Sydney: Event in Solidarity with Charlottesville Antifascists

22 Aug 2017 – On the 19th of August 2017, Anti Fascist Action Sydney in collaboration with others, held an event in Martin Place, Sydney in a show of Solidarity to the victims of the white supremacist rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia. This event was a stand against white supremacy, colonisation, racism and blatant genocide that is unfortunately prevalent not only in American society but in so called “Australian” society today. The support shown from attendees was amazing as well as the powerful, emotional and motivational speeches, there was a feeling of true strength and resistance against hate and bigotry.

(via Anti Fascist Action Sydney & Insurrection News)

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Melbourne: Fascists driven out of Coburg

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27 May – “Finally, I see so many people standing here together, standing in solidarity. We are uniting against these bigots, these clowns.” These were the words of Rasheed, one of a hundred or so young Muslim locals who joined several hundred socialists, anarchists and other local residents to drive the Nazis out of Coburg on Saturday morning.

Rasheed was speaking after he and other locals had led a triumphant march of 500 people down Sydney Road, the iconic centre of multi-ethnic Coburg.

The Nazis and fascists, who had declared they were coming to the suburb with “force and terror” to shut down an anti-racist rally, had been comprehensively beaten, pushed off the streets.

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The fascists had planned to march down Sydney Road. Instead, their rally of 70-80 was cornered blocks away as they were repeatedly taken on by a growing crowd of anti-racists. Only a large and violent police operation to protect the fascists saved them from an even more ignoble fate. As it was, their rally was broken up and they scampered away as hundreds of anti-racists chased them through carparks and sports fields.

Viv Malo, an activist in First Nations Liberation, was among those who helped rout the fascists. “Personally, I will not be idle and let these white colonial remnants spew their vitriol while genocide against my peoples continues”, she said. “Scared idiots is what they are. I’ll shout them down at every opportunity.”

Some argued that we should ignore the fascists, or just rely on the police to protect us. The organisers of the original anti-racist rally, primarily the Socialist Alliance, insisted that they would not confront the fascists, and announced that they had agreed to police requests that they not march on Sydney Road.

If this argument had won the day, it would have been a disaster.

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If the vile United Patriots Front bigots had succeeded in their goal of marching down Sydney Road and preventing anti-racists from holding a rally, it would have set a terrible precedent. If the left couldn’t beat back the fascists in Coburg, where else could we expect to stop them?

Continue reading “Melbourne: Fascists driven out of Coburg”

Sydney: Antifa clash with police at Cronulla nationalist memorial

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12 Dec – During the protests and counter-protests that marked the 10-year anniversary of the Cronulla race riot on Saturday, riot squad officers clashed with anti-racism protesters numbering in the hundreds, and managed to corral them at the southern end of Cronulla beach.

The memorial barbeque for the riot attracted about 50 people.

Many of the anti-racism protesters dressed in black, with faces covered and appeared to be members of Antifa, the self-appointed enemies of the far-right.

Antifa members carrying red, black flags emblazoned with the words Antifaschistische Aktion clashed with anti-Islam protesters and  abused police using megaphones.

Antifa, or anti-fascists, are a loose collection of socialists and anarchists, anti-racists and small-l liberals.

Antifaschistische Aktion is the name of a paramilitary German communist organisation that was dissolved in 1933 by the Nazis and resurfaced in the 1980s in Europe as a response to resurgent right-wing groups.

Today Antifa groups are transnational, and part of the ultra-left common at the protests that often mark G20 and other global leader summits.

In Australia, members or self-professed members of the group have become an increasingly common sight at rallies organised to oppose the far-right protests held by groups like the United Patriots Front and Reclaim Australia.

Members of Antifa in Australia have deliberately remained anonymous.

 

 

Australia: Arrests as violent clashes break out between anti-Islam and anti-racism protesters

22 Nov – Hundreds of Reclaim Australia protesters and their anti-racist opponents have held rallies in cities and towns across Australia, with riot police using capsicum spray to subdue violent members of both groups.

Rallies were held in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart and Alice Springs, as well as at Townsville and Cairns in north Queensland, Mildura in northwestern Victoria and Esperance in Western Australia.

At Melton in Melbourne’s outer northwest, there were six ­arrests as hundreds of police, ­including members of the air-wing, mounted branch and dog squad, maintained a barrier ­between about 500 protesters from each group.

A 29-year-old man who punched a police horse was subdued with capsicum spray and charged with animal cruelty, while three men were charged over possession of knives and another two with riotous behaviour.

Victoria Police Acting Commander Alan Byrnes said three members of the public were hurt, but the protest was largely peaceful. “It’s always a bit disappointing to see people turn up with masks,” he said. “You wonder what their motives are for doing that.”

A coalition of socialist, anar­chist and unionist groups calling themselves No Room for Rac­ism chanted “Nazi scum off our streets”, “Always was, always will be Aboriginal land” and “Shame, shame, Victoria Police”.

On the other side of the police line, Australian flag-clad youths screamed “you are a f..kwit” at a Syrian woman addressing the No Room for Racism group.

In Sydney, police arrested two people as up to 1000 packed parts of Martin Place, with police lines again separating the demonstrations. About 300 anti-racist demonstrators clashed with police along Macquarie Street from Martin Place, knocking batons from police belts before officers forced them back after an attempt to breach the police line.

200 meters down Martin Place about 100 anti-islam demonstrators listened to speeches while surrounded by police.

A 36-year-old man was ­arrested for allegedly damaging a war memorial while a 16-year-old boy was issued a “move on” direction for allegedly breaching the peace.

For a more detailed description of events in different cities check out:

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Malaysia: Meet the skinheads fighting racism

Borrowing from the skinhead subculture that emerged in Britain in the 1960s, Malaysian skins dissociate themselves from the neo-Nazi fringes and strive to promote progressive, Muslim, anti-racist ideals.

The group of skinheads surges forwards. On the stage in front of them the band is dressed in boots, collared shirts and red braces. As the opening chords of another street-punk anthem screech from the soundsystem, the Malay singer clasps the mike and offers a rugged preface to the song. “This one is against all racism and discrimination in our country… Do you have a problem with race? If you do, we’ll crush you to pieces.”

The crowd is a melee of young Malay men mostly clad in Lonsdale shirts and Doc Martens boots – the unofficial uniform of skinheads the world over. Deep cheers and pumped fists fill the air, then comes pogoing, sweat and sing-along hymns of grassroots revolution.

Skinhead culture emerged in the 1960s in Britain, largely arranged around fashion and music. The shaven heads and shirts were aggressive by design and also reflected the scene’s working class roots. Music was equally crucial, and the skinheads’ love of reggae meant that their identity was intrinsically linked to black immigrants and culture. The scene died out by the early 1970s, only to be reborn again later in the same decade. However, according to Timothy S. Brown, writing in the Journal of Social History, the second wave of skinheads was more susceptible to corruption by the right-wing rhetoric of the time.

“Economic decline, scarcity of jobs and increased immigration intensified latent racist and right-wing attitudes in British society during the 1970s and 1980s, and the skinheads reflected these prejudices in exaggerated form,” wrote Brown in his article titled “Subcultures, Pop Music and Politics: Skinheads and ‘Nazi Rock’ in England and Germany”. “With their reputation for violence and patriotic-nationalist views, skinheads were seen as a particularly attractive target for recruitment by the radical right.”

Even though right-wing skinheads probably never made up a majority, according to Brown, the links between skinheads and fascism had been established. They have been resolute ever since.

With names such as Street Rebel, Chaos Bomb and Oi! Koholik, the majority of Malaysia’s skinhead bands espouses the proletarian masculinity of the original skinheads while staunchly rejecting the racist overtones that emerged later. Such voices are becoming increasingly poignant in Malaysia, a pluralistic society operating under a government that has been criticised for its increasingly Islamist tendencies and that introduced its New Economic Policy in 1971 that has privileged ethnic Malays over Chinese and Indians ever since.

“Being a skinhead in Malaysia means embracing positive, anti-racist ideas of sociopolitical change to challenge our racist government,” says Rozaimin Elias, 34, one of Penang’s leading anti-fascist skinheads and bassist in Kuala Lumpur-based band Street Boundaries. Given his involvement with the opposition DAP party in Penang, Elias doesn’t limit his views to idle music-scene chatter either.

Skinhead boys in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Continue reading “Malaysia: Meet the skinheads fighting racism”

Victoria: Anti-Fascist Legal Fees Fundraiser

23 Sept – We need help paying fines.

Following a recent anti fascist rally in Bendigo, a protester was slapped with $1200 of fines for burning the Australian flag – something which is not even a criminal offense – charged with “littering” and “inciting a riot”. Fascist rally-goers were not charged with anything despite making vile rape and murder threats against antifascist protesters.

Show your solidarity with an anti-fascist, anti-colonial protester. Make a donation HERE

Also, the fascists are organising another outing in Bendigo, so Antifa is putting together another welcoming party for them. All anti racists are invited, details below:

https://www.facebook.com/events/762477407195421/

Bendigo: Anti-muslim and anti-fascist protesters clash

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30 August – The centre of the Victorian city of Bendigo was shut down as several hundred people gathered to protest against anti-Islamic groups and show their support for a planned mosque.

Victoria’s planning tribunal approved a permit for the city’s first mosque earlier this month.

On Saturday anti-fascist groups held rallies in opposition to a protest by the anti-Islam group United Patriots Front (UPF), which opposes the mosque.

The anti-racism demonstrators chanted: “Muslims are welcome, racists are not” and “Nazi scum off our streets”.

Police stand in a line in Bendigo at protestsLarge numbers of police officers were on the scene to keep the two sides apart.

Several clashes broke out but were contained by police.

The different groups continued to try and circle around police lines to have a head-on confrontation, but were kept apart.

Some protesters from both sides wore masks to hide their identity and some residents said they were afraid of what was going on.

One angry resident said it was “absolutely ridiculous” the protests had shut down the centre of town.

Another called it a hindrance to people going about their normal daily business, while a visitor called the protests “confrontational”.

Flag at Bendigo protest

At one point, protesters clashed after an Australian flag was burned by the anti-racist demonstrators. Police used capsicum spray on the anti-Islam protesters who were trying to push through the police line.

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United Patriots Front leader Blair Cottrell was seen washing his eyes out with water after police deployed the capsicum spray.

In his speech, Mr Cottrell lashed his opponents from the anti-racist protests as “losers, renegades and traitors”. The UPF have been engaged in ongoing street battles with left-wing groups, including outside State Parliament last month.

Hey racists go home sign at Bendigo protest Life-long Bendigo resident Sue McConnachie attended the rally with friends to show support for the mosque, but was disappointed with the level of aggression from both sides.

The Victorian and Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) found there was “no evidence of any significant social or other effects to the community” as a result of the mosque.

Members of the UPF vowed they would go “wherever they wanted because this land belongs to us” in a posting on Facebook before the protest.

Following the rally a 26-year-old North Melbourne woman was detained and issued two infringement notices after she was accused of burning a flag.

The infringements, $607 dollars each, were issued for ‘behaving in a riotous manner’ and ‘depositing burning litter’.

Picture: GLENN DANIELS