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.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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.

Antifa Australia goes for the jugular (while I make some comments) …

On the weekend The Australian published a lengthy article by Chip Le Grand on antifa in Australia.

Below are some comments.

Antifa Australia goes for the jugular
Chip Le Grand
The Australian
December 9, 2017

The first rule of antifa is you do not talk about antifa. Not to a journalist, at any rate. It is less an organisation than a broad objective across the radical left; a determination to block, frustrate and ultimately silence far-right politics. It is fundamentally illiberal and necessarily secretive. For these reasons, it is poorly understood and readily mischaracterised.

Ssshhh …

To the best of my knowledge, there have only been one or two occasions on which anTEEfa in Australia have spoken to journalists. First, ‘Beneath the black mask: inside Australia’s anti-fascist Antifa groups’ (Peter Munro, The Sydney Morning Herald, May 21, 2016) contains interviews with three anti-fascists. Secondly, a former anti-fascist, Shayne Hunter, was recently interviewed for a piece in the Murdoch press (‘I established a terror movement in Australia, and I quit’, news.com.au, October 25, 2017). Perhaps the first time the term was used in media reportage in a local context was 2014 (Australia’s Golden Dawn Rally Falls Embarrassingly Flat, Lauren Gillin, VICE, May 7, 2014). See also : Cronulla protests: what is the anti-fascist group Antifa?, Michael McGowan, The Sydney Morning Herald, December 12, 2015 | Explainer: what is antifa, and where did it come from?, Troy Whitford, The Conversation, August 30, 2017.

Beyond that: while it’s true that ant-fascists generally seek to disrupt fascist organising, completely eradicating far-right and fascist politics is hardly an achievable objective. Instead, most seek to simply limit, as much as possible and given the means available, the growth of such political expressions. The liberality of these actions, as well as their public status, is generally determined by their context.

Antifa activists are not mindless thugs. They are well organised and, generally, experienced political and social activists who are prepared to resort to violence — they say reluctantly — to deny the far right any platform from which to promote its ideas. In Melbourne and Sydney this week, they mobilised more than 100 supporters within an hour to shout down a speaking event by the alt-right’s charismatic bomb thrower, Milo Yiannopoulos.

Leaving aside the alleged mindlessness and thuggery (and the claim that Milo is ‘charismatic’), the fact that several hundred people (ie, several hundred more than 100) mobilised in Melbourne in order to protest Milo Yiannopoulos’s performance at Melbourne Pavilion last Monday was. not. simply. the result of a preparedness to act at short notice, but rather active campaigning over months (and years).

[snip] The antifa view of the world is that far-right politics — particularly white supremacy, nationalist chauvinism and the kind of fascism that tore Europe apart in the middle of the 20th century — is again on the rise across Western democracies.

Accurate or otherwise, that’s not a view confined to those actively opposing white supremacy and ultra-nationalism, as a search for relevant materials would demonstrate. To put it another way: there’s a rational basis for concern over a resurgent far-right in Europe, both Western and Eastern. That said, Australia is somewhat peculiar in terms of Western democracies, a theme also explored in the relevant literature. Or as Oswald Mosley claimed in 1933: ‘I always thought it remarkable that Australia, without studying the Fascist political philosophy and methods, so spontaneously developed a form of fascism peculiarly suited to the needs of the British Empire.’ See also : Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association (ACRAWSA).

In the US, this conviction has made bedfellows of anarchists, Marxists, socialists, anti-racists and other militant activists beneath the antifa doona. In Australia, existing left-wing groups such as Socialist Alternative have diverted resources from other campaigns to fight what they describe as the fascist menace. New groups, such as Jews Against Fascism, have formed to fight the far right.

The start of this counterculture war can be traced to the Easter weekend two years ago when a large Reclaim Australia rally took over Melbourne’s Federation Square. Hassan is a 31-year-old bartender and events manager. He is also an active member of Socialist Alternative who contributes regularly to its online publication, Red Flag. “The size and breadth of that mobilisation of the far right shook many of us up,” he says. “Nationally, we decided to prioritise anti-fascist organising.”

The same event prompted Jordana Silverstein, a University of Melbourne academic, to form Jews Against Fascism. “We fundamentally disagree that if you ignore fascists they will go away,” she tells Inquirer. “They don’t. They become emboldened.”

In the US, contemporary antifa activity is generally traced back to the 1980s, when youth subcultures like skinhead and punk were the subject of concerted efforts at infiltration by the radical right, which in turn generated (militant) opposition. Hence it was in the late ’80s that Skin Heads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARP) formed in New York and Anti-Racist Action (ARA) was born, the groundwork for the latter being laid by a skinhead crew in Minneapolis called The Baldies. (ARA’s contemporary expression is the Torch network.) A lot has happened between Then and Now, but certainly the Trump era has given added impetus to antifa organising in the US. See also : Inside the Underground Anti-Racist Movement That Brings the Fight to White Supremacists, Wes Enzinna, Mother Jones, May/June 2017.

In Australia, I’d argue that ‘the start of this counterculture war’ was a little earlier than April 4, 2015. Certainly, if anti-fascism is ‘less an organisation than a broad objective across the radical left; a determination to block, frustrate and ultimately silence far-right politics’, then its origins in Australia may be traced back as far as the 1920s and to the Italian migrant anti-fascists (see : Fascism, Anti-Fascism and the Italians in Australia: 1922–1945, Gianfranco Crestiani, Australian National University, 1980). More recently, anti-fascists in Melbourne actively campaigned against Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party and National Action in the 1990s. [For (Marxist) analysis, see : How we stopped Pauline Hanson last time, Tess Lee Ack, Marxist Left Review, No.12 (Winter 2016) / Understanding Hansonism (Ben Reid) & When the Australian ruling class embraced fascism (Louise O’Shea), Marxist Left Review, No.13 (Summer 2017).]

Otherwise: SAlt was largely absent on April 4, 2015, this also being the weekend of their annual Marxism conference, and the opposition to Reclaim on that occasion was drawn from other segments of Teh Left in Melbourne.

The antifa armoury includes more than protest chants and punches. Mark Bray, formerly an activist in the Occupy Wall Street movement, is the author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, published in Australia by Melbourne University Press. In interviews with anti-fascist activists in Europe and the US, Bray explores antifa tactics including the dark art of doxxing, a form of online sabotage pioneered by computer hackers.

In the antifa context, doxxing means the outing of Nazi sympathisers — the publication of ­information that identifies anonymous far-right bloggers or activists, which in turn puts pressure on employers to sack them. This year a University of Nebraska philosophy student, Cooper Ward, was doxxed and unmasked as the voice on an anti-Semitic podcast, The Daily Shoah. Bray says he was driven off campus and into hiding.

“Despite the media portrayal of a deranged, bloodthirsty antifa … the vast majority of anti-fascist tactics involve no physical violence whatsoever,” Bray writes.

“Anti-fascists conduct research on the far right online, in person and sometimes through infiltration; they dox them, push cultural milieux to disown them, pressure bosses to fire them and demand that venues cancel their shows, conferences and meetings; they organise educational events, reading groups, trainings, athletic tournaments and fundraisers; they write articles, leaflets and newspapers, drop banners, and make videos … But it is also true that some of them punch Nazis in the face and don’t apologise for it.”

Got d0x?

First, yes, ‘d0xxing’ is A Thing … though in Australia it tends not to extend as far as it does elsewhere. Thus, in my own case, while I’ve named a number of local AltRight figures — David Hilton (‘Moses Apostaticus’) is one recent example — I don’t publish full deets, most infos is drawn from open-sources and often relies upon simply drawing upon previous research (or is the result of a tip-off). Thus it’s also been possible to identify a number of the nazis who assembled outside Melbourne Pavilion last week simply by referring to previously published material. Inre Cooper Ward and ‘The Daily Shoah’, Ward was one of several neo-Nazis ‘outed’ at this time, including Mike Peinovich (‘Mike Enoch’). His outing as a neo-Nazi activist resulted, inter alia, in his separation from his (Jewish) wife — but the Shoah must and has gone on. Unmentioned but relevant in this context is that both the sitting MP George Christensen and former Labor leader turned angry old pensioner Mark Latham have appeared as guests on the podcast network TRS (for which ‘The Convict Report’ is the local expression).

[snip] 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. Consider the rollcall of hard-right leaders who turned out in Kensington in support of Yian­nopoulos. Neil Erikson, a far-right agitator and leader of a small group known as Patriot Blue, used to be a Nazi but in recent years has publicly disavowed his former beliefs and now says he is a supporter of Israel.

Who you calling a Nazi, Nazi?

First, Erikson has publicly acknowledged the fact that, from his early- to mid- teens through until the end of 2015/beginning of 2016, he considered himself — and was considered by others — a neo-Nazi activist. A former member and/or associate of Blood & Honour and Nationalist Alternative, Erikson, in addition to having a criminal conviction for stalking a rabbi (February 2014), also ran with the short-lived gang ‘Crazy White Boys’, responsible for the attempted murder of Vietnamese student Minh Duong in 2012. Secondly, prior to ‘Patriot Blue’, Erikson had cycled through numerous other brands and Facebook platforms, and no doubt will jump on another bandwagon when it suits him. Finally, given his record, it’s not unreasonable to view Erikson’s posturings — first as a neo-Nazi, now as a ‘supporter of Israel’ — with some degree of skepticism, and to view his performances as being simply (and more accurately) opportunistic exercises by an attention-seeking, racist, meathead.

Blair Cottrell, the hulking former leader of the defunct United Patriots Front, is fascinated by Adolf Hitler as a historical figure but ridicules neo-Nazism as a contemporary political movement.

Or; Pull the other one (it’s got bells on).

Of course, being a semi-rational political actor, Cottrell doesn’t want to be known as a neo-Nazi. Like others, he understands that this is — still — a political kiss-of-death, properly the domain of uniform fetishists. That said, the reasons he may be described as one are rather more extensive than an apparent fascination with Mister Hitler: from celebrating his birthday to expressing a desire for every Australian school child to be issued with a copy of Mein Kampf … annually. Cottrell’s determination to fight the moral and political degeneracy allegedly caused by The Jew — of which ‘Cultural Marxism’, ‘feminism’ and ‘multiculturalism’ are major symptoms — lies at the heart of his political vision. I documented this in early 2015, collecting a series of his online postings on sites like Facebook and YouTube and republishing them as ‘Quotations From Chairman Blair Cottrell’ (July 27, 2015). Elements of this formed the basis of a The Sydney Morning Herald article published in October 2015 (Blair Cottrell, rising anti-Islam movement leader, wanted Hitler in the classroom, Michael Bachelard, Luke McMahon, October 17, 2015). Leaving aside the fact that Cottrell and the UPF lodged with members of Aryan Nations when they held a rally in Perth; that Queensland neo-Nazi Jim Perren, along with fellow neo-Nazi Bradley Trappitt (Combat 18), organised their failed party launch in Toowoomba in early 2016 (Perren described it as a mini-Nuremberg rally minus the swastikas); that in their internal discussions Cottrell recommended reading The Protocols; that the UPF gave birth to Antipodean Resistance and The Lads Society … leaving all that, and much more, aside, it’s also the case that Cottrell was denounced as a ‘Nazi’ by his former UPF colleagues Shermon Burgess and Neil Erikson. Finally, the words of Jean-Paul Sartre are rather apt in this context:

Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.

To continue:

Avi Yemini, a tough-on-crime activist, is a former Israeli soldier. He recently joined Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives and hopes to stand as a candidate in next year’s Victorian election.

Yemini is not a neo-Nazi, though he wouldn’t be the first Jew to assume such a mantle (cf. Danny Burros and Nathaniel Jacob Sassoon Sykes). Indeed, in May 2013, one Jewish bloke and Republican Party booster, David Cole/Stein, was exposed as a Holocaust denialist; most recently, he’s gone into bat for local ‘transcendental’ fascist Richard Wolstencroft. In any case, Yemini certainly loves associating with neo-Nazis and other fascists, and rarely misses an opportunity to join with them in castigating Bad People (leftists, Muslims, et. al.) for their crimes. On his relationship to the wider Jewish community, this statement by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society is germane.

As for Yiannopoulos, although some of his supporters are Nazi sympathisers — Inquirer was sent a picture of a man giving a Nazi salute as he walked out of his Kensington speaking engagement — there is scant evidence that he is.

When Yiannopoulos was preparing a treatise on the alt-right for the Breitbart website early last year, he sought the input of a white nationalist blogger and self-described Nazi, Andrew Auernheimer, and forwarded it along with contributions from other hard-right figures to his co-author, a Breitbart staff journalist. When the Buzzfeed news site obtained emails exchanged between Auernheimer and Yiannopoulos, it reported them as proof that “Breitbart and Milo smuggled Nazi and white nationalist ideas into the mainstream.” There was no smuggling involved, Nazi or otherwise; Yiannopoulos’s treatise was a rambling cook’s tour of right-wing groups, with Auernheimer quoted as an on-the-record source.

O RLLY.

Actually, the Buzzfeed article — Here’s How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream (Joseph Bernstein, October 6, 2017) — does a little more than document the fact that Yiannopoulos sought the input of neo-Nazi weev into one article he — or rather one of his Breitbart lackeys — wrote. Inter alia, the article ‘also reported that Yiannopoulos’s passwords included references to Kristallnacht, the 1938 anti-Semitic German pogrom that historians mark as the beginning of the Holocaust, and the Night of the Long Knives, the murderous 1934 purge of Hitler’s onetime allies by Nazi paramilitaries.’ It also contains footage of Milo singing karaoke while his friends make Nazi salutes. In any case, Roger Mercer, the billionaire hedge-fund manager bankrolling Breitbart and Milo, recently withdrew his support (citing ‘personal reasons’ for doing so).

[snip] The fallout for antifa [from Milo’s cancelled gig at Berkeley] has been mixed. Speaking to Inquirer from New York, Bray says the movement is stronger and better organised than it was a year ago. “The spectacle of Berkeley and the precedent it set emboldened a lot of anti-racists and anti-fascists,’’ he says. “It was a call to arms for the movement.’’

Berkeley also set in train a series of events that last week culminated in FBI director Christopher Wray announcing that antifa activists were the subject of a counter-terrorism investigation. Wray told the US House of Representatives homeland security committee: “While we are not investigating antifa as antifa — that’s an ideology and we don’t investigate ideologies — we are investigating a number of what we would call anarchist-extremist … people who are motivated to commit violent criminal activity on a kind of antifa ideology.’’

(Don’t Talk To The) FBI

On June 15, 1917, President Wilson signed the Espionage Act, which delineated punishments for foreign spies and prohibited organized resistance to WWI. A great deal of repressive federal and state legislation followed, including the Trading with the Enemy and Sedition Acts. The government apparatus for enforcing these laws also expanded, including to the recently formed Bureau of Investigation (a precursor to the FBI). These mechanisms were used against anarchists, the IWW, and other left-wing organizations: on the same day that the Espionage Act took effect, police arrested Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman. The leader of the Socialist Party, Eugene Debs, was sentenced to ten years in prison for delivering an antiwar speech in Ohio in June, 1918. The ‘Red Scare’ of 1917–1921 reached a peak with the Palmer Raids of November 1919 and the targeting of the Union of Russian Workers, an anarcho-syndicalist labour union composed of Russian immigrants. On November 8, 700 police raided seventy-three radical centres, arrested more than 500 individuals, and seized tons of literature. Many of those arrested were transported to Ellis Island and deported to Russia on the transport ship, the Buford. Over 3,000 people were deported in 1919, 2,000 in 1920 and over 4,500 in 1921.

Fast-forward to the early 2000s, and the Red Scare has become the Green Scare. In January 2015, one of its primary targets, Eric McDavid, was released from prison after serving almost nine years jail, his conviction the outcome of an FBI entrapment operation. See : Manufacturing Terror: An FBI Informant Seduced Eric McDavid Into a Bomb Plot. Then the Government Lied About It., Trevor Aaronson, Katie Galloway, The Intercept, November 10, 2015. The FBI has also been actively engaged in the infiltration and disruption of other groups, projects and social movements during this period. CrimethInc:

… starting with the entrapment case of Eric McDavid—framed for a single conspiracy charge by an infiltrator who used his attraction to her to manipulate him into discussing illegal actions—the FBI seem to have switched strategies, focusing on younger targets who haven’t actually carried out any actions.

They stepped up this new strategy during the 2008 Republican National Convention, at which FBI informants Brandon Darby and Andrew Darst set up David McKay, Bradley Crowder, and Matthew DePalma on charges of possessing Molotov cocktails in two separate incidents. It’s important to note that the only Molotov cocktails that figured in the RNC protests at any point were the ones used to entrap these young men: the FBI were not responding to a threat, but inventing one.

Over the past month, the FBI have shifted into high gear with this approach. Immediately before May Day, five young men were set up on terrorism charges in Cleveland after an FBI infiltrator apparently guided them into planning to bomb a bridge, in what would have been the only such bombing carried out by anarchists in living memory. During the protests against the NATO summit in Chicago, three young men were arrested and charged with terrorist conspiracy once again involving the only Molotov cocktails within hundreds of miles, set up by at least two FBI informants.

And so on and so forth. To cut a long story short, the fact that the FBI is investigating anTEEfa should surprise no-one. As Ward Churchill has written (“To Disrupt, Discredit and Destroy”: The FBI’s Secret War against the Black Panther Party, [PDF], 1988]):

The FBI’s politically repressive activities did not commence during the 1960s, nor did they end with the formal termination of COINTELPRO in 1971. On the contrary, such operations have been sustained for nearly a century, becoming ever more refined, comprehensive and efficient. This in itself implies a marked degradation of whatever genuinely democratic possibilities once imbued “the American experiment,” an effect amplified significantly by the fact that the Bureau has consistently selected as targets those groups which, whatever their imperfections, have been most clearly committed to the realization of egalitarian ideals. All things considered, to describe the resulting sociopolitical dynamic as “undemocratic” would be to fundamentally understate the case. The FBI is and has always been a frankly anti-democratic institution, as are the social, political and economic elements it was created and maintained to protect.

Naturally, anti-fascists organise not only to defeat fascism, but also to combat repression. The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund is one such project, but there are others, and no doubt there’ll be more as the state — increasingly, in close collaboration with the corporate sector — acts to repress dissent.

See also : What Chip Le Grand gets wrogn about the Australian ‘alt-right’ (September 10, 2017) /// Three Way Fight /// Anti-Fascism Beyond the Headlines: Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore Interviews Mark Bray, LA Review of Books, December 11, 2017.

Now that Yiannopoulos’s tour has ended, antifa in Australia will readjust its sights to homegrown targets …

The risk here is that, in the absence of genuine Nazis to punch, antifa will employ its tactics against people who hold legitimate conservative political views.

Bray, who introduces his book as a “unashamedly partisan call to arms”, defends militant anti-fascism as a “reasonable, historically informed response to the fascist threat”. If that threat in Australia is more perceived [than] real, where does that leave antifa?

Bonus! Aamer

Milo Yiannopoulos @ Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre Tonight

The second leg of Milo Y’s tour of The Australian Colonies is tonight in Perth.

Providing him with a platform on this occasion is Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre [Facebook].

Oddly, while the Centre touts the fact that it’s hosting the ‘Dinosaur Discovery: Lost Creatures of the Cretaceous’ exhibition, it doesn’t advertise the fact that it’s providing a bridge for a Nazi-sympathising paedophile apologist and troll tonight.

In any case, the Centre is owned by the Wyllie Group and managed by Spotless.

The Mercers Wash Their Hands of Milo, Rosie Gray, The Atlantic, November 2, 2017 (‘The conservative billionaire distances himself from the right-wing provocateur, whose reputation has been sullied by reports outlining his ties to white nationalists’):

… Mercer did until recently give financial backing to Yiannopoulos, who has made a career of provocation on race, gender, and other identity issues. BuzzFeed’s recent story included a video of Yiannopoulos singing in a karaoke bar as the white nationalist “alt-right” leader Richard Spencer and others give Nazi salutes. The story also reported that Yiannopoulos’s passwords included references to Kristallnacht, the 1938 anti-Semitic German pogrom that historians mark as the beginning of the Holocaust, and the Night of the Long Knives, the murderous 1934 purge of Hitler’s onetime allies by Nazi paramilitaries.

A source with close knowledge of the relationship between Yiannopoulos and the Mercers said the email leak had been a last straw.

It “showed a complete lack of professionalism,” this person said. Yiannopoulos had already been damaged by his ejection from Breitbart News earlier this year after comments he made defending pedophilia surfaced, and by a failed attempt to hold a “Free Speech Week” on the UC-Berkeley campus. “I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner,” this source said of the Mercers’ cutting Yiannopoulos off.

Milo Yiannopoulos Comes To Melbourne : December 4, 2017


See : Protest Milo Yiannopoulos: Stop the alt right in Australia (Melbourne) /// Protest Milo in Sydney: Islamophobic and Sexist Bigot (Sydney)

Next Monday, December 4, professional troll and Trump fanboy Milo Yiannopoulos is coming to Melbourne to talk shit. Milo’s tour is being sponsored by Penthouse magazine, with fellow trollumnists Andrew Bolt and Mark Latham lending their support as MCs. While writer Roxane Gay memorably described Milo as being responsible for propagating ‘racist and xenophobic and sexist ideologies … transphobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia’, publisher Damien Costas has even compared Milo to ‘Martin Luther King Jnr and the freedom riders in the 1960s’. (True story!) The media troll has also been invited by another (proprietarian) troll, David Leyonhjelm, to speak at federal parliament — which is about par for the course.

While promotional material for the tour cites Forbes (in 2012, Milo was ‘digital media’s Citizen Kaneaccording to Jennifer Kite-Powell), as Richard Cooke writes, ‘In so many ways, Milo Yiannopoulos is unremarkable. He is just one of a long line of conservative grifters making hay in Australia.’

Obviously, neither Milo’s endorsement of man-boy ‘love’ (child rape), nor his role as errand boy for neo-Nazis and fascists, has prevented him from being adopted as a mascot by local trollumnists and the AltRight; a fact which, given that they operate according to a very similar modus operandi, is perhaps not that surprising. Certainly, the Buzzfeed article by Joseph Bernstein (Here’s How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled [sic] Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream, October 6, 2017), which documents Milo’s function as a useful idiot for the AltRight, has been ignored by local fanboys. The dox charts the Breitbart alt-right universe. They reveal how the website — and, in particular, Yiannopoulos — links the Mercer family, the billionaires who fund Breitbart, to underpaid trolls who fill it with provocative content, and to extremists striving to create a white ethnostate.

A perfect fit for STRAYA eh …

See :

If Milo Yiannopoulos has huge support in Australia, men must call him out, Van Badham, The Guardian, November 27, 2017;
Bad things don’t vanish when you look away. Don’t ignore Milo Yiannopoulos, Jeff Sparrow, The Guardian, October 10, 2017;
How Australia Is Trying To Normalise Milo Yiannopoulos After Nazi Links, Josh Butler, HuffPost Australia, November 11, 2017 (‘Milo announced an Australian tour and was linked to Nazis within the same week’);
Milo Yiannopoulos And How The Media Boosts Fascists And Bags Its Opponents, Michael Brull, New Matilda, November 15, 2017;

See also :

Profile on the Right: Milo Yiannopoulos, Peter Montgomery, PRA, January 25, 2017;
The Growing Alliance Between Neo-Nazis, Right Wing Paramilitaries and Trumpist Republicans, Spencer Sunshine, ColorLines, Jun 9, 2017:

January 20, 2017: Alt-Right Violence at the University of Washington in Seattle
A University of Washington talk by Milo Yiannopoulos—the notorious Twitter troll, ardent Trump supporter and former Breitbart editor credited with mainstreaming the alt-right—draws a large protest. A married couple, Marc and Elizabeth Hokoana, come to the event armed with pepper spray and a handgun to antagonize opponents. After protester Joshua Dukes confronts Marc about using the pepper spray, Elizabeth allegedly fires a single round into his stomach.

antifa notes (december 20, 2016) : Phillip Galea & Co.

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Alleged terrorist Phillip Galea (above with his kameraden in the TBC) appeared in the County Court in Melbourne yesterday (Monday, December 19). A few media outlets carried reports. See : Far-right terrorism accused Phillip Galea boasted of plans, court told, The Guardian (AAP), December 19, 2016; Anti-Islamist accused of plotting to blow up HQ for left-wing radicals, Angus Thompson, Herald Sun, December 19, 2016. Few others bothered reporting.

That said, having been arrested and charged with terrorism offences in August 2015, there wasn’t much news, apart perhaps from the fact that police allege that Galea was planning on blowing up the Resistance Centre (Socialist Alliance) in the CBD and the Melbourne Anarchist Club in Northcote (!).

Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg heard Mr Galea tried to get a contact — now a prosecution witness — to buy fertiliser, and that he had adopted the Anarchists Cookbook to become a “patriots cookbook”, which he planned to distribute.

“There’s a bit of irony, isn’t it, in that he’s against anarchists,” Mr Rozencwajg said.

According to Kieran Bennett, who also attended the hearing, the bulk of the police case appears to rely on telephone intercepts, however the case also involves the testimony of witnesses; Galea’s next court dates are in April and May.

Galea has been linked to a range of ‘patriot’ groups. He was an admin on the Reclaim Australia Melbourne page, supported and attended Reclaim rallies as well as established the RA Media website and Facebook page. (The site’s “International Allies” are Breitbart, Britain First, Knights Templar International, PEGIDA and UKIP.) He was also closely associated with the United Patriots Front, True Blue Crew and Patriots Defence League of Australia and has even been linked to neo-Nazi groupuscule ‘Combat 18’.

Of course, Galea reserved his biggest props for the TBC, and was terribly excited by their activities, especially when they organised an anti-leftist rally in Coburg in May. A handful of TBC gronks were arrested and charged with various minor offences as a result of their brave, racist expedition and this week one, Nicholas Edward Abbott, got a slap on the wrist for being naughty; another TBC-aligned meathead, Mathew Wingrave, has also been reprimanded by The Law.

Since their last anti-Muslim rally in Melton in August (where the TBC methgoblins got into a shouting match with the ‘Soldiers Of Odin’) and a previous flagwit rally in Melbourne in June (one of Galea’s last public appearances), the wheels seem to have fallen off the TBC hate bus, with at least three of its members, including its leader, Kane Miller, being either convicted or accused of domestic violence and, in Miller’s case, ‘financial impropriety’ (ie, running off with his supporter’s money). But whether or not the boys resurrect themselves as the ‘True Blue Crew’, capitulate to Blair Cottrell’s Führerprinzip, or create some other motley assortment of thugs, it’s highly likely that they’ll continue fighting the menace of the Islamic State from the safety of their keyboards.

Speaking of violence against women …

On Friday, December 16, a Muslim woman was allegedly assaulted by a man in Perth. I reported the story on my Facebook page — it engendered a typical response of disgust but also derision — and it was subsequently noted by Islamophobia Register in a media release on December 18. Subsequently, various media picked up the story and the woman who was allegedly assaulted appeared on television providing her account of events. See : Woman attacked outside Perth supermarket, 9 News (AAP), December 18, 2016; Woman called ‘f***ing Muslim’ during Beeliar shopping centre attack: anti-discrimination group, Courtney Bembridge, ABC, December 19, 2016; ‘Why should I be ashamed?’: Muslim woman stands up to Christmas bully, Jessica Page, Yahoo7, December 19, 2016; Muslim woman attacked with broken bottle after saying ‘happy holidays’ instead of ‘merry Christmas’, Peter Walker, The Independent, December 19, 2016.

In which context, two things: 1) NEVER READ THE COMMENTS; 2) I understand that police will be releasing images of the man captured on CCTV.

Finally, and briefly, Blair Cottrell (United Patriots Front), Neil Erikson (‘Australian Settlers Rebellion’) and Chris Shortis (Australia First Party) are due in court in March next year to face charges of racial and religious vilification (inter alia) as a result of their media stunt in Bendigo in October last year. In connection with the case, for some reason — the charges were laid several months ago — Cottrell appeared on Ten News last week (December 15):

The lying neo-Nazi’s appearance resulted in more likes for the UPF Facebook page and presumably further donations towards the fuehrer’s legal defence. In the meantime, Shortis — who recently had his gun licence revoked — is appealing for funds via the Australia First Party while Erikson has declared that, presumably in an attempt to provide some comic relief, he’ll be representing himself in court. Sadly, Shermon Burgess, the other half of ASR, has received a letter from Sutherland Shire Council claiming $170,287.58 in costs incurred following the legal battle over the Cronulla Riot Re-enactment of last year.

That’s a lot of Bundy ‘n’ Cokes!