Rally Against Racism and Fascism, Melbourne, Sunday, May 15

In Melbourne on Sunday, May 15, the ‘Australian Defence League’ (ADL), under the leadership of Englishman Martin Brennan, is organising its second public rally against Muslims. The ADL is the Australian counterpart to the ‘English Defence League’, a famously drunken and frequently violent street gang which has brought chaos to many English towns and cities over the past two years, aimed at driving Muslims out of the country.

In response to the ADL’s provocation, a range of community groups and individuals will be attending a counter rally, a rally ‘against racism and fascism’ [Facebook].

Both the rally and the counter-rally will take place at midday at Federation Square.

Fight dem back! cordially invites its supporters to attend the counter-rally, and to join hundreds of other Melbournians in standing up to the ADL’s bigotry. As an added bonus, there will also be a celebration of Buddha’s birthday at Federation Square!

Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival incorporates the traditions of Buddhist ceremonies and celebrations including the “Bathing of the Buddha”, daily Dharma ceremonies, the Wishing Bell and traditional incense offerings, a vegetarian culinary tour of Asia alongside the Yarra on the River Terrace, cultural demonstrations and insights, music, art and craft and community service groups.

Plenty for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike!

The Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival promotes vesak in the spirit of cooperation, cultural diversity, community understanding and harmony.

You can find out more about the ADL and its previous, entirely unsuccessful attempt to whip up anti-Muslim hysteria at slackbastard; Andrew Crook of Crikey writes the following on the ADL rally:

British anti-Islamists to march on parliament
May 9, 2011

A far-right fringe group modelled on the violent English Defence League is gathering support for a rally at Melbourne’s Federation Square on Sunday to protest “Islamic extremists” and prevent Australia becoming “another Europe”.

The notorious Australian Defence League, which claims it is “time for action” to stop the spread of Sharia Law, will march from the square at noon to Parliament House and says it has received official Victoria Police approval for the event.

A missive spruiking for the rally was posted on the ADL’s online forums by British organiser Martin Brennan over the weekend. Brennan says he has been liaising with police over numbers and logistics.

“BRING YOUR BANNERS AND BRING YOUR FLAGS BE LOUD AND PROUD AND LET THE ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS KNOW WE AREN’T GONNA BE ANOTHER EUROPE. THIS IS AUSTRALIA AND NO ONE WILL TAKE THAT FROM US!!!!!,” Brennan writes.

Another commenter picks up the cudgels, stating he is preparing to “March Loud & Proud for our Nation”.

“No longer will Australians sit back and accept the Islamisation of Our Nation, nor will we accept Barbaric Sharia Law in our sensational country. We value life — Sharia Barbaric Law doesn’t — those that believe Sharia Law should be implemented into Australia, care very little for Australian People and the Australian Way of Life!!!”

The rally coincides with a Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival at the tourist mecca, sparking fears of an ugly confrontation in front of Garden State holiday makers.

A counter-protest “against racism and fascism” is also planned. Last April, the ADL’s first mobilisation attempt was successfully foiled by left-wing activists who drowned out a group of racist protesters offering up pitiful Nazi salutes. Overnight, the ADL’s Facebook page seems to have been successfully hacked by one opponent, who posted a picture of two Muslim women wearing Australian flag hijabs.

Islamic Friendship Association president Keysar Trad slammed the rally as a “crack up” full of “bigots seeking to parade themselves so that we can all know who they are”.

“Reading their site, the only thing they have to motivate people to attend is fear-mongering. There are people in our midst who are still living in the dark ages and now they are holding a demonstration to prove it,” he said, noting that the organiser was British, not Australian.

The ADL’s notorious sister organisation, the English Defence League, has become a burgeoning presence in the United Kingdom, with group members clashing with Muslim protesters on Friday outside the US Embassy in London at a “funeral service” for Osama bin Laden.

Last year the Guardian described the EDL as “the most significant far-right street movement in the UK since the National Front in the 1970s”. Many of the group’s rallies were deliberately staged to stoke anger in Muslim communities and often descended into random acts of violence, it said.

A spokesperson for Victoria Police confirmed that the force had been liaising with the group over the protest.

“Police do not provide ‘approval’ for demonstrations and protests as such, however we liaise with organisers to ensure community safety is paramount and the event is resourced as appropriate. We strongly recommend anyone planning a demonstration or protest make contact with police in the lead up to the event.”

ADL-style Hate speech is specifically banned under the federal Racial Discrimination Act, which states that it is unlawful to “do an act” that would insult, humiliate, offend or intimidate another person or group in public on the basis of their race.

The spokesperson said that police resources will be put in place to deal with the events and that “we will be closely monitoring them for criminal activity of any sort”.

A spokesperson for premier Ted Baillieu did not respond to questions over the rally before deadline.

Fight dem back · 9 May 2011 · Discussion

Pauline Hanson loses; Andrew Bolt…?

Pauline Hanson, former leader of the One Nation Party and inveterate electoral campaigner, has once again lost in her bid to become a Member of Parliament, in this case the NSW Senate:

PAULINE HANSON has failed to make a political comeback after she came within 1300 votes of securing an upper house seat, only for the Greens and the National Party to narrowly beat her on preferences…

In Melbourne, tabloid columnist Andrew Bolt- who gave Hanson equivocal support in her losing campaign, arguing she is a much better alternative than the eventual winner (the Greens)- is currently being prosecuted under the Federal Racial Discrimination Act. The case may well have important legal ramifications for public discussion on race. Former Federal Attorney General Michael Lavarch writes:

Bolt has been asked by nine complainants relying on provisions in the federal Racial Discrimination Act to account for a series of articles published in the Herald Sun.

These provisions came into law in 1995 and were introduced by me as attorney-general in the Keating government. The bill I took to the parliament was substantially amended in the Senate with only civil, as opposed to criminal, sanctions for racial vilification making it into the law.

Satirist Ben Pobjie expresses his opinion here.

Fight dem back · 13 April 2011 · Discussion

Victorian neo-Nazi used as medic in Afghanistan

By a Staff Reporter in The Age, March 23, 2011.

The story below concerns a neo-Nazi ‘skinhead’ (more frequently referred to as a bonehead by anti-racist skinheads) called Kenneth Stewart. Stewart is a leading member of the local branch of the US-based Hammerskins neo-Nazi group. The Hammerskins have a long and bloody history–over the last 20 years or so, members have been convicted for murder and numerous other violent crimes–and a global reach. In Portugal, the gang’s leader Mário Machado was last year sentenced to seven years jail for crimes of coercion, robbery, kidnapping and illegal possession of weapons. You can read more background material on the Hammerskins here. The report also refers to a growing number of neo-Nazis working as mercenaries for Western powers. The reference to Randy Krager is elaborated upon by Rose City Antifa here; earlier reports by the SPLC may be read here, here and here.

Victorian neo-Nazi used as medic in Afghanistan

A NEO-NAZI organiser from Victoria has been working as a private military contractor in Afghanistan, mocking locals and holding secret ceremonies commemorating the deaths of German soldiers in World War II.

Kenneth Stewart, 36, has worked as a military-trained paramedic, accompanying aid workers around Afghanistan. His Facebook page shows a swastika flag in his room in Kandahar, and another picture shows him surrounded by Afghans he refers to as ”my nignogs” with a friend adding the comment ”it’s lovely to see a white man back in control of the subhuman”. On Stewart’s Facebook page he regularly makes disparaging comments about Afghans, Aborigines, Jews and others.

He has worked as a medic for several aid groups based in Kandahar, including the United Nations Development Program.

The Age made several attempts to contact Mr Stewart, but received no reply.

In Melbourne, he helps recruit white supremacists to the local branch of the Southern Cross Hammerskins, an international neo-Nazi group. He described himself on one internet forum as a ”skinhead, mercenary, pork-eating viking; not bad just misunderstood”.

Anti-facist groups in the US say there are growing numbers of neo-Nazis working in the expanding private military sector, and that the Hammerskins are considered to be among the best organised and most violent neo-Nazi groups in America.

The beliefs and photos posted by Mr Stewart have been condemned by the United Nations and the contractor who hired him on their behalf.

Spokesman Brian Hansford said the UN was ”horrified by these … disturbing images”.

On Armistice Day last year, Mr Stewart posted on a white supremacist website that he and his colleagues in Kandahar had a service commemorating World War II soldiers, including Germans and Italians ”that did what they thought was right regardless of which side they were on”.

The Age has not been able to establish who Mr Stewart worked for in Afghanistan last year, but it is clear from photos on his Facebook page that he was doing similar work.

One Australian security company that has employed him said it repudiated any far-right views and said the images he posted on Facebook should be removed.

Security experts say any Nazi or racist references could risk endangering the Coalition troops fighting under the NATO banner, including personnel from the Australian Defence Forces.

In the US, an intercepted 2009 email purported to show Oregon fascist organiser Randy Krager warning his colleagues not to email him about his racist skinhead group while he was working in Afghanistan. The email read: ”All communications from the mid-east are monitored by dept. of defense and/or cia … so I will have some contact but will not be able to discuss any business, not even vaguely.”

The Southern Cross Hammerskins also organise music festivals where far-right bands perform in front of vetted audiences. Their next festival is on the Gold Coast next month.

News brief · 23 March 2011

News Briefs


Picture: Jono Searle Source: The Courier-Mail

Racist driveway graffiti stuns family
Brooke Baskin
The Courier-Mail
March 10, 2011 1:00AM

DANNY Law and his wife Ludan Chen are afraid to go outdoors after they woke to discover a racist slur scrawled across their driveway.

The Chinese and African-American couple said they were disgusted and horrified to find the words “white power rules n—–” spray-painted across the driveway of their Sunnybank Hills home on Wednesday morning.

Trio fight charges of inciting racial hatred
ABC News
Wed Mar 9, 2011 2:19pm AEDT

Three men have appeared in court charged with assaulting [and] inciting hatred against an Indian student, early last year.

I’m not a racist, says Pauline Hanson
AAP and Glenda Kwek
The Sydney Morning Herald
March 9, 2011

Former One Nation politician Pauline Hanson has denied she is racist but says multiculturalism is not helping Australia.

Ms Hanson is making a comeback to politics, standing for a NSW upper house seat with a group of 16 independents in the March 26 election.

Morrison sees votes in anti-Muslim strategy
Lenore Taylor
The Sydney Morning Herald
February 17, 2011

THE opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, urged the shadow cabinet to capitalise on the electorate’s growing concerns about “Muslim immigration”, “Muslims in Australia” and the “inability” of Muslim migrants to integrate.

News brief · 12 March 2011

White supremacist flyers offend

New Zealand Right Wing Resistance / Right Wing Resistance New Zealand (RWRNZ) is a fascist street gang, mostly composed of boneheads (neo-Nazi skinheads), and led by veteran fascist militant (and Mormon) Kyle Chapman. It’s previously boasted of conducting street patrols of Christchurch, of confronting Reds and ‘scaties’, and has been described by Chapman as “the street arm of the Nationalist Alliance”, a short-lived alliance (2008) of a handful of extreme-right political groups (including the New Zealand National Front).

Chapman announced the formation of RWRNZ in early 2009 on Stormfront, the world’s leading White supremacist website. Questioned by another anti-Semite on the group’s decision to wear White Power t-shirts rather than business suits, Chapman (‘NZTrooper’) replied:

“They are for the mainstream. We are not trying attract mainstream, this is an active org. Not a pretty one. This will be a shock and ore campaign, not a suck up to society and hope for the best.”

A brief survey of RWRNZ’s membership will confirm the fact that it’s “not pretty”; providing contact details on a flyer and when asked for comment replying with “I have nothing to say” suggests it’s not a very smart one either.

White supremacist flyers offend
Keith Lynch
The Press
January 12, 2011

An extreme right-wing group has been dropping anti-immigration flyers into Christchurch homes.

The flyer titled “Immigration or Invasion”, which was distributed by a group called New Zealand Right Wing Resistance, claims, “If current trends continue, whites will soon be a minority in this country”.

Ilam resident Ian Wilton found one of the flyers in his mailbox on Tuesday.

He said its message was “very offensive”.

“My first thought was how dare they?” he said.

“We’ve got an integrated community. It’s a mixed street with state-owned houses and tenants.”

A phone number and email address for the New Zealand Right Wing Resistance group was on the flyer.

The Press rang the number today.

The man who answered said he was part of the group, but would not say how many flyers were handed out or if more would be.

At the end of the call he said, “I have nothing to say.”

Fight dem back · 13 January 2011 · Discussion

Pauline Hanson shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, to find brown people in Britain

Let no one say that Pauline’s a racist- until they’ve read Kate Dennehy’s bit, anyway.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Pauline’s paradise lost
Kate Dennehy
November 14, 2010

PAULINE HANSON has abandoned plans to move to Britain, after discovering it is not the racially pure utopia she was hoping for.

Returning a fortnight ago from an extended holiday in Europe, the former One Nation leader has told The Sun-Herald she is back in Australia for good and considering yet another return to politics.

”I love England but so many people want to leave there because it’s overrun with immigrants and refugees,” Ms Hanson said last week.

”France is becoming filled with Muslims and the French and English are losing their way of life because they’re controlled by foreigners in the European Union.

”Problems are worse over there than they are in Australia and Australia is still the best place in the world to live but the same sorts of awful things are happening here too. Residents of Commonwealth countries who want to live here are discriminated against in favour of others.”

News brief · 14 November 2010

From The Sydney Morning Herald:

Facebook defacer unmasked as white supremacist KKK member
Asher Moses
November 12, 2010 – 7:02AM


Facebook vandal Jarred Hensley in full Ku Klux Klan regalia.

One of the men responsible for the grotesque defacing of Facebook tribute pages, including that of dead Melbourne teen Cameron Lowe, is a high-ranking Ku Klux Klan member who served two years in jail for viciously beating a 16-year-old Latino boy.

Jarred Hensley, 28, from Cincinnati, Ohio, outed himself to a pair of Australian vigilantes on a website chat room used by his group to organise and gloat about desecrating scores of Facebook tribute pages.

This week, the group was responsible for vandalising the pages of Lowe, 17, who died after being punched in the head, and Chantelle Rowe, 16, from Adelaide, who was murdered along with her parents. They harassed grieving family members through private messages and published obscene images on the tribute pages.

Facebook has removed the images and banned the users responsible but the largely US group is outside the reach of Australian law. Local law officials say it is not a crime to deface Facebook tribute pages and while politicians have expressed outrage, they have acknowledged that it is difficult to act as the vandals are based overseas.

But two concerned Australians decided to visit the forum where the vandals congregate and infiltrate their chat room. They purposely baited Hensley on the chat room and he appeared there on webcam to give them the finger.

The identities of the two vigilantes are known to this website, however, we have agreed to keep them anonymous in this story.

“He was only too proud to give out his name and he said come and get me, because he knows that international laws aren’t there for Australians to do anything,” said one of the Australian vigilantes in a phone interview.

Using the webcam image and the name, it was easy to verify the identity of Hensley, thanks to the distinctive tattoos that cover his arms. Hensley is pictured online in formal KKK regalia giving a Hitler salute with white power and Nazi flags in the background.

News brief · 12 November 2010

German social networks wage virtual war on rightists

BERLIN | Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:59am EDT

BERLIN (Reuters Life!) – A group of web 2.0 communities in Germany has launched a campaign called “Social Networks against Nazis” in a bid to fight right-wing extremism on the Internet.

The campaign’s organizers, who were backed at the launch on Monday by Consumer Affairs Minister Ilse Aigner, say right-wing extremists have used social networking sites to air racist and anti-Semitic views, call for violence, reach audiences otherwise unacquainted with neo-Nazi ideas and to test acceptance thresholds.

Their campaign calls for user involvement in clamping down on such activities. Banners and buttons on participating sites encourage users to report racist posts, videos and profiles so that they can then be deleted, sending neo-Nazis a clear signal.

“There’s too much data uploaded to these networks every day for everything to be monitored, but sites can react quickly to tip-offs from other users,” the campaign’s website (www.netz-gegen-nazis.de) says.

The list of 20 participating networks includes MySpace and the video sharing platform YouTube.

Users are also called upon to support victims in discussion groups and to contradict any racist and anti-Semitic viewpoints. They can also join groups related to the campaign.

The campaign comes after the revelation this summer that neo-Nazi activity on the internet in Germany has reached an all-time high. There were 1,872 known neo-Nazi websites in Germany last year, according to German media reports.

Aigner encouraged social networks to exercise their “domestic authority” to ban Nazis.

Far-right extremism has plagued parts of Germany, where there are about 26,000 right-wing extremists, according to the online portal “www.netz-gegen-nazis.”

A group of suspected neo-Nazis tried to remove the sign for a street named “Jews’ Alley” in the northwestern German city of Aachen this weekend, according to local police, while neo-Nazis in the town of Kleinmachnow near Berlin sprayed swastikas and other Nazi symbols onto a Soviet memorial.

(Editing by Elaine Lies)

News brief · 18 October 2010

Inflating the impact of asylum seekers for political gain is bullshit

From GetUp:

News brief · 18 August 2010