Yeah Nah Pasaran! #002 w Emmi Bevensee : January 23, 2020

On this week’s episode of Yeah Nah, we talk to antifascist researcher, student and cat fan Emmi Bevensee about Iron March, fascist ideology and fascism online. You can read Bevensee’s work on their website Rebellious Data, follow them on Twitter, listen to/watch a presentation they gave at The University of Auckland last year on Memes, manifestos, murder: Fascist radicalisation online, and how we can stop it and read ‘The Alt-Right and Global Information Warfare’, a conference paper co-authored by Bevensee and Alexander Reid Ross.

4.30pm, Thursday, January 23, 2020 /// 3CR /// 855AM / streaming live on the 3CR website

• We also have a Facebook page for the show, which you’re invited to ‘Like’ and to ‘Follow’.
• I have a Patreon account which youse are also invited to support (and if youse do youse get some sweet stickers …)

Cheers!

PS.

Don’t forget to get along to your local Invasion Day/Survival Day event on Sunday. In Melbourne, folks are meeting at Parliament House at 11am — in Brisbane, at Queens Gardens at 10am. See also : SYDNEY & events in Adelaide, Armidale, Ballarat, Darwin, Devonport, Fremantle, Hobart, Newcastle, Perth & Townsville.

Blair Cottrell Has Lost His Appeal

Sad news, my fellow Aussie patriots: Blair Cottrell has lost his appeal against his September 2017 conviction for serious religious vilification. To be precise: a charge of knowingly engage in conduct with the intention of inciting serious contempt for, or revulsion or severe ridicule of, another person or class of persons on the ground of religious belief or activity, contrary to section 25(2) of the Racial & Religious Tolerance Act.

See : Cottrell v Ross (PDF) | ‘Not surprised’: Right-wing activist’s appeal fails for beheading dummy, Caroline Schelle, The Age, December 19, 2019 | Blair Cottrell fails to overturn effigy beheading conviction, Tessa Akerman, The Australian, December 19, 2019 | Far-right extremist Blair Cottrell loses appeal against conviction for inciting contempt of Muslims, Michael McGowan and AAP, The Guardian, December 19, 2019 | The County Court’s decision sends a powerful message about religious intolerance, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, December 20, 2019.

Cottrell’s previous criminal record is detailed in a report by Geir O’Rourke and Angus Thompson in the Herald Sun (June 11, 2016). Of his offending, they write: ‘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.’ Cottrell, as ‘Bruce’, appeared in a documentary about youth in the maximum-security Youth Unit at Port Phillip Prison in Truganina, in which he describes how he abused steroids, stalked his former partner and her boyfriend, tried to kill him, set fire to their house, and eventually got arrested, convicted, and sent to prison.

In this latest judgement, Judge Paul Kidd states (§ 334, 347, 351) that:

I reject, as lacking in all credibility, the appellant’s claim that this video was about the mere absurd, or intended to be humorous. It is a patently disingenuous characterisation, and is self-contradictory. I do not believe him.

I reject completely the many explanations advanced by the appellant that this was not directed to engendering extreme feelings about Muslims in general. His explanations smack of a manufactured post facto rationalisation and are lacking in credibility. I do not believe the appellant.

If this video were directed to the world at large I would have found the charge proved. That said, I find the nature of the target audience further reinforces the inference of intention. The appellant was aware that the material would be accessed by those who viewed the UPF Facebook page. His knowledge of who the target audience would be strengthens the inference that his intention was to incite a response from them. Those accessing the Facebook page may have been members of UPF, members of the UPF Facebook page or people who otherwise shared the opinions of the UPF or were interested in their ideas or the issues they discussed. Given the likelihood of shared views or interests, these people would be more likely to be stirred up by the content.

That Cottrell should have been found to have been disingenuous, self-contradictory, engaged in the manufacture of a post-facto rationalisation and lacking in credibility is unlikely to have generated much surprise in anybody who’s been following Cottrell’s political career since National Alternative helped him launch one back in April 2015 (or, for that matter, Aryan Nations in November 2015). His attitude to women and the media was most remarkably captured in the rape tweet — Cottrell: ‘I keed! I keed!’ — he sent to Sky News’ Laura Jayes although, alongside his criminal record, a previous declaration that manipulating women ‘using violence and terror’ is kosher may have been a warning sign. So too, his eagerness to execute traitorous (((media))) workers — should his rather unlikely phantasy of becoming Chancellor of Australia ever come to pass.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Still, Cottrell does have his supporters, from former Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Adam Giles to Republican congressman Steve King to ex-British National Party and neo-Nazi activist Mark Collett, and is regularly featured on ‘The Unhinged’, by Claudia Benitez (on Facebook and YouTube), and was the dubious beneficiary of representation by barrister John Bolton (below, L to R : Bolton, Cottrell, ‘Mark McDonald’ (Squadron 88/The Lads Society), Oscar Tuckfield (NSW Young Nationals/The Lads Society).

Bolton himself has previously been active with Reclaim Australia, used his Freeze Peach to decry the presence of refugees in Eltham, and inter alia organised a farcical ‘International Freedom of Speech Day’ in Sydney in October last year, a YUGE event which attracted the participation of his neo-Nazi client, Nick Folkes (ex-Party for Freedom), ‘Mark McDonald’, NSW True Blue Crew lvl boss ‘Mitch van Dam’, and various members of both grouplets (Dwayne Bullen, Max Towns), other former Reclaimers, and Peanuts — even Rino ‘Bluebeard’ Grgurovic put in an appearance(!).

Among those attending court in support of Cottrell were Benitez (‘Dia Beltran’) and Timmeh! Wilms (above) of ‘The Unhinged’ website and ‘The Cuckables’ podcast. Cottrell’s previous court appearance in November attracted (among others) Benitez, Wilms, Melinda Cassidy, Neil Erikson, Lea Galligah, Kimberley Neave, Kaylene O’Brien, Luke Phipps, Ian Sayer and Tom Sewell. Sewell, like Cottrell, was a leading member of the United Patriots Front. While alleged Christchurch killer Brenton Tarrant described Cottrell as his ’emperor’ a few years before allegedly proceeding to massacre 51 Muslims in March, Sewell tried to recruit this same brave ANZAC to his neo-Nazi grouplet ‘The Lads Society’, the group emerging following the collapse of Facebook’s support for the UPF. Happily enough, The Lads, after losing their bunker in Cheltenham, have recently re-opened an organising and training centre elsewhere in Melbourne. As for Erikson, he returns to court on February 18 next year to contest charges of disrupting Christian and Muslim religious services.

Finally, one of Cottrell’s elderly fanboys, Julian de Ross, has died. You may remember de Ross (AKA Hugh Pearson/Great Aussie Patriarch/John Sobieski/Koala732) from such campaigns as ‘Refugees Out Of Eltham’, ‘Melton Against The Muslims’, ‘Melbourne Loves Milo’, ‘Africans Out Of Cheltenham’ and numerous other daft right-wing stunts.

PS. Bellingcat, in collaboration with the Autonomous Disinformation Research Network, has just published a lengthy article on the Iron March leaks: Transnational White Terror: Exposing Atomwaffen And The Iron March Networks. Note that former UPF goon Shermon Burgess was briefly active on the site, along with the founders and various members of Antipodean Resistance (many of whom have now entered The Lads Society).

In this essay, we use content analysis of archival documents available online, spatial analysis of leaked data, and an hour-long interview of a former Atomwaffen member to expose the origins of Iron March, its founder, and its strategic cultivation of young recruits into a ruthless transnational movement infiltrating the military to generate a fascist revolution by carrying out a brutal campaign against civic infrastructure.

Iron March Leaks : Aussie Pride Edition (1)

[Update (November 16, 2019) : Perhaps inevitably, the exposure of the nazis on Iron March has triggered a backlash. First, the Proud Boys have been mobilising to report Twitter accounts which details the leaks, with some smol degree of success. (Seemingly, the Boys want to protecc the reputation of Proud Boy Joseph Evans, who posted on the site as ‘OvenEngineer’.) Secondly, billionaire meathead Jack Dorsey and Twitter have suspended the account of The Jewish Worker (@jewishworker), much preferring the public use the platform to familiarise themselves with Richard Spencer‘s antisemitism than the news & views of Jewish workers. Finally, ironmarch-web.now.sh is down but ironmarch.exposed is up.]

[Update (November 15, 2019) : One local forum user, ‘Neizbezhnost’, has been exposed as 25yo Territorian Steve Braddy. See : Inside the twisted world of a braggart Australian neo-Nazi, Mark Schliebs, The Australian, November 15, 2019.]

A few days ago, a digital pixie uploaded the contents of defunct neo-Nazi site Iron March (IM: 2011–2017).

See : Massive White Supremacist Message Board Leak: How to Access and Interpret the Data, Bellingcat Investigation Team, November 6, 2019 | Neo-Nazi forum Iron March exposed in massive data dump, Claire Goforth, The Daily Dot, November 7, 2019 | Leak from neo-Nazi site could identify hundreds of extremists worldwide, Jason Wilson, The Guardian, November 7, 2019 | Inside the Private Messages of Neo-Nazi Group Atomwaffen Division, Kelly Weill, The Daily Beast, November 8, 2019 | Members of violent white supremacist website exposed in massive data dump, Dan Goodin, arstechnica, November 8, 2019 | Neo-Nazi Web Forum Iron March Has SQL Database Dumped on the Internet Archive, Tom McKay, Gizmodo, November 8, 2019.

The dump is rather large, contains lots of intriguing details, and will take some time to sort through. Still: ‘At least three members of the U.S. military were registered users on the influential neo-Nazi forum Iron March, according to an analysis of an anonymous data dump from the site this week. And one of them, a Marine, was apparently using Iron March to try to recruit people for a fascist paramilitary group he wanted to launch in the U.S.’.

The database is accessible through various means, but The Jewish Worker has published it in a more-easily searchable format here and/or here. There’s also been discussion about some of the technical details inre communications on the site and the various alternatives (Discord, Skype, encrypted email services) its users sometimes employed, with one blogger asking: ‘How do right-wing extremists secure their communications? The recent Iron March data leak gives insight into how its members tried to communicate outside the message board’ (Communications Security on Iron March – An Intelligence Analysis, Key Findings, November 9, 2019).

Above : ‘Daddy Terror’ AKA Benjamin Noyles AKA Benjamin Raymond.

Curiously, one of the users cited in the keyfindings analysis, ‘Daddy Terror’ (AKA Benjamin Noyles AKA Benjamin Raymond, the founder of National Action), both ‘encourages people to act more sensibly so they don’t get themselves doxed by leftists’ and also claims (January 16, 2017) that, inre the exposure of US neo-Nazi activist Mike Enoch/Peinovich, ‘slackbastard is familiar to me as a grizzled australian antifa (maybe I am mistaken), the type of person you expect to be an internet antifascist, in his 40’s most likely and so I imagine there was a large team around him and he is probably getting money from somewhere’.

Note that, while a number of members of National Action have been jailed after having been found to be members of a proscribed terrorist organisation, ‘Daddy Terror’ Benjamin remains very much at-large. (On NA and its legal travails in the UK, see : ‘The Evolution of Extreme-Right Terrorism and Efforts to Counter it in the United Kingdom’, CTC Sentinel – Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, Vol.12, No.1, January 2019; ‘”Only bullets can stop us!” The banning of National Action in Britain’, Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol.12, No.6, December 2018).

The site, established by ‘Alexander Slavros’ AKA Alisher Mukhitdinov, gained some notoriety for helping give birth to Atomwaffen, though was also the launchpad for the Australian neo-Nazi groupuscule ‘Antipodean Resistance’ (AR). Indeed, just a few days prior to the leak, it was reported that: ‘Last year, a German offshoot of the U.S. neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division announced its existence to the world with a chilling video declaring “National Socialism is alive.” Now, it’s issuing death threats to left-wing German politicians’ (The German Branch of a U.S. Neo-Nazi Group Has a ‘Kill List’ of Left-Wing Politicians, Tim Hume, Vice, November 6, 2019), while in June Shane Burley and Alexander Reid Ross discussed how I was the target of alt-right death threats across the internet – here’s what happened next (The Independent, June 19, 2019).

As for the Australian contingent on IM, there were approximately 50+ users, most of whom left very interesting online trails. Some are known fascists: Lisa Beulah/Sandford AKA ‘Eva’ gets a guernsey, as does Matthew Grant AKA ‘Matty G08’ — Grant is the leader of the ‘Eureka Youth League’ (a tiny offshoot of the ‘Australia First Party’, but for yoof) — and even Shermon ‘The Great Aussie Patriot’ Burgess AKA ‘Aussie_Patriot’; others are more obscure. One example is ‘Sigurd79’ AKA Steven Pidgeon. Pidgeon appears to be Very Normie on his social media profiles — on Twitter he describes himself as a ‘Law and Business (HRM) Student – Aspiring Lawyer with a passion for law reform – Looking to leave the world a better place’ — but his postings and messages on IM suggest a rather more complex picture.

Further investigation will no doubt reveal more interesting facts about the Australian users of IM, but in the meantime it’s worth reiterating the site’s status as the birthplace of AR, and the critical role played by users ‘Xav’ and ‘kehlsteinhaus’. Based in Melbourne, the dynamic nazi duo provide some detail about themselves that’s likely to end in tears, but you can read background material elsewhere on the blog: Who are Antipodean Resistance? (August 2018 Update) /// Jacob Hersant : An Antipodean Resistance Lad (April 13, 2018) /// Who are Antipodean Resistance? (September 28, 2017).

TO BE CONTINUED …

On Troll Hunting (Ginger Gorman)

Troll Hunting by Australian journalist Ginger Gorman is a new book which examines the world of online hate and its human fallout. Along with interviews with a small number of trolls and general reflections upon this hateful world, Gorman’s book includes a number of case studies of trolling, some of which are relatively well-known while others not: all make for disturbing reading. While it’s of general relevance, many of the characters and events which populate this world would be especially familiar to (Australian) readers, or at least those who take an interest in such matters: on the one hand, ‘GamerGate’, convicted terrorist Joshua Goldberg, Andrew Auernheimer (AKA ‘weev’) and GNAA; on the other hand, those subject to what Gorman calls ‘predator trolling’, including writer Van Badham and lawyers Josh Bornstein and Mariam Veiszadeh (among others). Gorman’s book is well-written and engaging, and weaves together the author’s own experience of being ‘trolled’ with those of others, along with some examples of ‘troll hunting’ and ‘troll hunters’, the latter category including journalist and lawyer Luke McMahon. As well as being of general interest, the text is of particular interest to me because of the ways in which the ‘world of online hate’ has been ‘weaponized’ by elements of the far right, a theme explored in more detail in the anthology Cyber Racism and Community Resilience: Strategies for Combating Online Race Hate (Palgrave, 2017). At a little over 250 pages long, the text includes endnotes, which are useful, but — rather annoyingly — no index.

Gorman’s book is divided into three parts: ‘Trolls’, ‘Targets’ and ‘Troll hunting’. The first part examines the evolution of online trolling, the emergence of ‘predator trolls’ in particular — which Gorman defines (p.18) as those who set out to do real-life harm — and details the author’s lengthy conversations and interactions with several of its enthusiastic practitioners. In the second part, Gorman provides case studies of predator trolling and investigates the ways in which law enforcement has responded, or more precisely failed to respond, to these activities. Gorman also explores how social media giants like Facebook and Twitter have dealt with trolling and cyberhate generally — which is argued to be less-than-adequate. The third and final part of the book explores how some trolls, including Goldberg, came unstuck. Throughout the text, Gorman reflects upon her journey into this ‘world of online hate’, and how her interactions with the creatures which inhabit it change her understanding of them, their world, and its relationship to broader social and technological trends, especially racism and misogyny and the central place of social media in everyday life.

‘Trolling’ IRL

While the second part reveals varying degrees of incompetency and indifference on the part of tech companies, after documenting the systemic failure of law enforcement to address cyberbullying, Gorman does detect a more hopeful sign (pp.119–120):

Some stories are emerging of more appropriate, and effective, responses to cyberbullying complaints. Take comedian and writer Catherine Deveny. After making controversial comments on Twitter and Facebook about Anzac Day in 2018 — describing it as ‘Bogan Halloween’ and a ‘fetishisation of war and violence’ — she was doxed multiple times. Her home address was posted all over the internet and she received an avalanche of credible rape and death threats. She was the focus of several facebook hate groups. One night, five men in a ute turned up to her house. One of them knocked on her door and videoed himself doing it.

Within forty-eight hours of Deveny’s original comments being posted — and the resultant blow-up of public vitriol — Victorian counter-terrorism police reached out to her. They got her statement and started investigating. Police patrolled outside her house and work events. An investigator from the Office of the Federal eSafety Commissioner also got in touch. In contrast to many who’d gone before her, Deveny received significant and appropriate support. After hearing so many dire stories, it’s great to hear one like this. Wouldn’t it be amazing if all predator-trolling victims could rely on getting this kind of assistance?

LOL.

For what it’s worth, I remember when this incident took place, and at the time made brief reference to it on the blog. In which context, a few things. First, those responsible for paying Deveny a nocturnal visit included right-wing activists Julian de Ross (AKA ‘Hugh Pearson’), Rino ‘Bluebeard’ Grgurovic and Ricky Turner. Secondly, whatever became of the intervention by Victorian counter-terrorism police and the Office of the Federal eSafety Commissioner, the boys carried on as before. Thus one month later, members of the same crew — on this occasion consisting of Paul Exley and Danny Peanna/Parkinson from Sydney, together with the Melbourne-based Grgurovic, Logan Spalding, and their ringleader Neil Erikson — filmed themselves disrupting a church service in Gosford; in June, Erikson, Turner and several others paid another nocturnal visit to a private address, on this occasion that of rival right-wing entrepreneur Dave Pellowe. While it’s unclear if those responsible for attending Deveny’s and Pellowe’s address faced any legal repercussions (it seems not), for his part in the disruption of the church service Erikson at least was later charged under an obscure law making it an offence to ‘obstruct a member of the clergy in the discharge of his or her duties’.

It’s possible, I suppose, to characterise this behaviour as ‘IRL trolling’ — but there’s certainly other interpretations. One critical difference is that, while it may be performed for teh lulz, unlike almost all of the examples of ‘trolling’ Gorman provides in her book, such actions are not really all that anonymous. In fact, while there’s occasionally some effort made to disguise the identities of those responsible, for the most part it’s very public — and by public I mean ‘filmed and then published by/on Facebook’. When de Ross, Grgurovic, Turner & Co. visited Deveny’s home; Exley, Peanna, Grgurovic, Spalding and Erikson disrupted a church service; and Erikson, Turner & Co. visited Pellowe’s home; these actions were undertaken precisely in order to be documented and distributed via Facebook. So too, the numerous other occasions upon which Erikson in particular has undertaken the role of a serial pest, from disrupting council meetings and various left and ‘multicultural’ events to stalking and abusing various public figures he happens to dislike. (Note that Grgurovic is due in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on February 26 over assault charges; Erikson, along with his kameraden Ricky Turner and Richard Whelan, have a date on May 13 over similar.)

All of these acts have been performed publicly and for the benefit of his Facebook audience, the corporation having granted Erikson permission to do so for at least the last four years. Thus, it was only in the space of the last few days that Facebook, for unknown reasons, banned a number of Erikson’s accounts. (It’s possible that the pest may have come unstuck upon announcing the re-launch of the ‘United Patriots Front’ by creating an event page for a February 16 rally at Federation Square — the UPF collapsed after Facebook banned its page in May 2017.) Still, there are hundreds if not thousands of very similar pages on the site, and it remains the critical tool for far-right organising in Australia and elsewhere. (See, for example, Fraser Anning’s Neo-Nazi connections (The White Rose Society, January 11, 2019) and Facebook Fueled Anti-Refugee Attacks in Germany, New Research Suggests (Amanda Taub and Max Fisher, The New York Times, August 21, 2018) for two among innumerable other instances.)

More broadly, while Gorman makes fairly short work of the corporate pablum spewed by Facebook and Twitter concerning their commitment to combating trolling and ‘hate speech’, if Facebook in particular is understood as being a massive private data-collection agency — one which derives a substantial proportion of its profits from selling this information to advertisers (and whoever else can pay for it) — it’s possible to cut through this nonsense fairly easily. Further, like corporations generally, Facebook is able to use the enormous financial and political power at its disposal to ensure the forms of regulation which might inhibit its continued growth and profitability are kept at bay. And while YouTube/Google doesn’t feature in Gorman’s account, its role in promoting racist and fascist propaganda, along with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, rivals that of Facebook, and has long been understood as a key node in the distribution and promotion of race-hate and other forms of hate speech (see, for example, ‘Fiction is outperforming reality’: how YouTube’s algorithm distorts truth, Paul Lewis, The Guardian, February 2, 2018 and ‘Alternative Influence: Broadcasting the Reactionary Right on YouTube’, Rebecca Lewis, Data & Society, September 9, 2018).

In any case, to return to Goldberg and Veiszadeh (pp.218–219):

Towards the end of 2014, [Veiszadeh] publicly voiced her outrage that a Woolworths supermarket in Cairns was selling singlets printed with the Australian flag alongside the tagline,’If you don’t love it, LEAVE’.

Three months after her tweet, the far right anti-Islam group The Australian Defence League posted her tweet to their Facebook page. From there, it was picked up by the alt-right Daily Stormer website. Chillingly, The Daily Stormer post about Veiszadeh, written under the byline Michael Slay, demanded of its thousands of followers: ‘Stormer Troll Army … assemble!’ ‘We need to flood this towelhead subhuman vermin with as much racial and religious abuse as we possibly can,” the spite-filled post reads …’

(Note that a few weeks ago the former ‘President’ of the ADL, Ralph Cerminara, was found ‘guilty of two counts of intimidation and one count of common assault’ after attacking his neighbour in Sydney.)

In addition to being attacked on The Daily Stormer, Veiszadeh’s tweet also triggered a Queensland woman, Jay-Leighsha Bauman, to send Veiszadeh messages calling her a “whore”, a “rag-head” and [telling] her to return to her own “sand dune country” — Bauman was later sentenced to 180 hours of community service for the crime. A few months later, an Ordinary Mum™ and Reclaim Australia supporter was charged with threatening to slit Veiszadeh’s throat. On these and other occasions, it seems the chief fault of those charged was not bothering to anonymise their threats; the fact that Bauman’s threats were reported on by both the BBC and CNN may also have prompted authorities to take a closer look. That said:

Later in 2015, Luke McMahon and Elise Potaka reported in Fairfax newspapers that Michael Slay turned out to be not one person, but two. One of those two men was Joshua Goldberg, whose main trolling preoccupation was preserving freedom of speech. As the troll hunter explained earlier, this was how he ended up choosing targets such as Josh Bornstein.

Nathaniel Jacob Sassoon Sykes

The ‘other’ Michael Slay was of course Jewish neo-Nazi and toy-doll enthusiast Nathaniel Jacob Sassoon Sykes, who was exposed by McMahon in April 2017. Like Goldberg, Sykes contributed scores of articles to The Daily Stormer, inter alia attacking Veiszadeh along with Badham, Bornstein, Dr Tim Soutphommasane and yours truly. Currently, Sykes is the chief writer for the ‘United Nationalists of Australia’ blog, the online shitsheet of the ‘Australia First Party’. In that capacity, Sykes attacks the various enemies of the AFP on the left as well as the right. Sometimes, this creates legal difficulties. Hence, after publishing an article in June 2017 by party leader Dr Jim Saleam which detailed alleged crimes committed by members of rival fascist groupuscule ‘Klub Nation’, in May 2018 legal action against Saleam and the blog was apparently taken by various persons associated with KN. (Member of this radical right-wing network are also implicated in an attempt to infiltrate the Young Nationals in NSW last year.) Beyond this, members of the neo-Nazi ‘Lads Society’ and, more recently, a man called Michael Freshwater, have also been attacked by Sykes on the UNA blog. While Sykes was dismissed by ex-UPF and Lads Society organiser Tom Sewell as a ‘divisive little Jew’, Freshwater, it’s alleged, has been part of a conspiracy to undermine AFP, embracing elements of the Liberal Party as well as neo-Nazis like Mark McDonald, the leader of the Lads Society in Sydney and former leader of neo-Nazi groupuscule ‘Squadron 88’.

Notes

• Joshua Goldberg (as ‘Moon Metropolis’) published a statement on Medium on December 28, 2018 which provides a defence of sorts to his actions: ‘It was always my intention to infiltrate online jihadist spheres so that I could eventually become either a journalist, an FBI agent, or both.’ The statement also refers to … when I got Milo Yiannopoulos to publish that “expose” on Shaun King, I did it purely to see the shitstorm that I knew it would create, not because I actually care in the least about anything involving either Shaun King or Milo Yiannopoulos (both of those people are complete and utter clowns as far as I’m concerned). The article, ‘Did Black Lives Matter Organizer Shaun King Mislead Oprah Winfrey By Pretending To Be Biracial?’ (Breitbart, August 19, 2015), is dissected in this blogpost on Internet Famous Angry Men. Yiannopoulos is of course a very well-known troll who for several years was able to translate his trolling activities into sponsorship by wealthy right-wing reactionaries and sought to acquire more filthy lucre by conducting (semi-)lucrative tours. In fact, Yiannopoulos, along with Gavin McInnes and Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, are supposedly being brought to Australia by Penthouse Australia publisher Damien Costas next month (March 9–14) for a speaking tour. For his part, Costas is currently embroiled in a legal battle with publicist Max Markson regarding alleged unpaid debts; there’s also allegedly been some fisticuffs. See also : Here’s How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled White Nationalism Into The Mainstream, Joseph Bernstein, BuzzFeed, October 5, 2017 (A cache of documents obtained by BuzzFeed News reveals the truth about Steve Bannon’s alt-right “killing machine.”).

• Gorman makes reference (pp.199-200) to a category of trolling known as ‘media fuckery’, and cites US academic Whitney Phillips who defines it as ‘the ability to turn the media against itself … by either amplifying or outright inventing a news item too sensational for media outlets to pass up’. This brought to mind two things. First, a recent example of ‘media fuckery’ in which a fake Facebook page titled ‘Melbourne Antifa’ applauded the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. This later featured in an article in The Daily Mail by Stephen Johnson (‘Melbourne Antifa extremists praise Las Vegas shooter’, October 2, 2017), was fact-checked by FactCheck.Org and Snopes and in May 2018 also triggered a bizarre interaction between myself and a right-wing blogger in the US. Secondly, the phrase immediately brought to mind similar terms such as ‘culture-jamming’ and ‘subvertising’, political practices which pre-date both ‘media fuckery’ and teh intarwebs as a whole. See : How To Make Trouble And Influence People.

• Gorman also makes reference (p.47) to local neo-Nazi activist Blair Cottrell in the context of a discussion regarding ‘hate leaching into the mainstream’ and Cottrell’s appearance as a very special guest on Adam Giles’ show on Sky News in August last year. As noted elsewhere, Cottrell – following an appearance on Sky News – told his 25,000 Twitter followers he might as well have raped presenter Laura Jayes on air because “not only would she have been happier with that but the reaction would’ve been the same”. In which context, a few things: first, while Facebook has banned the UPF and Cottrell, such commentary is considered acceptable by Twitter (to which platform Cotrell shifted after being kicked off Facebook). Secondly, his kamerad Neil Erikson made a similar remark directed at another female journalist, Jodi Lee, in November last year: ‘Jodie [sic] Lee acted like I had raped her on live TV….. She wishes!’ Thirdly, Cottrell has an extensive criminal record, mostly revolving around his stalking of an ex-girlfriend. Finally, Cotrell, Erikson and fellow white nationalist Chris Shortis were convicted in September 2017 of inciting hatred for Muslims; Cottrell is appealing the conviction on the grounds that the Victorian Act under which he was convicted (The Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001) is in fact un-Constitutional, and will be appearing in the County Court in Victoria on February 19.

• While Gorman devotes relatively little space to d0xing, it’s relevant in several instances. In her chapter on weev, ‘A Professional Racist’, for example, Gorman notes (p.232) that weev appeared on a neo-Nazi podcast with Mike Enoch and Christopher ‘Crying Nazi’ Cantwell. Later in the chapter (p.236), Gorman also refers to ‘Azzmador’, who along with Daily Stormer publisher Andrew Anglin wrote a post for the site encouraging their fellow neo-Nazis to attend the murderous ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville in August 2017. As it happens, Mike Enoch is in fact Mike Peinovich, who got d0xxed in January 2017, while ‘Azzmador’ is Robert Warren Ray. (According to a November 2018 report, Ray is currently a fugitive after being charged with a felony allegedly committed at the rally.) As for Cantwell, late last year he voiced an audio version of local neo-Nazi Ryan Fletcher’s tract ‘From HEMP to Hitler’, which has been promoted on David Hiscox’s AltRight website XYZ. See also : The far right, the “White Replacement” myth and the “Race War” brewing, Julie Nathan, ABC (Religion & Ethics), February 12, 2019:

The potential for violence which such online posts portend was graphically demonstrated in the United States in October 2018 by Robert Bowers, who wrote on Gab, a Twitter-like platform which is a haven for extremists and racists, “Screw your optics, I’m going in.” Shortly afterwards, he entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and murdered eleven Jews. Afterwards, Bowers told police that he was motivated by his belief that “the Jews” were “committing genocide to my people.”

Chillingly, these words were echoed by another Gab user, an Australian named Ryan Fletcher, who wrote, “I think its [sic] about time to say ‘f*** your optics I’m going in’.” Fletcher has a dark history of calling for the murder of Jews in Australia and worldwide, and of posting images of Jews being killed, on his Gab account. Fletcher subscribes to the myth: “#White gentiles are waking up to the agenda of #ZOG (which is #WhiteGenocide).” “ZOG” stands for “Zionist Occupied Government,” a term used to insinuate that “the Jews” control the United States and other Western governments. Fletcher also writes articles for XYZ.

• Speaking of neo-Nazis, Gorman notes that inre her own experience of being trolled in 2013 (pp.10–11), Six days after Newton was sentenced in 2013 came the second frightening moment. Don found a photo of our family on the fascist social network Iron March. The now-defunct website carried the slogan ‘Gas the kikes’ on its homepage. Iron March was of course the birthplace of Australian neo-Nazi groupuscule ‘Antipodean Resistance’. Its British cousins, National Action, have been proscribed as a terrorist organisation (see : See Graham Macklin, ”Only Bullets will Stop Us!’: The banning of National Action’, Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol.12, No.6 (2018) [PDF]). See also : Extreme neo-Nazi ‘death cults’ drawing in children as young as 13, report warns, Lizzie Dearden, The Independent, February 17, 2019 (‘Exclusive: Children as young as 13 being drawn into ideologies ‘harder, darker and more committed than ever before’’).

Below : Nathaniel Jacob Sassoon Sykes (Australia First Party/United Nationalists (of) Australia; Jacob Hersant (Antipodean Resistance/The Lads Society):

See also : Online abuse of women in the media, Justine Landis-Hanley, The Saturday Paper, February 16, 2019 | Meet The Woman Giving A New Face To Troll Hunting, Jamila Rizvi, Future Women, February 2019 | The ‘Canary In The Coalmine’ Link Between Terrorism And Trolling, Alex Bruce-Smith, Ten Daily, February 5, 2019 | Internet trolls are not who I thought — they’re even scarier, Ginger Gorman, ABC, February 2, 2019 | Troll hunting: a journey to the dark side, Karen Hardy, The Canberra Times, February 2, 2019 | Twitter, the barbarian country, or how I learned to love the block button, Van Badham, The Guardian, January 31, 2019 | Troll Hunting review: Ginger Gorman goes in search of the online bullies, Jonathan Green, The Sydney Morning Herald, January 18, 2019 | Staring down the trolls: Mute, block or resort to ‘digilantism’?, Ginger Gorman, The Sydney Morning Herald, June 16, 2017 | Cyberhate With Tara Moss, ABC, 2017 | Misogyny Online: A Short (and Brutish) History, Emma A Jane, SAGE (2017) | Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous, Gabriella Coleman, Verso (2014). As well as providing some further detail regarding weev’s activities prior to his going full nazi as an editor for The Daily Stormer, Coleman’s book also contains important background on the various (sub-)cultural contexts from which the ‘predator troll’ emerged. (Note also that, in conversation with weev in August 2010, Coleman writes (p.22): ‘His denunciation of “the repulsive order of the financiers” had the ring of truth, given the recent financial mess their recklessness has engendered, so I found myself, only minutes into my first bona fide conversation with a world famous troll, in agreement with him.’ LOL.)

Who are Antipodean Resistance? (August 2018 Update)

If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention. ~ Heather Heyer (1985–2017)

Briefly:

‘Antipodean Resistance’ are a neo-Nazi grouplet which emerged out of the ‘United Patriots Front’ swamp in 2016. I wrote about the group in September 2017 and again in April 2018. Its members like to make a nuisance of themselves by covering skools, universities and synagogues in neo-Nazi propaganda and attending patriotik marches and rallies. RMIT University in Melbourne and the beachside suburb of Brighton have recently been blessed by their agitprop, which is regularly documented by the group via its account on the GAB social media platform (AKA ‘Twitter for Nazis’).

Most recently, members of the group were hired by Axiomatic Events in order to provide security for Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern during the course of their hate-speech tour. In doing so, the boys were joined by the members of another neo-Nazi grouplet, ‘The Lads Society’. Indeed, there is a strong cross-over in membership between the two groups, as future publications will detail. Thus last month, ‘The White Rose Society’ began publishing what will be an ongoing series of exposes of members of both Antipodean Resistance and The Lads Society. New entrants include Mathew Baston (L) and Nathaniel Anderson (R):

thewhiterosesociety blog is here and may be contacted via thewhiterosesociety[at]protonmail[dot]com.

While media reportage on neo-Nazis and fascists Down Under is generally poor, it’s a Good thing that independent anti-fascist researchers are active, and from what I can gather there’s a good deal more to come … 😉