Yeah Nah Pasaran! : New weekly radio show on 3CR : January 16, 2020

Hey!

Tomorrow on 3CR Dr Cam and I are debuting our new show: Yeah Nah Pasaran.

Examining, through an anti-fascist lens, ethno-nationalism, white supremacy and neo-fascism in so-called Australia, Aotearoa & around the world. Andy Fleming & Cam Smith talk to writers and fighters about angry blighters.

For our first episode, we’re talking to Jeff Sparrow about his new book Fascists Among Us: online hate and the Christchurch massacre (Scribe Publications, 2019).

Tune in at 4.30pm, Thursday, January 16 on 855AM or livestreaming on the 3CR website.

Cheers!

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. ~

Antifa is liberalism, feminism is cancer, and I’m a monkey’s uncle

My first reaction on reading Marianne Garneau’s essay ‘Antifa is liberalism’ (Ritual, April 11, 2018) was: lolwut. The second was to be reminded of Ward Churchill’s essay ‘Pacifism As Pathology’: in particular, his being at pains to distinguish between, on the one hand, examining pacifism as pathology and, on the other, arguing in favour of the notion that pacifism is pathology. [1] On further reflection — and leaving aside the fact that I think the weaknesses in the author’s claims are reasonably apparent and that similar kinds of arguments have been made previously — I thought I may as well write a more considered response. [2]

To begin with, it’s obviously useful to examine the meaning both of antifa and of fascism. While ‘fascism’ is left undefined and largely unexamined, for Garneau ‘antifa’, as well as being a species of liberalism, is also a political strategy: ‘direct physical and verbal confrontation with extreme right groups, in person and online’. [3] This strategy, they argue, has radical pretensions which ‘ironically’ places it at odds with liberalism (the strategy of direct confrontation with extreme right groups violates liberal principles of freedom of speech and assembly). Nonetheless, antifa is liberal(ism) in the sense that it’s founded upon a liberal understanding of society as ‘a collection of individuals’ and — glossing Hobbes, Locke and Rawls — ‘society is simply an amalgamation of the private preferences and behaviors of private citizens’. This liberal conception of society is opposed to one which ‘looks at how society is structured, and to whose benefit’ and takes ‘stock of societal institutions and their functioning, to examine how this deploys relationships of power between different social groups’. This perspective, argues Garneau, is critical to understanding contemporary society, and is absent from the ‘antifa’ worldview. In summary, ‘antifa is liberalism’ because the underlying philosophical and political assumptions which govern its practice are liberal.

Is this an accurate description? Does antifa ‘draw our attention away from systemic problems and towards individual behavior’? Does it individualise racism and fail to understand or to address its systemic nature? Does it devote too much attention to countering the Alt-Right on college campuses and ‘outing’ closeted fascists who occupy public office? Maybe; maybe not: it’s difficult to know given that the author doesn’t examine in any detail any particular anti-fascist group or project, or identify the liberal villain lurking at the heart of their praxis. By my reckoning, however, I don’t think that the argument can be sustained, at least not if the handful of longer-term antifa projects in the US — which list includes NYC Antifa, Rose City Antifa, and The TORCH Network — are the object of scrutiny. In fact, I would argue that the opposite is the case, that the collectives which have assembled around these projects are: armed with a structural analysis of racism, fascism and white supremacy; committed to locating contemporary political developments within their social and historical contexts and, by doing so, relating fascism and the far-right to broader social structures; prepared to acknowledge the limitations of antifa as a revolutionary and liberatory praxis; nevertheless insistent on taking fascism seriously, and acting in order to contains its growth.

I would further suggest that understanding contemporary anti-fascism in the United States, North America and elsewhere requires some understanding of its history. [4] And while the definitive account of this history is yet to be written, there are traces, and these traces tend to undermine Garneau’s argument. Take, for example, the emergence of ‘Anti-Racist Action’ in the late 1980s. In its origins, it involved a small group of young people in Minneapolis deciding to fight back against the attempted infiltration of the punk and skinhead community by neo-Nazi and white supremacist elements. This project eventually expanded to include folks in other cities and from other cultural and political communities. [5] In any event, the ‘existential’ nature of this threat was not abstract but concrete — as is often the case when there’s an increase in fascist political activity. This is an important point which I think is missing from Garneau’s account.

To return to the subject of the relationship between anti-fascism, liberalism and radical politics, on one level I’m not overly-concerned if anti-fascism is understood as being one or the other: the more pressing question is ‘is it effective’? To answer this question requires an understanding of the goals of anti-fascism beyond ‘opposing fascism’. One of the chief complaints ‘Antifa is liberalism’ makes has to do with the inefficacy of antifa. Punching nazis in the face, disrupting speeches by Alt-Right demagogues and exposing neo-Nazi and white supremacist individuals in uniform and in public office, we are informed, do not bring about the destruction of systemic forms of race- and class-based domination and exploitation, transform college campuses into welcoming spaces for trans and/or undocumented students, or counter state policies that impoverish and marginalise the general population. Such claims are not new, and this line of argument is not unique. [6] In this context, these supposed failures could more simply be read as the product of a misunderstanding of the goals of anti-fascism. If so, then a more relevant question for those committed to egalitarian social change would be: to what extent does anti-fascism contribute to or retard the development of such a political project? In which context, I think the following is apt:

To theorize is simply to try to understand what we are doing. We are all theorists whenever we honestly discuss what has happened, distinguish between the significant and the irrelevant, see through fallacious explanations, recognize what worked and what didn’t, consider how something might be done better next time. Radical theorizing is simply talking or writing to more people about more general issues in more abstract (i.e. more widely applicable) terms. Even those who claim to reject theory theorize — they merely do so more unconsciously and capriciously, and thus more inaccurately.

Theory without particulars is empty, but particulars without theory are blind. Practice tests theory, but theory also inspires new practice.

Radical theory has nothing to respect and nothing to lose. It criticizes itself along with everything else. It is not a doctrine to be accepted on faith, but a tentative generalization that people must constantly test and correct for themselves, a practical simplification indispensable for dealing with the complexities of reality.

But hopefully not an oversimplification. Any theory can turn into an ideology, become rigidified into a dogma, be twisted to hierarchical ends. A sophisticated ideology may be relatively accurate in certain respects; what differentiates it from theory is that it lacks a dynamic relation to practice. Theory is when you have ideas; ideology is when ideas have you. “Seek simplicity, and distrust it.”

One final point.

Garneau claims that: ‘In general, antifa treats white supremacy as a matter of inner beliefs rather than of the structure of society that grants arbitrary privilege to white people, ensures the white working class’s compliance with the capitalist system of exploitation, and further represses and disciplines the part of the class that isn’t white.’ I don’t think this is correct. On the one hand, many who involve themselves in anti-fascist organising do so from a left perspective which is critical of the role of racism in dividing workers and derailing class struggle, and whose opposition to fascism and the far right is partly derived from a commitment to furthering this struggle. On the other hand, the understanding of white supremacy and its political function is in general, I would suggest, more along the lines of that advanced by antifa blogs such as Three Way Fight:

Three Way Fight is a blog that promotes revolutionary anti-fascist analysis, strategy, and activism. Unlike liberal anti-fascists, we believe that “defending democracy” is an illusion, as long as that “democracy” is based on a socio-economic order that exploits and oppresses human beings. Global capitalism and the related structures of patriarchy, heterosexism, racial and national oppression represent the main source of violence and human suffering in the world today. Far right supremacism and terrorism grow out of this system and cannot be eradicated as long as it remains in place.

At the same time, unlike many on the revolutionary left, we believe that fascists and other far rightists aren’t simply tools of the ruling class. They can also form an autonomous political force that clashes with the established order in real ways, or even seeks to overthrow global capitalism and replace it with a radically different oppressive system. We believe the greatest threat from fascism in this period is its ability to exploit popular grievances and its potential to rally mass support away from any liberatory anti-capitalist vision.

Perhaps the chief difference in perspectives here is the considered belief that ‘fascism’ is not reducible to the political effect of a social structure; that individuals, properly organised, can in fact assume the status of a ‘vested institutional interest’. As such, fascism poses a threat to the ‘organs of working class power’ that Garneau and other leftists would like to develop, one which is not reducible to and should not be mistaken for the ‘Confederate flag-waving, hate-spewing racists’ that Garneau believes constitutes the limits of antifa understanding, and a threat which requires a more serious and nuanced analysis than on offer in Ritual. In any case, the last word belongs to Mark Bray:

The only long-term solution to the fascist menace is to undermine its pillars of strength in society grounded not only in white supremacy but also in ableism, heteronormativity, patriarchy, nationalism, transphobia, class rule, and many others. This long-term goal points to the tensions that exist in defining anti-fascism, because at a certain point destroying fascism is really about promoting a revolutionary socialist alternative (in my opinion one that is antiauthoritarian and nonhierarchical) to a world of crisis, poverty, famine, and war that breeds fascist reaction …

Undoubtedly street blockades and other forms of confrontational opposition can be very useful against any political opponent, but once far-right formations have manged to broadcast their xenophobic, dystopian platforms, it is incumbent upon us to drown them out with even better alternatives to the austerity and incompetence of the governing parties of the Right and Left.

On its own, militant anti-fascism is necessary but not sufficient to build a new world in the shell of the old.

[1] See also : This Nonviolent Stuff′ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible, Charles E. Cobb, Duke University Press, 2015; The Failure of Nonviolence, Peter Gelderloos, Left Bank Books, 2015; How nonviolence is misrepresented, Brian Martin (Gandhi Marg, Vol.30, No.2, July-September 2008).
[2] See, for example, ‘Fascism/Antifascism’ by Jean Barrot (Gilles Dauvé) and numerous other, related materials on libcom.
[3] On fascism in the US, see : ‘Neofascism in the White House’, John Bellamy Foster, Monthly Review, Vol.68, No.11, April 2017 (‘Not only a new administration, but a new ideology has now taken up residence at the White House: neofascism. It resembles in certain ways the classical fascism of Italy and Germany in the 1920s and ’30s, but with historically distinct features specific to the political economy and culture of the United States in the opening decades of the twenty-first century’).
[4] Recent titles of relevance include: Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, Mark Bray, Melville House, 2017 and Militant Anti-Fascism: A Hundred Years of Resistance, Mala Testa, AK Press, 2015. See also : Beating The Fascists: The Untold Story of Anti-Fascist Action, Freedom Press, 2012; ‘Red Action – Left Wing Political Pariah: Some Observations Regarding Ideological Apostasy and the Discourse of Proletarian Resistance’, Mark Hayes (published as Chapter 12 in Against the Grain: The British far left from 1956, Evan Smith and Matthew Worley, eds, Manchester University Press, 2014). Two journal articles of particular relevance are ”A Good Deal of Disorder’ or The Anarchists & Anti-Fascism In The UK’, M. Testa, Anarchist Studies, Vol.25, No.2, 2017 [PDF] and ‘Anti-Fascism and Prefigurative Ethics’, Benjamin Franks, Affinities: A Journal of Radical Theory, Culture, and Action, Vol.8, No.1, Summer 2014 [PDF].
[5] See : Solecast 44 w/ Mic Crenshaw on The Anti-Racist Action Network & Radical Politics (June 15, 2017). Mic’s account of the origins of ARA, and his reflections on the differences between anti-fascist organising then and now, can also be usefully read alongside ‘How British Police Shut Down the Original UK Antifa’ (James Poulter, Vice, March 12, 2018).
[6] See : On Contact: Antifa with Mark Bray (RT America, September 30, 2017). BRAY: Well you know anti-fascists are not trying to organize an armed uprising; they’re trying to stop small- and medium-sized fascist groups before they advance … See also : ‘The Cult of Violence Always Kills the Left’, Chris Hedges, truthdig, April 16, 2018.

New Wave Army / @AnarchyMami : “anarchafeminist” wEiRdNeSs

Huh.

That’s weird.

Over the course of the last day or two, a number of questions have been posed regarding a website and self-proclaimed anarcha-feminist collective, seemingly based in the US, called the ‘New Wave Army’ (NWA), for which Twitter user ‘@AnarchyMami’ (joined November 2016) served as chief booster, and is claimed to be its founder. I’ve looked, but despite declaring that it came into existence in 2002, traces of its activities over that period are virtually nil. The NWA website — newwavearmy.org (created August 25, 2015) — does note that the co-founder of NWA (whether ‘AnarchyMami’ or some other person) established something called ‘Arm The Homeless’ (ATH), also in 2002. Again, I can find little trace of ATH, although it is documented that in the early 1990s a hoax using that name was conducted (and of course there’s Tom Morello).

Note that, according to the NWA website, this project to ‘arm the homeless’ is one of many proclaimed activities on the part of NWA, including: ‘Operation Orange Crush’ (‘NWA Antifa Network comes together under Operation Orange Crush’); ‘Operation Blowhard’ (‘a media swarm and adbusters campaign aimed at talking heads’); offering ‘pre-membership’ courses and training and; ‘OpValentine’ (‘part of the ongoing Letters to Prisoners campaign’). Interested parties are also invited to ‘join NWA in South Carolina as we face the KKK in #OpHoodsOff’. Finally, NWA was also soliciting donations for some thing called the ‘New Wave Army & Natives With Achievements Winter Caravan’ (which was allegedly to take part in the #NoDAPL camp at Standing Rock) and was even organising a trip to Chiapas, possibly under the auspices of another (derelict) website ‘AnarchyMami’ linked to (brigadadesolidaridad.org, created April 22, 2017). Almost all these activities are accompanied by calls for donations/financial assistance. Joining in the call for $ is (was) another organisation founded in 2015 called ‘A Woman’s Worth, Inc.’, which would appear to be an NGO for which ‘AnarchyMami’ serves as ‘Founder and Executive Director’:

In November 2016, however, NWA, along with scores of other groups, did lend its name to a call to #DisruptJ20 (January 20, 2017 being the date of El Presidente Trump‘s inauguration). The inauguration did witness protest, and a large number of arrests. Currently, hundreds of people are facing felony charges for their participation (see : New Blanket Felony Charges Pressed against J20 Arrestees: An Unprecedented Use of Punitive Charges as a Tactic of Mass Intimidation, CrimethInc, April 29, 2017).

In any event, a number of Twitter users directed questions to NWA on Twitter, including @OLAASM:

Subsequently, the ‘@AnarchyMami’ account has been deactivated, along with the @NewWaveArmy account, and a number of other accounts — @CosmoShivaCyan, @DeannaInsurrect, @KristenStonedAF, @marinaxxxross, @NewWaveArmyLulu, @NewWaveArmyRuby, @nwa_valmedina, @QueenAmareen, @TiaAnarchistNWA — which may (or may not) have functioned as sockpuppets.

It appears that a number of people had some doubts about the bona fides of NWA, sparked by various forms of ‘odd’ behaviour. For example, ‘@BlackAutonomist’ tweets:

The NWA described itself not only as having been established in 2002, but as comprising everyone from radical feminists to (lesbian?) separatists to liberal and even neo-liberal feminists ‘across two waves’: a very odd assortment of ideologies and practices. NWA also published information on its website regarding courses in ‘self-defence’, including a list of suitable providers. Oddly for an anarchist project, NWA recommended seeking self-defence training from various police departments, seemingly from all over the United States. So … it’s a little difficult to know what to make of it all, but it’s curious that the response by ‘AnarchyMami’ and NWA to what would otherwise be considered reasonable questions was to almost immediately shut down their accounts across various social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, YouTube et. al.). Before this took place, however, the NWA Twitter account also twatted that it was gonna d0x ‘Black Autonomist’ and even threw in a reference to d0xxing the neo-Nazi skinhead network the Hammerskins for good measure.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

All very odd stuff, but I suspect that this is far less likely to be the result of some hostile force playing funny buggers on teh intarweb than it is some over-enthusiastic ‘anarchist’ LARPing.

See also : Black Rose Syndicat (Addendum) (January 7, 2014).

RALLY AGAINST RACISM – Melbourne Sat April 4 @ Fed Square

rarapr4

On Saturday April 4 the far right have organised a series of public rallies under the title of ‘Reclaim Australia’.

Because Muslims.

In Melbourne, organisers have elected to rally at the Shrine of Remembrance Federation Square.

A counter-rally has been organised under the title of ‘Rally Against Racism’.

The last time the far right attempted to rally in Melbourne was in May 2011. A strong counter-mobilisation ensured that the event was effectively disrupted. (A prior rally in April 2010 was also unsuccessful, being reduced to a handful of drunken boneheads shouting racist abuse.)

Please help promote the counter-rally among your networks. Muslim-hating may — with the assistance of segments of government and media — have become a national/ist sport, but there’s no need to allow mass public expressions of such hatred and contempt to go unchallenged.

rememberwhen