Antifa

“Reclaim Australia rallies tomorrow across the nation. They claim they’re going to take back Australia, saving us from “the threat of sharia law”. Never mind that the law imposed on this country was done so by genocidal acts of dispossession. This land is not theirs to reclaim, nor the state and the cops to decide who should be free to come and go or what laws we are subjugated to. Whether the far right or the government, the only enemy is the ones who want to strip us of our rights and divide our communities.
I urge all anti-racist people to join the counter-rallies across the country and take a stand against racism, fascism and Islamophobia.
Lex Wotton.”

On Sunday The AnarchyShow went to the Reclaim Australia Counter Rally.

It was quite well attended and the crowd was energetic and well engaged. Before I got there the police had apparently tried to keep the anti fascist (antifa) crew up in the corner of Roma St Forum Emma Miller Place to give the fascists the actual forum part of the space.

Antifa didn’t let this happen though and pushed past the police ensuring that the fascists only had the corner of the space closest to Roma St Station. So good to see a bit of civil disobedience.

So it played out after that fairly much as expected there was a PA on our side with fairly much an open mic. Others had megaphones.

When Anna arrived she walked into the Reclaim space and unplugged as much of their PA as possible. We didn’t find out til later, reading a news report (see the MSM can be useful) that Reclaim Australia had.. wait for it… issues with their PA… This may have been caused by Anna we don’t know but I did say to her that they probably wouldn’t know how to plug it back in so that may well have caused it.

Despite the organisers of the Reclaim Australia rallies telling attendees not to I don’t know basically not to look like neo nazis or actual nazis someone came dressed as Hilter and others had Swastikas tattooed on their bodies or proudly displayed on placards.

I guess the PA problems explain why I didn’t hear any of the choice music RA played but it was equalled by our side playing John Farnham you’re the Voice… which I haven’t heard on the left since the World Economic Forum Protests in Melbourne 15 years ago. It was played because Farnsy told the Reclaimers he didn’t want them to use his music.

Anyway this promoted me to say much like ‘the enemy of my enemy is not my friend the music of my enemy is not my music’.

At about 3 o’clock the Reclaim Australia folk called it a day.. as we waited for them to slither off and crawl back into the holes they came from one of them got really angry and couldn’t contain himself anymore. He ran towards the barricades which were keeping us separated gesticulating rudely and yelling. After a while he gave up and left defeated with the others.

We then marched to King George Square… a little too fast for my liking… could have slowed down and celebrated taking the streets, and I think we could have pushed things by going further but that didn’t happen.

So… see you at the next one!!

hitler by nic smith
Hitler photo by Nic Smith

Here’s Anna’s version of the day –

In total, there were maybe 250 on our side & 100 on theirs. It was scheduled to start @ Emma Miller Place @ noon. I got to the Roma Street station @ 11.30am & was kinda surprised that I had to walk past the RA area to get to where around 100 ‘Say No To Racism’ folk were already pressed against police barriers & in full voice.

Noticing a way to get past police into their area I went in & ripped out anything I could see plugged in before some RA & cops came to stop me. The cops were a wee bit unsure what to do with me as I looked like ‘commie scum’ but needed a walking stick. I made a bit of a fuss & the RA wanted me arrested but cops just took me to our side haha.

Apparently each mob ended up where they did because our mob pushed through initial police lines while they were still setting up. Highlights: their PA not working; seeing Hitler, more than a few boneheads. Swastika & SS tatts got a guernsey & we genuinely made them really fucking mad. Catching a cop tapping his foot to “FUCK OFF NAZI FUCK OFF! FUCK OFF NAZI FUCK OFF!” was great. There was one arrest when a RA supporter tried to get over the police barrier: an exercise in futility as they had a line of cops stopping them & we had PSRT (Public Safety Response Team) riot cops stopping us.

The energy this time was amazing. It was an almost celebratory mood on our side, despite their increase in numbers & increase in bonehead presence.

An hour earlier out at Logan the PDLA held an anti immigration rally, so if they’d been there there may have been even more aggression from them as they seem to have some proper psychos in their ranks. Fuck knows why they did their own thing Sunday but aside from a small group of bikies turning up to the RA rally late I don’t think many from their rally rocked up.

Kim Vuga was at the RA rally but we could hear & see fuck all as when they had speakers they were forced to huddle together in the back of their area to hear anything. PA probs apparently. As I say it was a real party atmosphere on our side.

After a few hours RA organisers started rounding up their mob & they drifted off with police protection as usual (we weren’t able to leave our area) to the sounds of “YOU’LL ALWAYS LOSE IN BRISBANE” & “FUCK OFF NAZI FUCK OFF”. Our mob, when able to leave (about 30 mins after the fash) spontaneously took to the streets & marched to King George Square where people milled around before drifting off. We should’ve done a march through the city or had a street sit-in but hey …

Finally, another highlight was a number of new faces on our side who had attended as a direct result of Paris. It was the most anarchist comrades I’ve seen in one place for a while too and it was nice to catch up with people. Ummm … the cops even seemed to be a bit more receptive to our presence & a bit put out by RA causing them to use up so many resources this time. Their whole demeanour when dealing with us was quite reasonable. Police negotiators didn’t even bother with us either, just went straight to their mob. Anyway that’s about it … aside from some positive talk among anarchists about doing stuff out my way. Yay!

To read other reports from around Australia see Slack Bastard’s summary.

blaircotteral

This article is from the ABC… The United Patriots Front haven’t got a strong hold in Queensland yet but we have to expect them, after all Pauline Hansen grew to national significance from here.

Standing among the crowd at the anti-Muslim United Patriots Front rally in Bendigo, it was frightening to consider what they might be capable of. Make no mistake, this is fascism, writes Christine El-Khoury.

When Blair Cottrell, the ring-leader of the fascist street movement the United Patriots Front (UPF), addresses his horde of followers it looks like the blonde-haired body builder from Melbourne is about to blow his top:

“This here now is what creates communities and nations: togetherness, pride, love, the willingness to sacrifice not just some of your own time but if necessary your own life for the future of your own people!”

Even from a distance I can see his blood boil. His pale Anglo-Saxon complexion becomes red. His body tenses in his black muscle shirt, his fists clench by his side, his voice rises until he is yelling into the microphone:

“At the end of the day you can either be a Muslim or an Australian. It must be either or because the two do not co-relate and do not correspond.”

On this sunny day in October, Cottrell believes stopping the development of a mosque in the regional town of Bendigo is a matter of life and death, and he wants you to feel that way too:

“Never give up, no matter what these people say, no matter what they do. Just believe in each other. Feel the person next to you. Feel the energy connect to it, that’s what a community is!”

Cottrell remonstrates to the crowd which responds with cheers of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi, oi” and waves of the Australian flag.

Only this isn’t a sporting match. This is not a game. This is a war-like call by an angry young man who wants the 350 people before him to protect his skewed – and dare I say it, delusional – view of what it means to be Australian.

When Cottrell reaches a crescendo, he salutes his audience by raising a fist to the air in one swift and forceful motion. Make no mistake, this is fascism. This is what hate looks like. As I stand amongst the predominantly male crowd – some young, some much older, many dressed in black with tattoos – it was frightening to consider what they might be capable of. Perhaps not here, where 400 police officers are standing by, but what seed might be planted in the minds of those listening? How emboldened might they become?

Before setting out to the Bendigo rally, I was curious about what drives these men to hate. The UPF had staged a highly offensive mock beheading at the Bendigo Council Chambers that I later discovered was designed to gain publicity. I wanted to be careful that by reporting on their activities, I wasn’t also promoting their agenda. The rallies that had been conducted so far weren’t huge, but the far-right had never mobilized quite like this before.

So, I began by making a few phone calls. I needed to get a better understanding of the history of far-right groups in Australia. I soon discovered that there has been little academic work in this area. As one academic quipped, “There’s plenty of research money available to look at jihadis, but not far-right extremists.”

It seems odd, considering Islamist extremism sits on the far-right spectrum alongside anti-Muslim hate, white supremacy and neo-Nazism. It suggests that historically far-right groups have been largely unsuccessful. The views these groups espouse have been considered “deviant” by the majority of society, and they have previously been difficult to infiltrate.

However, the rise of social media has provided a platform for a growing anti-Islam movement in Australia and the Western world to find like-minded souls, and much of their vitriol is available for public viewing.

Online, it looks like Cottrell and his fellow supporters (many of them former members of the military and Christian fundamentalists) are just a bunch of narcissistic fringe dwellers, who spend a lot of time uploading videos of themselves to Facebook. They rant about British culture, left-wing “f–tards”, the Bible and how much they hate Muslims.

It soon becomes clear though that the conversations being had online do need to be taken seriously – there have been threats to bomb mosques and kill Muslims. They may just be the anonymous ranting of “keyboard warriors” but I soon learned that some members of these far-right groups also have the means to facilitate these acts of violence should they choose to do so. For example, one member of the United Patriot Front declares via the group’s Facebook page that he is a gun-owner. He warns his fellow “patriots” to keep their firearms secure because the police are watching.

In the lead-up to protests last weekend, a member of Reclaim Australia was arrested and jailed for possessing five Tasers and a quantity of mercury. When police raided the home of 31-year-old Phillip Galea, they also found information about making explosives on Galea’s computer, along with an “extensive” amount of “extreme” material linked with far-right groups. When he appeared in court it was revealed Galea had been in possession of a weapon at another anti-immigration rally.

We do need to be concerned that since the Paris attacks, anti-Muslim hate has ratcheted up a notch. The Online Hate Prevention Institute (OHPI) – a charity that tracks, reports and tries to take down hate speech online – has seen a sharp rise in both the quantity of hate and also the level of extremism being displayed on social media towards Muslims. It’s not unheard of for attacks against Muslims, especially women, to be carried out.

The CEO of the OHPI, Dr Andre Oboler, says it’s “very clear more needs to be done if we don’t want our values as a society, of inclusivity, multiculturalism and a fair go for all, to be put at risk.”

Kevin Dunn from Western Sydney University believes our political leaders are taking this threat to social cohesion seriously.

Dunn believes that Australia’s well-established and well-supported policy of multiculturalism will help ward off this growing anti-Muslim movement, but says when it comes to racism we cannot be complacent.

“Antipathy towards a group will grow through a vicious cycle in which it’s increasingly seen as the norm,” he says. But it also has the potential to de-escalate, “as it has with some of the other dominant antipathies that have been around in Australia’s past.”

Our overwhelming support for multiculturalism is evidence that Australia is not racist; in fact, it’s been the secret to our success as a country relatively free of political violence, according to Kevin Dunn.

If we want to keep it that way, we do need to take the level of antipathy currently being directed towards the Muslim community very seriously indeed.

Christine El-Khoury is an ABC journalist.

 

 

SCOTT MORRISON MP RETIRES DEFEATED AND SAD

SCOTT MORRISON MP RETIRES DEFEATED AND SAD

[UPDATE: Even though he managed to pass the bill it was through bullying and blackmail. No one is going to stop fighting for refugee rights = human rights. Read how Morrison used children as bargaining chips]

Let’s make this happen. Morrison has been trying to pass draconian legislation to introduce Temporary Protection Visas and other measures to make the lives of refugees even harder ever since he got into his position.

But he keeps getting stopped and is going to be stopped again with your help.

Since it looks like we aren’t going to be able to gather in the streets or in front of Parliament House in Canberra to urge all crossbench Senators to reject the bill sending letters and making phone calls will have to do.

The government is getting

So I sent this please feel free to change to suit your situation.

Dear Senator,

I write to urge you to vote against the Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014.

While I have always supported the right of anyone to seek asylum in this country regardless of the way they arrive here, I am now closely affected by this bill because my partner is an asylum seeker from Iran.

I know first hand the difficulties people face when they must leave their home countries for fear the government will kill them.

It is incumbent upon you to be educated on the life and death matters contained in this Bill.

This proposed legislation is more harsh, more cruel and more internationally illegal than any other piece of legislation proposed in Australian history.

It legislates against refugees human rights and it will cause people to die.

The deaths at sea, the deaths by torture if the people are sent back to their homeland from which they fled… and the suicides that result if this legislation is passed – these deaths will be on your conscience if you vote for this draconian piece of legislation.

Here is an lawyer speaking on what the Bill means.

I earnestly urge you to watch it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eETzMYgEaM

Let us remember that those people who arrive here by boat, the ones we detain (ostensibly jail) commit to a island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, put into the community to live a life of destitution without work rights on Bridging Visas – for one and two and now, under the” no advantage policy” an undetermined amount of time, prevent from re uniting with their families in the future …these people just want to live, and not die… and to live a life that’s worth living.

They come from Iran, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Burma, Palestine and many other places.

There is no way for people like my partner to seek asylum other than come on a boat to Australia.

There are no queues in these countries.

Australia is a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention.

We invite these vulnerable people here by being a signatory. As though we are their friends. And then, as they knock at the door, we open it and then slam it shut in their face. Except it s not really like this. It is much much much worse. It’s literally a matter of life and death.

These are people, just like you and me. Not political footballs for point scoring.

We need to find a solution to this problem which is humane and just. Please don’t just vote against this bill but also actively use your position to influence policy so people on Bridging Visas and those in detention can be processed. And Australia formulates a way of assisting the worldwide issue of displaced people.

Here’s some information from Get Up on this Bill.

What are the key implications of this bill?

Yours Truly..
bloodonyourhands
INFORMATION ON THE BILL AND CONTACT ADDRESSES

The Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014, is currently before Parliament. It is expected that it will be voted on in November. As well as the proposal to reintroduce TPVs, this bill contains a lot of very disturbing amendments to the Migration Act:

If passed, the bill will:
• Remove references to the UN Refugee Convention from the Migration Act and replace them with ‘Australia’s interpretation of international law
• Remove the ability of the High Court to challenge refugee policy and operations
• Exempt Customs/ Navy/ Border Force boats from maritime laws. This will allow actions such as removing safety devices, food, water and fuel from asylum-seeking boats.
• Allow the Government to send boats or individuals anywhere it chooses. The bill removes the need for Australia to have a Memorandum of Understanding in place with countries in the region, or for the country to be a signatory to the Refugee Convention. It also allows boats to be towed to a “place” that is not another country. It would allow boats to be towed beyond Australian waters and just left there without regard for safety.
• Establish a fast track assessment process which removes access to the Refugee Review Tribunal and provides very limited review processes. Fast turnaround processing was ruled illegal in the United Kingdom in July 2014 as it carried an “unacceptable risk of unfairness”.
• Classify children born in Australia, to asylum seekers who arrived by boat, as “transitory persons”, giving them no access to permanent residency or citizenship.
• Change the definition of ‘refugee’ to allow the government to deny a claim for refugee status if it decides that there is a ‘safe area’ in the country of origin, or that the nation’s police force is ‘reasonably effective’.
• Allow the Australian government to return / remove people regardless of non-refoulement obligations.
• Keep asylum seekers, currently living in Australia, in indefinite statelessness and uncertainty, unable to reunite with their families or move on with their lives.

We all need to write to our state Senators and to the cross bench Senators and tell them that if they vote for this bill, they will be voting for Australia’s domestic law to authorise human rights abuses. Ask the Libs to cross the floor, and ask the Nationals to think for themselves! Write to Clive and ask him what he was thinking when he helped Morrison craft this horrendous bill.

Use some of the points above, but use your own words. Include something personal about yourself. “As a parent of three children…” “As someone who is interested in history…” “As a twenty year-old with a long future of voting ahead of me….” Anything you can think of to give it a connection to a real voter.

Here are the addresses for the cross bench Senators and Clive Palmer. Paper letters in envelopes are best, but please email rather than doing nothing. Make sure you include your name and address.

Senator Bob Day AO (Family First)
Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices
100 King William Street
Adelaide SA 5000
senator.day@aph.gov.au

Senator Jacqui Lambie
29 Wilson Street
Burnie TAS 7320
senator.lambie@aph.gov.au

Senator Glenn Lazarus
PO Box 228
Brisbane QLD 4001
senator.lazarus@aph.gov.au

Senator David Leyonhjelm
PO Box 636
Drummoyne NSW 1470
senator.leyonhjelm@aph.gov.au

Senator John Madigan
17 Albert St
Ballarat Vic 3350
senator.madigan@aph.gov.au

Senator Ricky Muir
Level 4, Treasury Place
Melbourne VIC 3002
senator.muir@aph.gov.au

Senator Dio Wang
PO Box 6120
East Perth WA 6892
senator.wang@aph.gov.au

Senator Nick Xenophon
Level 2
31 Ebenezer Place
Adelaide SA 5000
senator.xenophon@aph.gov.au

Mr Clive Palmer MP
Palmer United Party
PO Box 1978
Sunshine Plaza, QLD, 4558

You’ll find the other Senators for your state here. You can search by state by using the map. Then click on their names for contact details.
http://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Senators

Musgrave Park and ‘the embassy in my own land’

Dr Jean-Paul is speaking tomorrow November 27 @ the University of Queensland arguing that indigenous peoples must have full legal rights to their subsurface minerals – this of course extends to full legal rights to surface territories.

I will attend and write a follow up to this post.

By Jean-Paul Gagnon, University of Queensland

This weekend, South Brisbane will play host to the Paniyiri Festival, one of Australia’s largest cultural events.

From May 19 to 20, thousands are expected to join the celebrations and delight themselves with beautiful presentations of Greek culture.

There is, however, a political battle of global significance interfering with one of the festival’s choice venues – Musgrave Park. Today there stands what certain commentators have come to call a “Tent Embassy”.

The Embassy is a political place where Aboriginal people (imaginably the Jagera and Turrbal nations who were in majority the first occupants of what is approximately the heart of contemporary Brisbane) are declaring their sovereignty. This is, at least to some democratic theorists, a moment where a citizenry (or in this case a group of citizens) are declaring their right to their native land.

But this is not the way this movement has been viewed by the media or other civil groups. Brisbane City Council Mayor Graham Quirk has stated that the citizens that have established their Embassy have been offered a different site to use so as to continue sharing their message with the public.

It appears that Lord Mayor Quirk may have missed the point and is treating Aboriginal people as they have been treated by others – with disregard. This is not an Embassy that should be moved. This is a declaration of sovereignty which should be respected and afforded its place in the processes of democratic governance.

International examples

Movements similar to this have happened in Canada and the USA for example – but usually through protests and blocking industrial access to sovereign territories (like forests and islands most often having no major non-indigenous human settlements within the territory seeking protection).

One good example comes from the Haida Gwaii and Nisga’a peoples found in contemporary British Columbia. Both of these nations had blocked industrial activities in what they self-recognised as their own sovereign territories which led to direct political engagement.

After having proven, to the best of their abilities, that this land was under the care of their respective nations before the arrival of Europeans, it was placed – at least for the Haida Gwaii – under indigenous stewardship by law.

Now, these nations have the choice of whether they would like to engage industry and are also in powerful positions should contractual discussions with industry begin.

Urban space versus wilderness

But the Jagera and Turrbal nations are dealing with a dense urban space and not, for example, mostly pristine forested lands. This is similar to the situation of the Iroquois in Toronto, or, of course, the Ottawa in Ottawa. It is much more difficult to gain sovereign territorial rights where such a move could affect millions of people.

An unidentified protestor at the Musgrave Park indigenous embassy. Patrick Hamilton/AAP

There is also no precedent for empowering the indigenous owners of contemporary urban lands. This is, in other words, virgin political territory. That is quite possibly all the more reason why the Aborigines in Brisbane that are positioning themselves for peaceful political contestation should be allowed to do so without eviction notices or threats of legitimated forceful removal.

Solidarity among communities

The organisers of the Paniyiri Festival, and too the residents of Brisbane and beyond, have here the opportunity to declare solidarity with this movement. They might even look to using a different park nearby so as to support the Embassy.

The Greek culture is after all not trying to exercise its right to sovereignty and, no matter how great the festival is and how much I enjoy it, it should stand by the Embassy – not otherwise. Perhaps the Embassy could be included as a partner in the Festival and officially sanctioned as a movement supported by the Greek community.

This point raises the broader issue of civil societies demonstrating solidarity with those battling for their political rights. The Musgrave Park situation is comparable to the plight for Polish sovereignty under the USSR. Solidarity to Poland came quickly from not only those in the undergrounds of then Czechoslovakia, Hungary and East Germany, but too from peoples outside of the USSR.

This situation in Brisbane is analytically no different: the Jagera and Turrbul, like the Polish or Slovakians, held a territory wherein they practiced their own distinct national cultures. These lands, and consequently the powers of these nations, were removed by invaders: British colonists and the USSR respectively.

Nations within nations

There is too the opportunity for Australia to be quite possibly the first in this world to break into innovative legal territory.

By establishing an official indigenous Embassy and recognising it within the boundaries of the Brisbane City Council, Queensland, and Australia, this would be a step beyond the legal actions of the USA which has only recently come to view Native Americans as “nations within a nation” thus affording them the right to increased self-governance and greater political engagement.

Indigenous leader Sam Watson addresses protestors at Musgrave Park as police look on. AAP/Patrick Hamilton

This would also make progress in Australia allowing, for the first time, “Tent Embassies” (such as the now famous Tent Embassy in Canberra) to transform into actual Embassies.

Political evolution

The Musgrave Park Embassy, like the Embassy in Canberra, has global significance for indigenous people. I for one have indigenous ancestors from the Huron-Wendat Nation in North America and identify as an aboriginal person. I can see the similarities between the Jagera and Turrbal stand with the idea of the Huron creating their own Embassy in their own native land in Georgian Bay, Canada. Almost 400 years ago most of this land was known as Wendakia (or Ouendakia) and was home to the Huron Confederacy before genocide and violent dispersal by a European and Iroquoian alliance led to the diaspora of my ancestors.

What the Jagera and Turrbul of Brisbane or those in Canberra are doing is innovation: they are leading the way for other indigenous peoples internationally with the tool of the Embassy. It’s a step forward politically and has the potential to offer new spaces for the growth of aboriginal peoples.

Recognising democratic rights

In Australia today, the sovereign rights of the original owners of this land are recognised, grand political apologies have been issued, and the wish to undo the wrongs of the past has been stated. But these, as many commentators have observed, are just words.

Indigenous peoples are asking for action and the Musgrave Park Embassy is such an action. I think that Musgrave Park should become a formal Embassy for the Aborigines that rightfully own the territory over which Brisbane now sits. It should be there to continue to engage how the Aborigines here wish to progress in an urban space and how those living in Brisbane today wish to exercise solidarity with them.

There is, of course, one final point that needs to be drawn upon. It is the very tragedy of a nation needing to have an Embassy on its own land. Aborigines have not only been dispossessed of their sovereign territories and have faced genocidal hardships, but they have also been excluded – at least in Brisbane – from local democratic politics.

Moving the Embassy, and forcefully evicting its staff, is an abrogation of both human rights and citizen rights under the expectations of democratic theory.

Jean-Paul Gagnon does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

The Conversation

This article was originally published at The Conversation.
Read the original article.

Vale Aunty Isabel Coe: Aboriginal Sovereignty Movement in Mourning

The Canberra Embassy during the 40th anniversary celebrations in January.

Monday November 12 on the AAradio show contributors Dan Eastern and Kimbeaux Dawson paid tribute to Aunty Isabel who passed away on the weekend.

Aunty Isabel was one of the key campaigners involved in the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra since it had been established on the lawns of Old Parliament House in 1972.

Eastern and Kim had spent time with Aunty Isabel at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra and in Sydney.

Or download broadcast quality from radio4all.