A further note on Avi Yemini’s fascist and neo-Nazi friends …

Yeah well anyway, I thought I might just note in passing some of Avi Yemini’s fanbase among the extreme-right.

To begin with, unhappy with the media reportage of his hate rally on Sunday, Avi instead recommends everybody read the report on the ‘altright’ website ‘The Unshackled’ (2016–) by Tom Pirrone. According to Tom, ‘hundreds’ attended Avi’s shindig — which is about as accurate as most of the reportage on the site, which otherwise reflects the preoccupations of the Tory yoof which constitutes its audience.

The Unhinged editors of The Unshackled are Tim Wilms and Sukith Fernando (above). Like many other #altright yoof, Sukith is a card-carrying member of the Liberal Party, and it was while campaigning for student elections that Sukith got into some hot water at the University of Sydney last week. Thus according to Honi Soit (Holocaust denying student confronted on campus, Kishor Napier-Raman and Aidan Molins, September 15, 2017): ‘Fernando was confronted on Eastern Avenue by members of both Stand Up (Labor) and Switch (Grassroots/independents) who questioned him about his beliefs. Fernando repeatedly claimed that he “didn’t know” whether the Holocaust happened.’ He is also reportedly a member of multiple right-wing Facebook groups, including one called ‘Holocaust Revisionism’.

As was the case with University of Queensland student David Hilton (‘Moses Apostaticus’), being an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier is no barrier to being adopted by more mainstream publications, including The Spectator. Thus in July Sukith contributed a sterling essay to the site (Goodbye Yassmin and #PrayForLondon, July 13, 2017) celebrating Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s decision to leave Australia for London, while also deriding her for her alleged apostasy and racism. For its part, the Liberal yoof who’ve assembled behind the ‘Vanguard’ banner to contest the election have denounced Sukith for his public expressions of racism, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial and informed the world that, if elected, Sukith will not hold office. On the other hand, Sukith’s brave stand against The Jew at his university did at least win the approval of neo-Nazi and former Grand Poobah of the KKK, David Duke, so that’s something eh.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Leaving aside Sukith, as noted previously, the main body of supporters at Avi’s rally on Sunday were drawn from pre-existing extreme-right street gangs, especially the Soldiers of Odin and True Blue Crew. Funnily enough, apart from ignoring actually-existing laws and legal processes, the implementation of the rally’s demands — minimum sentencing for violent offenders (including minors), no bail for persons charged with violent offences, no parole for those convicted for violent offences, minors to be incarcerated in adult jails and the deportation of immigrants convicted of violent offences — would actually decimate his support base.

See also : TheDingoes.xyz /// The Convict Report /// DingoCon (July 8, 2017).

Students eh?

EduFactory! is a grassroots, student-run education conference being held on Ngunnawal country in Canberra at the Australian National University from September 29 – October 1, 2012 | The 2012 Strike in Québec: Full Report, crimethInc, August 14, 2012 | Crisis in the Academy, Sarah Kendzior, August 30, 2012.

La Trobe

On Sunday, students at La Trobe University forced the Vice Chancellor, Paul Dewar, into a cupboard. The clever VC managed to escape his prison, however, via a series of underground tunnels, and later emerged — blinking — into the media spotlight, in which glare he declared that those responsible for his humiliation would be disciplined and that the University fully intends to proceed with the disemboweling of its Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The rationale for the cuts is that the Faculty is failing to generate sufficient income for the University, and less profitable courses should, in principle, be abolished. Of course, on a corporate level the business remains a profitable one, having an overall surplus of $22.9 million at the end of 2011 (PDF).

The Bun Fight over the future of the Faculty continues at The Conversation where, inter alia, Dewar bemoans the fact that students freely roamed the campus rather than chose to remain in the pen he’d demanded — on pain of expulsion — they confine themselves to, peddles the usual blah about the ability of students (and staff) to determine University policy through reason alone, and ultimately shifts the blame for the cuts onto students, arguing that The Market is the ultimate arbiter of educational values — and if a student wants to learn about, say, religion, they can simply become a customer at another institution.

Heady stuff from someone reportedly receiving a salary in excess of $700,000 (about 0.1% of the population).

See also : “Come get it!” Security guard assaults student at La Trobe (August 26, 2012) | Dear La Trobe student, Protest is baaad. Get it? (August 22, 2012).

Monash

At Monash University, the battle to save Wholefoods from destruction by Monash Labor continues to trundle along like some slow-moving herbivore. ‘Will no one rid us of these turbulent vegetarians?’ the Monash Student Association (MSA) Executive must be asking itself.

Similar questions will be posed of the fraction of the student body that will actually bother to vote in the MSA election in a few weeks. The election has produced the usual silliness: a hack has registered a ticket under the name of ‘Save Wholefoods’, presumably in the hope that the handful of students who want to save Wholefoods but don’t realise that ‘Save Wholefoods’ is a feeder ticket will halp re-elect the students responsible for its destruction.

Like, irony.

The student who’s registered the ticket — Sheldon Oski — has form. In 2010:

[Liberal Party President Ben] Kunstler told Crikey that an email normally sent to advise of the looming re-registration period, that enables the previous year’s tickets to keep their names, failed to appear this year. He claims that with their opponents in the dark, O’Dwyer and offsider Sheldon Oski helped themselves to names including ‘Liberal’, ‘Clayton Jewish Students’, ‘Connect’, ‘Unity’, ‘Free Parking’ and ‘Pirates Rrrrr Us’ in an attempt to dupe voters via a preference scam.

At the end of the registration period, only the Labor Left and Trotskyite cult Socialist Alternative held tickets, with independent, Labor Right and grassroots left groupings denied representation.

Kunstler said: “Go! is always very nervous when it comes to ensuring their control for another year. They have shown themselves willing to use plenty of dirty tactics in the past and have been taken to court in previous years for their behaviour.”

The running of dummy candidates and tickets is of course stock-standard procedure at student union elections. Perhaps the most (in)famous example of rorting occurred at the University of Melbourne in the early noughties when Labor hack Darren Ray presided over the bankruptcy of the union (Ray was later jailed for fraud in an unrelated case).

On the whole, student unions continue to provide excellent career and business opportunities for aspiring managers.

UQ

In sunny Queensland, students at UQ have been complaining that tricksy Tory students have been using their union like it was some kinda romper room. Normally just a background smell, recently the stench of corruption at UQ has gotten so bad that the young reactionaries have been forced to issue a bland assurance that I’m OK, You’re OK; the available evidence, however, would suggest that their tomfoolery has become too much — not only for some students, but even University authorities (UQ shines spotlight on student union activity, Andrew Fraser, The Australian, August 29, 2012). Their decision to conduct an audit of the union:

…comes after changes were made to the election process for the student union, whereby a team that has run for the past few years under the name Pulse found the name had been “pinched” when it tried to reregister the name for the upcoming election. Instead, Pulse had a new list of candidates close to the ruling Fresh team when it tried to register its name.

Members of Pulse complained they did not know of the changes that had been deliberately concealed from them at a student union meeting on August 10.

The Fresh team is based on the campus colleges and members of the Liberal National Party, while the Pulse team is a broad Left ticket which has ALP and Green members. But both tickets also have many members who are not aligned with any political party.

On Wednesday, August 29, several hundred students protested the election rigging. Graeme Orr, Professor of Law at UQ, provides a useful explanatory framework in an interview (August 23, 2012) with ABC Brisbane here.

See also : To students and staff of the University of Queensland, An open letter regarding the UQU election, from past and present students who value their vote).