Review : 2015 : Neil Erikson ~vs~ Rob Sparrow

I thought I may as well provide a brief summary of the year in blogging + activism.

Well … next post, maybe.

Before I do, a few days ago (December 30), I became aware that local neo-Nazi Neil Erikson had published a video on his Facebook page claiming that I am Monash academic Professor Rob Sparrow.

The video features Erikson, driving in his car, while watching a video on his phone of an exchange between Rob and other panelists on the subject of ‘political correctness’ (you can watch the video here). The convicted anti-Semite and neo-Nazi activist states:

That guy there [points at Rob]: his name is Doctor Robert Sparrow, Monash University. Now for the past ten years, patriotic and nationalist groups, have been fighting an enemy. An unseen enemy. This is the most cowardly of the pond scum of the left. He’s the king of the pond scum. Andy Fleming has spent over a decade, sitting on his little gay computer, taking down patriot’s photos of their children, of their houses, and storing it on his hard drive. Then he then spreads it to all the anarchists, around the local area, so the anarchists go and attack these people’s houses. He’s been blamed and accused of causing a fire bomb of a man, a patriot’s letterbox, a few years back. He’s even been behind the anarchist violence on April 4, July 18, May 31st, August 29. All that anarchist violence where they were bashing old women, desecrating war memorials, it all come from Andy Fleming. And that, my friends, is Andy Fleming: Doctor Robert Sparrow, the biggest fucking coward in our nation. So spread the word patriots, and let’s expose this piece of shit. Catch yas.

A short while later, the video was removed and Erikson uploaded another. Minus the criminal accusations above, it widens his, er, critique, to include Rob’s siblings, Jeff and Jill Sparrow. Titled ‘Slackbastard AKA Sparrow Family’ and published on December 30, Erikson states:

How you goin’ patriots? Well we discovered who slackbastard is, some guy named Robert Sparrow. Now he’s a lecturer, at university: he talks about anarchy, he’s all edgy and shit because he wears like loopy earrings, he teaches all the kids money’s bad, capitalism’s bad, [I’m?] edgy. Now that is slackbastard. We also found out who his brother is, Jeff Sparrow, who’s a edgy communist journalist. He writes for some shitty news agencies online like Overland and shit, so he’s like real edgy communist [indecipherable] … tell everyone how to spend their money. Not only that they gotta sister named Jill Sparrow, who’s a socialist and she started Socialist Alternative, in Melbourne. Now get this, if you watched the news a couple of months ago, some crazy woman was being dragged out of a government building by police, she had red hair, she had her child breastfeeding off her breast, screaming like a disheveled mess. That’s their sister Jill, she’s a socialist, she’s edgy too, they’ve been doing this since they were young. But guess what, they grew up in the most richest suburb in Victoria: Brighton. They’re spoiled little fuckin’ rich kids. When’s the left wing gonna learn, you gonna let these little spoiled, little spoiled brats tell you what to do with your cash? It’s disgusting. Have a happy new year, and fuck the left wing. Catch ya later.

Note : The protest Erikson refers to took place in early November. See : Mum Refusing To Leave Refugee Protest Evicted By Police While Breastfeeding Child, Max Chalmers, New Matilda, November 5, 2015.

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This second video has been spread widely among Erikson’s fascist comrades, including by Shermon Burgess (‘The Great Aussie Patriot’), while similar material — claiming that Professor Sparrow is the author of my blog — has appeared on neo-Nazi blogs like Whitelaw Towers, Nick Folkes’ Party for Freedom Facebook page, Facebook pages belonging to Dr Jim Saleam’s Australia First Party and presumably elsewhere. Accompanying the material is commentary of the sort one might expect: promises of bloody revenge, homophobic diatribes, commitments to harassing Monash University (several Facebook users admit to phoning Rob’s office and leaving abusive messages), a handful of skeptical inquiries, and so on. A sample:

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So what evidence does the bRanes trust present in order to prove that I’m Rob? While Erikson offers none, Burgess pops on his science hat in order to proclaim:

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LOL.

In that other place known as reality, this is obviously not the first time that some fascist bizarr0 has claimed to know my ‘real’ identity: in March last year James Gilhome claimed that I was some bloke called Robert Godino; the year before that, the Australia First Party & Co. alleged that I was James Hutchings (after the party received a letter from a lawyer, I suddenly became ‘Andy’ Hutchings, James’s non-existent brother). And so on and so forth.

In conclusion, despite the falsity of the claim, like previous such excursions, this latest ‘outing’ will likely take some weeks or even months to subside. In which context, it’s important to remember that Burgess’s 41,000+ Facebook followers are entirely gullible and will believe absolutely anything he says — and that Facebook is entirely happy to facilitate his racism, xenophobia, and general abuse of Muslims in Australia (see also : 2015: The year that angry won the internet, Mike Wendling, BBC, December 30, 2015). The same rule applies to the far fewer numbers who pay attention to the diatribes of Neil Erikson, the online poutings by the Australia First Party, and/or the assorted other fascist grouplets and random bigots that have volunteered to take up the cudgel against Professor Sparrow.

Morans.

antifa notes (march 26, 2015) : #ReclaimAustralia (again)

What’s a racism?

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Racist Reclaim Australia organisers complaining that their racist rally is attracting racists.

*smh*

The ‘Reclaim Australia’ (RA) rallies are just nine days away now. Folks in Melbourne and elsewhere are organising various activities to oppose these public exercises in racial and religious vilification. Please see : SYDNEY | PERTH | MELBOURNE | GOLD COAST | CANBERRA | BRISBANE | ADELAIDE.

The main promoter of RA, Shermon Burgess (‘The Great Aussie Patriot’), has been busy working with the neo-Nazis of ‘Nationalist Republican Guard’ (NRG) to produce (increasingly bIzArRe) YouTube videos promoting the rallies and is otherwise doing his best to whip up anti-Muslim sentiment. Given the general political climate and the PM’s recent doubtful speech on national security, this is not a very difficult task and brings many dividends. See, for example : Muslim woman speaks out about attack on Sydney train, says she was targeted because of religion, Mohamed Taha, ABC, March 24, 2015.

As for ‘The Great Aussie Patriot’, as well as being active for several years as a member of the ‘Australian Defence League’, Burgess also wrote songs for his studio project ‘Eureka Brigade’ glorifying violence against Muslims and asylum seekers and praising the ADL’s leader Ralph Cerminara. Cerminara, along with teenage sidekick Zane Commins (19), lead an unsuccessful crusade to Lakemba in late December 2014, ending up being arrested and charged with affray and behaving in an offensive manner.

From the beginning of 2015, Burgess has been co-producing promotional videos for the rallies with members of a tiny neo-Nazi group called ‘Nationalist Republican Guard’ (NRG, est. January 2013). NRG evolved out of another tiny grouplet called ‘European Australian Civil Rights League’ (EARL) but was/is otherwise an extension of the Melbourne-based neo-Nazi group ‘Nationalist Alternative’ (NAlt).

NAlt underwent an acrimonious split midway thru last year and its leader publicly named and shamed by some of its unhappy campers as Mark Hootsen. Hootsen was also until that time one of two mods on ‘Stormfront Downunder’, one of the world’s leading neo-Nazi/White supremacist websites and home to many of Australia’s fascists (including of course the Australia First Party).

For a short period following the split, the NAlt Facebook page published a range of bizarre materials attacking the group’s former leader — it has since been closed and an alternative FB page published. NRG has a Facebook page here. Its last post, published on November 8, 2014, is a link to a ‘humourous’ video titled ‘Hitler approves of NRG’.

The naughty boys of NRG briefly came to public attention in February 2014 when one of its members, Neil Luke Erikson, was convicted of harrassing a local rabbi — though Erikson’s long history of neo-Nazi activism was AFAIK never a matter discussed in court. In passing sentence on Erikson:

Magistrate Donna Bakos said she had no doubt Erikson’s calls were motivated by prejudice and found he had little remorse for his crime. But she ignored prosecution pleas to jail Erikson, sentencing him instead to psychological assessment and treatment in the community. “There is no other explanation except that they were motivated by prejudice, if not hatred, toward the victim because of his race,” she told Erikson. “It is degrading. It is hurtful. It is not to be tolerated.” Erikson, of Heidelberg West, pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates Court to stalking Rabbi Gutnick over the calls made in December 2012 and January 2013. Erikson told a forensic psychologist after his arrest he had many “Aussie Aryan friends” whom he found more entertaining than his other mates. He also said the calls were made as a practical joke.

Hurr hurr.

The fact that Burgess has hopped into bed with a convicted anti-Semite and neo-Nazis appears to have had precisely zero effect on his followers: they simply do not care, and neither does Burgess. Thus, while some of those who are happy to publicly express bitter hatred for Muslims also claim not to hate Jews, their sleazy alliances have not gone unnoticed and, I hope, will not go unchallenged either.

Shermon Burgess, James Richard Gilhome, Mike Holt & Co ~versus~ Robert Godino

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Last week James Richard Gilhome, a meatheaded fanboy of Burgess’s from Tasmania, claimed online to have determined that the author of this blog is a man by the name of Robert Godino. He’s wrogn, but the story has taken on a life of its own and now appears widely on social media, in particular on the Facebook page of Mike Holt’s bizarr0 ‘Restore Australia’ (By Getting Rid Of The Muslims). As well as describing Godino as “scum” and a “turd”, Holt accuses Godino of having engaged in criminal behavior (for which he has been reported to police). Asked if he had any concern over the potential problems Godino may face as a result as having been nominated in this fashion, Holt says ‘no’ and adds that he accepts full (legal, moral and political) responsibility for publishing Godino’s name, address, photo, email and claiming that he is the author of this blog.

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— a sample of some of the commentary appears below.

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Reclaim Australia Melbourne

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Right-wing Xtian homophobe Pastor Danny Nalliah is being joined by Bendigo councillor Elise Chapman at Reclaim Australia in Melbourne on April 4. You may remember Chapman from such tweets as ‘a disturbing image of babies with mutilated genitals’ sent ‘to a woman who supported a [mosque] development’ in Bendigo.

Truly a star-studded line-up.

Reclaim 4BC

4BC radio has a piece on ‘Reclaim Australia’ starring Scott Moerland, a member of the Christian fundamentalist party ‘Rise Up Australia’ (RUAP). Moerland was RUAP’s candidate for the seat of Oxley at the 2013 federal election. He placed last of eight candidates, receiving 400 votes (0.53%). RUAP’s leader, Danny Nalliah, claims that God speaks to him and that the Victorian bushfires of early 2009 were God’s punishment for the state government liberalising abortion laws: Nalliah will be speaking at the Melbourne rally.