Who’s Who in the Fascist Zoo? (Mid-2018)

Well, well, well, here we are again. Having to shine a light on all the racist, fascist scum running around Narrm (so-called Melbourne). Y’know what? We don’t want to do this. We don’t want to spend our time researching and tracking these knuckle-dragging scum bags. We’d all much prefer building a society we think we deserve. Based on equality, sustainability and mutual aid. But as long as there are fascists on the streets, there needs to be anti-fascists to stop them.

Anti-fascism is more than punching Nazis (although, it’s also punching Nazis). It’s about understanding who they are, how fascists organise and making sure we educate the community about their activities before they have a chance to spread their bullshit ideology. An ideology based on scapegoating minorities to obtain authoritarian power. We know this though, right? So let’s know who we’re fighting.

This is not an exhaustive list, by any stretch of the imagination. SlackBastard provided a rundown back in December 2016 from across so-called Australia here. We’re gonna focus on what’s happening in Narrm at the moment. So here we go. Let’s dive into the sewers of the far right organising.

The Lads Society

Basically, Blair ‘hang a picture of Hitler in every class room’ Cottrell and his old UPF mate Tom Sewell have had enough of pretending to be ‘civic’ nationalists (the fuck does that even mean?) and are happy to openly embrace their ideology of ethno-nationalism through their Nazi Club House in Cheltenham. Check out the great work by South East Community Action outlining their bullshit Nazi ideologies. Here’s their ‘crew’ photo, know some? Let us know

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Blair Cottrell
I’m sure we all now Mr. Roid, Blair Cottrell, he’s the ego-maniac who can’t pass up an opportunity to get in front of a camera and spew his toxic ideology. We’d write about how he thinks a copy of Mein Kampf should be given to every school kid, or how Hitler’s photo should be hung in every classroom, or how he stalked his ex-partner’s new boyfriend with a weapon, or how he tried to burn down his house but this has already all been written about (here and while he was in prison). He’s at the centre of the Lads Society because his ego dictates he has to be. Where they will be, he will be.

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Tom Sewell
Blair’s 2IC, Tommy Sewell, seems to be putting in a fair bit of work behind the scenes at the Lads Society. They posted a photo of ‘essential’ reading, including Mein Kamfp. Him and Blair were celebrating Hitler’s Birthday at a German pub back in 2017, classy fellas:

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Also, here’s Tommy talking about having to cleanse Australia of non-white’s on The Young Conservative’s post about the Alt-Right (more of this 19-year-old boy later…)

If you ask us, this is Tommy Sewell calling for the ethnic cleansing of non-whites, while trying to avoid the ‘historical worship’ to Nazism, as it isn’t ‘productive’.

Stuart Von Moger
Stuart has been hanging around with the ‘Lads’ for a while now, here’s a photo from the Milo event in December 2017:

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He has given a ‘workshop’ to the other Lads about the ‘Security Industry’ and should be expected at most events the other knuckle-draggers attend.

Jacob Hersant

This ‘Lad’ has been hanging out at the KKKlub House and is also one of those Antipodean Resistance National Socialists. We’ve seen him posting around on facebook asking people in interracial relationships how they feel about their kids not looking like them. We’re putting his details here because SlackBastard has done the work to explicitly highlight his connection to the Lads Society. He’s there on the right of this photo at the Lad’s Society clubhouse.

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We should also talk about the flag Swastika bois…

Antipodean Resistance

I think most of us are aware of these guys, right? They poster disgusting propaganda around in the shadows of the night after being birthed from the absolute bottom dregs of the internet (AKA the now-defunct Iron March Forums). Listen, you can read about them in a bunch of places (see below), but what you should know is that they are mates with all of the groups that try to present themselves as ‘patriots’ (see Jacob Hersant / Lads Society above). They were birthed from fascist mobilisations on the streets of Melbourne and radicalised through the internet with involvement with the terrorist-labelled National Action from the UK (who planned to murder a Labour MP), the Nordic Resistance Movement (who bombed a refugee centre) and Atomwaffen in the U.S who are linked to the murder of 5 people. Their violent ideology is out in the open, it’s about time the people behind it are, too.

More reading:
SlackBastard
ABC Ethics and Religion
Sydney Criminal Lawyers

Cooks Convicts / Nationalist Uprising / Future Now Neil Erikson

Neil Erikson
If someone can help us keep up with serial pest Neil Erikson’s milieu of Facebook pages hit us up. Neil is a mess, he was a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi back in the day, was convicted for stalking and demanding money from a Rabbi, rolled through Reclaim Australia, United Patriots Front, Nationalists Uprising and now spends other peoples money being a racist gronk. Basically, he thinks he’s funny (he’s not), thinks he isn’t racist (he is) and as a recent judge commented has a “tenuous relationship with the truth“.

Listen, we’re gonna give you a hot tip here… there’s gonna be a recurring theme of men needing to be the centre of attention and pretending they’re important and Neil is no exception. His goal is to stir up controversy and then try to use the publicity to get a few more ‘Likes’ on Facebook. He used to run around with legitimately violent gangs that nearly killed Vietnamese student Minh Duong. These days Neil is more likely to run away from a confrontation but his racist scapegoating ideology still festers a huge amount of racist hatred on his Facebook pages and is used as a constant base of violent beliefs.

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Ricky Turner
So, Ricky Turner is officially ‘Cooks Convicts 2IC’ (that makes us sad just writing that, to be honest). From what we can tell that means that Ricky T can post incoherent videos from the Cooks Convicts Facebook page and gets pushed in to instigate violence at a rally. Ricky seems a bit more keen to get into a bit of biff than Erikson but we’re pretty sure he isn’t allowed out into the real world without Neil so expect them to be side by side, like when they were at court…

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(L: Ricky Turner, R: Neil Erikson)

Rino ‘Bluebeard’ Grgurovic
If being Cooks Convicts 2IC was sad then we’re not sure what to say about Blue-beard. He generally follows Erikson and Turner around, sometimes films their racist stunts and is basically a third-tier bottom-feeder. You can find him pretty quickly because of his… blue beard…

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We don’t want to trivialise the impact these racists can have because there’s plenty of people who believe every piece of bullshit they post but with their incoherent ideology (beyond racism) and their inclination to harassment we reckon it’s best to not to bite on their shitty antics and tell them to jog on.

True Blue Crew

Basically, the True Blew crew is Kane Miller and some like-minded racists from Melton and Bendigo that want to get into some biff and try to make a buck out of it. They formed as ‘security’ for fascist rallies in 2015 and sold $140 hoodies and astronomical membership fees. There’s been a fair bit written about what happened to this money, assuming most of it went directly into the pocket of Kano. These guys are pretty easy to spot, based on their ugly af $140 hoodies and $60 caps as displayed here by a guy from Melton walking through Eltham telling a man from Eltham what people in Eltham want…

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As with all groups, most people hover around the self-proclaimed ‘leader’, in this case, it’s Kane Miller:

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Luckily most of the time the True Blue Crew will be wearing their gear. If you see someone we would recommend to be wary to engage and only with extreme caution. The whole point of the group is to be a violent gang. Their former member, Philip Galea is also being charged with terrorism charges after allegedly plotting to bomb leftist building in Melbourne.

Avi Yemini / Australian Liberty Alliance

Avi Yemini has been pushing his anti-Muslim hatred to ride the racist wave of post-9/11 bigotry towards Muslims (or whoever they deem ‘looks Muslim’). Jews Against Fascism and the Australian Democratic Jewish Society have been monitoring the activities of Avi and calling him out on his bullshit. Avi doesn’t understand that the only reason he’s welcome in (some) far-right circles is that people feel like they can leverage anti-Muslim hatred to their goal of ethnic cleansing. This has resulted in Avi finding himself in abhorrent company, notably Nazis

Affiliated with Israeli Defense Force (IDF) gyms around Australia, he’s sure to wear a Krav Maga shirt to a rally to front. But we hear he can’t actually fight and is a big baby. Still worth being careful around however.

Avi is going to run under the banner of the Australian Liberty Alliance for the Victorian Parliament later this year. So he’s currently touring the country trying to drum up as much support as possible. From the looks of it, his entire platform is based on scapegoating Muslims and African-Australians and trying to stir up as much controversy as possible so that people will care about him. Here he is making light of sexual assault with Sydney Watson…

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If you see Avi about, he’s probably going to be hanging out with Daniel Jones (AKA Francis Castiglione from being normal on Facebook)

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Daniel Jones will generally play dress ups as Avi’s ‘bodyguard’ and is largely performative (see below). But anyone that posts this kinda thing online and is a racist scumbag is obviously dangerous and could often be armed. In fact, this guy is. See in his tactical vest… That’s a tactical pen. He teaches people in facebook videos how to stab people in the face with them. Consider this one of the only fascists we know about that appears sufficiently trained in self-defense.

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Chris Shortis / United Nationalists Australia

Shortis is the one who is most openly pushing his white nationalist agenda out of the scraps of what was once the United Patriots Front. After he was convicted (along with Blair and Erikson) for inciting serious contempt he’s spent his time writing horribly anti-semitic posts on his United Nationalists Australia blog and making equally as fucked videos through his (White) Australia First page.

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Shortis likes to wear a suit (when he isn’t wearing that leather jacket of his) but never fear, this dapper middle-aged gentleman has for a long time been happy to stroll down the street with branded Nazis.

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Shortis hasn’t been out and about lately, however, he’s been dunking on Avi (because Shortis is an anti-semitic Nazi scumbag) and the True Blue Crew have taken Shortis’ side, so he might raise his head this weekend for the Flagwit Rally.

Active Front / Active Front Line

Basically, there’s a few reactionary soccer ‘hooligans’ that want to play tough-boys online and look for a bit of biff. Their page keeps getting shut down, they can’t seem to increase their reach beyond like, 80 people. One of their admins, Danijel Jakov, is a pretty regular troll online. As it’s the off-season for A-League it looks like some lads will make their way down to the True Blue Crew rally on Sunday 23rd June of June looking for a fight. We’ve got a number of tips about who these fellas are but haven’t confirmed them yet, however it’s a good reminder that it’s good to be safe as there’ll likely be small gangs roaming the city looking for fights.

The Young Conservative

Some 19-year-old private school boy who goes to Uni in Melbourne is trying to make a name for himself by being a young racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, misogynistic jerk. You saw him get cornered by Tommy Sewell into effectively admitting he is a white nationalist and has the most confused ideology. Basically, he’s making short, scripted videos to get some attention and feel like he’s achieving something for himself by getting some likes on Facebook. I guess when your parents buy you an Audi as a teenager you might not really know what it’s like to do something purposeful so attacking minorities online to get some Facebook likes might stroke that fragile ego.

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Old mate here tries to act tough online and gets ‘angry’ but we’d be surprised if he was a threatening IRL. His page attracts a bunch of Alt-Right, neo-nazis and disgusting comments. We reckon he should grow up, realise there’s more to life than trying to impress the big kids on the playground and get out of this downward spiral before he becomes full edge-lord endorsing ethnic cleansing like the rest of the /pol kids.

Soldiers of Odin

A couple of years ago there was a pretty comprehensive post about the Soldiers of Odin. You can read more about how they’re linked to the European SOO group who are expressly neo-Nazi on the link above, but what we want to stress here is that the Soldiers of Odin are a racist street gang that are regularly mobile at demonstrations. Luckily they generally wear their SOO gear so you can easily identify them and avoid them if need be.

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Basically, any far-right rally will see at least a few of these racists parading their merch so always be vigilant and keep an eye out as they’ve been violent in the past and may attack anyone they deem to be vulnerable.

Infidel Brotherhood

Another Facebook group that flogs merch to people who want to be in a recreational racist street gang. They wear their uniform to try to impress people and there’ll generally be at least a few at most rallies.

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Their logo is super distinct, and although they may not be actively looking for a fight like some other groups you definitely want to steer clear of them.

Media

An important part of the fascist media is their messaging and how it’s interpreted. We obviously have no faith in conservative or liberal media to do the research required to truly call out these violent ideologies for what they are. The Murdoch Press will largely report uncritically or draw a false equivalency to the left, however, there are also smaller ‘media’ outlets that work purely as a fascist mouthpiece for these groups. The Unshackled and XYZ are ones that are trying to provide a veneer of legitimacy to their bullshit ‘news’ and ‘reporting’.

The Unshackled 

The Unshackled has run stories praising the Lads Society Nazi KKKlubhouse, fanboy Blair Cottrell, attend events with Antipodean Resistance members and are all ’round scumbags.

There’s nothing journalistic about this, it’s purely an attempt to collate and legitimise fascist and racist street groups. They held a poll for CIS-White Male of the Year and their readers voted David-fucking-Duke the ‘winner’… I mean, they chose to post this shit, what more do we need to say?

Well, what we do need to say is that if they show up at any event, all antifascists need to tell them to jog the fuck on. They are an extension of the fascists they praise, and there’s no benefit in giving them any leeway, they aren’t media, they aren’t reporters, they are racist, fascist propagandists and shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near antifascists for our collective safety.

See these guys around (or someone else in Unshackled gear) make sure they don’t photograph / film antifascists.

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XYZ

This is the Alt-Right, shit posting, anti-semitic hub of shitty fucking wanna-be Daily Stormer losers. XYZ have ‘hung out’ with the Dingoes who are the grossest cellar-dwellers on Australian’s Nazi-Twitter. Hosted by the Right Stuff, the worlds largest neo-Nazi podcast network, SlackBastard has written about them here.

We don’t necessarily expect them coming out to the street but this is another reminder, ‘photographers’, ‘journalists’ and ‘curious observers’ aren’t your mates unless you have antifascists vouching for them. If you wanna know why some people choose to mask up, read this account of awful harassment, so even if you choose not to mask up, that’s cool, but recognise that a lot of people have skepticism about anyone passing as a ‘journalist’ or ‘photographer’ and help out your fellow comrades by telling them they aren’t welcome to take photos and to respect the requests of others. They may be a ‘well-meaning’ photographer / journalist (who could still do a lot of damage) or they may be a fascist trying to profile activists.

Some random local fascists for good measure:

Jarolf Meekler (possible Antipodean Resistance):

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Nathaniel Everest (possible Lad’s Society):

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Bryce Jacques:

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Paul Andrew

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Matt Mulartschuk

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Willem Briansson:

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James Campbell:

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Piero Thymiopoulos

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Getting ready for Sunday’s flagwit march

Alright! We’re using the blog again.

This post is here to serve a few purposes, so skip down the page to find what you’re after if some of this doesn’t feel relevant to you:

1. To let people know the playing field on the far-right and the State (the cops) and generally what we’ll be up against on Sunday.
2. How to be prepared and safe coming to, being at, and going from the rally.
3. A bit about the capacity of the police and the issue of photographers.
4. How we can be even more organised in future.

First, the rally:

The True Blue Crew are throwing their second flag-waving (read: excuse for a biff) rally in the city Sunday the 24th. They aim to arrive at noon, so we’ll be there from 11am. Below is the poster that’s been done up for it, and here’s the corresponding event page.

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Secondly, opportunities for future organisation:

Simply rocking up on the day of a rally is the very tip of the iceberg of what it means to be an anti-fascist.

Anti-fascists spend lots of time organising and talking with people in their communities, databasing fascists, reading, writing, training, designing propaganda, stickering and postering, meeting with contacts, doing various initiatives, supporting and organising other rallies and events in solidarity with other groups.

Although showing up to a rally is definitely bloody awesome, there is always a lot more that needs doing. The more people that are lending a hand, the better our initiatives, rallies and efforts are as anti-fascists. Simple as that.

So before we get on to other matters, we’d first like to formally encourage anyone who wants to be a part of all that other stuff anti-fascists do to express interest to the page most relevant to you.

We’ve made it easy; just click on the respective image and it’ll take you to the facebook page for that anti-fascist group. From there, send them something about wanting to get organised and they’ll figure out the rest.

Note: DYVRS are based in the Yarra Valley.

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Are none of these groups near you? Organise an antifascist group in your neighbourhood! These resources from the Antifascist Network (UK) and It’s Going Down (US) might be interesting.

So, the fascists are at it again:

Let’s remind ourselves for a moment why we do what we do.

The fascists haven’t managed to self-destruct – despite the maelstrom of sectarian beefs that constantly surface. And… they haven’t been debated away or loved into submission – much to the dismay of the liberals.

The fascists in so-called Australia are still milking one of the cornerstones of modern capitalism; the racist scapegoating of groups of people for the problems capitalism creates – growing wealth inequality, a lack of stable jobs, increasing lack of resources and services for regular people, all blamed on the current scapegoat; Muslims. Before that, it was another group falsely blamed, and you better believed Nazis were there to stoke that hate and recruit off that scapegoating too.

The cops won’t do shit about the growing popularity of fascist and far-right wing ideas, the best they could manage is deal with the individual crimes in their ones and twos as they pop up, if that. Hell, we know lots of cops get jobs on the force to manifest their racist ideas with impunity. The other cops that think they’ve found an honourable vocation will be called out to facilitate fascist rallies and allow the groups we despise to grow and recruit. Blissfully unaware of their part in reinforcing the system that stokes the racism and hate in people – that leads to the same groundswell of fascist street mobilisations they so painstakingly protect. The same street mobilisations that built the support base for One Nation to be elected and to start tipping discourse even further to the right, and further toward hate, xenophobia, surveillance, national insecurity, war, offshore prisons, and closed borders.

Fascism doesn’t happen overnight. It grows slowly. And so on a good day the elected protectors of society, the cops, might muscle in a fascist building bombs to blow up left-wing clubhouses, or convict a few for beheading a dummy of a Muslim, or committing hate crimes, but have a crucial part in facilitating those ideas growing in their heads in the first place. We’ll borrow a popular phrase from anti-fascists in so-called America; Cops and Klan go hand-in-hand, fucking literally:

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So, how do we deal with this problem we see growing and developing? Especially if the people we elect to protect us from this shit are part of the problem. What do we do with those who if they got their way would deny the freedoms of so many?

We deny those people the freedom and opportunity to deny others freedom.

We get to their rally point before they do. We occupy their space and fill it with a message of solidarity and community, not hate and racism. We deny them their march route through the centre of the city. We call their bosses and let them know they’re providing a living to a Nazi who would deny that same living, and perhaps even a life, to others. They may use their right to free speech to voice their opinions, but we won’t let them be free from the consequences of what they say, and more fundamentally, what they believe and the movements they build with those beliefs.

So, if they’re not going away, those who believe in equality and justice have to put up posters and talk to people and get up early to challenge this bullshit in the streets. And on that note…

The Playing Field – who we’re dealing with:

There are various active fascist groups in Melbourne at the moment, and lots of them have endorsed this rally.

The True Blue Crew: The mutts throwing the thing. Well known for charging exorbitant fees for membership and merch (that only got covered in dirt and pepper spray) and then that money being swindled by a certain member, somehow this mob of fuckboys still have their wobbly legs underneath them. Things have been a bit quiet though, but they might bring a number of people out for their expensive fashion parade.

The Lad’s Society: Nazis have a clubhouse again. Here’s some info put together by South-East Community Action about what we might be able to do about said clubhouse and a petition has launched to shut it down. A cover photo on their page and promotional video suggests there are a reasonable number of Nazis meeting regularly in Cheltenham to circle-jerk, wear frumpy suits and punch each other. And let us just say that whoever let that promotional video out of the editing room should be fired. We are now acutely aware that none of the roided swinging-dicks on the Right could fight their way out of a paper bag. Cheers for the laughs fellas. Anyway, South-East Community Action put that Hanson song over it and though it was funny, nothing beats the comedic effect of the original.

Active Frontline: The rally has been endorsed by this small band of foaming at the mouth right-wing soccer ‘hooligans’ who keep getting their page shut down for trying to start biffs with anti-fascists over the internet. They have also endorsed this rally.

Avi Yemini & co: Avi hasn’t promoted this event from his page at a glance, but he could foreseeably have a presence in the city or at the TBC rally. Daniel Jones, who operates as Avi’s body-guard is featured in facebook videos showing people how to stab people with tactical pens, one of which he would certainly have on him at a rally like this.

Future Now/Cook’s Convicts/Whatever the fuck else: Least but not last, Neil Erikson has endorsed the rally through one of the 30 groups he’s started over the last 2 years. He is still actively being an absolute nong in public, seemingly for a living since it appears he never worked for toll, despite wearing a toll shirt all the time to give himself working class cred…? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. He interrupted a refugee rally to say that all refugees are rapists, he’s been hassling the Gosford Church, doing toy graffiti in Sydney tunnels (shout out to crew up north for sorting that out) and generally avoiding conditions placed upon him by the courts for past nonsense he’s been involved in. We’re not too worried about his capacity to bring anyone other than maybe his four-strong cartoonish band of fellow dipshits, but he has endorsed the rally on his pages and that might be worth noting. Also worth noting is that he seems on reasonable terms with Blair again… Easier to follow the betrayals and friendships on ‘Days of Our Lives’.

The Unshackled: This sad gaggle of basement dwellers try to pass as a ‘news’ website. They’re effectively a mouthpiece for the racist and fascists that are attending the rally. You can basically hear the awkward, nervous fan-boy giggles as they promote the Nazi scum over at the Lads Society in this ‘article‘. There’s a chance that the Unshackled will try to ‘report’ at the rally on Sunday, we’d recommend to politely tell them to jog on if they try to film, take photos, or ask for comments.

Cops: Yep, they belong here. They’re not on our side, and by our estimates they’ve been the force that’s come out on top at quite a few rallies. We can’t forget to consider that it is a PR nightmare for them that we are out on the street, taking measures the State doesn’t take in quashing fascists. They want to seem like they are in control, and so don’t expect cops to be nice to you, and if they are expect that it’s only to get information out of you.

Some tips for dealing with them.

  • Avoid talking to them in general. There are usually police liaison roles elected, and so if that’s not you in that role, ‘no comment’ is the best comment.
  • You may be searched. Avoid having items that could be construed as weapons in your bag, or expect to lose them and expect a fine in exchange.
  • Note that wearing a mask and engaging in criminal activity in a ‘designated area’ can get you up to double the punishment. Still useful to bring as copping a face full of pepper spray is no good, but it’s worth noting that they haven’t pursued a landmark case regarding the new anti-masking laws, so it’d pay not to be the first. This older resource by the Melbourne Activist Legal Service is still relevant and useful regarding this topic and beyond.
  • Furthermore, the cops recently bought new weapons like a pepperball semi-automatic rifle and rubber-bullet grenades and mention their intended use is ‘violent demonstrations’ and ‘prison uprisings’. The experimental coagulative OC spray we’ve dealt with before that has been used for a while now is still in operation.

Get informed:

Before the rally it’s worth making sure you’re informed about your rights and the law, and various other things that may be necessary at a rally like this. It would be worth checking out Fitzroy Legal Service’s Activists Rights Handbook for basic stuff about your legal rights when on a political demonstration or action.

We also think this guide from South London Antifascists is useful, although not all the points they raise are relevant to activists in Australia.

Pre-Rally Preparation:

– Invite your mates along. Sometimes the moral high-ground alone isn’t enough to beat literal Nazis. Numbers there on the day really help. Invite your mate who doesn’t like Nazis but hasn’t been to anything yet, your partner who talks about being anti-racist over coffee but hasn’t put words into action yet. There are so many people with these ideas, and we could use their numbers on the day! Of course, make sure they have their heads screwed on and are well debriefed about the situation before they come.

– Learn who’s who in the Nazi world using this resource we made (coming). Being able to know a Nazi when you see them is useful for avoiding trouble.

– Organise yourself a rally buddy – Someone you trust to look out for you on the day, and someone you can return the favour to. Come together, stick together, leave together.
– Organise your plan of arrival and exit ahead of time. Who you’re coming and leaving with. The bigger the group the better in most cases. Safety in numbers!
– Message the pages listed above for information about groups of people heading in together on various train-lines around the city, or organise your own contingent to head in together.
– Print out the poster and stick it up around your town, keeping a lookout for cops and wandering fascists of course.
– Have your pack ready to go the night before – Here’s a handy guide by the Melbourne Street Medic Collective on preparing what you might like to have in your backpack at a rally.
– Always helps medics on the day if you throw some plain (not mint!) Mylanta into your backpack too. They use this to make LAW spray to treat OC spray victims.
– It pays not to go out drinking or partying too much the night before a rally, and coming straight from the club to the rally is just bad form. Collective Responsibility is important to consider. Not having your head on your shoulders because you’re still pinging from the night before is a good way for mistakes and bad decisions to happen, and especially at anti-fascist rallies, you’re likely not to be the only one done over by those bad decisions. Therefore, you’re responsible to your mates and they’re responsible to you. Part of that responsibility is not being gacked on the day.

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Rally Day:

Morning of. You’re refreshed from a good sleep. No hangover. Not still partying from the night before.

– Get up on time. Very important on days like this.
– Have a decent feed.
– Dress appropriately for the weather that day and for changes in weather… ‘cos Melbourne. Consider leaving piercings at home, covering tattoos, and branded items that might make you more identifiable by fascists or cops looking to nab you.
– If you’re coming with mates, you’ve pre-organised your transport in together. If you’re coming in with an organised anti-fascist group, they’ll have their own ways organised to get the people they’re responsible for to the rally in good stead.
– If you do come by yourself, be careful to be able to pass through the city relatively unnoticed by fascists. It’s worth noting that fascists have been known to get to the city two or three hours before their own rallies to stir up trouble. When you get to the rally, talk to someone there and ask them if they can find you a buddy so you’re accounted for throughout the day. Be sure to leave with people after the rally too.
– Listen to your marshals. Of course, not uncritically. If they’ve missed something, let them know, but they’re there to make things go smoothly. Decisions need to made quickly at rallies like this, and people elect them because they trust them with that role.
– Stay in the block where possible. You need to pee, go with your buddy.
– Drink heaps of water and eat when you need to. The day can be stressful and being weak from not eating or drinking properly on top of general anxiety is a recipe for something going awry.

Photography.

This is adapted from the London Anti-fascist blog on their approach to dealing with photographers.

‘Photographers claiming to be sympathetic to our actions have been taking photographs where the faces of anti-fascists are visible and then posting them on social media and selling them to newscorp. Anti-fascists have also been allowing themselves to be photographed, even encouraging photographers to take their pictures and then ‘tagging’ themselves on Facebook.

We resist photography at actions because:

  1. Fascists are dangerous. We do not want them to know who we are.Photographs of us end up on Left-wing watchdog sites and other fascist sites that publish images and contact details of various anti-fascist activists and sympathizers; actively encouraging violence, abuse and harassment.Though, unfortunately, we do run the risk of being photographed by Fascist photographers, we obviously do not want to aid them in their identification of us. In particular, we need to avoid photographs taken in or near to kettles as these are much more likely to have our faces visible in them.

    Allowing ourselves to be photographed and, worse, tagging photographs on Facebook puts us in particular danger from Fascists, who then have a considerable amount of information about the individual photographed to link to an image. Furthermore, this provides access to the information of others: the real names and details of Facebook friends, their friends etc. putting the individual and comrades in real danger.

  2. The police use photographs and video from protests to collect intelligence on protesters and as evidence in court. Even images and videos that are taken to show police violence, or live-streamed by sympathetic protesters, can and are used as evidence against us. Live–streaming is particularly dangerous here as it is impossible to know what is going to happen at a protest and thus what images of a volatile and easily-misread situation will end up being shared and used by the police.When someone tags themselves in photographs at demonstrations, this aids the police in gathering information on who they are, and how regularly they might attend such demonstrations. If they are arrested and then still tag themselves in a photograph, they then assist the police in showing where they were, who they are, what they are wearing and exactly what they are doing at the time of an alleged crime, as well as implicating anyone who they are with at the time of the photograph.

Suggested guidelines

  • Unless otherwise suggested, wear caps, sunglasses, and have a mask on hand, so that we are less recognizable in photographs taken by fascist photographers.
  • Do not live stream anti-fascist actions, nor post images of others live.
  • Discourage photographers from documenting anti-fascist actions and when photographers are present encourage them to focus on photographing fascists and police, police violence in particular and ask them not to use any photographs with visible faces of anti-fascists.
  • Any photograph or video in which somebody is recognizable must have the permission of that person before it is posted publicly, even if it seems that this person is a victim of police or fascist violence.
  • If you do want to distribute photos of an anti-fascist action, then we ask that you please obscure the faces of anti-fascists and anyone who is being arrested.
  • Make sure that no photographers are photographing your face. If they are, ask the group to help you to encourage the photographer to stop.
  • Do not tag yourself in photographs from demonstrations on Facebook or associate yourself with these images on other social media.’

After the Rally:

– Leave the rally in as big group as you can. Before you go, obviously make sure your assigned buddy for the day is with you.
– Take a moment to eat/rehydrate.
– Pays to organise a debrief to discuss what went well, any legal funds you might need, what could be done better next time.
– If you’re drinking at a pub, do it at a pub away from the rally point and do it with lots of people. Fascists have come into pubs after rallies looking for anti-fascists to scrap with.
– Relax and unwind with your pals.

For those of us in Melbourne, the following places have a bunch of information you might want to check out:

We get that these situations can be confronting. We do it because we can’t just let nazis, fascists and racists mobilise in the streets. We hope you can’t either. If you’ve never been to a rally before, maybe this is the time you come out and stand with like-minded people. We can’t predict what will happen on the day but if you’re ever feeling uncomfortable or nervous there’s always going to be marshals around, and just remember that the people there have your back. Whether you want to be the first line of defense or contributing to the important mass of people backing them up, it’s important we’re all there holding it down and on the right (left) side of history.