antifa notes (october 21, 2019)

Proudly Marching For Babies

Last year, Bernie Finn MP’s annual ‘March for the Babies’ employed members of the neo-Nazi groupuscule The Lads Society to provide security for the event; this year, the Lads were replaced by members of the Proud Boys, a number of whom also joined ex-Senator Fraser Anning’s parade in St Kilda in January.

Far right figures feature at abortion rally
Tom Minear
Herald Sun
October 14, 2019

Far-right extremists have joined Liberal MP Bernie Finn at his annual pro-life march to push changes to Victoria’s abortion laws.

Mr Finn, the president of March for the Babies, led the rally through the city last Saturday, which was also reportedly attended by Liberal colleague Neil Angus.

Members of the male-only far-right “Proud Boys” were seen at the rally, with a post on the group’s website describing a confrontation after the march with a counter-protester at a CBD bar.

Mr Finn told the crowd that Victoria “still has the worst, most extreme abortion law in Australia and one of the worst in the world”.

He also gave an interview at the rally to Dia Beltran, who runs a far-right YouTube channel which has featured notorious extremists Neil Erikson and Blair Cottrell, and who reportedly attended a Liberal fundraiser recently.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos called on the Liberal Party to condemn extremists “instead of walking in lock-step” with them.

“This is just more of the same from the leaderless Victorian Liberal Party and shows once again they are being infiltrated by elements of the far-right,” she said.

Mr Finn said he knew “precisely nothing about the Proud Boys”, and that Ms Beltran had introduced herself on Saturday as a blogger and had asked for the interview.

He said it was a “sensational” day with a crowd of more than 4000 people.

Asked if any far-right extremists had attended, he told the Herald Sun: “I don’t know anybody who fits that description to tell you the truth.”

Other attendees reportedly included far-right activist Avi Yemini and Kathy Clubb, a mother of 13 children who launched a failed challenge to laws that ban protesters harassing patients outside abortion clinics.

The crowd also heard from New South Wales Liberal MP Nathaniel Smith, who recently said he was “disgusted” at changes to abortion laws in his home state.

Reason Party leader Fiona Patten, who attended a rival pro-choice rally on Saturday, also questioned Mr Finn’s “disturbing embrace of the far-right and their ideas”.

But Mr Finn said: “I’m not aware of any undesirable elements turning up at all, apart from Fiona Patten.”

Note that:

Above : Proud Boys Australia lvl boss Nicholas Stone with recently-retired AltRight propagandist Lauren Southern during her tour last year. Like Bernie Finn, the organiser of Southern & Molyneux’s tour, Christian fun-da-mentalist Dave Pellowe, also hired The Lads Society to provide security for the tour (George Christensen MP was a very special guest of Pellowe’s).

• The Proud Boy Australia website is registered to and maintained by NSW resident Nicholas Stone, who works in the security industry;
• In addition to interviewing Finn, Erikson, Cottrell and various other luminaries, AltLite YouTube personality Claudia Benitez (‘Dia Beltran’) recently attended Hawthorn Uniting Church in order to disrupt a church meeting. Erikson, one of her comrades on that occasion, has subsequently been charged with Disturbing religious worship; he returns to court on November 4;
• Avi Yemini was convicted in July of unlawfully assaulting his former partner, using a carriage service to harass on three occasions and breaching a personal safety order; he returns to court to face other charges on November 6 and 28;
• In the last few months Finn’s other mates in The Lads Society have decided to be open about their embrace of neo-Nazism, by way of declaring themselves a national socialist project and expressing particular appreciation for Nazi ideology on women;
Samantha Kutner keeps track of Proud Boys activity in North America by way of various writings on the subject and this map.

Phillip Galea

Above : Neil Erikson interviews Phil Galea.

100% Dinky-Di True-Blue Aussie Patriot Phillip Galea is currently on trial in Melbourne for alleged terrorisms, viz plotting terrorist attacks on Trades Hall in Carlton, The Melbourne Anarchist Club in Northcote and the Resistance Centre in the city. Inter alia, it was revealed last week that Galea allegedly told others he wanted to cut the throats of people in the CBD and create a “line of dead lefties”.

Freedom to Jock Palfreeman

Cafe Gummo is hosting a benefit gig for Jock Palfreeman on Thursday, November 7, featuring the fabulous talents of HORNY ELKS (‘Local ska punks of Russian descent, horns meet jarring riffs; break out the vodka and get ready to party’), WHEN OUR TURN COMES (‘The radical left rockers return to the Gummo stage to deliver another round of hiphop infused punk’), MISHA DOUMNOV (‘After many years living overseas, Misha plays his first return gig of improvised noise /// a storm of eastern darkness’) & more TBA.

• $10 Waged /// $5 Unwaged /// Free for First Nations Mob, Asylum Seekers & Refugees;
• Door charge & cut of bar takings will go directly to Jock to help him pay legal fees & living expenses pending his safe return;
• Additional solidarity donations welcome /// BPRA merch available on the night (cash only).

This event will take place on the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We wish to pay our respects to their Elders past, present, and emerging, and acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded.

See also : ‘Everybody hates us’: on Sofia’s streets, Roma face racism every day, Vivek Chaudhary, The Guardian, October 20, 2019.

Bonus! Milo

Nazi-sympathising pedophile apologist and #PellDefender Milo Yiannopoulos — a Proud Boys favourite — has lost his Dangerous website (possibly SOLD! to an obscure Left-wing gay blog, who knows …).

Solidarity with Jock Palfreeman : Solidemo, Melbourne, OCT 19, 2019

The Strange Case of Jock Palfreeman keeps evolving. As I write, Jock has been released from Busmantsi Detention Centre in Sofia, but is unable to leave Bulgaria until such time as the Prosecutor-General says so. I’ll probably write more on the case later, but in the meantime:

1) There’s a solidemo on Saturday, October 19 at midday at the State Library of Victoria. For more infos, please see the Facebook event page.

2) Jock needs money: ‘Please donate to support Jock Palfreeman’s expenses in prison and defending himself against the attacks of the Head Prosecutor of Bulgaria. There is no minimum donation required. Money raised will cover a variety of ongoing expenses of Jock’s day to day life and legal situation.’

3) A petition to Bring Jock Home remains in circulation and has obtained almost 7,000 signatures.

4) ABC’s Australian Story is featuring Jock on Monday, October 21: ‘When Jock was released on parole recently having served 12 years in jail, he and his father, Simon Palfreeman, could have been forgiven for thinking their nightmare was over. But a new crisis unfolded when Jock was caught up in a bitter stoush when politicians argued against his parole. He remains in limbo. Airs Monday October 21, 8pm (AEDT), on ABCTV and iview.’

5) A benefit gig is being organised for a coupla weeks from now …

Free Jock Palfreeman (October 2019 Edition)

Update (October 16, 2019) : Jock Palfreeman released from Bulgarian detention centre after being granted parole, ABC. Jock needs financial support for ongoing legal costs and living expenses while he awaits the court’s decision. You can donate to him here.

Update (October 7, 2019) : The court met but has reserved its decision for some point in the future — probably several months. Jock, meanwhile, is forced to reside in detention. See : Jock Palfreeman’s fate unclear after Bulgarian court adjourns Australian’s parole hearing, Bridget Brennan, ABC | Jock Palfreeman remains in limbo as Bulgarian court adjourns his case, Josh Dye, The Age | Jock Palfreeman remains behind bars as Bulgarian court adjourns hearing, Ben Doherty, The Guardian | Jock Palfreeman could face further two months behind Bulgarian bars after case adjourned, SBS (AAP).

Update (October 2, 2019) : Originally scheduled to meet on October 23, Bulgaria’s Supreme Court of Cassation is instead convening on October 7 to address the application from Bulgaria’s Prosecutor-General to overturn Jock’s parole.

Oh hai.

• As you may be aware, Jock Palfreeman is currently languishing in a migrant detention centre in Sofia, despite having won his parole a few weeks ago.

• I’ve written an article about Jock’s situation for Overland, which you can read here.

• Last week, Cam & I interviewed Caro Staples about Jock’s case, which you can listen to here.

• Ash Dupre started this petition to Scott Morrison (Prime Minister of Australia) to Bring Jock Home, which you can sign here.

Antifa International has published a call-to-action:

IT’S TIME FOR US TO TAKE ACTION TO DEFEND JOCK!

1) Write to the Bulgarian ambassador in your country to demand that Sotir Tsatsarov revoke his appeal of Jock’s parole and that Bulgaria immediately release Jock. Find a list of Bulgarian embassies here.

2) Contact the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s office to demand that Tsatsarov revoke his appeal of Jock’s parole and that Bulgaria immediately release Jock. Contact information here.

3) Contact Australian foreign minister Marise Payne and demand that Australia take the strongest action possible to convince the Bulgarian government to revise the appeal of Jock’s parole and release Jock to Australia immediately. Contact information here.

4) Contact Australian prime minister Scott Morrison and demand that Australia take the strongest action possible to convince the Bulgarian government to revise the appeal of Jock’s parole and release Jock to Australia immediately. Contact information here.

5) Share this information widely – an immediate, large, and vocal response from Jock’s supporters around the world may be the difference between Jock’s freedom and nine more years in a Bulgarian prison!

• A solidemo has been organised for Thursday, October 10 in Sydney:

WHEN : 5.30PM
WHERE : Sydney Town Hall (483 George Street, Sydney)
WHY : Bring Jock Home
MORE INFOS : Facebook

#FreeJock

Letter from accused ‘terrorist’ John Zakhariev, currently on trial in Sofia, Bulgaria

UPDATE (June 6, 2017) : As expected, Zakhariev has been found guilty of ‘training with a Kalashnikov with the intention of carrying out a terror attack’ and sentenced to four years in jail (Australian-Bulgarian John Zakhariev sentenced for terrorism, Nick Miller, The Age, June 6, 2017).

John Zakhariev (above) is a 21yo dual Australian-Bulgarian citizen currently on trial in Sofia, Bulgaria. Arrested in September 2016, John is accused of undertaking weapons training in Bulgaria in order to join Daesh in Syria. He denies all charges.

I was recently forwarded the following letter from John which I reproduce below:

======

Since the 20th of September 2016 I have been stripped of my liberty and locked up in the heart of darkness otherwise known as Sofia Central Prison. The reason being that the Bulgarian authorities allege that I came to this country in order to train with firearms in order to fight with Islamic State or Daesh. To date, after nearly seven months, neither me nor my lawyer have seen or been presented with any evidence by the prosecution to back up these absurd allegations. One would expect that there would be a huge burden of proof on the part of the prosecution to back up her claims, which she herself has proudly boasted in court is ‘irrefutable’. Yet to date all that the court has been presented with in terms of evidence are as follows:

Firstly, workers from the legal shooting range I attended in Sofia (four times over a four week period), who all testified that my behaviour was perfectly normal and that they never had any issues with me as a client. Furthermore they all testified that I stopped attending the shooting range in early August 2016. This is in complete contrast to the claims of the prosecutor that I continued to attend until the 19th of September. Other witnesses to testify include a police provocateur who was sent to befriend me at the Banya Bashi Mosque in Sofia, Muhammad Dabbousi. In his witness statement he claimed that I said to him that I love Daesh and that me and him have to go and fight alongside them and yet in court he claimed that I was merely talking about them in a neutral manner. He made no mention of the alleged attempted recruitment or anything about me saying that I love them. He even expressed shock when the judge presented him with his original witness statement, leading me to believe that the police wrote his statement for him and asked him to sign it without even looking at it: an all-too-common practice here in Bulgaria with its law enforcement. At this point I wish to note that all the witnesses from the shooting range testified that I was always accompanied by a man to the shooting range. I never went alone. I knew this man as Peter Petrov, who I strongly suspect was a police agent.

Secondly, the prosecution presented to the court statuses which people on my Facebook friends list wrote about the ongoing war in Syria which was pro-opposition in nature. I will now make a point here which is that I never commented, shared or even liked these statuses, nor have I ever corresponded with the individuals who wrote them. The prosecution has further sought to use religious books on my computer as evidence of my support for Daesh even though a court-appointed expert himself testified that the books, though conservative in nature, do not in any way promote violence and cannot be linked to the ideology of ISIS. In my view this further shows the sheer Islamophobia of the case against me where anything even remotely connected to Islam is labelled extremist or jihadist. Yet even more disturbing for me is the court’s unwillingness to allow my defence to present any evidence in my favour. On the 21st of December I told the court that I had already left Islam months before my arrest. I further told the court evidence which could be found to support my claims including a 12 page email I sent to Canadian ex-Muslim Abdullah Sameer titled ‘Notes on Islam’ where I point out several flaws in the Islamic faith and also its claims of being a perfect faith valid for all times and places. I also told the court about some anti-radical Islamic literature which could be found on my computer and which were all downloaded in the same period beginning in early August ’til my arrest on September 20th. I also informed the court about emails I wrote to the Canadian Tourism College and International Guide Academy in Denver, Colorado enquiring about courses available in 2017, which clearly show my intention to continue my studies and not to join ISIS. And finally I told the judge that my Facebook correspondence would prove that I am indeed anti-ISIS since I spent a lot of time on it refuting the ideology of ISIS to its supporters. I even told the judge that I was also in touch with ex-Muslims weeks before my arrest discussing the possibility of setting up a Council of ex-Muslims in Australia similar to the one in the UK. The judge ordered that all this evidence be gathered, which raised my hopes of receiving a fair trial. Yet on May 16th 2017 when after many delays all this evidence had been gathered and presented to the court, the judge suddenly did a 360 and refused to even look at the evidence and calling the request of my lawyer to examine the Facebook correspondence, emails and for an examination of the books ‘groundless’ and ‘unnecessary’ since there was already enough evidence gathered by the prosecution seemingly ignoring the fact that they only ever sought evidence which would support their case.

This decision by the court confirms my fears since day one of my arrest that I would be subjected to a show trial and denied a fair hearing. I have resigned myself to the fact that I will be found guilty even though I will always maintain my innocence and insist that I was the victim of a poorly-attempted entrapment operation, whose pathetic nature would be almost laughable if its consequences weren’t so serious.

======

SEE : BULGARIAN PRISONERS’ ASSOCIATION

See also : Accused Australian John Zakhariev criticised jihadist doctrine before arrest, Nick Miller, The Sydney Morning Herald, May 17, 2017 | Australian-Bulgarian dual citizen John Zakhariev pleads innocence over terrorism charges, ABC/AP, May 17, 2017 | Australian John Zakhariev grim about outlook for his Bulgarian terror trial, Nick Miller, The Sydney Morning Herald, May 17, 2017 | Australian John Zakhariev remains in custody as media barred from court in Bulgaria, Teodor Spasov, The Sydney Morning Herald, April 9, 2017 | Court delays John Zakhariev’s terror case after problems with tape recording, Lisa Millar, ABC, March 18, 2017 | Australian Government sent Bulgaria letter saying John Zakhariev was ‘interested’ in terrorism, lawyer says, Danuta Kozaki, ABC, March 14, 2017 | Aust told Bulgaria about NSW man: lawyer, AAP, March 14, 2017 | Sydney man John Zakhariev, 21, arrested in Bulgaria on terrorism charges, Rachel Olding, The Sydney Morning Herald, March 13, 2017 | Australian John Zakhariev held on terror charges in Bulgaria, Sam Buckingham-Jones, The Australian, March 13, 2017 | Former Sydney private schoolboy arrested on terror charges, Yahoo7 News, March 13, 2017 | John Zakhariev: Sydney private school boy to jailed terror suspect, news.com.au, March 13, 2017.

Continued Assaults on Asylum Seekers in Sofia Central Prison

[Below is an account by Jock Palfreeman of recent assaults by Sofia prison guards on imprisoned asylum seekers and others. On July 25 NYC ABC is holding a meeting to discuss Jock’s case; on July 27 MAC is holding a benefit gig to raise funds for the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Rehabilitation Association (of which Jock is Chairman).]

bpra

On the 6/7/14 at 8.30am the guard Peter Petrov performed the morning roll call, he entered Cell 11 and started shouting in Bulgarian, a language no one present understood. As the roll call finished for that cell he then started to assault a mentally ill man from behind as he was not moving fast enough. The mentally ill man is about 45kgs, about 55 years old and a citizen of Comoros. He then retaliated and slapped the guard back after the guard Peter Petrov hit him and kicked him again, the guard came at the Comoros Islander again and the African took a chair to keep the guard away from him. Three other guards came and only saw the Comoros islander with the chair and so they beat him too. Peter Petrov then ran out of the cell, locked all the cell doors and called for “assistance”. Forty guards came from two work shifts, from the Saturday evening shift and the incoming Sunday day shift (as now shifts are 12 hours). The forty guards summarily beat everyone in the cell – the man from Comoros, four Afghanis, one Pakistani, one Dutch man and an Algerian. They were not resisting in any way and most of the wounds inflicted by the guards are on their backs as they tried to cover their faces on the ground. All of these victims are incarcerated for illegal border crossing: they are all asylum seekers.

The man from Comoros was most badly beaten, with a cut face, bleeding eye, bleeding nose, cut lips and swollen and cuts and swelling to his head. All over his body was covered in welts from the batons. The Pakistani too had welts and pink bruises as did the others in perfect shapes of batons; the Pakistani received a cut head and several of the Afghanis, apart from the welts on their backs and forearms, had black and bleeding eyes. The seven men were beaten with batons, boots; they were stomped, hit and hit into walls and the ground.

The beating continued for about 20-30 minutes. The guards then indiscriminately started to break furniture used by prisoners for playing cards in the corridor.

After the bulk of the guards left, the guards called the prisoners Hisham Karmo and Budimir Kjovic, a Syrian national and a Serbian national. Together with the guards they wrote witness statements or “explanations” for the victims and intimidated the victims to sign the statements. The victims were told if they complained they would get extra prison sentences and that the guards would beat them again.

In these “witness statements” written by Hisham and Budimir, it states that the Comoros man attacked the guard unprovoked and the guard had to defend himself. A deal was struck between Hisham and Budimir and the guard Peter Petrov and the rest of the guards that this would be the official version that Hisham and Budimir would testify to but also help maintain through intimidation of victims.

Only the man from Comoros was allowed to see a doctor. As the official version of events did not include the other seven victims as having been assaulted they were not permitted to see a doctor for the entirety of Sunday. At 8.30pm the guards changed shifts and again the new guards would not allow the other 6 victims to see the duty doctor. On the same day as the assault the victims came to me (Jock Palfreeman) as the chairman of the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association and as a known human rights activist and asked me for help. I immediately called the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee to inform their chairman Krassimir Kanev of the assault and he supplied valuable legal advice as to how to proceed.

With prisoners acting as translators the victims wrote real statements testifying the details of the assault free of intimidation by the prison’s auxiliary bullies. We brought many prisoners together and discussed how to proceed. Many prisoners supported the victims and we promised to support the victims if any prisoner working for the prison administration tried to intimidate them or use physical violence to silence them.

On 7/7/14 (the next day) members of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee came to meet with the victims. They took their statements and conveyed an official complaint to the prosecutor’s office. The members of the Helsinki Committee then personally escorted the victims to the prison infirmary and supervised as medical injury reports were written, although copies of said medical reports were not made or given to the victims or their representatives.

The evening of the 7/7/14 the guard Peter Petrov was returned to work in 10th and continued his attempt to intimidate me, Jock Palfreeman, as he had been informed of my complaint against him the previous Wednesday (on 2/7/14), after he assaulted me by kicking me with his boots, hitting me with a large metal key, pushing and pulling me in an attempt to provoke physical confrontation. However I did not react as the man from Comoros did; had I, I would have suffered the same fate as the other victims. I realised that this guard is highly violent and dangerous.

Whether it was his character or he was a racist or he was drunk or on drugs no one could say but I realised after he assaulted me on two separate occasions that the assaults would continue and only get worse. So on the 3/7/14 I sent a complaint to the Director of the prison Peter Krester and a request to have this violent and dangerous guard moved from our block.

No measures were taken and the guard Peter Petrov four days later subsequently attacked the man from Comoros and instigated the mass assault on the other seven victims.

I, Jock Palfreeman, have now again become a target of Peter Petrov, the guard and as of the date of writing this, 9/7/14, the prison authorities have failed to take any measures to prevent the guards from assaulting prisoners or to protect me or the other 8 victims.

The assault on the 8 men was extremely vicious and so I started the explanations from that point as opposed to the first assaults upon myself.

PS.

On the 10/7/14 (Thursday), the guard Peter Petrov was moved to a different part of the prison.

On the 14/7/14 representatives from the Ombudsman’s office entered the prison to conduct an investigation into the mass assault, they met with the victims and witnesses and briefly with myself.

On the 16/7/14 the vice-minister of justice, responsible specifically for the running of prisons, met with the victims of the mass assault (although there are concerns about the vice-minister’s personal connections with Budimir Kjovic, who was also called to the meeting as a friend of the vice-minister of justice).

On the 17/7/14 the state prosecutor met with the victims to collect their statements from them personally.

The continued pressure and intimidation from the prisoners Budimir Kjovic and Hisham Karmo upon the victims to give false testimonies is a continuing concern, not to mention their attempt to also intimidate me into not showing solidarity to the victims. It’s just another example of mafia criminals working with the state apparatus of oppression. The prison allows these bullies to continue their drug businesses within the prison, the prison staff take a cut and in exchange it is in their interest to protect the prison administration and guards as they provide the protection for their business.

Earlier this year a director Yosofifov, director of work and pay of Sofia Central Prison, was arrested along with the friend of Budimir Kjovic for trafficking contraband into the prison. Earlier this month the director Yosofifov was formally fired for violating the ethics code.

There can never be any compromise with violators of human rights and mafia!

When injustice becomes law resistance becomes duty!

~ Jock Palfreeman
Chairman, Bulgarian Prisoners’ Rehabilitation Association