From Cronulla to St Kilda? Australia/Invasion/Survival Day 2018

This Friday, the racist methgoblins of the True Blue Crew, in conjunction with the neo-Nazi remnants of the United Patriots Front now known as ‘The Lads Society’, are holding a rally and BBQ at St Kilda Beach. This is both a patriotik event and, perhaps, a response to recent news that #AfricanGangs have been running amok. The fact that Romper Stomper also featured a similar party at the beach is no doubt a coincidence. In any event, joining the boys will be Neil Erikson and ‘Patriot Blue’ (see Romper Stomper); or at least, that’s what The Australian reckons:

Neil Erikson and far-right group want to ‘welcome’ new Australians
Richard Ferguson
The Australian
January 22, 2018

A Victorian far-right activist has defended his plans to disrupt a citizenship ceremony at an anti-Australia Day local council.

Neil Erikson says he and other members of his group Patriot Blue would be counter-protesting Moreland City Council, which voted last year to scrap Australia Day.

“We’re not here to scare anyone, we’re peaceful … we want to welcome the new citizens at Moreland City Council to know it’s not just January 26, it’s Australia Day,” he told The Australian.

“And to know that the councillors are a bunch of undemocratic, treasonous communists.”

Mr Erikson, a former neo-Nazi, also said he will attend an Invasion Day rally in Melbourne’s CBD on Friday where he and Patriot Blue members will counter-protest with Australian flags.

“If the violent left want to attack us, that’s on them … we expect the police to protect us and protect Australia Day.”

Thousands of people, including children, are expected at Friday’s rally where they will demand [sic] Australia Day’s date is changed from January 26, which they consider offensive to Aboriginal people as it is the anniversary of the First Fleet and the start of colonialism.

Mr Erikson came to national prominence for ambushing former Labor senator Sam Dastyari in a Melbourne bar last year.

It was revealed last week in the Federal Circuit Court Mr Erikson had recently been charged with assault, affray and riotous behaviour in regards to a riot outside far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos’s Melbourne speaking gig last month.

Moreland City Council was targeted by a group including Mr Erikson last October for its decision to support a change to Australia Day’s date, when far-right protesters crashed a council meeting and brandished a fake coffin with the national flag painted on it.

But the council has only received a formal warning from the federal government over their anti-Australia Day stance unlike Yarra and Darebin Councils which had their citizenship ceremonies cancelled.

Sources close to the council said they had expected to fly under the radar of far right activists on Friday as their citizenship event clashed directly with the Invasion Day rally.

Mayor John Kavanagh said Moreland City has updated its security arrangements and had been working with Victoria Police in the run up to their Friday citizenship ceremony.

“It would be incredibly disappointing if such a joyous occasion was tarnished by individuals or groups protesting something unrelated to the ceremony,” he said.

Invasion Day rally organiser Tarneen Onus-Williams told The Australian she did not fear for the safety of her fellow protesters due to the large police presence she expects to be in the CBD on Friday.

“We also have legal observers and human rights observers coming who will be keeping watch over the rally,” she said.

Ms Onus-Williams said any violence would be a result of the “far right protesting against us.”

“This is a family event and people often bring children, our nieces and nephews and little cousins are there. This is not a violent protest,” she said.

Victoria Police told The Australian protesters and other Melburnians would note an “increased police presence” on Australia Day this year.

“Extensive planning has been undertaken with all relevant stakeholders including local councils … As always, police will not tolerate any anti-social or criminal behaviour,” a police spokesman said.

Note that Neil was angwy and upset at the popularity of last year’s Invasion Day rally in Melbourne, wishing that alleged killer James Gargasoulas — ‘accused of driving a car through the busy Bourke Street mall and along the footpath for several blocks on January 20, hitting and killing six people and injuring many others’ — had driven his car into the crowd:

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Note:

• Along with Neil, Garry Hume, Ricky/Rikki Turner and Richard Whelan of ‘Patriot Blue’ are also facing charges in connection to the MILO stoopid of December last year;
• Both Garry (in blue jumpsuit) and Ricky/Rikki joined Neil in disrupting the Moreland Council meeting in October last year.

Never Mind The (White) Nationalist Bollocks, Here’s The Invasion Day Protests

2018 marks the 80th anniversary of the ‘Day of Mourning’: ‘a protest held by Aboriginal Australians on 26 January 1938, the sesquicentenary of British colonisation of Australia’.

Welcome To Country details a range of activities on January 26 in Melbourne, Meanjin (Brisbane), Sydney, Perth, Canberra, Adelaide, Darwin, Townsville, Hobart, Lismore and Bermagui; you can also celebrate Survival Day in Belgrave. The Melbourne (Naarm) event kicks off with a rally at 11am at Parliament; supporters are asked to bring flowers to lay on the steps if they’re so inclined. The Balit Narrun Festival commences at 1pm in Treasury Gardens. According to organisers, the ‘artistic direction for 2018 is about ‘strength in culture’ with the Songlines changing the name of the festival to Balit Narrun (Strong Spirit). Balit Narrun will feature cultural art, music, dance. It is family friendly, and will have food and children’s activities available’. See also : Survival Day events around Australia – What, When and Where?, NITV, January 23, 2018.

Indigenous X has published/is publishing a series of articles and reflections on Australia/Invasion/Survival Day, by Claire G Coleman, Tony Birch, Karen Wyld, Matt Hefferan and Eugenia Fylnn.

Finally, a note on history by way of Robert Hughes (The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia’s Founding, 1986):

• The proposal to colonize Botany Bay with convicts was formally drawn up in an unsigned document titled “Heads of a Plan for effectually disposing of convicts” and was presented to the British cabinet in August 1786. Its emphasis was clear: The proposed colony would serve as “a remedy for the evils likely to result from the late alarming and numerous increase of felons in this country, and more particularly in the metropolis.” The secondary benefit of the region’s raw materials was presented at the end of the document: “It may also be proper to attend to the possibility of procuring… masts and ships’ timber for the use of our fleets in India, as the distance between the two countries is not greater than between Great Britain and America…”

• By 1837, hanging was mainly restricted to cases of murder, while crime after crime — forgery, cattle-theft, housebreaking — was relegated to the less terrible and magical status of a “transportable” offense. Slowly, the English authorities acknowledged the mistakes and fantasies that had led their predecessors to fetishize the death penalty. But the real rise of transportation began, not with the law itself, but with its new enforcers: the “peelers,” the English police, established by Sir Robert Peel in 1827 [see also : Origins of the police, David Whitehouse, worxintheory, December 7, 2014]. A police force meant a huge rise, not in gross crime, but in successful arrests and convictions. Likewise, the abandonment of transportation was not caused by any fall in crime, but by three other factors: the growing moral and political opposition to the System of transportation among English reformers in the 1830s, the growth of an alternative English penitentiary system and the Australians’ own opposition to a continuous dumping of fresh criminals on what, after 50 years of settlement, they had come to view as their own soil.

• In their most sanguine moments, the authorities hoped that Australia would eventually swallow a whole class — the “criminal class,” whose existence was one of the prime sociological beliefs of late Georgian and early Victorian England. Australia was settled to defend English property not from the frog-eating invader across the Channel but from the marauder within. English lawmakers wished not only to get rid of the “criminal class” but if possible to forget about it. Australia was a cloaca, invisible, its contents filthy and unnameable. Jeremy Bentham, inveighing against the “thief-colony” in 1812, argued that transportation: “…was indeed a measure of experiment… but the subject-matter of experiment was, in this case, a peculiarly commodious one; a set of animae viles, a sort of excrementitious mass, that could be projected, and accordingly was projected — projected, and as it should seem purposely — as far out of sight as possible.”

Romper Stomper Pulls On Its Boots Again (But Forgets To Thread Its Laces)

WARNING : CONTAINS SPOILERS

Everything that needs be said about Stan’s new drama Romper Stomper has likely already been said, but for what it’s worth I thought I’d throw my two cents in.

To begin with, I suppose I should mention that I was contacted by the show’s producers back in August, asking me if I was interested in having a chat. I said yeah sure, but I never got a reply. In any event, I doubt very much anything I would’ve had to say would’ve made much difference to the final product, which adopts the conventional wisdom of liberal pundits: both neo-Nazis and anti-fascists are Bad because violence.

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Among folks I know who watched it, most but not all thought it was Pretty Bad: ‘enough plot holes to trigger trypophobia’; ‘the acting was woeful’; ‘underwhelming’. Among the experts, opinion on the show seems fairly-evenly divided between fanboy enthusiasm (academic Troy Whitford describes it as ‘a compelling investigation into Australia’s extremist politics’) and severe reservation (television critic Craig Matheson reckons it ‘commits a fatal error by rehabilitating extremists’). On the whole, I thought it was reasonably entertaining, if somewhat daft in its pretensions to documenting recent political conflicts in Melbourne; I’m also a sucker for any show which depicts the city and enjoy guessing the location shoots (which in this case were kinda odd).*

Written by director Geoffrey Wright, James Napier Robertson, Malcolm Knox and Omar Musa, the first episode begins with a peculiar re-telling of a ‘real life’ incident which occurred in April 2016, when the Sydney-based ‘Party for Freedom’ organised a picket outside the halal expo in Ascot Vale. The reality was fairly mundane: a small group of anTEEfa clashed with the picketers, nicked some of their tat, and one white supremacist, Ryan Fletcher, fell over and hurt himself. The fictional account, on the other hand, features a very elaborate display on the part of the ‘Antifasc’ and a near-total absence of police. (IRL, all of the patriotik events of 2015–2016, especially those in Melbourne, witnessed very large and often overwhelming police mobilisations.) It was also amusing to witness ‘Antifasc’ retrieving rocks from a bucket and their primitive battle formation. While the scene serves to underscore the amateurish and para-military nature of ‘Antifasc’, it could be that the spectacular was inspired by a similar scene at an anti-Trump rally in November 2016:

Barista, Barista! Antifascista!

The clash outside the halal expo is also recorded by one of the ‘Antifasc’ and this data is then fwded to ‘McKew’, a politics lecturer who performs the role of the bRanes behind ‘Antifasc’. McKew maintains a site called ‘The Slacker’s Guide to Fascists’ which helpfully contains the byline ‘This blog is for all things Antifascist based in Melbourne Australia’.

No prizes for guessing who inspired that hottt take.

Described as ‘A high stakes drama that follows a new generation of far right activists, their Anti-Fascist counterparts, and its impact on today’s multicultural society’, the most sympathetic rendering is reserved for those:

Caught up in the conflict … three young Muslim characters, Farid, a nurse at an aged care facility studying at university, his girlfriend Laila, a student who will be appropriated as a media star of the left by the antifascist group, and Malik, Farid’s brother and a talented MMA fighter. The revolutionary zeal of the antifascist movement is embodied in the ruthless Petra, her boyfriend Danny, and the ideological ringmaster McKew.

Both Laila and Petra are students of the ideological ringmaster McKew, and indeed ‘Antifasc’ is composed exclusively of Uni students. ‘Patriot Blue’, on the other hand, are salt-of-the-earth types who attended The School of Hard Knocks and The University of Life; leaving aside their leader Blake Farron’s penchant for the poetry of Henry Lawson, the patriotik volk have scant interest in knowledge, but are very committed to acquiring (white) power. While this depiction has some merit, the reality, which is rather more messy, is obviously a little too messy for the show’s writers, and I suppose it makes narrative sense to squash it into more-easily digestible stereotypes. Kane, the troubled yoof who eventually displaces Blake as fuehrer of ‘Patriot Blue’, is presumably meant to be a typical patriot, though his motivations for joining the fascists is never really properly explored.

Other than collect rocks in buckets, members of ‘Antifasc’ also run some kinda street kitchen — the only indication that they’re involved in other political activities — in which they serve ‘Chicken or tomato?’ soup to the homeless. This, presumably, is a reference to Food Not Bombs, which has been providing free vegan food to the public at regular street kitchens for about the last 20 years in Melbourne, and for around 40 years across the globe. It’s at one of these kitchens that ‘Antifasc’ meet with Kane’s li’l sis (recently escaped from juvenile detention). Within the space of a day or two after this fortuitous meeting (the script teems with such coincidences), she suddenly finds herself at the heart of their operations. This is rather poor OpSec, as well as unbelievable, but it serves the story, and reproduces the compressed narrative that describes the arc of almost all the main characters.

The ‘Antifasc’ crew are also rather derelict in their revolutionary duties when in episode four, ‘The Dark Heart of Things’, one of their members, Danny (Petra’s boyfriend), is hospitalised and placed into an induced coma following a bizarre set-piece with ‘Patriot Blue’ on St Kilda beach (which also served as the location of the halal expo in the first episode). Again, police are absent from this scenario, as they are generally, with the exception of one spook working for the AFP. Neither is it front page news — which is also rather remarkable. The episode, written by Musa, also introduces African gangbangers, who run into the ‘Patriot Blue’ crew outside a convenience store (located on Sydney Road in Brunswick). Later, the gangbangers Hyjak N Torcha one of the men they encounter outside the store. Speaking of which …

The interaction between the fictional world of Romper Stomper and reality has been at the centre of many debates regarding it, both in its original iteration as a film (1992) and as TV (2017). Thus when twice-convicted racist Neil Erikson adopted the name ‘Patriot Blue’ in an attempt to capitalise on the publicity surrounding the relaunch, Stan and Roadshow initiated legal action against him for copyright violation:

Stan and Roadshow Productions would like to clarify that while our series does refer to a purely fictional group created for the series called Patriot Blue, there is no association between our organisations or the Romper Stomper production team and those involved in yesterday’s incident [ie, the racist abuse of Labor MP Sam Dastyari at a bar at Victoria University]. We strongly condemn the actions of this group and racial discrimination in all its forms.

Be that as it may, in the last few weeks the actions of so-called #AfricanGangs has once again been in the news, part of a campaign spearheaded by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton. Dutton, Newscorpse, and numerous trollumnists obviously hope to create a wedge issue by which they further hope that the Andrews Labor state government may be defeated at the 2018 state election. The SCREAMING HEADLINES! have also naturally triggered the methgoblins of the True Blue Crew. (Note that, in episode two, the ‘Patriot Blue’ street patrol not only string up graf artists, beat African yoof and hand out blankets to the homeless, they also smash a meth lab. Remarkably, none of these activities result in police intervention. IRL, just a few weeks ago Nathan Davidson, a neo-Nazi United Patriots Front fanboy from Canberra, was arrested and chargedagain — with possession of ‘600 grams of the drug ice, 1000 MDMA pills, as well as $90,000 in cash at his city home’, along with quantities of heroin, cocaine and anabolic steroids.)

Fourth Reich Fighting Men From Melton

Inspired by Dutton and the tabloids, the True Blue Crew has organised a meeting tomorrow to organise vigilantism directed at African yoof — the ones what stick guns in your face, kidnap and torture youse like what they do in ‘Romper Stomper’. Predictably, it’s received a ton of media attention, assurances from police that they’ll be keeping a close eye on the boys, and rapturous applause from the peanut gallery. If successful, the TBC (and the remnants of the UPF) will join the ranks of the Soldiers of Odin, A26A and Asolate Security in mounting street patrols and who knows, maybe even Avi Yemini will join the gang. And in another case of life-imitating-art-imitating-life, the same gang has refused to be SAD and have organised a BBQ for January 26.

On St Kilda beach.

Never Mind The Bollocks

Any body interested in the reality of anti-fascist activism should watch The Antifascists (2017).

See also : Romper stomped, Rick Kuhn, Red Flag, December 30, 2017 /// Romper stomping through the cliches, Nicola Paris, Medium, January 3, 2018.

* Kane and his sidekick Stix both reside at the Victoria Hotel in Brunswick, which also happens to be the favourite watering-hole of ‘Antifasc’.