antifa notes (july 4, 2017) : international solidarity, anti-antifa +++

3rd Annual International Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners on July 25, 2017

July 25, 2017 is the third ‘International Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners’. NYC Antifa:

As the third annual July 25th International Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners approaches, we find ourselves fighting the hydra of fascism and far-right ideology. While its many heads have distinct looks in different parts of the world, this beast spews the same venomous poison of nationalism and bigotry everywhere. It demonizes refugees and immigrants, stokes hatred for Muslims, and attacks LGBTQ and other oppressed groups who are fighting for liberation and their very lives.

The July 25 International Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners originated in 2014 as the Day of Solidarity with Jock Palfreeman, an Australian man serving a 20-year sentence in Bulgaria for defending two Romani men being attacked by fascist football hooligans. Whether acting as individuals or as part of larger organized demonstrations, this is the kind of bravery and solidarity which defines antifascist actions against the forces of hate. Since the day of solidarity last year, we have seen this spirit all over the world—in Indonesia, Czech Republic, Brazil, Poland, England, Greece, the United States, France, Syria, Australia, Japan and all points in between.

Read more in English here; you can read translations of the call out im Deutschen, ελληνικά, français, Bahasa Indonesia and other languages here.

The Antifascists (documentary film)

The Antifascists is a new Swedish/Greek documentary ‘that takes us behind the masks of the militant groups called antifascists’.

It will hopefully be screening in Australia later in the year.

The Anti-Antifascists (lol)

Or: Bring all the crew mate it’s gonna be YUGE. Possibly the biggest Sydney has seen for this type of protest march.

On Saturday, July 1, Nick Folkes and the ‘Party for Freedom’ held a small rally in Newtown in order to whinge about ‘anti-fascists’. About 20-30 or so individuals attended the event, which consisted of marching the brief distance from Newtown railway station (chanting the usual inanities), then gathering outside Sergio Redegalli’s former studio (for more chanting), then standing around for an hour as puzzled locals went about their business. Peter Grace:

Apart from All The Usual Suspects, among those who bothered to rock up was Mark McDonald, the former leader of the short-lived neo-Nazi groupuscule ‘Squadron 88’. His presence was more welcome on Saturday than it was in July 2015, when he and geriatric bonehead Ross ‘The Skull’ May were kicked off the ‘patriot’ bus from Sydney to Melbourne for being ‘Nazis’. Among those who turned on the pair was Shermon ‘The Great Aussie Patriot’ Burgess who, since being kicked off Facebook, has now embraced, inter alia, Adolf Hitler and Flat Earthism. Still, the neo-Nazi pinhead was also presumably heartened by the PFF’s recent adoption of the ‘White GeNOcide’ meme, ably embodied by Folkes’ own marriage to an Asian woman (with whom he apparently has children) and the mixed-up confusion that is his young sidekick Toby Cook (below), whose commitment to White nationalism is unimpeded by his own non-European ancestry.

They’re a wEiRd mob!

*Oh yeah: neo-Nazis, White supremacists and AltRight geeks (‘Dingo Con’) also held a gathering in Sydney on the weekend to talk shite. Local neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell attended but Yanqui neo-Nazi Mike Peinovich did not. Note that former Labor leader Mark Latham is a YUGE fan of the neo-Nazi dogs. See also : Mark Latham is working with Rebel Media. Can he also work at the Daily Telegraph?, Jason Wilson, The Guardian, June 14, 2017.

Antifa … Not-Antifa

As noted previously, over the course of 2017 a number of fake ‘antifa’ social media accounts have emerged. Useful for conning the uninitiated, ignorant and naive, they’re also xclnt for spoonfeeding journalists drivel (cf. Andrew Bolt @ News and Michael Koziol @ Fairfax). In the United States, sadly, the fakery has resulted in one racist meathead shooting himself in the leg! Fake Event Mobilizes far-Right at Gettysburg; Militia Member Shoots Himself in Leg, It’s Going Down, July 1, 2017:

In the last two weeks, Alt-Right trolls have attempted to replay the events in Houston, Texas in June, where using over the top threats from fake antifa groups on social media, they galvanized a ‘counter-protest’ from the militia movement.

Moreover, it turned out that the people behind the trolling where also raking in thousands of dollars off of crowdfunding for the ‘counter-demonstration’ which drew several hundred and led to infighting between militia members and neo-Nazis. Seems like the Right has a business plan! Make a fake antifa group, make over the top threats, and then crowd fund money off of people that want to protest it.

This time around, trolls using the page ‘Harrisburg Antifa’ alleged that antifascists would burn flags and urinate on the graves of Confederate soldiers. These outright lies were then picked up by the ‘journalists’ at Fox News and distributed as actual truth. This connection between Alt-Right trolls and Fox News is not new; just last week Fox reprinted an article written by a member of the Alt-Right who wrote a hit piece about IGD at HeatSt.com.

Interestingly enough however, in the lead up to the protest, Navy Jack, a mover and shaker within the far-Right Oath Keeper militia, called out the event as total make-believe in a tweet (see image on the top-right), which has since been deleted. Navy Jack also included the photos of the two people he believed were behind the fake event and called it #FakeNews.

Other members of the far-Right, such as Joe Biggs, who recently left InfoWars because of the #Pizzagate conspiracy, have stated publicly that the rise of such fake antifa accounts have hurt the far-Right who continues to take them seriously.

Sad!

See also : He came to rally against a non-existent protest. Then he shot himself in the leg., Greg Hadley, The Sacramento Bee, July 2, 2017 | Antifa calls Gettysburg protest rumors ‘a complete fabrication’, Dustin B Levy, USA Today, June 30, 2017.

Vigilantes R Us

In Melbourne on the weekend a dozen or so members of private security company Asolate Security, in conjunction with various self-described ‘patriots’ from the Soldiers of Odin and a handful of other groupuscules, conducted brief forays into Southbank, apparently in order to stop African yoof from stealing Moomba showbags. Or something. The meatheads are active online as ‘A26A’.

See also : We must draw attention to the far right. Not to do so is a dangerous concession, Jason Wilson, The Guardian, June 29, 2017.

BONUS! Moscow Death Brigade!

Butterflies & Unicorns Win “The Battle of Eltham”

nickcondoms

Briefly:

Around 70 or so people attended “The Battle Of Eltham” today, the great majority non-locals from Sydney (Party For Freedom), Bendigo and Melton (True Blue Crew). All The Usual Suspects were present: Sergio Redegalli; Nick Folkes (pictured above), Toby Cook and George Jameson (PFF); Kane Miller, Paul ‘Guru’ Franzi & Co. (TBC); The Angry Gnome Jay B Moore & his wannabe bikies (Soldiers Of Odin) et al. Also guest starring (sic) were valour thief and serial pest Ralph Cerminara and (!) Richard Lalich (Australian Defence League); Blair Cottrell and Thomas Sewell (United Patriots Front); UPF lackeys Julian de Ross and John Wilkinson; John Bolton (Reclaim Australia, Adelaide) and a handful of other boofheads.

Something in the order of 200 or so other people joined Diamond Yarra Valley Resistance Solidarity (DYVRS) for a gathering and march, while several thousand more — including the supporters of ‘Welcome to Eltham’ — gathered in the city for a refugee rally. A good account of the day’s events in Eltham is provided by Kieran Bennett in Far-Right Outnumbered In Eltham (November 5, 2016), while the ABC published Eltham refugee rally: Scores turn out to support Syrian refugees being resettled; The Age Battle for Eltham: Welcoming butterflies a background to anti-refugee protests, The Guardian Victorian anti-refugee rally: counter-protesters turn up in strength and SBS (AAP) Pro and anti-refugee protests in Melbourne.

unicornz

The relatively small number who rallied under Folkes’ PFF banner is indicative of two things. One, there’s very little sympathy for those opposed to the housing project in the local community, especially when this opposition is being proclaimed by racist thugs. Two, the brief popularity enjoyed by Reclaim Australia and the UPF as a vehicle for racist, right-wing and xenophobic discontent — especially in Bendigo and, to a lesser extent, in Melton — has largely collapsed. This is likely due both to opposition and the failure to achieve very much through public mobilisations, but is also likely related to the various legal problems encountered by some of its adherents, most obviously in the case of alleged terrorist and TBC supporter Phillip Galea. So too, the prosecution of Blair Cottrell, Neil Erikson and Chris Shortis for racial and/or religious villification. As noted previously, John Wilkinson and Linden Watson, though also taking part in the UPF stunt in Bendigo, have escaped prosecution. Notably, Wilkinson had close dealings with Galea, allegedly providing him with cattle prods for use on leftist demonstrators.

At this stage, the next hate rally is scheduled for January in Sydney under the auspices of Reclaim Australia. In any event, the photo below, courtesy of JE, sums things up in Eltham today I think: a racist teenybopper from the True Blue Crew giving the finger to locals.

tbcgreets

Bonus Grace!

“The Battle of #Eltham” : #Fascists ~versus~ #Refugees : November 5, 2016

See also : 800 crimes against German refugee shelters so far this year, Middle East Eye, October 19, 2016: Crimes include arson, attacks using explosives and distribution of far-right propaganda.

This Saturday, November 5, a small group of people from Sydney, Bendigo, Melton and Melbourne will be descending upon St Andrew Park in Eltham in order to engage in what the organisers of the rally, the Sydney-based micro-sect ‘Party For Freedom’, are referring to as “The Battle Of Eltham”. The ‘Battle’ is to stop St Vincent’s Care Services in Eltham from providing housing to a number of Iraqi and Syrian refugees, a joint project of St Vincent’s Health Australia and CatholicCare. According to St Vincent’s, the proposal is intended:

… to help settle and support vulnerable refugees from Syria and Iraq – with priority given to women and children.

The refugees will be provided with medium-term rental accommodation in 60 units on the site of St Vincent’s Care Services Eltham. These units are stand-alone and separate from the residential aged care and independent living facilities on site.

The 60 units have been vacant for a number of years and have been refurbished by St Vincent’s Care Services to make them liveable.

The refugee housing project will run for two years and then the accommodation will be transitioned to be used as affordable housing for seniors.

There will be no impact on the residential aged care or independent living residents who live at the Eltham site.

You can read more about the project on the fact sheet (October 5, 2016) St Vincent’s has provided here.

In any case, while St Vincent’s claims that ‘We bring God’s love to those in need through the healing ministry of Jesus’, others, including the Party For Freedom, Soldiers Of Odin, True Blue Crew and United Patriots Front, have other ideas. Thus according to the PFF, in its promotional material for the ‘Battle’, ‘the decision to house the refo invaders in an aged care facility is a slap in the face of locals’, and those who support the proposal are ‘deranged and irresponsible advocates for open borders’. Further, ‘both major parties are working together to destroy Australia by using taxpayers’ money to facilitate the third world colonisation of Australia’: a dastardly plot which now implicates the Christian charities St Vincent’s and CatholicCare. Of course, the PFF also advocates the forcible sterilisation of refugees from the ‘Third World’, and is otherwise infamous for staging an invasion of a church service in Gosford (August 2016) and for attempting to stage a recreation of ‘The Battle of Cronulla’ (December 2015).

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

elthamrallyspeakers

Those scheduled to speak at St Andrew Park as part of the ‘Battle’ are all familiar faces on the far right. Thus in addition to PFF Chairman Nick Folkes and his teenybopper sidekick Toby Cook, Sydney-based anti-Muslim activist Sergio Redegalli, ex-Australian Liberty Alliance candidate John Bolton of Adelaide, and local boys Paul ‘Guru’ Franzi (True Blue Crew), Julian de Ross (AKA ‘Hugh Pearson’, United Patriots Front) and John Wilkinson (AKA ‘Farma John’) will all be delighting the crowds with their verbal wit. One person who won’t be joining the patriotik mob will be Phillip Galea, currently a resident at Thomas Embling hospital, but otherwise on trial for alleged terrorist offences. A friend of Reclaim Australia, the TBC and the UPF, Galea’s previous legal entanglements revolved around Wilkinson’s alleged provision to him of a number of cattle prods; Wilkinson was also one of those who participated in the UPF dummy stunt in Bendigo in October last year, though has escaped facing any charges. Not so lucky are UPF fuehrer Blair Cottrell and former UPF members Neil Erikson and Chris Shortis (now a member of the White nationalist Australia First Party): they are due to face court in March next year.

The fascist plan to grunt and squeal in St Andrew Park has also resulted in the organisation of some other activities by Diamond Yarra Valley Resistance Solidarity on Saturday morning. Titled SAFE – Stand Against Fascism in Eltham, the DYVRS day begins at 10am. In which context, it’s worthwhile noting that this is NOT a counter-rally and DYVRS is seeking to avoid any and all confrontation on the day. DYVRS:

DYVRS is staunchly antifascist, and firmly believes that hatred and bigotry on our streets should be shut down. In this instance though, due to circumstance and location, direct opposition to thugs and bigots is not a workable tactic.

If your desire is to shout at and engage with right wing undesirables, while in other circumstances we might agree, in this case we must respectfully ask you not join us on the day. We cannot emphasise this enough – this is a peaceful protest aimed at avoiding conflict. There is much at stake in this issue and no one to profit from conflict but the groups we oppose.

Note that further details on the day’s events (which are scheduled to finish at 1pm, ie, before the fascist rally ends at 2pm) may be found by checking the DYVRS Facebook event page on Friday night. Just a reminder the first stop on Saturday’s event at 10am is a very long way from the shouty asshats and is in an easily secured location. You are most welcome to just attend that part if you’d like. This stop will have the speeches and the banner drop. Afterwards we’ll be moving a little closer to their group but not in contact and if you’d prefer not to do that, that’s fine too. See you Saturday – remember to check for maps and further instructions on Friday on this page or Twitter.

As always, much love and respect to all the good folk taking a stand against racism and bigotry — see you on the streets!

#CronullaRiots 2.0 : A Damp Squib

Yes, well: props to the “anti-Muzzie crew” I guess. In any case, the tsunami of racist violence that was promised by paranoid phantasists turned out to be a bit of a damp squib in the end: over 9,000 somewhere between 40 and 60 patriotik folks assembled at a BBQ in Cronulla today; a far cry from THE BIGGEST AUSSIE PRIDE RALLY THIS COUNTRY HAS EVER SEEN that was promised by galloping mythomaniac Shermon Burgess (aka ‘The Great Aussie Patriot’).

CRODEC12

Thus while Nick Folkes (Party for Freedom) attended the rally cum BBQ, the meeting was also attended by (United Patriots front leader) Danny Nalliah and Rosalie Crestani of the fun-da-mentalist Xtian Rise Up Australia Party, Kim Vuga, of Love Australia or Leave and glass-blowing serial pest Sergio Redegalli. Ralph Cerminara of the Australian Defence League also rocked up.

As for Burgess, he was a no-show. Further, his failure to attend court on Friday, as well as his failure to obey the court’s decision, means that he’s not only in contempt but will also have to pay costs. (On court battles, see : Cronulla ‘memorial’ rally organiser vows to attend site after courts ban event, Lisa Visentin, The Sydney Morning Herald, December 11, 2015 | Far right leader Nick Folkes agrees not to hold Cronulla riots memorial rally, Paul Farrell, The Guardian, December 11, 2015.)

Oh yeah: approximately 150 or so anti-fascists attended Cronulla today as well. There were two arrests: one of an Aboriginal man for allegedly swearing at police and that of another man for allegedly disturbing the peace.

Select reportage: Anti-racism activists turn violent at Cronulla rally (originally titled ‘Cronulla riots rally outnumbered on anniversary’), Tim Elliott, The Sydney Morning Herald, December 12, 2015 | Nick Folkes’ barbecue party turns cold on 10th anniversary of Cronulla riots, Paul Farrell, The Guardian, December 12, 2015 | Police Outnumbers Crowd In Lacklustre Cronulla Riots 10-Year Reunion Barbecue, Josh Butler, HuffPost Australia, December 12, 2015.

cronulla9000

BONUS ANTIFA!

Cronulla protests: what is the anti-fascist group Antifa?, Michael McGowan, The Sydney Morning Herald, December 12, 2015. See also : Behind the lines at Cronulla riots memorial protest, James Purtill, ABC (Triple J’s Hack), December 12, 2015.

Dressed in black, faces covered, members of Antifa are the self-appointed enemies of the far-right.

During the protests and counter-protests that marked the 10-year anniversary of the Cronulla riots on Saturday, Antifa members carrying red, black and white flags emblazoned with the words Antifaschistische Aktion clashed with anti-Islam protesters.

A woman draped in an Australian flag was surrounded by 20 to 30 Antifa members who shouted at her to “take that fascist flag off now”.

Antifa, or anti-fascists, are a loose collection of socialists and anarchists, anti-racists and small-l liberals.

Antifaschistische Aktion is the name of a German anti-fascist organisation that reportedly has its roots in the German communist party in 1932, and was dissolved in 1933 by the Nazis and resurfaced in the 1980s in Europe as a response to resurgent right-wing groups.

Today the hard-left group is transnational, and part of hard-left common at the protests that usually mark G20 and other global leader summits in Europe.

In Australia members or self-professed members of the group have become an increasingly common sight at rallies organised to oppose the far-right protests held by groups like the United Patriots Front and Reclaim Australia.

Antifa Australia’s Facebook page has as its most recent post on November 17: “These deranged far-right scum want to damage society and bring everyone down. If the Authorities won’t stop hate speech, the leftist community will now need to implement their own authority via grassroots action.”

It describes itself as the “militant Left-Wing”, and in October wrote on Facebook that “a war … will break out in Cronulla when the far-right hold their rally”.

“We are one against the racists and their masters of the rich Australian ruling class,” the post read.

Antifa’s WordPress website lists its goals as opposing fascism, as well as to “defend the working class and their organisations from fascist attack”.

In keeping with the groups historical links to socialism, it also paints itself as anti-capitalist.

Members of Antifa in Australia have deliberately remained anonymous.

That’s despite attempts by opposing groups to out some of its most outspoken Australian advocates such as Andy Fleming, a pseudonym used by a Melbourne-based anti-fascist who runs a blog called slackbastard that tracks the far-right movement.

A few points:

• In general, ‘antifa’ is simply an umbrella (generic) term used to describe a variety of ‘anti-fascist’ actions, projects and organisations. In Australia, antifascist activism extends back to the 1920s and the various struggles between fascist and anti-fascist groups within the Italian diaspora. When WWII broke out, many Italians were interned. One of those interned was Francesco Fantin, an anarchist and active anti-fascist. He was murdered by fascists at Loveday internment camp in South Australia on November 16, 1942. See also : The Proletarian migrants: Fascism and Italian Anarchists in Australia | The Faber Fantin Research Project Site.

• The German KPD was one of many left organisations to organise dedicated anti-fascist groups. Antifaschistische Aktion was one such group which also included (and was preceded by) the Proletarian Hundreds, Red Front Fighters, Anti-Fascist Youth Guards and others. The SPD organised its Reichsbanner group, and other left parties and tendencies had their own equivalents. In contemporary Germany (and elsewhere in Europe), there are a number of groups which have adopted the label ‘Antifaschistische Aktion’, sometimes with direct links to communist parties, more often drawing from a broader left milieu. The revival of anti-fascism in Germany was one of the results of re-unification, which witnessed an upsurge in racist and neo-Nazi violence. In this instance, AFA drew upon a wider anti-authoritarian tendency often described as ‘autonomist’ and typically hostile to authoritarian socialisms.

• ‘Antifa Australia’ emerged in 2008 as a social media presence. It’s not a group as such but exists as a promotional tool for a particular interpretation of ‘anti-fascist’ politics in Australia. Between then and now, a number of other ‘antifa’ political projects have emerged, and 2015 in particular has witnessed some mild growth in the number of those involved in or in some way associated with the loose networks that have evolved in response to the emergence of Reclaim Australia, the United Patriots Front and allied forces.