“Those sort of characters belong in 1930s Berlin.”

From The Aussie.

Far-right groups admit to role
David King
December 13, 2005

EXTREMIST groups accused of links to neo-Nazis have admitted mobilising more than 100 people to attend the riots in Cronulla.

Jim Saleam, the NSW secretary of ultra-nationalist group Australia First, said his members had recruited up to 120 people for the rally but denied they were involved in violence.

“We do have some local supporters and these guys mobilised their family friends, mates, work-mates, associates, every Jack and Harry, to come,” Dr Saleam said.

NSW Police Minister Carl Scully confirmed that extremists had taken part in the riots.

“There appears to be an element of white supremacists and they really have no place in mainstream Australian society,” Mr Scully said.

“Those sort of characters belong in 1930s Berlin.”

Skinheads wearing boots, braces and neo-Nazi emblems were among the mob of 5000.

Three far-right organisations — Australia First, The Patriotic Youth League and the Newcastle-based Blood and Honour — handed out racist pamphlets.

All three are considered to have neo-Nazi links.

Australia First and the PYL deny any association.

Australia First had links to the failed political party One Nation, led by Queensland’s Pauline Hanson.

Australia First founder Graeme Campbell sought in 2003 to gain control of the West Australian arm of One Nation.

The founder of the Patriotic Youth League, Stuart McBeth, is a former One Nation activist.

Anti-race hate campaigner Matt Henderson-Hau, who runs the Fightdemback.org website, said he had information that only one of the skinheads at the rally came from within the Sutherland Shire.

“The rest came from the Central Coast, Newcastle and other parts of Sydney,” he said.

Dr Saleam, who was jailed for 3 1/2 years in 1991 for possessing a firearm and organising a shotgun attack on the home of the African National Congress’s Australian representative, Eddie Funde, refused to condemn the racial violence.

“Rather than say that one supports what people did, all I’d say to you is: I wouldn’t condone it, but I wouldn’t condemn it,” Dr Saleam said.

Police videos would show that none of the “two-dozen or so” members of his group who attended had been violent, he said.

Patriotic Youth League spokesman Luke Connors confirmed that his group attended the riot and had handed out anti-migration literature.

“There was only a few people there, mostly girls with their boyfriends, handing out a few leaflets with ‘Aussies fighting back’ on them,” he said.

“It wasn’t a full-on operation, we didn’t plan a full-on operation. Australia First did, not us.”

Mr Henderson-Hau said neo-Nazis had manipulated the crowd at Cronulla.

“If you remove the Nazis from the equation, you will go a long way to dousing the flames and hopefully some cool heads will emerge on both sides,” said Mr Henderson-Hau.

Dr Saleam has a PhD from the University of Sydney. The title of his thesis was The Other Radicalism: An Inquiry Into Contemporary Australian Extreme Right Ideology, Politics and Organisation 1975-1995.

News brief · 13 December 2005