Yeah Nah Pasaran! #052 w Marc-André Argentino on QAnon & The End of Trump : January 21, 2021

On this week’s episode of Yeah Nah, we talk to Marc-André Argentino [Twitter] about LMNOP Q Anon and the end of the Trump regime.

Marc-André Argentino is a PhD candidate whose research examines how extremist groups leverage technology to create propaganda, recruit members to ideological causes, inspire acts of violence and impact democratic institutions. Marc-André is an associate fellow at the Global Network on Extremism & Technology and an associate researcher at the Centre d’Expertise et de Formation sur les Intégrismes Religieux, les idéologies politiques et la radicalisation et la Radicalisation.

See also : QAnon and the storm of the U.S. Capitol: The offline effect of online conspiracy theories, The Conversation, January 7, 2021 | How susceptible is a university to extremism? (‘Marc-André Argentino, Concordia extremism researcher, discusses the psychology and the dangers of extremist radicalization’), Mzwandile Poncana, The Link, January 17, 2021.

4.30pm, Thursday, January 21, 2021 /// 3CR /// 855AM / streaming live on the 3CR website

• You can listen to the podcast on Apple, Spotify and other platforms.
• We also have a Facebook page for the show, which you’re invited to ‘Like’ and to ‘Follow’.
• I have a Patreon account which youse are also invited to support.

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Aussie Aussie Aussie! Trump! Trump! Trump!

LOL.

Apart from anything else, the idiotic (but also tragic) attempted putsch by Trumpists on January 6 has at least provided space for some reflection on the role of local propaganda networks in spreading lies and disinformation. So too, a moment to more closely examine the various pundits in media and politics who’ve championed Cheet0 during the course of his reign.

On Tuesday, acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack opined that the failed ‘insurrection’/riot was most comparable to the Black Lives Matter movement. Moreover, he also defended his federal colleagues’ sacred right to publish lies and to promote conspiracy theories on Facebook. Thus along with NSW MP Craig Kelly:

Queensland MP Mr Christensen has also been busy posting material on his own Facebook page suggesting the US riots were not really Trump supporters but Marxists dressed up as Trump supporters. “Here’s a video from the Washington, D.C. protest this morning showing a vandal smashing a window of the US Congress. A woman is heard yelling over and over again “They’re Antifa!” and “We need to get them … it’s not us!”

The absurdity of the allegation is of course irrelevant to its intended effect, viz, to project responsibility for criminality on the part of the reactionary law-and-order brigade onto its political opposition. This is a standard discursive practice, and one which finds echoes in the responses to any number of other atrocities, whether recent or dated, both real and imagined. One of the more remarkable instances of this in the context of the Trump Army’s assault upon the Capitol is the claim that anti-fascist writer and researcher Spencer Sunshine is in fact the so-called ‘QAnon shaman’ Jacob Chansley (AKA Jake Angeli). See : I’ve Been Tracking the Far Right for Years. Then Lin Wood ‘Exposed’ Me as the QAnon Shaman, Spencer Sunshine, The Daily Beast, January 12, 2021.

While ripe for parody by cheeky brbs, such material helps justify the insouciance with which political authorities address the question of right-wing terrorism. This is especially the case when a market for it can, with sufficient investment, be manufactured. Hence, with regards this ‘boomerwaffen’ (a ‘pejorative name for the boomers and normies radicalized by cable news and AM radio, likening their potential for rightwing violence to that of Atomwaffen terrorists’):

Creating and maintaining the boomerwaffen universe requires an incredible amount of resources. Trump’s disinformation campaigns are a media spectacle involving a stunning array of political operatives, media pundits, lawyers, and influencers who day-to-day create, publish and share a cascade of lies and speculation across webspaces, cable news and radio all at once.

This alternative media network features an all star cast of Steve Bannon, Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, Rudy Giuliani, Ali Alexander, Roger Stone, One America News, Newsmax, Peter Navarro, Mike Lindell (yes, that’s the My Pillow guy), Nick Fuentes, and Ron Watkins just to name a few. This group spent the last four years building upon the networks and infrastructure of conservative [sic] media in order to serve Trump’s interests. And, it pays off by creating a panoptic enclosure of Trump Media.

For example, millions of Americans believe the storming of the Capitol was orchestrated by antifa because the Washington Times placed a false story on social media during this moment of national crisis, the Republican representative Matt Gaetz repeated the claim on the congressional floor, and other influencers tweeted it. While the Washington Times later corrected the story, it accomplished a political objective: it muddied the waters and shifted blame in the moment.

It’s an example of misinformation-at-scale, where numerous people now believe a false version of events because manipulators employed the tactic of “trading up the chain”, leveraging breaking news to accelerate algorithmic amplification. If antifa did it, how could Trump be at fault?

Social media platforms have incentivized and enabled conspiracy and extremism, but the siege of the Capitol is stark proof that we have entered a new era, long in the making. The platforms facilitated this through years of advertising abuse, extremist organizing, hidden virality of conspiracy and woefully inconsistent application of terms of service.

Along the way, social media continues to be abused by political elites and well-networked influencers. While tech companies have instituted policy changes following the hearings about foreign disinformation and bot networks, and made limited interventions to deal with white supremacists’ hate speech, pornography and conspiracy, it was never to powerful effect. The Capitol insurrectionists were not the alt-right, nor were they driven by foreign bot networks. Social media platforms were used to carry out a grand attempt at election suppression and disenfranchisement of millions by Trump and his allies.

The situation in Australia closely resembles that in the US and for similar reasons (see : Australian conservatives go to extraordinary lengths to deny the reality of rightwing extremism, Jeff Sparrow, The Guardian, January 12, 2021).

In the wake of the failed coup attempt, elements of the local political infrastructure supporting these and other cack-brained schemes have also been discussed in 9Fairfax publications. Convicted spousal abuser and serial pest Avi Yemini gets a guernsey in ‘If we need to shed blood so be it’: COVID-19 restrictions class action lawyer goes off script (Harriet Alexander, The Age, January 12, 2021) while in The Sydney Morning Herald Jenna Price reviews Ustasha fan Craig Kelly’s colossal shitposting efforts on behalf of the Hughes electorate:

As of Monday and since April Fool’s Day 2019, Kelly, who represents the southern Sydney seat of Hughes, has delivered 2130 posts on Facebook, directed at his local electorate. Of those posts, Kristensen recorded, just 16 were strictly about his local community: five scenic shots of his electorate, three notices for the Rural Fire Service, three calls for social distancing, two for flu vaccines, one weather report and one Anzac Day announcement and one delivery of flags to schools. That last one deleted, possibly because there were children in shot …

University of Newcastle researcher Kurt Sengul says Kelly’s posts are typical of far-right actors: conspiratorial, anti-science, anti-expert, evidence-free rhetoric.

“That’s typical of what we see on the far right,” says Sengul.

Specially concocted by channers and other bad-faith actors to suit the delicate tastes of boomerwaffen, Kelly’s online vituperations demonstrate a localised version of the tactic of ‘trading up the chain’ referred to above. This process is perhaps best represented by Sky New Australia’s recruitment of Lauren ‘The Great Replacement’ Southern to provide expert analysis on current affairs, but is also revealed through an examination of other sources of illiberal Liberal ideology. It should also be noted that, while Sky generates fairly desultory viewing figures, as documented by Cameron Wilson, ‘In digital, the right-wing material is 24/7’: How Sky News quietly became Australia’s biggest news channel on social media (Business Insider, November 6, 2020).

In How an anti-mask firebrand fans the right’s flames against Dan Andrews online (The Guardian, January 10, 2021), Anne Davies writes:

The libertarian [sic] anti-mask movement appears also to have gained a hold up north. Smit has been interviewed on Goodsauce News, a rightwing conservative Christian media site established by David Pellowe in July last year. Pellowe, a digital marketing strategist and conservative Christian, has previously worked on state and federal election campaigns for the Liberal National party in Queensland. However, he told the Guardian he had let his membership lapse.

While it’s not referred to in the article, along with being a minor YouTube grifter, Pellowe was also responsible for touring Southern and fellow racist Stefan Molyneux in 2018. Further — in a fact yet to really register in media reportage — ‘conservative Christian’ Pellowe hired neo-Nazis belonging to Tom Sewell’s groupuscule ‘The Lads Society’ to provide security for the Canuckistanian agitators: the Lads later helped spawn the ‘National Socialist Network’. ASIO has seemingly expressed some concern over groups like the NSN — reinforced, perhaps, by Sewell’s attempt to recruit the Christchurch killer (he declined as he was too busy making other plans) and the fact that the killer regarded former Lad Blair Cottrell as his ‘Emperor’.

Of course Pellowe, along with fellow ‘conservative Christian’ Lyle Shelton, has also previously aligned himself with the Australian franchise of the Proud Boys. Happily, the Amerikkkan Proud Boys — having followed instructions to ‘stand back and stand by’ following the Presidential election — were enthusiastic participants in their Daddy’s tantrum last week. Further: ‘The FBI on Tuesday said Washington, D.C., police arrested [Enrique Tarrio] the Miami-based leader of the far-right Proud Boys days before the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol because they had developed information showing he was among those planning to incite violence as Congress voted to certify the presidential election.’

As for Christensen, he once appeared on ‘The Convict Report’, a neo-Nazi podcast established by University of Sydney Young Liberal Clifford Jennings. Jennings later went on to star in the attempted infiltration by neo-Nazis of the New South Wales Young Nationals. Christensen was also chummy with Kane Miller, the founder of the now defunct racist gang the ‘True Blue Crew’, which proved to be a YUGE inspiration to convicted terrorist Phillip Galea in his mAd campaign against ‘Teh Left’ in Melbourne.

By the same token, Craig Kelly has been a repeat guest on Timmeh! ‘Right Wing Death Squad’ Wilms’ blog and YouTube channel ‘The Unhinged’. Sadly, just last month Wilms abandoned ‘The Cuckables’ — his video collaboration with semi-professional anti-semites Matthew Roebuck and David Hiscox of XYZ blog. Word on the virtual street is that Timmeh! didn’t want to get caught in the same police dragnet that has seen XYZ contributor and pathological anti-semite Ryan Fletcher being interviewed by police, presumably with a view to being charged with the criminal offence of serious racial and religious vilification.

In summary, over the last few years there’s developed extensive collaboration between the most reactionary/illiberal Liberal MPs and activists on the one hand and selected groups and individuals on the far-right outside of the party on the other. This mutually-supportive network finds a safe space on Facebook, YouTube and to a lesser extent Twitter, one supplemented by a more outré presence on sites like Gab (AKA Twitter-for-Nazis: Gab being most notorious for helping spawn Robert Bowers, the Tree Of Life mass murderer) and other, smaller platforms. This coalition of forces also manifests on NewsCorpse by way of Sky News, and the milieu — especially in its ostensibly ‘conservative Christian’ dimension — forms a critical base for branch-stacking by the reactionary wing of the Liberals. As such, the successful takeover of the American Republicans by Trump serves as a model for similar manouevres within the ruling Australian Coalition. This fact may explain the tortured defence leading members of the government have launched in response to the attempted putsch. But, moreover, it renders intelligible ‘conservative’ anger over the ways in which the failed coup has, if only temporarily, jeopardised the capacity of the reactionary right to utilise corporate/social media to air grievances about Cancel Culture, Cultural Marxism and Freeze Peach — and thereby to cultivate both an audience and a solid electoral bloc.

See also : The Big Takeover, Jarrod Shanahan, Hard Crackers, January 7, 2021 | Trump Loyalists’ Breach of Capitol Is Likely to Embolden Far Right Street Forces, Spencer Sunshine, Truthout, January 7, 2021 | THE TRUMP PUTSCH, Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group, January 10, 2021 | The Capitol siege was the biggest media spectacle of the Trump era, Joan Donovan, Brian Friedberg and Emily Dreyfuss, The Guardian, January 11, 2021 | “It is Only a Matter of Time Before a More Competent Trump Emerges”: An Interview With Warren Montag, Left Voice, January 11, 2021 |
The Day the Internet Came for Them: Washington Wakes Up to the Dark Reality of Online Disinformation, Nina Jankowicz, Foreign Affairs, January 12, 2021 | Republican Futures, Thomas Meaney, New Left Review (Sidecar), January 13, 2021 | Comments reveal dark underbelly of Australian politics, Osman Faruqi, The Sydney Morning Herald, January 14, 2021.

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Yeah Nah Pasaran! #051 w Becca Lewis on AltRight media & Trump : January 14, 2021

We’re back!

Between our last show for 2020 and our first for 2021, Pete Wells wrote A podcast following the Aussie far right (January 27, 2021): Yeah Nah, Pasaran is a weekly show dedicated to putting fascism and the far right under the microscope. The independent podcast has become a must listen for those wishing to track the organisation of far right movements in Australia.

On this week’s episode of Yeah Nah, we talk to Becca Lewis [Twitter], who researches far-right digital media, is a PhD candidate at Stanford and a research affiliate at The Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life and at Data & Society.

In her capacity as a researcher at D&S, in 2018 Becca wrote Alternative Influence: Broadcasting the Reactionary Right on Youtube, which:

… argues that YouTube’s problem with hate speech stems largely from video collaborations—specifically, collaborations between influencers with big audiences like Joe Rogan and fringe far-right figures of the “Intellectual Dark Web,” whose personal brands are built upon racist, misogynist, and anti-LGBT hate speech. These collaborations benefit both parties, who each get the opportunity to expand their own audiences into the other’s fan base, Lewis argues.

We spoke to her about the Report, developments in the ‘AltRight echo-chamber’ since 2018, and the recent escapades of Trumpists at the Capitol.

4.30pm, Thursday, January 14, 2021 /// 3CR /// 855AM / streaming live on the 3CR website

• You can listen to the podcast on Apple, Spotify and other platforms.
• We also have a Facebook page for the show, which you’re invited to ‘Like’ and to ‘Follow’.
• I have a Patreon account which youse are also invited to support.

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Blogging 2020 : A Summary

For the record, like …

For much of the year, the blog was mostly show notes for Yeah Nah Pasaran!, but I managed to squeeze in a few other bits and pieces. So — also for the record — we spoke to the following during the course of the year:

• Emmi Bevensee • Joan Braune • Shane Burley • Seyward Darby • Zvi Dav • Alex DiBranco • Caterina Froio • Hannah Gais • Emily Gorcenski • Abner Hauge • Patrik Hermansson • Sarah Hightower • Nina Jankowicz • Greta Jasser • Laura Jedeed • Max Kaiser • Anastasia Kanjere • Shalini Kantayya • Annie Kelly • Samantha Kutner • Talia Lavin • Eviane Leidig • Alana Lentin • Graham Macklin • Shannon Foley Martinez • Charlotte Mears • David Neiwert • Roy (Paparoa) • Antti Rautiainen • Stephanie Reist • Matthew Remski • Alexander Reid Ross • Kaz Ross • Shuddhabrata Sengupta • Evan Smith • Jeff Sparrow • Megan Squire • Spencer Sunshine • Emily Tamkin • Tom Tanuki • Elise Thomas • Louie Dean Valencia-Garcia • Kelly Weill • Jason Wilson •

Thanks to our guests and thank you for listening!

January (5)

I kicked off the year by announcing that I gots stickers. In December, I still do, so if you’d like some, drop me a line via slackbastard[at]protonmail[dot]com. I also wrote about a CANCELLED! gig organised by some local nazi metalheads: ‘Sad!’. As for YNP!, it began with an interview with Jeff Sparrow about his book Fascists Among Us: online hate and the Christchurch massacre (Scribe, 2019); you can read a recent review by a member of Aotearoa Workers’ Solidarity Movement here.

February (6)

I wrote about Tsar Vladimir chucking anti-fascists in jail and took a closer look at some of the Australian users of the defunct neo-Nazi website Iron March.

March (6)

In addition to the usual, I published some antifa notes.

April (6)

Five years after they shambolically staggered onto the Australian political stage, I took a moment to ask ‘Reclaim Australia, Five Years Later : Where Are They Now?’. I also paid tribute to the Black Star kolektiv.

May (6)

I republished ‘The Australian Scene’, Jack The Anarchist, Red & Black, No.5, April, 1973 by sadly-departed Sydney anarchist Jack Grancharoff (1925–2016) and also done a Trot Guide update.

June (7)

June was a laddish month, in which I disclosed the location of the nazi groupuscule’s social centre in Rowville and published some further details about its membership. The lease on the property was subsequently CANCELLED! but the boys are eagerly preparing for the upcoming RaHoWa! by carrying on as they always have. I also published some further antifa notes, being an attempt to make notes about antifa.

July (7)

I published an updated version of A Brief Guide To The Australian Far Right, took note of #j25antifa and had another opportunity to yell at Facebook.

August (8)

‘The Base’ got a guernsey this month (not that any body was paying much attention), Cucker Tarlson went full antifa, I wrote a letter to Nick Cave about CANCEL! culture and stuck my nose into Friendly Jordies ~versus~ Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union.

September (7)

In September I wrote about Rehabilitating fascists : Lauren Southern, Sky News & Media Diversity (and how the fascists among us and the Christchurch massacre can be only dimly glimpsed thru the rear-view mirror of NewsCorpse) and examined some of the daft material assembled by the NSW state government and its anti-radikal program Step Together.

October (5)

On a roll, I wrote about Rise2Peace & Step Together to combat ANTIFA!.

November (7)

I made a token, trump-related post and looked at how local nazis progressed From Antipodean Resistance to the National Socialist Network, which included naming Antipodean Resistance’s co-founders as being Matthew Baston and Douglas Paterson.

December (7)

Well, there’s this post, but also some token anarchist notes, more antifa notes and a post about how some local semi-pro anti-semites got cucked.

Finally, I done a coupla interviews this year (for Mont Icons and Where’s My Jetpack?) and published a few things elsewhere, including Galea in prison, Southern on TV: the state of the far right (Overland).

Oh yeah. Like every other schmuck, I gotta Patreon, which you’re welcome to throw money at if you’re so inclined. It contains a few score more posts about All The Things, and because one or three people have requested it, I plan on doing some (more) merch next year.

See also : Blogging 2019 : A Summary (December 27, 2019).

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Yeah Nah Pasaran! #050 w Jason Wilson on 2020 : December 24, 2020

On this week’s episode of Yeah Nah, our final one for 2020, we talk to journalist and semi-regular guest (January, April, June, September) Jason Wilson all about Trump, viruses and 2020.

Jason recently wrote Sky News Australia is increasingly pushing conspiracy theories to a global audience online for The Guardian (December 21, 2020), which inter alia took note of the fact that Lauren ‘The Great Replacement’ Southern has now been fully absorbed into the reactionary Borg of Murdoch’s local version of Fox News.

A fitting, Aussie-style tribute by CEO Paul Whittaker and Sky News management to the victims of the massacre her rhetoric helped inspire.

See also : ‘In digital, the right-wing material is 24/7’: How Sky News quietly became Australia’s biggest news channel on social media, Cam Wilson, Business Insider, November 6, 2020.

4.30pm, Thursday, December 24, 2020 /// 3CR /// 855AM / streaming live on the 3CR website

• You can listen to the podcast on Apple, Spotify and other platforms.
• We also have a Facebook page for the show, which you’re invited to ‘Like’ and to ‘Follow’.
• I have a Patreon account which youse are also invited to support.

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“The Uncuckables” : 0 / ECAJ : 1

Above : Timmeh! Wilms in his Proud Boy Right Wing Death Squads tee. See also : Adriana Rivas: Pinochet-era kidnap suspect ‘eligible for extradition’, BBC, October 29, 2020.

Just a brief post to note that an antisemitic YouTube channel, ‘The Uncuckables’, is closing.

The Uncuckables was the offspring of a marriage between Timmeh! Wilms’ of ‘The Unhinged’ blog and David Hiscox’s ‘XYZ’. It featured a glittering array of AltRight talent over the course of its brief existence, including: bankrupt egghead, former Senator and Tramadol farmer Fraser Anning; YouTube blabbermouth Claudia Benitez (‘Dia Beltran’); ex-BNP now ‘Patriotic Alternative’ neo-Nazi Mark Collett; former UniMelb Liberal yoof Stefan Eracleous; and convicted antisemite Neil Erikson (along with a handful of other, even-more-obscure keyboard rightists).

Why The Uncuckables have gotten cucked is unknown, and the last episode offered no explanation, but the timing of the announcement is interesting. Hence it was just a few weeks ago that Hiscox’s kamerad and frequent XYZ contributor Ryan Fletcher had a yarn with members of the local constabulary. According to Fletcher:

Last month, during the early stages of the U.S. Presidential election turmoil, I received a knock on the door from half a dozen Victorian police officers who executed a search warrant pertaining to the Offence of Serious Religious Vilification and Incitement.

The warrant was served by personnel from the Security Intelligence Unit based in Docklands.

Along with my computers, phone and storage devices being seized police also confiscated my XYZ writing/art portfolios, my Christopher Cantwell signed Ralph Manheim edition of Mein Kampf (which is the same edition available at my local library) and a paperback copy of Trading HEMP for Hitler.

I was arrested, handcuffed, brought in for questioning (which as illustrated resulted in a “no comment” interview) and released shortly thereafter …

It’s unclear if Fletcher will be charged. Indeed, to the best of my knowledge, the only criminal conviction under the relevant Act was obtained by the Christchurch killer’s ‘Emperor’ Blair Cottrell, who got a slap on the wrist for his cack-brained stunt on the behalf of Bendigo locals — and carried on precisely as before. In either case, the intervention has had zero effect upon Fletcher’s calls to murder Jews, which proceed uninterrupted on his Twitter-for-nazis account (and elsewhere).

That said, this was not the first time Fletcher, Hiscox and their fellow ‘jouranlist’ Matthew Roebuck have run into trouble with the forces of (((political correctness))). Late last year, the boys were massively cucked by the ECAJ, and capitulated to those infamous (((Cultural Marxists))) after a complaint was allegedly made with the Australian Human Rights Commission regarding some other antisemitic batshit the boys published.

It remains possible that the other, supplementary reason for the split is because, while Timmeh! remains timid about directly addressing The JQ — which could jeopardise his capacity to have Tory MPs like George ‘The Convict Report’ Christensen and Craig ‘1, 2, 3, Ustasha Are We!’ Kelly agree to appear on his platforms — Hiscox and Roebuck have jumped feet first down the neo-Nazi rabbit-hole.

Also appearing on the final, cucked episode was Proud Boy brawler and Constitutional lawyer Jarrad Searby. You may remember Searby from such stirring headlines as Victorian father arrested at NSW border checkpoint told police ‘COVID is fake’, court hears (‘There was a scuffle outside court following the hearing, with Mr Searby’s wife ramming media with her pram as they left’) and COVID-19 denier Jarrad Searby sought $500,000 for legal battle (‘A COVID-19 denier who sought $500,000 in public donations to fund his legal bills has raised just $50 in three months’). Meanwhile, Daddy Trump has given the Boys in America licence to go knock some sense into critics, and they’ve celebrated by inter alia attacking Black churches in Washington.

Anyway, semi-literate rural gymbros from The School of Hard Knocks are an xclnt source of recruitment for the extreme-right, The University of YouTube can boast a number of high-achieving graduates, and the hate-machine continues to grind on …

See/hear also : What the far right’s been up to, The Signal (ABC), December 16, 2020.

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Yeah Nah Pasaran! #049 w Caterina Froio on Casapound Italia : December 17, 2020

On this week’s episode of Yeah Nah, we talk to Caterina Froio [Twitter], Assistant Professor in Political Science/e-politics at Sciences Po, Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics (CEE), and co-author (with Pietro Castelli Gattinara, Giorgia Bulli and Matteo Albanese) of CasaPound Italia: Contemporary Extreme-Right Politics (Routledge, 2020):

In 2003, the occupation of a state-owned building in Rome led to the emergence of a new extreme-right youth movement: CasaPound Italia (CPI). Its members described themselves as ‘Fascists of the Third Millennium’, and were unabashed about their admiration for Benito Mussolini. Over the next 15 years, they would take to the street, contest national elections, open over a hundred centres across Italy, and capture the attention of the Italian public. While CPI can count only on a few thousands votes, it enjoys disproportionate attention in public debates from the media. So what exactly is CasaPound? How can we explain the high profile achieved by such a nostalgic group with no electoral support?

See also : The appeal of neo-fascism in times of crisis. The experience of CasaPound Italia (May 25, 2014) | Fascists out of our cities! More on Casapound and recent racist murders in Florence, Italy, libcom / Italy Calling, December 15, 2011 | ‘The Proletarian Migrants: Fascism and Italian Anarchists in Australia’, Gianfranco Cresciani, The Australian Quarterly, March, 1979.

4.30pm, Thursday, December 17, 2020 /// 3CR /// 855AM / streaming live on the 3CR website

• You can listen to the podcast on Apple, Spotify and other platforms.
• We also have a Facebook page for the show, which you’re invited to ‘Like’ and to ‘Follow’.
• I have a Patreon account which youse are also invited to support.

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antifa notes (december 11, 2020) : ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Gosh.

It’s been over six months since I last bothered creating some notes. Which, back when, was notes on antifa. The paucity of posts is partly due to some (ongoing) technical issues, but there’s obviously been a fair bit of water under the bridge since, so I won’t bother trying and failing to summarise the last half of 2020. Instead, I’ll refer to some more recent highlights regarding fascism (and ah, its gravediggers).

Lucky Phil

To begin with, old mate Phillip Galea was sentenced to 12 years in prison in November after being found guilty of plotting to blow up the ‘lefties’ at the Melbourne Anarchist Club, Resistance Centre and Victorian Trades Hall Council (see : CDPP v Galea [2020] VSC 750 (20 November 2020)).

Galea made his first appearance on the blog back in November 2015, when he was arrested and charged with weapons offences following the anti-Muslim rally in Melton, one jointly organised by Reclaim Australia and the United Patriots Front (UPF). (The event helped give birth to the True Blue Crew (TBC), of which Galea was a YUGE fan.) Yet it was only after his arrest that I recognised Galea from an earlier, April 2010 “MASS RALLY AGAINST IMMIGRANTS AND ISLAM” at Flinders Street Station. I wrote in November 2015 that:

… Galea’s Facebook profile reveals him to have liked both [Reclaim Australia] and UPF pages, along with ‘Britain First’, ‘George Christensen’, ‘Good Night Antifa’, ‘Jews Killed Jesus’, ‘Kim Vuga’, ‘Right Wing Resistance Australia’, ‘Smash ANTIFA’, ‘Stop Being Such a Jew.’, ‘Stop the Mosque and Islamic School Melton’, ‘The Great Aussie Patriot’, ‘The Men’s Rights Initiative’, ‘UPF Media’, ‘White supremacy’ and numerous others.

In summary, his profile conforms to that of any number of ‘radical, right-wing extremists’.

Of particular interest is Galea’s links to the ‘Patriots Defence League of Australia’ (PDLA), the Bendigo-based group ‘The Victorian Resistance’, and the Melton-based ‘True Blue Crew’ (TBC). His Facebook friends include Damian Kourevellis, ‘President’ of the PDLA Eastern Victoria chapter, neo-Nazi and PDLA/’Right Wing Resistance Australia’ supporter Aaron De Keulenaer, and Julie Kendall of ‘Stop the Mosque in Bendigo’ fame.

In which context: the PDLA continues to maintain dozens of pages and groups on Facebook, and one of its lvl bosses, Torin ‘TJ’ O’Brien, was Pauline Hansons’s nominee for Rockhampton at the Queensland state election in October. You may remember TJ from such cunning stunts as registering the PDLA as an ‘advocacy group for domestic violence victims’; quite something for a body devoted to eradicating Muslims (sadly, the Queensland Office of Fair Trading disagreed with TJ, and deregistered the organisation). Anyway, TJ got 3,714 votes for Pauline, winning third place after Labor and the LNP.

As for the April 2010 event at which Galea starred, I think it says something that whereas that event (organised by one iteration of the ‘Australian Defence League’) attracted just a few dozen in support (and, of course, a much larger mob in vocal opposition), the Reclaim rallies of 2015 attracted many hundreds of bigots and racists. Leaving aside the Lindt cafe siege in December 2014, the critical factor which I think explains this relative increase is the utilisation of social media, in particular Facebook and YouTube, which encouraged (or ‘afforded’) a rapid proliferation of racist and xenophobic sentiment. A rather significant phenomenon in Australia — and for years swirling around the War on Terror™ inaugurated in 2001 — these fee-fees about ‘foreigners’ were eventually able to crystallise as a protest movement, attracting both right-wing militants and Ordinary Mum & Dad™ racists.

With regards Galea’s choice of targets, they make a kind of sense: ‘The Anarchists’, ‘The Socialists’ and ‘The Trade Unionists’ are all understood to be opposed to the program of ethnic and religious cleansing of Australia extolled by Galea and his mates, with the former groups especially understood as constituting sometimes quite active opposition. The fact that the UPF — in the persons of Blair Cottrell, Neil Erikson, Chris Shortis, Andrew Wallis and Linden Watson — paid a surprise visit to MAC and to 3CR ahead of the Melton rally (and prior to Galea’s initial arrest) suggests that his choice may have been … er … ‘guided’ by the wider concerns of the local fascist milieu.

Otherwise, Galea approximated many others, being an enthusiastic participant in and supporter of not only Reclaim Australia and the UPF, but also the TBC (who, in Galea’s imagination, would effectively sweep the ‘lefties’ off the streets, as they purportedly did in Coburg in May 2016), the ADL, the PDLA, Right Wing Resistance Australia and other, associated anti-Jewish, anti-leftist, anti-Muslim and generally fashy groupuscules. From the perspective of the state, its intelligence agencies and security apparatuses, the milieu from which Galea emerged is of notable and publicly-expressed concern, especially in the wake of the massacre in Christchurch conducted by Galea’s brother-in-arms in March 2019.

Sadly for him, support for Galea was relatively thin, with elderly Queensland pensioner and batshit blabbermouth Mike Holt probably the only local figure of any stature to offer much in the way of solidarity. Holt is of course another YUGE fan of my writing, such that it was only following a police request that he removed material he published online in March 2015 in which the silly olde bugger mis-identified me as Some IT Guy. Even more sadly, there’s a smol army of racist deadshits running about the place, and the dis-embraining machine that is social media is an unstoppable and extremely-profitable juggernaut of lunacy, so it’s likely only a matter of time before another Galea emerges.

Anyway, I wrote, in slightly more formal language, something for Overland about the sentencing: Galea in prison, Southern on TV: the state of the far right (November 25, 2020). See also : Right-wing extremist jailed for targeting left, Muslims, Sue Bolton, Green Left Weekly, December 3, 2020.

Christchurch

Earlier this week, the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain on 15 March 2019 released its Report to the public. Of particular interest is the killer’s connections to his local STRAYAN comrades, including but not limited to New Zealand-born Tom Sewell and his neo-Nazi groupuscule The Lads Society. I expect some useful analysis to appear in the next few days and weeks, but in the meantime I chucked some words at Giovanni Torre for The National: Christchurch terrorist attack report highlights failings by social media giants (December 8, 2020).

Of the murderer’s relationship to local budding génocidaires, the Report states:

The individual was one of more than 120,000 followers of the United Patriots Front Facebook page. United Patriots Front was a far right group based in Australia. Between April 2016 and early 2017, the individual made approximately 30 comments on their Facebook page. At that time, the United Patriots Front was led by Blair Cottrell. Several of the posts made by the individual expressed support for Blair Cottrell. For example, when Donald Trump was elected President of the United States of America, the individual posted on Facebook “globalists and Marxists on suicide watch, patriots and nationalists triumphant – looking forward to Emperor Blair Cottrell coming soon”. The individual also expressed support for Blair Cottrell on the True Blue Crew Facebook page. The True Blue Crew is another far right Australian group.

In one post to the United Patriots Front Facebook page, the individual threatened critics of Blair Cottrell by saying that “communists will get what communists get, I would love to be there holding one end of the rope when you get yours traitor”. In August 2016, he sent comments via Facebook Messenger to an Australian critic of the United Patriots Front, which included “I hope one day you meet the rope.” This threat was allegedly reported to Australian police but no action was taken. We see references to “the rope” as alluding to the “Day of the Rope” which features in The Turner Diaries and, as explained in Part 2, chapter 5, is sometimes used by those on the extreme right to refer to a race war.

Blair Cottrell told media he was aware of an AU$50 donation to the United Patriots Front made by the individual. We have been unable to verify this donation.

The last time the individual was active on the United Patriots Facebook page was in January 2017. Following Facebook’s removal of the United Patriots Front Facebook page in May 2017, several former members of that group created a new far right group, called The Lads Society, which had club houses in Sydney [Ashfield] and Melbourne [Cheltenham, Rowville: The Lads also established a club house in Brisbane]. Thomas Sewell (a New Zealander based in Victoria, Australia and a founding member of The Lads Society) contacted the individual online and invited him to join. However, the individual declined this offer, citing his upcoming move to New Zealand. He did, however, join a Facebook page created by The Lads Society and became an active member online. We will cover this in chapter 4 of this Part.

On 15 January 2017 and 17 January 2017, the individual made donations to right-wing organisations, Freedomain Radio (a podcast and YouTube channel created by Canadian Stefan Molyneux, who is [a] prominent member of the far right) and the National Policy Institute (a white supremacist think tank and lobby group based in the United States of America) [see : Richard Spencer] …

In 2017, the individual joined The Lads Society’s Facebook group, having changed his username to “Barry Harry Tarry”. Later, he joined The Lads Society Season Two Facebook page, which was a private group. He made his first post on 19 September 2017. He was an active contributor, posting on topics related to issues occurring in Europe, New Zealand and his own life, far right memes, media articles, YouTube links (many of which have since been removed for breaching YouTube’s content agreements) and posts about people who were either for or against his views. He also encouraged others to donate to Martin Sellner, a far right Austrian politician. Two sets of comments warrant particular mention. In early February 2018, the individual (under the Barry Harry Tarry username) engaged in online discussion with members of The Lads Society Season Two Facebook group about Mein Kampf. In particular, they discussed Hitler’s suggestion that grievance should be the focus of propaganda, “galvanising” those who see themselves as persecuted and “drawing in new sympathisers”. The individual commented:

Agreed, it is far better to be the oppressed than the oppressor, the defender than the attacker and the political victim rather than the political attacker. Though 1920’s Germany was a very different time to now and we face a very different enemy. Our greatest threat is the non-violent, high fertility, high social cohesion immigrants. They will boil the frogs slowly and by the time our people have enough galvanising force to commit the political and social change necessary for survival, the demographics in my opinion will have shifted so harshly that we would likely never recover…

What I am saying is that we can’t be a violent group, not now. But without violence I am not certain if there will be any victory possible at all.

“Boil the frogs” is a metaphor, the premise of which is that if a frog is put into boiling water it will jump out, but if placed into tepid water that is then brought to the boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger or change in circumstances, despite being boiled alive. For other members of The Lads Society Season Two, it would have been clear that the individual was referring to Muslim migrants when speaking of immigrants and what he said aligns with his manifesto, The Great Replacement. The assertion that “we can’t be a violent group” was made around the same time as the first of the planning documents discussed in the next chapter was created, a document that evidences a clear intention to carry out a terrorist attack.

As we set out in Part 2, chapter 5, those who subscribe to extreme right-wing ideologies often “tone down” their language to avoid endorsing violence but, at the same time, use divisive rhetoric towards different ethnic or religious groups. We see the language used by the individual in the posts as consistent with that used by those on the extreme right-wing. In addition, ethno-nationalists often implicitly support violence within closed groups. Having identified the apparent problem of Muslim immigration rates, but offering no democratic solution, we consider the post by the individual was an implied call to violence and, in this way, another illustration of his ethno-nationalist beliefs.

On 12 February 2018, the individual, still using the Barry Harry Tarry username, made several posts to The Lads Society Season Two Facebook page. Some we do not reproduce here, because they contain references to particular individuals and publishing them would give rise to privacy and safety concerns that cannot be practically mitigated by redaction. The drift of what he had to say however, emerges clearly enough from the comments that follow:

Across the road from my gym is an Islamic boarding school. It’s name is … To date I have just been using it as a source of rage for my lifts. Today I found out that this Islamic boarding school that sits in my area was once [a catholic] school. This is what happens as a society when you fail to have children then import the children of others to replace them.

Otago Muslim Association [official] was both surprised and delighted by the announcement. “I’m very, very pleased. It will be a great asset for the Muslim community in Dunedin, as well as New Zealand.” What in the fifty fires of fuck have I stumbled upon here? A … muslim bankrolling an Islamic learning school in New Zealand? This dude is No.1 on the prank list.

“a non-profit school under charitable status” … This is getting backed by tax payers money for sure. Absolutely sickening

Another bankroller was University of Otago [staff member] and member of the Dunedin Muslim community. … . The local university students are being taught … by a devout Muslim … . Jesus fucking christ.

Then, after comments from others about Muslim schools:

Though I must say, it is far better to have separate schools and it ensures they are always seen as outsiders, and there is no intermixing of cultures or races. Them having seperate schools is something we should support. Plus it makes them all gather in one place….JK JK JK

In this context, “JK” stands for “just kidding” but is often used ironically (that is by someone who in fact is not “just kidding”). In this instance, the individual was not “just kidding”. We know this because he had already completed a planning document that envisaged mass murder, as we discuss below.

When we put these comments to the individual, he acknowledged that the expression, “No. 1 on the prank list” could be seen as a threat of harm. We note that the 15 March 2019 terrorist attack is sometimes referred to on far right forums as “the mosque prank”. Consistently with what seemed to be a general reluctance on his part to acknowledge lapses of operational security, the individual did not accept that his comments would have been of concern to counter-terrorism agencies. He thought this because of the very large number of similar comments that can be found on the internet. Later in the interview, however, he said that these were the worst of the comments he had posted. We return to discuss this issue in Part 7: Detecting a potential terrorist.

On 9 April 2018, the individual left The Lads Society Season Two Facebook group. Six days later he deleted 134 Facebook friends, including those made through The Lads Society, such as Thomas Sewell. For the next six months the individual did not use his Facebook account. When he did return to Facebook it was in a careful and measured manner. He denied to us that his April 2018 departure from the group may have been as a result of concerns about the February 2018 comments, claiming that it was instead due to his social anxiety.

He used Facebook Messenger to keep in touch with his family and Facebook friends, and later on as a method of contacting people to whom he had sold goods online.

He reprimanded his mother for using the term “neo-Nazi” in Facebook Messenger when she commented on his shaved hair and rhetoric. His mother understood that he was not offended at being called a “neo-Nazi”, but rather was worried that her use of the term on a popular messaging platform would be detected. Similarly, in a conversation with his sister on Facebook, the individual expressed concerns about the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation tracking him and asked her to change names on banking details to anonymise transactions relating to him. When we interviewed him, he said that there was an element of play-acting in all of this and that it is common for those on the far right to pretend to believe that they are under surveillance. This explanation exemplifies the problem identified in Part 2, chapter 5 – that is, the difficulty in distinguishing between what is ironic and what is meant literally. We are inclined to see these incidents as evidence of his genuine concern about operational security.

The Report also details the donations the killer made to various organisations and projects he supported: While living in New Zealand, the individual made at least another 14 donations to far right, anti-immigration groups and individuals. Some of these donations were made directly from the individual’s Australian bank account through PayPal and totalled AU$6,305.78.

The fourteen included TRS / The Right Stuff and Rebel News Network Ltd. TRS is Mike Peinovich’s babeh (see also : The Extremist Next Door, Chip Rowe, The Highlands Current, May 17, 2019). Former ‘Young National’ Clifford Jenning’s podcast ‘The Convict Report’ was once part of Peinovich’s network, and the podcast utilised the same Aussie Shitposter meme to promote its associated hashtag #DingoTwitter as did the killer; Rebel Media helped give birth to the careers of both Lauren ‘The Great Replacement’ Southern (now employed by Murdoch’s Sky News) and to Claire Lehmann, editor of the amateur phrenologist publication Quillette.

Of the killer’s connect, Jim Malo writes (How Do You Solve A Problem Like Sky News?, Junkee, December 10, 2020):

Included in his thousands of dollars in donations to right-wing websites like Stormfront, were donations to overtly white nationalist publications like Rebel Media and Freedomain Radio.

The Christchurch shooter gave money to Rebel Media at the same time it’s contributor Mark Latham … was using his platform to raise funds for his defence against Junkee’s former Political Editor, Osman Faruqi, which the latter brought against Latham for calling him a race hustler.

Rebel Media also used to employ Lauren Southern, who has previously promoted the great replacement theory. Andrew Bolt has done the same.

A very able grifter, while previously sponsored by billionaires The Mercers, Southern’s propaganda is now sponsored by the billionaire Murdoch.

STRAYA eh?

See also : Australia must reckon with the fact the Christchurch terrorist developed much of his hatred here, Jeff Sparrow, The Guardian, December 10, 2020.

Anyway …

Nek Minnit

Mr Potato Head announced the establishment of an inquiry into ‘extremism’ by way of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Security and Intelligence.

Tyler the Destructor

Also this week, a teenage nazi from Albury named Tyler Jakovac was arrested and charged with terrorism offences.

Jakovac (AKA Slavko Konovalenko) was Very Active online, one of hundreds if not thousands of Aussie teenyboppers immersed in nazi subculture: ranting about Jews, sharing dank memes, and advocating RaHoWa. In Jakovac’s case (but also that of others), it appears that this was mostly achieved by way of Snapchat, Telegram and TikTok.

According to police, Jakovac’s diatribes were extreme-ly concerning, and provided an opportunity for them to conduct an arrest. According to the other /pol/, his arrest was TRIGGERED! after he posted a Dylann Roof meme on Snapchat (though this claim is obviously very difficult, if not impossible, to confirm).

In terms of ‘radicalisation’, there’s an argument to be made about how, given that various MPs and media figures already regularly decry the supposedly damaging effects of IMMIGRATION! ISLAMS! THE UNITED NATIONS! MULTICULTURALISM! (((CULTURAL MARXISM)))! POLITICAL CORRECTNESS! etc. upon Australian society, based teens who wanna virtue signal are naturally drawn to The JQ (typically, the one form of racism the MPs and pundits will never openly espouse) as a distinguishing feature. And if ‘The Jew’ is ultimately responsible for embarking upon ‘The Great Replacement’ that Sky News’s Lauren Southern and Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Brenton Tarrant have jointly warned Us about, identifying Them as the source of such dastardly plans almost inevitably leads to some variant of Nazism.

Speaking of Uncle Adolphus, Jakovac was aware of and expressed support for the ‘National Socialist Network’, reposting some of their shite, along with a range of other neo-Nazi and White supremacist propaganda, on his Telegram. NSN is of course one of the latest and almost certainly the most notorious Aussie groupuscule to explicitly adopt Nazi doctrines. (The NSN, meanwhile, claims that Jakovac tried to join the group, but did not.)

Finally, advocating Nazism is lawful activity, though antisemitism may — as Ryan Fletcher (David Hiscox’s XYZ) has recently discovered — eventually bring about legal difficulties.

See also : Far-right groups have used COVID to expand their footprint in Australia. Here are the ones you need to know about, Kaz Ross, The Conversation, December 11, 2020.

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december 2020 anarchist notes (with alpine anarchist productions)!

Alpine Anarchist Productions

AAP was founded in the year 2000 and released thirty pamphlets before focusing on online publishing in 2007. It’s still kicking (mAd props!), and recently published Anthony T. Fiscella’s “Comments on Translating Anarchism, Occupy Wall Street, and Prospects for Revolution Today” and Randy Nobleza’s “Pangayaw: Ungovernable Island Communities’ Thinking and Practice for Survival”, a review of Bas Umali’s book Pangayaw and Decolonizing Resistance: Anarchism in the Philippines. I also recommend Gabriel Kuhn’s writings for PM Press. Gabriel was recently interviewed for Cas Mudde’s podcast Radikaal on football and radical politics.

Beyond The Dark Horizon

Beyond is a new-ish ‘publication of green anarchist art, poetry, stories, rants from ‘so called-Australia’: We are in a new epoch of breakdown. What will it mean to not have a horizon … to have no map of how to act … to have only shifting sands to cling to and be in a world radically different than that of the last 10000+ years? What does green anarchy mean today?

Sydney Anarcho-Communists

The Sydney Anarcho-Communists is a relatively new group of ‘libertarian socialists’ who meet regularly and have published two issues of a bulletin. Read more via red and black notes.

Workers Solidarity Initiative Pakistan

The Workers Solidarity Initiative was founded on 22 May 2020 with the aim of establishing a section of the International Workers Association in Pakistan. WSI is an initiative of the Asia-Pacific Sub-Secretariat of the IWA. The WSI is currently trying to raise funds to print an Urdu translation of Rudolf Rocker’s text on Anarcho-Syndicalism: Theory and Practice, and a gofundme has been established for that purpose.

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Yeah Nah Pasaran! #048 w Greta Jasser on Misogynist & Far-Right Ideology : December 10, 2020


img via tom tanuki

On this week’s episode of Yeah Nah, as part of 3CR’s special programming for ’16 Days of Action against Gender-Based Violence’, we’re talking to Greta Jasser [Twitter] about misogyny and the far-right. Greta is a doctoral fellow at the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right and a founding member of the Institute for Research on Male Supremacism.

In May, Greta co-authored ‘Male supremacism and the Hanau terrorist attack: between online misogyny and far-right violence’ for the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague. More recently, Greta and Jordan McSwiney wrote ‘Gab.com: the Pro-Trump Alternative to Social Media’ (VOX-Pol, November 25, 2020).

See also : Yeah Nah Pasaran! #030 w Alex DiBranco on Male Supremacism, Terror & The Right : August 6, 2020 (August 4, 2020).

4.30pm, Thursday, December 10, 2020 /// 3CR /// 855AM / streaming live on the 3CR website

• You can listen to the podcast on Apple, Spotify and other platforms.
• We also have a Facebook page for the show, which you’re invited to ‘Like’ and to ‘Follow’.
• I have a Patreon account which youse are also invited to support.

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