. A number of the people associated with the group also joined about that time, including one tweeter whose display image contained the anti-immigration slogan ‘Fuck Off, We’re Full’. TheDingoes (once the name of a 1970s Australian music band that left for the US) described itself as ‘#AltRight, but not in the way that violates #Rule1’. Here they refer to Rule1, that is the 4chan /b/ rule 1, ‘Do not talk about /b/’ (which is also rule 2). /b/ is the general posting board for 4 Chan users. They also have ‘88’ on their page, which stands for the initials ‘HH’, a code for ‘Heil Hitler’. As of February 2017, TheDingoes had 1,461 followers online, had posted 3,640 posts, garnered 5,507 likes, and was following 442 other Tweeters; by September 2017 it had grown to 2,146 followers (gaining about 100 followers a month), with 4,615 Tweets and 7,500 likes, though it had abandoned some of its followed friends (down to 420). The site followed a range of micro-nationalist groups, a raft of conservative online commentators and some ‘lulz’ (Laugh Out Loud plural) antisemitic posters, such as one identifying as ‘Goys just want to have fun’, and another as ‘Dachau Blues’, backed by an image of the Auschwitz ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ sign…

Eureka Youth League (EYL)

The EYL is AFP’s putative youth wing and its ideology mirrors that of the AFP. It’s largely inactive, and is currently presided over by (and may only consist of) a right-wing youth from Canberra, Matthew Grant. Grant is a Presbyterian, a White nationalist, an anti-Semite, and spoke at an anti-Muslim rally in Bendigo in October 2015. April 2019 : The EYL continues to exist. Presumably. According to Grant, writing on his personal website: The Eureka Youth League is a nation-wide network of fraternal organisations for young, white men in Australia. We have chapters in Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide and smaller groups around regional New South Wales. My main goal in forming this organisation was to organise the traditionalist, nationalist [C]hristian youth of the country into private and safe social circles in which they can come together for moral, financial and emotional self-improvement. See also : The New Guard.

European Australian Civil Rights League (EARL)

One of dozens of online handles employed by Neil Erikson, in April 2019 EARL remains defunct, though leaves behind a blog (January–April 2013) and Twitter account (last tweet March 1, 2015).

Expel the Parasite

A neo-Nazi website run by 30-something South Australian Brett Light. Light identifies with Christian Identity and there are no prizes for guessing who he believes the ‘parasites’ are. As of April 2019, the site is still up and in its last update (August 2018) Mister Light thrilled to Fraser Anning’s maiden speech to federal parliament, republishing it in full.

Full Blooded Skips (FBS)

A short-lived, seemingly defunct, Melbourne-based white yoof gang, the FBS had ties to Combat-18.

Golden Dawn (GD) / Hellenic Nationalists of Australia (HNA)

Golden Dawn is the Australian branch of the Greek neo-Nazi party. Its chief spokesperson in Australia is Iggy Gavrilidis while other organisers include Christos Cakouros in Adelaide, Christina Tsimtsirids and Sofia Krokos in Melbourne, Elias Vamiakis in Sydney, Peter Poulos in Queensland and Nikolaos Mitsakis in Tasmania. GD has a very small support base, chiefly concentrated in Melbourne and Sydney, and over the last few years has raised funds for its parent body and organised a handful of protests in conjunction with AFP and a smattering of local neo-Nazis and fascists. In December 2015, GD registered in NSW as an incorporated association named Hellenic Nationalists of Australia. GD held its first national conference in Sydney on October 28, 2016 at which over a hundred supporters attended along with Saleam of AFP and a handful of Russian fascists. April 2019 : The trial in Greece of GD as a criminal organisation drags on, while in Australia, GD continues to do its thing. See also : No to Golden Dawn in Melbourne.

Klub Nation/Klub Naziya

A bizarr0 groupuscule based in Sydney. At one point KN attempted to infiltrate and take over the Humanist Society of NSW. It didn’t work, but the nazis had a red-hot go. Presumably, its membership continues to be active but not publicly. April 2019 : KN carries on in various guises, and continues to battle its rivals in Sydney in the AFP, including by way of a legal complaint lodged with the blog UNA (see below).

Ku Klux Klan (KKK)

With an obvious indebtedness to the US, in numerous, generally short-lived permutations and combinations, the KKK has been a minor player on the far right for decades. In one form or another, it continues to generate occasional stories and the image of the KKK is regularly invoked in various rural and regional settings, but the organisation itself is largely moribund. April 2019 : The KKK in Australia remains a spectral figure.

*The Lads Society (TLS)

The Lads Society is basically what the UPF (see below) became after it collapsed in 2017. It announced its existence by way of the establishment of a clubhouse/social centre in the Melbourne suburb of Cheltenham in September 2017, which was the site of a joint meeting in January 2018 with members of the Bendigo- and Melton-based TBC (and others) in order to discuss the formation of a vigilante group to tackle African yoof (crimens). In 2018, TLS opened another centre in the Sydney suburb of Ashfield, and apparently has plans to open similar centres in other major cities. Those involved in the TLS include Blair Cottrell, Tom Sewell, James Buckle, Jacob Hersant, Mark McDonald, Stuart von Moger and others who for the time being will remain nameless. Members of TLS were hired by Dave Pellowe to provide security for the 2018 tour by Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern, worked the March for the Babies in Melbourne in October 2018 and also participated in AltLight personality Sydney Watson’s March for Men in August 2018. The antics of some nazi Lads in Brisbane has caused Cottrell some headaches — The (neo-Nazi) Lads Society : Blair Cottrell’s pro-tip : Wear Your Swastikas On The Inside — and there’s no love lost bewteen the Lads and AFP/UNA’s Nathan Sykes (see : Tom Sewell & The Lads Society ~versus~ Nathan Sykes & The Australia First Party).

See also : New clues emerge of accused New Zealand gunman Tarrant’s ties to far right groups, Byron Kaye, Tom Allard, Reuters, April 3, 2019 | Here’s How Muslim Women In Australia Have Been Targeted By The Far Right, Gina Rushton and Mark Di Stefano, Buzzfeed, March 26, 2019.

Love Australia Or Leave (LAOL)

The creation of TV personality Kim Vuga (Go Back To Where You Come From, SBS), the party achieved registration in October 2016. Vuga attended and spoke at many nationalist rallies in 2015-2016. Contesting the 2016 federal election as a Senate candidate in Queensland, Vuga received 172 votes (0.01%). While blessed with an xclnt name, LAOL is unlikely to challenge ONP for hegemony over the (White) nationalist vote. April 2019 : Vuga and LAOL persists, though why is anybody’s guess. See also : Apology for Labor MP Anne Aly over ‘fake’ Anzac Day claims, Rashida Yosufzai, SBS, April 29, 2017.

Nationalist Alternative (NAlt)

NAlt is a neo-Nazi group which has its origins in anti-Muslim agitation in Melbourne. Its leader is Mark Hootsen, who has travelled to the US in order to receive political training with Stormfront. NAlt was present at the April 4 Reclaim Australia rally in Melbourne. As of December 2016 its activities are largely confined to the keyboard, though the group can boast of having produced figures such as Blair Cottrell and Thomas Sewell of the UPF (see below) and Neil Erikson. April 2019 : NAlt continues to function, albeit with little real impact.

National Democratic Party of Australia (NDPA)

NDPA was launched by UPF activist Blair Cottrell following the April 4 Reclaim Australia rally. Based in Melbourne, the group is tiny and as of December 2016 inactive. April 2019 : The NDPA remains defunct, though Cottrell attempted to manufacture another political vehicle for himself called ‘Fortitude’, which similarly crashed and burned.

Nationalist Republican Guard (NRG)

NRG was EARL rebranded and from the beginning of 2015 worked closely with Reclaim Australia, UPF and Shermon Burgess in order to produce agitprop promoting these groups and individuals. One of dozens of labels Erikson has adopted then dropped.

*The New Guard (NG)

An online organising hub, principally on Facebook, for various white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and other AltRight odds & sods. The NG came to prominence largely by way of the exposure of its role in facilitating an infiltration of the Young Nationals in NSW last year, but remains active behind-the-scenes in a number of other, similar political institutions. The ABC has uncovered a covert plot by Australia’s alt-right movement to join major political parties and influence their policy agendas from within. Background Briefing has witnessed members of the NSW Young Nationals in Sydney attending a secret men’s-only fight club set up by some of the country’s most prominent alt-right nationalists. The program has also gained access to a private Facebook group in which these same people discuss their manifesto, which includes plans to shake up mainstream politics. The group is called The New Guard and its followers are self-described fascists. See : Manifesto reveals alt-right’s plans to go mainstream after ‘infiltration’ of NSW Young Nationals, Alex Mann, Background Briefing (ABC), October 14, 2018 | Neo-Nazi infiltration of the Young Nationals in NSW (October 11, 2018).

New Right (/National Anarchists) (NR)

The New Right emerged in the mid- to late-2000s as a project of Sydney-based fascist Welf Herfurth – Herfurth envisaged NR as the theoretical expression of ‘national anarchism’, a tendency on the far-right with origins in the UK fascist movement. It has produced some propaganda, staged a few publicity stunts, and attracted a handful of neo-Nazis (eg, Bradley Trappitt) and other fascists to its banner but is currently largely inactive. As of December 2016, it remains a dead horse in Australia. April 2019 : A wealthy gadabout, Herfurth continues to criss-cross the globe, network with fellow cranks, and fail to create much enthusiasm for his idiotic syncretism.

One Nation Party (ONP)

See : Pauline Hanson. Initially a deeply attractive formation for the far right, the history of ONP since the late ’90s is long and complex (see : Danny Ben-Moshe, ‘One Nation and the Australian far right’, Patterns of Prejudice, Vol.35, No.3, 2001). Its activists belong to a broader far-right milieu, with some degree of overlap with groups like AFP. The possibility of a reconsolidation of the far right in AFP remains, though is somewhat complicated by Hanson’s periodic political revivals. ONP’s success at the 2016 federal election, when it won four Senate seats — Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts (QLD), Brian Burston (NSW) and Rod Culleton (WA) — has helped revive its fortunes. By the same token, ONP’s success has meant failure for the ALA, and ONP is now the primary expression of politically-organised anti-Muslim sentiment. Finally, despite a deserved reputation for harbouring anti-Semites, ONP was invited to hold a meeting in Caulfield (Melbourne) in December 2016. In the face of local Jewish opposition, the two Senators invited to speak — Pauline Hanson and Malcolm ‘Jew World Order’ Roberts — elected to cancel the circus.

April 2019 : Much has happened to ONP since December 2016. Among other things, of the four Senators bumped into parliament at the 2016 federal election, only Hanson remains in place, with Roberts replaced (November 2017) by Fraser Anning, who then left to join Katter’s Australian Party, left KAP to sit as an independent, and has now formed his own party, the Conservative Nationals. Burston quit the party in June 2018 to join Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party, while Culleton was disqualified in February 2017 and replaced by his brother-in-law Peter Georgiou in March 2017. ONP has also won seats (2017–) in state parliaments: Stephen Andrew in the lower house seat of Mirani in QLD, three upper house seats in WA (Robin Scott, Charles Smith & Colin Tincknell) and most recently gained another in NSW, occupied by the the former federal Labor leader Mark Latham (2019–). The success of ONP is generally read as a failure of the Nationals, and presents particular problems for them in their regional and rural heartlands. Apart, perhaps, from running a nominally Muslim woman, Emma Eros, for a seat at the NSW state election (Eros received 2,250 votes or 4.5%), nothing Hanson or ONP does or says dissuades her fanbase from continuing to support her. See also : How To Sell A Massacre, Al Jazeera, March 2019.

Party for Freedom (PFF)

Modelled on Geert Wilders’ Dutch party, PFF is what happened when the Sydney branch of APP decided to hold a public rally in mid-2012 demanding that the Australian government blow up refugee boats. APP disavowed the action and so the Sydney branch of APP decamped to form PFF. It holds regular events in Sydney but has little discernible support outside of it. Is chief and seemingly only spokesperson is Nicholas (Hunter) Folkes, a publicity whore who delights in provocative stunts (see : Cronulla). In April 2016 the PFF travelled to Melbourne to protest outside a halal expo and got a clip around their ears for their troubles; in November 2016 they returned to Melbourne and the suburb of Eltham to protest a refugee housing project. Joined by the SOO and TBC (see below) they were again defeated by a combination of butterflies and unicorns.

In April 2019, the PFF is largely defunct, after Folkes was diagnosed with cancer and decided that his energies would be better directed at staying alive (by inter alia adopting a vegan diet). Between December 2016 and its collapse a year or so later, the PFF distinguished itself by way of organising an anti-antifa demo in Newtown in May 2017, a homophobic rally at the LGBT Holocaust Memorial in Sydney in September 2017 and various other daft stunts. A few weeks ago, Folkes failed to attend a tribunal hearing in Queensland, where it’s alleged that he and the PFF produced propaganda which ‘equated same-sex marriage with child abuse’ (Far-right group accused of hate speech fails to appear at Queensland tribunal, Ben Smee, The Guardian, March 26, 2019). Along with this minor legal difficulty, the PFF also produced a short-lived group called ‘Australian Patriots Uprising’, which was openly neo-Nazi, and organised a tiny rally in Canberra in August 2018 which featured Shermon Burgess as a riveting guest speaker.

Patriotic Youth League (PYL)

The PYL was established in the early 2000s as the yoof wing of AFP. It was not a successful venture and collapsed a few years later to be replaced by the EYL. Andrew Wilson — now attached to Anning — was involved in the PYL.

Patriots Defence League of Australia (PDLA)

An ADL splinter, the PDLA is largely a Facebook creation, with numerous, very small branches across the country which hold semi-regular, private meetings. In its latest incarnation, the PDLA was established as an incorporated association (Australian Defence League) which later changed its name to PDLA. Mark Lenthall, TJ (Torin) O’Brien and Daniel Sutcliffe were its office bearers. Also prominent is John Oliver of Newcastle, who helped organise and spoke at the Reclaim Australia rally in Newcastle on April 4. In November 2016 its Melbourne organiser, Shannon Wallace, deaded. April 2019 : The PDLA continue to maintain a Facebook page, but otherwise would appear to be inactive.

*Proud Boys (Australia)

The Australian franchise of the US-based gang established by Gavin McInnes. PBs rocked up to Anning’s rally in St Kilda in January and to his meeting in Moorabbin last month, attended the tours by Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern and Milo Yiannopoulos in 2017–2018, and are otherwise active (or claim to be) in NSW, QLD, SA and WA. The Boys defend Western Civilisation by not reading and going to the gym. In October 2018, following the arrest of several PBs in New York on assault charges, Facebook decided to remove PB pages from its site, and it’s unclear if the network will recover. Currently, its chief propagandist in Australia is a bloke from Sydney called Nicholas Stone.

Q Society

The Q Society is an anti-Muslim propaganda group which functions as the ideological ballast for the anti-Muslim movement in Australia and largely consists of educated, middle class, bigots. See : International guests Q up for bigotry, Andy Fleming, Overland, March 10, 2014. April 2019 : The Society continues to trundle along, in February 2017 organising a gathering at Victoria University, and otherwise keeping the dream of an Australia cleansed of Muslims alive in the hearts of its elderly supporters. (Also at about the time of the conference, which featured the talents of George Christensen, the Society settled a legal matter with halal certfier Mohamed El-Mouelhy. See : Victory Against Anti-Islam Group: An Interview with Halal Certification Authority Director Mohamed El-Mouelhy, Paul Gregoire, Sydney Criminal Lawyers, March 2, 2017.)

Reclaim Australia (RA)

Largely the brainchild of online activist and (former) ADL member Shermon Burgess (‘The Great Aussie Patriot’), RA was the first anti-Muslim project of its kind to generate anything more than minimal public interest and to successfully mobilise anti-Muslim networks. Its April 4, 2015 rallies attracted several thousand supporters who attended over a dozen rallies across the country — to which the largest and most effective opposition was in Melbourne. Following April 4, RA split and Burgess established the UPF (see below). RA’s next series of anti-Muslim rallies took place on the weekend of July 18/19 while a third and final round of protests organised by RA took place in November 2015. In general terms, RA attracted every Tom, Dick & Harry ‘patriot’, (White) nationalist, racist, fascist, neo-Nazi and xenophobe in the country, but experienced a good deal of internal difficulties, with a rump faction led by John Oliver eventually going on to establish itself as an incorporated association in NSW in January 2016. April 2019 : Like others, RA has experienced various twists and turns, splits and stoopid, but while street mobilisations have ceased since early 2017, it continues to pump out propaganda on Facebook, with former UPF star Scott Moerland being one of the more active voices.

Restore Australia

Another one-man band, Restore Australia was the political vehicle of Queensland-based anti-Muslim activist Mike Holt. Holt/Restore Australia is part of a shifting network of anti-Muslim activists, largely active online on sites like Facebook.

April 2019 : Holt continues being a right-wing blabbermouth, only now wearing a hat called ‘Citizens Initiated Referendums Now’ AKA ‘Foundation for National Renewal’ AKA ‘Advance Australia HQ Pty Ltd’ (2017–). He played a leading role in providing direction to a short-lived Australian version of the Yellow Vests in early 2019 (which was mostly composed of the sorts of folks who attended Reclaim Australia events in 2015 and expressed similar concerns about immigration and the United Nations). He’s also championed the cause of accused terrorist Phil Galea. According to Holt: Phil Galea, Australian patriot, was arrested and accused of being a terrorist in August 2016 after he followed and filmed ANTIFA terrorist thugs at their headquarters; a ‘TrueBlue Observer’ on his website writes (Why Phil Galea was Arrested, October 25, 2018): One of Phil’s aims was to expose these corrupt people and groups. As part of his work he followed ANTIFA members and filmed their meetings at coffee shops and other places around Melbourne. He also recorded every encounter between the Andrew’s Socialist Government and ANTIFA…the same people who constantly turn up at any patriot rally to bash them up as the police look on without arresting them. Holt is batshit, but mostly harmless.

Right Wing Resistance (Australia) (RWRAU)

With origins in Aotearoa/New Zealand, the Australian branch of RWR has a very patchy record, assembling a mere handful of neo-Nazi skinheads under its banner; Kyle Chapman, a veteran neo-Nazi activist, was RWRNZ’s fuehrer until his resignation in September 2016. Members of RWR in Australia have distributed propaganda and attended a small number of nationalist rallies over the course of 2015–2016, but its only real claim to fame was in September 2016 when its putative 2IC, Ricky White, was arrested and charged with the arson of a church in Taree (NSW). On RWRNZ, see : Deranged but Dangerous- Right Wing extremists in Aotearoa and the dangers they pose., leftwin, December 6, 2015 | Pride & Prejudice – the worried world of white pride, Michael Botur, March 25, 2014.

April 2019 : RWRAU, like RWRNZ, has more-or-less collapsed, though its former members remain active while wearing different-coloured hats. In April 2018, one member, Ethan Tilling, starred in an ABC report concerning him playing with guns in Ukraine (see : From Neo-Nazi to militant: The foreign fighters in Ukraine who Australia’s laws won’t stop, Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Suzanne Dredge, and Michael Workman, ABC Investigations, May 7, 2018). Bizarrely, in a court decision handed down late last year inre Ricky White, I was accused of being Mister White, and my blog a principal platform for RWR propaganda. See : Right Wing Resistance, Ricky White, & slackbastard (December 20, 2018).

Rise Up Australia Party (RUAP)

RUAP is the political vehicle of Christian fundamentalist Pastor Danny Nalliah (‘Catch the Fire Ministeries’), a man who is perhaps best known for blaming the Victorian bushfires of 2009 on the state government’s decision to decriminalise abortion. In 2015, RUAP entered into a loose alliance first with RA and then the UPF, the Christian fundamentalists happily joining neo-Nazis on stage to promote hatred of Muslims and refugees. Other than Nalliah, deputy leader and Casey councillor Rosalie Crestani has been very active in promoting bigotry (see : Rosalie Crestani really is deplorable, Kieran’s Review, November 28, 2016). April 2019 : RUAP’s ambitions to establish itself on a national level received a blow when, in January 2017, CTF was stripped of its ‘charity’ status, but Crestani is now deputy mayor for Casey, and the council has been effective in preventing the construction of a mosque in the area (see : Expired permit leaves mosque plans in City of Casey on hold, Rachel Eddie, The New Daily, January 21, 2019).

Soldiers of Odin (SOO)

Founded by Finnish neo-Nazi activist Mika Ranta in late 2015, the Soldiers of Odin formed a branch in Melbourne in early 2016 and the organisation claims support in a number of other cities, though none seem to be especially active. Its President is Jason Moore, a former activist with the PDLA. See also : Who are the Soldiers of Odin?, Kieran’s Review, October 10, 2016. April 2019 : SOO has been an active presence at various patriotik rallies in Melbourne since 2016, including the Anning rally in St Kilda in January this year, but does not seem to have grown much, and is currently simply one of hundreds of Facebook propaganda outlets. (One of its members, Garry Mattsson, got a slap on the wrist after being found guilty of being naughty at the Milo stoopid in December 2017.)

Southern Cross Hammerskins (SCHS)

SCHS is the Australian franchise of neo-Nazi skinhead gang the Hammerskins. It was introduced into Australia 20+ years ago via Scott McGuinness, the lead singer in neo-Nazi band Fortress, which has recently reformed to record a new album and tour Australia and Europe. The Hammerskins last came to world attention when in 2012 one of its members, Wade Michael Page, shot dead six worshippers at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. The SCHS organises several social events a year. April 2019 : SCHS keeps on keeping on.

Southern Cross Soldiers (SCS)

A short-lived yoof gang from Melbourne which came to public attention following the police killing of Tyler Cassidy in 2008. The name of the group was re-invoked by Shermon Burgess in 2015 as a supporter of the UPF but as of December 2016 it remains deaded.

Squadron 88 (S88)

S88 was a tiny neo-Nazi group based in Sydney. Its titular head was Ross ‘The Skull’ May, an ageing bonehead and one of Dr Jim Saleam’s closest allies. S88 organised a protest against the construction of a mosque in Penrith and obtained some small media traction via stuffing letterboxes in Sydney with badly-composed anti-Semitic tracts. April 2019 : While S88 remains — alongside their hero Mister Hitler — in the grave, its fuehrer Mark McDonald has re-invented himself as a key organiser with TLS in Sydney.

True Blue Crew (TBC)

The True Blue Crew formed during late 2015 and early 2016, largely in response to anti-Muslim campaigns in Bendigo and Melton. Building upon pre-existing social networks, the TBC made its formal debut in Coburg in May 2016, where it attempted but failed to disrupt an ‘anti-racist’ rally. It organised two further rallies — a flag-waving event in Melbourne in June and an anti-Muslim rally in Melton in August — but most recently has been subject to internal dissent following the conviction of several of its members for ‘domestic violence’ and allegations of abuse and financial impropriety by its leader, Kane Miller. Its most infamous supporter is alleged ‘terrorist’ Phill Galea. See also : Galea intended to bomb “left wing premises” according to police, Kieran’s Review, November 1, 2016. April 2019 : The TBC has remained active in VIC while also recruiting supporters in NSW, QLD, SA and WA. In 2017, it organised a flagwit parade thru Melbourne, and again in 2018; its NSW chapter organised one in Sydney in 2018, and is planning to march again in 2019. Unfortunately for TBC, its pages have been deleted by Facebook, presumably on account of the expressed support given it by the Christchurch killer. In any event, Tom Tanuki provided this pithy summary of TBC lvl boss Kane Miller — who popped up at Anning’s rally in St Kilda in January in the company of some meathead with an SS helmet — back in 2018:

The TBC were formed after a few of their original core crew got into a scrap with some Antifa kids after a 2015 rally. ‘Never again,’ they said! So, the TBC were originally meant to be a patriot answer to black bloc Anteefa contingents.

Their red letter day came in May 2016, when they took part in an organised attempt to have the far-right march through Coburg. Their brief, televised fights with masked lefties were a big popularity boost for them. TBC started charging membership fees – $20 a week, $10 for ‘casual’ members. At one point, they were earning tens of thousands of dollars in just a few months! The money was being managed by TBC ‘President’ Kane Miller’s partner and her sister and all of that money was going to Kane. He was largely spending it as he liked.

Behind closed doors, the ‘President’ was abusing his partner. He even broke her back. He wasn’t the only woman-bashing TBC member, either – and when photographic evidence of another member’s brutal assault on his wife was made public, Kane avoided the increasing media spotlight on TBC by kicking Mark out. Members knew that decision made Kane a bit of a hypocrite, for the abovementioned reasons… So they started leaving the TBC. Kane’s abused partner finally left him too and the money management side of TBC went down the drain. The things she revealed about the abuse meant even more TBC members left the group – and they took their membership fees with them.

Kane went quiet for a long while, feeling defeated. TBC ‘club meetings’ dwindled after a time to little more than 12 unemployed blokes sitting around sucking cones in Kane’s mum’s living room. But the lure of conning working class Aussies out of their hard-earned wages still called to Kane. So TBC returned somewhat with an Australia Day BBQ in St Kilda (a genius idea he came up with after a sesh watching the new Romper Stomper). And he had some stupid fucking idea to wander around parks with a bunch of other losers looking for Sudanese children to fight. A meeting he held at Tom Sewell’s Cheltenham clubhouse was televised, with Channel 7 airing a description of the TBC’s initiative as being ‘like a Neighbourhood Watch’ – and it seemed to the world like the TBC were back!

It was not like a Neighbourhood Watch. It was just more hare-brained, shard-addled fantasy garbage from a man who was desperate to be given more membership fees to enjoy himself with. He says it’s for a ‘clubhouse’ but it isn’t and it never will be. TBC only have about 5-10 people contributing membership fees and they get most of their cash from merch. It’s not enough. Kane just wants to siphon more money out from poor, angry, confused Aussies.

That money won’t do anything but fund the TBC ‘President’ and his lifestyle. This is a man who gets cash-in-hand from his Muslim boss (serious!) and has membership fees go into his mates’ bank account so child support can’t take it. This is a man with convictions for domestic violence (he was also violent to his last ex, who also dumped him), multiple AVO breaches and firearms charges who won’t pay for his own child. Money given to TBC is fleeced money, and it pays for a shit fucking dude.

See also : Christchurch shooting accused Brenton Tarrant supports Australian far-right figure Blair Cottrell, Alex Mann, Kevin Nguyen and Katherine Gregory, Background Briefing (ABC), March 23, 2019.

United Australian Front (UAF)

The UAF was a new player on the far right bloc in July 2015, bringing together a number of the leading organisers of RA and UPF. Its members were present at the RA rally on April 4 and UPF rally on May 31 in Melbourne sporting UAF merch. The establishment of the UAF was largely the responsibility of UPF member Kris0 Richardson; the UAF was eclipsed by the emergence of the UPF when it formed in early- to mid- 2015. Around mid-2016, the UAF Facebook page re-badged itself as ‘Order 15’ and now promotes neo-Nazism and White supremacism. (Richardson states that he is no longer responsible for the page.)

United Patriots Front (UPF)

Established in April/May 2015, the United Patriots Front emerged as a splinter group within the network of anti-Muslim activists known as ‘Reclaim Australia’, bringing together neo-Nazis, fascists, White supremacists and Christian fundamentalists, and conceiving of itself as the Antipodean expression of various European fascist parties and movements. It organised an unsuccessful rally in Richmond on May 31, 2015 to protest socialism which attracted around 50-70 participants. On June 27 2015, the UPF staged a tiny rally outside ABC HQ in Melbourne to protest Islam and the presence of Zaky Mallah on the previous week’s episode of Q&A. Members present were Troy Bloodstone, Warren Broadhead, Blair Cottrell, Neil Erikson, Kris0 Richardson, Chris Shortis, Thomas Sewell and Linden Watson.

Since then, the UPF has staged a number of other media stunts, harassed left-wing activists and institutions, and organised a number of rallies. While the group’s Facebook page has a relatively large number of likes (as of this date, over 83,000), in terms of its mobilising capacity it seems to have peaked in late 2015, when two anti-Muslim rallies in Bendigo in August and October attracted many hundreds of supporters. In February 2016, the UPF embarked upon a tour of Toowoomba (QLD), Orange (NSW) and Bendigo (VIC) in order to recruit members to its political party, ‘Fortitude’. The tour failed to attract sufficient interest and members and the party remains stillborn.

Subject to many ups and downs over the course of its existence, the UPF in Melbourne is now largely reduced to its neo-Nazi leader, Blair Cottrell, his sidekick, Thomas Sewell, and a small number of hangers-on. It also has a presence in Perth, where Dennis Huts and Kevin Coombes (AKA ‘Elijah Jacobson’) constitute its leadership. Formerly prominent UPF members Shermon Burgess, Neil Erikson and Chris Shortis have all left the organisation, Burgess and Erikson currently constituting the ASR with Shortis joining the Australia First Party in mid-2016. Following a daft publicity stunt in Bendigo in late 2015, in September 2017, Cottrell, Erikson and Shortis were found guilty of inciting hatred for Muslims; Cottrell is appealing the conviction, and returns to the County Court in June for a directions hearing. Note that after his Facebook ban, Cottrell transferred his attention to Twitter, but was removed from the site just a few days before the Christchurch massacre, and has now joined all the other nazis on gab.

*Cottrell is a neo-Nazi who believes in a Jewish conspiracy to control the world, is a Holocaust denialist, has recommended that a copy of Mein Kampf be issued to every Australian school student annually and has a violent criminal record. Cottrell’s political views are documented in Blair Cottrell, rising anti-Islam movement leader, wanted Hitler in the classroom, Michael Bachelard and Luke McMahon, The Sydney Morning Herald, October 17, 2015 and Quotations From Chairman Blair Cottrell (July 27, 2015), while his criminal record is detailed in United Patriots Front leader Blair Cottrell details violent criminal past in video, Geir O’Rourke and Angus Thompson, Herald Sun, June 11, 2016 and Blair Cottrell : ” … and I started getting arrested after I did that.” #Fortitude /// #UnitedPatriotsFront (February 23, 2016).

April 2019 : As noted, the UPF collapsed in mid-2017 after Facebook deleted its page (which had at the time over 120,000 followers), and was replaced by TLS. Cottrell was blessed with a platform by the ABC in September 2016, by SKY in August 2018, and otherwise enjoys a love-hate relationship with mainstream media. See also : A Dialectical Approach to Online Propaganda: Australia’s United Patriots Front, Right-Wing Politics, and Islamic State, Imogen Richards, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Vol.42, Nos.1–2, 2019.

United Nationalists Australia (UNA)

A blog and Facebook page that has taken on the functions of the defunct AAA and WLT (see below) blog and Facebook pages. Closely-aligned to AFP, it features the writings of AFP member and Daily Stormer writer Nathan Sykes (AKA ‘Hamish Patton’) and a handful of others. April 2019 : While UNA maintains a Facebook page, its wordpress blog was deleted after the massacre and Sykes is on trial for allegedly issuing threats over the intarwebs (he’s also declared that UNA will return in some unspecified form at a later date).

*The Unshackled (TU)

The Unshackled is a propaganda outlet for the AltRight and AltLight which over time has increasingly favoured the former. Its chief editor is Tim Wilms, an advocate of inter alia Right Wing Death Squads. The site has included contributions by and offered a platform to various others, including a number drawn from other groups and projects featured here. Established in September 2016, Wilms described TU as being ‘Australia’s leading battlefront against the regressive left, social justice warriors and political correctness’, though that honour could more justifiably be bestowed upon Sky News and Newscorpse. Operating out of an office in Oakleigh South, as Tasman News Media Pty. Ltd. Wilms is also producing merch (as ‘Upright Market’) and offering commercial services (as ‘Box Media Studios’). His political background is with the reactionary, right-wing Liberal Democrats micro-party. Thus in 2014 Wilms was the Victorian state treasurer for the LDP, a candidate for the party in the race for a Senate seat at the 2013 federal election (he and his running mate Peter Whelan scored a total of 363 votes, or 0.01%), and he campaigned for the seat of Dunkley at the 2016 state election, gaining 1,037 votes (1.16%).

When it was first launched, TU was the joint effort of Wilms and Sydney student Sukith Fernando, but unfortunately Fernando was dropped not long after it was revealed he was a Holocaust denialist. Among those to have recently joined Tim on the site is independent filmmaker, AltRight activist and self-described fascist Richard Wolstencroft. Wolstencroft got into some troubles in 2017 for a homophobic diatribe, and temporarily relinquished his role as fuehrer of his ‘Melbourne Underground Film Festival’ (MUFF) as a result. Happily, the yuppies who love MUFF are a forgiving lot, and he was soon back on top. Note that the principal venue for last year’s MUFF also served as the venue for Anning’s meeting in March, the same one at which #eggboy made his sensational appearance.

Volksfront (VF)

VF is (was) another neo-Nazi skinhead organisation, a US import which was active for several years. Its parent body in the US was declared dissolved after the massacre at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin by VF associate Wade Michael Page. Its principal activist is (was) Chris Smith (AAA) and while active VF worked closely with the NR (Welf Herfurth). As of December 2016, VF remains defunct. April 2019 : VF remains deaded, but one of its members, Andrew Wilson, has re-emerged as a staffer with Senator Anning.

White Pride Coalition of Australia (WPCA)

Chiefly of historical interest, the WPCA was established in the early 2000s as a coalition of neo-Nazi and White supremacist groups. It was eventually disbanded but briefly re-emerged in 2014 as a Facebook page before disappearing again. Prominent members include(d) neo-Nazis Peter Campbell (Sydney) and Jim Perren (Brisbane). Both men were responsible for the ‘Whitelaw Towers’ blog.

Women for Aryan Unity (WAU)

In Australia, WAU is a tiny group very closely associated with the SCHS. Recently, it raised funds to support the Azov battalion in the Ukraine, to which many neo-Nazis and other fascists across Europe have been drawn. See also : The Azov movement and the Christchurch terror attack, Late Night Live (ABC), April 8, 2019.

Whitelaw Towers (WLT)

A long-running blog that shut up shop at the beginning of 2016, shortly after wrognly declaring that this blog was authored by a Monash academic, Rob Sparrow. Its two principal authors were Peter Campbell and Jim Perren, later supplemented by the efforts of Nathan Sykes. Campbell died a few years ago while Perren had a brief association with the UPF and Fortitude, helping them to organise a rally in Toowoomba and even being assigned a role by the UPF in Queensland: Perren has since repudiated the UPF.

XYZ

Established in May 2015, XYZ is a website posing as a news organisation and is explicitly pitched against the ABC, which is understood to be a purveyor of ‘Cultural Marxism’. Its contributors are young Tories who share similar concerns with the AltRight and are partisans of ‘Traditionalism’. April 2019 : Since December 2016, XYZ has increasingly gravitated towards the open embrace of antisemitism and white nationalism. Among its principal VIC-based contributors are editor David Hiscox, Ryan Fletcher and Matthew Roebuck (‘Matty Rose’) along with David Hilton (‘Moses Apostaticus’) in QLD. See : Keyboard Warriors of the Australian #AltRight : XYZ & David Hiscox (February 5, 2018) | The Daily Caller has published white supremacists, anti-Semites, and bigots. Here are the ones we know about., Matt Gertz, Media Matters For America, September 8, 2018.

Bonus t o u r s p i e l …

Since December 2016, a number of individuals have attempted to profit from resurgent interest in the far right by way of touring some of its leading foreign propagandists, in particular Milo Yiannopoulos, Gavin McInnes, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (‘Tommy Robinson’), Stefan Molyneux, Lauren Southern and Nigel Farage (September 2018). Promoters have included QLD businessmen Ben & Dan Spiller (AKA AE Media/Future Now Australia), Dave Pellowe (Axiomatic Events) and Damien Costas (Filthy Gorgeous Productions Pty Ltd/Global Media & Entertainment Pty Ltd/Penthouse Australia). The first and likely most profitable tour was that undertaken by Yiannopoulos in December 2017 (Costas), while the Spiller Bros tried and failed on successive occasions to tour not only Yiannopoulos but McInnes, Yaxley-Lennon and Ann Coulter. Pellowe’s tour by Molyneux & Southern (July 2018) was, like others, not without its upsets, but did at least provide an opportunity for members of The Lads Society to gain employment. As of this date, Costas and his various enterprises are in deep legal and financial trouble, having been declared a bankrupt, pursued by ASIC for various alleged irregularities, and seemingly owing money to almost every other person involved in organising and promoting his cavalcade of racist stoopid. In CBD Melbourne (March 26, 2019), Samantha Hutchinson and Kylar Loussikian write:

Readers by now will be well acquainted with Penthouse publisher Damien Costas’ full dance card. He’s fighting bankruptcy proceedings in two states as well as the investigative gaze of ASIC.

But it’s worth mentioning an affidavit filed by publicist Max Markson’s Obelisk Ventures in the Victorian Supreme Court which contains a creditors list that reads like the production schedule from Sky After Dark.

Accounts from February suggest conservative commentator Daisy Cousens is owed $420 by Costas while sex therapist, mens advocate and occasional guest Bettina Arndt is owed almost $4000.

Fellow Sky identity, Quillette editor and so-called ‘Mistress of the intellectual dark web’ Claire Lehmann is also owed $1044.

Markson’s Markson Sparks publicity group is one of the biggest creditors listed, claiming almost $60,000 in unpaid bills.

But it’s not just rabble rousers and right-wingers who have been stiffed of payment.

A swag of Penthouse models, photographers and make-up crew were also left out of pocket, including former Beauty and the Geek star Jordan Finlayson, Maxim model Danie Sommers and specialist nude model Sylph Sia.

Others still owed money in February included Crikey writers Guy Rundle and Ben Hagemann, who was owed almost $3000, while Rundle was waiting on almost $1500.

And spare a thought for self proclaimed “creative rockstar fuelled by sushi and coffee” turned Tabcorp senior social media manager Tristan Brookes-Perrin. He’s owed $3000.

See : antifa notes (march 5, 2019) : Milo Yiannopoulos & other #PellDefenders (March 5, 2019) | On Right-Wing Trolls Touring Australia in 2018 (December 1, 2018).

Posted in Anti-fascism, Broken Windows, Death, History, Media, State / Politics, That's Capitalism!, War on Terror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Facebook, Christchurch & The Internet Hate Machine

>>> Can We Be Saved From Facebook?, Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, April 3, 2018 <<<

    Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
    Zuck: Just ask
    Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
    [Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?
    Zuck: People just submitted it.
    Zuck: I don’t know why.
    Zuck: They “trust me”
    Zuck: Dumb fucks

In response to criticism of the corporation for livestreaming the Christchurch massacre and its function as central hub for the promotion of antisemitic, racist, sexist and white supremacist propaganda, last week Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, published a statement on Instagram (one of Facebook’s numerous other holdings) titled ‘By Working Together, We Can Win Against Hate’ (March 29, 2019).

It’s a rather odd statement, for a number of reasons. But inre this passage in particular, it’s worth noting that:

• While ‘The Lads Society’ & ‘National Front New Zealand’ pages were recently removed;
‘Antipodean Resistance’ never published a page on the site (though its membership is of course active on it);
• The ‘United Patriots Front’ page was deleted almost two years ago (May 2017);
• Neil Erikson’s page ‘Nationalist Uprising’ was also recently unpublished, along with four pages associated with the ‘True Blue Crew’ (NSW, QLD, SA, WA) — presumably on the basis that the Christchurch killer gave props to the TBC, & Erikson is a former member of the UPF (about whom the killer also made complimentary remarks & donated money to in order to support its work) [NB. The TBC QLD page — first published as ‘T.B.C Gold Coast’ on 18 August 2017, then QLD TBC Gold Coast (23 April 2018), then QLD TBC True Blue Crew (5 October 2018) — is up & running @ https :// www . facebook . com / QLD-TBC-True-Blue-Crew-452549338464095; TBC NSW has buggered off to gab];
• Finally, there are any number of associated pages — including but not limited to ‘Australian Meditations’, ‘Cooks Convicts’ & ‘Future Now News’ — that have featured Erikson & others’ ‘hateful’ diatribes, & that happily remain on the platform.

As I see it, these public relations offerings are primarily geared towards mitigating attempts by various jurisdictions to develop & implement laws which, financially & otherwise, would penalise FB for promoting racism & xenophobia, fascism & White supremacy (Facebook was ranked No.76 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by revenue (US$ 55.838 billion)). In any case, there of course hundreds of Facebook pages and groups dedicated to cultivating hatred for Muslims and demanding the criminalisation of Islam in Australia, along with those promoting neo-Nazi, fascist and white supremacist doctrines. Below is a list of 50 that are either dedicated to one or all of the above, or which feature similar materials. Those belonging to MPs are a protected species, but others are theoretically not afforded such protections, and if Sandberg’s policy were implemented would likely be deleted and, as usual, reappear under another guise.

1) Abhorrent Australian Memes did nothing wrong (18 November 2016–)
https://www.facebook.com/Abhorrent-Australian-Memes-did-nothing-wrong-1018690331591700
• Neo-Nazi shitposting.

2) Agenda 21 Australia/COP 2030/Politics (16 October 2013–)
https://www.facebook.com/politicsagenda21
Conspiracist batshit.

3) Advance Australia Where? – AAW? (11 February 2018–)
https://www.facebook.com/Advance-Australia-Where-AAW-2080074542033001

4) Australian Department of Public Education (1 August 2016–)
https://www.facebook.com/Australian-Department-of-Public-Enlightenment-1027177164044370
• Neo-Nazi shitposting.

5) Australian Liberty Alliance (25 March 2014–)
https://www.facebook.com/australianlibertyalliance
• The Islamophobic ALA, a micro-party registered (28 July 2015) with the AEC which recently applied to change its name to ‘Yellow Vest Australia’, is an outgrowth of The Q Society. (One of its admins is based in France.)

6) Australian Meditations (9 May 2018–)
https://www.facebook.com/Australian-Meditations-174182726624687
• A page which promotes Neil Erikson and which is adminned by one of his Melbourne fanboys, Stefan Eracleous, a former treasurer of the Young Liberals @ the University of Melbourne. ‘Club treasurer Stefan Eracleous describe[d] Ms Greer as a ”lying f—ing c-m guzzling slut … and a union member”. ”She doesn’t believe in God. No kids not married … what do you [e]xpect from a melb uni educated former socialist c—,” he wrote. He also refers to London as ”the gay capital of the world” and appears to hit out at Muslims, telling a friend: ”Just be careful of those mussrats. A lot of them are [a] bunch of Third World degenerate c—s.”’ See : Misogynist rants from Young Libs, Henrietta Cook and Farrah Tomazin, The Age, August 10, 2014.

7) A Voice for Men (13 July 2010–)
https://www.facebook.com/A-Voice-for-Men-102001393188684
• ‘Feminism is cancer!’ Its admins are located in Australia (11 people); United States (5 people); United Kingdom (2 people); Brazil (1 person); and Romania (1 person).

8) Aussie Values (3 October 2010–)
https://www.facebook.com/Aussie-Values-158745760819655
• Originally published as ‘One hour per week for the voiceless’, it adopted ‘Aussie Values’ in July 2015. One admin is located in South Africa.

9) Australians against radical Islam (15 January 2015–)
https://www.facebook.com/australiansagainstradicalislam
• Australians against radical Islam (15 January 2015) > Australians against radical Religion (27 February 2016) > Australians against radical Ideologys (29 February 2016) > Australians against radical Islam (1 March 2016). Its admins are located in Australia (5), Kosovo (4) and Serbia (1).

10) Australian Culture & Heritage Community (20 December 2013–)
https://www.facebook.com/Australiancultureandheritage
• One admin is located in South Africa, and it promotes a project called the ‘South African Family Relief Project NPC’.

11) Australians Resistance Network (19 December 2015–)
https://www.facebook.com/Generationidentityaustralia
• Formerly-titled ‘Generation Identity Australia’, and established by Erikson, it adopted the name Australians Resistance Network on 12 February 2016.

12) The Aus-Right (20 April 2017–)
https://www.facebook.com/AusRight

13) Ban The Burqua (6 May 2010–)
https://www.facebook.com/banburqa

14) Bodkin Trenchfoot (11 November 2013–)
https://www.facebook.com/bodkin.trenchfoot

15) CC (Cooks Convicts) (2 August 2018–)
https://www.facebook.com/CooksConvicts
• Another one of Erikson’s platforms.

16) Counter signal memes for anti-degenerate dingoes (1 August 2016–)
https://www.facebook.com/Degeneratedingoes
• Neo-Nazi shitposting.

17) Counter-Signal Memes For Fashy Goys 2 (15 January 2017–)
https://www.facebook.com/MidwestValuesEntertainment
• Neo-Nazi shitposting. (Run by a Yanqui.)

18) The Deplorables – Australia (2 March 2016–)
https://www.facebook.com/The-Deplorables-Australia-466786253507370
United Patriots Front (2 March 2016) > United Patriots Front – Originals (2 March 2016) > The Deplorables – Australia 30 November 2016
• Another one of Erikson’s platforms.

19) Drain the Swamp Australia (20 November 2016–)
https://www.facebook.com/DrainTheSwampAustralia

20) Dr. Pierce’s Resistance Music and Memes (19 June 2017–)
https://www.facebook.com/Dr-Pierces-Resistance-Music-and-Memes-319880881773815
• Another neo-Nazi page, named in honour of Good American neo-Nazi William Pierce. Pierce authored The Turner Diaries (1978), renowned for having inspired another Good American neo-Nazi, terrorist Timothy McVeigh.

21) Fair Crack of the Whip Mate (16 February 2016–)
https://www.facebook.com/FairCrackOfTheWhip
Sandy Turner – Candidate for Blair (16 February 2016) > Fair Crack of the Whip Mate (20 September 2016) > Sandy Turner’s – Fair Crack of the Whip Mate (16 December 2018) > Sandy Turner – Candidate for Blair (9 February 2019).
• Turner ran as an independent candidate for the federal seat of Blair (QLD) in 2016, when he received 1,913 votes (2.2%).

22) Fair Suck Of The Sav, Mate. (1 April 2014–)
https://www.facebook.com/Fair-Suck-Of-The-Sav-Mate-697234260340734

23) Future Now News (25 June 2018–)
https://www.facebook.com/futurenownews
• A project of Queensland businessmen Ben & Dan Spiller, their main page, Future Now Australia, has been deleted. Another page in which Erikson has played a role.

24) Guardians Of Australia (1 August 2014–)
https://www.facebook.com/GUARDAUSTRALIA
• Australian brotherhood (1 August 2014) > Aussie brotherhood II (5 August 2014) > Australian brotherhood 2 (4 November 2015) > Guardians of brotherhood 2 (20 November 2016) > Guardians of Australia (28 November 2016). Oddly enough, 3 of the admins for the page are located in Israel.

25) Hon Charles Smith MLC (25 January 2017–)
https://www.facebook.com/smithMLC
• The page of Western Australian One Nation politician Charles Smith, publishing precisely what you’d expect it to. ‘A Facebook account in the name of Western Australian One Nation politician Charles Smith posted and then deleted a video of Smith telling ABC boss Michelle Guthrie to “go back to Singapore”, before claiming the national broadcaster is communist.’ See : One Nation Politician Tells Head Of ABC To “Go Back To Singapore”, Brad Esposito, Buzzfeed, October 10, 2017.

26) Kim Vuga Love Australia or Leave Party (25 July 2015–)
https://www.facebook.com/KimVugaLoveAustraliaorLeaveParty
LAOL is a micro-party registered (16 October 2016) with the AEC. Vuga became a micro-celebrity on the right courtesy of SBS.

27) Make Australia Grouse Again 3 (23 July 2018–)
https://www.facebook.com/makeaustraliagrouseagain3
• Neo-Nazi shitposting.

28) Malcolm Roberts (2 May 2016–)
https://www.facebook.com/malcolmrobertsonenation
• Roberts is a former Australian Senator for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party.

29) Nationalist Alternative Australia (26 June 2014–)
https://www.facebook.com/Nationalist-Alternative-Australia-611198792321370
• NAlt is a Melbourne based neo-Nazi groupuscule.

30) No sharia law – Never ever give up Australia (30 August 2014–)
https://www.facebook.com/neverevergiveupkeepgoingnow
Never Give Up (30 August 2014) > Never Ever Give Up Australia (10 September 2014) > Never Ever Give Up Australia – say no to Sharia Law (28 September 2014) > No sharia law – Never give up Australia (1 October 2014) > No sharia law – Never ever give up Australia (1 October 2014). One admin is based in Israel.

31) Patriotic Musings (2 August 2017–)
https://www.facebook.com/Patriotic-Musings-1838108002872482
Straight Talking Australian (2 August 2017) > Patriotic Musings (11 November 2017)

32) PDLA Patriots Defence League – Australia (30 March 2014–)
https://www.facebook.com/PDLA-Patriots-Defence-League-Australia-237357993132774
• One of numerous PDLA pages. The PDLA emerged as a splinter from the Australian Defence League, itself an Australian version of the English Defence League, and memorably once claimed to be a women’s right organisation. See : Anti-Islam group deregistered for masquerading as domestic violence group, Bianca Hall, The Age, July 2, 2015. One admin is based in the UK.

33) Political Posting Mumma (18 August 2016–)
https://www.facebook.com/politicalpostingmumma
Insightfulmama (18 August 2016) > Politicalpostingmumma (9 April 2017) > Political Posting Mumma (1 April 2018)
• A page run by Liberal Party delegate Marijke Rancie. See : ‘Political posting mumma’ who attacked Safe Schools warned over Facebook page, Simone Fox Koob & Adam Carey, The Age, November 19, 2018 | Victorian Liberal member faces expulsion over ‘moronic Mormons’ post on social media, Richard Willingham, ABC, May 11, 2018 | Who’s behind the Safe School videos? The concerned mums’ political connections, Farrah Tomazin and Henrietta Cook, August 12, 2017.

34) Proud Aussies Against Halal (10 February 2015–)
https://www.facebook.com/proudaussiesagainsthalal

35) Royal Australian Infidel (30 April 2014–)
https://www.facebook.com/rainfidel
RAInfidel (30 April 2014) > Royal Australian Infidel (8 May 2014)
• RAInfidel specialises in selling anti-Muslim merch. In August 2016, veterans’ organisation Legacy announced it would no longer accept a proportion of the profits the business had donated to it. At the time it was reported in the Herald Sun that the page had suggested nuclear weapons could be a solution to Islamic terrorism. Another T-shirt design says “if your religion is worth killing for please start with yourself.” See : Detention centre guards suspended over social media posts, Joshua Robertson, The Guardian, April 14, 2015.

36) Reclaim Australia Rally (5 January 2015–)
https://www.facebook.com/reclaimau
Reclaim Australia Rally – Sydney CBD (5 January 2015) > Reclaim Australia Inc.- Sydney (17 February 2016) > Reclaim Australia.- Sydney (4 March 2016) > Reclaim Australia-Original Reclaim NSW (13 March 2016) > Reclaim Australia Rally (14 October 2016)
• The central page for the organisation of anti-Muslim protests in 2015, Reclaim gave birth to the UPF and provides a forum for UPF member Scott Moerland to publish diatribes about Muslims.
37) Reclaim Australia Rally – Esperance (17 January 2015–)
https://www.facebook.com/reclaimwesternaustralia
38) Reclaim Australia Rally – Western Australia (5 January 2015–)
https://www.facebook.com/ReclaimAustraliaWA
Reclaim Australia Rally – Perth (5 January 2015) > Reclaim Australia Rally – Western Australia (12 September 2016)

39) Senator David Leyonhjelm (9 September 2013–)
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorDavidLeyonhjelm
David Leyonhjelm – Liberal Democrats Senator NSW (9 September 2013) > Senator David Leyonhjelm (3 January 2017) > David Leyonhjelm, Lead Candidate for Liberal Democrats NSW (1 March 2019)
• A proprietarian in Parliament. See : Australian senator Leyonhjelm criticised for ‘sexist slurs’, BBC, July 2, 2018.

40) Senator Fraser Anning (8 December 2017–)
https://www.facebook.com/senatorfraseranning
• A white nationalist politician who enjoys consorting with neo-Nazis, including members of The Lads Society and the UPF, the Senator notoriously called for a ‘Final Solution’ to ‘The Immigration Problem’ in his maiden speech to federal parliament in August 2018. Regarded by many white nationalists and neo-Nazis as /Our Guy/ in parliament. See also : Fraser Anning staffer and alleged Nazi enthusiast employed by Home Affairs, Nicole Hasham, The Sydney Morning Herald, March 22, 2019.

41) Soldiers Of Odin Australia. Main Page & Melbourne Division (28 February 2016–)
https://www.facebook.com/soomelbau
Soldiers Of Odin Melbourne, Australia (28 February 2016) > Soldiers Of Odin Australia. Main Page & Melbourne Division (12 October 2016)
• Founded in 2015 by Finnish neo-Nazi Mika Ranta, SOO has since spread around the world. One local member was recently convicted of assault.

42) Stand Up For Australia- Canberra (29 June 2015–)
https://www.facebook.com/pages/biz/Stand-Up-For-Australia-Canberra-809184489177854
Stand up for canberra 2 (19 June 2015) > Stand Up For Australia- Canberra (26 October 2015) > Stand Up For Australia- Canberra (25 March 2016)

43) Stand Up For Australia – National (29 June 2015–)
https://www.facebook.com/Stand-Up-For-Australia-National-1586230658317599

44) STOP SAFE Schools Coalition (10 February 2016–)
https://www.facebook.com/STOPSAFEschools

45) Sydney Sceptics (11 May 2015–)
https://www.facebook.com/SydneySceptics
The Men’s Liberation Front for Truth and Justice. (11 May 2015) > WSU Sceptics society. (23 November 2015) > WSU Sceptics Society. (13 December 2015) > Sceptic Society (3 April 2017) > Sydney Sceptics (5 October 2017)

46) The Unshackled (17 September 2016–)
https://www.facebook.com/TUnshackled
• Oddly, two of the admins for Timmeh! Wilson’s page are located in Kosovo. According to a recent report by the ABC: ‘A network of popular Facebook pages that have built large audiences catering to Australians agitated over hot button issues such as Islam, refugees and political correctness is under the control of trolls and scammers from the Balkans who profit from the outrage they stir up… The Facebook pages have a combined fanbase of 130,000-plus, which has been built up over several years. The oldest and most popular page, “Australians against Sharia”, has been publishing since June 2013. The three other pages are called “Aussie infidels”, “Stop the Mosque in Melbourne” and “Stop all Mosque in Narre Warren” (sic). Narre Warren is a suburb on the south-east outskirts of Melbourne.’ See : Facebook trolls and scammers from Kosovo are manipulating Australian users, Michael Workman and Stephen Hutcheon, ABC, March 16, 2019.

47) Truthies (16 August 2017–)
https://www.facebook.com/TruthophobesCuttingDownEvil
• Truly one of the more entertainingly bathshit of the pages listed here.

48) UNA Media (4 June 2017–)
https://www.facebook.com/UnitedNationalistsAustralia
• An online shitsheet for the white nationalist Australia First Party. Its chief writer, Nathan Sykes, one of Australia’s most prominent far-right extremists, was recently charged with making repeated and explicit violent threats against a Melbourne journalist and lawyer. Another contributor, Chris Shortis, is a former member of the UPF who in September 2017 was found guilty of religious vilification.

49) West Syd Memes (29 June 2017–)
https://www.facebook.com/westsuburbsmemes
Western suburbs intell (29 June 2017) > Western suburbs memes (10 July 2017) > West Syd Memes (23 April 2018)

50) XYZ (24 October 2014–)
https://www.facebook.com/itsyourxyz
• Another AltRight page which promotes antisemitic conspiracy theories and white nationalism and publishes neo-Nazi diatribes. See : Keyboard Warriors of the Australian #AltRight : XYZ & David Hiscox (February 5, 2018).

Facebook has demonstrated its reluctance to comply with the law, and we can’t expect it to sacrifice profit for ethics unless it is required to. Serious and substantial penalties for failure to comply would be an incentive to ensure Facebook and Instagram do what they are currently reluctant to do.

~ Professor Beth Gaze, Co-Director of Studies, Employment and Labour Relations Law, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne, White supremacist terrorism, technology and the law, Pursuit, University of Melbourne, March 27, 2019

Posted in Anti-fascism, Broken Windows, Death, History, Media, State / Politics, That's Capitalism!, War on Terror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

antifa notes (march 20, 2019) : From Christchurch to Canberra

[Update (March 24, 2019) : ABC’s ‘Background Briefing’ has published a report which documents the links the alleged Christchurch killer had with the Australian far right, including the fact that he described prominent neo-Nazi figurehead Blair Cottrell as his ‘Emperor’, and expressed a desire to join Cottrell, his then-group the United Patriots Front, members of the True Blue Crew, Combat 18 and Antipodean Resistance at the June 2016 racist rally in Coburg: “Communists will get what communists get, I would love to be there holding one end of the rope when you get yours traitor,” Tarrant posted. See : Christchurch shooting accused Brenton Tarrant supports Australian far-right figure Blair Cottrell, Alex Mann, Kevin Nguyen and Katherine Gregory, March 23, 2019.

In other news, following the massacre, Nathan Sykes, the notorious neo-Nazi troll, Australia First Party member, The Daily Stormer trollumnist and editor of ‘United Nationalists Australia’ blog got arrest: ‘The decision to arrest and charge Mr Sykes was made by senior NSW police just hours after The Age and Sydney Morning Herald revealed how officers had shelved an investigation’ into threats he made against freelance journalist and lawyer Luke McMahon. See : Police swoop on right-wing troll over alleged violent threats, Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker, The Sydney Morning Herald, March 22, 2019. See also : On Troll Hunting (Ginger Gorman), February 16, 2019.]

I haven’t had time to really process things inre the horrific massacre in Christchurch last week, but insofar as one of its effects has been to focus attention on the far-right in Australia & Aotearoa/New Zealand, I’ve endeavoured to share some of what I understand of the situation on Twitter. My initial reaction, in which I expressed shock but not surprise, is captured by Threadreader here; I examine some of the immediate effects of the massacre upon and provide a few details inre the far-right in Aotearoa/New Zealand here; I also took the opportunity to take a closer look at Senator Fraser ‘Final Solution’ Anning’s antics at his meeting in Moorabbin the day after the slaughter, along with ‘eggboy’, here. Finally, inre David Wroe and Max Koslowski’s article (March 19, 2019) on Australia’s right-wing extremist problem: Are we doing enough?, I provided some supplementary notes regarding the various groups they name here.

Obviously, a lot more could be said on the subject, has and will be. Some of this discussion has been useful and interesting, while other reflections have been far less so. Ghassan Hage’s White entitlement is part of the very structure of Australian society (The Guardian, March 18, 2019) provides useful context, while the ACRAWSA statement ‘For Muslim People’ of yesterday is worthwhile reading. Finally, Jason Wilson’s articles on Do the Christchurch shootings expose the murderous nature of ‘ironic’ online fascism? (March 16), Islamophobia is practically enshrined as public policy in Australia (March 17) & Eco-fascism is undergoing a revival in the fetid culture of the extreme right (March 20) are germane, as are the statements by Tame Iti and Marama Davidson.

See also : The Australian neo-fascists who swim in the same sewer as the Christchurch terrorist, Tom Coburg, The Canary, March 19, 2019.

At present, it seems likely that [T]he Christchurch killer did in fact have some interactions with other far-right figures in Australia at least, but given that investigations are ongoing, presumably those connections, if they exist, will come to light sooner rather than later. There’s also been a whole lot of other stuff going on that I’ve been unable to blog about, but a few highlights include:

• Senator Fraser ‘Final Solution’ Anning has doubled-down in the wake of the massacre, and continued to act like the compleat shitkvnt he is. Fortunately, I expect that his associations with (other) elements of the extreme-right in Australia, which are quite extensive, will also be explored in greater detail sooner rather than later.

• Predictably, the massacre has caused many on the local far-right to do one of two things: do an Anning, or run for cover. Of the former, Anning fanboy Neil Erikson has described the massacre as ‘karma’; others, chiefly (but not always) anonymously, have celebrated it. Among those choosing the second option are those gathered around ‘The Dingoes’ podcast, whose online presence has in the last day or two been scrubbed. This is presumably on the basis that one of the few concrete linkages between the killer and the local AltRight — in particular its resonance with various elements of their online culture — has been through way of the Aussie Shitposter meme, which The Dingoes helped to popularise and which the killer subsequently adopted, both on his Twitter account and on 8chan. See : Alleged mosque shooter’s meme popular with Australian far-right group, Patrick Begley, The Sydney Morning Herald, March 15, 2019. Begley writes that: ‘The Dingoes, who do not reveal their identities, run a podcast called The Convict Report that has in previous years hosted former Labor leader turned One Nation candidate Mark Latham as well as Nationals MP George Christensen.’ But while they may not reveal their identities, their identities have been revealed. See : TheDingoes.xyz /// The Convict Report /// DingoCon (July 8, 2017). And while The Dingoes have attempted to develop a more determined AltRight vernacular for Australian shitposters in particular, it’s also worth recognising their participation in a broader network centred on the US neo-Nazi website and podcast network ‘The Right Stuff’.

See also : Cabinet’s National Security Committee to receive briefing on right-wing extremist risk, SBS (AAP), March 18, 2019 | Only NSW Gov. program preventing far-right extremism had funding cut in 2014, Avani Dias, JJJ’s Hack (ABC), March 20, 2019.

• Another effect of the massacre has been to cause some mild embarrassment to the Australian government. Hence for the last nine months or more, various attempts have been made by local racists to import Milo Yiannopoulos to the country for a speaking tour. Currently, responsibility for the tour has been assumed by Damien Costas and Penthouse Australia. While the Minister, David Coleman, denied a visa to another speaker, Gavin McInnes, late last year, prior to the massacre, against the advice of his Department but following a campaign by Pauline Hanson and Newscorpse, he was happy to issue one to Yiannopoulos. After the massacre, that decision was reversed, and it appears as though the tour, after numerous other delays, will now be cancelled. See : Milo Yiannopoulos promoter Damien Costas on thin ice, Myriam Robin, Australian Financial Review, March 17, 2019 | Sydney porn king bankrupted over unpaid debts, Andrew Hornery, The Sydney Morning Herald, March 20, 2019.

• Finally, last week veteran anti-Muslim agitator Ralph Cerminara (‘Australian Defence League’ / ‘Left Wing Bigots & Extremists Exposed’) was sentenced to a spell in prison for assaulting his neighbour. See : Former leader of far-right movement jailed for foul-mouthed attack on neighbour, Sally Rawsthorne, The Sydney Morning Herald, March 14, 2019.

Notes

The massacre has generated a vast commentary. The following are just some of the items which have caught my eye and which I think are interesting. I may add to the list over time.

hero

After New Zealand Shooting, Far-right, Racists Claim Victimhood, Hail Killer as Hero, Brett Barrouquere, Southern Poverty Law Centre, March 15, 2019
How a Spanish neo-Nazi became an international ‘hero’ of the far right, Juan Diego Quesada & Fernando Peinado, El País, March 26, 2019 (‘Josué Estébanez is considered a cult figure by extremists, including the New Zealand mosque shooter, for killing a left-wing activist on the Madrid subway in 2007.’)

kiwi far right

Along with the New Zealand National Front, another smol neo-Nazi group that has come under some scrutiny in the wake of the Christchurch massacre is the ‘Identitarian’ ‘Dominion Movement’. Its leader is a bloke called Jarrad Randell-Walsh. See also : Austrian far-right activist raided over possible donation from New Zealand shooting suspect, ABC, March 27, 2019.

Spotting the signs of white supremacy in New Zealand, Mava Enoka, Noted, February 21, 2018
The story of White Supremacy, William Ray, Radio New Zealand, March 26, 2019 (‘Since the attack in Christchurch, many people have called for New Zealand to examine its history of white supremacy. In this special episode of Black Sheep, William Ray looks at the origins of this ideology, how it warped and changed over time, and how people have fought against it.’)
The ‘growing’ white nationalist group with a ‘harmful and violent’ ideology, Thomas Manch, stuff, March 26, 2019

memes & manifestos

Shitposting, Inspirational Terrorism, and the Christchurch Mosque Massacre, Robert Evans, bellingcat, March 15, 2019
New Zealand Terrorist Manifesto Influenced by Far-Right Online Ecosystem, Hatewatch Finds, Michael Edison Hayden, SPLC, March 15, 2019
Decoding the racist memes the New Zealand shooter used to communicate, Tess Owen, Vice, March 16, 2019
White supremacism in Australia, long a virulent strain, is amplified by the Internet, Robyn Dixon, The Los Angeles Times, March 17, 2019
‘Replacement Theory,’ a Racist, Sexist Doctrine, Spreads in Far-Right Circles, Nellie Bowles, The New York Times, March 18, 2019
Nazis Have Always Been Trolls, Adam Serwer, The Atlantic, March 21, 2019 (‘They rely on murderous insincerity and the unwillingness of liberal societies to see them for what they are.’)

policing

No mention of right-wing extremist threats in 10 years of GCSB and SIS public docs, Jane Patterson, Radio New Zealand, March 20, 2019
A single police officer in the Bias Crime Unit tasked with monitoring hate crime across NSW, Hagar Cohen and ABC Investigations, ABC’s Background Briefing, March 22, 2019
Social media giants face regulation as publishers, not just postmen, Max Mason, Australian Financial Review, March 22, 2019
Christchurch mosque attack prompts Home Affairs boss to threaten greater scrutiny on white supremacists, Andrew Greene, ABC, March 22, 2019

reflections

Today, we mourn. Tomorrow, we organise., Faisal Al-Asaad, Overland, March 17, 2019
Christchurch attacks are a stark warning of toxic political environment that allows hate to flourish, Greg Barton, ABC, March 17, 2019
In Australia, the terrorist’s homeland, anti-Muslim hatred is rife, Nasya Bahfen, The Spinoff, March 18, 2019
After Christchurch, the political class must stop positioning racism as a democratic demand, Aaron Winter & Aurelien Mondon, Open Democracy, March 20, 2019
Spencer Sunshine on the Implications of the Christchurch Massacre, It’s Going Down, March 20, 2019
Hi everyone, please stop doing some or all of the following things, Ketan Joshi, March 20, 2019
Christchurch terror: How did this happen?, Byron Clark, Daphne Lawless, Tyler West, and Ani White, Fightback, March 21, 2019
White Supremacy in Australia Set the Stage for the Christchurch Massacre, Antony Loewenstein, The Nation, March 21, 2019
Things I’ve Learned About Homegrown Terrorism by Following the Alt-Right, Royce Kurmelovs, Vice, March 22, 2019
Political Correctness — From The Other Side, Bashi Hazard, Meanjin, March 26, 2019

terrorisms

A history of recent attacks linked to white supremacy, Lois Beckett, The Guardian, March 16, 2019
Christchurch: True Blue Aussie Terrorism, Paul Gregoire, Sydney Criminal Lawyers, March 19, 2019
Radical White Terrorism, Intercepted [podcast], March 20, 2019

Statement From The Australian Muslim Community on Christchurch and Islamophobia

See the website (March 25, 2019):

As a community, we are shattered by the recent act of terror in Christchurch.

For years, we have warned against the use of racist and discriminatory language in media and politics. We warned that this creates a culture of fear and hysteria that would inevitably result in exactly this type of attack.

We also acknowledge our brothers and sisters in the Indigenous community who have resisted white supremacist violence on this continent for over two centuries.

We owe it to the victims of this massacre to bear witness to the truth of why they died. Their deaths cannot be used to whitewash the reality of how this occurred.

While our political leaders have expressed sympathy over the deaths of our brothers and sisters, there has been little responsibility taken for their own role in creating a political climate that has demonised the Muslim community for decades.

Sadly, we remember the numerous times the Coalition have used the Muslim community as targets in vicious debates around immigration, multiculturalism and national security.

We remember when Liberal Party Senators lined up to kiss, hug and shake hands with Pauline Hanson – a woman who has referred to Islam as a ‘disease’ – following her openly Islamophobic return speech to Parliament.

We remember when Liberal Party Senators openly congratulated Fraser Anning after his explicit reference to a ‘final solution’ when discussing Muslim immigration.

We remember when Peter Dutton suggested that sections of our community should never have been allowed into this country in the first place.

We remember when elected Liberal Party representatives campaigned to remove Section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act under the guise of protecting ‘free speech.’

We remember when Liberal Party Senators joined One Nation to vote in favour of the white nationalist slogan ‘It’s OK to be white.’

This climate of hostility breeds discrimination, harassment and ultimately violence.

A truly safe society is one where no community should fear that they will be made scapegoats or demonised for the sake of cheap political point-scoring.

If our leaders are truly committed to building a society where our community can live in safety, they must make real assurances that they will not resort to this language of racism and division.

Posted in Anti-fascism, Broken Windows, Death, History, Media, State / Politics, That's Capitalism!, War on Terror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

antifa notes (march 5, 2019) : Milo Yiannopoulos & other #PellDefenders

[Update (March 7, 2019) : As noted below, Damien Costas and Penthouse Australia are touring Milo Yiannopoulos, Gavin McInnes and Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (‘Tommy Robinson’). For various reasons related to visa and financial difficulties, the tour has been postponed on several occasions: it has now been announced that the tour will commence on March 23. But before it does, the apparent decision to deny first McInnes, then Yaxley-Lennon and now Yiannopoulos a visa may yet mean the tour is cancelled. See : Milo Yiannopoulos could be denied Australian visa over unpaid police bill, Naaman Zhou, The Guardian, March 7, 2019. In the meantime, Yaxley-Lennon has embarked upon a campaign of harassment directed at critic Mike Stuchbery. See : Tommy Robinson hammered on my door at 5am and brought a torrent of abuse in his wake – but he won’t shut me up, Mike Stuchbery, The Independent, March 5, 2019.]

See : Guilty: The conviction of Cardinal Pell, 4 Corners, ABC, March 4, 2019.

The conviction last week of Archbishop George Pell on five counts of child sexual abuse of two boys in the 1990s has triggered a number of his supporters. Among those who immediately jumped to his defence are Newscorpse trollumnists Andrew Bolt and Miranda Devine, Catholic academics Frank Brennan and Greg Craven, and Tory politicians Tony Abbott and John HoWARd. According to Bolt (MORE DOUBTS OVER PELL CASE: PAUL KELLY AND GUY RUNDLE, Herald Sun, March 2, 2019):

George Pell’s conviction on child sex abuse has already been questioned by me, Frank Brennan, Greg Craven, John Silvester, George Weigel, Miranda Devine, Peter Wales, senior lawyers, Tess Livingstone and even Guy Rundle.

Surely some of the commentators and activists who have been so savagely celebrating Pell’s fall, and so eager to vilify me for explaining my doubts about the verdict, will pause and ask if something really did go wrong in this case, after all. Can so many people from both sides of the political spectrum really have no reason for doubting – and for risking such hatred to say so?

Er, maybe. But in terms of ‘both sides of the political spectrum’, presumably, this is a reference to Rundle, The Leftist. (Note that Livingstone has written not one but two books on Pell, George Pell: Right from the Start (Duffy & Snellgrove, 2002) — to which Weigel contributed a foreword — and George Pell : Defender of the Faith Down Under (Ignatius Press, 2005).) In Quadrant (The ‘Getting’ of George Pell, February 27, 2019), Geoffrey Luck joins Rundle & Co. to assert that:

The conviction of George Pell demonstrates the power to skew justice of the emotional claptrap surrounding the serious crime of child abuse. Complaints by persons with identity protection appearing decades after supposed events are accepted at face value; the guilt of the accused is presumed, largely as the result of media-induced disgust. The jury’s decision is reduced to a distorted balance of probabilities, with motivation never examined.

Uh-huh. (Note that there’s a series of articles on Quadrant — Catholics, Sex, and Cardinal Pell; The Cloud of Doubt over Pell’s Conviction; The Pell Case: What It Says, Where It’s Going; This Was a Fair Trial?; What Happened to ‘Beyond Reasonable Doubt’? — attacking the conviction as unjust.) In any case, while there’s been a mountain of analysis and commentary, according to various law-talking guys, Pell stands a good chance of successfully appealing his conviction. In the meantime, while maintaining his innocence, he sits in Melbourne Remand Centre, and will be sentenced for his crimes on March 13. See also : We Should Afford George Pell The Assumption Of Innocence Until Proven Guilty By Andrew Bolt, The Shovel, March 5, 2019 | Is George Pell innocent?, Andrew Clark, Australian Financial Review, March 1/2, 2019 | George Pell’s conviction, Alex McKinnon, The Saturday Paper, March 1, 2019 | These public figures are defending convicted child sex abuser George Pell, The New Daily, February 27, 2019 | The moral and intellectual collapse of Australian conservatism, Richard Cooke, The Guardian, January 11, 2019 | 20.4.1 – Appeal Against Conviction – Judicial College of Victoria.

Milo Yiannopoulos

Joining Bolt, Devine, Brennan, Craven, Abbott, HoWARd, Kelly, Silvester, Weigel, Wales, Livingstone and even Guy Rundle among the ranks of the #PellDefenders is Bolt’s #BFF Milo Yiannopoulos. According to Yiannopoulos (For whom the Pell tolls, The Spectator Australia, March 2, 2019), Pell’s conviction is testament to nothing other than the power of the progressive Catholic hierarchy … the so-called “lavender mafia” of powerful left-wing gay bishops in Rome. Contra the fact that Pell was found guilty by a jury after police investigated complaints by his victims and then laid charges in July 2017, for Milo: ‘It’s tough to escape the conclusion that Cardinal Pell’s true crime was being a strident doctrinal and political conservative … this is just another case of a conservative being pelted with retaliatory allegations by a sinful, guilty leftist establishment.’

Ho hum.

Yiannopoulos is, of course, notorious for inter alia making comments endorsing paedophilia, though this is considered irrelevant by his Australian fanbase. Funnily enough, among his thousands of fanboys is Andrew Bolt, who was hired to act as MC at Yiannopoulos’ speaking engagement in Perth in December 2017 and otherwise — along with a number of other Newscorpse properties — did his bit to promote Yiannopoulos’ tour via numerous positive endorsements on his various media platforms. Further, Yiannopoulos, along with Not-So-Proud Boy Gavin McInnes and Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (‘Tommy Robinson’), is meant to be touring Australia again next week, although it seems as if the tour — again organised by Damien Costas and Penthouse Australia — is in some jeopardy, given that none of the three appear to have been granted visas, and McInnes was denied one last year. Naturally, Bolt understands the possibility of his chum Yiannopoulos being denied a visa as constituting a great crime: unlike, say, Pell’s abuse, or Yiannopoulos’ endorsement of paedophilia (see : MILO CAN’T COME, BUT THIS HATEPREACHER CAN?, Herald Sun, March 1, 2019 & elsewhere).

As for the tour, while Costas has been busy selling tickets for months, it’s not been a straightforward affair. Thus, for the benefit of those of you coming in late …

Yiannopoulos was originally going to return to Australia by way of Queensland businessmen (and crank Mormons) Ben and Dan Spiller. Trading as ‘AE Media’, and with the generous assistance of their Mummy & Daddy, in April 2018 the Spiller Bros announced that they were intending to bring back Milo in May, when he would be joined by Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes and serial pest Neil Erikson (and possibly disgraced Sky News presenter Ross Cameron). Almost immediately upon it being announced the tour collapsed in a heap.

Undeterred, in September the Spillers (AKA ‘Future Now Australia’) announced that they’d be touring Fraser ‘Final Solution’ Anning, Ann Coulter, Yaxley-Lennon and Yiannopoulos in November/December. That, too, collapsed in a heap, with Yaxley-Lennon withdrawing and the tour being promoted as ‘Ann & Milo’. Not long after, the organisers announced that this tour too was cancelled, and ticket-holders would instead be issued tickets to see Gavin McInnes. That tour, organised by Damien Costas (Penthouse Australia), would later add Yaxley-Lennon to the bill. Intended to kick-off in December, the tour was delayed until February 2019, then again until March 2019.

Costas has also had to deal with a number of legal difficulties, most of them seemingly arising from the fact that he’s been screwing over his suppliers.

Penthouse publisher and Yiannopoulos tour organiser fights multiple legal battles
Ben Hagemann
Crikey
February 22, 2019

Australian Penthouse publisher Damien Costas will be bankrupted next month unless the pornographer repays personally secured debts amounting to more than $200,000.

On Wednesday, the Federal Circuit Court gave Costas a full calendar month (until March 20) to repay his debts before a bankruptcy petition filed in September 2018 by printers TMA Australia will be finalised.

The petition has since been joined by Southern Colour (Vic) Pty Ltd. and was recently supported by Le Montage — the Sydney restaurant venue where a speaking event in December 2017 featuring the notorious political troll Milo Yiannopoulos sparked protests and violent street clashes requiring heavy police intervention. Costas subsequently refused to pay Victoria Police $50,000 in attendance fees for the Melbourne leg of the same tour.

Costas’ solicitor Daniel Riedstra sought adjournment of the bankruptcy decision until March 13, and argued that his client would be solvent thanks to a loan of $750,000 (expected to clear in late February) as outlined in an affidavit given by Costas on February 18. Crikey sought a copy of this affidavit from Costas’ lawyer but did not hear back by deadline.

“If we’re back on the 13th and things haven’t gone to plan, we’ll be in a very difficult position,” Reidstra told the court, after explaining that bankrupting Costas would have negative flow-on effects to his various companies and employees.

Of the promised refinancing deal, Crikey understands Costas’ affidavit earmarked $400,000 for the development of a restaurant (to be named “Guccione’s” in honour of the founder of Penthouse magazine, Bob Guccione), which will be built in the ground floor of the Darlinghurst offices where Australian Penthouse is published, despite resistance from locals who petitioned the local council to refuse the development approval for a licenced venue.

Costas’ debts include $175,000 for printing services, which he personally secured with applicant and first creditor TMA Australia, according to the company’s managing director, Anthony Karam.

“He signed a personal guarantee when he applied for credit with our organisation. Penthouse went into administration, and we then proceeded to pursue the debt from him personally,” Karam explained to Crikey.

“But the day before the court hearing he showed up and agreed to make full restitution, full payment, with interest, costs, and suchlike.

“He said he needed a payment plan, which we provided him with … to prevent further trouble. I mean, obviously sometimes you try to help people; you don’t want to be cruel, so we gave him a payment plan over three months. After that he just didn’t make the payment threshold, so we moved to a summary judgement to bankrupt him.”

It’s been a busy week for Costas, who appeared at the Downing Centre on Monday to sue Le Montage for a security bond worth $30,000, in the case of Filthy Gorgeous Productions Pty Ltd v Le Montage Pty Ltd.

The counsel for Filthy Gorgeous Productions Pty Ltd, Charles Waterstreet did not surface to support his client, who was alone as he informed the court of learning only hours earlier that the infamous defence lawyer had double-booked his morning, and was busy elsewhere conducting “a very important criminal cross-examination” according to a message given to the court.

In evidence at an earlier hearing, Costas said it was a “chaotic scene” when he arrived at the venue for the Yiannopoulos event in December 2017, and that he did not read the contract presented to him on a clipboard by venue manager Dominic Hannah, and as such could not have been aware that this “second” contract contained a new clause, introduced because of Hannah’s apprehension of a growing level of risk involved with hosting the highly controversial event. The clause stipulated that a $30,000 security deposit for potential damages was only refundable “at our discretion”.

Magistrate Megan Greenwood was not satisfied with the plaintiff’s claim of ignorance, exclaiming: “One of these contracts has five paragraphs, and the other has six; they do not even share a common paragraph.”

Instead, Greenwood accepted evidence given by Hannah that he witnessed Costas “run his pen over the document before signing”.

The court found in favour of Le Montage and awarded costs against Costas.

Outside the Downing Centre, Costas had little time to talk as he made a beeline for his next engagement — “a conference with my lawyer for about six hours” — but he did state for the record: “We will be appealing the decision.”

And if that’s not enough litigation for the strongest of entrepreneurial stomachs, the ever-unflappable Costas is also engaged in a legal battle with the Department of Home Affairs, over a decision to deny his visa application for political agitator Gavin McInnes — the estranged founder of VICE magazine who has publicly disavowed his association with an alt-right men’s group of his own conception, “The Proud Boys”. McInnes was booked to speak with anti-Muslim activist Tommy Robinson in a national speaking tour dubbed “The Deplorables”, scheduled for December last year and cancelled only days before ticketholders expected to hear their favourite firebrands speak.

Directions for the bankruptcy petition will be filed on March 15, with the final judgment to be handed down at 11am on Wednesday March 20.

Disclosure: Ben Hagemann is a freelance journalist previously published in Australian Penthouse. He is still owed around $2300 for writing and photography work for the publication.

See also : Milo Yiannopoulos (Penthouse Florida) ~versus~ Damien Costas (Penthouse Australia) (December 11, 2018).

XYZ

In addition to apologias from Bolt and Yiannopoulos, David Hiscox‘s AltRight website XYZ has published an article by Adam Piggott (George Pell and the Australian assault on Christianity, February 27, 2019) which argues that the conviction was a product of a leftist conspiracy (part of a larger war upon Christianity itself), and on that basis should be disregarded: If they can get Pell convicted and jailed on such ridiculous charges then they can get anyone … George Pell was the number three man in the Vatican and a direct threat to the current Pope and his socialist agenda. The charges of pedophilia are beyond ludicrous if one takes the trouble to read the details of the trial. This has been a political and cultural assassination.

While XYZ is apparently happy to defend convicted paedophiles (and therefore Christianity‽), one thing it’s not happy with is The Jew. The attitude of two of its principal contributors, David Hilton (‘Moses Apostaticus’) and Ryan Fletcher, are summarised below:

Note that, along with Yiannopoulos, Hilton was a sometime contributor to Rowan Dean’s Spectator; he’s also one of numerous anti-Semities and white nationalists published by Tucker Carlson’s site The Daily Caller. See : The Daily Caller Has A White Nationalist Problem, Stephen Piggott and Alex Amend, SPLC, August 16, 2017 | The Daily Caller exposed for publishing prolific antisemite; still employs editor with white nationalist ties, SPLC, May 29, 2018 | A Daily Caller Editor Wrote for an ‘Alt-Right’ Website Using a Pseudonym, Rosie Gray, The Atlantic, September 5, 2018 | Why Have So Many Daily Caller Writers Expressed White Supremacist Views?, Bethania Palma and Alex Kasprak, snopes, September 6, 2018. Fletcher’s own contributions to the neo-Nazi cause are more modest, having penned ‘From HEMP to Hitler’ and enlisted Christopher ‘Crying Nazi’ Cantwell to voice it for an audiobook version.

Finally:

• As noted previously, serial pest Neil Erikson has been kicked off Facebook. In other sad news, he’s recently been joined by Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who has had his own page deleted, along with his Instagram; Google and YouTube, however, have still got his back. The mouthy little gobshite is also apparently being sued for defamation (see : Tommy Robinson threatened with libel action over Syrian schoolboy posts, Nazia Parveen, The Guardian, March 3, 2019).

• ‘Tiny’ Avi Yemini is almost certainly Yaxley-Lennon’s loudest fanboy in Australia, the antipodean PayPaltriot having secured sponsorship from US and other radical right-wing networks in order to fly to London and join his hero on-stage at various recent rallies. A candidate for the ‘Australian Liberty Alliance’ (ALA) at last year’s Victorian state election, Yeminem and his running-mate Kaylah Jones between them scored 2,075 votes or 0.48%. It’s unlikely that Tiny will be running for the ALA again, however, as the party has applied to re-brand itself as ‘Yellow Vest Australia’.

APPENDIX

Perhaps the best response to Bolt’s proclamation that Pell is innocent comes from Clare Linane:

An Open Response to Andrew Bolt.

Dear Mr Bolt,

My name is Clare Linane. As you know, I am a Ballarat local who has been living with the aftermath of child sexual abuse for many years. My husband, Peter Blenkiron, is a survivor of clergy abuse at 11 years old. You met him whilst in Rome three years ago.

I am compelled to write to you after you expressed your opinion that George Pell has been falsely convicted (27 & 28 Feb, Herald Sun).

You are entitled to your opinion.

What concerns me, however, is your statement that your opinion is based on “overwhelming evidence”. I believe this is misleading, irresponsible and ignorant. Your lack of genuine insight into the issue of sexual child abuse makes a mockery of survivors and all they have endured.

The “overwhelming evidence” you mention includes some of the following points (*), which I would like to respond to in an attempt to help educate you about this issue:

* “One of the boys, now dead, denied he’d been abused”

To provide context for readers, when the mother of the now deceased victim asked him, more than once, if he had been sexually assaulted – he denied it.

Among survivors of clergy (and non-clergy) childhood sexual abuse, it is common for them to deny the abuse occurred. As vulnerable children, they are incredibly embarrassed, confused, and ashamed. They do not understand what has happened to them, and their shame is magnified by the revered status of their abuser. According to the rigorous Report for the Royal Commission into The Impact of Delayed Reporting on the Prosecution and Outcomes of Child Sexual Abuse Cases [PDF]: “children have also been found to be less likely to disclose and more likely to delay if the perpetrator is a parent or parent figure, or a person in a position of trust and authority”

I asked my own husband about this. Although Brother Edward Dowlan had molested and raped him in 1974, when his parents asked him in 1975 if anything had happened to him, his response was to vehemently deny it. He states, “You deny it because you don’t want them to feel guilty. You don’t want them to carry the guilt of having sent you to this wonderful school, within their wonderful Church … only for you to be abused. So you just deny it, to protect them”.

The piece of important evidence you do fail to point out, is that the deceased victim began using heroin at 14 years of age, after enduring the abuse at 13. He abandoned a scholarship at St Kevins, spiraled into drug abuse, and died of a heroin overdose at 30.

This pathway is sadly all too common for sexual abuse victims.

* “The other (alleged victim) whose identity and testimony remain secret, didn’t speak of it for many years”

According to the same report, “Boys and adolescent males are less likely than their female counterparts to disclose child sexual abuse at the time of the abuse. When they do disclose, they take longer to do so … For example … in a 2008 study … for nearly half the men (45 per cent), it took at least 20 years for them to discuss their abuse”.

Additionally, The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse Final Report (2017) found that the average time it took for men to disclose was 25.7 years. The surviving choirboy disclosed 19 years after his abuse – earlier than average. The other choirboy died 18 years after his abuse, so was also well inside the average.

Given this evidence, the fact that one of the complainants didn’t speak of his abuse for many years is, it would seem, indicative of a genuine abuse survivor; not a reason to doubt, as you imply.

* “It allegedly happened in the sacristy, normally a very busy room”

You state in your article that you are not a Catholic. I am curious to know why you believe the sacristy is normally a very busy room?

I was raised a Catholic, and have asked my extensive network of Catholic friends and family about the sacristy. I’m yet to find one who tells me the sacristy was, or is, ‘normally’ very busy. The adjectives used have included “quiet … weird … uncomfortable … scary … silent … solemn”.

* “where Pell would have known people were almost certain to walk in”

The prospect of discovery did not deter clergy abusers. Children were raped with their parents in the next room. In St Alipius, Ballarat, one child I know of was physically carried away from the playground by Ridsdale and Best, screaming for his life, in front of the other children. At St Patricks College, boys were physically punished at the back of the classroom then molested while the rest of the class faced forward.

To use your words, at any stage all of these abusers would have known “people were almost certain to walk in”. And yet they proceeded. Their revered status as ‘next to God’, and their knowledge that the organisation for which they worked was not about to hold them accountable, meant the risk of discovery was not a deterrent.

* “There is no history or pattern of similar abuse by Pell, unlike with real Church pedophiles such as Gerard Ridsdale”

This point is totally irrelevant to Pell’s guilt or otherwise.

Sexual abuse of children is a crime. You don’t have to do it to (at least) 65 children like Ridsdale; just the once.

Furthermore, it is incorrect. There is a pattern in the allegations about Pell. The fifth count relates to Pell pushing one of the choirboys and grabbing his genitals. The Southwell inquiry in 2002 saw a complainant making an allegation of Pell “getting a good handful” of his genitals in the water at Phillip Island. In that internal Church Inquiry Justice Southwell found that he believed both the complainant and Pell. Similar claims were made by the Eureka Pool complainants, one of whom died, another of whom was to be the complainant in the so-called “swimming pool trial”. That trial was dropped because the evidence of another complainant was ruled inadmissible. The judge did NOT rule out the evidence of the complainant who made the grabbing allegations.

* ”the man I know seems not just incapable of such abuse, but so intelligent and cautious that he would never risk his brilliant career or good name on such a mad assault in such a public place”

I’ve never met George Pell so I cannot give a personal opinion of what he is capable of. Even if I could, it would be totally irrelevant to his likely guilt or innocence and would most certainly not be ‘overwhelming evidence’.

Pedophiles can be otherwise lovely, intelligent, charismatic people. We know from history they include extremely successful politicians, celebrities, judges, teachers, priests … they are from all walks of life and run the whole gamut from stupid to brilliant, charming to repulsive.

* “Maybe they misremembered. Maybe they had the wrong guy”

Please spend some time listening to survivors recount their experiences. You’ll notice that whilst they might be blurry with exact dates and times, the details of the perpetrator they sadly cannot get out of their head. My husband struggles to wear aftershave because Dowlan wore it whilst he abused him. He remembers looking at the shaving nicks on his abuser’s neck as the molestation took place, and the scent of what came to be, to him, the sickening smell of cologne. Another survivor I know gets physically ill when someone smokes Alpine cigarettes around him, because one of his abusers smoked them.

Furthermore, these boys were 13, not 3. Their brain development at that age makes them well and truly capable of facial recognition. George Pell has always had a very distinctive physical presence and had been Archbishop for several months at the time. He was extremely well-known, not just in the cathedral but also in the media and society more generally. The victim in this case is unlikely to have mixed Pell up with another 6 foot 4 archbishop.

* “I would, and did, read the transcripts of the trial”

No Andrew, you may have read a partial transcript. The full transcript is not available to you or any of us. Only the survivor, the police, the lawyers, the judge, the jury and Pell have heard all the evidence. So please stop implying that you know all the facts: you do not, and nor do I.

* “Could this attack have happened when not a single witness corroborated a single one of the accuser’s’ claims?”

Yes, it could. I am yet to meet a survivor who had a witness to the crime committed against them. And yet these crimes occurred.

To conclude, Andrew, I reiterate that you are certainly entitled to your opinion. But please don’t make the irresponsible claim that it is based on “overwhelming evidence”.

This week, I’ve been asked my opinion many, many times. My response?

“Any opinion I have is irrelevant and ill-informed, because I am not privy to all the facts of the case.”

How about everyone stops trying to convince people of Pell’s innocence or guilt; it is not the most important issue here.

We have hundreds, potentially thousands of survivors throughout Australia who have not yet come forward. And when the likes of yourself, and other commentators, use your public profile to cast doubt over the outcome of a trial, you make these people even less likely to come forward and get the assistance they so desperately need.

If you want to support Pell, go and visit him in jail. Help fund his appeal. Take Miranda Devine with you.

In the meantime, here in Ballarat we are going to continue to try to deal with the fact that our suicide rate among males is twice that of Melbourne and 65 percent greater than the Victorian average.

We are going to keep helping women, children, mothers, fathers, and siblings pick up the pieces as their husbands, fathers, sons and brothers prematurely end their lives.

We are going to keep lobbying for the redress scheme that the Royal Commission recommended, so that our survivors get the practical and emotional assistance they need.

We are going to keep trying to figure out how to reverse what has now become a cultural problem whereby males in our community resort to suicide instead of seeking help.

Honestly, the fact that our most senior Catholic has been jailed is the least of our worries right now.

Posted in !nataS, Broken Windows, Death, History, Media, Sex & Sexuality, State / Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell fails in court

The former leader of the now-defunct ‘United Patriots Front’ turned ‘The Lads Society’ organiser, Blair Cottrell, was in court again today …

Far-right leader Blair Cottrell fails in High Court bid
AAP
February 19, 2019

Far-right activist Blair Cottrell has been rejected in his bid to fight for “free speech” in the High Court but will continue his campaign in Victoria’s County Court.

The United Patriots Front leader appeared in the County Court today to appeal his conviction for inciting hatred, contempt and ridicule of Muslims, after making a video beheading a dummy in protest of a Bendigo mosque. Cottrell and supporters Neil Erikson and Christopher Neil Shortis were convicted in September 2017 and fined $2000 each.

Lawyer John Bolton had lodged an application with the High Court, arguing Cottrell had been charged with an “invalid law” under the Australian constitution.

He previously told AAP “free speech” was protected under the constitution, “which protects political discourse”.

However, Mr Bolton told Judge Lisa Hannan on Tuesday the High Court dismissed the application, referring the matter back to the County Court. The lawyer said he would now argue there was “no such class of persons as Muslims” that could be offended by the video, given the variety among the Islamic faith.

“Who is this supposed to have caused people to think bad thoughts about?” he argued, adding he’d call witnesses to examine “what ‘Muslim’ means”. He added a comment about Saudi Arabian beheadings, to which Judge Hannan quickly replied was “not relevant”.

Mr Bolton also asked the judge to hear the “constitutional matter”, requiring her to notify the attorney-general but she said she didn’t have power to determine a constitutional matter.

The prosecution plans to call six witnesses to the trial, including City of Bendigo council workers and police.

“It’s being drawn out deliberately, I think, probably to see how much money we’ve got,” Cottrell told reporters outside court.

“I’m not going to give up.” Cottrell was supported in court by Erikson, who earlier abandoned his appeal bid.

After the hearing, Cottrell tweeted a video telling followers he hadn’t “failed anything”.

“The prosecution has found a law that the County Court can hear that matter — the High Court doesn’t need to, so the constitutional matter has been sent back to County Court for Judge Hannan to hear,” he said.

“I haven’t failed anything. The matter is still active. The law still may be unconstitutional.” The appeal was set down for 10 days from August 8, which Judge Hannan said she thought was too long.

Cottrell next returns to court on June 5 for directions.

See also : Far-right leader fails in High Court bid, Amber Wilson/AAP, news dot com dot au, February 19, 2019 | Far-right activist Blair Cottrell to continue ‘fight for free speech’ after High Court bid rejected, Benjamin Ansell/AAP, 9 News, February 19, 2019.

• As reported here and elsewhere (9 News), serial pest and former UPF flunkey Neil Erikson was also in court to support his former fuehrer — Erikson is due back in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court in May to fight charges of assault, riot and affray.

• Lawyer John Bolton repped Erikson at a previous court hearing in June, at which he successfully argued for an alteration in bail conditions so as to allow Erikson & Co. to do politics ‘n’ that. ABC: ‘A magistrate agreed to vary the men’s bail conditions today to allow them to associate for the “purpose of engaging in lawful political communication or assembling lawfully”. Outside court, Mr Erikson said it was important the group could “meet up and discuss politics” as they planned to register a political party called Cooks Convicts.’ Naturally, the party was never registered, and the name abandoned for another, ‘It’s OK To Be White’, which was also never registered; currently, Erikson is promoting Fraser ‘Final Solution’ Anning’s new party, the ‘Conservative Nationals’. See : Fraser Anning’s Neo-Nazi connections, The White Rose Society, January 11, 2019.

Above (L to R) : John Bolton, Blair Cottrell, Mark McDonald, Oscar Tuckfield. McDonald is the former fuehrer of neo-Nazi groupuscule ‘Squadron 88’ turned The Lads Society organiser in Sydney; on Tuckfield and McDonald, see also : Neo-Nazi infiltration of the Young Nationals in NSW (October 11, 2018).

• In October last year, Bolton organised a very smol ‘International Freedom of Speech’ rally outside Lakemba, which was attended by Cottrell, a smattering of local neo-Nazis, and various other odds & sods, including Rino ‘Bluebeard’ Grgurovic — Grgurovic is due in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on February 26 over assault charges.

• As 9 News notes, Cottrell ‘has been convicted of numerous serious offences including arson and stalking’, along with seven counts of intentionally damaging property, failing to comply with a community-based order, two counts of recklessly causing serious injury, aggravated burglary, property damage, trafficking testosterone, possessing a controlled weapon and breaching court orders. Cottrell, as ‘Bruce’, appeared in a documentary about youth in the maximum-security Youth Unit at Port Phillip Prison in Truganina, in which he describes how he abused steroids, stalked his former partner and her boyfriend, tried to kill him, set fire to their house, and eventually got arrested, convicted, and sent to prison. You can read more about Cottrell’s political views here.

Posted in Anti-fascism, Broken Windows, History, Media, State / Politics, War on Terror | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

On Troll Hunting (Ginger Gorman)

Troll Hunting by Australian journalist Ginger Gorman is a new book which examines the world of online hate and its human fallout. Along with interviews with a small number of trolls and general reflections upon this hateful world, Gorman’s book includes a number of case studies of trolling, some of which are relatively well-known while others not: all make for disturbing reading. While it’s of general relevance, many of the characters and events which populate this world would be especially familiar to (Australian) readers, or at least those who take an interest in such matters: on the one hand, ‘GamerGate’, convicted terrorist Joshua Goldberg, Andrew Auernheimer (AKA ‘weev’) and GNAA; on the other hand, those subject to what Gorman calls ‘predator trolling’, including writer Van Badham and lawyers Josh Bornstein and Mariam Veiszadeh (among others). Gorman’s book is well-written and engaging, and weaves together the author’s own experience of being ‘trolled’ with those of others, along with some examples of ‘troll hunting’ and ‘troll hunters’, the latter category including journalist and lawyer Luke McMahon. As well as being of general interest, the text is of particular interest to me because of the ways in which the ‘world of online hate’ has been ‘weaponized’ by elements of the far right, a theme explored in more detail in the anthology Cyber Racism and Community Resilience: Strategies for Combating Online Race Hate (Palgrave, 2017). At a little over 250 pages long, the text includes endnotes, which are useful, but — rather annoyingly — no index.

Gorman’s book is divided into three parts: ‘Trolls’, ‘Targets’ and ‘Troll hunting’. The first part examines the evolution of online trolling, the emergence of ‘predator trolls’ in particular — which Gorman defines (p.18) as those who set out to do real-life harm — and details the author’s lengthy conversations and interactions with several of its enthusiastic practitioners. In the second part, Gorman provides case studies of predator trolling and investigates the ways in which law enforcement has responded, or more precisely failed to respond, to these activities. Gorman also explores how social media giants like Facebook and Twitter have dealt with trolling and cyberhate generally — which is argued to be less-than-adequate. The third and final part of the book explores how some trolls, including Goldberg, came unstuck. Throughout the text, Gorman reflects upon her journey into this ‘world of online hate’, and how her interactions with the creatures which inhabit it change her understanding of them, their world, and its relationship to broader social and technological trends, especially racism and misogyny and the central place of social media in everyday life.

‘Trolling’ IRL

While the second part reveals varying degrees of incompetency and indifference on the part of tech companies, after documenting the systemic failure of law enforcement to address cyberbullying, Gorman does detect a more hopeful sign (pp.119–120):

Some stories are emerging of more appropriate, and effective, responses to cyberbullying complaints. Take comedian and writer Catherine Deveny. After making controversial comments on Twitter and Facebook about Anzac Day in 2018 — describing it as ‘Bogan Halloween’ and a ‘fetishisation of war and violence’ — she was doxed multiple times. Her home address was posted all over the internet and she received an avalanche of credible rape and death threats. She was the focus of several facebook hate groups. One night, five men in a ute turned up to her house. One of them knocked on her door and videoed himself doing it.

Within forty-eight hours of Deveny’s original comments being posted — and the resultant blow-up of public vitriol — Victorian counter-terrorism police reached out to her. They got her statement and started investigating. Police patrolled outside her house and work events. An investigator from the Office of the Federal eSafety Commissioner also got in touch. In contrast to many who’d gone before her, Deveny received significant and appropriate support. After hearing so many dire stories, it’s great to hear one like this. Wouldn’t it be amazing if all predator-trolling victims could rely on getting this kind of assistance?

LOL.

For what it’s worth, I remember when this incident took place, and at the time made brief reference to it on the blog. In which context, a few things. First, those responsible for paying Deveny a nocturnal visit included right-wing activists Julian de Ross (AKA ‘Hugh Pearson’), Rino ‘Bluebeard’ Grgurovic and Ricky Turner. Secondly, whatever became of the intervention by Victorian counter-terrorism police and the Office of the Federal eSafety Commissioner, the boys carried on as before. Thus one month later, members of the same crew — on this occasion consisting of Paul Exley and Danny Peanna/Parkinson from Sydney, together with the Melbourne-based Grgurovic, Logan Spalding, and their ringleader Neil Erikson — filmed themselves disrupting a church service in Gosford; in June, Erikson, Turner and several others paid another nocturnal visit to a private address, on this occasion that of rival right-wing entrepreneur Dave Pellowe. While it’s unclear if those responsible for attending Deveny’s and Pellowe’s address faced any legal repercussions (it seems not), for his part in the disruption of the church service Erikson at least was later charged under an obscure law making it an offence to ‘obstruct a member of the clergy in the discharge of his or her duties’.

It’s possible, I suppose, to characterise this behaviour as ‘IRL trolling’ — but there’s certainly other interpretations. One critical difference is that, while it may be performed for teh lulz, unlike almost all of the examples of ‘trolling’ Gorman provides in her book, such actions are not really all that anonymous. In fact, while there’s occasionally some effort made to disguise the identities of those responsible, for the most part it’s very public — and by public I mean ‘filmed and then published by/on Facebook’. When de Ross, Grgurovic, Turner & Co. visited Deveny’s home; Exley, Peanna, Grgurovic, Spalding and Erikson disrupted a church service; and Erikson, Turner & Co. visited Pellowe’s home; these actions were undertaken precisely in order to be documented and distributed via Facebook. So too, the numerous other occasions upon which Erikson in particular has undertaken the role of a serial pest, from disrupting council meetings and various left and ‘multicultural’ events to stalking and abusing various public figures he happens to dislike. (Note that Grgurovic is due in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on February 26 over assault charges; Erikson, along with his kameraden Ricky Turner and Richard Whelan, have a date on May 13 over similar.)

All of these acts have been performed publicly and for the benefit of his Facebook audience, the corporation having granted Erikson permission to do so for at least the last four years. Thus, it was only in the space of the last few days that Facebook, for unknown reasons, banned a number of Erikson’s accounts. (It’s possible that the pest may have come unstuck upon announcing the re-launch of the ‘United Patriots Front’ by creating an event page for a February 16 rally at Federation Square — the UPF collapsed after Facebook banned its page in May 2017.) Still, there are hundreds if not thousands of very similar pages on the site, and it remains the critical tool for far-right organising in Australia and elsewhere. (See, for example, Fraser Anning’s Neo-Nazi connections (The White Rose Society, January 11, 2019) and Facebook Fueled Anti-Refugee Attacks in Germany, New Research Suggests (Amanda Taub and Max Fisher, The New York Times, August 21, 2018) for two among innumerable other instances.)

More broadly, while Gorman makes fairly short work of the corporate pablum spewed by Facebook and Twitter concerning their commitment to combating trolling and ‘hate speech’, if Facebook in particular is understood as being a massive private data-collection agency — one which derives a substantial proportion of its profits from selling this information to advertisers (and whoever else can pay for it) — it’s possible to cut through this nonsense fairly easily. Further, like corporations generally, Facebook is able to use the enormous financial and political power at its disposal to ensure the forms of regulation which might inhibit its continued growth and profitability are kept at bay. And while YouTube/Google doesn’t feature in Gorman’s account, its role in promoting racist and fascist propaganda, along with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, rivals that of Facebook, and has long been understood as a key node in the distribution and promotion of race-hate and other forms of hate speech (see, for example, ‘Fiction is outperforming reality’: how YouTube’s algorithm distorts truth, Paul Lewis, The Guardian, February 2, 2018 and ‘Alternative Influence: Broadcasting the Reactionary Right on YouTube’, Rebecca Lewis, Data & Society, September 9, 2018).

In any case, to return to Goldberg and Veiszadeh (pp.218–219):

Towards the end of 2014, [Veiszadeh] publicly voiced her outrage that a Woolworths supermarket in Cairns was selling singlets printed with the Australian flag alongside the tagline,’If you don’t love it, LEAVE’.

Three months after her tweet, the far right anti-Islam group The Australian Defence League posted her tweet to their Facebook page. From there, it was picked up by the alt-right Daily Stormer website. Chillingly, The Daily Stormer post about Veiszadeh, written under the byline Michael Slay, demanded of its thousands of followers: ‘Stormer Troll Army … assemble!’ ‘We need to flood this towelhead subhuman vermin with as much racial and religious abuse as we possibly can,” the spite-filled post reads …’

(Note that a few weeks ago the former ‘President’ of the ADL, Ralph Cerminara, was found ‘guilty of two counts of intimidation and one count of common assault’ after attacking his neighbour in Sydney.)

In addition to being attacked on The Daily Stormer, Veiszadeh’s tweet also triggered a Queensland woman, Jay-Leighsha Bauman, to send Veiszadeh messages calling her a “whore”, a “rag-head” and [telling] her to return to her own “sand dune country” — Bauman was later sentenced to 180 hours of community service for the crime. A few months later, an Ordinary Mum™ and Reclaim Australia supporter was charged with threatening to slit Veiszadeh’s throat. On these and other occasions, it seems the chief fault of those charged was not bothering to anonymise their threats; the fact that Bauman’s threats were reported on by both the BBC and CNN may also have prompted authorities to take a closer look. That said:

Later in 2015, Luke McMahon and Elise Potaka reported in Fairfax newspapers that Michael Slay turned out to be not one person, but two. One of those two men was Joshua Goldberg, whose main trolling preoccupation was preserving freedom of speech. As the troll hunter explained earlier, this was how he ended up choosing targets such as Josh Bornstein.

Nathaniel Jacob Sassoon Sykes

The ‘other’ Michael Slay was of course Jewish neo-Nazi and toy-doll enthusiast Nathaniel Jacob Sassoon Sykes, who was exposed by McMahon in April 2017. Like Goldberg, Sykes contributed scores of articles to The Daily Stormer, inter alia attacking Veiszadeh along with Badham, Bornstein, Dr Tim Soutphommasane and yours truly. Currently, Sykes is the chief writer for the ‘United Nationalists of Australia’ blog, the online shitsheet of the ‘Australia First Party’. In that capacity, Sykes attacks the various enemies of the AFP on the left as well as the right. Sometimes, this creates legal difficulties. Hence, after publishing an article in June 2017 by party leader Dr Jim Saleam which detailed alleged crimes committed by members of rival fascist groupuscule ‘Klub Nation’, in May 2018 legal action against Saleam and the blog was apparently taken by various persons associated with KN. (Member of this radical right-wing network are also implicated in an attempt to infiltrate the Young Nationals in NSW last year.) Beyond this, members of the neo-Nazi ‘Lads Society’ and, more recently, a man called Michael Freshwater, have also been attacked by Sykes on the UNA blog. While Sykes was dismissed by ex-UPF and Lads Society organiser Tom Sewell as a ‘divisive little Jew’, Freshwater, it’s alleged, has been part of a conspiracy to undermine AFP, embracing elements of the Liberal Party as well as neo-Nazis like Mark McDonald, the leader of the Lads Society in Sydney and former leader of neo-Nazi groupuscule ‘Squadron 88’.

Notes

• Joshua Goldberg (as ‘Moon Metropolis’) published a statement on Medium on December 28, 2018 which provides a defence of sorts to his actions: ‘It was always my intention to infiltrate online jihadist spheres so that I could eventually become either a journalist, an FBI agent, or both.’ The statement also refers to … when I got Milo Yiannopoulos to publish that “expose” on Shaun King, I did it purely to see the shitstorm that I knew it would create, not because I actually care in the least about anything involving either Shaun King or Milo Yiannopoulos (both of those people are complete and utter clowns as far as I’m concerned). The article, ‘Did Black Lives Matter Organizer Shaun King Mislead Oprah Winfrey By Pretending To Be Biracial?’ (Breitbart, August 19, 2015), is dissected in this blogpost on Internet Famous Angry Men. Yiannopoulos is of course a very well-known troll who for several years was able to translate his trolling activities into sponsorship by wealthy right-wing reactionaries and sought to acquire more filthy lucre by conducting (semi-)lucrative tours. In fact, Yiannopoulos, along with Gavin McInnes and Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, are supposedly being brought to Australia by Penthouse Australia publisher Damien Costas next month (March 9–14) for a speaking tour. For his part, Costas is currently embroiled in a legal battle with publicist Max Markson regarding alleged unpaid debts; there’s also allegedly been some fisticuffs. See also : Here’s How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled White Nationalism Into The Mainstream, Joseph Bernstein, BuzzFeed, October 5, 2017 (A cache of documents obtained by BuzzFeed News reveals the truth about Steve Bannon’s alt-right “killing machine.”).

• Gorman makes reference (pp.199-200) to a category of trolling known as ‘media fuckery’, and cites US academic Whitney Phillips who defines it as ‘the ability to turn the media against itself … by either amplifying or outright inventing a news item too sensational for media outlets to pass up’. This brought to mind two things. First, a recent example of ‘media fuckery’ in which a fake Facebook page titled ‘Melbourne Antifa’ applauded the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. This later featured in an article in The Daily Mail by Stephen Johnson (‘Melbourne Antifa extremists praise Las Vegas shooter’, October 2, 2017), was fact-checked by FactCheck.Org and Snopes and in May 2018 also triggered a bizarre interaction between myself and a right-wing blogger in the US. Secondly, the phrase immediately brought to mind similar terms such as ‘culture-jamming’ and ‘subvertising’, political practices which pre-date both ‘media fuckery’ and teh intarwebs as a whole. See : How To Make Trouble And Influence People.

• Gorman also makes reference (p.47) to local neo-Nazi activist Blair Cottrell in the context of a discussion regarding ‘hate leaching into the mainstream’ and Cottrell’s appearance as a very special guest on Adam Giles’ show on Sky News in August last year. As noted elsewhere, Cottrell – following an appearance on Sky News – told his 25,000 Twitter followers he might as well have raped presenter Laura Jayes on air because “not only would she have been happier with that but the reaction would’ve been the same”. In which context, a few things: first, while Facebook has banned the UPF and Cottrell, such commentary is considered acceptable by Twitter (to which platform Cotrell shifted after being kicked off Facebook). Secondly, his kamerad Neil Erikson made a similar remark directed at another female journalist, Jodi Lee, in November last year: ‘Jodie [sic] Lee acted like I had raped her on live TV….. She wishes!’ Thirdly, Cottrell has an extensive criminal record, mostly revolving around his stalking of an ex-girlfriend. Finally, Cotrell, Erikson and fellow white nationalist Chris Shortis were convicted in September 2017 of inciting hatred for Muslims; Cottrell is appealing the conviction on the grounds that the Victorian Act under which he was convicted (The Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001) is in fact un-Constitutional, and will be appearing in the County Court in Victoria on February 19.

• While Gorman devotes relatively little space to d0xing, it’s relevant in several instances. In her chapter on weev, ‘A Professional Racist’, for example, Gorman notes (p.232) that weev appeared on a neo-Nazi podcast with Mike Enoch and Christopher ‘Crying Nazi’ Cantwell. Later in the chapter (p.236), Gorman also refers to ‘Azzmador’, who along with Daily Stormer publisher Andrew Anglin wrote a post for the site encouraging their fellow neo-Nazis to attend the murderous ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville in August 2017. As it happens, Mike Enoch is in fact Mike Peinovich, who got d0xxed in January 2017, while ‘Azzmador’ is Robert Warren Ray. (According to a November 2018 report, Ray is currently a fugitive after being charged with a felony allegedly committed at the rally.) As for Cantwell, late last year he voiced an audio version of local neo-Nazi Ryan Fletcher’s tract ‘From HEMP to Hitler’, which has been promoted on David Hiscox’s AltRight website XYZ. See also : The far right, the “White Replacement” myth and the “Race War” brewing, Julie Nathan, ABC (Religion & Ethics), February 12, 2019:

The potential for violence which such online posts portend was graphically demonstrated in the United States in October 2018 by Robert Bowers, who wrote on Gab, a Twitter-like platform which is a haven for extremists and racists, “Screw your optics, I’m going in.” Shortly afterwards, he entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and murdered eleven Jews. Afterwards, Bowers told police that he was motivated by his belief that “the Jews” were “committing genocide to my people.”

Chillingly, these words were echoed by another Gab user, an Australian named Ryan Fletcher, who wrote, “I think its [sic] about time to say ‘f*** your optics I’m going in’.” Fletcher has a dark history of calling for the murder of Jews in Australia and worldwide, and of posting images of Jews being killed, on his Gab account. Fletcher subscribes to the myth: “#White gentiles are waking up to the agenda of #ZOG (which is #WhiteGenocide).” “ZOG” stands for “Zionist Occupied Government,” a term used to insinuate that “the Jews” control the United States and other Western governments. Fletcher also writes articles for XYZ.

• Speaking of neo-Nazis, Gorman notes that inre her own experience of being trolled in 2013 (pp.10–11), Six days after Newton was sentenced in 2013 came the second frightening moment. Don found a photo of our family on the fascist social network Iron March. The now-defunct website carried the slogan ‘Gas the kikes’ on its homepage. Iron March was of course the birthplace of Australian neo-Nazi groupuscule ‘Antipodean Resistance’. Its British cousins, National Action, have been proscribed as a terrorist organisation (see : See Graham Macklin, ”Only Bullets will Stop Us!’: The banning of National Action’, Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol.12, No.6 (2018) [PDF]). See also : Extreme neo-Nazi ‘death cults’ drawing in children as young as 13, report warns, Lizzie Dearden, The Independent, February 17, 2019 (‘Exclusive: Children as young as 13 being drawn into ideologies ‘harder, darker and more committed than ever before’’).

Below : Nathaniel Jacob Sassoon Sykes (Australia First Party/United Nationalists (of) Australia; Jacob Hersant (Antipodean Resistance/The Lads Society):

See also : Online abuse of women in the media, Justine Landis-Hanley, The Saturday Paper, February 16, 2019 | Meet The Woman Giving A New Face To Troll Hunting, Jamila Rizvi, Future Women, February 2019 | The ‘Canary In The Coalmine’ Link Between Terrorism And Trolling, Alex Bruce-Smith, Ten Daily, February 5, 2019 | Internet trolls are not who I thought — they’re even scarier, Ginger Gorman, ABC, February 2, 2019 | Troll hunting: a journey to the dark side, Karen Hardy, The Canberra Times, February 2, 2019 | Twitter, the barbarian country, or how I learned to love the block button, Van Badham, The Guardian, January 31, 2019 | Troll Hunting review: Ginger Gorman goes in search of the online bullies, Jonathan Green, The Sydney Morning Herald, January 18, 2019 | Staring down the trolls: Mute, block or resort to ‘digilantism’?, Ginger Gorman, The Sydney Morning Herald, June 16, 2017 | Cyberhate With Tara Moss, ABC, 2017 | Misogyny Online: A Short (and Brutish) History, Emma A Jane, SAGE (2017) | Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous, Gabriella Coleman, Verso (2014). As well as providing some further detail regarding weev’s activities prior to his going full nazi as an editor for The Daily Stormer, Coleman’s book also contains important background on the various (sub-)cultural contexts from which the ‘predator troll’ emerged. (Note also that, in conversation with weev in August 2010, Coleman writes (p.22): ‘His denunciation of “the repulsive order of the financiers” had the ring of truth, given the recent financial mess their recklessness has engendered, so I found myself, only minutes into my first bona fide conversation with a world famous troll, in agreement with him.’ LOL.)

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#Slackest100

two things:

1) i’ve unpublished the slackbastard facebook page. it will likely return in march. i’m still tweeting & can be reached via blog or email.

2) i’ve created a list of good/bad muzak & called it the #slackest100.

Posted in !nataS, Anarchism, Anti-fascism, Art, Broken Windows, Cats, Death, Film, History, Media, Music, Poetry, Sex & Sexuality, State / Politics, Television, That's Capitalism!, War on Terror | 2 Comments

antifa notes (january 15, 2019) : Fraser ‘Final Solution’ Anning & Simon Hickey, ‘The Nazi Sparky’

Fraser ‘Final Solution’ Anning

Anti-fascist research group ‘The White Rose Society’ has published an exposé on federal Senator Fraser ‘Final Solution’ Anning and his many links to local neo-Nazis and other far-right activists.

See : Fraser Anning’s Neo-Nazi connections.

Included in the exposé is reference to a range of familiar characters, most especially Andrew Wilson (Patriotic Youth League/Volksfront/Klub Nation/Klub Naziya/Public Information Forum).

See also : The Nationals Party express concern over new Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party, Lucas Baird, The Australian Financial Review, January 11, 2019 | Cronulla 2.0? : Racist assembly @ St Kilda Beach, Saturday, January 5, 2019 | Neo-Nazi infiltration of the Young Nationals in NSW, October 11, 2018.

Simon Hickey, ‘The Nazi Sparky’

In February 2017, it was reported that Simon Hickey of ‘Smerff Electrical’ in Brisbane had sponsored leading neo-Nazi website ‘The Daily Stormer’:

A Queensland tradie has emerged as the sole corporate sponsor of one of the world’s most popular neo-Nazi websites, drawing condemnation from a Jewish civil rights organisation.

Simon John Hickey, a Brisbane electrician and airconditioner installer whose business logo appears to feature Pepe the Frog, a meme that has become popular with the alt-right, wearing an SS uniform and standing in front of Auschwitz, wouldn’t answer questions posed by Fairfax Media …

See : The Brisbane tradie sponsoring a prominent neo-Nazi website, Jorge Branco, The Brisbane Times, February 28, 2017.

In November last year, Hickey was fined $10,000 (plus costs) in the Holland Park Magistrates Court in an action brought by the Office of Fair Trading ‘for acting as an unlicensed security equipment installer’. Further:

The court heard Mr Hickey was uncooperative throughout the investigation and repeatedly showed abusive and discriminatory behaviour towards investigators.

In January 2018, the Richlands Magistrates Court convicted and sentenced Mr Hickey to six months’ imprisonment, with the term of imprisonment suspended after serving seven days, for the unlawful stalking of an OFT inspector involved in the investigation of the unlicensed security work.

Yesterday (January 14), in Brisbane, the Fair Work Commission rendered a verdict in the case a former employee of Hickey’s brought against him for unfair dismissal.

Conclusion in relation to compensation

[110] After considering the matters required by s. 392 of the Act, I have decided to award Mr Lamacq the amount of $11,400.00 being twelve weeks’ ordinary wages, to be taxed according to law. The amount is to be paid within 21 days of the date of release of this Decision and an Order to that effect will issue with this Decision.

The ruling makes for interesting reading. Highlights include:

[30] Mr Hickey also tendered a written employment contract said to have been signed by Mr Lamacq on 17 September 2017. Mr Hickey said that he did not remember signing the contract and that the signature on it was not like his signature. The contract makes for interesting reading. In relation to wages it states at 5.1:

“You will be paid Weekly at the rate of $15 per hour. If you are unhappy with your wage, you can fuck off. Nobody is forcing you to work here.”

[36] [Hickey:] … Here’s the number for fair work Australia 13 13 94. Do you know how many calls they get per day? Boo Hoo this cunt fired me and he wasn’t paying me leave loading 12% or some shit. Do you know what these cunts do about it? Nothing unless it’s a company worth prosecuting. They know they’ll get nothing from me and even if they could get me for something what would it be?

Nazis eh?

Bonus! Clive Palmer

Fabulously-wealthy blabbermouth Clive Palmer is continuing to carry on like a pork chop, and aiming to return to the federal parliament this year. To that end, he’s been chucking up billboards ripe for redecoration, spamming text messages and has now launched a mobile gaming app called ‘Clive Palmer, Humble Meme Merchant’. It’s replete with AltRight messaging, and is dissected by Jordan McSwiney in this thread, which is recommended-reading.

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Invasion Day 2019

[UPDATE (January 24, 2019) : Please note that the far-right has declared their intention to attend the official, government-sponsored ‘Australia Day Parade’ in the city on January 26, and to use this as a springboard in order to disrupt the Invasion Day rally and march. The Parade is scheduled to take place from 11.00am to 11:45am along Swanston Street. Participation in the far-right assembly is being organised by the same folks who organised the anti-African rally at St Kilda Beach on January 5, and can reasonably be expected to attract the same crowd. Its chief promoter, Neil Erikson, will be hoping to antagonise participants in the Invasion Day event so as to film it and upload footage to his various Facebook pages, in a similar fashion to his successful attempt to antagonise African youth in St Kilda in the week prior to the St Kilda Beach rally and numerous other publicity stunts. Marshalls are aware of this possibility and it would be a shame if folks helped to gave him the attention he craves. Note also that Erikson will be joined by a number of other AltRight provocateurs who will have similar aims. These three documents contain the faces and names of a number of far-right activists who will likely be joining Erikson on the day, and in my view should be isolated and ignored wherever possible but whose presence it would be worthwhile alerting marshalls to if appropriate: JAN 26 a /// JAN 26 b /// JAN 26 c. *Please note that Kaylene O’Brien has disavowed any association with the True Blue Crew.]

Note : On Sunday, January 20, there will be a Tunnerminnerwait & Maulboyheenner Commemoration, which will be held at the Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner monument at midday at the corner of Victoria & Franklin Streets.

All media inquiries regarding the Melbourne/NarrmBirraranga event should be addressed to Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) : warnarrm [at] gmail [dot] com.

• The Australian Jewish Democratic Society (AJDS) and Jews against fascism have organised a Jewish bloc to participate in the rally. For more deets, pls see their event page: ‘We invite all Jewish people to join us in standing and walking in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on Invasion Day, January 26, in proclaiming that sovereignty has never been ceded, and in celebrating Indigenous resistance, culture, history, and survival.’

• The AntiColonial Asian Alliance – Naarm/Melbourne will also have a presence on the day. ‘We are a group of Asian organisers looking to show visible and loud support for Aboriginal sovereignty and justice this invasion day. We aim to support the incredible ongoing work of Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance – WAR and be accountable to the First Nations communities all around these lands who have never ceded their sovereignty and who face ongoing colonial state violence.’

• No Pride in Detention will also be marching. ‘No Pride in Invasion is the LGBTIQ contingent in the Invasion Day rally and expresses our community’s support for justice for Indigenous people. We invite all queer folks and their friends, families and allies to march in solidarity with our First Peoples. People of colour, Aboriginals and Torres Straight Islanders are especially welcome.’

• There’s a Greek & Balkan bloc too. ‘As Greeks living on stolen land, we acknowledge the sovereignty, culture and country of the Wurundjeri of the Kulin Nation, and all indigenous peoples of this continent. We give our respects to their elders and warriors past, present and emerging. We remember that their sovereignty of this land was never ceded, and that the struggles against colonialism in all its forms is continuing. As a migrant community our histories, cultures and traditions have converged with original communities throughout the short time we’ve existed side by side, and we will stand in solidarity with indigenous peoples on Invasion Day 2019, and welcome all within the Greek community in all it’s variances to march with us.’

• Oh, and a Muslim bloc: ‘We invite all Muslims who are able to join us on the 26th of January and march in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, on whose lands we have the privilege of living …’

• Community radio station 3CR will be bringing youse news & views throughout the day.

• Events are also taking place in:

Belgrave, VIC (2019 Belgrave Survival Day);
Bermagui, NSW (Bermagui Survival Day 2019);
Meanjin/Brisbane;
Canberra;
Darwin;
Devonport;
Hobart;
Perth;
Sydney;
Townsville, QLD;
Tandaya, SA (Tandanya “Survival Day”) &;
Berlin.

See also : January 26: Join the Invasion Day protests and events, Green Left Weekly, January 17, 2019 | This Invasion Day, march for the future, Celeste Liddle, Eureka Street, January 22, 2019.

*I’ll add other events & locations as I become aware of them.*

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Cronulla 2.0? : Racist assembly @ St Kilda Beach, Saturday, January 5, 2019

[Update (January 8, 2019) : Rather than compose another post, I thought I’d update this one with some more infos arising from Saturday’s hate-rally. The first segment concerns police deployment of capsicum spray and use of rubber pellets; the second, the employment by NITV and SBS of neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell on the renovations to their centre at Federation Square in Melbourne.]

Capsicum & Pellets

Among all the media reportage on events at St Kilda on Saturday, one thing that caught my eye was the following (St Kilda beach rally: far-right and anti-racism groups face off in Melbourne, Lisa Martin, The Guardian, January 6, 2019):

In one heated confrontation a rightwing protester broke through police lines and tried to grab a banner from three anti-racism campaigners.

Police sprayed capsicum spray and used rubber pellets before arresting the rightwing protester.

It caught my attention partly on account of what others related to me about the incident. This is their account:

The incident occurred when the anti-racist contingent went out on to the road at Beaconsfield Parade and the fascists were on the embankment leading up to The Esplanade. A few of the fascists started running down the hill and Beaconsfield Parade. At this point, most of the remaining fascists followed them, and the main contingent of the anti-racist rally did as well. This meant that the police followed the main groups (and the fastest-moving parts of those groups) down the road. This left the back of the anti-racist rally completely exposed to both the slower-moving fascists and the ones staying on the embankment.

As there was no police line separating the back end of the rally from the fascists, three anti-racist activists held a banner as a first-line of defence. At this point, a member of the fascist rally approached the three activists holding the banner and tried to rip it out of their hands. The three anti-racists pulled the banner, back but at this point police entered from behind the anti-racists and pepper-sprayed the three of them. As the pepper spray was deployed, the three anti-racist activists and another witness heard at least three loud ‘pops’ in quick succession.

No one was injured from whatever was shot (pepper-ball pellets or rubber pellets) and no-one was marked with dye. However, the OC spray was quite severe. Two women required medical treatment (the pepper spray was mainly levelled against the defensive position of the anti-racists). They were decontaminated on the side of Beaconsfield Parade, initially by other anti-racists, and eventually by paramedics. Those who had just been attacked by the fascists, and then by police, were left exposed as their injuries were treated and as fascists walked past, filmed them, mocked them, and called the women ‘bitches’ and ‘scum’.

We all believe that the police deployed their new weapons, as well as the usual OC spray, and then immediately left the area, without accounting for their behaviour.

Blair Cottrell, NITV, SBS, & Federation Square

According to a source, neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell, in addition to leading the hate-rally in St Kilda on Saturday, has been working as a sub-contractor on the renovations to the building in Federation Square which houses SBS and NITV. As of (very) recently, he’s been re-deployed elsewhere, but was working at the site throughout the Christmas period, in December and January: the precise date on which he commenced working there is unclear.

Cottrell is on the record as advocating the execution of ‘leftist’ media workers. In November 2015, he — along with Neil Erikson, Chris Shortis, Linden Watson and Andrew Wallis — staged a brief occupation of community radio station 3CR. While there, they took notes on staff and stole photographs (and, it seems possible, other d0x).

On that basis, it seems reasonable to conclude that, during the weeks he spent working on site, African, Muslim and Indigenous staff members were potentially exposed to an unsafe work environment. Further, Cottrell has potentially had access to sensitive information; certainly, he’s had the opportunity to put faces to names, acquire detailed knowledge about access to and egress from the building, the comings and goings of particular staff members, and so on.

For the record, nobody much cared about the invasion of 3CR. It’s a small, community-based organisation, targeted on account of my involvement in hosting a radio show there. SBS and NITV, on the other hand, are large media organisations, with many employees and sizable budgets, so it’s possible that Cottrell’s employment there, and seemingly ready-access to its staff and layout, may prompt more serious reflection. At this stage, it remains unclear if the site was a union job, and who exactly was responsible for his employment in the first place. Thus, while members of his extended family run a company called ‘Cottrell Constructions’, via which he’s apparently obtained work, I dunno if this company or some other was contracted to undertake work at Federation Square.

All of which sounds like lines of inquiry that a journalist might like to pursue eh.

[Update (January 7, 2019) : See also : St Kilda rally: A fascist movement can only be kept small if we call it by its name, Jason Wilson, The Guardian, January 7, 2019.]

[I’ve briefly revived the blog in order to write the following. I’m still gonna be taking a break in January, and unpublishing the facebook page. I may add to the post in the next few days as further infos comes to light.]

Aiming to capitalise upon media-driven panic over African youth crime, on Saturday, January 5, serial pest Neil Erikson joined with neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell to organise a racist rally at St Kilda Beach. While estimates vary, and numbers fluctuated during the course of the afternoon, somewhere around 150 people attended their rally, the great majority men and almost all white/’of Anglo appearance’. A larger crowd of perhaps 2-300 attended two anti-racist events on the same strip of beach: one a community picnic, and the other an anti-racist rally organised by the Campaign Against Racism & Fascism (CARF). Both the picnic and rally were scheduled to kick-off at midday, with Erikson and Cottrell’s event due to start at 1pm.

While scheduled to end at 4pm, as it happened the racist rally didn’t last that long and, after perhaps an hour or so of (no-doubt electrifying) speeches — including an address by Senator Fraser ‘Final Solution’ Anning — it abruptly ended. Those who’d assembled then turned their attention to the anti-racist contingent, which by this point had formed one grouping around the picnic, the CARF contingent having marched the very short distance from Catani Arch to join the picnickers. The next hour or two saw various attempts by the racist mob to break the police lines that had formed around the anti-racist contingent. While generally unsuccessful, the mob was free to roam around the police kettle, and continued to harass anti-racists, including when they attempted to leave the area. (For whatever reason, when CARF initially tried (unsuccessfully) to leave the area by crossing Beaconsfield Parade to the Esplanade, the anti-racist assembly was split in half, with the picnickers left behind, and only later being able to leave — either along the Parade, and eventually rejoining CARF — or by another route.)

At various points during this protracted exit from the area, there were brief clashes involving the two sides. In this sense, policing of the event mirrored to some extent that witnessed at the Milo stoopid of December 2017. On that occasion, police were content to allow a small group of fascists to occupy the intersection outside the venue (Melbourne Pavilion) for several hours. On Saturday, the racist mob assembled on Beaconsfield Parade to taunt anti-racists. At one stage, during the (at first) static confrontation between the kettled anti-racists in the park and their loyal opposition (located between it and the road), Some Guy driving a sound system along the Parade paused alongside the racist mob, and two adventurous lads from within the crowd stole a generator from the vehicle. (I understand that they later abandoned the equipment, which was collected by police.) Or as the ABC reported: The conflict spilled onto the road when far-right demonstrators attacked a car which was carrying a loudspeaker broadcasting “Sudanese are welcome, racists are not”.

As the afternoon progressed, there were multiple opportunities for clashes between the two sides, and I’m mildly surprised nobody was seriously injured in these encounters: police reported just three arrests, possibly including that of Rino ‘Bluebeard’ Grgurovic (above). As media have noted, the police presence was massive on the day, with many hundreds mobilised for the occasion, including regular police, uniformed and plainclothes, dog and horse, PORT, undercover, community liaison and specialist media. They also had a helicopter — and a boat!

    1) The racists assembled in the area outside Encore Restaurant near the car park. (It’s been reported that Erikson & Co were getting their drink on from relatively early on at the restaurant.)
    2) The general area in which the racist assembly gathered on Beaconsfield Parade.
    3) The brown lines indicate the movements of the racist mob during the course of the day, walking to the rally along the foreshore and trailing anti-racists as they left the picnic area, eventually reaching Luna Park; the blue line is where several hundred onlookers gawped at the spectacle from the Esplanade.
    4) CARF assembly point.
    5) Community picnic.

In terms of who attended, many were known faces and/or drawn from the various groups which have sprung up in Melbourne in the last few years. So Cottrell and Erikson were joined by former United Patriots Front supporters, Kane Miller and the True Blue Crew, Jason Moore and a handful of Soldiers of Odin, half-a-dozen Proud Boys, Tom Sewell and members of The Lads Society from Melbourne and Sydney (and possibly elsewhere), including its Sydney organisers Alex Annenkov and Mark McDonald (the latter of which was the chief organiser of defunct neo-Nazi grouplet ‘Squadron 88’), and so on. Most were not flying colours on the day, however, and most who attended would seem to have been drawn from the wider white nationalist, anti-African and anti-Muslim milieu, the principal platform for which is facebook. Sewell and The Lads arrived a bit late in the piece, and at first appeared to want to march through the anti-racist crowd, but eventually decided not to. Their arrival did, however, appear to be the trigger for the racist rally as a whole to begin to move to surround the anti-racist picnic and attempt to find ways around police lines to attack.

Finally:

• Senator Fraser Anning’s attendance at the racist rally has been noted. Laughably claiming that the nazi contingent was leftists-in-disguise, his trip was, according to the Senator, official business (ie, The Taxpayer footed the bill for his expedition to St Kilda), and in solidarity with the Vietnamese community. One of the fellas pictured above does a very good line in racist rhetoric directed at African-Australians, and promoted the event on facebook by way of terming it ‘Romper Stomper 2.0’, seemingly (and presumably blissfully) unaware that the 1992 film pitted boneheads against Vietnamese-Australian workers.

• One racist meathead in attendance at the rally sported an SS helmet and a Cosmic Psychos tee. The Cosmic Psychos issued a statement in response to the meathead’s use of their merch. Note that the dickhead was pictured in the company of Kane Miller, the lvl boss of the TBC: Miller and the TBC have worked in close collaboration with nazis for several years now.

• The anti-racist and anti-fascist contingent was on the whole poorly-coordinated. At best, this is a good opportunity for those involved to reflect upon what happened, and think about ways in which to improve upon Saturday’s outing. In this context, I’d suggest that, inter alia, a better understanding of the nature of the opposition is required, as is having a very clear idea of what the purpose of attendance is, along with movement within, to and from the event and the area as a whole. In other words, it’s not just a matter of rocking up, but having an exit strategy. That said, there was relatively little time to prepare for the event, it only being announced about a week prior to its occurrence, so there was always going to be some limitations.

• On the whole, I think that the far right had a good day on Saturday. Able to roam about with relative ease, being much more mobile and appearing to be both more able and willing to engage with the enemy, was certainly an advantage. As a result, I’d be very surprised if they don’t take advantage of the relative momentum generated by the event, and will be organising similar events in the near future.

Select media reportage

(January 5, 2019) : Huge Crowds In St Kilda As Police Separate Far-Right And Anti-Racist Groups, Josh Butler, ten daily | St Kilda Beach far-right rally draws hundreds of Melbourne police, rival protesters, Loretta Florance and Jean Edwards, ABC | St Kilda beach rally: far-right and anti-racism groups face off in Melbourne, Lisa Martin, The Guardian | Here’s Senator Fraser Anning Hanging Out With A Bunch Of Far Right Extremists, Tom Clift, Junkee | Arrests and violence as rival protests clash in St Kilda, The New Daily/AAP | Extreme right-wing ‘patriot’ rally in Melbourne: Nazi salutes and scuffles, police on high alert, Shannon Molloy, news dot com dot au | Race Discrimination Commissioner condemns far-right rally in Melbourne, SBS/AAP.

(January 6, 2019) : Scott Morrison Condemns ‘Ugly Racial Protests’ At St Kilda, But Not Fraser Anning, Emma Brancatisano, ten daily | Australian senator attends far-right rally in Melbourne as protesters perform Nazi salutes, Lizzie Dearden, The Independent | Australian PM condemns ‘ugly’ Melbourne rallies involving right-wing extremists, anti-fascists, tvnz/AAP.

(January 7, 2019) : Fraser Anning billed taxpayers thousands to attend two more far-right events, Max Koslowski & Michael Koziol, The Sydney Morning Herald.

(January 8, 2019) : Fascists Rallying over a Fallacy: Nazi Sentiment Seen as Acceptable by Some, Sydney Criminal Lawyers.

See also : Quiet riot: The race to ‘another Cronulla’, Benjamin Millar, medium, January 3, 2019.

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