Background Briefing has today published the results of an investigation into neo-Nazi infiltration of the Young Nationals in New South Wales.

Earlier this year The Australian and The Land newspapers reported that a “former” alt-right figure, Clifford Jennings, had been elected to the Young Nationals state executive at their May 2018 conference in Lismore.

The Land reported that Jennings and “an alleged alt-right bloc attempting to hijack proceedings” and that:

A motion calling for strict controls on migrants who were not from ‘culturally appropriate nations’ was narrowly defeated after a 90-minute debate.

Responding to media inquiries back in May, Jennings claimed he had long since abandoned any connection with the alt-right and denied that he had any “sympathies towards white nationalism or the alt-right movement”.

The Background Briefing report details how a group of up to 25 people with links to the far-right joined the Young Nationals in New South Wales just in time for this years conference. Despite their denials, it is clear that Clifford Jennings and others involved in the group have fascist politics and that they joined the Young Nationals with the explicit aim of capturing that organisation for the far-right.

This information has come to light as the result of an ongoing project by research group, the White Rose Society. White Rose researchers have gained access to a range of Facebook groups used by the far-right.

Clifford Jennings and other NSW Young Nationals infiltrators were members of a closed Facebook group called The New Guard. Facebook records reveal the group was created on 25 February 2017 and that it was originally titled “Fash Queensland”. The about section describes the group’s politics:

“Our Cause started with an Australian fascist group – the original new guard… We are the soil in which the movement will grow. Our Objectives are to enable nationalists to begin businesses, acquire funds, learn skills… Nationalists, fascists, national socialists, libertarians, Christians, pagans, agnostics, atheists and truth seekers are welcome in this place.”

The group’s administrator signed posts as “The Aussie Fascist”.

In this group, Jennings and others discussed far-right politics, made plans, and recruited young people drawn to fascist politics online to undertake action in the “real world”. To the media, Jennings has claimed that he has long since ended his association with the far-right.

But in January 2017 on a closed Facebook group Jennings wrote:

“I view fascism as being in the interests of my blood, it’s probably better to just call me a nationalist, all I care about is the fourteen words”.

Jennings’ posts are littered with references to coded neo-Nazi slogans.

The Young Nationals infiltrators have since moved from organising online. The group has links to both the Lads Society and neo-Nazi outfit Antipodean Resistance. Background Briefing journalist Alex Mann staked out the Lads Society HQ in Sydney and confirms in his report that multiple members of the far-right plot attend its Friday fight nights.

The Background Briefing report indicates that The Nationals are taking fascist infiltration of their party seriously, and that a number of individuals with revealed links to far-right politics have been sent ‘show cause’ notices which could result in the termination of their memberships. Jennings is yet to be expelled from the party.

Background Briefing will air on Radio National this Sunday, you can click through to listen to their story here. A transcript is not yet available.

Extensive screenshots, photos and other documents, along with profiles of five more far-right activists involved in the Young Nationals infiltration have been posted online by the White Rose Society today.

The far-right infiltrators mentioned in the Radio National piece are Clifford Jennings, Thomas Brasher, Oscar Tuckfield, Nicholas Walker and Michael Heeney. The White Rose Society has also compiled profiles on Stuart Churchill, Lisa Sandford, and Justin Beulah.

The far-right in Australia are active, organising, and seeking inroads into mainstream politics. The likes of Fraser Anning, Pauline Hanson and Clive Palmer are making various barely concealed appeals to this constituency. The Young Nationals infiltrators are just one far-right group who have moved from closed Facebook groups to “real world” politics, theirs is unlikely to be the last attempt.

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Here are some links and tidbits, September 2016.

August tied July for hottest month on record.

Randall Munroe of XKCD has published a lovely little graphic explaining just how abnormal recent temperature changes have been.

It seems increasingly likely that children today will live to see a world of 4.5 degrees of warming.

4.5 degrees.

4.5 degrees. xkcd.

Anarchist Affinity have released issue four of their zine, The Platform. I’ve contributed an article, titled ‘Your consumer choices won’t save the planet‘:

Ethical consumerism is worse than useless. The false choice of “ethical consumption” gives those firms most exposed to the risks of consumer backlash a ready source of green wash, and it provides new opportunities to sell “ethical” products at higher prices. Whilst doing this, “ethical consumerism” diverts attention away from the dynamic that is destroying our environment, exploiting workers, and wasting resources.

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The Campaign Against Racism and Fascism have a forum next Tuesday entitled Making Melbourne a Hanson Free Zone, speakers include Inaz Janif, Jeff Sparrow, and Jack Latimore.

Annoying fascist slime ball Neil Erikson is apparently facing some kind of legal action. The Facebook page ‘Australian Settlers Rebellion’ (operated by Erikson and Shermon Burgess) has put up a post calling on fascists to support Erikson at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 6 March 2017, and states that Erikson has been “charged under the Communist Racial Discrimination Laws for depicting a Religious Act”.

If Erikson has been charged, then it could well relate to last year’s beheading stunt in Bendigo. Erikson was accompanied on that jaunt by Blair Cottrell, Chris Shortis, Lyndon Watson, and John Wilkinson.

Or it could be a publicity stunt with no basis in reality. Prosecutions for racial vilification are exceptionally rare, and Erikson’s name does not appear to be on the Magistrate Court list for the day in question.

Apparently some 49% of Australians support a ban on Muslim immigration. The Essential research poll is based on an ‘online panel’ of a thousand people who receive incentives to complete surveys…

None the less, the poll’s other questions about the return of Pauline Hanson to federal parliament pose a significant problem for anti-racists. 42% of respondents agreed with the statement “I agree with a lot of what Pauline Hanson says and it’s good to see her back in Parliament”. 62% of respondents agreed that “I might not personally agree with everything she says but she is speaking for a lot of ordinary Australians” and 65% agreed that “Pauline Hanson talks about issues other politicians too scared to tackle”.

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Casual academics and tutors are organising at La Trobe University. The La Trobe Casuals Collective is holding an organising workshop on October 20.

Easy Money: The Reserve Bank of Australia and the tremors in capital accumulation‘ makes for interesting reading:

Unorthodox monetary policy is like a vast anti-gravity machine that has been able to delay the day of reckoning. The cost however is that it postpones crisis today by accumulating even greater and greater sources of risk. Unorthodox monetary policy today seems to necessitate unorthodox monetary policy tomorrow. It does seem unlikely that this can go on forever…

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After months of rumours and false starts, there is now reliable information that Golden Dawn MEP Giorgos Epitideios will be in Australia and holding events in Melbourne and Sydney, 16-20 November.

SEE: The Guardian, Golden Dawn: far right Greek party members pay ‘stealth visit’ to Australia, “Two members plan to raise money and meet local supporters in Sydney and Melbourne this week”.

Golden Dawn is a violent fascist organisation in Greece, that has attempted to build support in the Greek diaspora community in Australia and around the world. This tour of Australia comes at a key time for Golden Dawn, and opposing them now is critical.

As a fascist organisation Golden Dawn has its roots in the military dictatorship of 1967-1974, but until recently they have been at most a marginal political force. In 2012 they capitalised on the the waves of anger and discontent at mainstream Greek politics in 2012 to win 18 seats in the Greek Parliament. Their violent apparatus has close links with the repressive apparatus of the Greek state, and is renowned for it’s violent attacks on immigrants, the workers movement, anarchists, left groups, and the queer community.

The Greek state has subsequently turned on Golden Dawn:

Golden Dawn (GD), as we knew it, is over. Their leader N. Michaloliakos is behind bars, along with other prominent members, while those who survived the first purge are facing added charges that emerged a few days after the first arrests. While this was happening, a number of their offices around Greece have closed down, the state funding they received has been stopped, and reports indicate that many of their members (ex or current) are forming lines outside the High Court to testify against the organization.

For an analysis of the how and why check out When the state turns antifa.

Golden Dawn is on the defensive in Greece, and as such is seeking support abroad. Golden Dawn MEP Giorgos Epitideios, a former general, is in Australia as part of a respectability campaign.

Within Greece, Golden Dawn want to be able to claim that they have support from the Greek diaspora, and that they’re seen as respectable internationally.

Within Australia they want to pitch to the Greek community, in particular to organise funding to offset the losses they have suffered following the attacks on their organisation in Greece.

A solid, public and overwhelming rejection of these fascists in Australia would send a strong message of support to anti-fascists in Greece, would harm fascist propaganda in Greece, and would prevent these violent thugs organising among the fringes of the diaspora community.

A Welcoming Committee

Information is being disseminated through the No to Golden Dawn in Melbourne facebook page and twitter account. The event page Disrupt and Dismantle Welcome Collective will be updated to the address and dates of Golden Dawn events in Australia as information comes to hand.

A statement condemning Golden Dawn has been signed by ten Australian trade unions including the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association, the Communications Workers Unions, the Community and Public Sector Union, the Construction and General Division of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), the Maritime Union of Australia, the National Tertiary Education Union, the National Union of Workers and the Textile, and the Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia.

A call to action will be issued by the No to Golden Dawn in Melbourne group in the coming days.

What Needs to Happen

The Golden Dawn events in Melbourne are already appropriately infiltrated. The time and location of the planned events is expected to be released at very short notice, at some point between 16 and 20 November.

Anyone who cares about opposing fascists in Australia and in Greece should prepare to respond in this time frame. In order to oppose and disrupt Golden Dawn in Australia, we need to muster hundreds of opponents of fascism at a particular location in the Melbourne area at short notice.

Make ready in your organisations, unions, and community groups. Keep an active watch on the No to Golden Dawn events and facebook page. Tell everyone you know about this, spread the word that these dimwits are coming and we are going to drive them away. When Golden Dawn attempt to show their heads in our city, let’s drown them out, break them up, and drive them out.

– Kieran.

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