1) Blair & Thomas Go To East Melbourne Collingwood
The United Patriots Front (UPF) staged another dingbat stunt on Saturday night, on this occasion targeting Yarra councillor Stephen Jolly. The event the UPF attempted to gatecrash was titled ‘Re-elect Stephen Jolly – Vote socialist for Yarra!’ and was held at Collingwood Gallery in Smith Street, Collingwood; Jolly is hoping to be re-elected to council on October 21.
Like almost all their stunts, this one was filmed and the footage uploaded to the UPF Facebook page. In a subsequent video, UPF fuehrer Blair Cottrell states that the UPF had considered assembling 50 boys to go to the event and shut it down, but in the end decided on sending just 5 (including Cottrell and his sidekick, Thomas Sewell). As the few minutes of footage reveals, Cottrell & Co enter the campaign launch and start to shout questions at Jolly, who is one of several to ask the men to leave. Eventually, the UPF are forced from the venue, campaigners and supporters joined in their efforts removing the annoying gits by several workers from the CUB site, currently on strike/locked-out of their jobs in Abbotsford. Jolly has spoken in support of the strikers’ claims, which has attracted widespread support among unionists, including the AMWU.
In any case, this is not the first time that the UPF and other fascists have objected to Jolly’s presence on council. Indeed, about 70 or so went to the UPF’s first public action in Richmond last May. Cottrell even promised to physically remove Jolly from office if, for some mysterious reason, their protest rally failed to do so. Otherwise, the failed disruption is another moment in a long line of attention-seeking stunts, from roasting a pig outside ABC studios in Melbourne last June to beheading a dummy outside Bendigo council offices last October; attending MAC and 3CR the following month to April’s foolish banner drops at the footy. Before proclaiming himself an opponent of Black Lives Matter (July), Cottrell and the UPF tried jumping on the dairy farmers’ bandwagon — only to be told to bugger off.
Whatever the immediate impact, all these performances are really for the camera, producing footage intended to capture the attention of like-minded individuals, almost exclusively via Facebook. Thus the UPF page recently celebrated gaining 70,000 likes; IRL, it can (still) barely gather together 70 boys to act like fascist boofheads in public. Saturday’s stoopid is rather ironic, however, as the UPF made a whole lotta noise about the political blitzkrieg Fortitude would become, and yet in September 2016, where is Fortitude? Rather than speaking from the floor of the House, Fortitude is a shambles, its supposed Senatorial candidate, Chris Shortis, has decamped for the Australia First Party, and the UPF is reduced to whining disingenuously at the campaign launch for a goddamn Commie. As for unions, they’re generally regarded, alongside Muslims, as Teh Enimy — the one, partial exception being UPF lackey Kris0 Richardson, who’s proudly worn CFMEU gear while touting the virtues of a White Australia. Before joining the UPF, Kris0 established the ‘United Australian Front’ (UAF) website and Facebook page. In-between noting the UAF’s development (August 18, 2016) into a straightforwardly neo-Nazi project, the Facebook page has been closed re-badged as ‘Order 15’.
2) Ralph Choo-Chooses The AMWU
Serial pest Ralph Cerminara was in Melbourne a few weeks ago to join the True Blue Crew (TBC) at an anti-Muslim protest in Melton. When he returned to Sydney, Cerminara drunkenly declared himself to be the Grand Poobah of the TBC in Sydney — which came as a surprise to the TBC in Melbourne …
This week, Cerminara has stated that he’ll be attending the AMWU office in Sydney on the weekend, presumably to film himself muttering and cursing outside its closed doors. In addition to documenting the nefarious influence of unions on Australian politics, the valour thief has been keeping busy filming himself muttering and cursing at socialist students. See : Right wing bigots and extremists exposed 1, September 2, 2016; note also that WordPress has deleted Cerminara’s blog.
3) STRAYA First Goes To The Polls
The Australia First Party ran several candidates in the local council elections in NSW on the weekend. In Blacktown, Cassie Orrock (AKA Lili Chel), Terry Cooksley and Thomas Bell did reasonably well to collectively gain 2,184 votes (8.30%) but seem unlikely to gain a seat. In the Blue Mountains, Matt Hodgson, Mark Slater and Gordon Gilroy fared less well, receiving 343 votes (2.95%). Finally, in Wagga Wagga, Lorraine Sharp, Robbie Williams, Jean Williams, Chris Sharp and Jean Hughes got 1,302 votes (4.03%). In Hawkesbury, a former Australia First Party activist and serial candidate Tony Pettitt ran on the Liberal Democrats ticket.
Finally, the party has announced the formation of a United Nationalist Front or ‘Australian Coalition of Nationalists’, which at this point consists of the AFP, (whatever remains of the) Australian Protectionist Party and Nationalist Alternative, with the AFP Jnr. (AKA Eureka Youth League) and Hellenic Nationalists Australia Inc. (Greek fascists) nominated as ‘associates’ of the Coalition (as opposed to ‘partners’).
Chris Shortis was one of five UPF members who invaded the Melbourne Anarchist Club (MAC) and 3CR last weekend (November 1). The MAC released a statement and held an ‘Open Day’ on November 8. 3CR has also issued a statement, and a report on the invasion is carried by Crikey. I republish them below:
On Sunday 1st November, five members of the fascist group United Patriots Front (UPF) gained entry to the premises of 3CR Community Radio and filmed throughout the building without permission. In an effort to intimidate the station and its programmers, they then posted the video on their Facebook page.
3CR reasserts its commitment to progressive politics and our core mission of providing a voice to people denied one elsewhere in the media and in society. We stand by our commitment to providing a voice for Muslims, newly arrived migrants, Indigenous people, unions, women, queers, the working class, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and people with a disability.
3CR was established in 1976 and the station currently has about 400 programmers broadcasting over 120 programs a week in 19 different languages. There are a diverse range of organisations affiliated to the station ranging from trade unions to housing groups to music appreciation clubs.
The behaviour of this far-right group is therefore utterly ridiculous.
However the UPF is of concern because of its racist, Islamophobic and anti-semitic beliefs, its hostility to the left and its capacity for violence.
On the same day the UPF came to 3CR, they also made an unwelcome visit to the Melbourne Anarchist Club.
We totally reject these tactics of intimidation and express our solidarity with other groups subjected to their harassment and vilification.
We call on the people of Melbourne to join us in rejecting this amateur schoolyard bullying and the politics of fear that make it possible. The routine Islamophobia present in mainstream politics and the media must stop and the indefinite detention of refugees must stop. We call on our political leaders to take some responsibility.
3CR urges all people concerned with upholding basic principles of human dignity, diversity and fairness to attend the protest against racism and fascism on Sunday 22 November, 11AM on the steps of Parliament House. Gather around the 3CR banner.
We also encourage people to attend the Melbourne Anarchist Club Open Day on Sunday 8 November from 12PM.
For more information contact Marian McKeown or James McKenzie on 9419 8377 or email [email protected]
4) 3CR /// UPF /// Crikey
Nationalist group invades 3CR Community Radio office, uploads dramatically scored video
Myriam Robin Crikey
November 9, 2015
Melbourne community radio station 3CR has accused the United Patriot’s Front of “amateur, schoolyard bullying” and “threatening” behaviour, after the far-right nationalist organisation gained entry to the radio station’s premises and filmed it without permission, then uploaded the video to its Facebook page.
The incident took place last Sunday. The UPF’s video shows several burly men approaching the front door of 3CR to find it shut (as it always is on weekends). A man describes the radio station as a “government-funded radio production company of some sort” (3CR is overwhelmingly funded through memberships and donations). But, he says, “so-called anarchists like to speak on radio here and are given a platform here, which confuses me … So we came here to ask some questions to clear up the confusion.” Once a month, Andy Fleming, a progressive campaigner and anarchist, is involved with a radio program on 3CR, and has been for some years. Fleming, using his online pseudonym of Slack Bastard, is one of the key irritants to the UPF, tracking and reporting their movements and arguing that they are best understood as “fascists”.
After an introduction, the video reveals the men inside the 3CR offices talking to a man, understood to be one of 3CR’s programmers. Meanwhile the UFP member holding a camera walks through the building, filming walls of photos, including close-ups of the faces of those involved in the station, as well as the studios. Tense music plays throughout the video. In the Facebook comments, many applaud the UPF’s initiative and suggest other places the group could “visit”, including Moreland City Council, which has an anti-racism banner along its front.
Crikey understands one of the 3CR’s programmers opened the door to the UPF members, who had rung the buzzer. “He didn’t really know who they were, but became pretty suspicious,” station manager Marian McKeown told Crikey. The UPF members told him they were there to do some filming, she says. “He’s on crutches. He’s not physically mobile. So he leans across to open [the] door without looking in [the] peephole. Then there’s five big guys in the building — he doesn’t really feel like in a position to create conflict.”
While this isn’t recorded in their video, 3CR says its own CCTV footage shows the men pocketing one of the photos off a photo board.
Given the UPF’s hostility to 3CR and its activities, which include explicit support for progressive politics and of providing a voice to minority groups who aren’t given a voice elsewhere, McKeown says it’s hard to view the incursion as anything but a “very threatening” and “antagonistic” act.
“I think it is about Slack Bastard, but also what 3CR represents,” she said. “It’s about the kind of voices we give airtime to. They clearly have an agenda that is about intimidating those sections of our community. Refugees, Muslims, any kind of leftist who is going to call out their threatening behaviour.”
The same day, the UPF visited the Melbourne Anarchist Club, where a man immediately told them to leave. Their encounter was also filmed and put on the group’s Facebook page.
The UPF has not targeted many media organisations in the past, with the exception of a June protest outside the ABC in Melbourne during the Zaky Mallah saga that involved the group roasting a pig on a spit.
“What was interesting about [their incursion into 3CR is that it] was an escalation of their activities, and of a willingness to confront those they consider their political enemies on their own soil,” Fleming told Crikey. He notes the group’s main base appears to be in Melbourne, though it has made moves in recent months to expand, including through a picket in Bendigo (or “Bendgio”, as they have it) and a planned trip to Perth later this month.
3CR says it is not telling its programmers to change their behaviour, but is warning them to have a heightened sense of awareness. Police were called about the incident, but McKeown sounds pessimistic about their approach to the situation.
“At the time we contacted police. They told us the United Patriot’s Front hadn’t committed an offence. We’re still getting legal advice — we think it’s debatable. And they stole the photograph.”
Crikey contacted the UPF through their Facebook page. We did not hear back by deadline.
On November 7, Richardson uploaded a propaganda video to the UPF Facebook page about nationalism: he did so while wearing a CFMEU top. On May 31, Richardson also appears to have attended the UPF rally in Richmond, also sporting CFMEU gear.
A man has been charged after making death and rape threats to Yarra Councillor Stephen Jolly and his family.
It comes days after United Patriots Front administrator Neil Erikson’s name was attached to threats on social media to kill the Socialist Party councillor.
In what appears to be a separate incident, a 38-year-old Moe man is alleged to have left messages on the Socialist councillor’s mobile and office phones.
“Hey Stephen Jolly, I’m going to f—ing rape your face,” the man allegedly said in a message left at 4.15am on July 29.
He then used further expletives before hanging up.
Richardson also attended the Reclaim Australia (RA) and UPF rallies in Melbourne and Bendigo and a protest against the ABC in June.
3CR is of course home to hundreds of union and community groups and projects, including the CFMEU show ‘The Concrete Gang’:
Since 1976, The Concrete Gang has been the most cutting and funny source of construction industry news and views.
Raw community radio at its best, The Concrete Gang is most (in)famous for “Scallywag of the Week” where names are named and the gloves come off.
It’s CFMEU radio for construction workers in the tradition of the late and great John Cummins who was a long-term host of the show.
Listen live at 9:30am Sunday mornings on 3CR Community Radio 855AM or get the podcast at 3cr.org.au/concretegang (or search The Concrete Gang on your podcast provider).
I doubt ‘Cummo’ would’ve been impressed to see fascist thugs attacking the station he broadcast on — or to witness one of their comrades making fascist propaganda in construction union clothing.
Finally, note that the UPF has declared itself to be in political solidarity with a range of neo-Nazi and fascist groups and movements in Europe, including the Greek neo-Nazi organisation ‘Golden Dawn’. In May 2014, the CFMEU participated in an anti-fascist rally in Brisbane, called in order to denounce both Golden Dawn and the Australia First Party.
6) Reclaim Australia /// November 22
The UPF has declared that they will be heading to Perth on November 22, the date of the third round of RA rallies. In Melbourne, RA has recently declared that they’ll be protesting in Melton against the construction of a Muslim skool rather than at Parliament House. Counter-protests have been organised at the following locations:
7) Australia First Party ~versus~ Party for Freedom
There’s a ding-dong battle going on in Sydney between Dr Jim Saleam’s Australia First Party (AFP) and Nick Folkes’ Party for Freedom (PFF). The last week has seen the PFF stage a banner drop denouncing Saleam and also, curiously, publish a video which documents Saleam’s attendance at a meeting of neo-Nazis to pay tribute to dead Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi:
Also in attendance at the commemorative meeting was Alex Norwick, a former National Action member, candidate for the AFP (Wyong 2015, Chifley 2013, Deakin 2010) and editor of the party’s newsletter Audacity; it also seems to have attracted notorious neo-Nazi Ross ‘The Skull’ May.
The PFF’s attacks upon the AFP follow similar attacks launched by Shermon Burgess (‘The Great Aussie Patriot’), who has denounced not only Saleam and the AFP as ‘nazis’ but so too Melbourne-based neo-Nazi grouplet ‘Nationalist Alternative’. Odd behaviour given that Burgess was more than happy — proud, even — to work alongside neo-Nazis like Cottrell and Erikson throughout 2015, and even helped to promote Squadron 88’s anti-Muslim agitation in Penrith.
For his part, Saleam denies any and all association with neo-Nazis and blames the campaign upon local Liberals, engaged in a conspiracy with the PFF and neo-Nazi grouplet ‘Squadron 88’ in order to damage the reputation of the AFP.
Otherwise, while Burgess has left the UPF in the capable hands of Cottrell in Melbourne, in Sydney he’s continued to maintain his years-long commitment to Ralph Cerminara, valour thief and sometime leader of the ‘Australian Defence League’. Burgess and Cerminara both now appear to be aligning themselves with Folkes and the PFF against the AFP — Burgess and Folkes are also talking up the PFF’s historical re-enactment of the December 2005 Cronulla pogrom.
8) Australia & the Fascist Idea of Greater Britain
Evan Smith of the Hatful of History blog has written an interesting account of the British Union of Fascists’ approach to Empire and Australia:
Part of this view of Australia as an integral part of Greater Britain’s trading relations was the country’s perceived promise as a destination for British migrants to take opportunity of the vast space offered and its potential for agricultural and industrial development. This was a widely held view since the early days of the Australian colonies and the BUF reinforced the idea of the British colonial settler as imperial pioneer.
Read the rest at the Imperial & Global Forum here.
The struggle to save Tecoma and the Dandenongs from colonisation by US fast-food chain McDonald’s appears to be entering its final phase. Earlier in the week McDonald’s mobilised VicPol and private security against locals to evict them from the site of the proposed new franchise (the first of its kind in the area). The state is obviously McHappy to assist the fast-food corporation to do Whatever It Takes to colonise the hills surrounding Melbourne. Ironically, last week the Guardian exposed the fact that UK police employed an undercover agent, Bob Lambert, to infiltrate the campaign against McDonald’s by London Greenpeace, during which time he helped to co-author the famous McLibel leaflet. The campaign was also the subject of a great documentary, produced by Spanner Films.
From the Department of “What Have We Learned From Current Affairs This Week (Which Can Be Interpreted As A Form Of Critical Intertextuality)?”:
On Tuesday’s edition of tabloid current affairs TV show Today Tonight, David Eccleston filed a report on a bizarre new social phenomenon that he and host Matthew White (a former sports reporter whose bland appeal landed him the role in October 2008) termed ‘Reverse racism’. In an operant sense, ‘reverse racism’ is what happens when fair dinkum Aussie blokes like former meat worker turned restaurateur Craig Whitney, CFMEU NSW Secretary Andrew Ferguson, and Australian Protectionist Party spokesperson Darrin Hodges express misgivings over the negative influence migrants have on Australian work and culture.
The Walkley Award-winning duo — animated by the same deep and abiding concern for workers’ rights which characterises all reportage on Today Tonight — begin their tale of woe as follows:
White: But now to the issue of reverse racism in the workplace. Workers and trade unions claim it’s at the stage where certain jobs are being reserved for immigrants who are happy to work for less pay. As David Eccleston reports, there are concerns that racism is working in reverse, and threatening the Australian way of life.
Eccleston: Welcome to the new Australia, one where you can be pushed aside by migrants willing to work. Twice as long, twice as hard, and for half the pay.
The term ‘reverse racism’ is of course nonsense, something even a high school student understands — or is, at least, expected to. For the benefit of tabloid journalists however, the Racism. No Way website — designed for the use of such students — spells out why:
The notion of reverse racism is that people from the dominant culture are being discriminated against or not receiving the same benefits as people from minority groups. It needs to be understood that there is no such thing as reverse racism. At an individual level, all ethnic or cultural groups are capable of both discriminating against other groups and of being discriminated against, although minority groups are more likely to suffer from institutional racism.
Of course, it’s also possible to assume, quite reasonably, that White, Eccelston and the other members of the team at Today Tonight are aware of the fact that the term is bogus, but that, more importantly, it sells to an already primed audience.
Having introduced the concept of reverse racism — which, as a form of racism, is certainly objectionable, and being directed against the interests of the show’s presumed audience, more likely to elicit a strong reaction — Eccleston turns to a series of talking heads for further elucidation: former meatworker Craig Whitney, CFMEU NSW Secretary Andrew Ferguson, Australian Protectionist Party spokesperson Darrin Hodges and Race Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes.