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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Blogging 2018 : A Summary

Another year done gone, and another opportunity to review what the Hell I’ve been writing about.

Please note that, at this stage, I’m unsure if I’ll continue blogging in 2019 as — combined with having a social media presence on Facebook and Twitter (which have more-or-less completely destroyed the so-called ‘blogosphere’) — it’s extremely time-consuming, and completely unrewarding financially, making the whole thing rather unsustainable. So, I’m going to take a break in January, and think about ways I may be able to make it so. In the absence of financial support of some kind, chances are I’ll simply abandon the field to others, who can undertake their own research.

With that said …

January

January saw the release of Romper Stomper on Stan, in which I was virtually cast in the role of ‘the ideological ringmaster, McKew’, a University lecturer who functioned as the bRanes behind ‘Antifasc’, and who published his insights on a website named ‘The Slacker’s Guide To Fascists’.

LOL.

I reviewed the show in Romper Stomper Pulls On Its Boots Again (But Forgets To Thread Its Laces) (January 13, 2018).

tl;dr : Romper Stomper was entertaining, but rather silly.

Also in January, Channel 7 provided some free advertising for the anti-African street patrol members of the racist street-gang the ‘True Blue Crew’ had cooked up with members of the neo-Nazi groupuscule ‘The Lads Society’: #7SummerOfNazis : The True Blue Crew & Co. Go Hunting Blacks While Channel 7 Cheers (January 16, 2018).

The journalist responsible for the report, Jodi Lee, was given the opportunity to gain some greater insight into the nature of the milieu Channel 7 was promoting when, 10 months later, serial pest Neil Erikson attempted to sabotage her broadcast from the scene of Hassan Khalif Shire Ali’s awful crime, and he was later to remark that, given her obvious irritation, she may have secretly desired him to rape her.

At best, this remark was in very poor taste, but has added menace given that the leading members of both TBC and The Lads have criminal convictions for violent crimes against women. Not normally the kinds of men you’d want to entrust with ‘community safety’, but what would I know eh.

In any case, the following synopsis of the inglorious history of the TBC by Tom Tanuki bears repeating:

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.

Finally, in January Victoria Police began to undertake arrests and charge various individuals, including Erikson, with various alleged offences arising from confrontations outside the Milo Yiannopoulos event at Melbourne Pavilion in December 2017. (VicPol also declared that the organisers of the event would face a phat invoice for the cost of policing it — a bill which main organiser Damien Costas declared that he simply would not pay.)

February

In February I took note of the very large march through Melbourne on Australia/Invasion/Survival Day.

I also took the opportunity to examine Keyboard Warriors of the Australian #AltRight : XYZ & David Hiscox, an online publication which, like others of its ilk, has become increasingly brazen in its commitments to promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, White supremacy, and other fun stuff. Regular XYZ columnist Ryan Fletcher:

Finally, Oxford University Press released The Oxford Handbook of the Radical Right, to which myself and Aurelien Mondon contributed a chapter on the radical right in Australia. I also drew attention to the Perth trial of members of Aryan Nations for murder, the fact that they played host to the UPF when they journeyed to Perth for the ‘Reclaim Australia’ rally in November 2015, and the fact that the Aryan Nations household was used as the location for the UPF’s announcement that they were going to form a political party, ‘Fortitude’.

March

Just two posts this month, one on ‘Firearm Owners United’ — a gun lobby whose President, James Buckle, was one of the founding members of The Lads Society — and another detailing a whole load of stuff, including the murder convictions of Aryan Nations, the beginning of the end of the Sydney-based Party for Freedom, alleged terrorist Phill Galea being deemed fit for trial, and more besides.

April

In April I began to examine some of the chancers and spivs on the right who, looking at the lucrative tour by Milo in December, decided that they too wanted a piece of the action; took note of a whiny Blair Cottrell; outed a member of neo-Nazi grouplet ‘Antipodean Resistance’; and wrote a reply to an article in the US radical press which claimed anTEEfa was a species of ‘liberalism’.

On a rather different note, I also profiled Melbourne’s second-hand bookshops.

Oh, and on April 21, the Sydney Criminal Lawyers website published ‘The Rise of Australian Neo-Nazis: An Interview with Online Activist Slackbastard’ by Paul Gregoire, which discusses Antipodean Resistance in the context of a broader discussion of fascism and the far right Down Under.

May

Again, just two posts this month (‘antifa notes’), including infos on the forced cancellation of a neo-Nazi heavy metal gig in Melbourne, Aryan Nations, Right Wing Resistance, the disruption of a church service in Gosford by serial pest Neil Eikson & Co., and a bizarre interaction with a right-wing propaganda outlet in the US.

June

I was a bit more busy in June. First, I detailed the role of the Arcadia Hotel in South Yarra as the favourite watering-hole for the Australian Liberty Alliance (the owner is also an anti-Muslim bigot), then detailed preparations by ‘Axiomatic Events’ for the tour Down Under of batshit right-wing propagandists Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern (both celebrated by Newscorpse), and its battles with rival hate-profiteers ‘Future Now’. I also promoted solidarity with Flemington estate arrestees (cf. Milo Yiannopoulos), recounted the TBC’s annual flagwit parade, published an extract from Roger Griffin’s new title on the fascist concept of the ultra-nation, and finally detailed Neil Erikson’s various battles with the forces of law & order.

In June, I also done a interview with socialist group Fightback in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

July

July was dedicated to Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern’s tour of Australia, including by way of drawing attention to its support by the AFL in Cairns. (Nobody else cared.)

August

Just three posts in August, concerning the promotion of neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell by Sky News (Australia’s answer to Fox News) in Neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell & Useful Idiots Adam Giles & Sky News Australia; Who are Antipodean Resistance? (August 2018 Update); and a final post on the ‘March for Men’ in Melbourne (for which neo-Nazis from The Lads Society helped provide security) and a pathetic neo-Nazi rally in Canberra. Note that, in private, The Lads’ expressed some rather typical — and I suppose mildly disturbing — opinions about the organiser of the March for Men’s organiser, Sydney Watson.

September

September saw alleged terrorist Phillip Galea back in court. The Age : ‘An accused far-right extremist spoke often about bombing two left-wing groups in Melbourne and said any innocent bystanders hurt would be “casualties of war”, an associate says. Phillip Galea is charged with making preparations for terrorist attacks on the Melbourne Anarchist Club and Melbourne Resistance Centre between November 2015 and August 2016.’ It also saw Nigel Farage in The Colonies. In Melbourne, Farage — whose tour was organised by Damien Costas — was hosted by the Sofitel Hotel. Among those in attendance were serial pest Neil Erikson (who was briefly detained by police) and his kamerad Andy Nolch, the man responsible for vandalising the memorial to murdered woman Eurydice Dixon.

I made note of some of the leaks from the secret Facebook group of neo-Nazi grouplet The Lads Society. On this occasion, it concerned the antics of some boneheads (see img above) in Brisbane, and Blair Cottrell’s upset at them being so open in their public displays of commitment to Nazi politics: The (neo-Nazi) Lads Society : Blair Cottrell’s pro-tip : Wear Your Swastikas On The Inside.

Also in September, I republished a letter from philosopher Simone Weil, recounting her experiences in the Spanish Civil War and involvement with a CNT militia, and made some notes on the role of the International Brigades in the conflict, updated the Trot Guide, and published an extract from an essay Elizabeth Humphrys wrote on ‘Halcyon Days? The Amalgamated Metal Workers’ Union and the Accord’. In the Trot Guide update I also made reference to the recently-published book The Far Left in Australia since 1945 (Routledge, 2018), edited by Jon Piccini, Evan Smith & Matthew Worley.

See also : How Labour Built Neoliberalism: Australia’s Accord, the Labour Movement and the Neoliberal Project (Brill, 2018).

Finally, in antifa notes (september 28, 2018) : Anning, Coulter, Fortress, Palmer, Yaxley-Lennon, Yiannopoulos et. al., I took a good look at the various tours Down Under of a number of foreign right-wing carpetbaggers, the activities of a number of local fascist creeps, and more.

October

On October 6, go-to lawyer for the far right, John Bolton, organised a tiny rally outside Lakemba. It attracted the support of All The Usual Suspects, including a handful of neo-Nazis, at least one of whom was implicated in later political shenanigans in NSW. Thus October also brought the sensational news that a bunch of nazis had infiltrated the Young Nationals in that state. Finally, in mid-October, right-wing Christians in Melbourne held a ‘March for Babies’. The organisers also employed neo-Nazis from The Lads Society to provide security.

Typically, no reference was made to this in media coverage.

*Oh. Also in October, I closed my blog and social media accounts for a few days. Which prompted various right-wing meatheads to proclaim that I’d been arrested and prolly flown to Guantanamo or something. LOL.

November

A relatively busy month, with eight posts, two of which were dedicated to examining (inter alia) the AltRight tour circuit: antifa notes (november 2, 2018) : milo & mcinnes; lads, proud boys & natzis and Damien Costas Presents : Gavin McInnes & Tommy Robinson Live in Australia (December 2018). I also took note of the death of The Last of the Spanish Anarchists Exiled to Australia, republished an article from the recently-revived Tribune on The ’43 Group (which smashed the re-emergent fascist movement in E-E-England after the end of WWII) and took a look at some of the (far) left and (far) right candidates for the Victorian state election.

Finally, I examined the denunciations of Australia First Party propagandist Nathaniel Jacob Sassoon Sykes by members of The Lads Society (as detailed in their secret Facebook group) and highlighted the ongoing campaign to shutdown The Lads’ organising space in the Sydney suburb of Ashfield.

December

In December, I wrote some general reflections On Right-Wing Trolls Touring Australia in 2018, published ‘Me-ism and The Left’ : A response to Joshua Dabelstein, and went into some detail regarding Milo Yiannopoulos’ recent travails in Milo Yiannopoulos (Penthouse Florida) ~versus~ Damien Costas (Penthouse Australia). I also examined the fortunes of (far) left and (far) right candidates at the Victorian state elections.

Finally, from The Department of The Strange, The Bizarre & The Disturbing, came Anarchy : Deep in the Woods (on ‘eco-extremism’) and Right Wing Resistance, Ricky White, & slackbastard in which, courtesy of the NSW Supreme Court, I was cast in the role of Ricky White.

#TrueStory

See also : Blogging 2017 : A Summary (December 30, 2017).

~ On a final note, thank you to all who’ve expressed support over the course of the year — I genuinely appreciate it. ~

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Right Wing Resistance, Ricky White, & slackbastard

A problem for the Australian antifa, and indeed for anti-fascist groups in Europe and the US, is that few people and organisations they oppose here have much to do with Nazism. ~ Chip Le Grand, Antifa Australia goes for the jugular, The Australian, December 9, 2017

On December 14, 2018, a judgement was delivered in the Supreme Court of NSW in the case of ‘State of New South Wales v White [2018] NSWSC 1943’. ‘White’ refers to Ricky White, who at one time was the 2IC of ‘Right Wing Resistance Australia’ (RWRAU), the Australian branch of a tiny neo-Nazi network established in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2009 by veteran neo-Nazi activist Kyle Chapman.

The case, before The Honourable Justice Natalie Adams, was in response to an application to have White subject to a supervision order under the relevant sections of the Terrorism (High Risk Offenders) Act 2017 (NSW), and resulted in the following orders being issued by the court:

(1) Pursuant to ss 20, 25(1)(a) and 26(6) of the Terrorism (High Risk Offenders) Act 2017 (NSW), the defendant is to be supervised under an extended supervision order for a period of two years from the date of this order.

(2) Pursuant to s 29(1) of the Terrorism (High Risk Offenders) Act 2017 (NSW), the defendant is to comply with the conditions set out in the Schedule to this judgment for the duration of the extended supervision order.

(3) Access to the Court file in these proceedings is restricted such that access would only be permitted to a non-party with the leave of a Judge of this Court and with prior notice to the parties so as to allow them to be heard in respect of the application for access.

In addition to legal argument, the judgement contains reference to White’s background, activities as a member of RWRAU, and a brief account of the groupuscule’s origins, history and activities, furnished to the court by academic Professor Paul Spoonley, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University of New Zealand.

As noted above, access to Spoonley’s report is restricted.

I haven’t paid all that much attention to RWRAU, but did take note of White being charged with the arson of a church in September 2016 (of which he was later found guilty); the court d0x also reveal him to have had a previous conviction for ‘phone calls to the Sydney Jewish Museum in 2014 which involved anti-Semitic threats of extreme violence and sexual assault’. As a result, ‘he was arrested and charged on 4 April 2014 and was ultimately convicted of three counts of using a carriage service to menace/harass/offend and one count of using a carriage service to threaten serious harm. He was fined and placed under a 12 month recognizance.’

As for RWRAU, Justice Adams writes:

42 I have had regard to the report by Professor Paul Spoonley, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University of New Zealand. Professor Spoonley has expertise in race relations, right wing extremism, skinhead political movements, anti-Semitism and so forth. He provided the following information in relation to RWR.

43 Sometime in about 2008 or 2009, RWR emerged in New Zealand, bringing together various skinhead activities and white supremacist activists. It was created and named by activist Kyle Champan. In addition to aggressive opposition to cultural diversity and multiculturalism, advocacy for white pride and racial purity and the use of neo-Nazi imagery, Mr Chapman endeavoured to involve RWR in political events and campaigns (such as disrupting political meetings), to make the group visible (such as vigilante patrols in Christchurch) and to promote it through the use of social media. RWR was also made very recognisable due to the adoption of a black uniform, insignia on the lapels and black foraging caps reminiscent of Nazi German uniforms.

44 RWR was heavily reliant on the direction and initiative provided by Mr Chapman. He had actively engaged with the media, including social media. When Mr Chapman left, the visibility and degree of organisation meant that the activity of RWR has faded somewhat in the last few years. However, there are several individuals who keep elements of RWR alive in social media. One of those persons was the defendant who used the online pseudonym “slackbastard”.

45 RWR remained active both online and in relation to various activities through to 2016-17. During this year there were reports of violence involving RWR members in Brighton, Christchurch during a RWR annual “flag day” after the group had marched through the CBD and attended the Bridge of Remembrance in black clothing and boots, flying a Union Jack, the Cross of St George and a “white power” flag. [See : Man stabbed at Right Wing Resistance party in Christchurch, Sam Sherwood, stuff.co.nz, October 24, 2016.]

46 The Australian RWR was said to have much of the same ideology and politics as its New Zealand counterpart. Slogans used on websites hosted by the Australian RWR included “Asia for the Asians. Africa for the Africans. White Countries for Everbody” and “anti-racism is a code word for anti-white”. One blog stated “Race: No Muslims, Blacks, Asians, Jews” and depicted neo-Nazi images.

47 I have had regard to this material and the material set out below. I am satisfied that the offender burnt down the church in Taree with the intention of advancing a political religious or ideological cause and intending the intimidation of the public or a section of it.

In which context, a few further remarks are in order.

The founder of RWR, Kyle Chapman, has a long and distinguished history of playing Nazi dress-ups, including with the New Zealand Hammerskins and New Zealand National Front, as well as the National(ist) Alliance, Survive Club, and a number of other crank projects. In fact, the first occasion upon which Chapman’s name appears on the blog is way back in June 2006, when he was touting the virtues of something called the ‘Phantom Recon Militia’.

Chapman’s dream of creating a neo-Nazi militia — complete with uniforms, ranks, and oaths of loyalty — eventually found its culmination in RWR (est. February 2009), and its associated project of establishing a compound or ‘Land Base’. One of RWR’s first public actions was a vigilante patrol in Christchurch; in 2011 in Wellington they held a flag parade; for ‘White Pride World Wide Day’ in 2013 RWR was joined by Australia First Party fuehrer Dr Jim Saleam. Otherwise, RWR carried on with the all the usual activities associated with being a very smol nazi groupuscule.

Like White, Chapman is also apparently responsible for setting fires: ‘In his younger days in Invercargill he admitted to a series of arsons between 1987 and 1992, including fire-bombing a marae.’

Fast-forward to early 2009, and on Stormfront Chapman announced the creation of ‘Right Wing Resistance’, and in October 2009 commenced publishing a blog of that name (now deleted). In 2013, on his personal blog, Chapman claimed that RWR was going very well.

In February 2015, Chapman, again on Stormfront, claimed that RWR was able and willing to provide ‘training’ for White supremacist recruits in order to travel to South Africa and, presumably, join the fight for a White South Africa. Perhaps not surprisingly, it appears as though this particular mission was not a great success. In any case, in 2015–2016 Chapman gradually stepped back from the group, publicly announced his resignation in September 2016, and another man — an elderly scrapworker called Vaughan Tocker — became the group’s leader and public face.

So far, so typical.

Of course, Chapman had wild ambitions. Thus, RWR was not only going to operate in Aotearoa/New Zealand, but become The World’s Leading White Supremacist Organisation.

Let’s see how that’s fared, shall we?

RWR Leaves Home

In 2012, a handful of neo-Nazis in Scotland joined RWR, following which franchises were established (or were claimed to have been established) in Australia, Canada, Sweden, the United States of America, and numerous other countries. Mostly, this consisted of outreach over teh intarwebs, the purchase of RWR merch, and posing for pictures while wearing said merch. Beyond that, RWR hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory.

Finland

Along with Sweden, RWR made very partial inroads into the neo-Nazi movement in Finland. Among those who reportedly joined the group was Mika Ranta, the founder of the racist street-gang the ‘Soldiers of Odin’ (SOO). The Melbourne franchise of SOO was kindly compared by The Age to the ‘Guardian Angels’ (New York). One of its members, Garry Mattsson, became one of the so-called ‘Milo Five’ (along with Neil Erikson, Garry Hume, Ricky Turner and Richard Whelan), and was later convicted of offences arising from the fussing and fighting outside of Melbourne Pavilion during the Melbourne leg of Milo Yiannopoulos‘s tour Down Under in December 2017. (Ranta himself has criminal convictions for racist violence.)

Scotland

In March 2016, another bonehead, Gary Crane, was reported as being ‘the UK leader of the ultra-hardline worldwide Right Wing Resistance (RWR) movement’. Like other right-wing predators, Crane was especially-committed to recruiting vulnerable yoof, a project given the tabloid treatment in ‘Unmasked: Neo-Nazi racist brainwashing young Scots in bid to lure them into his sick gang of hate’ (Liam Turbett, The Daily Record, March 29, 2016). Included in the article are references to Peter Kramer (RWR Sweden) and diminutive nazi Shane Calvert (‘Diddyman’). According to Turbett, ‘Kramer is a senior member of the Swedish branch of the RWR. He has travelled to New Zealand to meet founding members of the organisation and travels Europe to attend demos dressed as an SS-style Nazi.’

A year later, in March 2017, Crane was sentenced to eight months in prison for his role in ‘violent disorder at last year’s ill-fated National Front demonstration in Dover … The jailing is a mortal blow to the Right Wing Resistance (RWR), a major international revolutionary National Socialist force. Or yet another tinpot gang of fascist uniform fetishists. You decide.’

Sweden

As noted previously on the blog, RWR attracted a tiny following in Sweden. In February 2013, a 44yo member of the group was charged with displaying his SS tattoos at a National Democrats’ demonstration in Gothenburg in 2012. (The neo-Nazi had previous criminal convictions for bad behaviour.)

USA

In February 2017, the ADL reported that a bonehead by the name of Benjamin McDowell got arrest:

On February 15, FBI agents arrested Benjamin Thomas Samuel McDowell, 29, of Conway, South Carolina, alleging he purchased a gun from an undercover agent from the FBI posing as someone connected with a faction of the neo-Nazi group Aryan Nations. McDowell, a convicted felon not allowed to own guns, was charged with illegal possession of a firearm.

Further:

McDowell was previously associated with the Right-Wing Resistance, a racist skinhead crew which originated in New Zealand and spread to the United States in early 2015. In fact, in October 2015, one member welcomed him to the crew as the new Unit Leader for South Carolina. Right-Wing Resistance had also been part of the Black and Silver Solutions umbrella group.

Northern Ireland/The Six Counties & Wales

In NI, a single reference to RWR is made in a BBC summary of NI newspaper headlines in December 2017: ‘The [Ulster Gazette] also has a report on a Coalisland man jailed for four months for leaving an anti-Islamic leaflet in Armagh library. A court was told the name Right Wing Resistance was printed at the bottom of the leaflet.’

In Wales, Christopher Phillips gets a guernsey courtesy of Hope Not Hate in ‘Nazi Chris loves his guns and stuff’ (August 11, 2017), which includes a photo of Phillips posing with a gun.

The pic of Phillips posing in his living room with what looks like slightly more than just an air rifle is also interesting; Phillips claims it is for “hunting nigglets”.

In fact, Mr Phillips has an entire account on the Russian version of Facebook that is littered with pics of him with guns, making threats against black people, his wife with guns and even the pair of them out Nazi saluting, because despite being a gun-toting Nazi fanatic, he is just an old romantic at heart.

See also : Business owner’s disgust as sick stickers and posters plastered around Armagh (‘Councillor asked to bring ‘hate crime’ to attention of PSNI’), armaghi.com, June 21, 2017.

It’s almost as if there’s some kind of pattern developing here, isn’t there?

RWRAU

As noted, RWRAU set-up shop in Australia within a few years of its emergence in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Seemingly since its beginning, its chief propagandist has been a bonehead from Newcastle called ‘Sammy Binz’ (‘Sammy Chelsea’). Sammy has been quite prolific on teh webs, with a blog on wixsite, YouTube channel, Pinterest and VK account, and so on.

Above : Deputy Mayor of Casey Council Rosalie Crestani with Sammy Chelsea, fuehrer of RWRAU, at Reclaim Australia rally, Sydney, January 2017.

Most of RWRAU’s activity in Australia has consisted of distributing hate propaganda. But members of the group have attended and flown the flag at a small number of public protests, including ‘Reclaim Australia’ rallies in Brisbane in 2015 and Sydney in 2017, and the ‘True Blue Crew’ rally in Melbourne later that year. Among those to have expressed support for the group is alleged terrorist Phillip Galea and another local bonehead, Aaron De Keulenaer.

Oh, and in 2016, in a video since deleted from her YouTube channel, Sammy paid a visit to the Clayton campus of Monash University.

OK, here we are, in Monash University. This is where, a girl with … [?], a Right Wing Resistance t-shirt, [with] ‘Auschwitz’ on her arm — uh-huh, a-ha … [?] gotta be careful. Monash University is home to slackbastard, who’s caused us white national-socialists quite a lot of grief over time. It’s also a hotbed of left-wing communists, and social-anarchists. And we are not gonna back down to this scum. And we are gonna have a little bit of fun, aren’t we? So, I’ve already started [puts RWR posters up] … So I better get moving, and get out of here before someone arrests me. The Nazi has entered the building! [puts RWR posters up] … This is bullshit what they teach the kids here. Like really. What is this. This is crap … [puts RWR posters up] Oh, looks like show’s over, Monash security is on its way. Look at that over there … We’ll risk one more, hey, and then we’ll get the Hell on out of here … That is how you piss off a whole University full of left-wing communist Marxist scum.

This one’s for you slackbastard.

Cheers Sammy.

Ethan Tilling

Above : Tilling (on far right) with chums from RWRAU.

Given the nature of the court proceedings, however, it’s somewhat surprising that the judgement seemingly contains no reference to the most widely-publicised media account involving RWRAU: the expedition to Ukraine of Ethan Tilling.

When Australian former Neo-Nazi and registered gun owner Ethan Tilling flew into Brisbane [in 2018], he was returning under the radar of Australian authorities with newfound combat experience from a brutal and forgotten war.

Mr Tilling, who was until recently a member of the Nazi group Right Wing Resistance, had spent the Australian spring in the bitter cold of Eastern Ukraine firing Kalashnikovs, rocket launchers and grenades at Russian-backed separatists …

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.

Finally, it would be remiss of me not to take particular note of paragraph 44 of the judgement, viz:

RWR was heavily reliant on the direction and initiative provided by Mr Chapman. He had actively engaged with the media, including social media. When Mr Chapman left, the visibility and degree of organisation meant that the activity of RWR has faded somewhat in the last few years. However, there are several individuals who keep elements of RWR alive in social media. One of those persons was the defendant who used the online pseudonym “slackbastard”.

This would appear to claim (I cannot think of any other reasonable interpretation) that, as far as The Honourable Justice Natalie Adams is concerned, I am in fact Ricky White.

Bizarre, no?

See also : Deranged but Dangerous- Right Wing extremists in Aotearoa and the dangers they pose., leftwin, December 6, 2015 | The Ice Bloc blog has lots of interesting and useful disco on far-right politics in Aotearoa/New Zealand, as does the socialist organisation Fightback.

Posted in Anti-fascism, Broken Windows, Media, State / Politics, War on Terror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Anarchy : Deep in the Woods

I recently read this rather interesting article — ‘Children of Ted: The Unlikely New Generation of Unabomber Acolytes’ (John H Richardson, New York Magazine, December 11, 2018) — which left me feeling curious as to what is, in fact, the political legacy of the Unabomber (AKA Ted Kaczynski). My interest is also inspired by having recently watched Netflix’s Manhunt: Unabomber (of which, based on others’ description, Kaczynski is not a fan).

Witnessing global ecology on the point of total collapse is perhaps another reason to (re-)examine his ideas.

From memory, I think I first encountered Kaczynski’s manifesto (Industrial Society & Its Future) in the pages of zines like Fifth Estate. Certainly, I remember there being a lot of discussion of the text in the radical press, especially its meaning and significance for anarchists and environmentalists. Kaczynski went to some trouble to ensure his text was published in The New York Times and The Washington Post: his bombing campaign between 1978 and 1995 killed three people and injured 23. For all that, Lewis Mumford is the better read.

It’s in this context that the various groups, projects and individuals who may (or may not) constitute ‘Ted’s Children’ have emerged, identified in the article as being ‘Books and webzines with names like Against Civilization, FeralCulture, Unsettling America, and the Ludd-Kaczynski Institute of Technology‘; Deep Green Resistance, Derrick Jensen, Individualidades Tendiendo a lo Salvaje/Individuals Tending Toward the Wild (ITS) and so on. (Oddly, it does not reference John Zerzan.) While each of these individuals, groups, texts and projects has generated its own fair share of controversy, that surrounding ITS and eC0-eXTReMiSM is something else again.

Existing within and emerging from a broader anarchist, insurrectionist and nihilist milieu, or seeming to, ITS is a relatively new kid on the anti-civilisationist bloc. Its first communiqué was published in April 2011, and claimed responsibility for a parcel bomb sent to nanotechnologist Oscar Alberto Camacho Olguin. In ENG translation, it reads in part:

In Mexico, as mentioned, nanoscale technology continues to grow, the government of the Mexican State wants to keep abreast of progress and modernity (also by the morbid and mediocre goal of reaching the national presidency) and therefore has built the Universidad Politécnica del Valle de Mexico, where the Nanotechnology degree is one of several courses complicit in technological development. The reasons to attack all types of growth in nanoscience are quite strong and therefore we have sent a parcel bomb to that institution on April 14th of this year, specifically to the head of the Engineering Division in Nanotechnology, Prof. Oscar Alberto Camacho Olguin. We have no hesitation in attacking those people who are key to the climax that technology wants to achieve. We prefer to see them dead or mutilated rather than continuing to contribute with their scientific knowledge to all this shit, to continue feeding the Domination System.

Since then, ITS (and its various constituents) have undertaken (or claimed to have undertaken) many more such actions, including, most sensationally, the murders and attempted murders not only of ‘mad scientists’ like Olguin but indiscriminate attacks upon civilians. In any case, there has now been published over 60 communiqués from ITS on teh webs, available for perusal on relevant blogs, and previously (in ENG translation) on the Atassa blog (now defunct). According to these sources, cells would appear to exist in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico (and presumably elsewhere in South American territories), but for obvious reasons — like their string of claimed actions — this is difficult either to confirm or to deny.

Richardson:

The most ominous example [of domestic terrorism in some way inspired by Kaczynski] is Individualidades Tendiendo a lo Salvaje, or ITS (usually translated as Individuals Tending Toward the Wild), a loose association of terrorist groups started by Mexican Kaczynski devotees who decided that his plan to take down the system was outdated because the environment was being decimated so fast and government surveillance technology had gotten so robust. Instead, ITS would return to its guru’s old modus operandi: revenge. The group set off bombs at the National Ecology Institute in Mexico, a Federal Electricity Commission office, two banks, and a university. It now claims cells across Latin America, and in January 2017, the Chilean offshoot delivered a gift-wrapped bomb to Oscar Landerretche, the chairman of the world’s largest copper mine, who suffered minor injuries. The group explained its motives in a defiant media release: “The pretentious Landerretche deserved to die for his offenses against Earth.”

While initially seeming to have some sympathies for anarchism (or at least its insurrectionist and anti-civilisationist tendencies), of late ITS has deepened its antagonism by threatening to kill anarchist critics, among them Scott Campbell, the author of two articles — ‘There’s Nothing Anarchist about Eco-Fascism: A Condemnation of ITS’ (May 12, 2017) and ‘Not Our Comrades: ITS Attacks on Anarchists’ (August 30, 2017) — which denounce ITS from an anarchist perspective. Further (‘Of Indiscriminate Attacks & Wild Reactions: an anti-civ anarchist engages with ITS and Atassa, their defenders and their false critics’):

ITS has attacked anarchists, in fact, has tried to detonate a bomb in an anarchist squat in order to kill or injury many of them. They have threatened even more. They have stridently condemned anarchists in word and deed. They have embraced something they call the “indiscriminate attack” and have fully embraced a particular brand of the ideology of misanthropy. They claim that any human is a legitimate target for murder and have recently claimed responsibility for multiple of them: a couple slaughtered for the sin of hiking in some relatively virgin wilderness, and the May 3rd femicide of Lesvy Rivera, a woman on the campus of National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), who the group condemned for being human, for being drunk, and most obviously to some of us, for being a woman.

A number of other statements have since been published, some of which have been compiled into a pamphlet called ‘Against Eco-Extremism : Mirror image of Civilisation & Religion’ (July 2018), and in November the Individualist Network and Indonesian Anarchist Black Cross published Seek and Destroy Eco-Extremism Everywhere: A Joint Statement. For its part, ITS has responded to critics, who are generally denounced for their ‘moralism’, and anybody is free to wade thru their online polemics on ‘The Anarchist Library’ (see below) and elsewhere.

The two individuals featured in Richardson’s article, John Jacobi and ‘Abe Cabrera’, ‘contributed to the journal Atassa, which was dedicated on the first page to the premise that “civilization should be fought” and that the example of Ted Kaczynski “is what that fighting looks like”.’ Atassa: Readings in Eco-Extremism is published and distributed by Little Black Cart (LBC) in the US. The introduction to the first volume reads:

Atassa is the Muskogee word for “war club.’’ The atassa was the symbol of the Red Sticks, a faction within the Muskogee or Creek nation that from 1813 to 1814 fought against the encroachment of white settlers on their lands in what is now the states of Georgia and Alabama in the present-day United States.

For us, it is a symbol of a war that came too late, too late to save their sacred ground and rhythm of life, too late to fight the mass of invaders who would transform the land into something unrecognizable. Nevertheless, the war was fought, because their instincts, and arguably the land itself, demanded it.

Eco-extremism has no presence in the United States or in the English-speaking world. It started in Mexico as an illegalist tendency, not at all concerned with proselytism or popularity, and has since spread to other countries to the South and in a certain form to Europe. Those involved in this journal are thus not eco-extremists, and we don’t advocate that anyone consider this journal an exhortation to action or advocacy for illegality. Like the corridos (ballads) also coming from the South celebrating the actions of figures of the drug trade, we are here to “tell it like it is,” not changing anything or condemning any of these actions since we don’t find that attitude particularly helpful. Like the narco-corrido, our only message is: “This exists, and you have to think about it, whether you like it or not.”

We hope that our little labor will serve to inform and inspire a different perspective in the Anglophone reader.

With Wild Nature on our side.

Atassa 1 otherwise comprises elaborations on ‘eco-extremism’ and Kaczynski’s writings by Cabrera, Jacobi and others, accounts of ITS actions, historical analysis of the Creek War and other such conflicts, strategic and tactical advice for those wishing to pursue an eco-extremist approach, and so on. A second volume (I haven’t read) has been published which presumably carries on in the same manner as the first. Of the second volume, LBC notes: ‘Not necessarily the most controversial thing LBC has ever published, but certainly the publication that has caused the most furor so far.’

In response to Campbell’s articles, LBC published a statement on ‘Why do we publish such objectionable things?’ (August 24, 2018). The Brilliant podcast has also published interviews with the editor of the journal, ‘Abe Cabrera’. (Oddly, ‘Cabrera’ has also written for Ritual zine: ‘Primitivism without catastrophe’, February 17, 2016. See also : Antifa is liberalism, feminism is cancer, and I’m a monkey’s uncle, April 18, 2018.)

At some point in the last year or so, the Atassa wordpress blog was deleted. The last post to appear on the archived version of the blog, dated September 24, 2017, contains an ENG translation of ITS’s fortieth communiqué, detailing the alleged placement of:

… a package-bomb at the entrance of the Physics and Astronomy Space in the University City, addressed to Dr. Gloria Dubner, director of the establishment, who was awarded recently for her progressive efforts in support of the techno-industrial system. It seems that the person in charge of the place perceived that something was amiss and decided to call the police. We remark here that this won’t stop us. On the contrary, it compels us to do more. The next time we won’t fail. The package was aimed to wound physically and emotionally all of the techno-geeks who were nearby; not only Gloria herself but any student or simple worker. We don’t make distinctions in this war that we wage against our own species.

No shit.

It may be coincidence, but the closure of the blog seems to have been followed by the d0xxing of its alleged editor, ‘Abe Cabrera’ (details of which can be found on the 325 site), and the repudiation of the zine by some of those associated with it. The controversy over Atassa and ITS also appears to have resulted in a split among the admins of ‘The Anarchist Library’, which hosts a number of ITS writings. See : An Anarchist Librarian From North America / 10 Years Later, A Reflection And A Response / On An English Language Anarchist Library Project (August 28, 2018) | ‘About’, AnarchistLibraries.net.

In the end, according to Richardson, Kaczynski is radically unconvinced by ITS: “A hypothesis: ITS is instigated by some country’s security services — probably Mexico. Their real task is to spread hopelessness, because where there is no hope there is no serious resistance.” Possibly, ‘eco-extremism’ is a species of the genus ‘eco-fascism’. Michael Siebert (Linkola, Montana, Jacobite, July 19, 2018):

Ecofascism, more than any other right-wing movement, is destined for a surge in popularity the closer we come to environmental collapse. The earth’s ecosystems may very well collapse before liberalism, and when they do, the effects will be felt much more acutely. The anti-civilisation movement is tapping into dark territory that eco-activists won’t discuss publicly, but will stay up late thinking about.

Leaving aside the precise nature of the relationship between the doctrines, it’s worth noting that, according to this 2018 report in Spiegel (‘The Hate Network’), Kaczynski has been in correspondence with the neo-Nazi grouplet Atomwaffen (AW), who appears to inspire them to action just as he has ITS. Certainly, ITS and AW share a commitment to murderous violence, misanthropy and misogyny, and an ideological syncretism that can be baffling to outsiders. In this context, the role of particular forms of non-state terror in ultimately reinforcing state control and state violence is worth considering (see, for example, Situationist Gianfranco Sanguinetti’s reflections ‘On Terrorism and the State’ (PDF), 1978(ITA)/1980(FRE)/1982/2004(ENG)).

Finally:

• Journalist and filmmaker Jake Hanrahan has been following the ITS saga, and this thread from January 2018–December 2018 provides more details regarding the relationship between ITS and Kaczynski, an alleged attack in Edinburgh (January 2018), another in Spain, ITS giving props to Mark Conditt (the alleged Austin bomber), an arson attack upon a lumberyard and the murder of a priest in Mexico, the placement of a bomb in Brazil and a polytechnic in Greece, the arson of a bus in Rome, and so on.

• Blogger ‘Lefty Hooligan’ denounces LBC for publishing Atassa in Between ‘nihilism and fascism’ (September 10, 2017) and provides links to various relevant materials, including to some on IndyBay which detail ITS’ praise for LBC and Atassa‘s role in propagating ITS’ doctrines in North America, along with approving celebrations for the murderous activities of Islamic State/Daesh in Europe and the murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville by neo-Nazi James Fields.

See also : In Manifesto, Mexican Eco-Terrorists Declare War on Nanotechnology, Robert Beckhusen, WiRED, February 12, 2013 | The Ted Kaczynski Papers: FBI Files and Photographs | Letters to the Unabomber: A Case Study and Some Reflections, Julie Herrada, Archival Issues, Vol.28, No.1, 2003-4 [PDF] | The Communiques of Freedom Club (The Anarchist Library) | Radical Environmentalism’s Print History: From Earth First! to Wild Earth, Bron Taylor, Environment & Society Portal (2018) | Dark Mountain | Wild Roots | The Wild Will Project | Fierce Dreams | Black Seed.

Shout-out : Michael Loadenthal, who’s authored scores of relevant essays: academia.edu /// wordpress.

    They held up a stone
    I said, “Stone.”
    Smiling they said, “Stone.”

    They showed me a tree.
    I said, “Tree.”
    Smiling they said, ‘Tree.”

    They shed a man’s blood.
    I said, “Blood.”
    Smiling they said, “Paint.”

    They shed a man’s blood.
    I said, “Blood.”
    Smiling they said, “Paint.”

    ~ Dianne Abse (Adapted from the Hebrew of Amir Gilboa), 1982

Posted in !nataS, Anarchism, Anti-fascism, Broken Windows, Cats, Death, Film, History, Media, Poetry, State / Politics, That's Capitalism!, War on Terror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

2018 Victorian state election : Left / Right : Results!

See : 2018 Victorian state election : far right (and left) candidates (November 10, 2018).

As the results have now been finalised (see : ABC | VEC), I thought I’d take a look and see how the (far) left and the (far) right fared at the 2018 Victorian state election. But before I do, I recommend watching Tom Tanuki’s incisive analysis of some of the more, ah, colourful candidates. (Also, give Mr Tanuki’s new Facebook page a like.)

LEFT

Outside of Labor and the Greens, the main left-wing candidates belonged to the recently-formed (February) Victorian Socialists. While VS ran candidates in every Upper House region and 18 (of 88) seats in the Lower House, most of their energies were focused upon the Northern Metropolitan region, where Steve Jolly was lead candidate. The party fared reasonably well in the region, scoring more votes (4.2%) than all other contestants apart from Labor (42.58%), The Greens (16.76%) and The Liberals (16.48%). VS:

The results are officially in. The Victorian Socialists received 18927 votes for our Upper House ticket in the Northern Metropolitan region.

Unfortunately, despite winning 3771 more votes than Fiona’s Patten’s Reason, her preference deals mean she is taking the 5th spot.

The ALP won 2 places, the Greens and Liberals 1 each.

Thanks again to all our amazing volunteers and voters.

The strength of the campaign and the excellent vote make the case that the Victorian Socialists will not just be some flash in the pan.

Victorian Socialists are here to stay! With a Federal election on the horizon, stay tuned for the next steps.

*Joe Toscano also ran in the seat of Albert Park. He got 282 votes (0.71%).

RIGHT

Australia First

The Australia First Party ran one solitary lonesome single candidate in the election: Susan Jakobi in Cranbourne. Jakobi contested the federal seat of Lalor for the party in 2016, gaining 3,232 (3.0%) votes and placing fifth of five candidates; with the benefit of the donkey vote, in 2018 in Cranbourne, Jakobi got 1,265 votes (2.47%), placing sixth of nine candidates.

Australian Liberty Alliance

The ALA ran one candidate in the Lower House seat of Yan Yean and in every Upper House region. Also having the advantage of securing the donkey vote, Siobhann Brown scored 1,232 votes (2.50%) and came sixth of eight candidates. The contest was notable for the fact that the Liberal candidate, Meralyn Klein, was disendorsed by the party after she appeared in an ALA video. (Members of her extended family actually campaigned against her.)

In the Upper House, the ALA faced off against VS. How did each fare?

Eastern Metropolitan
BIVIECA AQUINO, Indhira : 1,859 / 0.44%
WILDING, Royston : 71 / 0.02% [1,930 / 0.46%]
vs
RUNDLE, Norrian : 1,735 / 0.41%
WARD, Liam : 152 / 0.04% [1,887 / 0.45%]

Northern Metropolitan
GOMEZ, Russell : 1,653 / 0.37%
REISNER, John : 36 / 0.01% [1,689 / 0.38%]
vs
JOLLY, Stephen : 18,200 / 4.04%
BOLTON, Sue : 616 / 0.14%
BOLGER, Colleen : 111 / 0.02% [18,927 / 4.20%]

South-Eastern Metropolitan
MADDISON, David Sydney : 2,291 / 0.52%
SCHUMANN, Ralf : 28 / 0.01% [2,319 / 0.53%]
vs
MYLVAGANAM, Aran : 1,172 / 0.27%
REID, Ben : 59 / 0.01% [1,231 / 0.28%]

Southern Metropolitan Region
YEMINI, Avi : 2,062 / 0.48%
JONES, Kaylah : 13 / 0.00% [2,075 / 0.48%]
vs
LEWIS, Catheryn : 1,935 / 0.45%
MITCHELL, Ivan : 116 / 0.03% [2,051 / 0.48%]

Western Metropolitan
COHEN, Francine : 3,231 / 0.70%
FRANKLIN, Terri : 56 / 0.01% [3,287 / 0.71%]
vs
JORQUERA, Jorge : 2,624 / 0.57%
CHARLES, Andrew : 135 / 0.03% [2,759 / 0.601%]

Eastern Victoria
BROWN, Mark : 2,600 / 0.56%
JONES, Daniel : 52 / 0.01% [2,652 / 0.57%]
vs
CRUSE, Lainie : 971 / 0.21%
FORDEN, Russell : 46 / 0.01% [1,017 / 0.22%]

Northern Victoria
MCDONALD, Ewan : 3,644 / 0.80%
WYLIE, James : 84 / 0.02% [3,728 / 0.82%]
vs
MACDONALD, Moira : 1,240 / 0.27%
McKENNA, Michael : 85 / 0.02% [1,325 / 0.29%]

Western Victoria
NICHOLLS, Kenneth : 2,355 / 0.51%
MACDONALD, Daniel : 30 / 0.01% [2,385 / 0.52%]
vs
GOODEN, Tim : 3,296 / 0.72%
ISKRA, Nada : 110 / 0.02% [3.406 / 0.74%]

Overall Upper House results
AUSTRALIAN LIBERTY ALLIANCE : 20,065 / 0.56%
VICTORIAN SOCIALISTS : 32,603 / 0.91%

Apart from the ALP, the Biggest winner at the election was likely preference whisperer and Derryn Hinch staffer Glenn Druery. Thanks largely to his lucrative backroom shenanigans, the Upper House has been blessed with no fewer than 11 cross-benchers: Greens 1 (-4); Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party 3 (+3); Shooters, Fishers and Farmers 1 (-1); Liberal Democrats 2 (+2); Animal Justice Party 1 (+1); Labour DLP 0 (-1); Fiona Patten’s Reason Party 1 (-); Sustainable Australia 1 (+1); Transport Matters Party 1 (+1); Vote 1 Local Jobs 0 (-1). ABC:

Three other parties are making their debut in state politics: Transport Matters, Animal Justice Party and Sustainable Australia.

Sustainable Australia won a spot despite wining just 1.32 per cent of the vote in Southern Metro, compared to the Greens who were unsuccessful with 13.5 per cent.

The Liberal Democrats in South East Metro won a seat with just 0.84 per cent of the vote.

See also : Ken Knabb on ‘Representative democracy versus delegate democracy’.

Posted in !nataS, Anarchism, Anti-fascism, History, Media, State / Politics, That's Capitalism! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Milo Yiannopoulos (Penthouse Florida) ~versus~ Damien Costas (Penthouse Australia)

Oh dear.

The last week has been a Bad one for the former billionaire’s sockpuppet Milo Hanrahan (AKA Milo Yiannopoulos / Milo Andreas Wagner). After the collapse and implosion of his tour Down Under with fellow right-wing blabbermouth Ann Coulter, tour organisers AE Media (AKA Ben and Dan Spiller) released a tranche of documents which detailed some of their correspondence with the falling star. Among other things, the d0x revealed that Hanrahan/Yiannopoulos/Wagner is $2 million in debt; Milo responded by claiming that he was in fact in $4 million in debt, and that this was a sure sign of his entrepreneurial brilliance.

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As an alternative means of fleecing his flock, Milo then started a Patreon account — which was closed within 24 hours. Before it was shutdown, however, at least one amusing exchange did take place:

Given his financial situation, the pressure on Milo to return to Australia to milk some more money from his meatheaded Australian followers is rather high: it’s been claimed that over 12,000 tickets were sold for his 2017 tour, generating over $1 million in revenue. And while Milo can rely on Newscorpse to once again function as his PR company should he return, the d0x also reveal that relations with Damien Costas have deteriorated greatly since December 2017 (see below).

Hope Not Hate in the UK has also been trawling through the d0x, and you can read their reports here: Milo Yiannopoulos’ debt crisis (December 2, 2018); “Milo comes first, at all times” says Milo Yiannopoulos (December 3, 2018); Show me the money: detailing Milo’s debt (December 4, 2018). Apart from underlining the fact that the billionaire Mercers poured millions into Milo so that he could produce propaganda on their behalf (see also : Islamophobia Inc, Al Jazeera, May 14, 2018), it too draws attention to the mutual contempt in which Milo and Damien Costas hold each other. Thus:

… in leaked private WhatsApp messages, Yiannopoulos brands Damien Costas, publisher of Penthouse Australia, as “a criminal-adjacent, dishonest pornographer”. Elsewhere in an email he states:

“I was defrauded by Damien Costas. Neither he nor anyone else that works for him will have anything to do with running any tour of which I am a part. This is not negotiable”.

Evidently he has thought twice about his position, although it is unclear if he still stands by his words about Costas.

Apart from money, there’s also media. On his December 2017 tour, Milo was invited to federal parliament by proprietarian Senator David Leyonhjelm and onto the screens, pages and airwaves of various Newscorpse media properties (among others):

Of particular interest in this context is the close collaboration between Costas and said media properties in managing publicity for the current tour. Hence in October 2018, upon being informed that Yaxley-Lennon might be prevented from coming to Australia because of his legal situation, Costas wrote ‘I will inform Miranda Devine’. A week later, Costas arranged for news of the tour to be featured in The Daily Telegraph:



Of course, Andrew Bolt isn’t the only propagandist to fanboy over Milo. When in June he declared that killing journalists was a neat0 idea, for example, neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer applauded his political acumen:

Oh, Costas also describes the owners of the venues he’s booked for the tour (and to whom he’s paid $170,000 for the privilege) as a bunch of greedy “cunts”:

Speaking of greedy kvnts, Milo suggests in this message that, if the Spillers are having trouble, they should just go to their Mummy & Daddy and ask for another $200,000 to help them organise the tour (and meet Milo’s extravagant lifestyle expenses):

Managing and staffing the tour was another point of contention between the two sides, with Milo wanting to employ his mates, including Will Bracey (tour manager), Anthony Barlow (administration), Jessica Seebauer (administration), Brandon Ellyson (ticketing), Max Markson (venue booking), Caolan Robertson (marketing and promotions), Chadwick Moore (speech-writing) and Tom Packer (technical). Oddly, in correspondence dated October 10, Ben Spiller assures Milo that: ‘After chats with a couple of my project managers I’m confident that as we continue with what we had been planning (warehouses etc) we will be fine, and my guys are already on the Tank businesses payroll. They’re on it. If we do a deal with Penthouse, then we will use one of their project managers.’ (This obviously did not please Hanrahan, who responded: ‘Are you out of your mind?’.)

As well as revealing his address in Doral, Florida, the d0x also name Milo’s husband, John McKinley-Campbell, a PhD student in social work at Florida International University (note: this infos has been circulating online for some time). Curiously, among the many debts Milo has accrued is one from the Four Seasons Hotel in Hawaii where the pair were married in September last year. In the d0x, Milo complains that he was in such financial straits that he had to return John’s $20,000 wedding-ring to Cartier; they also reveal that he owed over $52,000 to the hotel for the ceremony. On the bright side, the Spillers treated Milo to a holiday in Hawaii in June (to Turtle Bay Resort, not the Four Seasons, obviously), which seems to be when serious planning for the tour commenced. (Of course, being indebted doesn’t mean that one has to reduce one’s expenditure, does it?)

On a final note, Milo uploaded a video to YouTube (Australian tour news!, streamed live on November 28, 2018) to provide his side of the story. In addition to describing the Spillers in very unflattering terms (and without a word against his BFF Costas), Milo also manages to provide a screenshot of his WhatsApp. Included among his correspondents in the group is Evgeny Lebedev, son of the Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev and the media mogul who owns the Independent and the London Evening Standard. Lebedev met with Milo in London in November last year. ‘The meeting raises questions as to whether Lebedev is considering business opportunities with Yiannopoulos, who recently was exiled from US-based website Breitbart after an in-depth BuzzFeed News investigation exposing the ties between the British tech journalist, website chairman Steve Bannon, and the political alt-right’ (The Russian Owner Of The Independent And The Evening Standard Met Milo Yiannopoulos In London, Mark Di Stefano, Buzzfeed, November 23, 2017).

Gavin McInnes & Stephen Yaxley-Lennon

Finally, as far the other two racists Costas is (still) promoting as touring Australia in February 2019 are concerned, the former chief Piss Boy has also been experiencing some troubles of late. After having been denied a visa to enter the country, at the beginning of December McInnes joined Blaze Media, a new propaganda outlet that merges Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze and Mark Levin’s CRTV. About a week later, he was unceremoniously dumped. And more recently, YouTube has also kicked McInnes to the curb. Still:

The organiser of Gavin McInnes’ scuppered Australian tour is calling on police to investigate immigration authorities for allegedly informing media the right-wing commentator’s visa had been denied before the applicants were notified.

Penthouse Magazine publisher Damien Costas said this week he had instructed his legal team to refer the Home Affairs Department to the Australian Federal Police over “what can only be described as a blatant breach of privacy and policy”.

In the meantime, the legal dispute between Costas and publicist Max Markson has come to a head in a Sydney courtroom:

In this case, it’s hard to know who to feel sorry for.

Penthouse Magazine publisher Damien Costas is trying to stop celebrity publicist Max Markson from chasing him for $63,000 as payment for promoting Gucci-wearing “cultural libertarian” Milo Yiannopoulos and British politician Nigel Farage.

Costas’s company, now named Global Media & Entertainment but earlier known as Filthy Gorgeous Productions, reckons they’d come to an agreement to have the costs of the tour audited.

Too bad they couldn’t get the paperwork right.

And too bad they decided to go with Sydney barrister (and bankrupt) Charles Waterstreet.

Who else?

The matter was scheduled to be heard by Justice Guy Parker on Friday.

CBD is no stranger to filing right before deadline, but this one’s something else.

At 6.52pm on Thursday, well after the hard working servants of the Supreme Court had departed, Waterstreet emailed Parker’s associate to tell him, well actually, he wouldn’t be showing up.

“It is with my sincerest apologies I inform you I am unable to attend court tomorrow for this matter. I have another matter that I must appear for. I have been unable to secure a solicitor to stand in place for me,” Waterstreet wrote.

At least he’s polite.

But no joy for Costas, who had his move to quash the $63,000 claim thrown out on the spot.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

As for Yaxley-Lennon, he and his zombie followers in UKIP held a rally in London on Sunday, instructing Theresa May to hurry up and get Britain outta the EU. Several thousand joined him on the day, but then so did many thousands more turn out in order to #StopTommyRobinson. See : #London: Inspiring day for anti fascists opposing ‘Tommy Robinson’ & UKIP, enough is enough, December 10, 2018 | Anti-racist marchers in London claim victory over far-right protest, Damien Gayle, The Guardian, December 10, 2018 (‘Brexit betrayal’ march led by Tommy Robinson heavily outnumbered by opponents) | Paedophilia, rape and ‘grooming gangs’: Why feminism, not the far right, is the answer, Plan C London, December 5, 2018.

It’s also been revealed recently that Yaxley-Lennon is one of numerous beneficiaries of the corporate propaganda supply-chain:

The British far-right activist Tommy Robinson is receiving financial, political and moral support from a broad array of non-British groups and individuals, including US thinktanks, rightwing Australians and Russian trolls, a Guardian investigation has discovered.

Robinson, an anti-Islam campaigner who is leading a “Brexit betrayal” march in London on Sunday, has received funding from a US tech billionaire and a thinktank based in Philadelphia.

Two other US thinktanks, part-funded by some of the biggest names in rightwing funding, have published a succession of articles in support of Robinson, who has become a cause célèbre among the American far right since he was jailed in May for two months …

See : Revealed: the hidden global network behind Tommy Robinson, Josh Halliday, Lois Beckett, Caelainn Barr, The Guardian, December 8, 2018 | How US billionaires are fuelling the hard-right cause in Britain, George Monbiot, The Guardian, December 7, 2018 | Revealed: US Oil Billionaire Charles Koch Funds UK Anti-Environment Spiked Network, Mike Small, desmoguk, December 6, 2018 | RCP/LM watch : Keeping an eye on the RCP/LM and its fronts.

See also : On Right-Wing Trolls Touring Australia in 2018 (December 1, 2018) | Politics, protests and profit – next stop Australia for the far-right, Dino Vlachos, The Citizen, December 10, 2018.

Posted in Anti-fascism, Death, History, Media, State / Politics, That's Capitalism! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment