Melbourne man remanded in custody after attempting to travel to Iraq to fight with Kurdish forces

Jamie Williams, Melbourne man remanded in custody over plan to take up arms in Iraq28 July – A 28-year-old Melbourne man has been remanded in custody after being charged by the Melbourne Joint Counter Terrorism Team for attempting to travel to northern Iraq to fight with Kurdish forces against Islamic State.

Jamie Williams, of Epping, in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, was arrested last night and made a brief appearance in the Melbourne Magistrates Court today.

He was remanded in custody until his next court appearance in October and his lawyer Rob Stary said he would be applying for bail.

Williams appeared calm in the dock during the short filing hearing, and was supported by his partner and mother.

He was dressed in a black T-shirt and had a beard and a tattoo on his left arm.

It will be alleged Williams “undertook preparations and attempted to depart Australia in December 2014″.

He was detained at Melbourne Airport on December 28 last year.

When asked what he was travelling for it is believed Williams admitted he was going to fight with the Kurdish forces, and planned to travel to the northern Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah.

Sulaymaniyah is a well-known entry point for Westerners wishing to join the fight against Islamic State.

His passport was immediately seized.

Members of the Customs service, now part of the Australian Border Force, identified him as a potential foreign fighter as he attempted to board a flight for Qatar.

Various items of “military-style equipment and clothing” were allegedly found in his luggage.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) executed a warrant on Williams’ house in March and seized his mobile phone and a computer.

The warrant allowed the police to seize anything relating to the Lions of Rojava and a woman named Kader Kadandir, who runs the Lions of Rojava Facebook page.

The Lions of Rojava is a Facebook page of Kurdish sympathisers who use it to promote their cause and recruit Western fighters.

AFP Assistant Commissioner for Counter Terrorism Neil Gaughan said regardless of who it was, undertaking a plan to travel to Syria or Iraq to support those involved in the conflict was “illegal and highly dangerous”.

“While this individual did not actually travel, people need to be aware that actively planning and undertaking preparations to travel to the conflict area still constitutes a criminal offence,” he said in a statement.

Williams has been charged with one count of preparing for incursions into foreign countries for the purpose of engaging in hostile activities.

The maximum penalty for the offence is life in prison.

The parents of Gold Coast man Reece Harding, who was recently killed fighting with the Kurdish YPG forces in June, want that to change.

Keith Harding told the ABC’s 7:30 program that Australians who support the YPG should not be treated like those who fight for or support Islamic State.

“We’ve got to change public opinion for these foreign fighters that are fighting against ISIS and allow them to come home safely,” he said.

“For all we know Reece might still be alive today if he had a chance to go and rest up back here.”

Melbourne: Protesters disrupt Pyne’s Vic book launch

31 July – Student protesters smashed a glass door panel in an attempt to storm a building where federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne was launching his new book.

They also blockaded the doors of the Docklands building, stopping some from entering the event, which was delayed for about 30 minutes until police regained control.

A beatbox blared music throughout the scuffle as the group of about 100 demonstrators, who were protesting against cuts to higher education funding, chanted slogans such as “no ifs, no buts, no education cuts”.

“I’d like to welcome those who made it through,” Mr Pyne told the audience on Friday night.

“We’re about two-thirds the number that RSVP-ed, so sadly I think about a third of the people who wanted to come couldn’t get through.

The National Union of Students organised the protest to express its opposition to the deregulation of university fees.

Members shouted “No cuts, no fees, no corporate universities” and jostled with police.

Demonstrators clash with police outside NAB headquarters in Melbourne's Docklands.

One female protester was arrested and charged with assaulting police, while three police officers were treated for minor injuries.

Victorian Liberal Party president Michael Kroger launched Mr Pyne’s book, A Letter to My Children, as Prime Minister Tony Abbott had to pull out.

The clean-up following the protest  at the book launch of Christopher Pyne's new book.

Sydney: Solidarity banners for Jock Palfreeman

Banner drop on the July 25 International Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners for ‪#‎antifa‬ prisoner Jock Palfreeman from Sydney NSW, who is currently incarcerated in Bulgaria‬ for defending a young Roma from being killed by a gang of racist football hooligans.

You can read more about Jock Palfreeman here:

https://bivol.bg/…/charlie-hebdo-midnight-express-in-sofia.…

Anti Fascist Action Sydney

Suruç Massacre: Solidarity from Melbourne & Sydney

27 July – A solidarity action took place outside the Turkish consulate in Melbourne on Monday in response to Turkish state complicity in the Suruç Massacre and in response to the international call out made by Anarşi İnisiyatifi (Anarchy Initiative) who lost four of their comrades in the attack.

A group of about 20 mostly anarchist activists gathered outside the consulate at around 5PM with banners and signs condemning the massacre and the involvement of the Turkish state, there were also signs expressing support for the ongoing Rojava Revolution. Of the two large banners that were unfurled outside the consulate, one read: ‘Solidarity With Suruç From Melbourne! Stop Turkish State Sponsored Terror!’ while the other banner read: ‘In Memory Of Evrim Deniz Erol, Alper Sapan and Medali Barutçu – Solidarity Is Our Weapon!’

There were two speeches made with the speakers expressing solidarity with the people of Suruç, the Kurdish struggle in Rojava and elsewhere in Kurdistan, condemning the Turkish state for their involvement in the Suruç massacre and for their recent airstrikes against the PKK as well as the shelling of YPG/J positions inside Rojava. Mention was also made of the brutal crackdown against the Kurdish movement and the Turkish left inside Turkish state controlled territories – a crackdown that has resulted in mass detentions and the extra-judicial killings of at least 3 young activists.

As expected there was the usual over the top presence of both state and Federal police officers who were stationed in front of the consulate doors and across the road from where the demonstration took place. A staffer from the consulate was also observed taking photographs of the action.

Solidarity With The People of Suruç!

Long Live The Memories of Evrim Deniz Erol, Alper Sapan, Medali Barutçu And All The Young Revolutionaries Who Died In The Suruç Massacre!

Long Live The Rojava Revolution And The Kurdish Resistance!

Increase The Pressure Against Turkish State Terror! 

Suruç Massacre: A message from Sydney

28 July – With sadness and anger, people demonstrated at Turkish consulates in Sydney and Melbourne Australia yesterday 5pm to condemn the Turkish state’s complicity in the Suruc massacre and commemorate those fallen in the attack.

We stand with those fighting both the overt and covert state sponsored terrorism of the Turkish state, with Kurdish liberation fighters, and with all who are brave enough to resist in the face of such repression. Let it be known, as our banner read ‘We stand with Kobane’ and are inspired and strengthened here by the resistance over there, thank you.

In Sydney attempts by local police to intimidate us on social media, demanding forms be filled out to determine our protest ‘legitimate’ were ignored, supposedly justifying the heavy policing on the day. We do not recognise the authority of the white colonial state known as Australia.

Standing with the Aboriginal flag, we remind ourselves of the historical and ongoing state violence against First Nations people here. With its bloody and racist policies, we are disgusted by the hypocrisy of the so-called Australian state attempting to tell us what is ‘legitimate’ or not. Decolonise now- full sovereignty for Aboriginal communities! Kurdish liberation now!

‘We stand with Kobane’

‘Turkish state = terrorist state’

Rojava Solidarity Australia Statement On The Suruç Massacre

Rojava‬ Solidarity Australia unequivocally condemn the cowardly and barbaric attack against the young people who were gathered in solidarity with Kobane that took place in ‪Suruç‬ on 20.07.15.

This callous, inhumane act that was committed against young activists who were preparing to cross the border into ‪Kobane‬, Rojava in order to deliver gifts for war-affected children and to assist in the reconstruction of the war-ravaged city is nothing short of an atrocity carried out by enemies of humanity who falsely believe that they can crush the international Rojava solidarity movement via acts of terror and cowardice.

We would like to express our deepest sympathies and condolences to the many people who lost loved ones in this cowardly attack. Our thoughts are also with the many people who were injured and we wish them all swift recoveries.

Even though what took place was a horrific and terrible crime of the highest magnitude we take some degree of comfort in the knowledge that this despicable attack will not in any way alter the resolve of the international Rojava solidarity movement to continue actively supporting both the Rojava revolution and the reconstruction of Kobane.

Rojava Solidarity Australia

21.07.15.

Aboriginal activist enters Australia without passport

21 Jul – Carrying a self-styled Aboriginal passport, Nganyaywana man Callum Clayton-Dixon has also recently entered and departed the Solomon Islands.

Mr Clayton-Dixon, chair of the Aboriginal Provision Government (APG), told jourmalists that he arrived in Brisbane from Honiara on June 30.

“They warned me if I made any false declaration that could involve some penalty under the law but I didn’t make any false declaration,” he said.

“I just kept on insisting I’m an Aboriginal person returning to my country on my Aboriginal passport, and this is the travel document I’m choosing to use.”

“I just kept on insisting I’m an Aboriginal person returning to my country on my Aboriginal passport, and this is the travel document I’m choosing to use.”

In a statement to SBS, immigration said the Australian Government does not recognise the Aboriginal passport as a valid travel document.

“In certain circumstances where a traveller presents at the border and is seeking to enter Australia without a bona-fide travel document, authorities will take action as appropriate to determine the identity of the traveller,” it read.

“If such a person is subsequently confirmed to be an Australian citizen, their entry is permissible; although certain conditions will apply.”

The first country to officially accept the Aboriginal passport was Libya in 1988.

Tasmanian lawyer Michael Mansell led a group of Aboriginal activists on a visit to challenge Australian sovereignty in the bicentennial year.

“If you think that you belong to an Aboriginal nation, then you have to fight for it”.

“If you think that you belong to an Aboriginal nation, then you have to fight for it,” Mr Mansell told SBS at the time.

“There are ways of doing it without necessarily being violent, and stand up to the government and stand up to the white reaction in this country and you can get away with it.”

The APG relaunched the passport in 2012, issuing them to Aboriginal people, asylum seekers, former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Canadian authorities refused to accept the Aboriginal passport last year, but this is the second time this year that an APG activist has entered the Solomons on one.

When Mr Clayton-Dixon departed for the Solomons from Brisbane his Aboriginal passport was rejected by immigration officials and an Australian passport was produced.

On arrival in the Solomon Islands, he was issued with a six week visitor’s visa in his Aboriginal passport and then an exit stamp on departure.

Both times he was not challenged, despite the Aboriginal passport not being recognised in the country’s Migration Act.

passport

Carrying a self-style Aboriginal passport, Nganyaywana man Callum Dixon-Clayton has also recently entered and departed the Solomon Islands. (SBS)

Trevor Long, former Qantas general manager of facilitation, told SBS that the activists were making a political statement.

“But the problem with making a political statement is the vast majority of countries won’t recognise the Aboriginal passport,” he said

“What will happen is if they present an Aboriginal passport in a first-world country and many third-world countries they will not get in and be turned away.”

On departure, Virgin Airlines in the Solomons refused to check-in Mr Clayton-Dixon with the Aboriginal passport and an Australian one was again presented.

Mr Long said it showed the security system for checking passengers heading to Australia works, even in the Solomons.

“What would have happened here is when Virgin started to check the passenger in, they would have collected the data from the passport, sent it in to the immigration service, who would have sent it back saying, ‘we don’t know this passenger and they’re not to board until you get clearance from us,” Mr Long said.

On the three-hour flight to Brisbane, Mr Clayton-Dixon handed his Australian passport to a travel companion.

Presenting the Aboriginal passport at immigration in Brisbane, he was led away and detained.

About an hour later, he was admitted to the country through a side door at the international terminal without officials seeing his Australian passport.

“I suspect the department would get a bit peeved with that and do something about it but, at the end of the day, if they can prove that they are Australians, then they’ll be admitted,” Mr Long said.

Aboriginal Provisional Government activists say they will continue to use their passport.

Kathmandu, Nepal: Anti-police graffiti action against the Australian embassy in solidarity with antifa

https://disaccords.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/c732f-1.jpg?w=645&h=487

19 July – Anti-police graffiti action taken against the Australian embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal. The words ‘Australian police protect racists’ and ‘Antifa’ were spray-painted on the embassy wall in solidarity with antifascist activists in Melbourne who came under vicious attack by police for counter-protesting a rally organized by fascist organizations Reclaim Australia and United Patriots Front.

Reclaim Australia/No Room for Racism protests: Demonstrators clash as rival groups kick off nationwide rallies

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18 July – There have been chaotic scenes on Melbourne’s streets as anti-racism protesters and nationalists clash in demonstrations.

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Anti-Islamic groups Reclaim Australia and the United Patriots Front (UPF) held rallies in several cities and towns on Saturday.

Subsequent anti-racism groups launched counter rallies in response to the protests, holding banners saying “No Room for Racism”.

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There were violent scuffles in Melbourne, reminiscent of scenes when the two groups met during demonstrations earlier this year.

Bottles were thrown in the streets, protesters from both sides were punched and kicked as the rival groups clashed.

Some masked protesters attempted to barge through the police blockade but were met with force as officers resisted.

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About 400 police members were on hand including officers mounted on horses who rammed through the crowds.

Officers used capsicum spray to subdue the crowds and protesters were seen on the ground having milk poured in their eyes.

Police use pepper spray in Melbourne protests

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane said the use of capsicum spray was justified.

“The [police] were at significant threat of having their lines over run and it was a tool we had to use at the time,” he said.

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Police said at least four people were arrested for violence-related offences including attacks on police horses.

Assistant Commissioner Leane said he was disappointed hardline protesters from both sides were involved in the violence.

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