For those of you coming in late, on Sunday in Cheltenham the ‘True Blue Crew’ (TBC) — a racist street-gang based in Melton and Bendigo — organised a meeting in order to discuss the establishment of a vigilante group, one tasked with tackling #AfricanGangs. According to reports, the meeting attracted several dozen people: members of the TBC, the ‘United Patriots Front’ (UPF), and several members of other tiny, radical right-wing satellites.
Announced some weeks ago, the TBC declared that the meeting would be held at a secret location, the details of which would be released on late Sunday morning to those who’d expressed an interest in attending and passed their stringent vetting procedures. This was arranged so that the meeting would not be subject to disruption. Within the space of a few hours of this information being distributed, however, it was also made public: the TBC would be meeting at 4pm at Eddie’s bar in Cheltenham. Not long after this, and seemingly as the result of inquiries from journalists and concerned members of the public, the bar’s management decided to cancel the group’s booking, forcing them to hold the event elsewhere.
That elsewhere was Unit 9, 158 Chesterville Road, Cheltenham, the site of something called the ‘Lads Society’.
The ‘Lads Society’ announced its existence in October last year. The property was leased by UPF líder máximo Blair Cottrell’s sidekick, Thomas Sewell, who is joined by, among others, James Buckle — the President of gun lobby group ‘Firearm Owners United’. In promotional material for the new project, Tom indicated that among the reading materials the ‘Lads’ could enjoy perusing at the Society was Mein Kampf, the text Blair Cottrell notoriously declared that he wants issued to all Australian school children.
While some media did attend the event, and police lurked, only one media organisation was granted ‘exclusive access’ to the meeting: Channel 7.
First tonight, 7 News has been granted exclusive access inside a secret meeting organised by right-wing activists in response to Melbourne’s African youth crime crisis. Reporter Jodi Lee was invited into the True Blue Crew’s gathering and joins us live now. Good evening Jodi, what went on behind closed doors?
Jodi Lee: Well good evening Jackie as we go to air tonight that meeting is still very much under way. 7 News was the only media organisation invited inside the meeting where more than 50 people, mostly men, gathered from all across the state. They came from as far as Cobram and Shepparton, Melton in the city’s west and Mornington along the peninsula. Now, they gathered at a meeting spot that belongs to the United Patriots Front but the men there hail from several different groups. They don’t say that they are right-wing activists, they call themselves patriots, and say they have come together to help average Australians deal with what they are calling an immigrant crime crisis. Now, they say they’ve been disappointed by the Andrews government and by Victoria Police who this group believes have been rendered unable to cope with rising crime. Take a listen to what their leaders tonight had to say.
Blair Cottrell : Well nothing is being done. The government could be doing a lot more to combat this crime but police aren’t being given the powers they need to combat this problem we have in this country.
Kane Miller : We have a few ideas we hope to put in place, it’s about time the community get involved because it’s clear to see that police can’t save us all.
Daniel Andrews : People are free to meet and discuss whatever matters they want to. What I would say though is Victoria Police are best capable, best able and best equipped to fight crime and keep the community safe.
Jodi Lee : Now this group hopes to harness the power of social media to protect both them and their families. They’re hoping to create a kind of ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ that will be able to quickly let people know when an incident, a robbery or an attack in fact, is occurring and hopefully help send locals there to help protect residents, Jackie.
As noted above, the TBC are a Melton and Bendigo-based street gang that emerged in late 2015 and early 2016. It’s one of numerous flag-waving groups that have appeared during the course of the last decade, from the ‘Southern Cross Soldiers’ to the ‘Australian Defence League’. Since its inception, the Crew, under the leadership of Kane Miller, has organised a number of events. Its first rally took place in May 2016 in Coburg. Titled ‘Stop the Far Left!’, the rally intended to disrupt an anti-racist rally organised by the Socialist Alliance, to express opposition to the ‘Islamisation’ of Coburg and support for the concentration camps on Manus and Nauru (see : Coburg 1 /// Fascists 0; Or: The neo-Nazi rally that brought anti-fascists to the streets of Coburg, May 31, 2016 /// More reflections on ‘solidarity’ after the Coburg protest, January 7, 2017). As on future occasions, the TBC were joined on this occasion by (the remnants of) the UPF and a small clutch of (other) neo-Nazis wearing Wolk’s Hook regalia (note that members of this grouping later went on to form ‘Antipodean Resistance’).
Having successfully cleansed Coburg of Muslims and leftists, the TBC’s next big event was a flag parade in the CBD in June. On this occasion, as well as the UPF and others, the TBC were joined by a large number of Christian fun-da-mentalists from Pastor Danny Nalliah’s ‘Rise Up Australia Party’ (RUAP); the event was given an even more bizarre tenor by their performance of the traditional Australian haka. Also present at the event was alleged terrorist Phill Galea, who thrilled to the corporal punishment handed out to Coburg locals by the TBC at their coming-out party in May:
Having successfully waved flags in the city, the next TBC event was a ‘Rally Against the Rise of Islam in Melton’ in August 2016. This was another bizarre set-piece, this time pitting the TBC methgoblins up against the ‘Soldiers of Odin’ and its leader, Jason Moore (formerly a member of the ‘Patriots Defence League of Australia’). Undeterred by such shenanigans, the criminal prosecution of several of its members for assault (both upon anti-racists and their own — female — partners), common sense or basic decency, as well as appearing at several other events, the TBC returned in 2017 with another flag parade (June 2017) and have now embarked upon the formation — along with their neo-Nazi comrades in the UPF — of a lynch-mob to target African yoof. Or, as Jodi Lee put it, ‘a kind of Neighbourhood Watch’.
Cottrell, 26, was sentenced to four months in prison in May 2012 after being convicted of 13 charges, including seven counts of intentionally damaging property. County Court Judge Michael Tinney convicted the then-22-year-old of throwing a missile, stalking, failing to comply with a community-based order, and two counts of recklessly causing serious injury. In December 2013 he was fined $1000 and sentenced to seven days in jail by a County Court judge for aggravated burglary, property damage, arson, trafficking testosterone, possessing a controlled weapon and breaching court orders.
Note that Erikson was accompanied to court by several other ostensible members of ‘Patriot Blue’: Lachlan/Logan Spalding (also present when PB racially-abused Labor MP Sam Dastyari), Julian de Ross (who also attended the TBC meeting on Sunday) and George Jameson and Penny Louise, recently expelled from Nick Folkes’ micro-Party For Freedom in Sydney. Joining Julian was also Daniel Jones, previously employed as a bodyguard to Avi Yemini, but otherwise — like a number of the budding vigilantes — working in the security industry.
1) Stephen Johnson, The Daily Mail & ‘Melbourne Antifa’
In response to the massacre in Las Vegas, Stephen Johnson of The Daily Mail has republished a statement by ‘Melbourne Antifa’ — a troll page on Facebook — praising the killer. Titled ”One of our comrades has made those Trump supporting dogs pay’: Left-wing ‘Melbourne Antifa’ extremists condemned for praising Las Vegas shooter after he shot dead 59 people’ (October 3, 2017), the article has been widely-shared on social media: by the stupid, the gullible, the malicious, and spambots.
This is the third occasion upon which Stephen has relied upon his friends on the AltRight to help propagate obviously fake material, previously having republished two other statements by the same troll page regarding Mohamed Elmouelhy (‘With friends like these … Left-wing extremist group DEFENDS halal boss’ claims Australian women need Muslim men to fertilise them – calling critics ‘racist”, July 31, 2017) and Andrew Bolt (”List them as a terrorist organisation’: Malcolm Turnbull urged to formally declare group that attacked Andrew Bolt as dangerous extremists’, June 11, 2017).
Of course, Stephen knows this material is nonsense, but it makes for very good clickbait, which for a hack is the only thing that matters. As such, it’s highly unlikely that this is the last time he’ll contribute another small pile to the mountain of ‘fake news’ in circulation, and other dickheaded statements by the troll page will continue to be republished by him.
Blair Cottrell, the former leader of the now moribund ‘United Patriots Front’ (UPF), was in court again yesterday to lodge an appeal against his conviction last month — along with former flunkeys Neil Erikson and Chris Shortis — of serious religious vilification.
United Patriots Front member Neil Erikson gives up fight against revulsion charge
October 3, 2017
UNITED Patriots Front leader Blair Cottrell will continue the fight to clear his name of hate speech charges alone after his mates left him holding the can.
Cottrell fronted the County Court today where an appeal date was set for next year.
But the court heard his alleged co-offender Neil Erikson had failed to lob into court a day earlier, thus abandoning his appeal.
Cottrell, 27, Erikson, 32, and Christopher Neil Shortis, 46, were each convicted and fined $2000 last month for knowingly engaging in conduct with the intention of inciting serious contempt for or revulsion of a class of people, namely Muslims, under the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act.
The tough talking Erikson had previously been staunch in his defiance of the charge, calling on Victoria Police Commissioner Graham Ashton to appear at an earlier hearing at the magistrates’ court.
“They are corrupted. They have pushed for this case. They have pushed for us to be at court today. I think it’s a conspiracy against right-wing politics and conservative values,” he said at the time.
The men were the first to be convicted of the crime since the Act came into force in 2001.
They were charged in 2015 after they made a video protesting the construction of a mosque in Bendigo in which they beheaded a dummy with a toy sword and spilt fake blood on the footpath outside Bendigo City Council offices.
In finding the men guilty, Magistrate John Hardy condemned their behaviour, declaring they had each “crossed the line”.
At the end of last month’s hearing, each of the men claimed they would appeal their convictions.
A County Court spokesman said the court still had no record of Shortis ever lodging an appeal.
The wannabe politician had been highly critical of the government throughout his court proceeding.
On conviction, he maintained he did not recognise the little-used law and complained that people had mocked his Christian faith without recourse.
“A court of law is not a place for hurt feelings,” he said.
Today’s appearance by Cottrell drummed-up none of the drama seen at previous hearings.
On those occasions, city streets needed to be blocked-off to accommodate scores of protesters and television reporters jostled with Cottrell’s supporters outside court.
Cottrell’s appearance today attracted no more than three reporters, with not a single UPF supporter in attendance.
Cottrell initially missed the hearing, which was promptly struck out by Judge Barbara Cotterell.
But the UPF frontman arrived shortly after and he was allowed to continue the appeal.
He told the court he was in the process of seeking new lawyers.
It remains unclear on what grounds Cottrell hopes to run his appeal.
Neo-Nazi Cottrell is presumably hoping to replicate the successful appeal (2006/7) of similar charges brought against Christian fundamentalist preachers Daniel Nalliah and Daniel Scot.
3) Neil Erikson & Michael Holt
Speaking of courts, hatred, Neil Erikson and the UPF, last week another one of Neil’s former chums, Michael Holt, was sent to jail. See : White supremacist Michael Holt sentenced to 4.5 years for weapons, child porn offences (Harriet Alexander, The Sydney Morning Herald, September 29, 2017). This is not the first time Neil’s mates have found themselves in trouble with the law. Previously, in December 2012, other former comrades of Neil Erikson’s, members of the ‘Crazy White Boys’, were sent to jail for a vicious assault upon a Vietnamese student. Currently, members of the Perth-based Aryan Nations (Melony Attwood, Robert Edhouse, Corey Dymock and a 17-year-old who cannot be named), comrades of Neil’s but also the UPF’s, are awaiting trial for the murder of 42-year-old Alan Taylor, found beaten to death in his Girrawheen bedroom in April last year (Teenager admits lie and avoids jail, Tim Clarke, The West Australian, August 10, 2017).
AltRight blogger David Hilton (AKA ‘Moses Apostaticus’) has published a post on his website tradnash[dot]net claiming that I’m somebody called PD (and his wife). As on the two previous occasions David has ‘outed’ me, the allegation is untrue, but his fellow meatheads are of course delighted. Peter Grace:
In addition to The Daily Mail, the Las Vegas massacre has produced a phantastic range of batshit. These articles document some of the best additions to the rich, creamy discourse:
I’ve just finished reading John Safran‘s new book Depends What You Mean By Extremist: Going Rogue with Australian Deplorables (Penguin, 2017). Having been a resident in these parts for some time, I enjoyed tagging along with John as he romped through this ‘mad world of misfits’ in ‘the year the extreme became the mainstream’, and had some fun identifying (or trying to identify) the various characters in the book, frequently shielded by pseudonyms. While reactions among friends and comrades has been mixed, and I haven’t read too many reviews as yet, Simon McDonald reckons it’s an easy-reading but hard-hitting expose of political extremism in STRAYA, which I suppose is apt. So in lieu of a proper, y’know, literary review, I thought that, as an anarchist and someone who’s also paid close attention to the far right Down Under, I’d jot down a few notes.
Perhaps the most coherent perspective, surprisingly enough, is provided by UPF fuehrer Blair Cottrell, who outlines a rational (if rather unlikely) pathway to state power for him and his mates, and for whom the hullabaloo over halals represents merely a convenient platform from which to practice his best Hitler impersonation. Notably, Der Uber Der confesses (p.152) to viewing his followers in much the same way as he views Jews: as divided into highborn and lowborn, order-givers and order-takers. (Of course, there are no prizes for guessing to which category Blair assigns himself.) The seeming absurdities and contradictions which plague the various deplorable characters in the book are remarked upon continually throughout the text: valour thief, serial pest and implacable opponent of Islam, Communism, ‘Third World’ immigration and multi-culturalism, Ralph Cerminara (pp.23–27), apparently has an Italian father, an Aboriginal mother, and a Vietnamese partner, while Dr Jim Saleam causes other white nationalists to snigger behind his back on account of his Lebanese ancestry. John is also keen to underline the fact that religion, especially Christian evangelicalism and fundamentalism, plays a critical role in the worldview of a large segment of Deplorable Australians. Enter Danny Nalliah’s Catch The Fire Ministries/Rise Up Australia Party, that grouping which has done the most to add some, ah, colour, to the various events organised by Reclaim and the UPF. Speaking of Danny, Scott Moerland also stars as ‘Mr Normal’ (p.79). Well for a time at least, before eventually being revealed as being ‘some sort of doomsday Christian’ (p.84): a fact which helps explain why he ran as the RUAP candidate for Oxley at the 2013 federal election (Scott got 400 votes or 0.43% for his troubles).
In terms of mobilising opposition to Reclaim Australia, the UPF, et. al., the book concentrates on one project: No Room For Racism (NRFR) in Melbourne, for which Mel Gregson is deemed the ‘matriarch’ (p.92). For those of you coming in late, NRFR was established in early 2015 in order to promote opposition to the first (April 4, 2015) Reclaim rally in Melbourne. (Other anti-fascist and anti-racist groups and projects emerged in other towns and cities at the same time.) After April 4, another campaigning group was established in Melbourne called Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (CARF), but its activities play no part in John’s account. In any case, given that both NRFR and CARF are capable of making their own assessments, in the remainder of this post I’m gonna concentrate on a coupla Muslim figures portrayed in the book, before concluding with an assessment of John’s portrayal of my comrades, Les Anarchistes.
The ‘extreme’ Muslims featured in the book are Musa Cerantonio, some bloke called ‘Hamza’ and some other fella named ‘Youssef’. Also making a special guest appearance is ‘Ahmet the Turk’, and in ‘The Sufi in the garden’ (pp.40-44), John meets a Sufi; someone who might function as a ‘counterpoint’ to two other Muslims (Musa and Hamza) he talks to about Islam and politics. While the ‘Sufi’ is, like other characters in the book, unnamed, it wasn’t too difficult for me to work out to whom John might be referring. For what it’s worth, they have a very different recollection of their conversation to John’s. Later in the book (p.224), John makes reference to a ‘famous-enough Muslim’, and pays particular attention to something the Islamic semi-idol posted on their Facebook page. Again, it wasn’t too difficult for me to discover who this person is, and I thought it would be worthwhile examining the incident a little more closely, both because of what it reveals about the writing process, but also because it helps shape what eventually becomes one of the key themes of the text: anti-Semitism and its (ab)uses. John writes:
‘We, French-Muslims, are ready to assume our responsibilities.’ Dozens of celebrities and academics have written a letter to a Paris newspaper. The signatories say that local Muslim communities must work harder to stop the extremists in their midst, and to honour those killed the letter lists all the recent terrorist attacks in France.
The one at the kosher deli.
‘You are ready to assume your responsibilities’, writes a French Jewish leader in reply, ‘but you are off to a bad start. You need to understand that these anti-Semitic attacks were committed against Jews, who were targetted for being Jewish. In any case we’ll always be here to remind you.’
Those signatories aren’t the only Muslims who believe in Jewish exceptionalism. From France to my hometown …
In which context, a few things:
• The terrorist attack on the kosher deli/the Porte de Vincennes siege (January 2015) involved a man who’d pledged allegiance to Daesh/Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, killing four Jewish shoppers and holding others hostage before being shot dead by French police.
• The statement by some French Muslims was published in Le Journal du Dimanche on July 31, 2016 (see : “Nous, Français et musulmans, sommes prêts à assumer nos responsabilités”). The letter makes explicit reference to five terrorist attacks: at Charlie Hebdo (January 2015); at Bataclan theatre (November 2015); at Magnanville (June 2016); at Bastille Day celebrations in Nice and at a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray (July 2016). The list is not exhaustive. Thus the letter fails to reference the Toulouse and Montauban shootings of March 2012 (in which a French rabbi, among others, was shot dead), the La Défense attack (May 2013), the Tours police station stabbing (December 2014), the February 2015 stabbing of three French soldiers on patrol outside a Jewish community centre in Nice, an attack upon churches in Villejuif in April 2015, the Saint-Quentin-Fallavier attack of June 2015, the Thalys train attack of August 2015, a man who drove his car into soldiers protecting a mosque in Valence in January 2016, an attack upon a police station in Paris later that month and, finally, an attack upon a family at a holiday resort in Garda-Colombe in July 2016.
• The French Jewish leader is Robert J. Ejnes, Executive Director at the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF)/Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions. He posted a comment in response to the statement on his Facebook account on July 31, 2016 [https://www.facebook.com/robert.ejnes/posts/10155122557237942]; the CRIF later posted a modified version of this comment on August 1, 2016. See : Jewish Leader Slams French Muslims for Omitting anti-Semitic Violence From Anti-jihad Petition, Haaretz, August 1, 2016.
• Given that my French-language skills are as advanced as my admiration for Carlton FC, it’s a little difficult to follow the story of the statement, but it’s worth noting that, in response to the criticisms leveled at it of ‘Jewish exceptionalism’, on August 1, 2016, one of the signatories, Socialist Party politician Bariza Khia, published a statement on Facebook [https://www.facebook.com/bariza.khiari/posts/10154298138245900] — later added to the statement published in Le Journal du Dimanche and endorsed by all signatories — in which the signatories claim that the omissions were not deliberate, that they wished to avoid unnecessary controversy, and that ‘Jewish students in Toulouse or clients of the Hyper-Kosher murdered because they were Jews, a Catholic priest martyred in his church, a soldier or a Muslim policeman slaughtered in service … the list of victims is terribly long and so diverse, our nation in all its components, that we must face adversity together’ [machinetranslation]. I suppose it would also be worth adding that it was a Muslim immigrant from Mali who saved the lives of other Jewish shoppers at the supermarket, an action which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised (even if Robert Ejnes did not). See : Malian Muslim hailed for saving lives at Paris market, France24, January 12, 2015.
To return to Almost Famous, John writes that:
… I see today that he’s busy on Facebook, tormenting a family of Israeli immigrants (so, to be clear, Australians) who run the cafe around the corner from my flat. A Muslim friend of his wandered in for a snack a few hours ago and spotted an item on the menu: ‘Israeli breakfast’. Finding out that the family running the cafe are Israeli, she lashed out at them, freaking out everyone in the cafe, and now the famous-enough Muslim is lashing out too, ‘exposing’ this family for being Israeli …
… His Facebook fans pile on: Jews are stingy, so no doubt this Israeli breakfast is the stingiest breakfast ever. That sort of thing.
Again, for what it’s worth:
• While John implies that the discussion takes place sometime in late 2016, in reality the Facebook post is over three years old (May 2013).
• The friend is not described as being ‘Muslim’ but rather ‘Palestinian’.
• According to the account relayed by Famous-Enough Funny-Man: the Palestinian woman cancelled her order because she found out it was an Israeli business; when the owner demanded to know why, she said ‘Because Israel occupies my land’. Allegedly, the owner then followed the Palestinian woman down the street, abused her, and told her to never come near his café again.
• While the post has some caustic commentary, nobody accuses Jews of being ‘stingy’. [EDIT (May 21, 2017) : Somebody did comment to that effect but at some point b/w now + then it was deleted.]
• While I’ve got no idea what happened, and either account could be true, in John’s retelling the Palestinian has become a Muslim, and even if one believes that it’s wrongful for a Palestinian to boycott an Israeli business on account of Israel’s colonial status, a national conflict has become a religiously-motivated one. (Surely there are better examples of anti-Semitic actions on the part of local Muslims than the above?)
Anyways, back to John (p.229):
But hey, maybe I’m looking at this the wrong way. Maybe I should drop in on Mrs Sneer and Mr Snort at the Melbourne Anarchist Club and they can explain to me how spreading avocado over soft-toasted challah is in fact structural violence.
Which would seem as good a time as any to examine how ratbag anarchists are portrayed in the book.
Mrs Sneer & Mr Snort
As part of his journalisms, John joins the UPF as they party after their second rally in Bendigo in October 2015. (A detour finds him at the wrogn pub, one at which members of ‘Nationalist Alternative’ — ‘They’re like the UPF except they don’t sugarcoat their views on Jews’ — are drinking. Not mentioned in the book is the fact that Blair Cottrell, along with Neil Erikson, is a former member of the tiny groupuscule.) Partying with the UPF includes being filmed doing shots of tequila with them. This is later shared by the UPF on their Facebook page, where they jokingly claim that John is now an official member of the gang. John notes that the reception by some on the left to this example of fraternising with teh enimy is frosty. According to John (p.92), ‘The Melbourne Anarchist Club — those guys who turn up to the rallies with their faces wrapped in bandannas — seem particularly miffed’. This is incorrect, and in this instance John seems to have mixed-up the MAC with ‘Melbourne Antifascist Info’, who did indeed ‘hope there’s a good explanation for why John Safran went out for drinks with the United Patriots Front last night’.
After recounting the UPF’s trip to the Melbourne Anarchist Club (MAC) and radio station 3CR (the expedition consisted of Blair Cottrell, Chris Shortis, Neil Erikson, Andrew Wallis and Linden Watson), John attends the Open Day the MAC organised in response: ‘There are more hot anarchists than I expected here. Don’t get me wrong, there are also flabby radicals who wouldn’t be able to throw a Molotov cocktail without breaking into a wheeze, but still’ (p.157). LOL. It’s at this point that Mrs Sneer and Mr Snort enter the story.
After criticising John for his (inadvertent) appearance in the UPF’s promotional stunt, Mr Snort registers his displeasure with John’s article on the Golden Dawn and AFP rally in Brisbane in 2014. It’s at this point that the distinction between ‘structural’ and ‘non-structural’ violence is introduced: Mr Snort says far-right violence is a form of ‘structural violence’ (that is, part of State, corporate and systemic violence), and left-wing violence isn’t. And furthermore, my ‘comedic story’ contributed to this ‘structural violence’ by equating the two. For John, this distinction, and its flaws, comes to encapsulate what he considers a worrying trend, both on the left and among some Muslims (the Sufi’s view on the Charlie Hebdo attack), one which tries and fails to escape the ethical dimensions of discussions on the uses of violence and which, in the end, dismisses various examples of anti-Semitism as being trivial and unworthy of a serious response. Thus Mrs Sneer claims that [t]here’s not meaningful anti-Semitism these days … in the way there’s meaningful Islamophobia, and in practice, this distinction merely becomes a way of separating worth from unworthy victims, the Naughty from the Nice.
Mrs Sneer and Mr Snort are then unfavourably compared to the arguably more nuanced approach of ‘Ahmet the Turk’, who attended the open day to express solidarity with the MAC. Beefy and bald, he says he’s new to politics but when he saw ‘these people getting attacked for essentially defending Muslims? I thought, You know what? We’ve got to show them some solidarity. We need to tell them, “You are not alone.” Just like how they’ve told us that we’re not alone.’ Ahmet and the Seven Turks then rock up to the Reclaim/UPF/True Blue Crew rally in Melton (pp.169–180), where inter alia they’re photographed with Senator Lee Rhiannon (or at least, that’s what Ralph Cerminara reckoned LOL) but otherwise try and keep the peace. (As an aside, John writes that the reason the rally was held in Melton was in order to protest the fact that the local council had approved the building of a mosque. This is incorrect. Rather, protesters were angry and upset because they claimed, falsely, that Melton Specialist School had planned to re-locate from Coburns Road to the former site of Victoria University’s Melton campus in Rees Road, Melton South, but was forced to abandon the site to make way for the Al Iman College. See : Anti-Muslim rally reveals a racism both shocking and commonplace, Crikey, November 23, 2015.)
The other anarchist featured in the book is referred to as ‘The CEO’ (p.186): ‘At the rallies he points his finger here and there, muttering into ears, and the little ninjas scuttle off on the mission’. Again, The CEO was not difficult to identify and again, their recollection of their conversations differs from John’s. In any case, insofar as The CEO’s role is understood to be reflective of actual anti-fascist action, organisation and planning, it immediately reminded me of a white nationalist’s account of the TBC rally in Coburg in 2016, in which at one point in the day’s proceedings ‘advance ANTIFA scouts relayed some order via their weird coded street language of whistles and the mob took off at a dead run’. In other words, there are few if any secrets revealed about ‘ANTIFA’ in John’s book.
Finally, the concluding chapters of the book examine Trump’s victory in the US, Pauline Hanson’s return to the Australian Parliament, and the failure of the UPF (as the stillborn ‘Fortitude’ party), the Australian Liberty Alliance and Rise Up Australia Party to make a dent at the 2016 federal election. In the meantime, Musa Cerantonio has been arrested and charged with terrorisms, as has Phill Galea, while Avi Yemini’s attempt to introduce Pauline Hanson and Malcolm ‘Jew World Order’ Roberts to the Jews of Melbourne not unexpectedly fell in a heap. Cory Bernardi has split from the Coalition to form the Conservatives, swallowing Family First and recruiting former ALA candidate Kirralie Smith. Most recently, Bernardi’s neo-reactionary comrade-at-arms George Christensen, having undergone radical weight-loss surgery in Muslim-majority Malaysia, and having previously been a guest speaker at a Reclaim Australia rally and starred on a local neo-Nazi podcast, has now demanded that their New York comrade Mike Peinovich (‘Mike Enoch’) be prevented from entering the country — in order to attend a conference organised by the same crew of nipsters. Neil Erikson has denounced ‘Nazism’ while Shermon Burgess has embraced it. Having been kicked off Facebook, the UPF circus rolls into court again next week (May 23) while the boys in the True Blue Crew have taken some time out from assaulting their partners in order to wave some flags in the CBD on June 25.
* ‘The Skull’ appears as a foil for the UPF in Sydney, which is credited with kicking him off the bus the boys organised to take a small crew of patriotik volk to Melbourne for the joint July 18 Reclaim Australia/UPF rally. At the time, ‘The Skull’ had been adopted as the elderly mascot of a short-lived neo-Nazi groupuscule called ‘Squadron 88’. While the incident is claimed as being proof that the UPF didn’t tolerate the participation of neo-Nazis in its activities, leaving aside the fact that its leadership is (or was) neo-Nazi, in reality ‘The Skull’ was not the only neo-Nazi on the bus, as John Lyons and Martin McKenzie-Murray reported at the time.
A bus trip from Sydney to Melbourne highlighted the way neo-Nazi elements are trying to infiltrate the Reclaim Australia movement. Just after 9pm on Friday, July 17, a mixed group of activists — including four neo-Nazis — turned up at Sydney’s Central station to board a bus organised by UPF. But police were waiting for them. They sought out [John] Oliver, the man who had tried to reveal the identity of Fleming, who was carrying a gun. Oliver tells Inquirer he had notified the police firearms registry that he was transporting the gun to Melbourne but, nonetheless, police did not want the gun on that bus.
Oliver says he was taking the gun to Melbourne so over that weekend he could combine sports shooting and the rally. “Maybe I made an error of judgment to think that I could do the two things on the one weekend,” he concedes.
But he insists that those in Reclaim Australia are mainstream Australians opposing extremism. He says he was concerned there were four neo-Nazis on the bus. “The first thing I saw when I sat down was the guy in front of me draw a swastika on the mist on the window,” he says. “Two of the neo-Nazis were kicked off in Yass and two made it to Melbourne.”
One of those forced off the bus was Ross “The Skull” May, who has become the figurehead of Squadron 88, Australia’s newest neo-Nazi group …
For the few men who comprise the anti-immigration Australia First Party and the neo-Nazi Squadron 88, the numerals referring to “HH” or “Heil Hitler”, it was an opportunity to augment the United Patriots Front’s rally in Melbourne, itself a supplement to the Reclaim Australia rally organised for the foot of the Victorian parliament. A road trip was planned, a bus rented. The journey would be a merry drive from Sydney to Melbourne, a city they deemed a leftist “stronghold”. They packed a gun but Sydney police – aware of the groups – searched them before they departed and it was confiscated …
So the Sydney group were happy to help storm the fortress of Melbourne. They’d take a coach bus into battle. Nine hours of ribald camaraderie before they smashed some commies. It’d be fun. A real weekend.
Except news got out that one of the boys on the bus was Ross “The Skull” May, one of Australia’s more notorious neo-Nazis, and his presence was suddenly considered detrimental.
It is hard to satirise May. As accords his nickname, he looks like a desiccated corpse re-animated by the dark voodoo of Nazism. In reality he’s a semi-coherent octogenarian with few teeth and a sunken face, who in earlier years wore Nazi uniforms and intimidated political opponents.
According to sources, May was told a short way into the road trip to abandon the crusade and he disembarked just outside Canberra. The departure of one man wasn’t insignificant, given there were only about 30 aboard – about 10 to 20 per cent of the eventual anti-Islam congregation in Melbourne.
Finally, and for what it’s worth, on the evening that the bus departed Sydney I took note of the fact that ‘The Skull’, along with members of S88 and AFP, were on board, as did media. I think that this, rather than the UPF’s putative opposition to ‘Nazism’, is what really explains why poor old Ross was told to get off.
The keyboard warriors of the United Patriots Front (UPF) have been experiencing some technical difficulties on Facebook of late.
Ruh-roh. Poor old Facebook Patriots. Previously a ‘safe space’ for flag-waving twats, a few weeks ago the UPF Western Australia page was unpublished and then, a week or so ago, the UPF media page — which mostly published fanboy material and dank neo-Nazi memes — was unpublished. Finally, in the last day or two, the main UPF page, which had attracted over 120,000 ‘Likes’, has also been given the boot. Presumably, the UPF, which in terms of its public presentations has been reduced to two neo-Nazis in Melbourne (fuehrer Blair Cottrell and his sidekick Thomas Sewell) and one of their boofhead mates in Perth (Dennis Huts), will carry on as before, publishing new Facebook pages, and continuing to whinge and whine about bloody Muslims, rotten Communists, and African migrants. (Note that the UPF QLD page and UPF Bendigo pages remain up and running.)
As their principal means of communication with the Australian and, increasingly, American public, Facebook has been absolutely critical to the popularisation of the UPF and, moreover, its neo-Nazi leader Cottrell. Thus despite declaring, on more than one occasion, that accumulating Facebook ‘Likes’ was not the main goal of the UPF, after hitting peak derp in Bendigo in October 2015, its ‘Likes’ appear to have risen in inverse proportion to its ability to actually draw a crowd: the last UPF rally in Melbourne in November 2015 attracted barely a few dozen supporters, while the campaign to launch their political party ‘Fortitude’ in February 2016 was a complete fail. Since that time, most of their activity has been dedicated to circulating fake news and propaganda on Facebook, organising media and publicity stunts and, most recently, celebrating Hitler’s birthday at a local German restaurant.
*Ralph Cerminara‘s Facebook page ‘Left Wing Bigots & Extremists Exposed’ also appears to have been unpublished.
**Fuehrer Cottrell, along with ex-UPF members Chris Shortis (Australia First Party) and Neil Erikson, are due back in court on May 23 to face charges of serious religious vilification, defacing property, willful damage and behaving in an offensive manner in public following a UPF publicity stunt outside Bendigo council offices in October 2015.
Reclaim Australia ~versus~ True Blue Crew
True Blue Crew Reclaim Flag-waving
For reasons best known to themselves, the Sydney-based arm of ‘Reclaim Australia’ has cancelled its proposed rally in Melbourne on June 12. Undeterred, the True Blue Crew (TBC) has organised a flagwit rally in Melbourne on June 25. Last year’s flagwit rally attracted around 100 or so participants, the TBC busing in several score supporters from Bendigo and Melton, their numbers supplemented by Christian fundamentalists belonging to Catch The Fire Ministries (AKA ‘Rise Up Australia Party’), a small group of whom used the occasion to engage in the traditional Australian practice of a haka (presumably in honour of their Pope, Sri Lankan migrant Reverend Daniel Nalliah). Also joining the TBC on the day was one of their most vocal supporters, alleged ‘terrorist’ Phillip Galea. Appearing on April 28, Galea ‘told a court he won’t be using mental health as a defence’, and will be back in court sometime in August for a committal hearing.
Above : Phill Galea in happier times at the TBC flag rally, June 2016; just a few weeks later, he was arrested and charged with terrorisms.
Mastika ~versus~ Golden Dawn
“Mastika? We thought it said swastika!”
Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn (GD) is in all sorts of legal trouble in Greece, but in Australia is trying hard to move from the margins of Greek cultural and political life into its centre. Recently, a small group of GD members went on a publicity tour of Belmore in Sydney; the group then posted pictures of themselves distributing the Golden Dawn newspaper, including to two cafe workers at Mastika, who seemed quite happy to be receiving neo-Nazi propaganda. For its part, the cafe has disavowed any affiliation to or support for neo-Nazi politics. (It’s also closed its Facebook page.)
Nathaniel Jacob Sassoon Sykes ~versus~ Reality
“I’m not crazy! You’re the one that’s crazy!”
A few weeks ago, Nathaniel Jacob Sassoon Sykes was revealed as being a member of the (White) Australia First Party, Jewish, and a contributor to the world’s leading neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer. From this vantage point, Sykes tried his best to crank up The Internet Hate Machine and to direct it at various Australian public figures to whom he’d taken a particular dislike; a tricksy neo-Nazi, Sykes assumed the nom de guerre of ‘Hamish Patton’ while crafting his tasty insults. One of Sykes’ earliest targets was Muslim lawyer Mariam Veiszadeh, whom he lovingly described as a ‘towel-headed halal-harpy’ and a ‘country-shopping daughter of a goat-herding family of conniving peasant trash from the dunghills of Kabul’. Hurr hurr. In an article titled Waaambulance Please! Mariam Isn’t Happy! These Feels! and published on the Daily Stormer site on March 11, 2015, Sykes went into bat for a Queensland woman called Jay-Leighsha Bauman, who on that date appeared in Ipswich Magistrates Court ‘charged with using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence’:
The charges stem from an alleged online hate campaign she directed at human rights activist Mariam Veiszadeh in early January .
The allegedly expletive laden, anti-Islam campaign by Ms Bauman was unleashed on Ms Veiszadeh’s personal Facebook page, where police will allege she referred to the human rights activist as a whore, a prostitute and a rag-head and urged her to return to her “sand dune country”.
Sykes’ Waaambulance article called upon the neo-Nazi readership of Daily Stormer to rally behind Bauman and boasted of the campaign’s success in being featured on ABC’s Lateline (Hate groups launch global attack on Muslim advocate, March 10, 2015). Perhaps wanting to avoid any legal repercussions for himself, however, at some point between March 11 and April 3, 2015, the authorship of the article was changed from ‘Nathan Sykes’ to ‘Hamish Patton’.
Despite S C R E A M I N G ! headlines, the day was relatively uneventful, with relatively small crowds (a few hundred people in total), very few, minor clashes on the margins, and an overwhelming police presence. Two counter-protesters were arrested in Carlton Gardens as police responded to the burning (or attempted burning) of a handful of flags, while one or two PUFers also got arrest.
In terms of numbers, approximately 100 or so members and supporters of the Bendigo- and Melton-based ‘True Blue Crew’ (TBC) and the ‘United Patriots Front’ (UPF) — along with various other racist and fascist dregs — assembled near Parliament House (Parliament Gardens) this morning, intending to rally outside the building at 11.30am and then to march thru the CBD. Perhaps 2-300 other people attended a counter-rally at the same location.
Prevented from occupying the space outside Parliament, the TBC & Co were instead escorted by police up Nicholson Street to the Carlton Gardens and Royal Exhibition Building. There, kettled by police, they gathered outside the main (southern) entrance, where they waved flags and chanted. My favourite patriotik chant — undertaken with great gusto from within the kettle — was ‘Whose streets? Our streets!’
Confined to the area immediately outside the main southern entrance to Royal Exhibition Building, the << facho >> held a static demo for the better part of an hour, surrounded by police, media, and bewildered tourists. At around 1.30pm, the police permitted the small group to leave, escorting them the brief distance from the building to the corner of Nicholson and Gertrude. About half jumped on a charter bus (Bendigo Bus Company; registration number 0401 AC) — presumably to piss off back to Bendigo and Melton — while the remainder (about 40-50 people) were escorted by police the short distance to Parliament station, where they (presumably) jumped on a train.
The last time the UPF rallied in Melbourne they attracted a crowd of about 40 or so; the fact that only roughly that number assembled again today suggests that they’ve failed to build in the intervening period.
Politics makes for strange bedfellows. Thus I should add that the TBC and UPF’s numbers were heavily supplemented by members and supporters of Danny Nalliah’s Catch the Fire Ministries/Rise Up Australia Party (RUAP). Both party leader Danny Nalliah and VP Rosalie Crestani addressed the gathering, the Jesus freaks joining the Jew-haters in patriotik unity. Other familiar faces included a handful of Party for Freedom supporters: Toby ‘Golden Dawn’ Cook and George Jameson. Indeed, local PFF supporter Hong Shen was at one point given the great honour of leading the racist schmucks. LOL. For further information on the PFF and its handful of members, see : Anti Fascist Action Sydney on the Party for Freedom. Old mate Phill Galea made an appearance (but failed to blow up, cattle prod or Tase any body), as did (ex-?) PUFer Linden Watson, Tim Wakeling, UPF leaders Blair Cottrell and Thomas Sewell and TBC level boss Kane Miller.
See also : The Goddam Election! with John Safran (SBS, June 26, 2016) : ‘John Safran investigates the micro parties contesting the 2016 Australian Federal Election, revealing bizarre alliances that [upend] perceptions of Australian multiculturalism, uncovering what could be the most religious election ever. As the nation heads towards a neck-and-neck election, the micro parties supported by Australia’s religious minorities could end up with a balance of power. Join Safran as he cracks the lid on unlikely alliances and surprising frenemies in his inimitable style.’