antifa notes (december 7, 2019) : failed satirist Phillip Galea guilty of terrorisms

Law & Order

Phil

On December 5, Phillip Galea was found guilty by a Victorian Supreme Court jury of carrying out acts in preparation for, or planning, a terrorist act, as well as attempting to make a document to facilitate a terrorist act, and will return to court for sentencing early next year.

tl;dr : Un-lucky Phil’s career as a stand-up comic was very short-lived.

See : Right-wing extremist found guilty of plotting attacks on Melbourne ‘left’ centres (SBS) | Melbourne far-right terror plotter Phillip Galea found guilty by jury (news dot com dot au) | Phillip Galea found guilty of plotting terrorist attacks on Melbourne ‘leftist’ centres (ABC) | Far-right Australian convicted of plotting terror attacks (The National) | Galea’s conviction is welcome but not enough (Green Left Weekly).

In which context:

• While Galea’s relationship to Reclaim Australia has been underlined in reportage on the guilty verdict, he had a range of associations over a much longer period of time. Thus in April 2010 Galea attended a farcical anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rally in Melbourne organised by the ‘Australian Defence League’, and while Galea attended protest rallies organised under the banner of RA (along with admining an RA Facebook page), the United Patriots Front and the True Blue Crew, he also helped establish the RA Media website and ‘RA media newsgroupe’ Facebook page.

• Galea’s defence lawyer Felicity Gerry gamely argued that, rather than do terrorisms, Philthy was merely ‘recruiting investigators and editors, not terrorists’. This line was also adopted by right-wing l00n Mike Holt, one of Galea’s very few patriotik defenders, who in February reckoned his comrade was merely a ‘scientist and information gatherer’. LOL.

• Reference is also made to the fact that when arson and explosive experts raided Galea’s home in November 2015 they seized five cattle prods and 362.1 grams of mercury. Unmentioned is the fact that the cattle prods were apparently provided to Galea by UPF flunkey John ‘Farma’ Wilkinson, who remains active on the far right.

Max

Fascist teenybopper Max Towns had much better luck in court this week than did poor olde Phil.

Max Towns has charges dropped due to mental health
Perry Duffin
The Daily Telegraph
December 2, 2019

The far-right teenager who attacked two journalists at a Fraser Anning press conference has had his charges dismissed because he has anxiety, gambling problems and depression.

His mental health is so poor, a court heard, that his mum had to take him to the Fraser Anning event where the incident occurred.

Max Towns was 18 when he allegedly made obscene comments to Eliza Barr at the press conference in Cronulla in April.

According to police facts, Towns then attacked photographer Dylan Robinson who had intervened and taken pictures of the private school boy after hearing the slurs.

“The video clip shows the accused as the aggressor ripping the shirt of Robinson and punching out at Robinson,” the document released by the court reads.

Towns swiped at Mr Robinson’s camera, tore his shirt and struck his face before throwing punches that failed to connect with his target. The incident was captured on video.

He previously pleaded not guilty to offensive conduct, stalk or intimidate and assault.

Police bail documents state Towns is “an associate of a far right political group” and his “actions were unprovoked and against a member of the media in a political setting”.

The now-19-year-old’s barrister William Barber told Sutherland Local Court his client comes from a “respected family” in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

He had attended Waverley College on a rugby league scholarship but never went professional.

Magistrate Michael Love, reviewing footage of the attack, said Towns has been “aggressive the whole time”.

”He was moving into alleged victim as opposed to swiping and moving away,” he said.

“He’s a young man who had a troubled past,” Mr Barber said.

“He had learning difficulties and certainly a psychological condition.”

Mr Barber called the attack “out of character” and said Towns has no history of violence or criminal record but admitted he had previously stopped taking his prescribed medicine.

He also said his client is so anxious in social situations his mum had to take him to the event.

”He finds it difficult in social gatherings that’s why she went with him,” he said.

”He’s paranoid, frightened in those situations.“

Towns, in a letter tendered to the magistrate, said he does his best to avoid physical confrontation “to the point of not leaving the house for days straight”.

“During the car trip I had numerous thoughts about turning back as I predicted a hostile environment, having seen threats on Senator Anning’s Facebook page regarding his meeting in Cronulla,” his letter reads.

Mr Barber also noted Towns’ gambling problems and said the media attention had been difficult on his mental health.

”There’s been a lot of publicity, it’s put enormous strain on the family – the Prime Minister commented on it,” he said.

“It’s a very unusual situation.”

Ultimately the magistrate dismissed the charges and ordered Towns to follow reasonable instructions of his psychiatrist and psychologist.

“If there is a repeat incident you may not get this opportunity again and you may face the full force of the law,” he warned Towns.

Towns spent the day chewing gum in the court waiting room and staring down The Daily Telegraph’s reporter before flashing the OK hand gesture.

His grandmother and mother shushed him as he called out “who do you work for?” as Mr Barber was approached for comment.

The barrister politely declined but noted he was “very happy” with the outcome.

Towns exited court into his grandmother’s car with a jacket covering his face.

He later said Towns had his own personal troubles but was a “good kid” and noted they dispute the police version of events.

tl;dr : ‘It’s Not OK To Punch Nazis, But It Is OK For Rich Kids To Punch Reporters.’

Blair

Max was one of a dozen or so brave ANZACs to join Blair Cottrell in chasing Dandyman outta Fed Square in June last year after Galea’s fave racist gang the True Blue Crew held its flagwit parade. The failed fuehrer from Frankston, described by the Christchurch terrorist as his ‘Emperor’, Cottrell awaits a verdict in his appeal against his September 2017 conviction for inciting hatred for Muslims, but otherwise appears to be enjoying life, having swapped his tomahawk for a hammer.

RaHoWa 2019

A few weeks ago, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) published its annual report on anti-Semitism in Australia. The report features a number of The Usual Suspects, many of whom would appear to rejoice in their recognition. Among those popping the champagne corks is the Facebook page ‘Make Australia Grouse Again’ (https://facebook.com/makeaustraliagrouseagain5). On Gab, the same page provides a handy summary of a number of groups and individuals named in the report, about which I provide a few more details below:

1) ‘Blair C’ = semi-pro neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell: inspiration to Brenton Tarrant, ‘mates’ with Adam Giles (the former Chief Minister of the Northern Territory (2013–2016) as well as the former leader of the Country Liberal Party (CLP)), currently appealing a criminal conviction for vilification, previously guilty of stalking his ex-girlfriend and her partner (armed with a tomahawk), arson, stalking and other offences.

2) David Hilton, once known as ‘Moses Apostaticus’, has contributed many essays to Tucker Carlson’s propaganda outlet ‘The Daily Caller’, and was invited by Rowan Dean of The Spectator (Australia) to contribute his sterling prose.

3) ‘Dean A’ = ‘Dean Anderson’, one of thousands of racist froot loops on Gab (AKA ‘Twitter for nazis’). ‘Dean A’ lives in Melbourne, apparently — which fact I assume makes him vewy vewy angwy & upset.

4) ‘Deanna Favoloso’ & ‘Jamie Jae’ are two moar mouthy Gabby losers, who are also rather unfavourably disposed to Jewish folk.

5) ‘Matty Rose’ = Matthew Roebuck, a key contributor to AltRight website XYZ (founded by Brunswick music teach David Hiscox), and a former RMIT jernalism student. Both Facebook and YouTube are more than happy to host his anti-Semitic diatribes.

6) Raymond Foster is a rather cooked fellow from Queensland, who loves to have a yarn with the police who not infrequently knock on his front door. Otherwise, Raymond is very upset that in 2031 Whites will compose 50% of the Australian population, and wants to replace the current Queensland crop in the Senate with his own Good self. Good luck bro!

7) Rite-On Australia is a webshite and publishing projekt I haven’t bothered to look at in any detail, but: I’m sure it’s ace and; Neil Erikson popped up there at some point. Rite-On is a publication of ‘Sunshine Coast Safe Communities Inc’ and Ron Hutchins is its President.

8) Ryan Fletcher is an entertainingly batshit nazi who writes for XYZ and also composed From HEMP to Hitler, later voiced by the Crying Nazi Christopher Cantwell (Ryan is a YUGE fan). Often shitposting on Gab about killing Jews etc., he works in the aged-care sektor apparently.

9) Shermon ‘The Great Aussie Patriot’ Burgess has gone quiet in recent months, but is a textbook example of how very patriotik Volk can often go Full Nazi … in his case, possibly triggered by the Zionist lobby’s attempts to keep blueberries xpnsv.

10) Finally, XYZ. I wrote about the meatheads responsible for this particular brand of anti-Semitic shite some time ago and they’ve ramped up the anti-Semitism quite a lot since then, but nonetheless have the 100% support of Facebook and of course YouTube.

Speaking of Facebook, it’s been the subject of further scrutiny in The Grauniad, which exposes the fact that the corporate juggernaut has been willingly engaged in a terrifically batshit and mildly profitable propaganda campaign directed at Ordinary Mums & Dads™ by some Israeli losers. See : Inside the hate factory: how Facebook fuels far-right profit, Christopher Knaus, Michael McGowan, Nick Evershed, Oliver Holmes, December 6, 2019. Currently, there’s a federal government Senate inquiry into ‘the rampant spread of “fake news” fuelled by foreign actors on social media’, one which will undoubtedly result in harsh penalties for the corporations responsible for profiting from lies and hate.

LOL.

Radioaktivität

After a decade or so broadcasting as ‘Floating Anarchy’ on ‘The SUWA Show’ on Melbourne community radio station 3CR, Dr Cam and I have decided to return in 2020 in a slightly different, more regular (weekly) format, with a nü show called ‘Yeah Nah Pasaran’. More details to come …

PS.

• Scribe has recently published Jeff Sparrow’s essay on Fascists Among Us: online hate and the Christchurch massacre, ‘the first book since Christchurch to trace the massacre’s fascist roots and what it represents’. Jeff was nice enuff to gimme a guernsey in the Acknowledgements, and it’s recommended reading.

• A few days prior to the Galea verdict, the federal government announced its intention to spend lotsa filthy lucre on analysing and understanding cyber threats, including Reclaim Australia and ‘anarchist movement anTEEfa’.

Disrupt and deter
Herald Sun
Tamsin Rose
December 13, 2019

THE federal government is spending millions of dollars to combat cyber threats including emotional manipulation on Reddit, a site co-owned by Serena Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian.

Threats of far-right group Reclaim Australia and anarchist movement Antifa will also be probed in the Defence-funded research projects.

Universities and institutes have been invited to bid for a raft of research projects, worth up to $4.5 million, aimed at tackling rising cybercrime and the challenges the internet and social media present.

One project, titled Modelling Cyber Polarisation and Radicalisation, seeks to understand and eventually predict extremist violence by monitoring social media.

“Little work has been conducted on the analysis of the content of cyber messaging within the Australian ­content to identify why people become violent,” the tender document reads. “Linguistic analysis of groups and many lone actors indicate they leak their intent in ­cyberspace prior to an attack.

“The long-term goal of this research is to develop a framework that takes in cultural aspects and identifies escalating violence in language of groups and individuals in cyberspace prior to and during the radicalisation stages of extremism.” Another brief identifies emotional manipulation through Reddit as of “growing concern” for governments ­internationally.

The long-term goal of the research is to understand how people use the site to control the way Australians think.

“Understanding and quantifying cyber emotional influence in online platforms can allow us to identify and disrupt potential attacks,” the document states. “This research looks at quantifying emotional contagion on Reddit.” The Morrison Government yesterday announced $88 million for a new Counter Foreign Interference Taskforce to “disrupt and deter” anyone working to undermine the ­national interest.

“Foreign interference comes from many, many different sources and it’s important that we have the capacity to deal with it,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. “It’s an evolving threat and it’s also been a building and evolving response.” Meantime, former South Australian senator, now lawyer, Nick Xenophon yesterday announced he had taken on Chinese-owned telecommunications giant Huawei Australia as a client.

The federal government blocked Huawei from rolling out Australia’s 5G network due to security concerns.

antifa notes (july 28, 2019) : frownshirts

Update (August 1, 2019) : After pleading guilty to the unlawful assault upon and harassment of his former wife, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon substitute Avi Yemini was given small fines by the court on Tuesday, July 30; Tiny returns to court on August 14 on other matters.

Avi Yemini’s ex-wife reveals personal toll of his assault and harassment
Jon Andrews
Moorabbin Glen Eira Leader
July 30, 2019

The former wife of far-right activist Avi Yemini has broken down in court as she read out her victim impact statement after he was sentenced on unlawful assault and harassment charges.

Yemini’s former wife wept as she described how Yemini, real first name Avraham, had “broken her spirit”, and “destroyed her self-worth” with his “torment”.

She said she “lived in a state of uncertainty”, felt anxious all the time and had panic attacks, and had to regularly see a counsellor.

Yemini showed no emotion as he was convicted and fined on charges of unlawful assault, using a carriage service to harass on three occasions and breaching a personal safety order at Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court this morning.

The 33-year-old from Berwick had earlier pleaded guilty to throwing a chopping board that hit his former wife on her head while she prepared dinner in their Caulfield North home, and texting her vile and explicit messages.

The chopping board incident, which left her with a lump on her forehead, happened in March 2016, while the three harassing messages, which included calling her a “P.O.S” and a “c***”, occurred between July 2017 and November 2018.

The breach order relates to another person and not his former wife after Yemini failed to take down an online video as ordered by the court.

Yemini’s ex-wife said she had tried to leave him eight times but couldn’t go through with it.

“It was like I didn’t exist as a human being, I was just a vessel for his hatred”, she said.

“He terrorised me. I can’t imagine how it will be possible for me to have a relationship in the future.”

She said he also blamed her for the assault.

“What I will never forget is that he didn’t flinch when it happened”, she said.

“He didn’t ask if I was okay. he just walked by; I was left to tend to my own injuries and finish making the dinner.”

The former Israel Defence Force soldier has a large Facebook following under his page Avi Yemini Unbanned and has tens of thousands of fans on Twitter.

Yemini’s defence lawyer Deborah Mandie said he had already been “destroyed” in the media even though he was a “cleanskin” with no priors.

“The digital material has been absolutely brutal about my client”, Ms Mandie said.

“It’s become almost a meme, humiliating my client over and over. This is part of the punishment he is wearing for the matter.”

At a previous hearing Ms Mandie said Yemini didn’t intend to hit her with the chopping board, and it was an isolated incident across 10 years of a volatile relationship.

Magistrate Charles Tan said Yemini may have “paid a price” through the publicity surrounding the case, but he was there to sentence on the charges, not the community reaction.

He said his ex-partner’s own words showed she felt distressed, humiliated and terrified by Yemini’s actions, and they could “not be described as of a trivial nature”.

“It was offending against a female in her own home, involving her suffering an injury”, Mr Tan said.

He thanked her for her bravery in reading our her statement, which she said she wanted to be made public.

Yemini was convicted and fined a total of $3600.

turn that frown upside-down (lucy brown)

Lucy Brown, a fashion photographer turned right-wing propagandist, is a former employee of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon AKA ‘Tommy Robinson’. Sadly, Brown got into some hottt water recently for dissing her former boss Tommy, along with STRAYA’s No.1 Tommy fanboy ‘Tiny’ Avi Yemini, & various other dropkicks. Read All About It (& More) c/o HnH: ‘Tommy Robinson in drugs shocker’: Coke, Cash, Commissions and Smashing the windows of Cultural Marxism, July 25, 2019:

Fresh from the unlikely story that Stephen Lennon, aka criminal thug Tommy Robinson took an unlikely pasting in the showers at Belmarsh Prison, comes a further stunning revelation: It has been alleged the fake journalist spent donations from supporters on drugs.

The allegation that Lennon spent other people’s money on Colombian marching powder to power his faux journalism will shock few people. After all, we hardly expected him to use his own money, did we? That the allegation (I’m certain there will be more) comes from Lennon’s former co-conspirator in begging emails and vlogs, Lucy Brown, should also come as little surprise.

The yuppie fashionista has since closed her Gab and Twitter accounts, Facebook page, and DELed vids from her YouTube channel, but remains an Instagram, tumblr and subscribestar.

For his part Yemini, as Brown makes reference to in her diatribe, has also recently pleaded guilty to abusing his former partner: ‘As well as the unlawful assault charge Yemini pleaded guilty to using a carriage service to harass by sending abusive text messages to her, and one charge of breaching an intervention order relating to a video of a man.’

Right-wing activist and “online journalist” Avi Yemini has admitted he threw a chopping board that hit his former wife on her forehead.

Yemini, real first name Avraham, pleading guilty to unlawful assault and two other charges at Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The chopping board smacked the woman squarely on the forehead, giving her a large lump.

His defence lawyer Deborah Mandie said the “flinging” of the board happened in a moment of anger, and the contact was incidental as he was not aiming to hit her.

As well as the unlawful assault charge Yemini pleaded guilty to using a carriage service to harass by sending abusive text messages to her, and one charge of breaching an intervention order relating to a video of a man.

Several other charges against the 33-year-old from Berwick, including recklessly causing injury, were dropped.

The court heard on March 18, 2016 Yemini was arguing with his former wife over meal preparation in their Caulfield North kitchen.

He lashed out and in a fit of pique threw the chopping board and it hit her on the head.

She didn’t receive any hospital treatment at the time and it wasn’t reported to police until several years later.

On three occasions between July 2017 and November 2018 he sent harassing text messages, which included calling her a “POS (piece of s***)” and “an actual c***”.

Ms Mandie told the court her client and the woman were in a “mutually dysfunctional and volatile” marriage and he accepted he had been “a bad husband”.

But she said he didn’t have any intention to injure her, and that the chopping board incident was an “impetuous moment”.

“He was flinging something in anger, not at his partner,” Ms Mandie said.

“It is an isolated incident across 10 years of a relationship that was not good.”

Ms Mandie said his ex-wife was not a fan of his growing political activism role, which stressed the relationship between the couple even more.

The former Israel Defence Force soldier has a large Facebook following under his page Avi Yemini Unbanned and has tens of thousands of fans on Twitter.

Considered a far-right activist, he failed in his political bid last year to become an Upper House Victorian MP.

“My client is a journalist, he’s online, he has followers,” she said.

“He is an online journalism personality.”

She said he was repentant, regretful and accepted his responsibility for his crimes.

The ex-wife came to court to read out her victim impact statement, but that was contested by the defence because it may have contained prejudicial material not relevant to these charges.

She will read out her revised statement at the next hearing.

Yemini will be sentenced on July 30.

frankston fuehrer

nazi e-celeb Blair Cottrell was in (((court))) a few weeks ago, fighting for his Freeze Peach. He goes back on August 8.

Far right activist Blair Cottrell fails in Supreme Court racial vilification appeal bid
AAP
July 16, 2019

Right-wing activist Blair Cottrell has failed in his bid to elevate his racial vilification appeal to a higher Victorian court.

The Supreme Court of Victoria will not hear his appeal, following a decision on Tuesday, but will stay in the County Court as per usual process.

The [former] United Patriots Front leader, and two of his supporters [Neil Erikson and Chris Shortis, but not Linden Watson or John Wilkinson], were convicted in September 2017 of inciting hatred, contempt and ridicule of Muslims after making a video beheading a dummy in protest of a Bendigo mosque.

Following the Magistrates Court decision that the trio had “crossed the line”, Cottrell made an immediate bid for appeal.

In February, his application to elevate the matter to the High Court was rejected, after arguing he was convicted by an “invalid” law under the Australian constitution.

He then tried to take the matter to the Supreme Court, via its Court of Appeal. Cottrell’s lawyer John Bolton argued Victoria’s Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 impermissibl[y] burdened the freedom to communicate.

County Court Judge Lisa Hannan on Tuesday dismissed the application, saying there were factual matters still to be decided — such as Cottrell’s intentions in making the video — before the case went to a higher court. She said her court was adequately equipped to hear the matter, and referring it on at this stage would only “fragment” the case.

Judge Hannan accepted the case was important to Cottrell and could be an issue of significance to the community, but it was neither “novel nor complex”.

Cottrell, a self-described “dissident”, was not in court for the decision, but afterwards slammed on social media what he described as “fake news” surrounding his case.

Cottrell, who is banned from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms, posted via “Gab Social”, known for its far-right user base.

“What the petty-bourgeois media class is producing is not only misinformation, but straight-out lies as usual,” he said.

“I haven’t failed anything, the trial hasn’t begun yet. I have been simply trying to refer the matter to a higher court because I believe higher courts are less susceptible to media pressure and the bureaucratic tentacles of state corruption.”

He said his attempts to elevate the matter were “aggressively” opposed by Victoria’s legal representatives to keep his appeal at the lower courts “and assist in my prosecution”.

In May, Attorney General Jill Hennessy said she would intervene in the case to argue the state legislation was not unconstitutional.

In September 2017, Cottrell and supporters Neil Erikson and Christopher Neil Shortis were convicted and fined $2000 each, the first convictions under the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act.

The County Court appeal is set down for a 10-day hearing, starting August 8.

Speaking of nazi eejits, Cottrell’s stoopid mate Neil Erikson was recently charged with ‘Disturbing religious worship’ after disrupting a Muslim prayer service at Federation Square in April, but has yet to be charged over the church invasion he conducted with right-wing blabbermouth Claudia Benitez, and a court date in Gosford (NSW) over another church invasion awaits.

Erikson and Cottrell, along with Australia First Party’s Chris Shortis, were convicted in September 2017 after doing a stoopid publicity stunt in Bendigo in order to promote one of the UPF’s Little Nuremberg rallies in October 2015. The boys vowed at the time that the mosque upon which they were hoping to construct political careers — and which they claimed would be The Largest Mosque in the Southern Hemisphere!!!!!! — would Never Never be built, but last week it was announced that the project would indeed be going ahead, and the first sod was turned by among others Victoria’s Ghey Communist Premier, Dan Andrews. (See : Bendigo mosque construction begins as Premier Daniel Andrews turns first sod, Larissa Romensky and Natalie Kerr, ABC, July 26, 2019.) for what it’s worth, the UPF rallied in Bendigo in August and October 2015, and returned to town in February 2016 to launch their stillborn political party, ‘Fortitude’.

Of the other key players in the anti-Muslim agitation in Bendigo, poor old Julie Hoskin first went bankrupt and then had the privilege of running as a candidate for Fraser ‘Final Solution’ Anning’s party at the 2019 federal election, gaining a mere 1,667 votes or 1.64%. Like Hoskin, fellow agitator (and ex-councillor) Elise Chapman has had their share of legal and financial trouble

A single governance matter related to the conduct of former councillor Elise Chapman cost the council $140,469.35.

VCAT found Ms Chapman guilty of misconduct in 2017, following a graphic tweet featuring an image of five children with bloodied and mutilated genitals. Ms Chapman sent the tweet while serving on council in 2012.

An appeal against council’s decision to grant a planning permit for Bendigo’s first mosque cost the city $123,907.48.

VCAT upheld the council’s decision. But it wasn’t until 2016, after challenges in the Court of Appeal and the High Court, that the plans finally got the go-ahead.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

jock

I wrote a thing on Jock Palfreeman for Freedom. You can read it here. See also : Today is the International Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners, Andy Fleming, Overland, July 25, 2017 | Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association.

no platform

On last week’s (July 26) edition of ‘fL0aTiNg AnArChY’ on ‘The SUWA Show’, Dr Cam & I poke to Evan Smith about his upcoming book No Platfom and an academic symposium on Histories of Fascism and Anti-Fascism in Australasia.

cheeto mussolini

The Shitposting God Emperor has been tweeting about anTEEfa. Agen. In doing so, The Orange Shitgibbon is joining the likes of The Zodiac Killer, who just a few days ago declared their intention to criminalise anti-fascism. See : As Far-Right Violence Surges, Ted Cruz Seeks To Brand Antifa A Terrorist Organization, Mary Papenfuss, Huffington Post, July 22, 2019 | Ted Cruz’s “Antifa Are Terrorists” Resolution Seeks to Stifle the Left, Spencer Sunshine, truthout, July 24, 2019 | From Trump to Johnson, nationalists are on the rise – backed by billionaire oligarchs, George Monbiot, The Guardian, July 26, 2019.

antifa notes (november 10, 2017) : Patriot Blue & Phill Galea

1) Patriot Blue

For those of you coming in late, ‘Patriot Blue’ is the name under which local (Melbourne) racist Neil Erikson (& Co) currently performs political stunts — principally in order to film them and upload them to his various Facebook pages. The boys’ latest stunt took place on Wednesday, when they harassed and racially-abused federal Labor Senator Sam Dastyari at his book launch at Victoria University, inter alia calling him a ‘monkey’ and a ‘terrorist’.

As a moniker, ‘Patriot Blue’ was adopted by Erikson almost immediately upon the announcement several months ago that, 25 years since its release as a film, Romper Stomper would be returning to Australian television screens with ‘Patriot Blue’ being the name given to the fictional right-wing group in the series. Prior to the racial abuse of Dastyari on Wednesday evening — which stoopid was preceded by the boys harassing a small ‘Teachers for Refugees’ rally in the city — ‘Patriot Blue’ had been content to harass old people at council meetings: at Yarra Council in September and Moreland Council in October. Note that the disruption of the Yarra meeting in September came on the same day Erikson, along with Blair Cottrell and Chris Shortis, was convicted of inciting serious contempt for Muslims. Again, notwithstanding Erikson’s criminal conviction for harrasing a rabbi (2014), Patriot Blue also teamed up with aspiring politician and fellow Facebook personality and Pauline Hanson fanboy Avi Yemini in August in order to complain about criminal African yoof.

Unlike the United Patriots Front (UPF), of which Erikson was formerly a member — and notwithstanding his criminal conviction for inciting hatred in September — Erikson’s numerous Facebook pages have not been removed by the tech juggernaut, even though they’re jampacked with racist, sexist and homophobic abuse and stoopid. For the record, previous political vehicles, almost all centred on Facebook, have included: ‘Nationalist Uprising’; ‘Australian Settlers Rebellion’; ‘Aussie Patriot Army’; ‘Ban Islam Party’; ‘European Australian Civil Rights League’; ‘Generation Identity Australia’; ‘Nationalist Republican Guard’; ‘Neil Erikson Media’; ‘NRG Media’; ‘OzConspiracy’; ‘Pauline Hanson’s Guardian Angels’; ‘Reclaim Australia’; ‘United Patriots Front’ and ‘United Patriots Front — Originals’.

Of course, scaring OAPs at Council meetings is one thing — and a far cry from beating a Vietnamese student half-to-death, as Erikson’s chums the ‘Crazy White Boys’ done in 2012, or from fantasising about mass murder and collecting child pr0n and guns as his mate Michael Holt was sentenced for in September — but filming himself racially-abusing a Senator in public is probably not the smartest thing Erikson has ever done. Thus, while it did result in him being again invited on to 3AW and a number of other media platforms in order to express his views, it’s also meant that Stan and Roadshow have applied to take legal action against Erikson. Aja Styles (Stan takes legal action against Senator Sam Dastyari’s abusers, Patriot Blue, over trademark infringement, The Age, November 10, 2017): ‘Stan, which is partly owned by this masthead, and Roadshow Productions, has issued a statement condemning the men’s actions and instructed law firm Gilbert and Tobin to seek legal action against the men over the infringement of the Patriot Blue trademark, and use of the Stan name on Facebook.’

See also : Australian Rightists in Pub Slur Iranian-Born Senator As A Racist, Isabella Kwai, The New York Times, November 9, 2017 | Far-right abuse of Sam Dastyari ‘dangerous’, human rights chief says, Michael McGowan, The Guardian, November 9, 2017 | Patriot Blue and other far right groups are ambushing politicians in search of the spotlight, Danny Tran, ABC, November 9, 2017 /// Far Right Harassment of Senator Sam Dastyari, OHPI, November 8, 2017 | Sacked forklift driver at the centre of racist Dastyari video, Nick Grimm, The World Today (ABC), November 9, 2017 /// Dastyari’s harasser doesn’t work for Toll, SBS, November 9, 2017 | Note that Erikson was joined by Ricky/Rikki Turner and Lachlan/Logan Spalding on the day; Logan’s mother was not. happy. on learning that Erikson had dragged her son into the stoopid (while Logan himself has no. regrets).

2) Phill Galea

Erikson’s mate Phill Galea was in court again on Wednesday; only AAP bothered to attend the court hearing and filed this report:

A pre-trial court hearing has been derailed by concerns about a far-right anti-Islam extremist’s fitness to stand trial over allegations he planned to bomb left-wing groups in Melbourne.

Phillip Galea, 32, is charged with making preparations for terrorist attacks against properties occupied by Melbourne anarchist groups between November 2015 and August 2016.

Victorian Supreme Court justice Lex Lasry on Wednesday ordered a psychologist’s report on Galea’s fitness to be tried, before a committal hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court can proceed.

It’s understood the report will take six weeks to complete.

The pre-trial hearing was originally set down for May, but was delayed until August after the defence asked for more time to go through the evidence.

In August Galea’s two-day committal hearing was again delayed while Victoria Legal Aid secured legal counsel to act for him.

The 32-year-old is charged with collecting or making documents to prepare for terrorist acts between November 2015 and August 2016.

The anti-Islamist is also charged with acts in preparation for a terrorist act between September 2015 and August last year.

Police have accused Galea of preparing to target various locations inhabited by the Melbourne Anarchist Club and Melbourne Resistance Centre.

He allegedly ordered potassium nitrate for smoke bombs, aligned himself with right-wing and neo-Nazi groups, and researched how to make improvised explosive devices.

Arson and explosive experts raided Galea’s home in November 2015 and seized five cattle prods and 362.1 grams of mercury.

Computer equipment was also seized, and it’s alleged Galea researched homemade bombs, ballistic armour and guns.

The defence and prosecution will return to the Victorian Supreme Court on November 29 for a further directions hearing about Galea’s fitness to be tried.

Galea will remain in custody.

While Erikson will remain a wanker.

In the video below (January 14, 2016), Erikson briefly interviews Galea after he got arrest for being naughty. Note that fellow UPF fanboy ‘Farma john’ Wilkinson was alleged at the time to have ‘bought up to 22 stun guns [for use on political opponents on public demonstrations], and that police were still searching for seven of these’ (Police on the hunt for missing stun guns amid fears of use by extremists, Angus Thompson, Herald Sun, January 13, 2016); ‘Farma john’ was still promoting the UPF as recently as February.

3) Neo-Nazis & The Media

Richard J. Evans, Telling Lies About Hitler: The Holocaust, History and the David Irving Trial (Verso, 2002, pp.242–245):

What was wrong about the media’s reaction to the verdict was not that they interviewed Irving, but that they failed to prepare properly for doing so. This contrasted strongly with the hard work and dedication of the lawyers involved in the case. Small wonder, then, that Irving thought he could make capital out of his media appearances after the verdict. For Irving himself, the ‘feeding frenzy’ of the media after the verdict prompted a reaction like that of an attention-seeking child:

I do ITN, Australian ABC live, Today, Radio 4, Radio 5 . . . BBC World TV . . . Breakfast TV . . . Newsnight . . . The phone rings all morning every thirty seconds . . . BBC Radio 3 . . . Italian radio . . . Los Angeles Radio . . . Radio Teheran phones for an interview. Radio Qatar want to interview me . . . How very satisfying it has all been.

Thus a week after the verdict, Irving was claiming ‘I have managed to win’, because ‘two days after the judgment, name recognition becomes enormous, and gradually the plus or minus in front of the name fades’. The cartoons which had him denying the trial had ever taken place, or the verdict ever delivered, were not far from the truth.

The historian Andrew Roberts agreed with Irving’s assessment of the defense’s triumph as a ‘Pyrrhic victory’ because the trial had brought his views to the attention of a worldwide audience. ‘The free publicity that this trial has generated for him and his views has been worth far more than could ever have been bought for the amount of the costs,’ he wrote after the trial. It was Irving, not Lipstadt, who was being interviewed on virtually every television channel. The law had let him propagate ‘his repulsive political message’. It had been a public relations triumph, and all at the expense of Penguin. Nevertheless, Irving’s boast that even if he had lost the courtroom battle, he had won the media war was a vain boast. Reports about him in the press were overwhelmingly critical. Stories on the verdict outnumbered those printed during the trial by a factor of three to one. At sea for much of the courtroom battle, journalists now had some solid ground on which to base their assessments. Analysis of fifty-five newspaper articles published from 12 to 17 April 2000 revealed that while fewer than fifteen had described Irving as a ‘gifted researcher’, forty had emphasized his activities as a Holocaust denier, thirty-seven had stressed the fact that he was a racist, and thirty-five had declared that he had falsified history. ‘As post-verdict television interviews showed,’ thought one commentator, ‘he has no idea how loathsome and isolated he is.’ Irving’s frantic attempts on the afternoon after the verdict to find a legal pretext for preventing television stations from showing video footage of some of the more repulsive moments from his speeches failed completely, and millions of viewers were treated to the spectacle of Irving describing Holocaust survivors as ‘ASSHOLES’. This cannot have done him much good. Lord Weidenfeld, publisher and pundit on matters Central European, noted too how only a few hours after the verdict, television viewers could see

how this man, crafty, evasive, sometimes crude and even primitive, then once more skilled and almost artful, struggled again and again to piece together the fragments of his reputation. Master of innuendo and of ambiguous formulations that he is, he repeatedly tried to assemble truth, half-truths and fiction into conclusive arguments.

Weidenfeld gave the impression that few took him seriously any more.

On 29 April 2000, two and a half weeks after the verdict, Channel 4 television broadcast a lengthy documentary, lasting the best part of two hours, at prime time, successfully juxtaposing well-chosen dramatized extracts from the trial transcripts with historical analyses and archive footage of the events to which they referred. Well before that, however, Irving had more or less disappeared from the airwaves once more, as the media circus moved rapidly on to other things. Meanwhile, Penguin reprinted Lipstadt’s Denying the Holocaust in a paperback edition and rushed out the judgment in an inexpensive book format. Piles of both volumes could soon be seen in all good bookshops, and more were to follow in the shape of revised versions of the experts’ reports and two comprehensive accounts of the trial by journalists who had been present in court throughout. Irving might have cruised the airwaves with virtual impunity in the first flush of defeat, but over the long haul, his prospects of continuing but neutralized media fame did not look good.

Irving’s reputation was damaged even in his own chosen milieu of right-wing extremists and Holocaust deniers. He had clearly let them down badly, and in more ways than one. To begin with, he had lost. This did not go down well on the far right. The views of other Holocaust deniers on the verdict ranged from incomprehension to defiance. Many were incoherent and abusive. Some of those which Irving put up on his own website were rabidly antisemitic, some more measured in tone. One report claiming to be from an eyewitness of the court proceedings was mostly pure invention (it put Richard Rampton’s age at seventy, had him surrounded by twenty assistants telling him ‘Stop Irving. Stop Irving now’, and so on). More significant however was the fact that Irving lost a good deal of credit among hard-line Holocaust deniers by the concessions he was forced to make in court. British National Party leader Nick Griffin criticized Irving as ‘too soft’ on the Holocaust issue. Ernst Zündel reported numerous telephone calls from supporters ‘anxious and upset, even angry’, about ‘some far-reaching and off-the-wall concession David Irving is said to have made’. Somewhat patronizingly, Zündel recalled his own experience of court proceedings and lamented the fact that: ‘It is a pity for the cause of Truth in History and for Historical Revisionism that David Irving does not have that experience of how to fight a political trial to draw upon or to fall back on.’ Zündel claimed that there was resentment among Holocaust deniers that Irving had not called them as expert witnesses, and incomprehension that he did not want to be known as one of them. One of them, the gas chamber denier ‘Germar Rudolf’, thought that ‘Justice Gray made it pretty clear that refusing to present me as a witness forced him to reject Irving’s law suit’. Irving, concluded Zündel, was being dragged into the world of the Holocaust. Robert Faurisson indeed thought he had always been there, despite having been ‘subject, intermittently, to promising bursts of revisionism’. Since Irving had not properly studied the Holocaust, Faurisson thought he was on weak ground in court. It was easy to trip him up. In any case, concluded the Frenchman, ‘he cannot be considered a spokesman for historical revisionism’.

Irving was going to have a lot of bridge-building to do if he was to have any friends left at all after the trial ended. At the end of May he flew to California to address an audience of 140 people at a meeting organized by the Institute for Historical Review. The location was kept secret. Characteristically he gave yet another figure, plucked as usual out of thin air, for the money he thought the defense had spent on the action – this time it was 6 million dollars, or about 4 million pounds. One local Jewish organization described him as a ‘freak in a sideshow’. Others objected. Meanwhile Irving’s announcement that he was organizing a so-called historical congress in Cincinnati suggested that the search for funds was going to take priority over mending fences with the Institute for Historical Review.

Blair Cottrell, Neil Erikson and Chris Shortis found guilty of inciting hatred for Muslims

Briefly:

Yesterday, The Three Stooges (AKA ‘The Bendigo Three’) — Blair Cottrell, Neil Erikson and Chris Shortis — were convicted of serious religious vilification in Melbourne Magistrates Court over a publicity stunt the boys performed in October 2015, and fined $2,000 each. The trio has indicated that they intend to appeal the decision in the County Court.

See : Far-right nationalists found guilty of inciting serious contempt for Muslims after mock beheading video, James Oaten, ABC, September 5, 2017 | United Patriots Front trio found guilty of inciting contempt of Muslims, SBS (AAP), September 5, 2017 | Far-right trio convicted, fined $2000 each, over mock-beheading mosque protest, Adam Cooper, The Age, September 5, 2017.

The stunt — for which UPF lackeys ‘Farma’ John Wilkinson and Linden Watson acted as gormless witnesses — took place a few days prior to an anti-Muslim rally in Bendigo on October 10, which attracted as many as 1,000 bigots; the largest such demonstration to have taken place in Australia. Both Erikson and Shortis left the UPF in the months following the stunt, while Cottrell has remained the fuehrer of what is now largely a lame-duck organisation, and as of September 5 can add the crime of serious religious vilification to his list of priors. (Cottrell’s 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.)

As for Erikson, having already been convicted in February 2014 of stalking a local Melbourne rabbi — ‘Magistrate Donna Bakos said she had no doubt Erikson’s calls were motivated by prejudice and found he had little remorse for his crime’ — celebrated being given another slap on the wrist by the courts by disrupting a meeting of Yarra Council in order to harass councillor Steve Jolly. (See : Far right protesters storm Yarra City Council meeting over Australia Day ban, Melissa Cunningham, The Age, September 5, 2017 | Yarra Council meeting interrupted by far-right group protesting against Australia Day changes, ABC, September 6, 2017.) Among those who joined Erikson were George Jameson and Penny Louise/Tridgell of the Sydney-based Party for Freedom and locals Paul ‘Guru’ Franzi (sporting Soldiers of Odin merch) and UPF fanboy Luke Phipps. Note that the first public rally organised by the UPF took place in Richmond on May 31, 2015, and was called in order to demand Jolly be thrown out of office.

See also : Fascists flail in Melbourne race hate trial, Corey Oakley, Red Flag, September 11, 2017.

Depends What You Mean By Extremist : A Review (of sorts)

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.

Overall, few of the ‘extremists’ in the book, whether nominally anarchist or Muslim or patriotik, are depicted as being much more than laughable, even if — with the possible exception of the teenybopper who organised the pro-Trump rally in Melbourne in November last year — they’re not engaged in ‘politics’ for the #lulz, and even if for some, principally the Muslim radicals, their religiopolitical practice can entail some fairly serious repercussions (arrest and prosecution, imprisonment, even death). With regards the far right in particular, the cast of characters includes most if not all of the individuals I’ve previously referred to on the blog and who’ve assumed central roles in the far right’s most recent and spectacular excursions into public life: Shermon Burgess aka ‘The Great Aussie Patriot’ (Australian Defence League/Reclaim Australia/United Patriots Front), Ralph Cerminara (ADL), Blair Cottrell (Nationalist Alternative/UPF), Rosalie Crestani (Rise Up Australia Party), Neil Erikson (Reclaim Australia/UPF), Nick Folkes (Party for Freedom), Dennis Huts (UPF), Scott ‘Potty Mouth’ Moerland (RUAP/UPF), Danny Nalliah (RUAP/UPF), Debbie Robinson (Q Society/Australian Liberty Alliance), Dr Jim Saleam (Australia First Party), ‘Farma’ John Wilkinson (UPF), Avi Yemini — even geriatric neo-Nazi Ross ‘The Skull’ May makes a brief cameo.*

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).

Those Opposed

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.

(Radikal) Muslims

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.

Except one.

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.

Or something.

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.

La Lucha Continua!

See/hear also : John Safran: going rogue with Australian extremists, Conversations with Richard Fidler, ABC Radio National, April 26, 2017 | John, Fascists, Islamophobes and Jews, Mazel Tov Cocktail, May 11, 2017 | EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: John Safran, Author of Depends What You Mean By Extremist, collage, May 17, 2017.

* ‘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.

Lyons (Far-right fringe raises profile by reclaiming immigration debate, The Australian, August 8, 2015):

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 …

McKenzie-Murray (Inside the strange dynamic of Reclaim Australia’s rallies, The Saturday Paper, July 25, 2017):

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.

BONUS! EXTREME!